Are you frantically cleaning before company comes over? Do you consistently miss appointments or run late for events?
If this sounds like you, I have some awesome home management tips to help!
Managing a home can seem like a full time job! From keeping the house tidy, scheduling appointments, paying bills, fixing and maintaining appliances, etc., there is always something that needs to be done!
It may be very overwhelming, especially if you have kids constantly making a mess or if you do not have a home management system in place.
The best thing about a home management system is that it is completely customizable. You can tailor it to your needs and priorities.
I find that since establishing a home management system, my home runs much more smoothly. I am much more relaxed..and like the saying goes “when mama is happy, everyone is happy”.
Why You Should Use A Home Management System
You should be using a home management system because it takes the stress and chaos out of your life. Without being organized, tasks, appointments and people will fall through the cracks.
Adding in a process for your daily and weekly tasks will help your home, finances, meals, and family members stay organized and well taken care of.
How a Home Management System will Make You Feel
An effective home management system should make you feel at ease. You will watch not only your home, but your entire life go from chaotic and crazy to structured and manageable.
You will feel as if a weight has been lifted off your chest. No more frantically cleaning when company comes over or sorting through baskets of laundry to find someone a clean shirt!
Good home management requires having a vision for how you want things to be
Establishing a good home management system requires you to have a vision for how you want your home to run.
What are your top priorities? What things must be done daily to keep your home from being chaotic? Can you assign other family members tasks to help lighten your load?
These are some questions to ask yourself when creating the vision for your home.
What is Home Management All About?
Home management is a practical and efficient way of running your home.
It is about optimizing your time so that you aren’t spinning your wheels trying to figure out what to do next, when your appointments are, forgetting that you have a load of laundry in the washer, etc.
Top Home Management Tips That Are Actually Manageable
So now we know all the benefits of a well managed home, but how do we actually keep that way? For me, I know it has to be manageable or I will get overwhelmed.
I am a big to do list type of gal. I love being able to check off the things I’ve completed. I think it is helpful to break the tasks into categories of daily, weekly, monthly,etc.
1. To Do Lists
Daily: These tasks should be the basic tasks that it takes to keep your home running smoothly on a daily basis. For me, these will typically be cleaning type tasks.
Weekly: These tasks should be things like grocery shopping, bill paying and meal planning. I like to think of these as my more “administrative tasks”. I prefer to knock all of these tasks out at once.
Monthly: These are the type of tasks that I like to reserve for the weekend where everyone can pitch in and help.
2. Cleaning Checklists
– Daily Chores
- Run a load of laundry, fold and put away
- Wipe down the kitchen after dinner
- Make the beds
- Wash dishes
- Tidy up the living room
- Run the vacuum in highly traveled areas
- Pick up any out of place items
- Change linens
- Clean bathrooms
- Take out the trash
- Clean mirrors and windows
- Mow the lawn
– Monthly Chores
- Dust fans
- Clean baseboards
- Clean out the fridge
- Clean mirrors
- Clean microwave
- Run a clean cycle on the coffee maker
- Run the washer with a bit of vinegar and hot water
- Clean out the pantry
- Clean out closets
- Wash comforters/quilts
- Change out vent filters
- Vacuum Couches
-Seasonal Chore Checklists (Spring, Winter, Summer)
- Clean vents and change filters
- Clean the fire place in the fall before use
- Baseboards and moldings
- Clean the grill and outdoor furniture in the spring
- Deep clean the oven
Keeping track of everyone’s schedule can be overwhelming.
Before I had a system in place, I would keep track of some things in my phone and some in my planner. I had to make sure and develop a system that worked for my family.
I absolutely love this family calendar by Jaimee Campanella for keeping track of everything.
I’ve tried others, but there never ends up being enough space to write in what I need. Sure those acrylic calendars look beautiful, but they’re just not functional!
This 4 feet long calendar as all the space that I need to write in more details, times, etc.
When I make an appointment or plans, I make sure to add it to my calendar. If I am not home, I will put it in my phone and then when I get home, I will add it to my big calendar.
You can use different colored dry erase markers for different family members or activities.
4. Meal Planning & Prepping
Meal planning and prepping is so important to having a well running home. Meal time, especially dinner, is probably my favorite time of day.
Sitting down with my family over a meal and talking about the day is so precious to me.
When it comes to meal planning, I prefer to plan our meals out a week at a time, but feel free to do whatever works best for your family.
I will look at the calendar for the week and see how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners I need to plan. Some days you may have a play date during lunch or practice in the evening.
It is important to be able to plan around those times so you aren’t scrambling.
Another thing I like to do is get suggestions from my family members, this way everyone feels included and it takes stress off of me from coming up with every single meal.
I like to keep index cards with our favorite meals on them when we seem to be in a rut.
