Monday, March 21, 2016

Five Habits for Great Homemaking

I would be the last person anywhere to claim that I am a perfect homemaker! In fact, the reason I began this blog was so I could focus on improving my homemaking and mothering skills, so I keep trying to be a little better every day. 

As I was cooking breakfast this morning, I pondered on the reasons some days in my homemaking-mothering life work better than others. The following is a personal list of what helps me feel better about my efforts in my home. I hope it might bless someone else today, too!

1. Spend time with God each morning.

This step is absolutely crucial for me in order to have the best day possible! There are times when I have been grumpy with my children, when my self-esteem drags, and I want to throw a full-blown pity-party.

Without fail, it is those days when I have not spent time in the scriptures and in prayer with God. Somehow, when I reach up to heaven in the morning-- even for just a little while-- my entire day is filled with more hope, and I become more calm, centered, and patient. The grace that my time with my Creator gives me is miraculous! Our Father in Heaven is always with us, just waiting for us to ask His help. And without fail, He has always given heavenly assistance to me.

2. Plan out your day

The old adage of "She who fails to plan, plans to fail," is painfully TRUE! This is a step that I struggle with, as I enjoy spontaneity. But if I wish to make some tangible strides in my home, I MUST make a plan.

A plan can be as simple as a to-do list, or as elaborate as filling out a daily planner or smartphone application. The important part is to sit down, ponder on the tasks of the day, and record what needs to be accomplished.

The fun element of this habit, is that we can then CHECK OFF items from our daily list! (I have been known to even write things on my list that I have already completed, just so I can experience the thrill of marking the task as FINISHED.)

Ahhh... feels good!!!

3. Get dressed in your homemaking uniform

There are various schools of thought in the department of how a homemaker should dress. I am a lady who likes to wear skirts. If it's a deep cleaning day, I go with a demin skirt. If I am moving furniture or carrying large loads, I have opted to wear my exercise pants, but those days are rare.

This decision is very personal to me, and I expound more on the topic here. But for this article, I just want you to think about what you put on when you mean business in accomplishing your homemaking goals. (If you are a follower of FlyLady, then you know she is passionate about "dressing to the shoes." You can find out more about "dressing to the shoes" here. As for me, I am a Happy Hobbit who operates best in bare feet.)

So, get dressed in whatever YOU consider to be your most effective "homemaking uniform," and begin your day with a smile. 
"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"!

4. Wear an apron

Some might think this habit belongs within the "homemaking uniform" habit, but I am here to preach a little bit as to the virtues of wearing an apron. 

I found the following list on the old "Hillbilly Housewife" blog, though I can no longer find the original post. (You can find more of her thoughts on wearing aprons here.)

Apron Wisdom

I don’t think our kids know what an apron is.
  • The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
  • It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears..
  • From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
  • When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
  • And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.
  • Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
  • Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
  • From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
  • After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
  • In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
  • When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
  • When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the menfolks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
 It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.
I really adore wearing an apron. ♥ I feel like I can face the day with whatever comes, as long as I am wearing my apron. I can do all the things listed above and more!

In my opinion, the most important features of the best aprons include having a nice, big pocket in front, they are made of a strong, sturdy fabric, like denim, and they should either be pretty, or at least feel comfortable.

For images and patterns of aprons I love, check out my "Apron love" Pinterest board.

5. Put on some inspiring music or an enlightening podcast.

"If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.” ~Shinichi Suzuki
I love all kinds of music! But I know that I can think more clearly, and aspire to become a better homemaker, teacher, mother, and person, when I listen to inspiring, classical music.

I realize that it may not be the case for everyone, but it works that way for me. This morning, as a pot was boiling on the stove, I tied my apron around my waist, and put on some songs by Franz Schubert. (Who also happens to be our homeschool's composer for this term; two birds with one stone! Woot!) My mind felt enlightened, and I knew I would have a wonderful day. In fact, the music I was listening to inspired me to finally sit down and write this blog post today.

Whenever we do our family chores, my children always ask to listen to music. They work faster and harder to music they can sing or dance along with. Some of our best family memories have been created during these times.

Good, inspiring music is a powerful tool in a homemaker's arsenal. There are also some really great podcasts that make the time cleaning and working pass by pleasantly. Some of my favorites include:


I am so excited!!! I plan to start an Old-Fashioned Motherhood podcast very soon. I look forward to chatting with you! I would love to hear some suggested topics that interest my readers here on the blog.

What would YOU like to hear on an OFM podcast? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

Check back for the podcast soon! 

What makes YOUR days great?

I'd love to know what helps you have a successful day in your homes and with your families! Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I look forward to reading your responses.

Here's to having a great day, which will lead to a wonderful month, and then to an awesome year! 

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