Today, I’m sharing my Top 5 Tips for Modern Homemaking. With over 30 years of successfully running a household, I feel qualified to share my BEST home organization and management skills with you. And, by adopting these valuable and time saving tips, your household will run smoother and you’ll feel more productive, motivated, and organized. Let’s talk modern homemaking and home management…
I bet the word management doesn’t come to mind when one thinks about running a household. But when you think about it, there are dozens of responsibilities involved in managing a modern home.
There are bills to pay, endless emails, texts, and calls for service/repairs and doctor’s appointments, insurance claims. Then there’s the household chores like keeping the house clean, home organization, and let’s not forget the laundry. Along with cooking and baking, after all someone has to do the meal preparation.
Even if you are fortunate enough to have outside help, the list is still endless.
And we haven’t even touched on all the parental responsibilities with child care, school, homework.
TFN Tip: If you don’t run your household, it will run you.
Top 5 Tips of Household Management
This post focuses on home management and the stay-at-home mom.
But, if you are a working mom, look for a future household management post to address your unique needs. Even so, you’ll probably find some of these tips helpful, too.
Before I dive into my top 5 tips, though, I think it is important to look at a little homemaking history.
When I was born, most mothers “stayed home and kept house.” Daughters learned how to manage a household, cook, and clean from their mothers or grandmothers.
In the 70s, societal norms relaxed and more women took to the workforce. Older kids became “latchkey kids” and younger children went to after school care.
Many SAHMs today were raised by working mothers. A number of them have flourished as household managers, but others struggle with finding their stride.
My mom was a single-working mother for most of my childhood, but my sister and I spent summers with our paternal grand parents. Our grandma made everything from scratch, had a garden and raised chickens, kept a large, clean house, and still found time to watch As the World Turns and Guiding Light in the afternoons. I learned some valuable lessons from observing her.
Now there is a whole new generation of modern homemakers. And, many of these homemakers needlessly struggle with household management.
But, the modern homemakers have an edge. This is the age of technology.
I’ll let you in on a well-known, but unspoken expectation:
there are high standards placed on stay-at-home moms
I’ve had the best of both worlds. As a working mom, I was able to become a stay-at-home mom when my daughters were 7 and 9. My heart was always to stay at home with my daughters.
So, I know that running a household well is not easy, both functionally and emotionally. And whether you are a stay-at-home mom or you work outside the home, being a mama is hard work.
People think that since you are “home all day” you should be able to get everything done and have a near immaculate home. Suuuuuure.
An occupied house with children is a messy house. There’s no two ways about it. Kids are like little hurricanes leaving a wake of toys, clothes, and debris in their path.
And, being at home all day is emotionally draining. There’s always a crisis to avert, something to repair, a last-minute errand, unexpected phone call, a sick child.
By the time nap time rolls around, you’re faced with a messy house, clothes to fold, calls to make, bills to pay, and you’re already wondering what to make for dinner.
Here are my Modern Homemaking Top 5 Tips
1. Decide on a top 3 everyday.
Let’s face it, you can’t do everything, but we all need to feel a sense of accomplishment. Chose the most important thing you have to do that day and two smaller (or equally important) items.
I recommend you don’t use the same ones every day. These top 3 are the “must do” items, like make a doctor’s appointment or call the plumber.
Consider creating a home management area with a combination whiteboard and cork board. It’s an ideal place to keep coupons, gift cards, greeting cards, or mail, too.
If you are a completely digital person, put everything in your phone right away. Schedule reminders to check it throughout the day.
Find the right method for you so that you’ll stick with it.
2. Fold laundry while you are watching TV or chatting on the phone
Make that a hard rule. If you don’t have any laundry to fold then take breaks to load/unload the dishwasher, pick up toys, or pull dinner from the fridge.
If you have TVs in every room, then watch Netflix while you’re making dinner. I rarely watch TV without doing some easy task, like creating pins for Pinterest or scheduling Instagram posts.
Earbuds or a smart watch will be your best friend during the day. They’ll leave your hands free for mindless chores or holding the baby.
3. Know what you’re making for dinner by lunchtime
If you’re a planner and already have a meal plan then you’re ahead of the game. *high-five* you super homemaker!
More the “casual” type? Decide during lunch and plan accordingly by pulling something out of the freezer or head to the grocery store.
TFN Tip: the Instant Pot and air fryer can be game changers when it comes to meal prep. You can throw frozen meat into the Instant Pot and have tender, perfect meals in minutes. And, the air fryer is perfect for cooking frozen prepackaged foods.
4. Find some balance every day
Say what? You just told us to fold clothes while we’re watching TV!
Seriously, carve out a little time for yourself. Even workers get a lunch break. And homemakers deserve one, too.
During naps (or quiet time, if your kids don’t nap) do what you need to first, then give yourself a break.
That might mean a nice, relaxing shower or bath, doing your makeup, a spa mask, or yoga in the living room. Something that makes you feel good.
5. Be careful about saying yes to outside commitments
As a homemaker and mom, I failed at this. Don’t be me! While it’s nice to help out others, you and your family come first.
Weigh the true cost of saying yes to someone else carefully before committing your time. If you feel compelled to say yes, and it’s a one-time request, then make it clear that you can do it “this time.”
If you struggle with saying no, phrases like “I wish I could, but my schedule is really full now” or “I’d like to help, but I just can’t take that on right now” allows you to let the other person down gently.
It is easy to get overwhelmed with commitments when you say yes without weighing the true time commitment. Next thing you know, you are feeling overwhelmed, your family is feeling neglected, and your house looks like a wreck.
Modern homemaking success
On those days when everything fell apart and you didn’t get ANYTHING done, cut yourself some slack and celebrate surviving the day. Maybe you just managed to keep the little humans feed and well.
Your job is a tough, but often under appreciated profession. Rarely do you get the “atta girl.”
Instead it is temper tantrums, melt-downs, and complaints. But, on those rare occasions when you receive a sweet please or thank you (without prompting), a grateful hug or kiss, or see your child finally making that good choice, you feel like a million bucks.
So, celebrate the little successes of modern homemaking. The days that everything does go right.
When your house looks amazing, or you open that drawer that is still organized. That is the real success of home management. It is the balance between a happy homemaker and a happy house, because that makes everyone happy.