What Is Homemaking?
Homemaking is the process of managing a home. The goal of homemaking is to create a home that is clean, tidy, functional, and pleasant.
What Is a Homemaker?
A homemaker is a person who is responsible for managing a home. A homemaker’s responsibilities may include cooking, cleaning, organising, maintenance, and budgeting.
How to Start Homemaking
If you are new to homemaking, start with the basics. Begin with the tasks that will benefit you every day. You’ll get faster results this way.
Here are five essential homemaking tasks that are perfect for new homemakers.
Task #1: Learn Quick and Easy Recipes
When you are new to homemaking, there is nothing more bewildering than the question: “What should I cook for dinner?”
The problem with this question is that the answers are limitless. The sheer number of possibilities makes it difficult to choose.
To free yourself from decision paralysis, narrow down your options. Make it your mission to begin with the basics. Start by learning how to cook a handful of quick and easy meals.
Why “quick” and “easy”? Because these types of meals are dependable. They are the workhorses that you will be thankful for when you are in a rush, when a task takes longer than anticipated, or when something unexpected occurs.
In the meantime, hang on to your daydreams of home-made sourdough and slow-cooked lamb shanks. There will come a time for these grander culinary experiments. But start by cultivating your ability to rustle up a nourishing meal in thirty minutes or less. You won’t regret it.
My Favourite Easy Meals
My favourite easy meals tend to fall into one of three categories: sandwiches, soups, and stir-fries. I call these the Three S’s, and they make regular appearances on my table. They are astonishingly simple to assemble, and they can be adapted to accommodate all sorts of ingredients.
If you’re not sure where to begin, you might find it helpful to start with the Three S’s. You can also read my cooking tips for beginners. But always be guided by your own preferences. You will have more fun if you do.
Task #2: Minimise Dust
Any space that you inhabit will gather dust. To create a clean and inviting home, you need to minimise dust. You can achieve this through regular dusting.
How to Dust
To start dusting, all you need is a stack of soft cloths. I prefer microfibre cloths, which do an excellent job of removing—rather than merely pushing—dust.
To dust a surface, gently wipe a dry cloth over it. To make sure that you cover every part of the surface, dust small sections at a time. Move the cloth back and forth in a zigzag pattern. Alternatively, try using circular motions.
If you have any small items on display, remove them before you begin dusting. This allows you to dust the entire surface. Then dust each item before you put it back.
In each room, start with the surfaces closest to the ceiling (like door frames), and work your way downwards, ending with the surfaces closest to the ground (like baseboards). The reason for this is simple. Each time you dust a surface, some of the dust will get displaced and float downwards onto a lower surface. To save time and energy, always dust from top to bottom.
As you work, your cloth will collect dust. When your cloth is no longer effective, change to a new one. After dusting, wash your cloths by hand or in the washing machine. You will need them again next time.
Dust is a repeat customer. It will continue to accumulate, so set up a schedule for dusting. If you dust at least once a week, you should be able to keep dust levels under control.
Task #3: Keep Your Floors Clean
Never underestimate the effect of a sparkling floor. When you keep your floors clean, your entire home looks and feels fresh and bright.
How to Clean Your Floors
There are three basic ways to clean your floors: sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping. The method you choose depends on your preferences and the type of floors you have.
If you have carpeted floors, you can vacuum them regularly to keep the carpet soft and clean. If you have hard floors, you can get good results from a combination of sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping.
No matter which method you choose for cleaning your floors, the key is to be systematic. Focus on one room at a time. In each room, start at the farthest inner corner of the room and work your way towards the door. This ensures that you clean every section of the floor. It also allows you to avoid stepping on freshly cleaned zones.
My Simple Floor Cleaning Routine
I have hard floors in my home, and I keep them clean by sweeping them every day. I love sweeping. There is an old-fashioned whimsy about it. I like how quiet it is. I can sweep my floors early in the morning without disturbing a soul. I also like the convenience—no cords, no plugs, no fuss.
