If you are stressing out about a messy house or not having time to get everything done, here are 7 homemaking rules to consider breaking.
By Sarah Mueller, Contributing Writer
Have you heard the story about the woman who always cut the end off of her pot roast before cooking it? That’s how her mother had always done it, so that’s what she did. One day, she asked her mother the reason for this step and her mother laughed, “Oh, I just did that so it would fit in the pot!”
Lots of the things we do as homemakers stem from things we learned from our own mothers or mentors. But not all of them are relevant or necessary for us today. Especially if you are stressing out about a messy house or not having time to get everything done, you may find some freedom and extra time by reconsidering how you do things at home.
Here are 7 homemaking rules you should consider breaking.
1. Don’t fold socks.
I’m surrendering in the war against unmatched socks. My kids just dump their loose socks into their drawers and grab 2 matching socks when they’re getting dressed. Easy peasy. When I’m decluttering the kids’ clothing, I’ll match all the socks up and look for strays.
2. Don’t wait to do a full load of laundry
I know some of you just gasped in shock, but bear with me. After I how to declutter and organize my closet, I learned that I needed to start washing my own clothing separate from the children’s to keep it in better shape.
This means I often don’t have a full load. I’ve decided it’s more important to have clean clothes than to do the laundry as efficiently as possible.
3. Don’t bother with several different types of cleaners.
Go shopping and you’ll find hundreds of different cleaners. But you really don’t need all those products. You probably can get by with just 3 cleaners: an all purpose cleaner, a glass cleaner and a toilet bowl cleaner.
You’ll free up room in your cupboards and your budget and cut back on the chemicals in your home. If you make your own cleaners, you’ll save even more. Get 5 natural homemade cleaning recipes here.
4. You don’t have to follow a cleaning schedule.
Sure I love checklists and schedules at LEAST as much as you do. I even have 50 household checklists and printables on my blog. But here’s a secret – now that I’ve been a wife and mom for 20 years, I don’t use a formal cleaning checklist. I just look around at what needs to be done, jot down a list and get to work.
5. Don’t think you have to do all the housework!
I don’t have a problem instructing my kids to do chores. However, I thought as the stay-at-home mom, I shouldn’t ask my husband for help. This was a big mistake and left me burned out.
Lately I’ve asked him for help when he’s home. He’s been so sweet to pitch in. It’s so much more enjoyable to do housework together.
6. Don’t think you must dry every dish before it’s put away.
Am I the only one who is obsessive about this? Not anymore! I lined my shelves with shelf liner and now we put away dishes straight out of the dishwasher even if they are still a bit damp.
7. Don’t think you must scrimp and save every penny.
As keeper of the household budget, I felt it my duty to squeeze every possible penny out of our budget. But that’s not necessary for our family right now. I was making unnecessary extra work for myself.
Sure, hanging all our laundry to dry might save a little money but it’s a lot more work. Similarly, making all our baked goods from scratch takes time. Now I compromise on some store-bought treats once in a while.
Giving myself grace in this area has brought me so much freedom.
3 homemaking “rules” to keep
I say “rules” because they’re just my own rules; you should feel free to ignore them completely if they’re not right for your family. But I have found when I stick to these rules, I’m much happier.
- Clean up the kitchen completely at least once a day, preferably twice. Here’s a simple tip to keep your house cleaner without extra work.
- Tidy common areas completely once a day. Clutter makes me cranky. A few minutes picking up stray throw pillows and books at night makes for a nicer morning.
- Keep the shoes outside. Four boys and a puppy bring in all kinds of dirt. Keeping the shoes outside keeps the floors a lot cleaner.
Above all, please give yourself grace.
We moms have enough pressure put on us by the world; we don’t have to make it worse by internalizing all these expectations about the ways things “should” be.
What homemaking “rules” do you break and which ones do you keep?