Living in an Old Farmhouse
Living in a 150-year-old farmhouse with 3 dogs, 2 kids and a husband, I have found that there are things that I could not do without. Most are cleaning related household items; others are things that help with our specific farmhouse experience. If you have considered or are living in an old farmhouse here is a list 10 items that have made it easier.
10 Needs for Farmhouse Living
1. Sump- Pump
Our Farmhouse is in Northern Michigan and a sump-pump is ideal for our Michigan Basement (An add-on to the original crawl space). Our basement was built on a network of old pipes that just run to a random drain field. When the snow melts or there is a lot of rain the pipes fill with water and flood the basement. Having a sump-pump prevents a lot of wet mess and flooding.
2. Garden Hose
A regular garden hose for watering plants around the house, spraying off dirty farm dogs and kids. At our house there is also one hooked to the sump-pump for most of the spring. It sends the water from our flooded basement out the window. A hose can be used for so many things and it would be hard for us to live without.
Having an old stone basement can let moister into your home. The dehumidifier will help with controlling the amount that seeps in through the cracks. We have cracks in the basement floor from the ground shifting, and a high-water table that causes moisture in our home.
4. Great Vacuum Cleaner
Living in the country you are bound to track-in some form dirt into your house. It seems like our farmhouse acquires more dust, bugs, spiders and cobwebs then the average home. Having a vacuum that can be used for multiple surfaces and has many different attachments is ideal for an old farmhouse.
5. Swiffer Wet Jet
In the spring the garden and barn seem to find their way into the mudroom. With a Swiffer Wet Jet, it is easy to do a quick sweep and spray, rather than breaking out the bucket and mop every time someone comes through the door.
6.Extended Arm Duster
Every home acquires dust, but it feels like an old farmhouse collects dust and cobwebs in every corner and crevice. A good duster with an extendable arm makes it easy to reach under things and the top corners in every room.
7. Boot Tray
This is another one of the mudroom or walk-in essentials. A plastic boot tray that can easily be sprayed with a hose and wiped down. Ours it right by the door so those muddy rain and barn boots never make it past the entryway.
8. Barn Cats
Most are probably looking at #8 and wondering what this has to do with a farmhouse. Let me tell you! When we first bought our house, the barn was overrun with mice (I mean thousands). Once the heat was turned on and we inhabited the house the mice started to migrate from the barn into our house. After the frustration of trying to rid our house of a never-ending stream of rodents, we found 5 kittens someone had so nicely dropped off in our garage. We moved them to the kittens to the barn and 5 years later haven’t had a single mouse. This is why barn cats have made the list.
9. General Contractor’s Number
In a 150-year-old house you are bound to run into a problem with it eventually. Pipes, electrical, flooding to name a few possibilities. Having a general contractor on speed dial can save you a lot of time. Even the problem ends up being outside their expertise they usual know someone that can help.
Unplanned things happen everyday in an old farmhouse, basements flood, roofs leak, things fall apart. Remember that living in an old house can be a challenge, you need to be patient while you fix old problems and find new ones. Eventually it will all come together.
Remember these 10 Things
Whether you are living in an old farmhouse now or are someday considering it, keep remember this list. Over the years I have found that these 10 things have played a (big or small) role in making old farmhouse living easier.