This is a list of actionable tips that can help you become a more productive homemaker. If you want to do your housework more efficiently, you’ll love the homemaking strategies in this post.
This post is part of the Traits of Successful Homemakers series.
What Is a Productive Homemaker?
What does it mean to be a productive homemaker? Here’s what I envision.
A productive homemaker is competent at creating a home that is clean, tidy, and inviting. She is industrious, and she uses her hours wisely. She has a homemaking routine—and she follows it. She is calm, not harried, and her peaceful spirit is reflected in the work that she leaves behind.
Over the years, I have collected various methods that help me to embody this vision of a productive homemaker. Here are four of my favourite strategies for productive homemaking.
Strategy #1: Use the Front-Load Strategy
When it comes to housework, it’s incredibly easy to procrastinate. But when you neglect a household chore, it doesn’t go away. Instead, it gets worse, and the worse it gets, the worse you feel.
If you want to be a productive homemaker, you need to know how to overcome homemaking inertia. In other words, you need to develop the ability to motivate yourself to begin your housework. Beginning is often the hardest part of homemaking. It can take a tremendous amount of energy and willpower to begin your housework. But once you get started, it’s usually easy to continue.
The Front-Load Strategy
The front-load strategy is a method for overcoming homemaking inertia. It helps you start your homemaking early so that you have enough time and energy to complete the rest of your homemaking.
To use the front-load strategy, think of your homemaking as a series of recurring homemaking cycles. The quantity and duration of the cycles is up to you. In my home, I follow two homemaking cycles: a weekly one and a monthly one.
Next, determine the starting dates for each homemaking cycle. Choose dates that match your lifestyle. My homemaking week begins every Monday, and my month begins on the first day of each month. I like this system because it is easy to remember.
Schedule important tasks at the start of each cycle. This process is called front-loading, and it helps you start each homemaking cycle with an uplifting victory. This sets the tone for the rest of the homemaking cycle. At the start of each week, I scrub my shower, and at the start of each month, I scrub my range hood. I have noticed that when I complete these tasks on time, the rest of my homemaking tends to go smoothly.
Strategy #2: Manage Your Time
If you want to be a productive homemaker, you need to master the art of managing your time. In particular, there are two skills that you should acquire. First, you need to know how much time you spend on homemaking. Second, you need to spend enough time on homemaking.
Find Out How You Spend Your Time
You probably already have some idea of how you spend your time. Without data, however, your assumptions are likely vague and inaccurate. You can remedy this situation by creating a time log.
How to Create a Time Log
To create a time log, write down everything that you do for one week. You can use any medium you like—I use a digital calendar—and you can include as much detail as you like—I generally write no more than a few words.
Make your time log a faithful portrayal of your life. See yourself as an impartial chronicler, and record everything; the “good” and the “bad”. An accurate time log can help you gain a deeper understanding of your time usage.
How to Analyse Your Time Log
Look at your time log and figure out how much time you spent on homemaking. To be a productive homemaker, you need to spend sufficient time on homemaking. If the tale told by the numbers diverges from the one you want to hear, it is time for you to change your homemaking schedule.
Examining your time log can be an enlightening activity. My first time log revealed that I was spending much less time on homemaking than I had imagined. I have been tracking my time ever since.
Strategy #3: Work With (Not Against) Time
If you want to be a productive homemaker, you need to learn how to use each day to the best of your ability. You can do this by simply doing your best with the time that you have.
Embrace Each Day
Don’t wait for perfect conditions to start your homemaking. I used to wait for a three-hour block of time to be free before I began my housework. That three-hour block turned out to be a unicorn; it sounded alluring and magical, but it never showed up. Meanwhile, my home got dirtier and dirtier.
If you want to be a productive homemaker, do your homemaking in the time available to you. If your day unfolds according to plan, you can do your housework leisurely, with a heart full of gratitude. But if unexpected events derail your plans, revel in the glorious unpredictability of life, and do your best in the time you have. This is the simple recipe for productive homemaking.
Strategy #4: Avoid Dichotomous Thinking
I used to think of each day’s homemaking as either complete or incomplete. If every task on my to-do list was ticked off, my homemaking was complete. But if I had missed even one task on my list, my homemaking was incomplete.
I soon noticed that this dichotomous thinking was causing me a lot of distress. Whenever my day didn’t go perfectly, I felt like I had failed.
The Problem With Dichotomous Thinking
Dichotomous thinking causes you to see homemaking as an all or nothing activity. It presents you with a rigid and unrealistic ideal for your homemaking, and when you fall short of this ideal, you end up feeling stressed and discouraged.
Acknowledge Small Victories
If you want to be a productive homemaker, avoid dichotomous thinking. Instead, see every task that you complete as a milestone.
The milestone mindset honours the principle that homemaking is not an all or nothing activity. A small amount of homemaking is always better than none at all, and every inch of progress is worth celebrating.
Acknowledge your homemaking victories, no matter how small they seem. This will lend meaning and dignity to every task that you complete.
Bonus Tip: Learn From Your Own Experience
Homemaking is a craft that is different for everyone. Your winning formula for productive homemaking will be unique to you. That’s why it’s so important for you to learn from your own experience.
Experiment with a variety of homemaking techniques, and observe the results. If something works well for you, incorporate it into your homemaking routine. If something doesn’t work well for you, let it go. Over time, you will assemble a homemaking system that is tailored to your needs and preferences.
The Joys of Being Productive
Being productive is essential to a homemaker’s well-being. The very act of homemaking is therapeutic. Work is good for us, and it feels good to work.
As you practise being productive in your home, you will stumble across treasure in unexpected places. I have found peace tucked within the folds of freshly washed laundry, and contentment nestled between the porcelain dishes in my cupboard. Such are the gifts of productive homemaking, and they add pleasure and piquancy to even the most prosaic household tasks.
Subscribe to the Mrs. Kiwi Newsletter
To get an email when there's a new post, you can subscribe to the Mrs. Kiwi Newsletter by filling in the form below—it's free.