Welcome to the H.O.M.E. Academy! A place to learn basic life skills in Homemaking, Organising and Making Do Education. A life time in the making, I’ve come to the point in my life where I want to share my knowledge of keeping house and creating a home environment that is comfortable, safe and secure. I have achieved this by not spending a lot of money, learning what’s most important in my home and creating ‘memories’, not accumulating ‘things’. The H.O.M.E. Academy is a collection of free and paid quick courses that you can take at your leisure to learn about the various aspects of home life.
“To teach people the art of homemaking, that is, to make your house a home; to organise your home and life and to use what you already have so you can have a rich and rewarding life.”
Who am I?
I am Anne Murphy, a married mother of two who has had her fair share of ups and downs in her life. Since leaving school all those years ago, I always worked and always fell on my feet when came to my career. I was raised to ‘save for a rainy day’, always have a job, always make do with what you’ve got and that you don’t need a lot of ‘stuff’ in your life to make you happy.
Even from a young age, I always preferred to buy secondhand clothes. Vintage, or the mod look, was all the rage when I was a young adult so ‘op shopping’ was a favourite pastime. That continued well into my 20’s and 30’s, always managing to pick up designer clothes and accessories with a keen eye. It taught me that I can still have the latest fashions for not a lot of money and the clothes are exactly the same. Just the price tag is different.
This also applied to homewares and things I needed for my home. Things like linen, home decor and, eventually when I had children in my early 40’s, their clothes, toys, Christmas presents and just about everything I buy. I buy secondhand first and only if I absolutely need it will I buy it new.
My marriage ended in January 2012 and only 3 months later, I lost my mother suddenly. Being a single mother of 2 young children who were in the early years of school plus paying off a mortgage and trying to make ends meet were really hard but through the basic skills of homemaking I’d learnt all my life, I managed. We always had good, wholesome food on the table, a roof over our head and clothes on our back. We lived quite well compared to some people in the same situation.
Organising my mind, my day, my home and my life helps me to keep my home running like a well oiled machine. I was a very well organised person before children, even to the point of being a little OCD in the way my home was organised but that all went out the window with children. Having everything organised now means that my head is clear enough to focus on the most precious ‘things’ in my life, my family. It’s not about have my coffee cup handles all pointing in the same direction or having the linen cupboard looking like Martha Stewart had just visited (although it used to be). It’s about getting things done, having a place for everything and everything in it’s place and not worrying about getting it all done. Life’s too short to be worried about that sort of stuff but with a few simple habits, you can keep your home and your life organised enough.
What is homemaking?
Homemaking, to me, is making your house a home. It doesn’t matter whether you’re single, married, male, female, young, elderly, in a house, in an apartment or living in a boat. Where you live is your home. Creating a home environment that is safe, secure, comfortable, tidy and clean creates a sense of contentment for everyone in the home. It’s a place to come home to. It’s your safe haven after the end of a long day at work. It’s a place to shelter your babies when there’s a storm outside. It’s a place to keep warm when it’s cold outside or to keep cool when it’s hot out.
I’ve incorporated a lot of my mother’s and grandmother’s homemaking techniques but with the modern conveniences of 21st century living that we’re so blessed to have. I can hear my grandmother now saying how hard she had it in her life and how lucky I am to have conveniences like an automatic washing machine and other household appliances. Your home should be adorned with memories not stuff. I teach how to avoid impulse buys, how to not keep up with trends and not fill your home with useless, cheap stuff, just because it’s trendy.
One of the greatest things I can do for my family, beside clothe them and keep a roof over their heads, is to feed them and I do that with simple meals that are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, they are made from scratch and not made from a box or a jar and they are, most importantly, made with love. I can’t think of a better way to create something from nothing than to take some ordinary, plain flour and turn it into a cake, biscuits, bread, pizza or whatever. Happiness to me is having a full container of flour, ready to be made into something tasty at short notice or when needed.
Having a well stocked pantry will allow you to have food on the table, even when times are tough. It’s amazing what you can make with just flour, milk and eggs. There have been many times when we’ve just had soup and sandwiches for dinner but the meal time itself is always a pleasant experience with a set table and good food served. (This is always a work in progress with a fussy eater and young children but something I work on every day.)
How organised are you?
What I teach in the H.O.M.E Academy is not how to organise your home but how, with a few simple habits, you can keep on top of things in your mind and your home with ease. There are plenty of organising experts out there who make the job look easy but it takes a lot of time and effort. They all have good ideas but I’m more about reducing the clutter in your home by not bringing it into your home in the first place. It’s about learning how to make do with what you already have.
Do you remember a time when there weren’t plastic tubs for sale? I can remember growing up when everything was in it’s place and everything was reused, recycled or stored for another day. Winter clothes and linen were always stored during summer, old underwear was reused for cleaning rags and old bread bags were cut up and crocheted around wooden coat hangers to stop your clothes from slipping off. We only had one small rubbish bin that was collected each week. Now, we’ve got two, sometimes households having three and they’re still bulging at the end of each week.
It’s not about fancy daily planners or daily and weekly cleaning schedules. It’s about creating some simple, life changing habits. Something as simple as using an old envelope to write your to do list for the day or writing appointments down on an old fashioned calendar. Life hasn’t changed that much from my mother’s day that we have to invest in $75 planners just to be trendy. Let me help you organise your life more simply so that your home runs more smoothly with ease.
What is making do?
Making do is something I think I inherited from my mother. It’s one of the greatest tools I have for all things in my home whether that’s making a meal out of very few ingredients or making over an old lamp into something more fashionable in the home. It’s about working out what can be kept to be reused for another purpose, finding a place to store it and look within the home for things to use before you have to go out and buy it. That’s the easy way out. I love nothing more than reusing an object destined for the rubbish into a useful object in the home, for example a cardboard box as a drawer organiser or an old jam jar to store sewing supplies. Why do we need the latest plastic organiser items from the store? The things we throw out are just as useful. You’re recycling to save the environment and needless to say, saving money for more important things in your home, like creating memorable experiences for your family.
I want to help you recognise what is rubbish, what can be reused, how to look at things you’d normally throw away and how you might be able to use them and how to make something out of nothing.
The H.O.M.E. Academy will be open for enrolment very soon. Sign up here to be advised when enrollment is open.