As some of you may know, I only partially grew up with a mother, my father is a single father who raised my sibling and I. I’ve learned some homemaking skills from my mother in the past, though I would say the bulk of my knowledge (cooking, organising) was learned from my grandmother.
I was all too lucky to have my grandparents living basically across us when my parents split, years ago. The memories of my grandmother coming over to sweep, bring food and tidy things around the house, down to the organisation of our Tupperware and clothes closets – are all too clear. I was still in school then and I’d come home to hot food and my grandmother smiling while she brings out more from the stove.
Without her, I probably wouldn’t be able to write this. In looking towards the future, marriage and children, I do believe there are certain skills (aside from just the vague notion of cooking and cleaning) around the house that are essential if one wants to be a good homemaker.
Do you know these skills or maybe just needs some practice with them?
1. A Fabric Craft
Nothing quite compares to having decor in your home that’s your own making. It adds a very personal touch and is a point of pride for when there are visitors. I do cross-stitch, knitting and crochet and I’m always happy to see the doilies on our tables, especially when family friends and mates come over and compliment it. They’re always surprised to know I made them all myself and it beautifies our home. Whether you’re a complete beginner or wants to learn more fabric crafts, go ahead and sign up for classes or neighbourhood rotary clubs. They’re always happy to teach.
2. Sewing Machine Usage
I have to admit, I’m actually complete rubbish at sewing, when it comes to making things or following patterns, despite my proficiency in other fabric arts. However, it is quite vital to at least know how a sewing machine works to be able to repair basic stitches. Youtube is always a great source for this, a cheap $50 sewing machine from your nearest haberdashery store will definitely do.
3. KonMari Folding
This literally changed my life. If you are the type to fold your clothes in broad rectangles horizontally then stacking them vertically – just, no!
If you can, watch the Tidying Up With Marie Kondo series and learn the art (you can Youtube clips of just the folding technique, of course) of folding and arranging clothing in storage. In small, upheld rectangles that can be ‘filed’ like folders in an office drawer. It gets rid of the stack tumbles and looks much neater.
4. Stain Removal Arsenal
I am still in the process of learning this, mainly from my grandmother, though it is vital to have a good sense of stain removing rather than relying on ‘magic Tide sticks’ and whatnot. They’re great but may not always be around or applicable to every type of fabric stain. You have the good classics such as baking soda, vinegar, but there’s less obvious ones too like starch, salt and lemon juice. It really depends.
5. Organizational Sense
One can clean and tidy, repeat the process through the days and weeks, though it’s no use if items are stored inefficiently or in excess. To the point members of the family might start wrecking your tidying work just looking for things because there’s no sense of categories or general areas! Learn how to organise your whole house so that rooms have a theme and items of that theme belong there, that drawers have sections to separate different types of items and cupboards have a system of compartments. First place to start? Tupperware. I usually use level separators for the bottoms and a letter holder to organise the lids. No more rummaging through falling stacks.
As I’ve been spending a bit more time at home lately, I’ve been lucky to have the time to go and general-clean some areas, especially the pantry, which has been properly ignored for a year. It just reminded of all the skills that have really served me, working here at home domestically. If you have all these skills already, bravo!
Though if not, it may be something you’d like to consider adding to your domestic expertise for a warmer, beautiful home.