To live a vintage life is not so simple when we live in a modern time as we do. It is something we have to learn and practice if we truly want to live vintage. We have to change our ways to undo bad habits that come with living modern.
To live a simple life is not as difficult but to live more like the past takes continuous adjusting of things to get there. It is not a quick fix as there is a lot of decluttering of the home and the mind.
But it is contagious because we are always looking for that one thing that would make this living like the past vintage life feel more real.
The strange part is now that we have been researching about the past and living somewhat like they did in the past, now I am finding that they were fairly modern in the 1930's, just take away technology and electrical items and almost there.
Some people had electricity, some did not. Some had cars and some still had horses and wagons and buggies. But either way they went to movies, they visited one another all the time. Some had a electric refrigerator and some had an refrigerator that cooled with ice.
They had comfortable homes, and made their beds and washed their dishes and cleaned their houses just as we do but with much less stuff to do it.
One day Charles and I were going downtown and took the side roads. Taking this route takes us through the older section of town. One day I realized these houses were built around the early 1900's and the designs are truly beautiful. I would love to live in one of the 1930's houses. They also have many built in's and features we do not have today.
I love the older pieces because the detail in furniture is so wonderful and it is made with real wood.
The quality of the things that were made is why there are so many items still around. Many items made today go straight to the dump.
I have had some questions about the blog post called One Room Proper. A recent question was;
When you clean One Room Proper, do you clean the entire house in a week? Or do you just pick up where you left off the previous week?
My answer is clean the entire house in one week.
This method is just my method of cleaning. I tried different ways that were in books and much of that was too confusing for me. I had to go back to basics and what I could remember of long ago.
I took a piece of paper and lined out 5 sections. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I have 11 areas to clean if I break them down.
Sitting area off the kitchen
Full bath and small hallway
To keep the house clean all these areas need cleaning. As you know there are many things to be done other than cleaning rooms such as Making beds, laundry, Cooking, washing dishes, feeding pets and playing with them, taking care of children's needs, shopping for groceries and so on. But these are the things that keep us from deep cleaning our home if we do not have a routine. These things have nothing to do with deep cleaning each room.
So my deep cleaning schedule is;
Monday, Kitchen and small Sitting area
Tuesday, Our bedroom
Wednesday, Living room, Front Porch and Back Porch
Thursday Guest room 1 and Guest room 2
Friday, Laundry room area, Bathroom and half bath
Cleaning the rooms does not take long once the habit is formed. Half an hour maybe if we get in there and just do it. An hour if we are not on top of things and depending on how many times we are interrupted. I take three cloths in the room to be cleaned and a small bucket of clean water to rinse. One cloth has light soap, one clear and one dry. I can go over window ledges and edges of things in a flash and have them washed down and dried.
I have a brush I use only for lamp shades and I remove the shade and take it out on the porch and and in minutes I have those lamp shades brushed off and back on the lamps quickly. I give the lamps a cleaning before putting on the shade.
I wipe down all the furniture, run the vacuum and sweep etc. It is done. I normally strip the bed in our room the day I clean the room. I also open the windows on this day while I clean no matter what the weather is. My daughter told me that this is one of her favorite memories of home when she was growing up, me opening the windows often in the house and the sounds I made as I was cleaning and cooking etc. See, everything we do is a memory for our children.
I want to say here that this is about cleaning. This is not about how much "Stuff" we have in our home. This is deep cleaning such as washing window ledges, brushing lamp shades, wiping down everything so dust does not collect, running a dust mop or vacuum over the walls so cobwebs do not collect, moving things and cleaning under, not skipping vacuuming under the bed this time, cleaning the floors. This is about controlling dust and getting rid of the dirt. Getting the step stool and wiping down the tops of those taller cabinets. This is about getting rid of the dog hair and cat hair or that stain on the sofa or chair. This is where we clean the corners of the room. We are in these rooms all during the week and pick up the rooms daily and make the beds and wash the dishes but the each day deep cleaning one room keeps the house clean. There is a difference in clean verses clutter.
If the rooms have clutter then each week when you are in that room tackle something that needs attention and if you have some free time during the week do some more and eventually it will be more organized.
We are not all the same, some people want things clean and cleared, some like to have books and items sitting about the room. Some people like throws and pillows some do not. Our homes are about our personalities. We make them what we want them to be.
Mark on your calendar when curtains need to be washed and things that do not need to be done weekly but monthly or quarterly etc. When you do those things try and do them the day you clean that room.
There would not be carrots growing in this pot if I had not planted them and why we need to take the time to do those things that will matter later.
There are many things that are not on the inside of the house that need attention. We have a 9 square chart and in each square we have written down things that need care on the lot in which we live.
