Managing two homes

I can hardly believe we did it sometimes. It truly feels like yesterday when Jeff asked if I would consider moving to Austin…part time. 

Living in two cities can be difficult – for so many reasons. It can be especially funky when the climates in each are as drastically different as New York City and Austin. It gets even more complicated when you have kids in one city and not in the other! 

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that I am a step bonus mom. When we are in Austin, we are with the littles. When we are in NYC, we are kid-free. Which means we are managing quite a bit from household to household! Including children’s school and after school schedules, work schedules and events, groceries for two people and for a family of four, and so on. 

The move to Texas was a big one for the littles. It’s important to us that everything feels pretty seamless for the kiddos – as if we aren’t really away when we are in New York. 

As you can imagine, one of the hardest things about keeping two homes is keeping track of the inventory at each one. We don’t want the kids to come home to find we are all out of GoGo Squeezies…or worse, cinnamon raisin bagels! And since it’s kind of my job to keep things organized, I try to make household management as painless as possible. Jeff and I work really well together – we try to play up each other’s strengths. He does the grocery shopping and manages all aspects of the house outside: the pool, the lawn and pest control. I take care of the mail, bill management and most things inside the house, such as scheduling appliance repair and pet sitting. 

We make almost all of our purchases in NYC at the two local delis nearby or through Amazon – it’s quick, easy and convenient. Our buildings’ mailroom will store them for us until we come back. If we didn’t have a mailroom, I would use an Amazon Locker or other pickup location nearby. Depending on what we need, I usually order either the day before we arrive or the day we leave. That way it’s available for us the week we’re there or the next time we return!  

In Austin, we live out in the suburbs and are still learning our area so we do try to buy local whenever possible. I lean on a nearby Target and a Container Store in North Austin for a lot of my supplies. In-store and Drive-up pick-up options are truly game changers. We usually arrive back in Texas the weekend before our week with the littles begins. As often as we can, we spend Saturdays getting groceries, toiletries and laundry done so that everything is ready when they come from school on the following Monday. Of course life throws curve balls here and there and we often find ourselves without enough time during the week with the kids – that’s just life! 

An additional layer to managing both homes is making sure I have all the gear I need to effectively run my business from either location without lugging too much through airports every other week. I maintain a small amount of gear in each location too (think tripod, label maker, measuring tape, etc). I was hesitant to do it at first, but I gave in quickly because it really is so helpful. 

One personal project I’ll be working on this month is bringing all my summer city clothes to Austin for the winter and getting out all my winter gear for the city. 

I could not do this without the help of many different apps and a shared calendar. I can’t wait to share with you my tips! Stay tuned next week for a list of my favorites!!