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!
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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 10 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. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see I share a lot about my planning routine. 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. Join our FREE community for all things organization!
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.
FREE ORGANIZING COMMUNITY FOR THE UNORGANIZED MOM
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 eight 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, do my nails and put on some makeup…little things that give me life and pick me up.
Along with the little moments each day, make sure to get adequate sleep and eat as healthy as possible. Find what works for your body, not someone else’s.
READ: Natural Personal Care Products That Fit Any Budget
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.
TeriMay 1, 2019 at 11:56 am
Super helpful. I’m not a stay at home mom right now, but I clicked because I need help creating a system for home. This was it! I can’t wait to read the meal plan part. Never thought about meal planning. May help my chaos a lot.
StacyMay 1, 2019 at 1:32 pm
This is wonderful Teri and packed with so much great insight. Thank you so much for sharing your story and tips, enjoyed reading this to the max ?
AyannaMay 1, 2019 at 4:57 pm
So many great tips! I definitely need to start being more mindful of #9 especially with the busyness of all my girls activities.
Jennifer CannonMay 1, 2019 at 8:32 pm
These are great tips! I wish I had been this insightful before my heath deteriorated and I really don’t manage the home anymore.
Kelly BolenMay 1, 2019 at 9:50 pm
My downfalls: taking care of myself, meal planning and sticking to a schedule! I obviously have some things I need to work on!
CiaraMay 2, 2019 at 3:30 am
This is a great list, it helps organise everything clearly! Sometimes it seems so overwhelming but when you simplify it in this way, it seems more achievable. Thanks
Leah WeberMay 2, 2019 at 6:56 am
These are great tips! I’m not a natural organizer so homemaking can be overwhelming and cooking dinner is the bane of my existence but I’m still trying to implement a routine to our days.
Sarah ButterfieldMay 2, 2019 at 11:54 am
Habit number 3 changed my life, and number 5 is a work in progress 🙂
MelissaMay 2, 2019 at 3:29 pm
I needed this today! Especially with summer break coming up, I’ve been getting anxious over how I’m going to survive my kids full time. Thank you for the encouragement and tips to get past the overwhelm!
TERRYNMay 3, 2019 at 6:59 am
You are more than welcome!
Julianna PoplinMay 2, 2019 at 7:19 pm
I love these tips 🙂
TammyMay 2, 2019 at 11:04 pm
This would be an awesome gift. I have an extremely hard time with caring for myself everyone always comes before me.
TERRYNMay 3, 2019 at 6:58 am
Thanks for visiting Tammy! I hope you can find a few minutes today to do something for you. Even if it’s just sitting in silence for a few minutes in your car. I’ve done that plenty!
Nicole KauffmanMay 3, 2019 at 11:44 am
These are awesome tips! So often I think some people are just “good at it” but really it takes intentionality!
Bethany BrinegarMay 3, 2019 at 1:07 pm
This is all so true! I’ve only got 8 blessings, but having systems and routines in place is so important. For me anyways. It keeps everything running smoothly. The only thing I don’t do….and honestly refuse to do in this season of life, is to get up before my kids. ? I’m still in the season of life of ha big a baby waking to nurse at night. Maybe one day, when this season is over, I’ll get up earlier. The few, rare days I’ve been awake to nurse and haven’t been able to get back to sleep…..they were wonderful. I could actually complete my devotions without having to answer a few questions. ?
TERRYNMay 3, 2019 at 7:35 pm
I’m with you! My youngest (of the 7) is still nursing. Often, she will be awake with me when I’m up early. I used to be annoyed by it, but I have come to embrace the slowness of the morning snuggles with her. We know how fast it goes!
Courtney KramerMay 6, 2019 at 7:34 am
I really want to start waking up before my daughter. I think that would really help with my overall productivity for the day.
Laura at Cheered On MomMay 6, 2019 at 8:09 am
Wow, these tips are amazing! I really need to create and stay in a routine to be a happy homemaker. Waking up before the kids is so helpful too!
NicoleMay 6, 2019 at 9:54 am
Great tips! I’m not a stay at home mom but this list helps me because I do know asking for help is a weak area for me.
BethMay 6, 2019 at 10:26 am
These tips are so important to making our homes feel like a “home” and not just a house, Terryn. I’m pinning this one for sure! Thanks for sharing!
MeganMay 6, 2019 at 12:31 pm
I loved this. There are so many I see i need to implement in our family. I have never been the greatest homemaker, but I would love to become one.
