A glance at old fashioned homemaking skills, the main homemaking task, improving these skills, and solutions for overwhelm as a homemaker
Homemaking is such a joy….that comes with a lot of tasks. There are a lot of little things we do as homemakers and although it does not take much to do some of them, they still require a little skill to do them well.
Would you know it? That is what skill means. It means to do something well. We might initially think that a skill is something that you go to school for, but really, many of the past generations were very skilled without having much more than a high school education, if that.
There seems to be a pull no days towards focusing your attention on things outside the home. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with that, the home tends to get neglected when that happens.
As a married woman or a stay-at-home mom/work-from-home mom, the responsibilities still remain and mastering these homemaking skills can help you manage your home well.
Whether you do most of them already or even if you are a new to homemaking, I hope this list inspires you to do the best you can for your family, motivates you to be more efficient in some areas, and gives you fresh ideas of what else you can learn while creating a place for your family to flourish!
What skills do you need for homemaking?
Here are 15 old-fashioned homemaking skills for a modern homemaker that cover most if not all of the most important homemaking skills. This is quite an extensive list so I’m going to move through as fast as and simply as possible in order to not overwhelm you with information.
- Washing Windows
- Cleaning Bathrooms
- Washing Dishes
- Deep Cleaning
Probably, the least favorite of the vintage homemaking skills is cleaning. It’s time consuming and never ending. This has always been a part of homemaking, and if it is any consolation, the good news is that we have it much easier now than in previous generations.
Cleaning can be enjoyed though if you make it enjoyable. It’s all in the mindset of how you approach it. Choosing gratitude and a cheerful spirit are great places to begin and will change those moments of detested cleaning to moments that you might actually start looking forward to.
Besides, who doesn’t like a clean house?
- Daily Organization
- Deep Organizing
- Decluttering Unnecessary or not useful items
There is a simple beauty that comes with order. Even if we don’t have much or not living our dream life, we can still create beauty and take pride in our home by keeping things in order.
Minimalism taps into this by giving structure and meaning to this task. Since I found The Minimal Mom last year and have built up my decluttering muscles (as she calls it), I now love to organize things. It’s actually stress relieving.
This may be the least old fashioned idea that I have incorporated into my homemaking, but there is still something old fashioned(and Biblical) about keeping things in order.
- Meal Planning
- Food Preparation
- Cooking From Scratch
- Clean Up
Food from scratch, anyone? I love cooking from scratch and can’t talk about it enough! Yes, I did grow up with a lot of our food being made from scratch because I grew up in a Third World country where we couldn’t get a lot of processed and fast food.
My love for cooking whole foods from scratch does stem from this, but also from the health benefits of cooking your own food and the old-fashioned aspect of it.
Nothing can beat a home cooked meal! You cook anyways on a daily basis so it would be a good thing to develop this great skill of taking basic ingredients and making something delicious with them.
I definitely have a lot to grow in this area, but I have started learning the skill of baking sourdough bread. Not only is sourdough a delicious thing from the past, this has been the first bridge between my gluten-free life and finding enjoyment in many foods that I have not had in years like real pizza (not cauliflower or some other poor imitation).
I’m so looking forward to re-learning much of my baking knowledge and expanding it as I live a life of gluten again!
Caring for Children (if you have them)
You bet, this is a skill and no one can say otherwise.
It takes so much skill to love and tend to little children often 24/7. Cleaning up spills and spit up, reading that book again for the 7th time, waking up from your precious sleep several times a night for months on end…It takes skill to lovingly, patiently, and graciously do it all.
Caring for your Husband
- Keeping his space at home cleaned and organized
- Making his favorite meals and desserts
- Doing an extra task for him
- Writing him notes
- Ironing his clothes
- Making him breakfast
- Being grateful for all his hard work so that you get to stay home
When you don’t see your man for most of the day, it is so easy to forget that he lives there, too. It takes skill to purposefully and intentionally give attention to his things even when he is not there and to have some composure and a smile even though you have been with the kids all day and would rather tell him as soon as he gets home from work about all the things that went wrong that day. It takes skill.