After I have the meals written out, I will start writing out my grocery list. I take inventory of what we have and what we need more of.
I always keep on hand easy things like bread, peanut butter, lunch meat etc in case anything pops up through out the week.
When it comes to meal prep, my method depends on what our menu looks like for the week.
I like to make sure and wash all of the fruit and veggies that I have purchased for the week. If I have some veggies that I know won’t go bad if chopped up (like peppers, onions, lettuce) so that they are ready to go.
You can always cook full meals ahead of time, but I prefer to have everything ready to go and cook it the day of.
I love adding in casseroles and crockpot meals to my menu, because they are usually very easy to just dump in and go.
When it comes to budgeting every family is different. Knowing where my money is going is very important to me, so this type of home management task came very easily.
There are lots of ways to keep track of your budget. You can do anything from a pen and paper, to a spread sheet or a nifty app!
My biggest tip for budgeting would be to sit down and figure out what you want to save and what the essentials are. I like to pay off all the essentials- things like rent/mortgage, insurance, utilities, phones, car payments things like that.
When I see what I have left over, I put most of that into savings. Then, the remainder can be spending money like for groceries, days out, etc..
Groceries is an essential, but can be a little more flexible depending on what you have to buy. If you are on a tighter budget maybe consider stores like Aldi that have great options at a lower price.
Last move onto budgeting for clothes and fun things.
6. Organizing System
Space Saving Solutions for a Small House
If you are living in a small space, it is important to optimize the space you have and use it wisely.
The first task is to purge the items you don’t need. This process can be hard for some, but it is a great feeling to get rid of the clutter.
After getting rid of the clutter, consider some of these organization hacks!
- Utilize the back of the door with hanging organizers
- Use hanging baskets for fruit
- Install shelving
- Find furniture with storage options
- Utilize bed raisers
- Use wire shelves for cabinets to add 2 levels of space
7. Create Routines
Consistency is key when it comes to routines. When everyone knows what is next, it takes the guess work out of everything.
My family thrives on routine and when we are out of sync it really takes a toll on everyone.
School mornings can be hard because it may feel like there are a million things to do and only a limited number of hands. I have made it a habit to get things prepped the night before.
Lunches are a huge one for me. Even if it is only making sure your containers are out and your fruits/veggies washed, you are already ahead of the game.
Another great idea is to have your kiddos pick out their clothes the night before. This allows them to have a say so in what they are wearing and prevents those melt downs that seem to happen when they are sleepy.
If you have a little girl or girls, talk about hair before bed too. This way, everyone is on the same page with expectations.
Bed time routines can be a cluster mess, especially if you lack a routine. Something I like to do with my kids is set an alarm.
The alarm will go off at 7 pm on week nights and 8 pm on weekends. When they hear the alarm, they know it is time to get ready for bed.
We do baths/showers at night so while one is getting clean, the other is brushing teeth, picking out pajamas and clothes for the next day. Then they flip flop and do what the other kiddo just completed.
You might have to trial and error this to find what works best for your family, but having an established routine for bed time is a must.
When my kiddos are on a routine, they are a lot less likely to have melt downs because they know what to expect!
8. Create a Home Management Binder
Home management binders are often an overlooked tool in the business of managing a home. I think this is because it is easy to overcomplicate what should be in a home management binder.
You want to have a home management binder because it helps keep down all of the paper clutter. Here are the essentials for a home management binder (in no particular order):
- Important/Emergency contacts
- Important documents
- Chore lists
- Meal planning menus
- Cleaning to-do lists and schedules
- Home maintenance list
What are the Principles of Home Management?
There are several principals of home management I want to discuss. When followed, each principal is designed to propel your family forward into having a successfully managed home.
- Plan- Making a plan and sticking to the plan is the best way to stay on track.
- Organize– Organize yourself for success. Get your home in order and keep yourself organized with a planner!
- Leadership– You are the leader in this area of your family. Wear that badge with pride and lead your family well!
- Help– Empower your family to help you! This is a great time to bond with your family by working together
Improving Your Home Management Skills
Skills take time to develop, some people are naturally better at certain things than others.
Developing a home management system may be challenging for you, and THAT’S OKAY! Good things take time.
You may fall off the wagon a few times, but get back up and keep going.
What are the Benefits of a Well Managed Home?
Having a well managed home will bring you peace of mind and a clear direction of what needs to be done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
I love knowing that my home, finances, food and most importantly family is well taken care of. Establishing a home management system will take so much guess work out of what the next task should be.
You will finally kick that “walls closing in” feeling to the curb and be confident in your ability to take care of your family.
What does Household Management Really Mean?
Household management basically refers to all the various tasks and chores that are related to organizing and maintaining your household. It is all about looking after your home and your family.
Using Phone Apps to Manage Your Home
Utilizing apps is a great way to keep away the paper clutter that lots of lists can create. I think it is a great idea to use the technology that is out there to help manage your home.
