Simple Homemaking: How to Focus on What Really Matters

Simple homemaking can transform your life. In a world where the to-do list never ends, sometimes you need to take things off your plate. We’re going back to basics. We’ll focus on the essentials that keep your home running smoothly.

There’s a time and a place for homemade bread and grinding your flour. But it might not be that time for you right now.

In this article, you’ll find tips and strategies to make homemaking easy. It’s time for a simpler approach to your daily routine. Guilt-free ❤️.

grid o f 4 simple homemaking images showing watercolor scenes at home.

Let’s strip back to the essentials of keeping house. You can stay at this level just for awhile, or forever. You’re still doing a great job.

Your foundation: the daily basics

1. A Load of Laundry, Start to Finish

Doing a load of laundry from start to finish each day can be a game changer in your homemaking routine. The routine prevents laundry from piling up and becoming overwhelming.

Watercolor illustration showing a neatly organized mudroom with wooden shelves holding baskets, coats, hats, and footwear, invoking a sense of order and simplicity

Begin by tossing a load into the washing machine in the morning. This could be during breakfast or as you start your day. Once it’s done, make it a point to dry, fold, and put the laundry away. This full-cycle approach keeps your laundry manageable. It ensures you’re never faced with a mountain of clothes to sort through.

Tip: Don’t sort into lights and darks. Have everyone keep a basket in their room for dirty clothes. Wash them all as one load. Then you never have to sort by person. They’re already sorted. Maybe your whites won’t be as pristine. That’s okay.

2. Know What’s for Dinner Before Lunch

Decide on dinner before lunchtime. It’s a simple yet effective way to streamline your day. It eliminates the last-minute rush and the dreaded “What’s for dinner?” question.

This doesn’t mean you need to have a gourmet meal planned. Even if it’s just knowing you’ll make spaghetti or order pizza, having a plan frees your mind to focus on other tasks.

Artistic watercolor rendering of a home workspace featuring a desk with a laptop, surrounded by shelves with books, potted plants, and a bright window with sheer curtains

It also allows for better time management. You can defrost meat, prep ingredients, or do a quick grocery run well ahead of time, avoiding the evening scramble.

Tip: A weekly, monthly, or forever meal plan is better. But one day at a time might be where you need to start.

3. Clean for 7 Minutes

Setting aside just 7 minutes a day for a quick clean-up can have a surprisingly big impact. Choose a different area each day or focus on the space that needs it most. Set a timer and go. You could wipe down the bathroom, or clear off a cluttered table. The key is consistency and intensity; don’t get distracted, just clean for those 7 minutes.

A tranquil bedroom scene painted in watercolors, showcasing a tidy bed with white and gray bedding, a small bedside table with books, and a window offering a view of greenery.

This habit keeps your home generally tidy. It also prevents small messes from turning into big cleaning projects.

Tip: You must set the timer! It’s the key to making this work.

4. Get Every Single Dish Done and Run the Dishwasher When You Go to Bed

One of the most satisfying feelings is waking up to a clean kitchen. Make it a nightly routine to wash every dish, load the dishwasher, and start it before heading to bed.

This ensures that you’re not greeted with a sink full of dirty dishes in the morning. That’s depressing. You deserve a fresh start each monring.

5. Unload the Dishwasher First Thing in the Morning

Unloading the dishwasher first thing in the morning sets a productive tone for the day. It’s a quick task that, once done, gives you a sense of accomplishment early in your day.

A vibrant watercolor image of a well-organized kitchen sink area with various potted herbs on the windowsill, kitchen essentials, and natural light enhancing the homey vibe.

It also keeps the kitchen functional. Clean dishes are readily available, and there’s room to load dirty ones throughout the day. It prevents dish pile-ups and keeps your space orderly and efficient.

The next level: more tasks, for when you’re ready

All of these will make your life easier over time. But I recommend you master them one by one. It takes time to develop habits, and the foundational tasks above are more important.

  • Nightly Kitchen Clean-Up: Every evening, take a few minutes to sweep the floor, wipe down counters, take out the trash, and tidy up the kitchen. Every morning you’ll start the next day with a clean, welcoming space.
  • Assigning Chores to Kids: Distribute simple, age-appropriate chores to children, like making their beds, picking up toys, or helping with dishes. This not only lightens your load but also teaches them responsibility and teamwork.
  • Weekly Meal Planning: Set aside time each week to plan meals. This can be as simple as jotting down a basic menu for each day. Having a plan helps minimize grocery shopping trips and reduces the daily stress of deciding what to cook.
  • Simple Meal Prep: Spend a little time on the weekend or a chosen day to do basic meal prep. This could include chopping vegetables, marinating meats, or portioning snacks into bags. These small steps can save a lot of time during busy weekdays.
  • Daily 15-Minute Tidy-Up: Beyond the 7-minute cleaning, include a 15-minute family tidy-up session each day, where everyone pitches in to put things back in their place, ensuring the house stays orderly.
  • Regular Decluttering Sessions: Once a week or month, dedicate some time to go through a particular area (like a drawer, cabinet, or room) and declutter. Regular mini-decluttering sessions prevent buildup and keep your home organized.
  • Creating a Household Binder: Keep a binder or digital file with important information like meal plans, cleaning schedules, emergency contacts, and kids’ school information. This centralizes important details, making management smoother and more accessible for the whole family.

More on making homemaking easy:

  • Deep Clean Your House in 15 Minutes a Day. Discover how to deep clean your house in 15 minutes a day. Transform your home with minimal effort.
  • 100 Cheap Dinner Ideas. For when you just need a list of ideas.
  • Living With Less. A deep look at the joy of living with less, finding serenity and space by decluttering your life and focusing on what truly matters.
  • Minimalism for Moms offers a practical approach to decluttering and simplifying life. It makes more room for joy and less for stress in the busy world of motherhood.

I could say more, but that would defeat the point. I hope you feel encouraged that taking care of your home and family can be simple. If you want to do more, that’s great. But you don’t have to.

Simple Homemaking: How to Focus on What Really Matters

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