House management is a term I started hearing a lot when when I became a mom. And as a working mom, it sometimes involves a few additional aspects with a very limited time. But what exactly is a home management? What do we mean when we say we are managing our households? And how can we do it efficiently?
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What is Home Management All About?
Home management is basically an effective way or running your household. It includes everything from cleaning to managing the budget. It’s ensuring all household responsibilities are fulfilled and the family members are taken care of.
Why is Home Management Important?
Effective house management can basically make everything flow better. When you find a way to help you run your household in an organized and efficient way, you will notice that everything else will start falling into place.
When you don’t have to stress out about laundry piling up at every corner of the room, constantly running late to all the kids’ activities, or not being able to find the item you are looking for in the house – you will feel much calmer and less overwhelmed. You will be able to concentrate your energy on doing things that you love.
Here are some top reasons why you should invest some time in creating a home management system for your home:
- Less time spend on household chores
- Less mental clutter
- More organization and less clutter
- Improved family dynamics
- Less chaos and more calmness
Steps to Home Management System
Home management is a simple term, but one that is very complex when you start looking at that it entails. It can get overwhelming just to think about all the things that it includes: cleaning, organizing, laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping, laundry, family schedule, finances, and much more!
If you are staring out and start feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath. We will take it one step at a time. You don’t have to have it all figured out from the beginning.
Write Down What is Important to You
The very first step into developing a home management system that works for you and your family is deciding what are your priorities. Think about your family and your household and decide what is most important to you.
Are you concentrating right now on paying off debt? Or perhaps you have started a journey on healthy eating or are in the process of decluttering your house? Or maybe you have just started a busy season with your kids sports and that is your top priority right now.
The reason why you should start with deciding your priorities, is because that will tell you what area of house management to start with. For example, if your priority right now is healthy eating, than establishing a system for grocery shopping and meal planning would you the first household task to concentrate on. But if your priority is kids’ sport season, then you would concentrate on the time management aspect first.
You want to start your journey to a more effective house management by addressing your biggest pain points first.
Home Management Tasks
We cannot talk about what home management is without talking specifics about specific areas:
- House Cleaning
- Organization and Decluttering
- Meal Planning
- Meal Prepping
- Grocery Shopping
- Record Keeping
- Family Schedule
- School Activities and Homework
- Sports and After-School Activities
These are the main areas of house management, and each of them has multiple tasks under it. You and your family will have to decide:
- WHO will do them
- HOW they will be done
- WHEN they will be done
Remember, you already know WHY you are doing them, because you have decided which ones are your priority.
Develop Routines and Systems
Now that you have a list of things that are part of house management it’s time to decide on the most efficient and effective way to tackle them. My best suggestion to you is to develop systems and routines around each of them.
Making things systematic and routine will turn them into habits and they will take less and less time for you to complete them. For example, developing a cleaning routine will allow you to adapt overtime that specific cleaning tasks are being done on a specific day. It will become part of your day and you will not even have to thing about it – you will just do it. It will take some time, but I promise it will happen. Plus cleaning on regular basis means that things don’t get as dirty and it will also save you some additional time.
Create a House Management Binder
As you are going on your journey towards a more effective house management, it’s a great idea to create a house management binder. This binder will hold all your routines, systems, checklists, house to-do lists, and is also a great place to keep things like maintenance records and reminders, family goals, and budget system, vacation plans, and any other house management related items.
Home management binder is something that can start small and grow bigger once you decide what items you want to keep there.
But having such binder will help you stay organized and keep all house management related items in one place.
How to be Effective at Home Management – Simple Tips on How to Get Started
House management can feel very overwhelming. There is no one right way to do it, which also makes it challenging for some of us who like to follow a specific plan. House management is about trial and error. Some things will work great for you and your family and some others will be a complete failure.
But I want to share with you some tips on how to get started to figure out the best way to start thinking about the most effective way to manage your house.
Make Your Spaces Work for You
The very first household management tip that I have for you is to make your space work for you!
Don’t get caught up with how other people have their house function – you do you.If you have a formal dining room but you never use it, feel free to use that space differently. Your house is supposed to work for you and not the other way around.
And realize that this is a process. Sometimes you have to try a few things before you finally find the right fit.
Let me give you an example. When we first bought our house a few years ago, we had this idea that I would set up my home office in the basement. There was a lot of space, there was a window to give me plenty of natural light. It seemed like a perfect fit.