YolandaMay 6, 2019 at 1:47 pm
I’ve been trying to be a lot more mindful about being organized at home lately. One thing that’s been helping me is blocking 10 or 15 minutes to do mini tasks like throw in the laundry), quick kitchen tidy, quick meal prep, etc. This has been helping me a lot so I don’t feel like I’m sinking as much. I need to get better at asking for more help too. I also find that being the first to wake up in the morning is my saving grace! Great tips 🙂
Ashley LeachMay 6, 2019 at 9:32 pm
Great tips! Number one is a struggle for me. I don’t really have a clear vision for my home. I feel I have a bunch of different visions that don’t really mesh well.
BrittanyMay 7, 2019 at 1:43 pm
This reminds me so much of recommendations from Rachel Hollis in Girl, Stop Apologizing! I love it! Waking up before kids is key as well as having a morning routine!
Jalisa HarrisMay 8, 2019 at 2:35 pm
Meal planning and routines are essential. It’s so easy to get sidetracked.
AlyssaMay 19, 2019 at 1:23 pm
I enjoyed this post! I’m always looking for more ways to improve my homemaking skills! Especially as a work-from-home mom! ?
Jamie BrodersenJuly 22, 2019 at 8:32 am
I love all of these! I agree, waking up early is instrumental to being a happy homemaker. The mornings I can get up early, have my coffee and acclimate to my day are SO much smoother than the days I wake up at the same time as my kids. Also I just may pick your brain on homeschool schedule — we are starting this Fall and I am a little overwhelmed.
CharissaJuly 22, 2019 at 10:53 am
These are great tips for homemakers. I especially agree with #2 – having a routine! Of course, we have to be flexible at times, but if we wing it too much or too often around here, our whole circus suffers, from the very youngest all the way up to Mom & Dad!
JillJuly 22, 2019 at 12:45 pm
I love that taking care of yourself is on this list. Over the years I have learned that this is one of the most important ways I can make sure I show up and am able to manage the house and kids the best. Taking a little time for myself and to be in community without feeling guilty about it helps me to pour more into my family.
AshleyJuly 22, 2019 at 11:59 pm
Very helpful tips! I struggle with decluttering. I will declutter one room and expect it to stay that way for basically forever. Then I realize that area is cluttered again! I never really thought about it being an ongoing process or putting it on a calendar and making it a routine.
susie liberatoreJuly 24, 2019 at 5:52 pm
There are so many great tips here I love how you broke down each one. I really enjoy hearing about the scheduling and cleaning.
HeatherJuly 26, 2019 at 10:48 am
I keep hearing that I need to wake up before my kids but it’s so hard! I guess I’m going to have to make some changes!
LisaOctober 23, 2019 at 10:06 am
An amazing group of tips to help inspire us to become better homemakers! Thank you for the practical advice and the sprinkling of effective resources you recommend.
rachOctober 23, 2019 at 4:41 pm
Great list. I definitely do better when everything is scheduled and on routine.
AyannaOctober 23, 2019 at 5:03 pm
Yes to all of these!! Procrastination is something that I recently started dealing with, that I really have to kick out of my life.
BrittanyOctober 23, 2019 at 8:43 pm
These are great tips for stay at home moms. Especially the one about waking up before your children.
EmilyOctober 24, 2019 at 10:08 am
I love all these tips!! Procrastination is my biggest issue! I’m trying to take care of things when I see them more to avoid getting overwhelmed and putting things off.
JalisaOctober 24, 2019 at 1:57 pm
Routines are a definite must for us in our house.
KarenOctober 24, 2019 at 11:17 pm
I love this list! I especially love the embrace a joyful spirit one suggestion! Once I have the right mindset determined, it seems like everything else goes better because that’s what I’m expecting.
KarenNovember 1, 2019 at 3:53 pm
These are all great tips. Thank you for sharing this. When I implemented meal planning a few years ago it was a game-changer for me. I stressed so much every day when I had to think of something to make for dinner. Now I have it planned out each week and it’s awesome!
Melissa HoyleDecember 11, 2019 at 12:42 am
Waking up before my kids was a life-changer for me too…My days are always chaos when I don’t. When my alarm goes off and I am so tempted to just roll over and go back to sleep, I think about how awful my day will be if I do that and how not worth it, it is!
Shondolyn Young RichardsonAugust 11, 2021 at 3:20 pm
Terryn, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! This was SO good and SO inspiring! It was definitely what I needed as a wife and mother. I have heard of the book you mentioned…”The Best Yes”, but I haven’t read it yet. I am an avid reader, so I am grateful that you reminded me about it. I will have to check it out soon.