In addition to sweeping daily, I mop my floors at least once a week. Mopping removes any remaining dust and dirt, and it makes the floors satisfyingly shiny. I like to use a sweeper mop instead of a traditional mop and bucket.
Task #4: Create a Laundry Routine
One of the easiest ways to nurture yourself is to make sure that you have clean clothing when you need it. A laundry routine helps you do just that.
The Basics of Doing Laundry
As a new homemaker, you will need to create a system for washing, drying, and storing your clothing. The key is to choose a system that suits your lifestyle. You’ll need to take into account the amount of laundry you have, the appliances you wish to use, and the methods you prefer.
My Easy Laundry Routine
Here’s how the laundry is done in my home. I check the laundry basket every evening. If there are enough items to wash (and there usually are), I put the laundry into the washing machine and start a cold water cycle.
When the cycle ends, I hang the laundry indoors on a clothes horse to air-dry overnight. In the morning, I fold the laundry and place it back into the wardrobes. Then I put the laundry horse away.
This simple routine makes my life so easy. When I see my empty laundry basket each morning, I feel at peace and ready to face the day.
Task #5: Learn How to Reset Any Room
Homemaking can take a lot of time, especially when you are new to it. That’s why it’s so useful to learn how to do a room reset.
A room reset only takes twenty minutes. It’s a method for quickly transforming a messy room into a clean, tidy, and functional one.
How to Do a Room Reset
A room reset consists of three steps: tidying, cleaning, and planning ahead.
Start by setting a timer for 20 minutes. Put your timer somewhere visible. You can keep track of your progress by checking it occasionally while you work.
Begin your room reset by tidying the room. Give yourself five minutes to do this. Your goal is to make the room look neat and organised. Pick up any items that are out of place, and return them to where they belong. Push each piece of furniture back to its proper position. Straighten up any items that you have on display.
Next, do some light cleaning. Give yourself ten minutes for this. Your goal is to make the room feel clean and fresh. Start by giving the room a quick dusting. If needed, wipe down the surfaces using a suitable cleaner and a soft cloth. Finish by quickly cleaning the floors.
Your last task is to plan ahead. Aim to spend five minutes doing this. Your goal is to make the room functional and nurturing. Think ahead and anticipate the needs of the next person who uses the room—even if that person is yourself. If you are in your bedroom, lay out your pyjamas and change the pillowcases. If you are in the bathroom, restock the soap and change the towels. If you are in the kitchen, take out the ingredients for your next meal.
Reset every room in your home at least once a week. This will make homemaking feel more manageable. The specific tasks in your room reset routine will change for each room of your house. But the three basic steps will always be the same: tidy, clean, and plan ahead.
Four Bonus Tips for New Homemakers
- Schedule your homemaking. You are more likely to build a habit of cleaning your house if you plan for it.
- Practise, practise, practise. Each day, just pick something to do, put an apron on, roll up your sleeves… and do it! Your homemaking skills will improve with practice.
- Manage your energy levels. Homemaking requires energy! If you find yourself feeling tired, read these tips on how to improve your energy levels for homemaking.
- Personalise your homemaking routines. Treat this post as a guide, not a rulebook. Adapt these ideas to meet your needs and preferences.
The Secret to Successful Homemaking
To be successful at homemaking, you need to enjoy it. This is the only way for you to work to the best of your ability.
One way to enjoy homemaking is to change your perspective. To the untrained eye, homemaking is nothing more than a jumble of menial chores. But for you, homemaking can be so much more.
As you dust the shelves or mop the floors, remember this: homemaking is an art, and each task you perform in your home is a creative act of self-expression. You are the artist; your home is the canvas; and your housework reveals the secret language of your heart.
So don’t rush your homemaking. Don’t abhor it, either. Instead, work slowly, and savour the experience. Infuse every little duty with an artist’s patience, joy, and loving care, and you will transform your home into a haven for you and your family.