What are some specific ways keeping a home serves your family?
Here are some I came up with:
- Freeing our evenings for fellowship.
- Clothing the family with seasonally appropriate, clean, and well kept clothes.
- The option of sitting around the dinning room table over a nourishing meal.
- Having a relaxing atmosphere where we can all feel at home.
- Having a healthy place to live.
- Avoiding the foods that causes problems for our family (wheat [or gluten- still unsure], conventional dairy, corn).
- Getting the most out of our income by managing finances well. Making caring for our family, cooking healthy meals, AND paying off a significant amount on our debt each month a possibility.
- Having a space to welcome friends and family into.
How about you, what are some ways you keeping a home serves your family.
So, can you do it all?
There are too many good things out there that we could be doing, to do them all. We have limited time and energy. It is that simple. The solution? Finding out what is most important, and a plan to get it down,plus a back up plan as kids have an amazing ability to make sticking to plans somewhat hard.
So, what is the most important?
This is a very general look at what is pretty important in keeping a home. Specifics will look different for different people depending on needs- for me one of the most important task I have as a homemaker is making home cooked meals as it is the way I am able to avoid corn and wheat.
Food- My family seems to want to eat at least 3 times a day, plus a few snacks. Demanding I know :D. During different seasons, this has looked a bit different. Be it involving quite a few prepared foods, completely from scratch, very frugal, or not so. Right now it looks like 3 homemade, frugal, and simple meals a day plus a few homemade snacks (which often are just leftovers…).
Clothes- These are important, no? Somehow my family needs to be able to be clothed. That means getting or making clothes, and then keeping those clothes- through washing and mending. Wow. That makes it seem so incredibly simple.
Clean- A friend of mine recently told me about a plaque her mother had it said “A home should be clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.” I love that. Our floors might not be in perpetual mode of shinning, but I clean my bathroom regularly (actually right now I need to clean our toilet a couple times a day), and my kitchen too.
Safe- I have two young kids, and they will get hurt. They are apt at it, and I can not completely prevent it (nor probably should… I think sticking them in a bubble for their entire lives would cause it’s own damage). But, I need to keep a safe home. So, that it at least takes a little more creativity for them to find a way to hurt themselves. Sharp tools, kitchen utensils, cleaners, and magnets are kept out of the way of little hands.
Relaxing- Though the atmosphere of the home is established far more by the people in it, keeping an uncluttered home is important for having a relaxing home. Our home is not rarely perfectly clean, but we try to keep it within a few minutes of being straightened. For me a straightened family room with swept floors, clear kitchen counters, and a clean dinning room table are imperative to having a relaxing home.
Finances- Being good stewards of our money. Basically keeping within our budget and having an organized system so we can keep track of bills. We lost a bill last month and it cost us about $20…
Week 5 challenge:
1) Write your own list of what is important to you.
2) Let’s start getting a plan in place to accomplish those things!
Proverbs 21:5 “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty”
Ok, so we might not be poverty stricken if we do not plan out or homemaking week, but we will be frazzled, and keeping a home will not be possible.
When we first got married I truly did not realize there was any more to keeping a home then seeing there was a mess and taking care of it. I did not have a plan, so EVERYTHING THAT HAD TO GET DONE NEEDED TO GET DONE RIGHT THEN. I did not know that I would vacuum the next day, so if there was anything on the floor it needed to be vacuumed then. Did I do it? No, because everything else had to get done RIGHT THEN ALSO. Simply there was a mess it had to be taken care of, but since there were 100 other messes nothing was taken care of. There was no plan of attack.
Remembering my home four years ago vs. now gives me hope that eventually I WILL keep the home of my dreams. A pretty, relaxing place, that is simple to keep up- not necessarily always clean, but homey.
Without a plan… goals fail. You can not have a goal of keeping a home without any plan to do so.
There seems to be two approaches to keeping a home. Doing a bit of everything each day throughout the week, and one of themed days. I love the idea of themed days as I see it in almost any novel I read taking place at a different time. It is a time honored tradition, of course even with that there are daily tasks that need to get done.
Why themed days? It is simple. When you wake up on a Monday you have a plan for that day. It is laundry day (or whatever else). You know what to expect that day. I find it far easier then a complicated to-do style plan that you need to check throughout the day what is next. I simply am focusing on one thing that day.
When I first started trying to come up with a plan to keep a home I had a very complicated schedule that told me what to do every thirty minutes (or less) the entire day. If Christopher was teething… and did not nap it set my whole day off and important tasks did not get completed.
I also find myself looking forward simple days with a theme. Sunday I open up my closet, and there is a hamper full of clothes, but it is perfectly fine. Why? I know the next day it will be taken care of. Thursday I notice my windows need to be washed, but it is ok, why? I know it will be take care of on Friday.
Without a plan the weight of everything is on you at all times.
Things like keeping the kitchen and bathroom sanitary needs to happen as needed, but you can also have a plan to clean them more thoroughly once a week.
Dishes, basic straightening, cooking food, and sweeping floors are examples of stuff that should be done daily and/or as needed.
General cleaning, Taking care of floors, large tasks such as cleaning out the fridge, baking, and laundry are examples of things that can be scheduled weekly. This is my personal preference after a LOT of reading, not necessarily the “right” way.
Establish A Basic Plan
Today I want you to look at your week as a whole. What evenings do you have activities, when do you host things in your home, what days are you just too busy to do cleaning? Sit down, and start planning. I highly suggest you also get some counsel to help you establish a plan.
I am using counsel I have seen via blogs (such as Passionate Homemaking, Raising Arrows, and Homemakers Challenge), books (such as Outwitting Housework), and anything I have learned about keeping a home in times past via books suck as Little House on the Prairie ect. To help establish mine. If you are at a lost, why not meet with another lady and discuss it with her?
Remember counsel is important. There is a mindset that asking for help is weakness, but according to the bible pride is weakness. I say this more for myself then anyone. If I can I hope to meet with another lady this week to help me establish a plan.
My Basic Plan
Here is the basic plan I plan to give a little finer tuning to over the week. It is simple, and I like it that way.
Tuesday- To-do/errands (laundry back up day if needed)
Wednesday- Baking and/or preserving
Thursday- blog + rotate cleaning out the fridge/ craft projects (or other)/ closets, and craft projects (or other) again.
Friday- cleaning: address what needs to be done the most first and go from there. Get what I can done.
Saturday- prep for Sunday/ catch up/ a little bit of home blessing
15 minutes of kitchen cleaning after each meal, plus morning and pre-daddy is here straightening for about 10 minutes. As inspired by this post.
Craft/ blog as able.