- Grocery: I really like the app AnyList for groceries. You can add another person to the list (like your spouse) and add items to the list all week as you remember!
- S’moresUp: This app is great for managing the chore list for your family.
- Choreful: This app literally makes chores into a game/competition for every member of your family! It’s a great way to get kids to step up.
- EverNote: This app is wonderful for keeping track of notes and to do lists.
- EveryDollar: I love this app for simplifying our budget. Very easy to set up and manage.
Getting Your Home Clean
Learning How to Clean
This is an important one! Learning how to clean.. not everyone grew up cleaning or had someone teach them how to clean.
Sometimes cleaning can be overwhelming, there is a lot to do and you may be asking yourself..where do I even start?
I prefer cleaning room by room.
I will pick a room, usually the least messy. I do this because I need to feel accomplished to keep going.
If I choose the messiest room first, I know I will want to give up. Here is how I break it down to keep from getting overwhelmed.
- Pick up all of the trash and remove from the room
- Pick up everything from the floor and put it in the room in which it belongs (don’t worry about putting it away for now, remember one thing at a time)
- Straighten up the room try to get items that belong in the room in their place
- Sweep/Vacuum/Mop (whichever applies to the room)
- Wipe down surfaces
Teaching How to Clean
Teaching other family members how to clean and how YOU want them to clean is important to make sure the expectations are clear for everyone.
Assigning children tasks that are age appropriate is the best way to teach them to clean.
I start teaching my kiddos to clean when they are toddlers. Children enjoy the sense of responsibility and encouragement they get for a job well done.
One of the biggest tips ever given to me is: If you give a 5 year old a job, expect the job to be done like a 5 year old did it.
Keep your expectations reasonable for your children, they are just learning! If you have a young child putting away silverware, expect some of them to be mismatched.
Related Post: Chore Ideas for a 4 Year Old
Including Your Family in Home Management
In my house, home management is a family affair. The beautiful part about including everyone is that you are teaching your children life skills by assigning them tasks.
You are instilling in them what a coordinated home looks like, which I think is amazing and so important.
Age Appropriate Chores for Kids: Choosing age appropriate chores for kiddos is important. We don’t want them to overwhelm them, but we also want to make sure they are challenged a little bit.
2-3 Year Olds
- Clean up books and toys
- Straighten up the bed
- Pick up trash
- Bring dirty clothes to the laundry room
- Help put away laundry
- Fold kitchen towels
- Clear the table
- Put away the dishes
- Sort Laundry
- Pull Weeds
- Take the sheets off beds
- Help put groceries away
- Make a snack
- Match Socks
6-9 Year Olds
- Hang/Fold/Put away laundry
- Help load the dishwasher
- Check the mail
- Clean their room
- Take out the trash
- Help with cooking
- Help pack lunches
- Water plants
10 & Up
- Load/Empty the dishwasher
- Bring trash cans to the curb
- Start laundry and move laundry to the dryer
- Mop the floor
- Dust delicate items
- Feed/Water the animals
- Poo clean up in the back yard
- Clean toilets and showers
House Cleaning Tips
There are some general home maintenance items that need to be taken care of from time to time that may seem daunting. Luckily, in the 21st century there are lots of resources that we can pull from to figure out how to do lots of different things.
Solutions for Clutter: Utilize your space wisely, and get rid of things you don’t use or need!
I am one of those people that likes to do a purge every few months to down on clutter. I really like these cube organizers for toys and this hanging organizer for closets!
Cleaning a Ceiling Fan
Cleaning a ceiling fan can be tricky, especially if they are high or caked with dust. Learn how to clean ceiling fans!
Cleaning Window Tracks
Window tracks are often an overlooked place to clean, but they can get pretty yucky, especially if you have your windows open often. Learn how to clean window tracks!
How to Keep A Glass Shower Clean
Most people don’t know that they should be using a squeegee on their glass shower door. Get one and use it after every shower!
Clean the Dryer Vent
Cleaning out the dryer vent has always seemed like a big chore to me. Learn how to clean the dryer vent!
Full Arms In/Full Arms Out
This is the idea when moving room to room everyday: you have your arms full so that a trip is never wasted.
If you are moving from your room to the kitchen, look for items that need to go to the kitchen. Maybe it’s a bag of trash or some dishes. This was a trip is never wasted.
When you get everyone in the family in on this, it will make a huge difference for clutter.
Spending Time With Your Family
Family time should always be top priority.
The philosophy behind having a home management system is to declutter your life, optimize the time you spend on your home and maximize time with family.
Dealing with Paper Clutter
Paper clutter can be overwhelming. Between mail, paperwork and kids artwork it can really pile up.
