My 2017 View of “Homemaking”

posted by Andrea | 04/11/2017
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Remember when I told you that my “one thing” is Home Management (some might even say Homemaking)?

Even on days when I’m extra tired or extra busy, I make time to keep my home relatively neat, organized, and clutter-free… BECAUSE THAT’S HOW I LIKE MY HOME TO BE.

I do not keep my home neat and clean to please my husband, to show off to the neighbors, or to make myself feel like the best homemaker around. I keep it neat and clean because I personally get satisfaction, joy, and energy from cleaning, organizing, cooking, baking, meal planning, gardening, etc.

Kind of like a “runner’s high”… but for homemaking!

Due to the fact that I care for 3 children every day and run this blog and my VA business, I don’t have quite as much time to put towards my homemaking efforts as I did in the past… but that doesn’t mean I love it any less. 

It also doesn’t mean my home is in complete disarray either. It just means I’ve found quick tricks and tactics to make time to “keep house” while still making enough time for other things that are also important to me.

Sometimes, I feel like the term “Homemaking” gets a bad rap. It’s like we automatically revert to a time when women’s sole sense of worth was wrapped up in how well-behaved her children were, how neat and clean her house was, and how fabulous she looked each day.

For me, “homemaking” in 2017 looks quite a bit different than that… and while I probably wouldn’t ever introduce myself as “Andrea Dekker, a homemaker” I’m also not ashamed to consider “homemaking” as a large and important part of what I do every day.

So… what does “Homemaking” look like for me?

It looks like “clean enough”…

Let me assure you my home does not have spotlessly clean floors, immaculately folded laundry, elaborately decorated rooms, or perfectly organized bins for everything.

Instead, I whip out my trusty Hoover and Swiffer every day or so to suck up the massive amount of crumbs that are everywhere on our floors.

I do laundry twice a week on the quick cycle, without sorting, and hastily fold everything. Also, I do not iron… like NEVER!

Although I enjoy decorating my home, I continue to reduce the number of decorations I have as my children get taller and more curious 🙂

And while I LOVE a good organizing project, I refuse to spend massive amounts of time meticulously labeling and organizing every tiny piece and part. We have a general system for where things go, we put those things away every day, and that’s clean enough for me!

True story: there are many times throughout the day when our house looks like the picture below — I’m totally OK with that because we always pick everything up before the kids go to bed.

It looks like “healthy enough”…

There have been times in my life when I have enjoyed spending hours in the kitchen making gourmet meals, delicious layer cakes, fancy Christmas cookies, and fun appetizers for our dinner guests; and times when I could run to the store at a moment’s notice to pick up that one rare ingredient I forgot to buy… but not any more.

Instead, I rely on some processed foods along with lots of quick meals and snacks.

I have my trusty list of simple “go-to meals” that I can make in a pinch with ingredients I always have on hand.

I keep our freezer stocked with lots of ready-to-go ingredients so I can throw together a quick meal at a moment’s notice.

We sometimes do fun things like make our own butter and we sometimes eat frozen pizzas.

I always look forward to a night out at Culver’s every month.

It looks like “frugal enough”…

Gone are the days of clipping hundreds of coupons, finding every single good deal, sending in rebates, and being super crafty and creative to make my own instead of buying new. Part of me still itches to get back to my couponing, but I know it’s just not the best use of my time right now.

Instead, I have chosen to forgo coupons and rebates for a while (except online coupons that I don’t have to actually clip) in an effort to save time.

I still try to shop Craigslist and buy used whenever possible to find good deals on items we actually need and want to buy.

I’m not above paying a professional to do something we don’t have the skills to do (and do it way faster than we could ever do it)

I do quite a bit of canning — mainly because we all love the taste, but I do think it saves us some money as well.

We regularly challenge ourselves to a month or a week of no-spending in an effort to keep tabs on our finances.

It looks like “good enough”…

I have never been a perfectionist — but even still, I have learned to “let it go” and be completely satisfied with “good enough” in so many different situations.

It means I am totally content with my mascara + bronzer 10-minute morning routine with the occasional “getting more dolled up” for special occasions.

It means that yes, I sometimes wear the same thing multiple days in a row because it’s not “too dirty” yet and my kids don’t care if I wear the same thing!

It means I have learned to accept (not just tolerate) so many things, in exchange for a much happier life.

It means that I say ‘no’ when I truly don’t have the time, and I don’t let myself get guilted into doing something just because I feel bad.

keeping house

Many years ago, I purchased a used copy of Cheryl Mendelson’s book “Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House” and it’s been a favorite book of mine ever since.

In the preface of the book, she says:

When you keep house, you use your head, your heart, and your hands together to create a HOME — the place where you live the most important parts of your private life.

Housekeeping is an art: it combines intuition and physical skill to create comfort, health, beauty, order, and safety. It’s also a science, a body of knowledge that helps us seek those goals and values wisely, efficiently, and humanely.

I LOVE that description!

While I realize that many of you might not share my ultra-enthusiastic views of homemaking, I DO think that every one of us, no matter where we live, what type of building we live in, and no matter how much we detest cleaning and organizing, desires to create a HOME.

We all want that place we sleep and live and share with our family and friends to feel comfortable, to be safe and healthy, to be pretty and organized, and to be a place we actually want to spend time.

Right?

Even if you think you absolutely hate everything about what you consider “homemaking”, I’d like to challenge you to do one thing today (maybe right now) to better your home.

Wash the dirty dishes piling up on the counter.

