Becoming the keeper of your own home can be intimidating. Whether you are newly married or just moving out to live on your own for the first time, learning some homemaking skills for the new homemaker will make your life much easier.
Homemaking skills is one thing I take for granted.
Not only did I have a stay at home mom (who worked very hard: we were dairy farmers) but I was also the only girl with three brothers.
Yes, my brothers had to help with all the household chores as much as I did. But as the only girl, I got more of mom’s attention when it came to things like pie crusts, sewing and embroidery.
Maybe you didn’t have a mom at home to show you the ropes. Maybe your mom didn’t want you underfoot so you didn’t learn as much as you wished. Or maybe you just didn’t care about such things!
One of my friends in her 50s shared with me that she never learned how to cook because she was the youngest of 10 children. Her only job was peeling potatoes.
It’s never too late to learn homemaking skills.
Homemaking Skills for the New Homemaker: 2 Essentials
When you feel overwhelmed and underwater with all the things, take a step back and focus on what is most important. Let’s take a look at the two most important skills every homemaker must master.
1. Meal Planning
Feeding the people is always the first goal of homemaking. Without sustenance, you won’t have energy to do anything else.
If you are beginning from a place of overwhelm and underwater, just grab some paper ware and plastic utensils from the store. Serve chicken nuggets and frozen pizza for a week or two until you can get your bearings.
Laundry is the second most important homemaking skill for the new homemaker. Of course, if you can afford a laundry service, by all means, go for it!
Start with one load a day. Find a feasible spot in your daily routine where you can add it in as a new habit. While you are brushing your teeth, throw in a load of laundry. Before you hang your coat up, throw the load of laundry into the dryer. Fold and put away right after you clean up supper dishes.
To make it a habit that sticks, always piggy-back off of a solid habit you already have in place. This is something James Clear teaches in his book Atomic Habits.
After you’ve got one load a day under your belt, begin adding an extra load here and there to get sheets and miscellaneous items washed.
When I was newly married and it was just me and my husband, I found that one load a day was more than I needed to keep up with barn clothes, whites, kitchen linens, sheets and anything extra. It all depends on your lifestyle and size of your family.
Now that I have a toddler and we are potty training, one load a day is necessary.
Read More: My Natural and Affordable Laundry Routine
Homemaking Skills for the New Homemaker: The Rest of the List
Once you have meals and laundry in your homemaking routine, then you need to figure out how and when to incorporate a few other skills that will help your home run smoother.
Even if numbers aren’t your thing, even if your husband is the one who brings in the income, even if you’ve never balanced a checkbook in your life, now’s the time to learn.
I’m not saying you have to be the main one in charge of your family finances, but you need to have an understanding. You need to have a budget and stick to it. Just understanding and being aware of what is coming in and what’s going out will help your finances and your marriage.
Because it’s all about communication. Right?
Cleaning is the homemaking skill I struggle with most.
Not that my house is trashed, but I just don’t “feel motivated” to clean very often. Marriage is a good thing for me because my husband is very neat and clean. His preferences and expectations help me keep a cleaner home than if I were living by myself.
Another reason cleaning is important is because it helps you keep tabs on the state of your home.
How often do you dig under the bathroom sink? If that’s where you keep your cleaning supplies you may notice a leak before it gets too bad and damaging.
Picking up your kids’ bedroom? You can get rid of moldy food dishes or other forgotten foods before a pest infestation occurs.
As I mentioned above, start off simple!
Eating meals at home is almost always cheaper than eating out or ordering take out. Once you have your meal planning service in place, you actually have to buy the groceries and make the meals that it lists for the week.
For sake of ease, use a Crock Pot or Instant Pot. They are one of the greatest time savers in the kitchen.
With the meal planning schedule, look ahead in the week and see what you can prep ahead of time in your extra time.
Are you chopping an onion for tonight’s dinner? Chop an extra one and throw it in the fridge for Friday’s dinner.
Many foods can be prepped and stored in the fridge for a couple days or even frozen.
Read More: Cooking for the Freezer
You Can Do It!
Don’t believe any lie that says you can’t change. Try reading James Clear’s book, get an accountability partner, read Fly Lady. Do whatever it takes to implement these skills and you will enjoy your homemaking duties much more.
I was never a bed maker. The only time my bed ever got made was when I changed the sheets – which was embarrassingly rare.
Once I got married I decided to become a bed maker. I made our bed every day no matter what for the first couple years of marriage. Now, I am a bed maker. Even if I skip a day here or there, I tell myself that I am a bed maker, so it’s easier for me to jump back into making our bed.
Now, I’ve come to enjoy making our bed because it’s a way to kick off my day on the right foot. It’s like brushing my teeth. It sets a fresh, put-together tone for my day.
The same can happen to you as a homemaker. Of all the people you listen to in a day, you listen to yourself the most. So tell yourself you are a homemaker. You are a laundry-doer. You are a cook.
Soon these homemaking skills for the new homemaker will become habit and then they will become second nature.