There’s a lot that goes into home management, especially if you have a family with kids.
I used to be terrible at it.
I would let dirty dishes sit on the counter for days, the laundry hamper would be overflowing, and it took hours of cleaning if we wanted our home to be presentable for guests.
When I became a stay at home mom, I decided to start taking my home management skills seriously. I wanted my house to look and feel amazing!
So I worked hard to develop systems to keep the messy house in check.
While my home is far from perfect, it is now a much more pleasant place to be, and I’m not horribly embarrassed if friends stop by unannounced.
What is Home Management?
Home (or household) management is the the task of maintaining all the tasks that come with living in a house and taking care of the people who live there.
It includes things like laundry, cleaning, organizing, cooking, budgeting, shopping, and so much more.
Whether you live alone, with your husband and kids, or with roommates, every home is managed in some fashion. It might be managed very poorly or with total excellence. You might manage it all by yourself or take care of it cooperatively. Maybe you split the tasks evenly with those you live with.
A well-managed home is a gift to yourself and to your family. It’s so much more pleasant and peaceful to go through life knowing that your home is in order and things are taken care of. Putting systems and routines in place in each of the following areas will free you to focus on the things that are truly important!
How to Manage a Home Effectively
In order to get good at home management, you’ll need to put systems and routines in place so that everything in the house runs smoothly without too much thought or effort.
The reason that houses get overly messy and disorganized is because there is no plan in place to return things to order.
Messes happen even in the homes of the most organized and tidy people out there. The reason that things don’t get out of control is that those people have systems to manage the chaos. There’s a plan in place to get the mess cleaned up.
If you only clean, do laundry or organize when you feel like it, you will never have a well manged home. You need to have a plan and gain the home management skills to stick to it.
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(Do you have piles of paper and clutter everywhere around your house? Do you feel like you’re always behind and never have time to do things that you love? April and Eric at LearnDoBecome are ready to teach you a better way in their FREE training, How to Stop Drowning in Piles.)
The following is a brief overview of all the areas of a home that need tending to on a regular basis. Each item has an action step that you can put into motion quickly and easily to set you on the path towards a well-managed home.
9 Components of a Well-Managed Home
1. The Family Calendar
First and foremost, everyone needs to be getting to where they need to go and at the correct time. Doctor visits, hair appointments, sports practices, lunch dates, you must have one spot to keep track of it all. Nothing will make you feel like a failure more than when you stand somebody up when you said you would meet them.
ACTION STEP: Get a calendar. It can be a digital version that you share with your spouse, or you can keep a physical calendar on the wall where everyone can see it. Write all of your appointments down in it as soon as you make them! Don’t forget to review your calendar at the beginning of each week to see what’s coming up.
2. Meal Planning
An important part of home management is figuring out meals. You want to avoid that sinking feeling of realizing that it’s 6 PM and you have no idea what’s to feed everyone for dinner.
Meal planning doesn’t take much time, but it will save you tons of money and stress throughout the week.
ACTION STEP: Set a reminder on your phone for each evening to decide what is for dinner the next day.
It’s easy for laundry to get out of control if you don’t have a clear system in place to manage this part of your home. It doesn’t matter how you get it done, but you do need a plan.
You might choose to…
- Wash, dry, fold and put away a load every single day
- Have a designated laundry day once a week
- Do laundry by type: sheets on Monday, darks on Wednesday, lights on Friday, etc.
or any combination of the above!
ACTION STEP: Commit to doing a load of laundry every day this week. Don’t knock it ’til you try it! If you don’t like it, you can find a new system to follow. But do a load every day first.
House cleaning isn’t a fun aspect of home management, but it’s necessary every now and then. Some tasks will need to be done more often than others, so I recommend keeping track of your cleaning so that you know exactly what you need to do and when it needs to get done.
ACTION STEP: Download the printable chore chart designed to keep cleaning simple for busy families.
5. Decluttering and Organizing
Managing all of the “stuff” that comes into our homes is an important part of keeping a house running smoothly. This might be a long process if you have a lot of stuff, and it never really ends. You should always be in the habit of going through and eliminating items that you no longer need or want.
ACTION STEP: Set a reminder to declutter and organize one small area of your home each week. Think no bigger than a drawer or a shelf. It might not seem like much, but after a year, you’ll have organized 52 places!
6. Daily Tasks
Apart from the home management tasks listed above, you’ll also need to figure out a way to get routine daily tasks accomplished. This might include things like:
- Washing dishes
- Caring for pets
- Picking up toys
- General tidying
- Watering plants
- Making beds
- Dealing with the mail
If you take care of daily tasks regularly, you’ll find that the mess never really gets so out of control. It really cuts down on the overwhelm!
ACTION STEP: Choose one daily task and decide when you’ll do it each day. Rather than pick a specific time, aim to make your bed right after you get out of the shower, or to have the kids pick up toys right before they eat lunch.
7. Administrative Tasks
In order for a home to run smoothly, someone has to make sure the electric bill gets paid and the field trip permission slip gets signed.
If you have papers scattered everywhere around the house and your email inbox has 6539 unread messages, you need a better system.
I process my email inbox regularly and I have a designated spot to keep papers that need my attention. The free training, How to Stop Drowning in Piles taught me how!
ACTION STEP: Commit to sorting through the mail each day when it comes in, and designate a spot (besides the kitchen counter!) to put papers that require action.
8. Organize Your To-Do List
When you manage a household, there are bound to be tasks that pop up that don’t really fit into the categories listed here. Things like planning a child’s birthday party or a vacation, getting the oil changed, fixing the leaky faucet, creating an annual family photobook, etc.
Tasks like these are hard to get to because they are rarely urgent. But we need to get them done at some point, so they loom over us like a dark cloud for weeks and months until they finally do become urgent.
I was FINALLY able to stop procrastinating on projects like these when I found an amazing system from LearnDoBecome. April and Eric show you the simple process of how to organize your to do list so that you will never procrastinate again.
ACTION STEP: Watch the free video that will get your life and your home whipped into shape!
9. Delegate Home Tasks
Unfortunately, home management tasks usually fall to the woman of the house. It’s not fair, and I hope that over time we can change our culture so that this is no longer the case.
But for the time being, it’s important to know that even if you’re stuck with managing all of the home tasks, you do not have to actually do all of the home tasks.
You are not your family’s maid or cook or anything else. Each person in your family can be responsible and contributing members of the household.
You and your spouse can work out some sort of system for evening chores. Maybe you can cook dinner and he cleans up. Then you tidy the house while he puts the kids to bed. It doesn’t matter how you divide and conquer, just that you communicate clearly what you’re going to do.
Train the kids from an early age to participate in household chores. An 18 month old can help you put wet clothes into the dryer. A 3 year old can fold wash cloths. An 8 year old can do their own laundry and cook simple meals.
It takes more effort on the front end, but it’s so worth it when your home keeps running without you slaving away, doing every single thing yourself.As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Melinda worked with children for years in a professional setting before becoming a full-time stay at home mom. She currently has three young children, and enjoys sharing tips and ideas about parenting and how to manage a home with excellence. She’s been featured on Heathline and Her View From Home.