Managing a home is a big task. But home management isn’t something to be overlooked. In fact, it’s one of the key factors to keeping a home running peacefully and efficiently. By planning ahead and being prepared you can set yourself (and your family) up for a smoother and more stress-free life, and you can create a happier and well-managed environment in your home.
But before we start talking about the various areas of home management, let’s briefly clarify what exactly home management is. Home management is basically the process of making sure everything within your home and family is running smoothly and properly. It’s juggling all of the pieces to homemaking in order to keep them all organized and well-planned out.
And home management is so important because it helps you to better organize your home and your family in order to better serve and minister to them. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to running a home, and home management makes an effort to manage them and keep track of them using systems and processes that keep things running efficiently and effectively.
What’s involved in managing a home?
There is a lot involved in managing a home and (spoiler alert) it’s not all about cleaning. When you sit back and think about everything your family needs, the list can get longer and longer. But in this post I’d like to summarize the various areas of home management in order to make it easier for you to approach managing a home in a more feasible way.
So let’s look at the various areas of household management and what you’ll need to focus on as a homemaker. By developing systems within each of these areas you can ensure that everything is running well within your home.
Family Schedule and Planning
The first area of home management is really the heart of it all. Because without this, everything else can easily fall apart when it comes to managing a home. And that area is managing your family’s schedule and overall planning. This includes things like family’s individual activities, appointments, etc. as well as your own daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly planning. Taking time to schedule out everything that needs to be done (and that you want to be done) each day, will keep your home running like a well-oiled machine. So that’s why family scheduling and overall planning is an essential aspect to home management.
While this area of household management could certainly fit into the family schedule and planning area, I wanted to separate it out because it’s really a whole different animal. This area involves planning for those things which make for long-term family memories like regular outings, family game nights, vacations, holidays, etc. All of these things are essential to cultivating a happy and close-knit family. But they don’t all happen just by a happy accident. No, these types of activities have to be well thought out and planned. And when they are it will set the stage for many happy memories within your family. So planning out the things you will do together as a family is a key aspect to home (and family) management.
Budgeting & Bills
Although it’s not the most fun topic (at least no for me! lol), budgeting and bill paying is a key area within your home management. Without the bills paid there is no home to manage. So coming up with a budget that will work for your family, and ensuring that all of your bills are paid in a timely manner are essential when managing your home. There are lots of systems and ideas when it comes to managing your family’s finances that can help to make things more simple and easier for you and your family. But whatever type of family finance system you choose, don’t overlook this key area to household management. It’s an important part of planning and managing your home.
Cooking & Meal Planning
Your family has to eat. And whether that entails having fast food and pizza every night or whether you strive to plan out more healthy meals is up to you. But either way they have to eat. Coming up with a meal plan each week can make things run smoother and help you to feed your family more healthy and consistently. With a little bit of planning you can greatly reduce your own stress and your family’s by preparing them delicious and healthy meals on a budget. Eating is a big part of your family’s life, and that’s why this is an essential area to household management. (psst my favorite way to meal plan is with PlanToEat. It’s an awesome tool for managing all of your recipes, meal planning, and putting together a shopping list each week. I’ve been using it for years and I can’t recommend it enough!)
Whether you decide to homeschool or send your children to public school (or even private school) is up to you and your family. While I’m a big advocate for homeschooling, we don’t all have the option to do that, and I realize that. But no matter what route you decide to go for you and your family, your children’s schooling will take some intentional planning. And by putting key systems into place you can set the stage for your children to succeed better in school. If you choose to homeschool then you will need a lot of planning and different systems put into place in order for it to go smoothly. And if your child is schooling outside of the home, then setting up systems that can check in on their progress at school, help them with homework, seek out tutors for different subjects if needed, and even incorporating learning at home that can coincide with the things they’re learning at school can help them to learn better and develop a life-long love for learning. So no matter which route you take (homeschooling or schooling outside of the home), setting up some various systems for your children’s schooling within your home management plan is essential.