Caring for Yourself
- Taking quiet time for yourself
- Taking time for self-improvement
- Spending time with the Lord
Resting is a forgotten skill. We have gotten very good at being living martyrs who have forgotten what it takes for us to be able to sacrifice for our families. We rest so that we can give of ourselves for them. Resting isn’t lazy, but absolutely necessary for a successful homemaker to do!
Having Routines and Rhythms
- Morning Routine
- Daily Routine
- Evening Routine
My most productive days are the ones that I made a plan and at least loosely stuck with it. Having routines and rhythms have been a game changer in my homemaking. I don’t always stick to them, but they are good guides to help me have good time management.
Planning is always a good idea!
- Sheets and Pillow Cases
Laundry…Never ending piles of laundry…Laundry still overwhelms me at times, but I am learning the skill of doing it efficiently so that I can have time for other things, too. This is definitely one of those basic skills worth pursuing and learning how to do well. You have to do it anyways, but it can easily take twice as long to do which takes your attention and energy from other things.
Related Post: Laundry Tips for Beginners
- Homemade and DIY Projects
This is a very fun part of homemaking, but honestly, I still don’t know what I am doing half the time. I definitely have so much to learn about decorating, but at the same time, I have learned so much of what I do or don’t like.
It’s so forgiving, too. If you try something and end up not liking it, most of the time you can change it right away or do something different.
I am learning to love this skill of creating beauty through what we visually see in our home!
- Making Things by Hand
This very much speaks to the practical part of me. It’s such a good old fashioned skill, too!
Living frugally used to be a necessity, but now we have to intentionally be frugal.
We are surrounded by modern conveniences and abundance. While these do benefit us, they can easily spoil us, too. There is nothing wrong with convenience and abundance, but it does change the way we view the world.
It’s too easy to be lazy not only with our finances, but also with our relationships with people and other things.
You could just buy something already made from the store, but finding how you can make it yourself, make what you do have work, or do without it, not only can help you save a lot of money, but you can learn something valuable by doing this. Sometimes it’s just patience as you are waiting for it to be finished, but we can all learn to have more of that.
Related Post: How to Live on One Income
- Food Preservation
Gardening is a very good skill to have. Growing the things you eat and saving what you can’t use for later, is very rewarding and therapeutic! They say that growing herbs and tomatoes are a great place to start so that is what I have done.
It does seem like a giant skill to master, but could you imagine cooking with your own fresh herbs from your own vegetable garden or picking your own flowers to put around your home? It sounds rather delightful to me!
This is also one of the best ways to keep from having to go to the grocery store too often for fresh produce. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that time that we do have to get out for other things?
- Needle Work
Learning to work with fabric, to join pieces of useless material into something useful, is life giving. It’s beautiful using things you have made yourself or ornately decorated.
While it takes time and effort, this can be a refreshing skill to have and gives your home a personal touch.
It’s also a great way to save when you don’t have much money. The nice thing about sewing is that you don’t have to have a sewing machine to get started. Although sewing machines are handy, there are so many basic sewing skills that you could learn and do by hand.
PIN IT FOR LATER!
Hosting and Hospitality
- Being Prepared
- Being Mindful of Food Sensitivities
- Communicate Expectations Clearly
Kitchen tables and front porches were meant to be shared. This can be a daunting task for homemakers, but with a little bit of practice and lots of prayer, it can be rewarding to get comfortable with having people over and cooking for them or even having them over for some tea and cookies.
- Staying Healthy
- Living with the Seasons
- Being Mindful of Technology and social media
- Home Remedies
This is one area that I am very excited to learn more about and share with you all! Wellness has been forgotten in our society. Not only in nutrition, but also mental and emotional health as well.
This is a very important part of homemaking!
As homemakers, mom’s, wives, we must prioritize health. If we don’t, it will come back to bite us one day. I don’t know about you, but I want to be truly healthy so that I can teach my children how to care for themselves. I also want to make sure that I am being a good steward of the body that God has given me.
