Cultivating a Peaceful, Purposeful Home

Home management is something really important to me. I’m pretty sure I would have completely lost my mind by this point if I wouldn’t have picked up these tips along the way.  I originally prepared this material for a La Leche League enrichment meeting, knowing how valuable this sort of advice can be, especially for new moms.  I thought I’d share it here in hopes that it will helps some of you!  Enjoy!

Areas of Home Management:
1. Time – Family Activities, Time Spent Together, and Daily Routine

Managing time is the first major aspect of home management that every mom must learn how to do.  There are so many things that we need to fit into each day or week! Developing a method of managing your time is so important. 

Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a family calendar (either physical or digital, whichever works best for you), and use it regularly!  Check it every night before going to bed and look it over at the beginning of each week.  Make sure you and your spouse do this together so that you are on the same page about your schedule.
  • Create a written routine.  Or a lot of them!  I have a loose daily routine, a weekly cleaning routine, and a list of extra cleaning jobs that aren’t weekly.
  • Use a timer to help manage your time in chunks.  If you’re like me, you may get carried away with one thing, allowing it to take up way too much time.  Or you may feel overwhelmed with a large project, and breaking it into pieces makes if feel lighter.  Egg timers (or your microwave timer) can be so helpful in many cases!
  • Incorporate your kids input into your routine.  Allow them to help design your routine, and keep them posted as to what is going on that day and week. (See This Post)
  • Assemble a home management binder.  I started doing this a year ago and love it!  It keeps all of my stuff together – calendar, finances, meal planning, routines, projects, etc.  Type in “home management binder” into Google and you’ll get all sorts of great ideas!
2. Food – Meal Planning, Grocery Shopping, and Cooking

I tend to go through seasons in my meal planning and cooking life.  Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it.  Sometimes I’m a rock star about planning everything out and never forgetting anything, sometimes I go for a week or two on last-minute throw-togethers (“Is spaghetti okay again, guys?”)

Here are a few things that help me:

  • Have a weekly meal routine.  Each day is assigned a different “genre” of food – for example: soup/bread day, pasta day, rice day, meal salad day, etc..  This takes so much out of the guesswork of creating a meal plan and helps you to incorporate new ideas easily.
  • Keep a list of favorite meals that your family enjoys (with page #s to recipes), that way you can quickly make your list rather than thumbing through your shelf full of cookbooks every week.
  • Take advantage of your freezer and slow cooker.  I make certain things in bulk (marinara sauce, marinated meat, ice cream… wait, ice cream doesn’t count?!), that way when a day goes differently than I planned, I can throw a freezer bag into a bowl of hot water and thaw it in no time.  And I love my slow cooker (or my cast iron dutch oven) for fall and winter days.  Mmmm…
  • Try seasonal eating!  By varying your menu by the season, you will enjoy a variety of foods every year, and not get tired of the same thing over and over.  Certain foods just taste better in their proper season, and bonus – you will save money at the store by buying your food in season!
3. Cleaning – Home, Car, Closets, Purse, etc…
As a mom with 4 young kids who I also homeschool, our home is never spotless.  But, I can also honestly say that if I stay on it, I am able to keep our home regularly clean.  Everyone has different solutions that work well for them, so take what works here and leave the rest!

Ideas to help keep your home clean:

  • Get rid of clutter!  Seriously, I think I could (and probably will!) write a whole blog or several about decluttering and keeping a simple home.  For now, I will simply say that the less stuff you have, the less you have to keep clean. 
  • Take the time to organize.  Another topic I could talk about for hours.  I’m actually one of those nerdy types that loves organizing, but even if you aren’t, I still strongly recommend you give it a try, at least for your most hectic spaces.  Keep it simple, and easy to maintain.
  • Have a daily cleaning task that stays the same each week.  For example: Monday is laundry, Tuesday is vacuuming, Wednesday is kitchen thorough-cleaning, Thursday is the car/garage, Friday is laundry again.  Something like that, anyway!
  • Do a 15-20 minute “sweep” of your home every day.  We do this in the early evening before Mark gets home from work, and I get the kids involved too.  We usually pump up some Newsboys and make it fun.  
  • Teach your kids to take some responsibility for their own stuff.  Help them remember to clean up one activity before taking out another.  Teach them to take care of their own laundry and make their beds.  
4. Self Care – Mom must care for herself in order to be able to care for others!
This is such a big deal in our home!  It’s easy to spend every moment of the day cleaning and cooking and maintaining – there’s always another thing to do, isn’t there?!  But if we don’t take good care of ourselves, in the end it will all crumble apart.  We serve our children and husband by taking good care of ourselves.

For me, as a major introvert, I get overwhelmed easily by the constant needs and company of my little brood.  The most vital part of my self care is making sure that I get adequate time alone.  But it has taken me a long time to realize just how important this is and learn how to make it a priority.

Here are some other ideas of ways to take care of yourself.  This post (click here) also has a few ideas on hitting the “reset button” on a rough week.

  • Develop a morning ritual.  Mine is tea, my gratitude journal, my Bible, and a book (for personal/spiritual growth, not entertainment).  Yours can be whatever helps you most.
  • Exercise.  Make sure you don’t care for everyone else while neglecting your own body.  This will eventually catch up with you!
  • Eat well.  I know, we all fall into the habit of eating whatever we can scrape together in the middle of everything else we’re doing.  But with just a bit of planning, you can feed your body what it needs to thrive instead of simply exist.
  • Get out!  Go to a mom’s night out or even playgroups where the moms can hang out while the kids play.  Both are valuable. Try to go on a date with your husband on a regular basis.  Have tea with a friend at night after the little ones have gone to sleep.  Get up early and hit up a nearby coffee shop before your family arises. 

I hope this post helps you!  Below are a list of links to resources that have really helped me.  I hope they help you as well!  Please leave a comment with any great tips that have helped you to better manage your home!

~ Judy


Resource List:
Websites:
Books:
Smart Organizing, by Sandra Felton
Organized Simplicity, by Tsh Oxenreider
Binder Helps:

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