Want to be a more intentional homemaker? These 10 homemaking truths will give you focus, purpose, and direction–and make your job a little easier, too.
When I was in college, there was a special spot I liked to visit off campus when I needed a little perspective. I could walk there, taking a trail through the woods along the crest of Lookout Mountain. The trail ended at a stunning overlook, where the trees had been cut away in a swath down the mountainside to make room for power lines.
Yes, my college was on a mountaintop. But sometimes I was so taken up with the minutiae of daily school life that I forgot to take in the views. Going out to that overlook reminded me of the wide, beautiful world, and sent me back to campus renewed and full of energy to tackle my many duties.
Sometimes, in the whir of everyday life, we lose sight of the big picture. This happens in whatever sphere we operate in. As a homemaker, it happens to me all the time! To help, I’ve made a list of perspective-y things. Things that if I keep in mind, will make me better and more purposeful in my homemaking.
10 Truths for Every Homemaker
1. Your job is vital
The world needs homes. Places of rest, safety, nourishment, and growth. See your role as homemaker for what it is: beautiful and important. Take pride in your work by dressing for the job and being thorough in each task.
Regarding homemaking, C. S. Lewis once wrote to a friend: “what do ships, railways, miners, cars, government etc exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes?….We wage war in order to have peace, we work in order to have leisure, we produce food in order to eat it. So your job is the one for which all others exist…”
Do you view homemaking as the job for which all others exist? That kind of mindset can certainly change the way you approach your daily schedule!
2. Any place can be a home
Even if you’re not in your dream house, embrace the mindset that you can bloom wherever you’re planted. You might not have the permission or the funds to remodel a temporary apartment, but you can still personalize it. Go ahead and step into your role as homemaker, even if you’re waiting for a different home.
I liked how in The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Edith Shaeffer reminds us to take our homemaking mindset with us wherever we go. Even when you’re traveling or staying in a hotel, you can create a home-like atmosphere. She suggests bringing a cheery tablecloth to spread on a boring hotel table or at your picnic site. You can also engage in your family’s familiar routines to give everyone a sense of security.
3. Homes take time to cultivate
Having a roof over your head gives you shelter, but it doesn’t magically make your house a nurturing and peaceful haven. You need the human element for that! Be a dreamer for your home. Think about how you want to use each space to serve the people who will live in it. Actively find ways to add beauty to your home (here are 30 inexpensive ways to do it). Set home goals and make improvements over time. It’s not going to come together all at once, but if you’re intentional about it, your house is going to feel more like a haven every day.
4. Your attitude sets the tone
As Marmee tells Meg in the novel Little Women, “you are the sunshine maker of your family, and if you get dismal there is no fair weather.” Choose joy on the hard days–especially on the hard days. Your family will take their cues from you, and you’ll find that their mood often reflects your own.
5. The mundane is good
Sometimes we complain about sameness, but I’ve come to see the mundane tasks of everyday homemaking as a gift. The mundane is actually the sweet spot—the simple, humming along day to day that makes our family’s world go round. Live deeply in all of it. Enjoy the feeling of clean carpet under your toes when you vacuum, all the aromas of dinner, the way the light shifts as the day progresses. Look for those small, simple things and appreciate them.
6. Routines will change, and change again
I like adventures, but I am not a huge fan of change. But it seems like every year–every few months–require changes to our family’s routines. Expect your family culture to evolve as the seasons of life go by, and let your homemaking adapt right along with it. Create your schedules and routines, but hold them loosely.
“The true wisdom is to be always seasonable, and to change with a good grace in changing circumstances.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
7. Clutter makes your job harder
I truly believe that getting rid of junk will make you a better homemaker. Don’t underestimate the affect that clutter has on your time, your family, and your mental state. You live with your stuff day in and day out. You clean it, sort it, store it, break it. Dig deep and figure out why you keep what you keep. For an eye-opening practice, declutter your living space one zone at a time, deciding whether or not each item in it adds beauty or usefulness. Here are 7 first steps to take toward a clutter-free home, and here is the handbook I wrote for simplifying your entire home one manageable project at a time.
8. Communication makes your job easier
Every member of your household needs to be heard—and should learn to listen. The flow of conversation will help your home to run more smoothly because you’re more aware of each other’s expectations, needs, and priorities. Having real conversations with the people you live with makes home a safe and natural place for people to be themselves. Facilitate these conversations by prioritizing family mealtimes or taking walks to talk and reconnect. Use your influence as a homemaker to help your family flourish.
9. You’ll always have room for improvement
I don’t think we’ll ever “arrive” as homemakers. But that doesn’t mean we should give up trying to improve ourselves. Don’t ever let your humanity be an excuse for not reaching for the divine. Be diligent about improving yourself and your homemaking. Perfection isn’t attainable, but excellence is.
10. Your home can be an echo of heaven
Heaven is the ultimate and perfect home, but we can create a reflection of it here on earth, within our own walls. We can and should create a place of security, rest, joy, and adventure for our families. Many times we’ll miss the mark (just like our marriages don’t always reflect Christ and the Church), but it gives us a standard that will never become inadequate.