House keeping is not a science, it’s an art. While it is important that our homes fall into their proper place in our list of priorities (God, husband, children, home, church/ministry, everything else), it is vital that we maintain order in our homes.
Though our homes are a few notches down on our priority list, maintaining them is one of the ways that we can honor God and our husbands and train our children. A dirty, cluttered home is not one that reflects a thankful heart toward God for the gift of the home he has provided. A husband who regularly comes home to a messy house is not a husband who is being shown honor by his wife, nor does it communicate love for your husband.
If you have children, I’m sure you’ve found that they learn more from the example we set than from the words we speak. Our children will learn how thankful we are for our homes by how we keep them. Our daughters will learn from us how to honor their future husbands in this manner. Our sons will learn the amount of work that it takes to properly maintain a home and will, hopefully, appreciate their future wife’s labors in this area, and be willing to pitch in with that work. Both our daughters and our sons will learn lessons in good stewardship through the proper running of our homes.
The best idea for maintaining your home is to develop a schedule for all of your normal housekeeping tasks. Everyone has a system for keeping house, even if they don’t think they do. If you let everything go until you know that company is coming and then clean like the white tornado before they arrive, that’s your system. If you mess around all day doing this, that and the other thing until an hour before your husband comes home and then work yourself into a tizzy so that he doesn’t know you’ve idled away your hours, that’s your system. If you maintain your home on a regular schedule, that’s your system. If you are fortunate enough to have someone come in and clean for you, that’s your system. We all have a system.
What I have learned over the years is that no one system works for everyone. We are all just too different as women, and our families and homes are just too different. However, there are some things that we can all do that will help us to keep our homes in reasonable order.
First, there are some things that we must tend to each and every day, save Sunday, in order for our homes to be in good order. Of course, there are a few things that are needful and must be done on Sundays, too. Next, there are certain tasks that should be done every few days or at least once a week. Other tasks need to be done less frequently and may only need our attention once a month, once every few months, or perhaps only annually.
For the most part, I am not going to tell you what needs to be done when. I think that we would all agree that our beds need to be made daily, but not all of us will agree that our floors need to be vacuumed daily. I may be able to get by with dusting my living room once a week, but your circumstances may require more frequent dusting. We are talking about YOUR home, and what is required to keep it clean and orderly. I cannot make the decisions for you, but I will encourage you to pray about your home, to seek your husband’s preferences, and to spend some time really thinking about your home.
I am also not going to tell you how to clean your oven, wash your windows or do your laundry. Help with all of these skills can be found in abundance. If you need this sort of help, I would highly recommend the book Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, by Cheryl Mendelson.
Before we begin working on setting up our homemaking schedules, there are a few articles that I’d like you to read. Please don’t skip over these articles, as they will give you a good idea of where I have come from with this idea.
It is essential that you remember, no homemaking system will work for you unless you work. That’s a shocking thought, I know. A system that keeps you on track will keep things flowing smoothly in your home, but only if you actually perform the tasks that your system calls for.
I want to encourage you with this – If you are faithful to take care of your home, keeping things in reasonable order at all times, never letting things slide too far into the pit and daily looking well to the ways of your household – you will enjoy the freedom that comes from having a home that you can delight in. It’s never too late to start, but you must start!
I will be sharing the system that has worked well for me for the last dozen years or so. It is not a flawless system. My system, like yours, will never be a completed task. You will need to make changes, from time to time, as circumstances change in your home – the birth of a baby, changes in work schedules, etc. Life is not static, and your homemaking system can’t be static either.
You will need several items to help you get started in setting up your own scheduled homemaking system. A note pad and pen. Your calendar and a good idea of what your weekly schedule looks like. The most essential element that you will need is some sort of “planner” to record your homemaking schedule/system/routine as it develops.
Many women I know use a binder, which they design themselves, to keep track of all of the homemaking tasks, home schooling notes, etc. I still have my old homemaking binder on a shelf, though I no longer use it. The binder is not only a great idea, but a great way to use some of your creative talents. Brenda’s binder is a great example. Commercial planners are also nice, and I used one of these for many years; but they are expensive. When I first set my system up, I used a recipe box and 3 x 5 cards as outlined in the book Sidetracked Home Executives.
I am currently Google Calendar. It’s easy to use, readily accessible and free. You can also share your calendar(s) with others if you like. Google has on site help for learning to use Google Calendar to full advantage.
Find a planner that’s right for you, and use it.
Ready? Let’s get to work!
Next step – The Dailies