How to be a Homemaker when you don’t know How
Homemaking is something all women do, in one way or another. For some, we grew up with great examples to follow. For others, there isn’t an example to follow. Today, I’m sharing how to be a homemaker when you don’t know how.
As I have mentioned before, I grew up watching my mom mop our kitchen floor on her hands and knees. She scrubbed bathrooms and folded our laundry every week. Food filled the table each evening as we gathered around it to eat together.
I grew up with a great example of how to be a homemaker and always knew that I wanted to stay home and tend to the home and kids once I became a mother.
While I had a great example, I have had friends share that they didn’t have the same thing. They wondered exactly how to run a home and what things were most important.
I suppose it is much like homeschooling for me. I jumped into homeschooling having no idea exactly how to make it all work.
I had no example of how to homeschool, so I looked online to gather information and inspiration. I prayed for homeschooling friends and found a mentor to help me muddle through it all.
Today, I’m hoping to share some jumping off points for those of you who might not know where to start with your homemaking. These will be baby steps that will help you get your bearings and give you a place to grow from!
How to Manage Cleaning as a Homemaker
This is one area of homemaking that I get asked about a lot. Cleaning a home looks different for each family, for each season of life, and for each home.
I have written many blog posts on cleaning a home, so I will link them below:
If you are new to homemaking and have no idea where to begin, I always say to start with the most lived in area of your home.
What room do you spend the most time in? Begin by keeping that area tidy and move on from there as you grow as a homemaker.
A few areas of the home that I like to make sure are always tended to are:
- Tidy living room
- Make my bed
- Hang up towels in bathrooms
- Wipe off counters in kitchen
- Go to bed with an empty kitchen sink
If homemaking overwhelms you, start small and build as you learn to complete tasks quicker and as habits form. Sometimes, that is all you need… habits.
I love setting a timer for 15-30 minutes and blazing a trail through the house to see how much I can get done.
Maybe this is something you can try as you get your homemaking wings under you. Set a timer and just do something. It’s amazing how much can get done in 15 minutes when you stay on task!
How to Manage Clutter
I’m sure you battle clutter in your home just as I do in mine. In some respects, clutter is in the eye of the beholder.
What some people see as clutter others might see as heirlooms.
If you are struggling with managing all of the stuff in your home and keeping things tidy, having extras laying around can be a huge culprit.
When I had little ones toddling around everywhere, I kept all of my surfaces clear. I didn’t have trinkets sitting out anywhere.
This made cleaning my home so much easier because I could quickly dust surfaces without moving things. Plus, I had baby/toddler things laying about. Having toys plus my trinkets laying around made it all too much.
As a mom to older kids, I have been curating more tablescapes and such since I don’t have as much baby clutter to deal with.
Cleaning is easier now that I have other hands to help carry the weight, so I can manage some “extras” here and there.
Bottom line, make life easy on yourself. Everything is a season, so tuck things away until you can manage the home with things layering your surfaces.
Limit the toys you have in each room. Put the rest in a tote and store it away until later.
Do the same with the clothing in your home. Don’t go overboard. It only adds to your work.
Be mindful of the decor you have in your home. Hang pictures instead of stacking tons of stuff on your surfaces. Give yourself room to breathe by limiting what you have laying about.
How to Manage Cooking as a New Homemaker
Do you love cooking? I love cooking, but I didn’t know much about it when I went off to college and had to cook for myself.
I learned by burning a lot of stuff and working through quite a bit of frustration.
It’s okay to start small and make mistakes. You have to start somewhere.
When I first wanted to learn to bake bread on my own, I wasted so much flour and fed my family so many dense loaves of bread.
What I didn’t do is quit. I am so glad I pressed on because now baking bread is one of my favorite things to do as a homemaker, but it didn’t start out like that.
So, where do you start if you have no idea how to cook?
Start by making a new recipe each week. Find one new thing to learn and let the rest of the nights be filled with things you know how to do well.
I introduced several new recipes into our fall/winter recipe box last year that I hadn’t made before, but I wanted to try. Some of them take a bit of labor to get to the table, but I could manage it because every other night we did easy meals.
A few of the new recipes are:
- Beef Bourguignon
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
Tacos, soups, and casseroles are easy things to throw together. Fill your weekly meal plan with those while you learn a new skill in the kitchen.
I have shared several recipes that are simple and quick to throw together. I will link them below. They are good meals to throw together while you work on something new like making bread: No fail Bread or Sourdough French Bread!
Meal Planning for Homemakers
Meal planning goes along with cooking, but it might be even more important than the cooking itself.
When you meal plan, you are setting yourself up to be able to accomplish the task of cooking well. If you meal plan poorly, then the actual cooking will be frazzled and not much fun.
Many years ago, I planned my entire month because I had little kids and I didn’t want to make weekly trips to the grocery store with a full cart of children.
Now, I meal plan weekly and order my groceries online. I rarely run to the store, unless I forget something that I need.
My kids are bigger now and require more food. I have to shop weekly to make sure I have what I need to feed their growing bodies.
You can make meal planning as simple or elaborate as you’d like. I prefer to keep it simple.
I grab my recipe box or a cookbook and I write down my recipes for the week. As I write them down, I hop online and order what I need to complete the meals.
Having a plan and everything I need to create the meals makes cooking enjoyable.
I shared a peek at how I meal plan in a blog post that I will link below.
Managing Laundry as a Homemaker
This is the mountain that all homemakers have to climb. The more people in your home, the higher the mountain.
I wrote an entire blog post covering this topic, but I wanted to touch on a few basics here.
There are different ways to approach laundry- daily or once a week.
I like to throw a load of laundry in each day to stay on top of our laundry. I know that we won’t run out of clothing if I am running one load each day.
This means that I am washing, drying, and folding laundry each day. When you really look at the amount of time you spend touching the clothing, it doesn’t amount to much.
When it comes to laundry, I think it seems like a bigger task than it is because it is tedious and not much fun, but it is important.
As homemakers, we often feel like all of our tasks are drudgery and not worth our time, but we have to change our mindset. What we do is important and it allows everyone else in our home to tend to their tasks without distraction.
Our husbands can’t do their jobs if they don’t have clean clothing and neither can we.
Approach this task knowing that it blesses everyone else in the home, even if it’s in the simplest way.
A few years ago I switched to the “one load a day” method for laundry and it was the biggest game changer! I no longer dreaded the once a week, all day laundry day. I feel like it’s freed up so much of my time to just change, fold or put away the load between other tasks.
Thank you for your comment! That is exactly how I feel about it. Do I do laundry daily? Yes. BUT, it is a small load instead of a mountain!
Love these tips Liz! Your home looks so cozy and inviting! I try to end my day with a clean kitchen sink even if I don’t feel like it. It really does reduce stress in the morning waking to a clean kitchen:)
I agree! I haven’t always made sure my kitchen was tidy before bed, but I’ve come to appreciate a fresh start in the mornings so much.