I think most of us would agree that having good homemaking skills is one of the things that sets apart the Proverbs 31 woman. We talked before about the need to develop your homemaking skills in order to do your husband or future husband good. From reading the description in Proverbs 31, it is easy to get the impression that the Proverbs 31 woman worked non-stop from (before) dawn until (at least) dark. Is that the impression you get? If so, keep reading! We’re going to talk about 4 simple ways to improve your homemaking skills and whether or not the Proverbs 31 woman can ever rest!!
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Developing Homemaking Skills
At this point, you may be thinking, “The last thing I need to hear right now is that I need to be doing more. My to-do list is already a mile long, and I can’t take on any more right now!” I think this is a common feeling in our day and age. We live such fast-paced lives, trying to live the picture-perfect lives that we feel like so many are living, and instead making things so much worse because we take on more than we can manage. Sound familiar? The reason I know this is that I have done it. It’s still a tendency I have if I’m not careful.
What we’re going to talk about is not just another item to add to your to-do list. It’s more of a way of life. Think about it. Homemaking is already a part of each of our lives. There are dishes to wash, people to be fed, and the layer of dust and dirt that we try to keep at bay before it settles again. Yes, housework is there, and we might as well face it. But let’s do more than that!! I want us to get past the acceptance phase and actually embrace our God-given calling! Instead of just adding more things to the to-do list, let’s talk about some simple ways to develop your homemaking skills and enjoy the process.
Does She Ever Rest?
Before I talk about 4 ways you can develop your homemaking skills and make them a part of your life, let’s talk about the Proverbs 31 woman for just a minute. Does she make you tired when you just think about her much less try to be her? Did you know that the Proverbs 31 woman is not an actual woman? She is a pattern or a description of a godly woman. Not only that, but the Bible does not say that she does this whole list all at once! No, I think that it talks about the different phases of life and rolls them all into one description.
What we know about the Proverbs 31 woman is that her home is her castle. She makes it a haven for her family. I think that this can be done without running ourselves ragged. The key is to incorporate systems and routines that help homemaking become natural. Then, you can have a peaceful environment where you can actually enjoy resting. And yes, you should still have plenty of time to rest! Resting does not come naturally to some of us, but it is an important part of life. God calls us to rest just as much as He calls us to work. So, let’s get to creating that restful environment!!
4 Homemaking Skills to Practice
Pick Up After Yourself
To me, picking up after yourself makes or breaks your homemaking routine. And notice, it’s not really something you have to add to your to-do list. It’s a habit to develop. If you leave things laying around continually, your home will look messy no matter how much you clean. This was a huge struggle for me for many years. I would try to change my bad habits, and it just. didn’t. work. This made me very frustrated and discouraged.
I hope to do a full post on this topic later on (are you interested?), but I’ll keep it short today. Although I still have not mastered the art of picking up after myself, I can say that with God’s help I have come a long way. And I’ll tell you in a nutshell what I did.
- The first thing that I did was to put up a sticky note. I put it on the cabinet door in my bathroom so that I would see it every time I was in there. Not only that, but I would say it aloud to myself nearly every time I went in there as a reminder. The note said, “Clean my room and pick up after myself.” I would usually add, “By God’s grace.” For it is only in His strength that we can change our habits. Other than taking that note down when company came over, I left it up for months. And I can truly say that it changed my life.
- The second thing I did was to add “Straightening” into my habit tracker. It was a reminder to me to pick up my area of the couch at night before I go to bed. Having that daily reminder helps to make it a routine part of my life.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Learning to pick up after yourself decreases the amount of necessary cleaning. If it becomes habitual to put things away when you are through with them or before you go to bed, then the house will stay more picked up.
Some of you reading this may have chronic illnesses and feel like you are limited in what you can do to help clean up. If you can even put away your own things, this helps a lot. I know this from experience. There was a time when my health was such that taking care of my own things was nearly all I could do to contribute to a clean house. But it still helps! Doing what you can will make things easier for others and encourage your family.
I think this little dollhouse needs a cleaning schedule!
Have a Cleaning Schedule
Even when you pick up after yourself, there is still cleaning that has to be done. It’s just much easier because there isn’t so much clutter to put away and move. I think that a schedule makes things easier. This is especially true if you have a chronic illness and are limited on energy or if you just want to make your life more simple.
We used to try to clean the whole house one day a week. But we have since learned that this is not the best method for us. What actually works better is to assign certain tasks to certain days. For example, one day is dusting day, one day you wash the sheets on a bed, 2 times a week (Wednesday and Saturday) the house gets vacuumed, etc. Rather than having a strenuous cleaning day each week, it only takes a little bit of time each day to do the daily housework.
If you do try to develop a cleaning schedule, take it gradual. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to make a big change all at once. Make one little change and get used to that before taking the next step. And it’s possible that your schedule may not look the same as ours. Practice making changes and find out what works best for you and your family. Then stick with it!
For those of you who have health struggles and can’t be involved in the actual housework, maybe you could help make the schedule. You could give your input on a schedule that seems to fit for your family and be the one to write it down or type it up. If you are able to do a job or two, discuss that and put your task into the schedule.
Make a Cozy Atmosphere
There is more involved in the home atmosphere than making things clean and tidy. This is where the fun comes in!! Simple touches can be added that make things more restful. You don’t have to put these things on your to-do list. Just enjoy doing them when you find yourself with a spare minute.
Things that make home more cozy include turning on peaceful music, lighting a candle, picking a bouquet of flowers or leaves, and so much more! Another thing that affects the home atmosphere is our attitudes. Even if you aren’t able to do anything else on this list, each one of us can work on our attitude. Taking the time to smile and be cheerful makes home life so much more pleasant.
And on the note of having a good attitude, let’s talk about our attitudes toward homemaking. It’s easy to serve out of duty rather than serving with gladness. But you know what, easy isn’t always best! Homemaking is an important, God-given part of our lives. Let’s learn to embrace it and enjoy it! This may sound hard if housework is not your favorite, but I firmly believe that this mindset switch can be achieved with the Lord’s help.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Let me give you a few tips on how to enjoy homemaking:
- Make it a time for you to think through things and process what is going on in your life. You could also spend some time in prayer while you work.
- Focus on what you are doing. Enjoy watching the transformation as you make a dirty, overwhelming space into a comfortable haven.
- Listen to something. It might be your audio Bible, music, or a podcast. I don’t recommend doing this every time since you want to learn to be present and enjoy what you are doing, but I think it’s a good way to multitask sometimes.
- Work with a family member and visit. Or even if they aren’t working then, you could still have a conversation with whoever is around.
So, there’s a few practical ways for you to work on your homemaking skills to do your husband or future husband good today. Which one will you work on? Do you have trouble picking up after yourself? Maybe you could take one area of the home and try to keep it tidy every day for a week. I highly recommend the sticky note method!
Maybe you are already a tidy person and just need a better cleaning routine. Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t have to figure it out all at once to start. Whatever you incorporate, try to do it with pleasure, and do your part to create a peaceful, welcoming atmosphere in your home for your family.
If you want to see more posts on practical ways to live a simple life as a Proverbs 31 woman, then sign up and I’ll be in touch!
What is your best homemaking tip? Have you found things that help you to enjoy it more?
Until next time, embrace whatever form of homemaking you’re able to do, and do it with joy!