In this post, you’ll discover tips to help you become a more resourceful homemaker. You’ll learn how to find creative solutions to homemaking problems, so that you can navigate homemaking obstacles more confidently and competently.
This post is part of the Traits of Successful Homemakers series.
Tip #1: Practise Pinpointing Problems
If you want to be a resourceful homemaker, you need to be able to identify the problems that you want to solve.
This may sound easy, but it’s actually the step that I struggled with most. For many years I ignored the problems in my home. I mistakenly thought that it was virtuous to make do with what I had.
But now I know that it is not wrong to want to improve your home. You can be grateful for your home and work to improve your home, both at the same time. In fact, by pouring time and effort into improving your home, you are demonstrating love, respect, and appreciation for your home.
Here’s an easy way to practise pinpointing problems in your home:
- Learn to pay attention. As you go about your homemaking, observe your home, your thoughts, and your homemaking methods.
- Capture your thoughts. Whenever you notice that something could be improved, write it down immediately.
I encourage you to write down every problem that you notice—no matter how minor it seems. If you notice that the handle of your frying pan is loose, write it down. If you see that your bathroom door is squeaky, write it down. If you find a dress with a fallen hem, write it down.
Through the simple act of paying attention as you do your homemaking, you can quickly accumulate a list of ideas for improving your home and the items in it.
Tip #2: Turn Problems Into Questions
Once you have a list of potential areas for improvement, you need to create a plan of action. However, sometimes it can be difficult to think of solutions on demand.
Fortunately, there is a simple method that can make it easier for you to find solutions to your problems. If you find yourself struggling to solve a particular homemaking problem, try turning the problem into a question.
There is something magical about questions. When you turn a problem into a question, your brain springs into action and begins to unearth all manner of creative solutions.
For example, you might start by observing:
- My bedroom is full of clutter.
To turn this problem into a question, simply ask:
- How can I keep my bedroom free from clutter?
Can you feel the difference? When you frame a problem as a question, it becomes easier to come up with a variety of possible solutions.
Tip #3: Expand Your Repertoire
If you want to be a resourceful homemaker, you need to equip yourself with useful homemaking skills. The more skills you acquire, the more options you will have for solving your homemaking problems.
However, when it comes to acquiring new homemaking skills, the options are endless, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. That’s why it’s useful to create a plan for acquiring new skills.
Here is a simple plan that you can follow to expand your homemaking skills:
- Choose one question to answer. For faster results, choose a specific question instead of a broad question.
- Focus on acquiring skills that can help you answer your question. With this approach, you will always acquire skills that are immediately useful to you.
For example, suppose that you want to answer this question:
- How can I serve my family a delicious breakfast every morning?
This question is quite broad, so you divide it into three questions:
- What are some different ways to cook eggs?
- How do I brew a delicious cup of pour-over coffee?
- What are some breakfast recipes that I can make ahead of time?
Now you have a collection of specific questions to choose from. You pick one question and acquire the skills you need to answer it. Then you repeat the process with another question, and another, until your problem is solved.
Tip #4: Look for Creative Solutions
If you want to grow into a resourceful homemaker, learn to look for creative solutions to your problems. For those who are willing to try, there are usually many different ways to solve a problem.
For example, for many years I wanted to make hummus, but I didn’t have a food processor. At first, I resigned myself to delaying this project. But one day, I decided to try a different approach.
I placed the hummus ingredients in a zipper storage bag, and I used a rolling pin to crush and combine the ingredients. And… it worked! Great was my joy and surprise when I opened the bag and saw homemade hummus.
This experience showed me that there is no need to resent constraints. In fact, there is much reason to embrace and appreciate constraints, because they nudge us towards finding creative solutions to our problems.
Tip #5: Embrace Imperfection
If you want to be a resourceful homemaker, you need to develop the habit of taking action to solve your problems. But sometimes it can be challenging to take action, especially when it requires learning a new skill.
If you struggle to take action, here are two things you should remember:
- The sooner you take action, the sooner your problem will be solved.
- Most problems don’t require you to do everything perfectly.
Many years ago, I had a set of aprons that needed to be altered. The straps were too long, and needed to be shortened. But I was a complete novice in sewing, and I was afraid of doing a bad job. In the end, I procrastinated for months.
When I finally got around to altering the aprons, my stitches were uneven and crooked. But to my surprise, I didn’t care. Although my stitches were far from pretty, they solved my problem. I still remember the exhilaration I felt when I wore my apron for the first time, and I still wear my imperfectly stitched aprons to this day.
If you want to be a resourceful homemaker, learn to embrace imperfection. You will find it easier to take action if you release yourself from the pressure of doing everything perfectly.
Learning to Trust Yourself
Learning to be a resourceful homemaker feels good because it teaches you the art of problem-solving. As you practise pinpointing problems and solving them, you discover something wonderful. You realise that for every homemaking problem, there is a solution.
Even more importantly, the more you practise being a resourceful homemaker, the more you learn to trust yourself. With each problem that you solve, you draw closer to the beautiful realisation that you are capable. You develop the unshakeable belief that no matter what happens, you will always be able to draw on your ability to find and implement the solution that is best for you and your family.
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