As the school holidays are firmly upon us, it is time to start making plans. Well, less actual plans and more doing stuff. This series I am going to give you some amazing tips on how to how to make it look like you have a fabulous, wholesome, achingly cool, effortless home life-which in turn mean everyone will think you have, in essence the perfect life. Easy easy.
You will be the envy of all your friends (obviously – although they may see through the bluff – I guess it depends how often they come to your house) but far more importantly than that; you will be the envy of all those that don’t know you from Adam but may happen to have a child born in the same year as your child and therefore life has thrown you together in a world of play dates and coffee mornings (one you don’t really remember signing up to, but have learnt you have a seemingly non-revocable membership to).
So, unless of course you’re genuinely a career homemaker of domestic goddess proportions – we all know one that fits the brief. But apart from them, for the rest of us mortals, I always think the most important thing to remember is this: “You’ve got to fake it to make it”.
Now, this doesn’t mean that one day soon you won’t actually be growing all your own food, sewing your own clothes, spending your spare time in your glorious mortgage free, perfectly styled mansion, teaching your children exquisite French recipes whilst listening to Bach and simultaneously running your cottage craft industry (which in the space of 3 months has made you so much money “you don’t know what to do with it”) over the wired in kitchen phone/email speaker system.
This is absolutely going to happen – to ALL of us, really soon. But, just until that happens, I thought I would share some top tips on how you can appear like you are the best homemaker known to man and how to be the envy of all those holiday visitors. [And trust me if you have children under the age of 12 there will be visitors – if there is no live in nanny there will be visitors. I’d expect about one every 4 hours, which is the length of time normal people can manage with their children alone.]
I’ll start with the basics and build up to the real trickery over the next couple of weeks. But to ease us off gently we’ve got Step 1 in faking it until you make it: Baskets and Blankets. And when I say basics I really mean basics…
Unless you enjoy keeping your home spotless with everything in the right place then your house is going to be a mess more often than its tidy. Some people (like me) are fine about this, some people (like Major C are far far less fine about this). So how to solve this age old problem? What you need is a solution that actually works, takes minimal amounts of time and effort and makes you look gloriously tidy and organised at the (metaphorical) drop of a hat. So here’s what you need:
Baskets – Big,Big Baskets & Lots of them
Depending on the number of toys and general stuff you have in your home will determine the number and size that you require. General rules though – at least 2 per room that you can fill at a moment’s notice. *Please note though only fill ¾ to the top. You’ll see why in a minute. All you need to do is literally put your stuff in them, anything that fits goes in the basket. Any child over the age of 2 can assist. In order to achieve ¾ full baskets at a moment’s notice, throwing of all non -perishable items should be encouraged. But then again if you have any children over the age of 2 I’m pretty sure you have zero perishable items anyway so don’t worry about that.
Blankets – how else are you going to pass off those baskets full of stuff and things – overly priced, hand wash only, absolutely beautiful but wholly unusable merino wool blankets of course (ideally if given the opportunity ensure you call them throws – never blanket…always throws). I would recommend that most of the time said throws are kept in a cupboard and only extracted minutes before guests arrive.
I’d put 2 per basket (or if your baskets are plentiful in number) you might have to substitute for cushions. Either way throw them artistically over the top and pretend you have baskets full of unusable and costly wool – your guests will be wowed by your sheer decadence and ability to keep such things in your home.
That’s it your done. Mess gone, baskets bang on trend and blankets to die for. Stay tuned for some more Fake it, until you Make it tips coming up…Tip #2: Expert Cook