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Got Home Training?: 5 Useful Domestic Etiquette Tips

January 9, 2010

I thought I would do a piece about everyday etiquette.

How do we actually make it in this world?  What are the real tools that we use from day-to-day to make life livable, while having style and class?

It’s not falling out of bed, jumping in the shower and running off to work.  It’s the little things that we don’t think about often.

It’s those little, over looked creature comforts that people take for granted.

When my friend Julie brought in fresh, home cooked brownies to work, the staff tore into them.  Why?  Well, I can assure you it wasn’t because they were hungry.  It was the warm, fudge smell that drew everyone to devour the brownies.  They were home cooked and people like this.  Home cooked meals are still in demand even though they are becoming as extinct as condors.

This post is not abut the brownies, folks.  It’s about the ability to make them.  Have we lost our pioneer spirit?  Have we lost the standard and practices of knowing how to do the simple domestic activities in life, like bake a homemade brownie?

I think this is part of our cultural problem.  We want everything in an instant.  Fast food.  Fast this.  Fast that.  Mobile this and that.  You get the point.

It’s also frowned upon because of cultural gender issues of  men vs. women.  Men and boys get the cars and girls get the kitchen sets.  I think men and women should do the following.  This isn’t about gender, folks.  I think guys that sew, cook and iron their clothes are sexy.

Remember: These are etiquette tips.  Knowing the skills below makes you smarter than the average bear.  It is always good etiquette to be a unique creature that has what is widely known as smart, sassy and skillful.

Here I give you 5 Useful Domestic Etiquette Tips that I cherish because they will truly separate you from the ne’er-do-well.

  1. Learn To Sew: Sound simple?  To some it sounds kind of “house-wifey”.  I say why not try to look at sewing from a different perspective.  I learned to sew about 20 years ago.  I fall in and out of sewing due to time constraints, but I have always cherished the ability to sew because I have saved hundreds of dollars in clothing costs from having the ability to mend, repair and re-sew buttons on clothing.  Oddly enough, there are people out there who have no clue how to use a simple needle and thread.  That’s icky. Learn to handstitch to repair clothes, at least.  It’s good etiquette (practice) to be about the mend a piece of clothing for a houseguest, should they have an issue with their clothing.
  2. Learn To Cook: What do we do when someone who we know is a good cook says, “Come over for dinner, I’m cooking!”  We are there, right?  What happens if someone says, “Hey, come over for microwaved pizza…”  Not as appetizing is it?  No matter how many colorful food packages, paper food wraps and baggies there are,  a home-cooked meal knocks them all out of the park.  There is something nurturing in a home cooked meal for your house guests .  It simple shows you care about their taste and truly have the ability to take care of their appetites.  I know you have to learn to cook first.  So, get to it.  Trial and error.  Grab a kids cookbook if you have to.  Put together simple dishes before you graduate into making more elaborate and timely dishes.  Learn to cook.
  3. Learn To Clean: I know you think this is a dig at you, but it’s not.  You must show respect for yourself and your house guests by leaning to clean and more importantly, learning to clean efficiently.  What I like to do is have a dump basket.  I take a hand-held basket and to clean up the big things that don’t belong in the room I am cleaning and take that basket with me to every room, eventually returning things to their proper room and place.  Make a bed in less than 3 mins, clean a bathroom mirror with diluted vinegar water and newspaper, learing to make your own green cleaners… tips are all over the internet. Learning them can be fun and obviously useful.
  4. Shoe Shine: We love our shoes, don’t we?  Yet, there are times where we forgo the thought of taking good care of our shoes.  Don’t do this.  Take care of your shoes.  Learn what tools you need for the types of shoes you have.  It’s one of  those special things that you can do to your wardrobe that shows you care about how you look.  It’s also cool to shine up or clean up the shoes of your houseguest, if you’ve noticed their shoes are a wreck.  You may inspire them to keep up their shoes.
  5. Learn To Iron Your Clothes: In a rush to work this morning, I put on a skirt that was hanging in the closet.  It’s a lovely chocolate-brown linen skirt that I thought would have no wrinkles since I took it straight from dryer-to-hanger.  Think again.  It is not sorely wrinkled, but I noticed slight wrinkles and I was not happy about it.  It’s  simple unbecoming for a lady to run around in wrinkle clothing.  It says nothing about you except that you didn’t take the time to keep your appearance up.  What does this say?  You are too busy to take care of yourself and if that’s the case, then you are too busy to take care of other things, too.  Ooops!  This skirt will not lose the wrinkles and must be ironed.  Lesson learned.

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