Good home management involves organizing the stuff of family life in a way that suits your family’s needs and personalities in the season that you’re in. It will help you feel more with-it and in control.
If you’re a mom, you know that there are lots of aspects of life that will thrive under your care and attention: marriage, parenting, housework, finances, your children’s education, your family’s social life (with each other and with other people)…. the list goes on.
But, sometimes all these different “spheres” of life can be overwhelming.
Where do you even start? Managing a home? What does that even mean?
Good home management is more than just getting food on the table and paying the bills, though those are really important.
Successful home management is organizing all these areas in a way that fits your family’s needs and personalities, most blesses your family, and ultimately brings glory to God.
What is home management?
Simply put, home management is taking care of all the things that need doing and helping the people in the home do the things that need doing. While it may sometimes be looked at simply as bill paying, meal planning, cooking, and cleaning, it’s so much more than that, at least when it’s a family home, because a family lives there.
Family complicates life, but it also makes it richer.
Since much of my days are spent at home, and have been for the last 20+ years, I often ask myself how I can make my family’s life at home the best it can be.
How I manage our home has a direct impact on this. Some weeks I do this better than others, but I’ve found that the following strategies help me find my groove for the season I’m in.
1. Good home management prioritizes relationships.
Good home management involves relationships, first and foremost. My husband and children are more important than whether or not the dishes get washed and put away promptly after every meal. My attitude towards my people has a bigger impact than if we have neat and tidy kitchen cupboards.
If a family member or friend has an emergency, then caring for them trumps teaching a math lesson or cleaning my toilets.
If a child wants to help with the baking, whenever possible, include them.
If someone needs to talk through a problem, then that’s more important than his or her getting chores done on time.
People are more important than things.
2. Good home management puts order into chaos.
If I’ve got chaos everywhere I turn, I can’t think straight and am tempted to be impatient; all this puts a strain on my relationships.
Having things in order, establishing some routines, and getting the family on board all work together to make home life much more enjoyable — for everyone.
When the kids are keeping up with their schoolwork and regularly tackling their chores, when I have my head on straight or at least have a meal plan, when I spend time keeping our home organized, we all do better.
What are typical home management tasks?
- meal planning, grocery shopping, and food preparation
- laundry and clothes shopping
- household chores (such as cleaning bathrooms and bedrooms, washing dishes, general maintenance and upkeep)
- teaching and delegating chores to other members of the household
- childcare, educational support, and transportation to activities
- running errands (shopping, school drop-off, etc.)
- stocking household supplies and equipment
- paying the bills and managing the budget
All that, plus any hobbies and personal pursuits can feel overwhelming. Managing it means putting it in order and developing systems that work for you.
3. Good home management requires having a vision for how you want things to be.
Most good things take some planning and prioritizing. For me, praying about it to ask God for wisdom comes first. Then, it’s talking with my husband. Between the two, I often find that what I think is important isn’t always so.
Recently, Bryan and I had a discussion about this very topic. It became evident to me that I was giving precedence to things that were not as important as others. This was a tough conversation to have, but it was a good one as it helped me to think more clearly about the things that are best to spend my time on.
I use my Print & Go Planner to help me assess my vision for my life and my household. The front section lists goals and the different areas of my life in order of importance so that I can see at a glance what I want to improve. Then each month, I assess how I can live those things out through projects or systems to implement.
July starts in just a few days, so I’m excited to make progress on this year’s vision. As things come up throughout the year, I fold those into the mix.
4. Good home management takes some daily planning
Lastly, I need a to-do list! I will forget if I don’t have it written down. While I didn’t start out as much of a DayPlanner-type person, over the years I’ve found that my planner is invaluable! It is my brain on paper.
I like to have a list of some sort to work from. Writing it down helps me to remember it. Currently, I use a time budget and my post-it note to do list (both in my Print & Go Planner) to help me get my ducks in a row.
I grab action items or systems I’m working on from the monthly list to the weekly list, and then each day, I create a small to do list, pulling a few items from the weekly list of tasks and projects.
Not all of life happens on paper, of course, but I’ve found that different lists help me keep track of the different things I need to manage in my home.
- The Motivated Moms app helps me track chores and cleaning tasks.
- I use Google Docs to prepare a schedule for the kids of daily house chores and kitchen jobs.
- I use a paper money journal to track our spending to see if we’re on budget.
- Amazon Subscribe & Save helps me make sure we don’t run out of the necessities, like toilet paper and cleaning supplies.
These systems help me manage my home in a way that doesn’t stress me out and allows me time for work and leisure as well.
What helps YOU in your home management?
Originally posted May 12, 2008. Updated to reflect the times twelve years later. 😉