Learning about simple nutrition and what our body needs in order to flourish is not a waste of time, but is something that we need to know so that we can be the best homemaker.
It shouldn’t be this way, but it is not very easy to discern what it healthy food is. There is so much confusion by labels and diets that we struggle to know how to feed our family good food.
This is a skill worth passionately pursuing!
Related Post: Old Fashioned Health with the Pro Metabolic Diet
What is the main homemaking task?
The main task of homemaking is to intentionally care for the heart of your home. We do this by building relationships with our family members and prioritizing their needs. A mom once told me that the dishes and housekeeping will always be there, but your children won’t.
Loving them and teaching them by example how to cultivate virtue in their own lives is more important than getting the dishes or the laundry done.
Husbands also need us to be homemakers for them, to feed the atmosphere of our home with peace and joy, to create a place for them to enjoy coming back to after a hard day’s work, to offer them a haven from the world that they encounter for most of their waking hours.
We do this by doing all of the essential homemaking skills listed above and much more. We do them not to simply accomplish them, but to do them well. To do them skillfully!
How can I improve my homemaking skills?
You can improve your homemaking skills by becoming more efficient in them. While efficiency is commonly known as doing something fast, it actually means being effective, productive, and fruitful. Being fast does not always allow you to get things done well, but mastering a skill will help you accomplish things in less time.
You have to stick with it until it becomes second nature. You have to tweak the process here and there until you learn what works best for you and your family.
While mastering skills may initially take more time, it is worth doing in homemaking because you will be doing it for a lifetime.
Take the time to learn all you can from other moms and the internet and you will help you be a more efficient homemaker.
Related Post: 17 Homemaking Tips
What to do when housework is overwhelming?
We have all been there multiple times a day. Housework can get overwhelming very easily because it is never ending and there is so much that needs to get done.
Two things that have been very helpful when I get overwhelmed are to pray and to address the overwhelm.
Praying helps us stop and acknowledge that we are not in control, but that there is one that is. In the overwhelming moments we need a prayer for patience, longsuffering, and kindness among other things. Humbling our hearts and seeking help can really help take the stress off and give us what we need to be virtuous in the overwhelming moments of homemaking.
God blesses those who seek him and is glorified when we do.
Addressing the overwhelm is as simple as taking a moment to consider what caused the overwhelmed. What stressed us out?
Was it the children needing attention? Are you simply tired? Perhaps you have run out of energy and need a snack. Maybe you need a moment by yourself without someone needing you.
Although we cannot always do something about the overwhelm in the moment, there are a lot of little things that we can do to prevent the same stressful situations from reoccurring.
Communicating and talking about it with your man or a friend can help get the stress out and be able to more clearly see what you could do about it.
Homemaking can be very overwhelming no matter how long you have been at it. There is so much to learn and so much to do. Thankfully, God has graciously given us things that we can do to help relieve the stress and make it easier to be virtuous in the overwhelming moments of life.
Praying and using the wisdom God has given you to address situations can really help us in our day to day as we strive to create a place where we can flourish.
Homemaking skills include all the nitty gritty of homemaking as well cultivating the heart of our home. Our families need us to step up to the plate and learn how to do all the things that are necessary for a home to flourish.
There are many things that are unique to each home and no two homes will look alike. God has given us our own tastes and interests that guide us in the creation and management of our home as an old-fashioned homemaker.
There are a lot of basic homemaking skills that we can learn and I am so grateful that God gives us a lifetime to be homemakers. There is no way we could learn to do it all at one time.
I’m also grateful that he gives us different seasons where we can focus on different homemaking skills. Sometimes we garden more, sometimes we are in the kitchen more cooking more meals from scratch, sometimes we are resting and healing, and sometimes we are giving more attention to our children. The seasons are his way of balancing our lives out and I’m so grateful for it!
Well, friends! I hope that you learned some wonderful things or that you were inspired in some way in your homemaking journey! I’m excited to live my days learning more about how I can better create a place to flourish through these skills and I hope you are too!
More on Homemaking!