It’s sort of a cultural thing with homeschool girls to start preparing for marriage by building a hopechest. As old fashioned as it sounds it’s actually incredibly useful to have after you’re married. Quite a few friends of mine have been working on theirs for years, I didn’t start mine until I was in a serious relationship – I didn’t see the use for it until that point. There are advantages to both waiting and starting one before you have a boyfriend. The advantage of starting one early is you’ll have more time to accumulate things you might need or would like to have around that aren’t necessarily practical (or you could save up for small appliances). However, what I liked about waiting was that I could talk with my boyfriend about it (as far as colors and decorations etc go) and then what was in my hopechest was a mix of styles and things that we both appreciated. For example, we wanted to decorate our kitchen with a coffee theme and have red be a central color – so I’d get little coffee towels and things when they were on sale and if he found something with that scheme he could contribute as well ( :D). This made putting together my hopechest more enjoyable for me personally, but I’m just weird like that.
Anyway, I know there are alot of girls out there working on hopechests, so I thought I’d throw out some tips from some of the things I’ve learned:
1. You will be way ahead if you have a complete kitchen already put away in your hopechest (including small appliances). Kitchen items, even just baking sheets can be really pricey, and it’s nice if you don’t have to deal with stocking a kitchen while you’re moving into your place. Also, having multiple mixing bowls is a great idea.
—- As a side note, finding a good set of dishtowels (for drying) will save you a headache (and from picking fuzz off your dishes) if you have a place without a dishwasher.
2. Having a nice set of blankets/sheets/linens is also a great thing to have put away (and also pricey otherwise). This is something really fun to pick out together, but also fun to pick out yourself.
3. Irons and Ironing boards are good ideas. I don’t iron much, but living in an apartment without an iron/ironing board makes you appreciate them…and saves money at the coin-op dryer. Clothes will get wrinkled, so I’m throwing irons in here as something I totally didn’t even think about.
4. If you like sewing or plan on doing some sewing, picking up a nice sewing machine when it’s on sale will save you a good bit of money, and you’ll also be able to start practicing. I bought mine for $50 on Black Friday a year or two ago, and it’s been fantastic. It’s also faster than hand stitching.
5. Decorations – If you already know what you/& your boyfriend want to do decorating wise keep an eye out for decorations or put some on your wishlist. I wanted to do a retro style dining area, so my grandparents gave me some retro coke items for christmas. Garage sales are good places to pick up random decorative items as well, and sometimes you can find some really great stuff on sale if you look for it.
6. Keep in mind you can put whatever you don’t have on a registry, but you might not get everything you put on there. Back up plans are good, as well as already having the essentials.