So Stuff.Co.Nz published an article about 30 things you should have in your home after 30. I was drinking coffee at the time and practically spat it out as I read each one. Here’s my response (in orange) to the suggestions:
1. Proper non-stick saucepans that you spent a decent amount of money on. In said pans, you will now cook meals that don’t come out of a jar and that are nutritionally sound.
I think we have 1 decent pan. And we’ve used it so much, it’s in desperate need of replacing. Except decent pans are expensive, and we have kids … so no explanation needed.
2. A dinner table that isn’t a trestle or card table, upon which you will have dinner parties that don’t involve everybody bringing a plate but do involve decent wine. Because once you turn 30, you will become something of a wine snob. Of which you will be awfully proud.
We have a 2nd hand table from Trade Me that is WELL USED. I’m proud of it, not because we have amazing dinner parties at it, but because our family sits at it and actually eats together. Also, dinner parties!? What the heck are those …
3. Furniture that didn’t once belong to your parents.
I laughed out loud at this – both couches are from our parents. And the rest of our living room furniture is from Trade Me …
4. A piece of art. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be something that you feel a connection to and that makes you happy every time you see it.
Art?! What’s that?!
5. A plant that you keep alive longer than a week.
Does it count if it’s from Kmart, and looks the same each day? Because if so, then I’m winning at keeping this faux-plant alive!
6. Once you’ve managed the aforementioned plant, try for something edible – basil on the balcony or some tomatoes in the courtyard. Nothing will give you as much pleasure as eating something you have grown, because you are now careening toward middle age, and that’s just the way things go.
“Basil on the balcony” … more like “something for my kids to destroy when playing outside”.
7. A full set of cutlery.
I have 6 full sets of kids cutlery … #WINNING!
8. Wine glasses for different kinds of wine (see point number 2) because you’ll suddenly care desperately that you drink chardonnay out of an appropriate glass, rather than any available vessel.
9. Some sort of filing system for all the important documents you have suddenly started to accumulate.
My filing system is the fridge. For the important “documents” aka kid’s drawings …
10. A copy of the following books: Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, Love in a Cold Climate, The Pursuit of Love, The Line of Beauty, The Dud Avocado, The Group and Infinite Jest (this final one you will never read, but best keep it there with the thought that you might one day). This is mostly because these are my favourite books and I think everybody should read them. But really, you just need to have books – because not having any is unforgivable. *Though best steer clear of, say, Ayn Rand, a biography of Mark Latham, Fifty Shades of Grey and any book that’s a riff on The Secret.
I have a copy of “The Hungry Caterpillar”, “Spot’s Book of Numbers”, “In The Night Kitchen” and “The Gruffalo” …
11. An electric blanket, because this will give you so much unbridled joy. Embrace your inner nanna, because before you know it you will no longer ask your partner to “turn the bed on” with an ironic tone, but with deadly seriousness.
We had an electric blanket, then we had kids. Kids pee themselves. Enough said.
12. A cat? Not my thing, but studies suggest that pet owners are happier and healthier than the rest of us.
Ok, we have a cat … so I can tick this one. And only this one …
13. Some kind of home automation system… because you grew up watching The Jetsons, and also because it is bloody brilliant to turn the lights and heater on via your mobile phone just before you get home.
Home automation system = remote controls for the TV.
14. Really good bed linen, because you will now appreciate it, and because those manky, threadbare sheets from your youth no longer cut it.
A bit like an electric blanket – we have kids. Liquid spews from every oriface. Expensive sheets are a no-go.
15. A decent bread knife.
I have a serrated edged knife. That’ll do …
16. Throw pillows, because apparently these will blossom in your home like fungi, and you’ll never quite know where they all came from.
I’m rolling my eyes …
17. A solution for every conceivable household problem – from mosquito coils to a failsafe remedy for removing red wine stains (see point 8).
Warm water, soap and a cloth – fixes everything.
18. Cool fridge magnets from places you have travelled to – these are the acceptable alternative to novelty shot glasses, IMHO.
Fridge magnes hold up kid’s drawings. They’re hardly “cool”.
19. A bowl near the door that you put your keys in as soon as you arrive home. This will be life-changing.
We kind of have this, but we still lose our keys :/
20. Board games. You are never too old for board games.
Kids are too young for board games. And we are too tired for them …
21. A really fancy teapot and teacups, because as you get older having little rituals becomes something that you get a real kick out of.
Kids. Ruin. Everything.
22. A “feature piece” of some kind – it could be a Scandi coffee table, or an antique dresser, or a truly hideous but prized centrepiece. The key thing is that you love it, and that it’s a conversation starter.
Does a TV count?
23. Wooden coathangers, and zero tolerance for those free wire ones you get from the dry cleaner. Your adult clothes deserve better.
We get our “wooden coathangers” from Kmart. And they’re actually plastic ones …
24. A whizz-bang blender, because you will start drinking green juice and start talking about how you drink green juice. For that, you really need a blender that properly pulverises, you know?
This is another thing we actually have – we have a Nutri Bullet. Graciously given to us by my brother #WINNING!
25. Tupperware. No other sign of adulthood is as potent as getting excited about Tupperware and having an organised Tupperware drawer in which every container has a lid.
Tupperware, or as I like to call it “Sistema” …
26. A mortar and pestle, for all the curry pastes you will make from scratch. This will be exactly once. But don’t they look good on your benchtops?
I’m also rolling my eyes at this one …
27. A well-curated selection of cookbooks. Here is a good mix: a little Ottolenghi (dinner party cred); a bit of Jamie (you’re not pretentious. But you like to say, often, that you like “unpretentious good food”; something a bit Paleo or by someone who lives in Bondi (you’re in your 30s, remember); a splash of Nigella because you like to be a little indulgent and coquettish; and Stephanie Alexander because it will be your reference for life.
Google is my cookbook.
28. A tool kit, from which you can name – and use – at least five things.
Well my husband has one of these … but it’s not well organised.
29. A wine decanter (see points 2 and 8).
30. A copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which will prompt you to throw out everything on this list unless it brings you joy.
Who has time to read books!?