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HELP! I'm NOT Domestic!!!


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#1 NYCBridetoBe1909

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    Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:57 AM

    Hope everyone had a great weekend!

    FI and I spent this weekend prepping our new rental house. It's newly renovated...kinda. What I mean by kinda is that it was renovated as a hobby by people with non-construction background. In addition to the structural problems (which I won't go into). It's FILTHY. I'm talking mop four times and the mop water is still black filthy.

    FI and I have decided to view all the problems as an opportunity. We know at some point we want to buy an older house and fix it up to our liking, so we're doing everything ourselves. From the cleaning to the regrouting.

    Which leads me to my problem....

    My mom always cleaned up after me as a child. In college, I lived in filth. After law school and since then, I've had a maid come in every week to clean. See where, I'm going? I can't clean. Meaning, I don't know how. This weekend I managed to mess up simple tasks, like mopping (who knew you couldn't just slop water on the hardwood? or who knew you had to change the water often or you just redistribute the dirt?). I also can't cook. Well I mean, I am sure I can, I just never have, so I don't really know how. I'm the worst southern girl EVER.

    At this point in my life when I'm working, it's not as big of a deal. However, in the soon future, we want to have children and I won't be working anymore. Although FI says we can still continue to have a maid come in, I REALLY don't want to be staying at home and have a maid and ordering nightly takeout. That seems very wasteful to me. Soooo, the point is I need to learn how to do this stuff.

    Does anyone have anyone have any suggestions of like Martha Stewart like books to teach me? I'm talking like cleaning or cooking for dummies. Not even sure what to search for in amazon to pull this up? I can't be the only clueless woman....can I?

    #2 ~Keira~

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      Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:12 AM

      I'm with you darling. Over the last year or so I've learned a great deal.

      For cooking, I started out with things that I would enjoy, baked goods. I have made some horrible banana breads, pies, added too much of this and not enought of this. I even made oatmeal raisin cookies and forgot to add the flour! lol. Once I mastered a couple of sweet treats I moved on to dinner. I now spend every Sunday trying something new. It doesn't always work out but it's edible none the less.

      As for cleaning, I recommend Vim. That is my go to, do all, cleaner of choice. Smells good, doesn't require a lot of muscle power, and makes everything sparkle.
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      #3 becks

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      Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:18 AM

      I was a slob as a kid, too. And then I moved out and became a neat freak who loves to cook.

      For the cooking, there are tons of beginer cookbooks, even kid's cookbooks. Start there and you'll pick things up. Another way to get the confidence is to buy premade sauces and follow the directions - stir frys, casseroles, and like that. Check out the back of the Campbells cream of ____ soups - they always have pretty good, super easy recipies, too.

      On the cleaning thing, start by learning how to really make a bed - hospital corners, etc (you can find this on line) - and do it EVERY day. Eventually you'll look at your beautifully made bed and want your room to look good. And then the living room, kitchen, etc.

      Good luck!

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      #4 Kristy!

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        Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:20 AM

        I don't know how to really teach cleaning, but my mom hated cooking so I've been working on that for the last few years. Honestly, I've learned tons just by watching the Food Network. You get lots of simple tips and you learn common cooking terms by hearing them talk about it and doing it at the same time. I think having the added visual that cookbooks cannot provide is super helpful.

        #5 jk1101

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          Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:27 AM

          YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE!!!!
          I am so NOT domestic! An ex once told me I just looked uncomfortable holding a broom. I find cleaning very difficult and stressful. I find putting things away difficult and lived in a lot of clutter for most of my life. When I was a kid, a doctor told my mom to just close the door to my bedroom mess and worry about bigger problems.

          Since FI and I have moved in together, it's become much more difficult. I try to tackle one room at a time. The bathroom is always good because it's small. my best friend, who is the neatest, cleanest person I've ever met, swears by bleach and clorox cleanup. bleach makes everything smell clean - just keep the windows open! I'll bet there are cleaning for dummies books - I think I have an "organization for dummies" type book. Search amazon under "clean house".

          As for cooking, I am the worst - I can make like 5 things that are edible.
          FI loves to cook, so I've been lucky, but if you want to do it yourself, crock pots are a good place to start, because you can throw everything in and leave it.
          Before I met him I ate crackers, hummus and zone bars unless I ordered in.

          Good Luck!

          #6 Vikki

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            Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:33 AM

            Well, for the cooking part find a local kitchen store that has classes and take some basic classes. Find a friend to come or take your FI if you want some company.

