"We live where we work and we work where we live"- ME
Our home functions as multiple types of spaces. Maker-spacing, exploratory recipe making, business lunches, social gatherings, play dates, parenting classes plus catering for the field crew. Our home is also a conference room, where we host business meetings for our 30+ people farm team.
A Few of Our Favorite Household Item Must-Haves!
Our house needs to be more versatile than most, since we work and play on repeat.
The kitchen table is a science lab, for slime creations, late night number crunching, card games and a work bench- (proof to the countless pilot holes that I accidentally drilled into my kitchen table.)
There are certain tools that makes this household run smoothly and with purpose.
Every item that we bring into our house must meet the following criteria.
- Is it Multifunctional or Versatile?
- Does it bring Joy?
- If it doesn't find a home somewhere in this house, it can't live here. (This does not mean the counters and tabletops)
Huge list, huh? But seriously, everything is thought about and sorted on a weekly basis in order to cut down on clutter and unused items.
There's enough stress outside these doors and I like our home to be our retreat from all of that!
I've come to learn that with 6 people living under 1 roof all with different personal collections or ideas about how to organize things, compromise is key. But there is also a need to keep things tidy in this crazy revolving home.
Picking up our things before we go to bed and go out for the day, is also one of our keys to less stress and anxiety. We like to come home to a nice picked up house.
When we decide to experiment with this and leave the house a mess, it just doesn't 'feel good' to walk back into chaos. It's interesting to watch the kiddos pick-up on this concept all on their own!
A Few of Our Favorite Things | Our Must-Haves
Here's our list of multifunctional or joy-providing items that makes this household functional and happy!
#1 Envirosax Bags:
These babies have been in our life for 10+ years. I don't love plastic bags. I don't even like the way they feel in my hand. We only collect enough of them to reuse as garbage bags. These bags are nylon, lightweight, can hold up to 44 pounds and roll up to the size a small fist.
I love the different patterns Envirosax offer and they always prove to bring up a conversation at the check out aisle. I can roll these bags up in my sleep. Literally coming home from a late-night grocery run, so sleepy! I can roll these bags up, toss them in my bag for the next time, with my eyes closed! I have about 10 of them in my purse at once.
Instead of sending the kids' snow gear to school with plastic bags that will invariably come home torn up and falling apart, they love tossing their things into their individual Envirosax bags!
They make great umbrellas when you find yourself trapped without shelter, too!
I toss them in with my dishes in a soapy sink every once in a while, hang them up to dry, and bam, all sanitized and ready for the next use.
Phew, I just realized I could talk forever about the things we love...this post is going to be l-o-o-o-n-g, folks! I hope you're into it! 🙂
#2 Sonos Speakers- Music Must-Haves
When we first moved into our farmhouse, I really wanted to add in-house speakers! The cost proved to be ridiculous since the house would have to be all rewired!
After a ton of research, we found Sonos! Yep, it also pleases me that Sonos is spelled the same front and backward! (I fall into weird marketing traps, like that!)
Sonos is our family therapy. We LOVE music here which you will notice as you continue to read. It seems that if someone is feeling glum, all it takes is to turn on one of our favorite Pandora channels to completely change the mood!
Because they are not permanent fixtures affixed to the inside of our home, the Sonos speakers are moveable! Once the weather permits, we open the windows, set them in the window sills and just like that, we have outdoor speakers to accompany our bonfires, gardening or outside ball games!
The kids love that we can have one play list downstairs and another while mom's making lunch in the kitchen!
We even have one in the bathroom! The Play 1 speaker functions in humid conditions, making it ideal for the sometimes, steamy bathroom. Anyone doesn't love a little dose of music therapy while taking a bath!
#3 Dyson Handheld Cordless Vacuum:
I'm a lover of all cordless devices, or at least cords that are retractable. It's just one less thing to trip over, wrap up and see.
Our handheld Dyson is definitely a tool that is used on a daily bases around here. It has so many different attachments that my larger Dyson, rarely leaves the closet.
The kids love using it on the steps and I love using it in the car! The crevice tool is just what we need to get into those crummy car seats. It makes cleaning up after supper a breeze!
I even use it to suck up loose hair after family haircuts around here...yes, I just take it right to heads and necks for swift hair removal. I have everyone cover their ears, as my son giggles and thinks that it's going to suck his ears off.
Our Dyson handheld is the only thing we use to get that dangerous dryer lint out of the dryer, too!
At the end of the day, we just connect it back to its charger and it's ready for tomorrow's task of cleaning sawdust and graham cracker crumbs off of my kitchen table!
#4 Instant Pot- (a why did we wait-must-haves)
I mean are you even surprised? I feel like everyone has an Instant Pot and the immediate realization of why we haven't had these sooner is relevant! For a family that has freezers of frozen meat, our Instant pot makes frozen meat edible in 1 hour!
It's been a lifesaver when it's project time around here or when we are busy outside in the summers. I also have a canning option on mine so we love to preserve our green beans and other veggies with it.
We love the yogurt option and it helped us through the tough 2 weeks when our stove started on fire and we were waiting for our new one.
It's a staple here and it's rare that we go a full week without having it on our counter at least once.
#5 Chaco Shoes
My Chacos sandals are my love and my support. I wear my Chaco sandals from the time it's warm enough outside until just before the snow falls. I've recently found a nice pair of closed toe leather Chaco shoes for when I'd rather wear socks with my shoes.
Things that are washable, like our Envirosax and our shoes, are the best. Once the chicken coop is cleaned out, the grass is mowed and the garden is weeded, I toss my Chaco sandals in the washing machine with the clothes and they're instantly brand new!