Outdoor Bath and laundry area
Pets (cleaning the yard of pet poop, bathing dogs, washing and drying their bedding, their food and water bowls etc. )
Outdoor storage room
These are things that can be ignored if we do not write them down or face the fact that everything on the lot in which we live needs care. People are living their lives ignoring these things and they often end up with too much work to do and cannot figure out where to start.
This is similar to knowing that we owe money but do not know how much we owe. We charge things before we truly understand how quickly that adds up and before we know it we owe a lot of money.
My mother always insisted on ironed sheets. At least the top part of the top sheet and the pillow cases. It also is another step to sanitizing the pillow cases. First the sun then the iron.
To me it is important to not slack on the weekly washing of sheets, bathing at night before going to bed helps us to sleep better and if we are clean when we get into bed and the sheets will stay clean throughout the week. This striped sheet is a flannel sheet I have added on top of the regular sheet to add extra warmth due to it being winter here.
There are times when washing the sheets more often is necessary such as times of sickness or children wetting the bed.
Saying this we are regular people, we have no help of any kind much like most people. We are not perfect, there are weeks that things do not go right. But, keeping a routine like this makes it so much easier to pick back up where we left off. We will catch it up the next week.
By the way, our walls are not this yellow. The walls are actually pale butter cream yellow. I do not know why my camera will not give me true yellow color. I know I have said this before.
I have turned my house upside down, moved everything in my house in every part of the house kazillion of times. Charles recently said, "you know, the house is starting to feel right, I think we are almost there". He has understood this puzzle of setting the house more like the past and living a simple life.
Menu planning is also a big part of living a simple life.
I like to boil a whole chicken and make broth at the same time. This is so simple.
Put a whole chicken in a "Large" pot. Add 4 quarts of water. Add two onions, quartered, 2 celery stalks, two carrots, 10 peppercorns and one tablespoon salt. You can add a bay leaf too if you have one.
Bring to boil and then reduce to a light boil. Cook like this for two to two and half hours. I have shown this before on my blog but this is what you do after.....
This makes 3 quarts of broth. I am cooling it on a window ledge in early evening before putting it in the refrigerator.
The fat will go to the top after refrigeration and the next day I skim off the fat. This is one of the few things I freeze. I will then remove the broth from these jars and put the broth in the freezer in one cup amounts. The broth can be used in any meals that call for broth. You can also make simple soup.
I also can chicken and broth and keep in the pantry but that is another subject.
This is a simple soup with one carrot, small amount of thinly sliced cabbage, broth with added water and spring onions. It is delicious with a sandwich or just the soup by itself.
The chicken has a delicious flavor and is very good with rice and vegetables.
This one chicken with only a few vegetables can go a long way. You can make a meal like this above and any leftover chicken can be used for chicken salad. Chopped chicken for pot pies or chicken and dumplings using some of the broth. Nothing wasted except for a few bones and actually the bones can be cooked longer for bone broth but that is another post.
Charles and I are concentrating very hard right now the last few days of this year of 2019/1932.
Charles is sitting at the table tallying the record book at this time I am working on this blog post.
We want to make sure we end the year with the knowledge of how our year went and what we need to work on for the new year.
We have many new goals for this new year. One to be even more frugal than we already are. We did spend more than planned when we jumped into 1932 because we purchased functional tools throughout the year for future use to help us make things we need or to supplement our income during retirement. But we paid for these things we purchased. We allowed ourselves this year to do this because we aim to live more like the 1930's. Many of the items we have in today's time do not help us to be frugal. The right items and tools help to be more frugal.
In the past people were not dependent on the things we have today and they had less items but those items they did have had more purpose than what we have today. We have a great disadvantage today to be able to live comfortably should the need to live extremely frugal due to a job loss, unexpected situations or have an extended power outage or whatever the reason. Do the items in your home have purpose or are they just decoration?
What am I talking about. Sewing equipment, hand tools, canning equipment. We added the greenhouse for gardening so I can plant seeds earlier and grow vegetables through the winter. I added some essential oils. Some extra flannel and cotton fabric because it is getting harder to buy good fabric where I live, extra parts for repairs.
Can you fix a plumbing leak or repair something broken? Do you have a way to cook without electricity? Do you have buckets or tubs to wash laundry should there be a storm that takes out the power? Do you have a clothesline or drying racks? Clothes pins?
We are going to tighten up more this next year as we are resembling more like the 1930's this new year. It has taken longer to adjust than we expected. I hope we learn much more.
About those 9 items on the list of things to care for on the lot we live? We are currently working on this section to work in a routine for doing these other things instead of just doing them when it gets messy. There are 4 weekends per month for us, some people have split days off.
Once things are caught up it does not take as long to do them and as I said in the beginning it takes practice and then some to develop a good routine.