Fold the clean laundry and actually put it away.

Pick up the toys in the main areas of your house and at least put them somewhere you can’t see them all day long!

Bake cookies (even if you just use refrigerated cookie dough).

Wash the window you look out most.

Pull a few weeds or snip off a few flowers and bring them inside.

Again, I am fully aware that not everyone shares my homemaking excitement, but I also think it’s almost impossible not to feel better about yourself and love your home more if you’re doing something to better the current state of your home.

It can be something small (very small) but all those very small things added up together can make big changes in your home (and maybe even to your view of homemaking).

I don’t expect you to love it as much as I do — but maybe you won’t hate it 🙂

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18 comments

  1. Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving

    04/17/2017

    Love, love, love this! You perfectly summarized my view of homemaking right now. Clean enough (definitely!) and frugal enough. Things have changed with my little ones, but I am perfectly content with my view of homemaking now. Thanks for sharing this and encouraging all of us other moms that it’s okay to be good enough.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes… good enough, clean enough, frugal enough, healthy enough… that’s enough for me!

    [Reply]

  2. Nena

    04/11/2017

    LOVE THIS! thanks!

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  3. Jill

    04/11/2017

    I think we could be best buddies! I LOVE making a HOME !!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — probably 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. Debbie

    04/11/2017

    I love homemaking but I also enjoy working out of the home. The best part of the day of fulfilling work is to come home to an organized and clean home. It’s organized enough and clean enough for me. Even before leaving for a vacation I make sure I clean the house. Best part of coming home from vacation is relaxing in your own home that’s uncluttered and clean.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha yes! I’m talking about our vacation tomorrow and I mention that I clean everything before we leave so I can come home to a clean house!

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  5. Pixie508

    04/11/2017

    The best thing we’ve done to make me feel better about our home (I also work from home, and juggle the needs of 2 kids) is making sure that as a family we clean up our living room/ dining room area every night before the kids go to bed. Sweep up crumbs, clear dishes, all toys put away, etc. That way once the kids go to bed, our house looks more put together. And, making sure I do all dishes/pots/pans and wipe down the counters and stove in the evening. It gives me a fresh start every morning, and makes our adult time in the evening more relaxing. It only takes me about 15min after the kids go to bed at night to make that happen (And then my husband empties the dish drainer and when needed dishwasher before he goes to bed). For awhile, it felt like we were living in chaos, and a concerted effort in those 2 areas have helped us both to relax. I tend to do most of the laundry during the weekend and 1-2 loads during the week, and I do our bathrooms (unless there’s a massive need) once a week. Like you said, it’s good enough.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yup — we do the exact same thing. We pick up everything right before bath time, and then do the dishes and/or finish folding laundry after the kids are in bed. It’s SO nice to wake up to a clean house every day.

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  6. Megan

    04/11/2017

    Home Comforts is one of my favorite books too. Sometimes I read through the ideas just for fun and I find her ideas inspiring. Her description above of what it means to “keep house” is poignant. There really is an art to keeping a home. I have so much to learn but it’s fun trying!

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  7. Christine from The (mostly) Simple Life

    04/11/2017

    I love homemaking! It’s definitely what I’m good at and I’m learning not to be embarrassed or ashamed by that.

    I think it’s sad that the idea of homemaking gets a bad rap because I think everyone deserves to live somewhere safe and comfortable. My standards have definitely changed over the years, but even when I went to work full time, I still tried to be a “good enough” homemaker because I wanted to live somewhere that felt good.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I couldn’t agree more!

    [Reply]

  8. Michelle

    04/11/2017

    I was working full time (at a great job that I loved) when our first child was born. It just never felt right for ME to continue working. But I went to work for a full year before deciding that this wasn’t the life I wanted to live. I was fortunate that my husband had a steady job but I did decide to give up $50,000 CAD with opportunity for advancement. That required a few changes in our lifestyle to make it work 🙂

    Here I am, 15 years later, 4 kids, homeschooling, a homemaker and I absolutely love it. I have no regrets about my decision. I consider this my “job” and I decided early on to do it to the best of my ability. It helps that, although my husband of 27 years was hesitant at first, he still mentions frequently that he’s so happy that I decided to be a homemaker 🙂 This has really worked for us as a couple and as a family.

    I don’t want to give the impression that everything is easy and great all the time (we do have 4 kids – lol) but I think that a positive attitude really makes a difference – no matter what you decide. Great post.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah… it took me about a year to give up many of my income opportunities after Nora was born too. I’m thankful I can still work from home now, but it was hard for me to admit that I really DID just want to be home, even if that meant less income.
    I don’t think we’ll go the homeschooling route (even though Nora always asks to be “homeschooled”) but I do think I made the right decision for our family 5 years ago! I hope I can say the same in another 20 years!

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  9. Debby

    04/11/2017

    great post. I love homemaking. I don’t always have it all done but when I do my soul leaps with joy.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I don’t think it’s every “all done”. Always a work in progress!

    [Reply]

  10. Meredith

    04/11/2017

    I share your love of a clean/organized/decorated home. There are always some tasks on my list that are less appealing than others. When I have a few of those piled up, I challenge myself to a “Power Hour”. I put on music or a podcast, set the timer for 60 minutes, and aim to get as many of those undesirables done as possible. It’s amazing what even 1-2 of those a week can get accomplished!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    great idea with the “power hour”! I usually don’t get a full hour, but there are many times when Dave gets home from school that I take 20-30 minutes to plow through a few to-do’s before dinner. It feels so great!

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