The term homemaker is one that’s pretty polarizing, to say the least. It either gets your inner feminist in an uproar or you take pride in the term used to describe how a mother makes her home. There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle of the road here.
The good news is, this post isn’t about the term itself and all the feelings that come with it. But about why homemaking is still relevant and an integral part of a smooth, well managed, and joyful home… even after a long day’s work!
Holly Schurter from Professionalizing Motherhood, describes homemaking like this, “Anyone can keep a house. Not everyone bothers to make a home.”
Whether I officially call myself a homemaker or prefer a more snazzy name like Domestic CEO… my ultimate goal is to make a home.
And I have a feeling it is yours too!
My Modern Twist on Homemaking
Most of us as moms today are super busy. Some of that busyness is self-imposed, and much of it is due to our modern super connected and fast-paced world.
Women today are working full time or running their own businesses. And some are even doing both!
And then there are the many women, including myself, who choose to stay at home with their kids but are still working from home.
Who else do you think is creating all these amazing blogs? It’s moms! 😉
With all that responsibility comes with a price that we pay in our time.
Most of us just don’t have a full day, every day to keep our homes. Even most of the stay at home moms I know who don’t work for income volunteer in some way!
So how are we able to be effective in running our homes with so little time to do it?
We simplify the process.
That simply means running your home, connecting with your family, and making your home feel inviting within the framework of a crazy, busy life!
So you can focus on what’s important in a much shorter amount of time.
Here are 11 tips to help you make your home in less time!
11 Tips to Make Your Home Faster!
1 – Stop Doing it All!
In today’s world, women want it all. And I believe we can have it all!
We just can’t always have it all… all at the same time.
And if we want it all… we need to stop trying to do it all.
Delegation is your friend! And your starting place is the lovely little people whose very existence allows you to be called Mom in the first place.
Part of homemaking is teaching and preparing our children for adulthood. So, involving your kids in the process of housework is just good parenting, but it also removes much of the hard work from your plate. #WinWin
My mom was a stay at home mom and she did all the work around the house. She loved getting things done “her way.” This may have felt to her that she was just doing her job as a stay at home mom. I felt this way early on too.
But sadly, all three of her kids (me included) grew up domestically challenged!
Welcoming those imperfect little hands into your homemaking routine might seem counterintuitive when you have to re-do everything at first. Just keep at it and you’ll see as they get older, your workload will go down, the quality of work will go up, and you get to share quality time with your kids in the process.
I also want to add that hiring someone to clean your home (if you can afford it) is a wise choice. Especially if your children are still babies or very little. Or if their time is also very limited due to school and other requirements.
I’m working on this plan myself. This way I can spend my precious hours doing more connecting with my family than doing a bunch of cleaning.
2 – Clean As You Go
I’m not sure why this one is so hard to grasp. Cleaning as you go is the single best way to keep a handle on the organization and overall cleanliness of your home.
Yet I know many moms struggle with this one. I know I still do!
I’ll use the dishes as an example. I live in an older home currently that doesn’t have a dishwasher. Do you feel my pain right now?
When we’re done eating, the habit is to scrape the dish and put in on the counter next to the sink so the dishwasher can handle the rest. That’s me again!
What happens at the end of the day is I’m met with a mountain of dirty dishes.
The smarter thing to do is each time a dish is used. Have all age appropriate people scrape then take the extra step of washing that one measly dish and it’s done. All throughout the day!
No more dish mountain!
This concept is great for mail, toys, or any other clutter that tends to pile up throughout the day.
My philosophy is we either pay now or pay later.
And paying later is always harder and more work.
3 – Have a Routine
There is power in a routine. I find that routines are so much more effective than schedules! That’s because they’re more natural and less rigid, and when you finally master a new routine it’s a thing of beauty.
That’s because muscle memory begins to take over and your routine happens whether you think about it or not.
Think about the last time you drove home. Did you conscientiously think about all the turns you made along the way? No way, you probably just felt like you teleported right home some days.
Routines are also extremely effective for kids. It takes some work, in the beginning, to train their bodies to do each task, but once they get it… no more nagging! #That’sCalledWinning
As for a homemaking routine, set up a daily routine where you do certain tasks on different days of the week. Do these tasks on their designated day every week until it becomes a habit.
I believe you can effectively make and keep your home in as little as one hour a day!
To help you out, I’ve created a simple printable daily routine that you can post and practice every day. I also added in routines for the kids too!
4 – Make or Prep Meals Ahead of Time
Dinner doesn’t have to be planned, prepared, and cook all at 5:00 pm every evening. That’s madness!
And let me be transparent here, meals are my weakness. The area I struggle with the most.
Here’s my plan for sanity!
I plan my meals out. I’ve recently added my youngest daughter who loves to cook into my process for added accountability and bonding time. Her idea! We both sit down and decide what we want to eat in the coming week.
We write up a shopping list and shop on our shopping day.
We use many different methods for getting the actual meals prepared. You can read those methods more in detail here.
Then we cook, eat, and enjoy the time.
We still roll through the drive-thru on occasion. But I find there are more drive-thru nights when I didn’t make a plan!
5 – Use Essential Oils to Keep Your Home Fresh
Scents are important to the feeling and heart of a home! This is why scented candles and plug-in air fresheners are so popular. People love scents that transport them to another place… their childhood, a holiday, or even that vacation you can’t wait to get back to.
But artificial air fresheners are filled with harsh chemicals that are adding unnecessary toxins into our homes.
There are many natural alternatives you can use to freshen and add deodorize your home.
