Updated: Oct 22
June 19, 2023
With the busyness of school days done, my children and I have settled into a gentler, more relaxed rhythm of summer. We are enjoying more play time at home and adventures beyond our home. I have also greatly delighted in bringing my home back into a state of order and beauty with some extra cleaning, decluttering, and decorating.
There is a delicate balance to creating a beautiful space that my family loves and enjoys and focusing on intangibles such as relationships. Where this balance, the tenuous act between diligence in the home and engaging with children, lies, may be different for each family, and each family must pursue wisdom from God.
Keeping priorities in the right place is important. Now is not the time for me to go overboard in decorating my home though my mental wheels are ever turning to what could be done there. Eventually my children will fly the coop, and I do not want to look back with regret over wasted opportunities.
Home is the best place to be. In our perfection-driven world, it’s easy to think that our homes have to be perfect in order for it to be the best place.
Home is not about perfection. Home is about people and process: the people we love and are surrounded by on a daily basis and the process of caring and nurturing for our unique spaces. Neither the people nor the processes in our homes will be perfect, and the sooner we come to embrace the imperfections in our homes, the sooner we can relax and learn gratitude for what we have.
Learning to cherish the people in our homes is a key element to home life. People are more precious than things, and I do not doubt that statement will be tested over the years as some of my treasures will probably be broken by my little people. I hope that I remember to value relationships above stuff when the damage happens.
Although home is not about achieving perfection, the longer I work in my home as a homemaker I am convinced of the importance of establishing processes in my home. If I do not have processes in place to keep and maintain my home, my home will become a dirty, unpleasant place to be.
Processes do not have to be complicated, and honestly the simpler the process we create for maintaining our homes, the more manageable homemaking will be. For me personally, the simpler a process is, the more success I have at completing necessary tasks.
This summer one of my main goals for my children has been to establish a habit of helping around the house every day. We simply call this “chore time.” I set my phone timer for 15 minutes, and we get as much done around the house as possible. Some days we do our usual cleaning chores like vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, and then some days we do special chores like wipe down the walls in the bathroom, scrub the back of the stair treads, or cleaning up the toys scattered around the backyard. The main point of emphasis is not necessarily following some fancy chore chart or list of things to do, but rather my goal is getting my children into the habit of helping around the house every single day.
Another process that I am honing in my own personal homemaking is the importance of taking care of tasks immediately. I am notorious for setting an object down and not dealing with that object for days or even weeks. Then tasks or objects begin to literally pile up until a point of agitated frustration sets in. I am trying to train myself to deal with every object fully and completely at the time that I physically handle it. Even in the last week, I have noticed a difference in the tidiness of my home and my overall attitude has been more peaceful and settled.
Another lesson that I am finally learning about the process of homemaking is the importance of doing a little bit each day. I used to think that if I couldn’t complete a task in one chunk of time, then I was a failure. For example, I used to think, “I have to plant my entire garden in one day” or “I have to clean the whole house in one day.” When I couldn’t complete such large tasks in one day, I quickly became discouraged.
I am slowly learning that whittling away at tasks a little at a time brings greater results in the long run. By breaking large tasks down into more manageable chunks, I do not tire as quickly and can accomplish more in shorter, focused bursts of effort.
One of the greatest homemaking lessons that I have learned is the simple statement “prevention is better than correction.” While you might think it strange to apply this principle to home keeping, this simple principle helps me keep my home cleaner and tidier. For example, if I can prevent muddy handprints from touching the wall, I do not have to correct the situation by wiping the walls. If I deal with every piece of mail immediately that comes into my home, I do not have to correct a pile of junk mail.
Teaching my children to be neat and clean in my home has played a tremendous part in keeping our home clean. We have a rule not to touch walls, windows, or cabinets (except by the knobs). Such rules may seem unkind, but in reality, we are setting our children up for success by teaching them how to care for their surroundings.
The rug might not look clean, but it's way cleaner than it was!
In the last few weeks, I have been working to clean and spruce up the back patio area which I have decided will be “mom’s nice area.” For those of you with children, you understand the need for creating “disaster-free” zones where we as adults can abide with minimal chaos and dirt.
After spending quite some time hand-scrubbing my outdoor rug and concrete patio, I very kindly announced to my children, “Mommy would like to keep this space nice. Please do not bring your toys onto this rug or drag a lot of dirt onto the rug.” My children have been respectful of my admonition, and in fact, they have enjoyed playing in that space. My daughter even told me that “Mommy’s patio area” is her house.
My point is that I created a kind but firm boundary and set an expectation to treat an area with respect and care. I do not feel guilty for creating this boundary for my children, and they are learning the value of respecting other people’s wishes and treating the things that God has given us with care.
Once again, I feel like this post turned out to be more of me sharing my thoughts behind homemaking instead of a cutesy décor reveal. There’s a plethora of amazing design blogs out there, many of which have inspired me, but I just seem drawn to helping people develop a right mental framework instead of just giving design tips.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing a little of my home in the summer, yet most importantly, I hope that you enjoy YOUR home this summer! May your home be a peaceful, beautiful place for the people who reside there, and may the thoughtful processes you have set up keep your home humming contentedly.
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