I have good news for you: you can flourish as a person wherever you are! Any house (even if it’s not ideal), any state, any financial situation, any life season. You can experience joy, you can grow, you can bloom where you’re planted.
The key to a richly rooted life is not to let life merely happen to you, but to be specific and intentional in how you approach it.
I love exploring what intentional living looks like on a practical, everyday level–because it really can permeate every sphere in which you move. Think about your role as homemaker: it might seem pretty commonplace, and just one of the many hats you wear, but if you perform your role with intention you bless not only yourself but everyone else who comes within the bounds of your home.
I’ve watched other women whom I admire and I’ve thought about what it takes to be an intentional, successful homemaker. There are eight habits that are common among intentional homemakers, and I’m working to practice each one.
8 Things Intentional Homemakers Do Every Day
1. They Have a Morning Routine
There are a million ways your morning routine can go, but if you’re an intentional homemaker you’ll have one. Smart homemakers know that a morning routine sets the tone for their day. It oils the machine to keep you–and your home–running more smoothly in the hours ahead.
Regardless of what hour you choose to get up, make your morning routine a blend of things that:
a.) bring you joy and re-focus you as a person
b.) help you get on top of your day to minimize friction later
For help with crafting an effective morning routine tailored to your needs, check out the self-paced Make Over Your Mornings eCourse by Crystal Paine.
2. They Get Dressed Up
Intentional homemakers know that the way they dress affects their actions and attitudes. They put thought, style, and even a little pampering into their everyday ensemble.
Whether you commute to work or stay home most of the day, show respect for your job by presenting well. I’m not telling you to dress up like June Cleaver (unless you want to!), but I firmly believe that leveling up your appearance will level up your homemaking as well. Try it!
3. They Sit Down for Meals
Don’t shovel in your food on the go. When you sit down to eat you take a stand against our always-efficient, never-pausing culture that will keep you in a constant state of stress, if you allow it.
The intentional homemaker takes time to sit. She minimizes distractions and focuses on the ones she shares a meal with (or herself, if dining alone). She enjoys her meals with all her senses and creates an atmosphere for her family to do the same.
4. They Appreciate All the Little Things
Intentional homemakers are really good at noticing things. They’ve trained themselves to be observant, not so they can criticize, but so that they can appreciate. No matter what chance or a schedule may serve up for the day, an intentional homemaker will find moments to be thankful for.
Have you ever read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp? It’s a profound reminder and example to capture the small, simple blessings of the day and let them water your soul. Master the habit of noticing the little things that are beautiful–the smell of your baby when he wakes up warm from his nap, the way the sunlight filters through the kitchen curtains, or the taste of your first sip of coffee in the morning. Here are four of my favourite daily pleasures.
5. They Course Correct
Every woman has days when she feels like she’s blown it…and it’s only 10:00 a.m.! But intentional homemakers take responsibility and then take action. Instead of slogging on in a sour or stressed mood, they choose joy and make the best of unfavourable circumstances.
Your mundane daily actions might seem unimportant, but in reality everything you do shapes you to become either a matriarch or a martyr. The matriarch is the woman you want to be. She’s the mother or grandmother you look up to, the woman who gathers and guides her family, who makes her home a haven rather than a holding cell. The martyr is the woman you become if your default is to complain. If you have an inflated view of your contributions to the home and a bad grace about your family’s, then you’re headed for a martyr complex.
When your day is veering off course, take a few minutes to clear your head, recenter, and do the next thing with grace and purpose.
6. They Work Towards Their Goals
Intentional homemakers aren’t constantly distracted by the never-ending “urgent.” They have long-term goals, and they come closer to meeting them on a consistent basis–daily, if possible. They take one small step towards their goals every day, even if they can only spare a few minutes.
Think about the goals you want to accomplish in the next year or five years. Do you want to learn to be a better cook and get more efficient in the kitchen? You could work on efficiency by setting a timer while you prepare supper, or improve your cooking by making mashed potatoes every week until you master them.
Do you want to start a profitable blog? You could spend 20 minutes per day writing, or devote 20 minutes at bedtime for reading an eBook on marketing.
Answer emails and keep the bathroom clean, but don’t forget to set aside time for big picture improvements.
7. They Maintain Their Home (in manageable chunks)
Intentional homemakers stay on top of routine tasks by keeping them routine. Every day they do something to contribute to an orderly home, rather than waiting until the to-do tide rises past high water mark. They wash the dishes like a responsible adult, do laundry, complete a weekly cleaning task–they might have different housekeeping schedules, but they do what needs to be done.
I had a breakthrough when I realised how my own psychology affects the way I manage my home. When you figure out how you tick, you’ll do a much better job keeping your home running smoothly, too.
8. They Have an Evening Ritual
Intentional homemakers don’t follow up a purposeful day by frittering away their precious evening hours. They don’t binge-watch Netflix until they stumble bleary-eyed to bed! Instead, they spend their evenings in pleasant pursuits that nurture mind, body, and relationships. (Here are 9 ideas for that!) As bedtime draws nearer (and they do have a bedtime!) they engage in a wind-down ritual that wraps up the day and prepares them for restful sleep.