Home Improvements and Maintenance
Your home might be solid or it might even be brand new, but no matter what your situation, over time every single home will need maintenance and improvements. Our families change and grow and home improvements ensure that your home adapts to fit your family’s needs. And then there are those things that break or just get old over time. Home maintenance involves taking care of those things which need fixed in order to keep your home safe and comfortable for your family. Now, whether or not you decide to take on the home improvements and maintenance of your own home is up to you and your own skill set (and bravery). But whether you hire out for these things, have your husband take care of them, or do them yourself, it’s up to the person managing the home to plan for these things to be taken care of. It’s a good idea to have systems in place to inspect and plan to repair and improve upon your home on a regular basis. Doing so will keep your home a safe and peaceful haven for your family.
Some of you out there might scoff at the idea of home decorating being an “essential” home management area. And perhaps it’s not what you would call “essential”. But it sure does go a long way in cultivating a peaceful and enjoyable environment for your family. People inherently like things that look good. It’s just the way our brains work. And when our homes look nice, it makes us more happy and at peace. I’m not saying that you have to have to strive to have a magazine-worthy home. But putting a little effort into personalizing and decorating your home is good for you and your family. It helps you to create a place of peace and refuge that your family can come home to and enjoy. Which is why I believe it to be an important aspect to your household management plan.
Keeping your home clean is one of the first things that people think about when they think of homemaking and home management. And there’s a reason for that. It’s a big part of managing your home because everything else within your home hinges on having a clean and tidy house. The reason being that when your home is in chaos, it can be very hard to get into the right mindset to take care of the other areas on this list: cooking, meal planning, homeschooling, decorating, etc. All of these things (and more) are affected when your home is in ruins. You don’t want to do them because your mind is in stress mode when your home isn’t clean. Keeping a clean home is a ministry to your family. And in order to keep it clean, it takes creating schedules and systems customized to work for you and your own family. It can take time to find the right schedule that will work for your own personality and situation. But pushing forward and trying different things will allow you to seek out and find the perfect cleaning system that you can incorporate into your own home management plan.
While you might lump together laundry with cleaning, it really is an entirely separate area when it comes to home management. The schedules and laundry systems that you put into place are an entirely different method than that of your cleaning schedules. But they are just as important when managing a home. Because ensuring that your family has clean and well-kept clothing to wear can greatly impact the moral of the whole household. But it can be all-too-easy for laundry to get piled up and out of hand. Which is why setting up a laundry schedule and systems for getting your laundry done efficiently and effectively is so important for household management.
Perhaps some of you would argue that home organization and decorating (or even cleaning) are in the same category of home management. However, I’m of the belief that they are completely different areas. The reason being that they need a completely different set of skills and planning in order to accomplish. Organization is a skill and for some of us it doesn’t come naturally (for others it does). But it’s really an essential part of managing a home. Without organization, your home can quickly meet chaos, and when that happens your family can find themselves stress out and unaware of what the problem even is. When your husband can’t find a certain tool or your kids don’t know where their toys are, it can create an underlying stress in the environment of your home. The source of it can be subtle, but the impact of taking the time to organize your home can be great. Which is why home organization is an essential and key aspect to home management.
Paper & Information Management
I’ll admit that when I was putting this list of key home management areas together, I was tempted to group paper & information management with the organization area. And in a lot of ways they do fit into the same category. However, the reason I decided that paper & information management needed it’s own category is because it’s a HUGE part of organizing your household, and one that a lot of people find themselves stressed out by. Plus, it needs an entirely different kind of system all of it’s own in order to be managed well. Paper can quickly overtake your home and your life. And it can be hard to figure out how to organize all of your family’s information in an efficient way. However, here are a lot of ways that you can organize your family’s paperwork & information (from paperless options to traditional filing systems). But no matter which method you choose, it’s essential to the management of your home that you come up with systems that will keep paperwork and your family’s information under control and organized. So you can easily find what you need, when you need it.
Home management is a big job, but an essential one!
The managing of your household should not be overlooked, and yet it often is. Because it’s such a big job and can seem so overwhelming, a lot of people bury their heads in the sand and forgo the planning and management of their homes altogether. But doing so doesn’t make the job go away, it just makes for a bigger job later on.
So take the time to review, plan for, and set up systems for each of the home management areas we’ve discussed. Doing this will help you and your family’s home to be more well-oiled and stress-free as you navigate this crazy fun life together.