Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a mom and a homemaker. I just wasn’t quite sure what my view of homemaking was. Growing up, we had multiple housekeepers to “keep” our home clean, so we only had some basic chores we were responsible for. I learned how to do the dishes and clean a bathroom, and how to do my own laundry. As you can imagine, my view of being a homemaker was a bit unrealistic!
I felt behind in my homemaking skills as an adult. Part of that may have been because I was expected to go on to be a doctor after I graduated college – being “just” a homemaker was not the path that I was supposed to take. But God’s ways are higher and thankfully, I learned early on that being a wife, mother, and homemaker were exactly the roles I was meant to embrace. Homemaking is more than just cleaning and meal planning. Homemaking is a much larger calling – to cultivate a comforting, loving, life-giving home. How you manage your family and your home matters. As mothers, we have so many responsibilities and demands on our time. It can be overwhelming at times, but there are things you can do to ease the burden and learn how to create homemaking habits that will make you an effective homemaker.
Here are ten essential homemaking habits that highly effective homemakers embrace.
Habit #1: Have A Clear Vision
Effective homemakers have a clear vision. A beautiful, vibrant home doesn’t just happen. You need to know what you envisioned and what it will take to get there. Imagine looking back in ten years and try to create your long term vision that way. What do you want the atmosphere of your home to be? This will take some time, but it is important to actually make the time to create a vision of what you want your home to look like. Devote a lot of prayer and planning to this task, and make sure to write everything down so you can help that vision come to pass.
Habit #2: Follow a Routine
Planning comes very naturally to me. I have multiple planners, both on paper and online. Over the years, I have let go of my schedule and embraced more of a routine for my home. We all are familiar with plans being interrupted, of course. That is why it is important to have a routine, but to be flexible enough that you won’t be completely overwhelmed when your routine is thrown off.
If you are a homeschooler, I can help you create a homeschool routine that works for your family. If you need help creating an evening routine for a better morning, you can read that post.
Even if your routine is thrown off long term, you have the ability to change your current routine and find a new normal. Having a routine in place will not only save your sanity, but it will help your household run smoothly, and your children will find comfort knowing that they can anticipate what comes next.
Habit #3: Wake Up Before Your Children
I have had many mothers tell me that this is next to impossible to implement, but I still urge you to consider waking before your children. This is one thing that has been an instrumental difference in my days. It took me some time to develop this habit, but now I look forward to waking early so I have that quiet time to myself each day. If you need help in this area, I have written an entire post about waking up early.
This book on creating a morning routine is also a fabulous resource for parents.
Habit #4: Meal Plan
Meal planning is a key to being an effective homemaker. After all, think of all the time your family spends in the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home, right? I know how overwhelming it can be when you have no idea what to make for dinner, and your kids are getting hungry. I used to dread the idea of meal planning, but once I decided to try it, I never looked back. Meal planning made my days so much easier; I could not believe the difference! I encourage you to try meal planning for your family for just a week, and then see if you can work up to a longer meal plan. If you need help, read my post on why you should be meal planning and grab some free printables.
Habit #5: Declutter and Simplify
Decluttering takes consistency. It is one of those things that takes time to become a habit. You can not just declutter for a day and think you have it under control. Put it on the calendar, have a set day or do it at the same time daily. However you choose to do it, declutter often for maximum organization. It has to become a part of your life and routine.
Habit #6: Have A Cleaning Schedule
This is one habit that is always a work in progress for me. I have learned the hard way how important it is to have a consistent cleaning schedule. With a large family, things can quickly get out of hand! I know that I need to do a load of laundry daily, or pretty soon we won’t have anything to wear.
Figure out what household tasks are important to you, and create a cleaning schedule that will accomplish those. Make sure to hang it in an obvious place so the whole family knows the schedule. I have implemented morning, afternoon, and evening chores for myself and each of my children. We all work together for a short amount of time, and this keeps the household running as effectively as possible.
Habit #7: Take Care Of Yourself
I know that this is a habit that many of us homemakers tend to ignore. We go about our busy days caring and tending to other people and other tasks. But we forget to take care of ourselves. I know you have heard the cliche phrase, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” But it is really true! This is one of the main reasons why I get up early, but it is also why I stopped feeling guilty about taking a few minutes to myself each day. Now, I have seven children and I homeschool and run a home business, so I am not talking about crazy amounts of time. I mean – I read a few chapters in a good book each day, I do some Bible Journaling, I listen to a podcast, I take a shower and put on some makeup…little things that give me life and pick me up.
We weren’t meant to be on this journey alone. Whenever possible, find community. Take the kids to the park with a friend, go out for coffee, create a small online chat with some close friends so you can share life when it’s busy. Motherhood and homemaking can be lonely at times, so do what you can to cultivate community.
Habit #8: Avoid Procrastination
This habit is a big one! I tend to get overwhelmed when I have too much on my plate, and then I avoid doing anything at all. Procrastination tends to come very naturally to many of us!
Keeping your home and life organized is about doing it now and not later. This does not come naturally to me, so I have worked hard to make this become a habit, and it has paid off well. I have realized I won’t actually have more time tomorrow, because tomorrow will be pretty much the same as today! If I can do it today, I write it in my planner, and make sure it gets done today.
Habit #9: Ask For Help
If you haven’t learned by now, it is impossible to do all the things all by yourself all the time. Learn to ask for help and then accept help when it is offered. This can be as simple as saying yes when a friend offers to take your child to her house for a few hours, when your mom offers to have you over for dinner, when someone asks if you’d be blessed if they brought a meal over.
It also means saying no and delegating. Make sure your children have their own chores and are expected to do them, and do them well. If there is a task that you truly dread and you know isn’t your skill, maybe you could hire someone to help you with it. You may be able to hire a mother’s helper a few days a week, so you can devote your full attention to your housekeeping tasks.
Give yourself permission not to do it all. One of my favorite books, The Best Yes, taught me to say no to some good things so I have room to say yes to the great things. I highly encourage you to read that book!
Habit #10: Embrace A Joyful Spirit
In the midst of our busy, mundane, or demanding days, this habit is most important—and yet it’s possibly the most difficult.
As hard as it is, resist the daily urge to have a complaining spirit. Do what you can to exude love, and grace, and joy in your home and to those around you. This does not mean you won’t have bad days – we know that isn’t realistic. But when we do out best to be positive and joyful, despite hard days, we show others what it means to have the love of Christ in us. Your plans may fall apart, your laundry may not get done. But what matters most is the atmosphere you bring to the people who live in your home and those who come through your doors.