Do you know me?
This is a long blog post. I felt that it was necessary to reintroduce myself to everyone. I wrote and published the first Kasheringyourlife blog on the 28 June 2015 and already 5 weeks later I have over 180 followers (thank you all). I read a blog about blogging and in it they said that people need to know why I am doing this blog and why they should read it. So this is my story.
I started a journey a while ago (10 years ago) and I haven’t got very far.
My house is a mess and every TV show or blog or self-help book about hoarders and clutter says that your environment reflects your feelings and affects your home life.
This is true, when I looked at the mess my house had become, with one room totally uninhabitable, I knew it was time to get pro-active and start cleaning. Coming home was depressing.
Also we were struggling financially. We are a family of 6 and we keep strictly kosher, which is expensive, and then the kids were all in private Jewish day schools. I am a nurse and I don’t earn a big salary. We are in debt and have been for years (our own fault). We needed to fix this and we are still working on it.
There were a few problems with putting my plan into action.
I worked long hours, leaving home at 6am and getting home at 5pm or later. Then I went back to studying and my hours changed once more. Class was once a week, so on those days I left home at 6am and got home at 5pm and still had to do homework. On the days I didn’t study, I had to work, as the hospital was sponsoring part of my tuition. I am a nurse so the shifts are 12 hours (7 -7) and 3 days a week I would leave home at 6am as you need to be at work 15 minutes before shift change for patient handover, and return after 8pm (not everybody arrives on time for handover). I worked every 2nd Sunday.
Saturday, in the Jewish religion, is Sabbath and no work is done on that day. The Sabbath actually begins on Friday night at sunset until Saturday night after sunset. I know for some of you this will be hard to believe but we don’t use electricity on that day, so no cooking and everything must be done before Sabbath starts. If you want a hot lunch for Saturday, you can use a slow cooker and keep an urn on for tea or coffee. No cell phones and no fixed lines. No shopping and no cars. You walk to Synagogue (Jewish Church), then walk home for lunch or out to friends for lunch.
Due to the time I left every morning, my husband was responsible for getting everyone to school. My domestic was responsible for all the cooking. She is a competent cook but almost every meal was pasta. On my days off I was just too tired to do anything, plus I still needed to study. My mother and mother-in-law luckily do all the fetching from school.
I have 4 children (1 boy – AYB is 18, 3 girls ZSB is 17, LBB is 13 and AYB is 11) plus a husband who has a full time job and a part time job at the Synagogue. My house has just kept getting more and more full. My house wasn’t and isn’t dirty. I have a domestic worker but she cannot be expected to know what papers to keep and what to throw away, so the clutter builds.
I love to read and I love the internet, so I started reading blogs on household management, decluttering, organising. I watched TV programs on cleaning, I bought books on cleaning and I drew up detailed cleaning schedules for myself and my domestic help. Even the lady who does the washing and ironing got a schedule.
Now, with any job, no matter what position you hold, most of us, if we don’t have a deadline or a supervisor watching, get lazy or only do half a job and that’s what happened here. I was too tired to check if the domestic had followed the schedule and after a while she stopped. Me? Well, I didn’t even get started.
All these books and blogs I read, and shows I watched,are for people in America and England but there is nothing for South Africa. Our lives here, in this amazingly diverse country, are very different to those of people overseas. I could find lots on cooking and a few articles on home finance and budgeting, mostly from financial institutions. This wasn’t working.
I now have a new job. I work 8:30 to 5pm around the corner from where I live. For the first time since 2008, I can take my kids to school in the morning and I am home to cook supper at night.
We eat a lot less pasta! I enjoy cooking and from some amazing blogs I have learned to plan a monthly menu, I do my shopping based on this and I am starting to see the savings. I am even losing weight! YAY!
I have reinstituted my cleaning schedule and I am clearing out the junk. I am throwing away the broken, the damaged and obsolete, giving to charity and selling some things. Slowly but surely it is getting done.
I would love to have feedback from people who read my posts, or try the recipes I put out. I would really appreciate anybody who has implemented their own cleaning schedules, or started menu planning, to share your successes and failures with us.
I am hoping that by this time next year the blog will have grown and my house will be less messy and I will have the credentials to feature professionals that align with this blog. In this blog I want to cover mainly household management, budgeting and share recipes and tips for your kitchen and occasionally, write about Jewish Life.