They last forever and are completely adjustable, fitting every foot. Bonus, when you wear them from the time the sun comes out until the sun goes down, you get the signature Chaco feet tan lines!
I love feeling nice arch support when I'm working and walking around. Your feet take you everywhere, treat them right!
#6 French Press Coffee Maker
I love my french press coffee maker from VonShef! It comes out hot, fresh and frothy! The double-walled steel keeps it warm all morning long. The fact that it's stainless steel means and everything can come apart to be washed, means I know that every part is getting cleaned.
My old coffee pot had so many nooks and crannies where mold could hide and that scared me. I would rinse it through with vinegar every once in a while, but I love that I can see all the parts on this french press!
Side note, when I am done with my coffee and still have grounds left in my pot, I will fill it up with water, strain the grounds down and water my plants with that! My plants love leftover coffee! I figure this is like a little shot of caffeine for them too!
#7 the CornBag- Must Have
I love to be toasty warm.
When I was little, I would sit with my back to our metal register put a blanket around the front of me and let the hot air fill my blanket. I could sit like this for hours!
"I can take a lot of heat" in the words of my grandpa, but I don't do well in the cold.
Once, while working in a small closet office, I got in trouble for having too many space heaters under my desk, at once.
16 years ago, my sister and I invented CornBag! Yes, my friends, we invented it! I assure you there was no Pinterest involved at that time and it was totally our idea. The only problem... we never patent it. Oh well. We started making these amazing corn-filled, flannel covered bags that you can heat up in your microwave or freezer, for gifts for others. As people received these gifts, we got asked to make more and more!
If you live in our area, you can find them at our local shops and hardware stores!
Have a hard time falling asleep? Warm one up and stick it in the bed a few minutes before you hop in! Our kids fall asleep, practically instantly!
Do you suffer from migraines, sore muscles, aches, and pains or recovering from an illness, surgery, going through chemo or just can't keep warm? You need a CornBag!
These are wonderfully subtle coming from the freezer too! But I still love em' nice and hot!
#8 Leather earrings
I don't spend much time getting gussied up anymore, but when I do, I have only a small amount of time to do it!
These handcrafted leather earrings made with all buckskin leather have inspired all sorts of leathercraft making for me. I love the way they feel buttery soft in my hands. They are light as a feather. So light in fact that I didn't realize that I once lost one out in our yard. I've since added little rubber stoppers to the backs to keep my precious earrings safely attached to me!
Leather earrings seem to go with the sawdust and pencils in my hair. Or dress things up for an evening out (and by an evening out, I mean, a supper in the field, kinda evening) 😉 They are my must-have earrings!
Lately, when everyone is asleep, I get my leather burner out and burn little designs into my leather earrings. I LOVE LEATHER! (oh and see that phone cover below? Soon it will be wearing my favorite leather too!)
My BedHead Wave Artist is my go-to hair tool to make this crazy hair look fabulous. Think big barrel crimper, but so not from the '80s.
When I decide to let this crazy hair- out of its the high bun, this tool seriously makes it look like I came from my lovely hairdresser.
It heats up really fast and I can spend 3 minutes or 10 minutes depending on how many waves I'm interested in.
I love how much this tool gives my hair volume and the waves last until my next allotted shower!
My girls think it's fun to use too. Makes their straight hair have so much volume and gives them a different hairstyle.
#9 Sheep Hides
If you read my previous post you'd understand our love for our sheep blankets, sheep hides, sheepskins... whatever you want to call them.
We love our sheep hides. They have a quality that attracts people to them. I don't even know how to describe it. I had one on our ottoman next to our couch once and everyone in our family just had to have their feet on it. The kids love to run their fingers through the dense wool.
We keep them on the ends of beds for a nice weighted feel at night. I have one on my car seat to keep the negative temperatures on my leather seat as far away from my bum as possible.
Our babies all slept and snuggled on them, whether they were tucked under the fitted crib sheet or on our rocking chair. They cradle their little bodies making them feel secure and comfortable.
I'm sitting on my sheep hide every time you read a new post or I'm working at my computer. It helps me stay put longer 😉
#10 Boom Wackers and our other Percussion Instrument Must Haves
Our children were rocked and rhymed to sleep in the womb and it seems each came out with a maraca rattle in their hand.
We make instruments out of anything including but not limited to oatmeal containers, amazon boxes, pots and pans, wooden spoons, rubber spatulas, and wastebaskets.
We found Boom Wackers and then we found Walk Off the Earth. Walk Off the Earth is one of our most favorite bands to watch and listen to. You can find them on YouTube, subscribe to their channel and be inspired too!
What is a Boom Wacker? Boom Wackers are plastic tubes that are perfectly tuned. Add a black cap, and the tube instantly changes an octave. Bang them on the rug, the back of a chair or another cardboard box for lovely tuned notes.
They've also been known to be tunnels for trains, cars and cotton balls! Telescopes, building blocks towers, and even a cane. The opportunities are endless with these lovelies!
Also nice? They are a quiet musical toy. They are not loud, screechy or whistley, they have a lovely, ear-pleasing sound.
I also love that they add a beautiful rainbow of color in our home!
Need another reason to have these in your home? They make great tunnels for toys and pom poms!
(This post may contain affiliate links which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
Now THAT's a LIST!
Coming soon! Our most used Kitchen Tools, here! Sign up to get notified when that post comes out!
What are your can't-live-without household items?
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Hello, I’m Emily. I’m so glad you’re here! Join me and my family as we find beauty in our everyday life on the farm, hearty recipes and a handmade home. Find more about me and our story here.