A big thing I have learnt since living in the flat is how difficult it is to stay on top of everything, baring in mind, it is just me! Well me and a naughty little kitten. I think a lot of people reading this who have been in charge of a house hold for a while will be laughing a lot at me, but I honestly can’t believe how many things there are to do… I get seriously stressed. I am a very OCD kind of person, so I probably do get very stressed more than a lot of people. I wanted to put together a little post about this, mainly for people more on my wave length who have just moved out or are just about to. I am by no means an expert at keeping on track in my house, but I have very gradually started to keep on track with everything and am really starting to enjoy the so say house work that little bit more. I think if or when I ever live with someone again it will be a whole new learning curve, however for now that really isn’t a worry as I am enjoying having my own space way too much.
I seriously underestimated how much there is to do in order to stay on track in the home. It makes me seriously stressed when everything is a mess and there are 101 things to do in no time at all.
For me, this isn’t just about the boring things like cleaning and washing, but also about keeping up in terms of decoration. As the flat was empty when I moved in and I only had one bedroom’s amount of stuff, I had to buy so much. In the end I just bought most things from Ikea, with the intention of gradually replacing things as time went on with home furnishings that I wanted more. In an ideal world this wouldn’t happen, but nowadays everything is so expensive that most of us simply don’t have the choice. The longer I have lived here, the more I have been stressed, as I am just so ready in my head to get the flat finished to a standard that I am completely in love with.
The Boring Jobs
Obviously this is probably the less exciting part of this blog post, however I do actually really enjoy reading or watching about peoples tips and tricks when it comes to house work. Maybe I am just getting a little boring in my old age 😉 Anyway, I felt like I had to include it as it is a big part of being independent and keeping on track in the home. So first things first, cooking and food preparation. This isn’t just if you are on a diet or trying to be healthy, it is generally just an easy way of keeping your mind on track as it is one less thing to think about in the week. I find it is so much easier to get food preparation done at the weekend, knowing I am then set for the week. Obviously this consists of making loads of yummy dishes and freezing them. I am a big fan of the whole Bolognese, chilli and curries. However, a lot of the time I also make sure I have chicken frozen for an easy, healthy dinner of protein and lots of veggies.
After food and cooking, it is then about keeping the house or flat up together. My pet hate is cleaning. I find it so boring and will do everything in my power to avoid having to do it. Although, I am also then the person who cannot stand living in a dirty or dusty home. The only way forward is to do small bits at a time. Whenever I have a spare 20 minutes I will try and dust a room at a time, that way it is gradually getting done but I don’t have to spend the whole day doing it. Hovering is the thing that I enjoy doing, so I find it quite satisfying to run the hoover round once or twice a week. The last boring job for me is washing. I absolutely bloody hate it. However, it is something that has to be done. My best tip for washing is to just put a load on every other morning or so, that way it is done by the time you get home. Then, at the weekend I sort everything out (I pile all the clean washing up in the spare room) and try to get everything ironed before it piles up again.
When doing your food shop list, always make a trip to the bathroom to see if anything is running low. The amount of times I have been caught with no shower gel or toothpaste is just a joke!
A tip for someone moving out. Let’s be honest, when going from a fully kitted out house or kitchen to somewhere pretty empty, it is hard to feel at home without all the crap. However, that doesn’t mean at all that you need to go out and buy everything just because your parents had it in their house. Something I learnt in the past year is that it is really easy to fill up you kitchen cupboards with stuff you just don’t need. The best way forward, is to buy things in terms of herbs and spices as you go. Eventually, after creating a certain amount of recipes, you will have accumulated all the things you need, so then cooking becomes much easier. Don’t just go and buy them all in one go, as the reality is that you may not use half of them and they do have a use by date.
Remember that just because the packet says it has expired, the likelihood is that it is absolutely fine. When it comes to fresh food like milk and dairy, I would be a bit more careful, but with most other products, trust your own judgement rather than the shops trying to cover themselves.
So when I first moved in, my go to for furniture was the trusty old Ikea. I cannot help but love a trip to Ikea and I must have been 20 times since moving into the flat. It is a one stop shop for everything when furnishing the home and everything is good quality without breaking the bank. Eventually, I have started to replace items which I knew I didn’t want to keep, however it does take a long time as it is all very expensive. So here are my step by step tips for furnishing your new home – of which this can be applied even if you already have a furnished home.
Pinterest. The first step when wanting to decorate your new home is to get pinning! Decide on the look you want to go for and be inspired by small pieces in each image. For example, I knew that with my side tables from Ikea, I could make them look better and more like me by simply changing the knobs.
Start by deciding what means the most to you. For me, my bed was the priority. I wanted a really beautiful bed with an extremely comfortable mattress. Therefore, the Ikea bed had a new home in the spare bedroom which was bare until then. So you need to write a list in order of what you want to change and gradually do it as you have more money coming in.
Soft furnishings are key. I have found that a lot of the furniture I don’t like I can cope with, as I have used small soft furnishings and ornaments to make them look better and fit my style more. Cushions, throws, candles and pictures are the way forward to creating your dream home on a budget.
Faux items. A big thing for me is that I have tried really hard to always find cheaper alternatives when I find an item I love. If you really look properly, using social media and reading blogs, there is always an alternative item. I have this dream of having 2 Louis Ghost chairs at my dining table, however I have now decided that the fake ones on amazon look identical and probably serve just as good a purpose as the ridiculously priced ones.
Aldi is your new best friend. Not just for food, which by the way they are great for, but for home furnishings they are the best. I have bought so many kitchen bits from Aldi, as well as soft furnishings and candles.
A big part of my home now is Nelson, the beautiful little black kitten. My boyfriend and I got him in December last year, as we had both wanted a pet for a really long time. As I live in my own he obviously lives with me and has become a big part of my life. Before getting him, I had held off for a really long time as I was travelling a lot, working unsociable hours and generally just wasn’t ready for the responsibility. Since getting him, I can understand where I was coming from, however I have really made it work for me. I cannot put into words how much happiness he brings me everyday and I have slowly started to actually enjoy the responsibility of him. I am a very maternal person, so having something to look after is just something that makes me happy. I guess I am including him in this blog post, as having him has become a big part of my home and looking after him does often tie in with looking after my home. The biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone moving out and wanting a pet is just to wait a few months and really get used to living somewhere else and in a new place. Pets are a huge responsibility and a decision that should never be taken lightly.