Rachel is a newlywed of six months. She and her husband, Andy, live in a two bedroom, one bath house – no pets, no kids. Rachel works part-time at a bank and part-time as a self-employed photographer. Andy works full-time outside the home. Since she’s new at homemaking, some of her routines are still in process, but she’s developing a system that works for her.
Cleaning. Rachel’s cleaning routine involves a major clean once a month. “We move everything, dust with pledge, and mop.” She does a daily tidy which includes folding up blankets, making the bed, cleaning up the kitchen, and putting things away. The daily tidy is done whenever it fits into her schedule since her schedule varies from day to day. She also tries to clean as she goes.” Once a week she does a ‘deep tidy’ which she describes as somewhere between tidy and deep clean.
Rachel washes her clothes and all linens once a week. She admits she’s not very good about putting the laundry away but she’s working on it. Andy does his own laundry although she always asks if he wants her to do his too.
Grocery Shopping. “I make a grocery list Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I do a survey of what we have and what we need. I usually already have a good idea since we buy a lot of the same stuff. I do my menu planning based on that week’s schedule. I use an excel spreadsheet where I add items with prices. I make my list in the excel spreadsheet and transfer it to my iPhone.”
Rachel adds it all up before she goes shopping to be sure she’s on budget. If the total is too high, she looks to see what she can put off or she tries some other way to make it work. Her budget is about $70 a week and she shops on Mondays, usually at Wal-mart.
Menu Planning. Rachel’s menu plan usually includes two or three meals. On Tuesday, she makes a fancier meal that lasts one meal or two at the most. On Wednesday she plans a meal that will last several days so they can eat leftovers. Thursday she eats with her parents and her mom always sends home food that lasts a couple more days.
Time Management. As far as time management, she really doesn’t have much of a system at this point. She has a Franklin Covey spiral bound week-at-a-glance that she pairs with her iPhone. On the iPhone, she’s currently using an app called Orchestra. She also makes an occasional to do list if she gets overwhelmed. “I’m still learning to balance everything. I definitely need to use my planner more often.”
Recipe Storage. Rachel stores her recipes in a three-ring notebook. She also has a tab on her computer’s favorites bar for recipes she wants to try or hasn’t printed yet.
Biggest Challenge. Rachel’s biggest challenge as a homemaker is trying to find time to work out and have a quiet time (a time of prayer and Bible study). Self-employment is also challenging because you have to be self-motivated and sometimes it’s hard to say no to interruptions.
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NOTE: This is the first in a series of interviews with real homemakers from all stages of life.