6 Ways to Be a Better Homemaker When You’re Waiting for a Better Home

You might not live in your dream house, yet, but here are some practical ways to improve as a homemaker while you’re waiting for a better home!This is so true! You don't have to wait for a better house to be a better homemaker! Here are 6 ways to improve your homemaking right now, with what you have, where you are. #IntentionalHomemaking

I want to move.

My husband and I have rented and lived in small spaces since our marriage five years ago. It’s been a wonderful stage of life and I’ve learned so much from it. But at the same time, I begin to long for more permanence. For more space. For not just a room of my own, but a house.

It’s hard to get to that point, these days. My husband and I are just two of many, many 20 and 30-somethings trying to get our feet under us. Trying to finish degrees; pay off massive student loans; find fulfilling, full-time work; save a little to buy a house and settle down.

Is that too much to ask?

To be honest, it’s hard not to feel a little bitter.

But bitterness is not the flavour I want my life to be. On this blog and in my life I want my message to be joy, contentment, living abundantly every day, no matter the circumstances. I want to bloom where I’m planted, and I want you to, too!

A few weeks ago I shared this quote by Theodore Roosevelt with my email subscribers“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

I have no idea when we’ll have a house of our own, but in the meantime I can make a home. I can make a home for my family with what I have, where I am.

There are plenty of times in my own life when I stall, waiting for my situation to change, rather than taking action. I need to realise that God has already given me material to work with--in my resources, in my abilities, and in my present circumstances.

Want to join me in learning to be a better homemaker while you’re waiting for a better home? I have 6 suggestions for you today!

How to Be a Better Homemaker

1. Read

Like you would with any job, get training and continue your education as a homemaker. Find and read books that will equip you in your role as a homemaker and make you better at your job. Unexpectedly, I’m reading now more than ever (even though I’m a mom!), and I’m making it a point to include self-enrichment books on my reading list. I recently finished The House That Cleans Itself. It’s a great book for re-thinking the way you organize and clean your space.

2. Work on your routines

You can take your routines with you wherever you live, so implement some good ones while you wait for a better home! Think about what routines will make you more productive, help you focus on your priorities, and run a home more smoothly. I established morning and evening routines a few years ago, and I adjust them as needed to fit our current season. You could also think about what weekly routines you’d like to implement as a family, or set a personal devotions/Bible reading routine for yourself.

3. Work on your systems

Try different meal planning techniques, organize your recipe collection, and figure out what housework system you like. I’ve been using my “menu mapping” system for quite some time, but in the next couple of months I’d like to experiment with seasonal menu planning, where you plan a month’s worth of meals and then repeat them for the season. For housework, I have a day of the week for each major task, and over time I’ve figured out what tools and cleaners I like to use. I still need to get a good system down for dealing with mail and paper!

Clothes in a drawer

4. Learn how to deal with clutter

If you know how to handle the whole clutter issue, you will be a better homemaker! Work through your current living space, project by project, and lighten the load to prepare for your future move. My book breaks your home down into 30 different areas and will walk you through each one to help you simplify. And after your initial purge? Make sure you know how to keep returning clutter at bay!

Ingredients for Loaded Breakfast Biscuits - RichlyRooted.com

5. Round out your homemaking skills

I know I’ll have more work to do when I have a full-fledged house and I’m a homeowner. So when I find a little spare time now, I fill it with learning how to be a better cook, experimenting with different recipes and methods of preparation, or trying my hand at freezer cooking. For you, it might be learning how to sew, doing repairs and DIY projects, practicing hospitality, working on budgeting, or any number of things!

6. Work on your heart issues

Don’t get so caught up in dreaming of a better home that you ignore the blessings that are right in front of you. Whatever good things you have are a gift from God. Find contentment in where you are and what you have, and pour out thanks. A better home won’t solve all your problems, and is sure to bring a few of its own! I ask God every day for a house, but I know that I still have a lot to learn while I wait.

For more on this subject, you might like this post by my friend Hilary on becoming content with your home, and my own posts on 7 Simple Ways to Live More Abundantly, Right Now and 8 Things Intentional Homemakers Do Every Day

[question]Are you longing for a better home? What are you doing to make the most of what you have in the meantime?[/question]


  1. One of the most amazing benefits of doing all of these things while you live in a small space, is that when you finally do move into a larger home…you have all the skills necessary to care for it. We built our dream house a few years back, and I am so grateful for all of the lessons I learned during the first 8 years of our marriage. Totally worth the wait 😉

    1. That is what I’m earnestly hoping, too–that I can put these years and experiences to good use! I think it’s awesome that you have your patiently-awaited dream house. I love seeing your photos of your homestead!

  2. I read this post voraciously, and my heart kept crying “you too?”. In this overly connected world it is too easy to see others in our same stage of life who already have a house, are debt free, have jobs they love,etc…etc…

    I think you hit the nail on the head in what we need to be doing while we are waiting. I heard a speech at chapel once that really changed how I thought about my life. The speaker quoted Booker .T. Washington’s speech (http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/88/) to “cast down your bucket where you are”. Really worth reading that speech if you have a minute! The speaker told us wherever we are in our lives to cast down our bucket. Enjoy the fresh water we do have, and make use of every opportunity right now.

  3. I love this post so much!! I waited for 5 years to “have a better house” and learned over and over that a HOME is much different than a house. And a home is built by what you listed–routines. joy. thankfulness. family. learning. It’s wonderful that those pillars of a home can truly be constructed anywhere, in any amount of space!

    1. Thank you, Evelyn! I’ve learned these lessons, and I’m STILL learning them! I think crafting and refining home is going to be a lifelong pursuit.

  4. Yes, it is important to figure out what lifestyle choices your family REALLY wants… are you urban, rural or suburban, how stable are the family career choices, what do you want to expose your children to in terms of lifestyles, companions? etc…
    Next, is a thorough grounding in personal financials — monthly budgeting, yearly or seasonal extra expenses, long-term savings goals for college for yourself, spouse or children, retirement, all kinds of insurances, basic tax knowledge for yourselves, sample budgets & yearly goals & investments, in the new place, for the next 3 years, etc…Even if you are 25% – 33% off, this exercise has forced you to think & consider aspects outside of your current experience, along with looking out for Murphy’s Law to strike when you least want it!!
    Thirdly, as you become familiar with the basic lingo & terms, then it is time to do research in live time — visits to your bank/credit union to talk with home purchase officers for tips, scouting visits to potential homes, condos, etc, when you have a basic price range in mind, more discussions with spouse & older children, more notes for your “residence upgrading” binder…
    Lastly, write out basic scenarios for various categories of choices — pros & cons, what we can retain, what would have to be gotten anew, time tradeoffs, etc… & have even more discussions with spouse…
    When the moving truck is at the door is NOT the time to discover that your spouse has ANY DEEP OR EVEN UNCONSCIOUS reservations still about this new lifestyle and adventure!!
    Good luck & good searching…

    1. Thank you, this is really good advice!! This “learning to be an adult” stuff is hard work…but it’s so important to work through all of this, to be informed, and to be responsible with our resources. My husband and I are still learning the ropes and working through the things you mention.

  5. Nice post. We waited until our 40’s for that special place we call home. We both struggled with the it’s not ours so why bother mentality and now I look back I wish we had allowed ourselves to let go and flourish. Bless your family and I hope you find your forever home soon.

    1. Thank you! Since I wrote this post, we’ve moved into a house! I am not sure if it will be our forever home, but we’ve decided to treat it like it is. I know I can be content here, and there is much to do to fix it up and make it look like “us.” I’m game for the challenge!

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