I believe homemaking is our natural calling as women, wives & mothers. But it can feel overwhelming to start incorporating age-old homemaking skills and techniques that seemed to come naturally to older generations. I’ve compiled a list of quick & simple ways to start learning traditional homemaking skills TODAY so you can begin to feel the joy in your role as a homemaker.
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What Happened to Homemaking?
I had a startling realization a few years ago: I have no idea how to bake bread, cook a whole chicken, clean without store-bought cleaners, and MANY other skills that my grandmothers did every day. I looked around me and realized most of my generation is in the same exact boat. What happened? Somewhere along the way we lost the beautiful art and skills of homemaking.
When I got married, I was working full-time as a middle school teacher. There was no time to be a full-blown homemaker with that kind of schedule, so I decided I needed to just start ONE SKILL that would put me on track to learning the tried and true ways of the women before us. Not surprisingly, along the way of learning one skill, I realized how much I LOVE being a homemaker. It brings me so much joy and fulfillment.
Because of this realization, my husband and I re-evaluated our finances and found a way for me to work less so I could put more focus into our home. Thankfully, I am now able to work part-time from home and put a majority of my focus into learning more homemaking skills and caring for our home. Because I know there are many other women out there that are in the same boat that I was in, I compiled a list of the simple ways I started incorporating the skills of homemaking into my routine.
1. Cleaning Skills of Homemaker
There are so many companies out there that sell “natural” cleaning products. I really love the idea behind the Wellness Box by Melaleuca. Their products are made in the USA, high-quality, and completely natural. The only problem is the price. Living more simply shouldn’t mean spending more money. So, I did some research. I wanted to figure out how in the world grandma cleaned her house without this patriotic box of products showing up on her doorstep every month.
I was astounded at how simple cleaning products can be. There are two staple ingredients that can clean 99% of the items in your house: VINEGAR and BAKING SODA. These powerhouses clean & eliminate odor at the same time. I’ve even come to use vinegar and baking soda to wash our clothes. One drawback is that some studies state these ingredients don’t kill all virus-causing germs, but they will do the trick in the kitchen to clean surfaces after handling and cooking foods.
If you want to start applying this one simple change to your household – buy a spray bottle & fill it up with 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. Voila! The spray can now be used to clean and wipe down surfaces all around your house. If you need something a little more heavy duty – consider adding vodka to the mix. Vodka does help to eliminate virus-causing germs, so it is a little more powerful. (Just be careful on countertops with thin finishes. I noticed the vodka mix started to wipe away at the countertop finish in our bathroom when I used it to clean.)
2. Beauty Routine of a Homemaker
A huge part of homemaking for me is trying to live more simply in all areas. I’ve stopped wearing make-up products, I’m using hair training to wash my hair less often, & I try to use more natural products in my hygienic routine such as homemade toothpaste.
This switch was a little bit easier for me because my mom makes all-natural skincare products. I started using her all-natural face moisturizer a few years ago and have never looked back. It led me to need less and less makeup all around because my skin started producing its own natural glow. Now, unless we’re going out on a fancy date night, I simply use the moisturizer & curl my eyelashes.
I understand that this isn’t an easy switch for all. As women, especially in this modern culture, makeup and beauty is of utmost importance. What I’m encouraging you to do is to switch to a simpler routine in ONE AREA, whatever that might look like for you. Some examples:
- Drop your expensive moisturizer and start using coconut oil
- Start hair training so you don’t need to wash your hair as often
- Stop using commercial bronzer and make your own with cocoa powder
- Make your own toothpaste from coconut oil & baking soda
- Stop buying expensive (and toxic) sunscreen. Instead, use zinc oxide (the main ingredient in sunscreen & diaper rash ointment – this is my favorite brand to use for sunscreen)
Do your research and see if you can start living more simply in ONE part of your beauty routine. This will free up time and money that you can put towards other areas as a homemaker.
3. Homemaking Skills in the Kitchen
Buy A Cookbook
Homemaking in the kitchen was the part of homemaking that intimidated me the most. I could look up a recipe online and follow it, no problem, but I wanted to learn more. I don’t want to pull up Google every time I want to cook dinner. There are 2 ways I started to hone in my homemaking skills in the kitchen.
First, I bought a cookbook! Not a fancy cookbook with hot new diet recipes, but an old-fashioned cookbook that my grandma and mom had in their cabinets. The Joy of Cooking is a great place to start. I also go through the book section in the thrift store or shop on AbeBooks.com to purchase used cookbooks from previous generations.
Make One Food From Scratch
Secondly, I chose one food that I can start to make from scratch. I wanted to replace one pre-packaged item I buy frequently at the grocery store. For me, this was breakfast bars. I was a sucker for a quick box of breakfast bars to snack on or start my day with, but I knew they were full of unnatural ingredients. Therefore, I found a simple recipe to make my own chocolate chip oatmeal bars. With basics like peanut butter, oats, & chocolate chips, I can now make my own bars (I actually form mine into balls for easier storage & I freeze a batch for later!)
This one switch has built my confidence up so much that I’ve started making many other homemade foods instead of buying from the store. In most cases, it saves money and is way healthier than the pre-packaged version. The only drawback is that it takes more time. But hey, that is the art of homemaking! There is so much joy in eating food that was made from your own hands, so START BY CHOOSING ONE FOOD TO MAKE FROM SCRATCH.
4. Preserving Food
The older generation was focused on not wasting money or resources. My grandparents wouldn’t let us get up until we finished everything on our plates. They canned their veggies & stored leftover meals inside of margarine containers. This is a part of the mindset of a homemaker- use what you have and don’t waste what you use.
One simple way to start this is by choosing one food you can use before throwing it out (like making croutons out of stale bread). You can start taking inventory of a food item you throw out frequently and figure out how to repurpose or preserve it. Vegetables is a big item that gets thrown away because it starts rotting in the refrigerator drawer (out of sight, out of mind).
Start to set a reminder to chop up unused veggies and throw them in the freezer so you can cook with them them later. Or plan to make a pot of veggie soup once a month to eat through the produce you have.
Regardless what it is, just choose one food item to focus on that you frequently throw out.
5. Repurposing Items Around the House
Repurposing items is a huge fad right now. Buying from resale shops and refinishing old furniture for a rustic look is all over the internet. This is a great area to start honing in your homemaking skills. My grandmother knew how to save money and use what she had at home to decorate and run her household.
I’m not a handy person at all. Just thinking about sanding and painting a piece of furniture makes me want to take a nap, but I now appreciate the art of this skill! In a smaller way, I’m slowly starting to repurpose items like using a coffee container to store grocery bags.
Another item to repurpose is your wardrobe. You can use old shirts as cleaning rags (with your vinegar cleaning spray!). Or research crafts that use fabric and see what ways you can turn those old shirts into new decor or clothing! There are many ways to start repurposing items, but JUST CHOOSE ONE to start with!
Slowly Start Learning Skills
There are many ways to start learning homemaking skills today. You don’t need to do it all. Just CHOOSE ONE homemaking skill to start with:
- Make your own cleaning spray from vinegar
- Switch a beauty product to a simpler ingredient
- Buy a cookbook
- Make one food from scratch
- Preserve one food item that you normally throw out
- Repurpose an item around your house in a new way
If that skill doesn’t work out for you, then don’t do it anymore. No harm, no fowl. Homemaking looks different for everybody. It is a mindset and an art form. The most important part of homemaking is learning what works best for you and your family. The purpose is to slowly start relying more on yourself than on the commercial stores & products. You can do this!
Need help with organizing your time as a homemaker? I created a weekly & daily planner printable to keep your schedule running smoothly.