Mail: The first thing that I like to do is to get rid of the spam mail. After I have that out of the way, I make sure to sort the mail into 2 piles. If it is something like a bank or credit card statement, I will put that in a pile to file. If it is something like a water bill or something that needs action I will put it in another pile. After filing/ putting away, I will go to my action pile and take care of everything that needs to be done.
Leave the action pile on a kitchen counter or somewhere that will be seen over and over so you don’t forget it. Better yet, take action on that bill or important notice right when you get it.
Kids Artwork Solutions: Kids artwork solutions can be tricky. My favorite solution is these storage boxes from Spot of Tea Designs Blog. They are very simple to make and I love the organization aspect.
Paperwork: In my family, we have an important things expandable folder. In that expandable we have things like titles to vehicles, social security cards, birth certificates, etc. We have this labeled so all paperwork is easy to find and readily available.
How do you Deal With Laundry?
Laundry is probably my least favorite task. It is overwhelming to me and I feel like before implementing my home management system I was drowning in laundry.
The best way that I have found to do laundry is to assign days for everything. You can alter this however you want/need to.
So for example:
- Monday: Linens
- Tuesday: Towels
- Wednesday: Kiddo
- Thursday: Kiddo
- Friday: Kiddo
- Saturday: Mom
- Sunday: Dad
Managing Outdoor and Garden Work
Managing outdoor and garden work is a very important task for the appearance of your home on the outside, but this chore can really be taxing.
Here are some practical tips for keeping up with your yard work. I recommend doing yard and garden work in the early morning or late evening in the summer months.
- Mow grass weekly
- Water in the morning or late evening
- Consider investing in weed control
- Have kiddos help pull weeds
- Trim bushes every few weeks
Prioritizing your Health
At the end of the day, your health is probably your most valuable asset. If you don’t take care of yourself, no one will.
The idea behind a home management system, is to take stress off of you, not add any! Make sure to make time for yourself, whatever that may look like.
For me, I really enjoy my morning workouts. That time is about the only time that I take for myself a day, and I am stingy with it!
I look forward to that time every day, where I can just get in the zone and forget about everything else.
Grocery shopping is one of those things that can take up a lot of time if you let it. I really like using grocery ordering apps for stores like Walmart, Aldi and Sprouts.
These apps save me a ton of time, and I don’t end up grabbing a bunch of random items which can quickly blow my grocery budget.
What if No One Manages the Home?
If no one manages the home, it is likely to be chaotic. Important upkeep tasks get missed or forgotten and overall you are likely to be more stressed and overwhelmed.
It is not healthy to live in a constant state of disarray and panic, and it certainly isn’t a good for your family either. The amazing thing about being a mom is we have the power to change those things.
We have the opportunity to change chaos into coordination and make our home a working well oiled machine.
Why is Home Management Overwhelming?
Home management doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but if you fail to plan you are planning to fail.
There is a lot of moving pieces to managing a home, and a single home management system is not a one size fits all. Just because one thing works for the Jones doesn’t mean it will work for the Smith family.
I think it’s important to remember that this is trial and error. Your management style will change and evolve with the needs of your family.
I think many times, we get stuck in our ways and don’t realize that we are actually getting in our own way by not adapting.
Overcoming Perfectionism to Get Things Done
Coming from a recovering perfectionist, it is okay if things are not perfect. I repeat: it is okay if it is not perfect! This was hard for me to let go.
I have in my mind a certain way things should be, and I would not stop until it was perfect. The older I have gotten, the more I have realized that if it won’t matter in 5 years then I can let it go.
This applies to a lot of different areas in life, but particularly here.
Ideas to Take the Pressure Off
Cut yourself some slack– you are only one person! If you have an off day or even several, that’s okay! Just pick back up where you left off and move on!
Write Down Everything you do In a Day– I am a pen and paper type of gal. I love to have all of the lists! I reallllllly enjoy crossing things off the list too!
Cut Back on Non-Essential Tasks– When you are on a time line non-essential tasks can take up a lot of time and throw off your whole day. Stick to the plan you have laid out.
Create an Essential Routine– Write down the essentials. What does it take to make your home run smoothly on a daily basis? What are some areas you are excelling in and what are some that are lacking? For me, I love budgeting, meal planning and prepping but I dread dishes and laundry.
Ask Your Family to Help– If you have family around don’t be afraid to ask for help! You can even consider hiring a teen as a mother’s helper if you don’t have any close family.
Slowly set up a Home Management Routine- you do not have to make a huge change overnight! Slowly set up your routine in a way that makes sense for your family.
All in all, you don’t have to be perfect.. you just need to start! Don’t feel pressured to figure everything out at once.
Take your time and be flexible. Don’t be afraid to change something that isn’t serving you or your family.
Make sure to involve the whole family. Involving everyone helps to create a wonderful bond.
Do you use a home management system? If so, what are your favorite tips? Let me know in the comments below!