Homemaking doesn't have to be overwhelming, although for many of us it is. We find ourselves being pulled in many directions trying to keep up with it all, and by the end of the day we often wonder what we've accomplished.
The laundry is still left unfolded in baskets, the children forgot to put their items away from the living room (because I forgot to remind them), the bathroom, well, suffice it to say it'd be embarrassing to allow a guest in that room.
We don't have to live like this everyday. We can take control of our homes and do it stress-free. Or at least minimize the stress. Sometimes, we just need a little direction and a lot of encouragement.
While homemaking isn't fun for most people, it is still a necessity for a smooth running home. One of the largest contributors to feeling overwhelmed is clutter. The more stuff we have, the longer it takes to care for it.
If I were to offer any initial advice on homemaking, it would be to start purging the clutter. Clutter holds us prisoners in our own homes and makes keeping up the house impossible at times--or all the time.
Start small. Clear out a drawer in your kitchen. Purge a shelf in your closet. Set things aside for a garage sale or donate to someone in need. Do something everyday. Five minutes of fifteen minutes. Just be consistent about clearing the clutter away and your home will become easier and easier to maintain and deep clean.
I know for me, dinners and menu-making has always eluded me.
Making a menu takes time and we simply need to make the time so time and stress is saved later.
But how do we start creating weekly or monthly menus? You need to asses the likes and dietary of your family as well as your budget and plan accordingly. My husband can't eat too much saucy, spicy, or greasy food or it upsets his ulcer. So, I need to plan for that. Making saucy food is one of the easiest types of food to make, however, it does not serve my husband well.
This is why I cannot use pre-planned menus. I can utilize them to pull ideas from. But often, these made-for-you menus have a lot of saucy food each week.
So definitely utilize the planning tools available, but tailor it for your family's needs. Don't feel like you ever have to use something "as is". Every family is unique and it is rare to find a resource that is perfect for any one family.
I can say with confidence that laundry is not a huge issue for me. Sometimes I get behind if things get really busy or we're in and out of the house for a couple of days.
But I have used several strategies to keep up with my laundry load from nine people and they have all worked well in different seasons.
I used to wash one load of laundry per day, except weekends. This worked well for a while, when I had fewer children and didn't work from home. Some days I didn't have any laundry because I was consistent about keeping up with it.
Now I do laundry twice per week; on Tuesdays and Fridays. I typically wash, dry, and fold two loads each day. For a family of nine, that's not bad, huh?!
This goes back to the clutter. I work hard each season, when rotating clothes, to purge, purge, purge. There is no reason my boys need 25 t-shirts. The more clothes we own, the more we wash. Children see the clothes as more "disposable" when they are in high quantity. If they drip on a shirt, they see 25 more shirts to choose from.
Keep the laundry to necessities and it won't get out of control. Follow through on every load so you don't have cold, wrinkled laundry sitting in baskets, taking up space.
One of the best ways to keep homemaking simple and stress-free, is to be consistent.
In her book, Large Family Logistics (which is currently out of print), Kim Brenneman says,
Putting something down on paper is not enough. We must set hand to the plow for things to get done.