I was also a little influenced by a friend of mine, who just created her home office in the basement as well. It sounded great, and wanted to create a similare space in my house.
However, I quickly realized that basement was way not the right fit for me at all. Why? Because it too cold for me! Our basement is the coldest spece in the house. In order to make my home office work there, we would have to run a space heater all the time. And that would mean a huge electric bill.
So we decided to move the desk into the playroom – we sort of divided the room into two areas. One of the kids and one for me. And after a year of that arrangement, I moved all their toys to their dedicated playroom. And now I have an office all to myself.
You might be wondering why I did not start that way from the very beginning. But beause there are a few steps to get to the playroom and my daughter was too small to climb them when we first moved in. But a few months ago, the time was finally right.
This is what I mean by saying that you need to make it work for you and for it being a process. Don’t limit yourself with your space. Make it work for you.
Start Decluttering Your Home
The second tip I have for you when it comes to effective house management is to get rid of stuff. Think about it – less stuff means less things to manage. That a win right there.
I am not saying you have to be a minimalist. But for the most part, we all have too much stuff! And it clutters our homes and makes it difficult to keep organized and clean.
I used to spend so much time cleaning my house each Saturday. And I finally had to stop and think what in the world was taking me so long. Our house is not huge so there really aren’t that many spaces to clean. And I finally realized that the majority of my time was spent putting this way – or rather moving them from one space to the other.
So I started slowly decluttering our house. Getting rid of anything that we did not use. And I made sure that I found a space or a home for each item. That has been a game changer for me. I find it so much easier to manage our things right now.
Our spaces still get cluttered. I don’t know about you but my kitchen and living area can go from clutter free to a total disaster in an hour. We bring groceries, backpacks, and kids bring toys. But we are able to clean it up really fast. Because we know where everything is going.
Let Some Things Go
The next household management tip is to let some things go. This is a hard one for me. I like to be in control and have things a certain way. But I came to realization that I was setting unrealistic expectations for myself. It was that mentality of ‘what will other people think’?
And then something funny happen. Last year, I was in the middle of preparing for Christmas celebration in a few days. That meant that I had some cooking going, and the house was a total mess. Kids toys everywhere, baking ingredients and over the kitchen counters and my clothes, and gift wrappers on the kitchen island. You name it.
And at that exact time, my neighbors knocks on the door. They brought some Holiday cookies for us. And I invited them into this mess – I mean that was the polite thing to do, right?
So imagine me clearing the dining room table to they can actually sit – I definitely felt embarrassed at first. And as I apologetically made a comment about it, they quickly dismissed it as: this is how normal house with small kids looks like.
And after a few days I realized that something has changed in me. I survived the unexpected visit into my ‘unprepared’ house. And nothing happen! So maybe I was stressing over something that didn’t even exist?
Routines, Routines, Routines
I have mentioned that routines and systems are the way to go when it comes to house management. If you don’t yet have good routines, start implementing them slowly. As a working mom, routines are absolutely a must for me to be able to better manage my home. The three main ones are morning routine, evening routine, and cleaning routine.
The reason why they are so important is that they help everyone stay organized, you manage your time better, and you don’t forget to do things.
Don’t think of routines as a rigid schedule where you stand with your watch to make sure everything is done at the exact time you want it to be done. It’s more like a routine flow of things.
For example, my kids have a very simple routine: get up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, and go to school/daycare. If your kids know what is expected of them, they will be self-sufficient and do things much faster.
And you as working mom will have a less chaotic start of the day. And we all want that, don’t we? 🙂
Involve Your Family
Let’s talk about a bonus household management tip, which is to involve your family. I don’t remember seeing it written anywhere, but there appears to be this unofficial rule that household management is only womens’ job. As working moms we simply cannot do it all. So ask for help!
Me and my husband divide our responsibilities. For example, I do all the cooking and he will wash the dishes and unload the dishwasher. If we would change those roles around, we probably would eat take out all the time. So figure out a system that works best for you.
Involve your kids. This will teach them good habits for when they are adults.
I will tell you that my cleaning habits are from childhood. I did not love them by any means when I had to do them. But when I grew up, they just became part of my responsibilities. I knew that certain things had to be done in order for me to manage my house.
Of course kids will not do things the exact way you would like it done, but it will get done. So let go of perfection and your household management will become much easier and less stressful.