            Start small. Any job can seem overwhelming if you start too big. Maybe start by cleaning a portion of your house-say the kitchen or bathroom and having a maid do the rest until you have built a routine. Make a chore list (you'll want this for kids anyway) for you and FI. It sounds cheesy but we have specific things we do daily, weekly and monthly and it helps doing it a little bit at a time rather than trying to tackle the whole house all at once. And after a while it's just routine to do that takes very little time each day and an hour or two on the weekend.

            And if all else fails just remember-even though it's a stereotype that women are supposed to cook and clean sometimes it's just not who you are. You want to make sure you family eats healthy (probably not take out all the time) but you can do that without being Martha Stewart. And if you have the resources to have someone come in and clean it doesn't mean you're a bad wife or mother.

            #7 *Lo*

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              Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:33 AM

              I think it's great you are taking this on wow. I have to say I absolutely hate cooking and cleaning. HATE IT. It makes me so sad and upset. So I can't imagine someone wanting to learn.

              If you google "How to properly wash a floor" tons of E-how articles and even instructional videos come up. I think that would be a good place to start! You are not the only one who doesn't know how, we grew up spoiled by our baby boomer parents I think. I had never made my own bed until I moved in with FI. And I still don't really!

              As for cooking, I just started to do this, but I just search for recipes online and I find if you stay calm and just follow the recipe and do exactly what it says, normally like 9/10 times you are good and the food is tasty and edible!!!

              #8 CrystalM

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                Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:34 AM

                No one ever taught me how to clean or cook either, but I picked it up.

                Some cleaning tips - Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are amazing, vacuuming and making the bed instantly makes to rooms look cleaner and ammonia is really the best cleaner for mold (bleach does exactly that - it bleaches it - doesn't kill it!).

                Cooking tips - buy a in oven thermometer and use that - not the temp. the oven reads, Chicken is versatile - it really goes well with anything, try everything while you're making it, under spice everything at first and add from there.

                I have a ton of REALLY easy things to make for dinner, if you want the list, feel free to ask!
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                #9 GracieBebe

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                  Posted 20 July 2009 - 12:29 PM

                  You sound just like me! I am so not domesticated. I learned how to cook simple things like pasta which is just boil water, add pasta, drain and add sauce. But I am definitely not a very good cook. We eat out more often than in.

                  As for cleaning, it just boggles my mind. I mean, I can do it, but I never seem to do it right either. I will literally look at a mess and won't know where to start, it just seems so overwhelming! I've tried to convince FH for us to get a maid but he's of the firm belief that we should't pay someone to do something we can do ourselves. My argument back to him is that we don't do it ourselves so we need to pay someone. He's now at a point where he can no longer stand the mess so he's teetering on the fence of getting a maid. Between both of us working full time jobs, his business which is like both of us having a 2nd full time job, external housework, friends, softball team, etc, and now especially when we are planning the wedding and a friend's jack 'n jack party, we just don't have the time! I think he's starting to get the message.

                  As for you, I think keeping a maid around is fine. Especially if you plan to have children, you will find it a godsend! As for cooking, like the posters said above, try simple dishes, like pasta or baked chicken. Find simple recipes online or in cookbooks and try to follow them exactly. There are tons of beginner cook books and recipes. Or even try those recipes that use half pre-made stuff and half real ingredients. Those are super easy and taste really good. If you have the time, try taking a beginners cooking class. The thing I found out about cooking is just don't get distracted away from it cuz that's when you end up burning things or ruining the food. Once you start trying it out, you can move on to more recipes that require a little more experience. Even hamburger helper or tuna helper or pasta roni is a good easy way to start!

                  Another idea is, you can buy pre-made foods at the grocery store. You can buy a fully cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and all you have to worry about making is a few side dishes such as mashed potatoes or corn or green beans, etc. That really makes attempting to cook easy for a beginner. Now you're not trying to make a whole meal but just a part of it until you feel more comfortable.

                  Hope that helps!!!
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                  #10 YoursTruly

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                    Posted 20 July 2009 - 12:32 PM

                    If you want to learn how to do it, you will learn how to focus. That is if your FI does not mind the mess. I would suggest starting small and tackle one room at a time. I was always taught to always keep certain rooms spotless. This would be the kitchen, bathrooms and living area, especially since these are where visitors will congregate. Learn to clean up as you go along, this way , cleaning left to one day a week will not be such an insurmountable task for you. Do this a couple of times per week. Make you tube online your friend for cooking and cleaning visuals, or ask a friend that cleans and cook if you can watch them and/or help so that you can get the experience you need. Good luck.




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