Using essential oils are a great way to add healthy aromas into your home by using a diffuser.
My current favorite blend is:
5 drops of Stress Away (YoungLiving)
5 drops of Frankincense
3 drops of Peppermint
2 drops of Lemon
This blend is perfect for getting and staying focused and keeping my mood levels nice and stable – AKA drama free!
6 – Create Easy Storage for Toys and Family Items
Toys and other family items like backpacks, shoes, and sporting equipment can get out of control in a second. But these are things you shouldn’t be touching at all.
Most everyone in your family can put their own things away easily themselves. Your only job is to provide a simple and easily accessible place to put them!
If you don’t create a place for EVERYTHING in your home that’s simple – your family will find one. And the couch is my family’s first choice! Aghhh!
Having a large open basket or even an ottoman that opens up for toys is a great way to keep your kids’ toys away but still keeping your rooms looking nice and stylish.
Having a mudroom is the perfect place to store shoes and backpacks. You don’t even need to have an actual mudroom. Just adding a nice shoe rack and some study decorative hooks can go along way to getting rid of the piles of shoes and bags laying around.
7 – Have a Nightly Fast Family Cleaning Session
Before bedtime, our family does a fast speed cleaning round. I let the kids handle this. They just go around putting away anything that got left out, put the throws back on the couch, and return the toys back to their place.
My husband actually started this routine and I’ve been so thankful ever since! And it works.
8 – Connect with your Family Every Day
Making time to stop moving and doing, and just be with your kids and your spouse is also part of making a home. Remember, homemaking is about more than keeping the house clean and organized.
Make the time to sit down and talk, discuss the day, or ask your family what you can help them with. It’s even better if you can give each person their own one-on-one session.
But that’s not always realistic.
Dinnertime is a great time to connect and talk, bathtime is fun to just have some fun, and right before bed is a perfect time to create some special routines like reading in bed.
With my oldest daughter, we have a chat before bed. She also talks a lot with her dad before bed… probably way longer than she does with me. Lol
With my youngest daughter, we do a read-aloud book. She loves this time more than anything. Her love language is physical touch, so this is a great time to get close and snuggle. I find she really needs this!
And for my baby boy, we snuggle in bed before he falls asleep. This time is really for both of us.
9 – Do Laundry Everyday
My method for laundry is simple… do it every day. Having a designated laundry is way too overwhelming for me.
I simply drop one load of laundry in the washer in the morning when I wake up. Then I transfer it to the dryer after I drop the kids off at school. I remove the dried clothes around my lunch break.
At that time I either hang them up or fold them.
In the evening, I do a quick round of put-aways and give the older girls their piles to put away themselves. The whole process is done in 5-10 minute chunks throughout the day.
Not too bad right?
If I stick to that 5 days a week, my laundry stays well under control.
10 – Have a System for Mail and Other Clutter
Clutter is a huge problem for most families. I know this because there are decluttering books and courses all over the internet and on TV.
I’m no expert on clutter, but I use the same idea as the toys. If you have a place to put your clutter and a healthy grasp on what should actually go in the trash, you’ll be right on track.
Have a simple and easily accessible location to put the mail you want to save and shred the rest right then. This is where the beauty of storage bins comes in!
Here are some great ideas to store your usual clutter magnets.
11 – Have a Donate Bin in the Laundry Room
As you are doing laundry and you see something doesn’t fit anymore, throw it into a designated donate bin right in your laundry room.
When it gets filled, put the items in a plastic bag and drop off at your local donate location.
Tell your kids when they put on clothes that no longer fit or they have toys that don’t need to keep to put those items in the donate bin themselves.
12 – Get Rest and Have a Quiet Time
Um, yes being well rested is part of keeping a home. If you’re a crazy, tired, burnout mom you can’t effectively do any of these things.
As moms, we pour out of ourselves every day.
Are you honestly making the time to pour anything back in?
Pouring from an empty vessel is fruitless and only hurts yourself and your family in the end.
Related: Why all moms need to be intentional about their self-care routine
13 – Make Your House a Home
Adding simple touches like the soft flicker of a candle, fresh flowers, and soft throw blankets are the things that make a house feel like an inviting home.
I’m no Martha Stewart here at my house, so I’m not saying your home should look like a magazine cover or like those perfectly white-washed Instagram pics.
Just add simple things to make everything feel warm and cozy.
14 – Live with a Minimalist Mindset
One reason why families today struggle with their clutter is they simply have too much stuff! That’s why the concept of minimalism is growing in popularity.
It’s the concept of understanding what you really need and what is just access weighing down your life. I certainly don’t go “all-in” on the minimalist bandwagon but I totally see the perks.
If you have fewer clothes – there are fewer clothes to wash.
If your kids have fewer toys – there are fewer toys to clean and store.
If you have fewer shoes – there is more room in your closet! Lol
I try to live by a rule of getting rid of one older item when getting a new one. I don’t stick to this rule with everything in my home, but it works well for kids toys, new fashion accessories, and other things that easily pile up.
15 – Adjust with your Season
The last thing you MUST practice as a homemaker is to make adjustments for each new season you’re in! Motherhood is constantly changing all the time and so your routines will often need to change to flow with those seasons.
I spend too many of my days feeling guilty because I couldn’t keep up with a great routine I had when I became pregnant, or my new baby was born, or my child started a new demanding sports schedule, or whatever.
Just be free to change and adjust as many times as needed.
Did I miss anything? If you think so, share your homemaking tips in the comments below!