Are You a Struggling Homekeeper?

Are you struggling to be a good homekeeper? I get you. But do YOU get you?

I mean, there’s a REASON you are struggling with homekeeping, and it might not be what you think. 

Before you go looking for solutions (you know, like the new organizing book, the new creative course, the new cleaning supplies, the new planner or routine) OR you give way to complaining (about the small house, the lack of money, the messy husband) OR keep making excuses (I have kids), find out WHY you are struggling.

Here’s the deal:
–> New things don’t solve all problems.
–> Most challenges can be overcome if you have what it takes to do it.
–> Having kids is normal (admittedly, poor homekeeping is becoming the new normal too, but children and good homekeeping can actually co-exsist. It’s been proven).

Are you a struggling homekeeper? Help for Christian homemakers who aren't keeping up (or at least aren't enjoying themselves)

WHY Are You a Struggling Homekeeper?

Why do YOU struggle with homekeeping? What’s really in the way of your success?

I don’t know.

But I do know that it might not be what you think. That’s why that new ____________ won’t necessarily fix the problem.

It might be (partly) what you think but even if you’re recognizing real barriers (lack of money?), the reason you’re not just finding your way around those barriers might surprise you (homemakers have been doing wonders in homekeeping on a pittance for a long time. Why aren’t you?).

Don’t get discouraged. I’m not criticizing! I’m a struggling homekeeper. Y’all, I’m not even a chief homekeeper (I’m a full-grown adult living in my home of origin) with all the responsibilities that come with that and I’m still a mess. I get it.

I’ve given myself a lot of food for thought over the last couple of decades. For one thing, I’ve discovered that we all face barriers but that some of us have more and some of us also have a harder time getting by those barriers (because sometimes there are barriers to that. They sort of “mushroom,”  . . . but I digress).

I’ve identified several basic reasons why Christian homemakers struggle with homekeeping (and why everyone struggles with life in general).

I’m pretty sure someone (it won’t be me) could write a book (or two) on each one of these. In lieu of other people thinking for us, we’ll have to do it ourselves, but for now just think about these two things:

1) Which areas do you think are significant for you? Which are causing you the most trouble? Creating the biggest (or, more to the point, the most stubborn) challenges? What are your worst barriers?

2) How do you think each of these areas affect your ability to be an excellent homekeeper (or just a . . . person . . . who does things)?

There are two types of reasons we struggle: external and internal. External reasons are outside of ourselves. Internal reasons are inside of us . . . or, basically, they are US.

External Reasons Homekeepers Struggle

Let’s look at the external first. They are among the most obvious.


Where you live and what it’s like physically. This is where things like the small house, the ugly house, the pitiful closets, the infested apartment, the discouraging neighborhood, the leaking roof, the baby blue toilet and bathtub, the mold problem, and things like that come in.


Okay, technically we all have the same amount of time. But we don’t all have the same amount of time available. So, depending on what else is taking up your time (good, bad, or crazy), this area may be a big part of your struggle.


If you don’t have tools that work or you’re not doing it right, it’s probably not going to work as well as you’d like. Maybe you’re struggling because you don’t have the right tools (or equipment, or supplies) to do the job or you just don’t know how to do it.

Money and Other Resources

A lack of money can make things harder than they would be otherwise. You constantly run into not being able to do this or that, not having the right tools, being stuck in an inadequate (or at least discouraging) environment.

Lack of other resources (like helpful family, friends, and neighbors), supplies and other goods, Internet access and other utilities, for example, can also be barriers.

Other People

Need I say more? Whether they’re causing problems or just not helping solve them, people can, well, be a problem.

Special Challenges

Sort of a catch-all category, but with one thing common to all: unusual circumstances that you are dealing with that make your situation atypical.

Most likely, other people also share the same or similar circumstances (maybe a handful, maybe thousands) but your situation is not what the average housekeeping manual or homemaking book is written for.

Maybe you’re homeless.
Maybe you live in a tent.
Maybe you travel full time.
Maybe you’re caring for a disabled spouse or other family member.
Maybe you have special needs kids. Maybe you have six of them.
Maybe you foster kids regularly.
Maybe you’re a single mom (yes, I know that’s not so unusual any more but it is a special challenge to homekeeping ANYWAY).
Add your (external) special circumstances here: _______________.

Whether your special challenges are something you’ve chosen (and wouldn’t change), something you’d love to get rid of, or something hard that you’re just embracing as a part of life, it may either be a problem or create problems that contribute to your struggle.

Internal Reasons Homekeepers Struggle

Now, for the internal reasons you might be struggling as a homekeeper. You, yourself, and ye (not exactly the second person equivalent of “me, myself, and I,” but humor me, will you?).


Could your solution be as simple as an attitude adjustment? Maybe.


It’s hard to be a good homekeeper if you don’t know how. Trying to do something you don’t have the knowledge and skills for is a recipe for frustration and failure . . . but it’s one of the easiest problems to fix!

Moral Character

Kind of related to attitude and mindset, but a little deeper.

I mean, if you are  . . . . take a deep breath here, I’m going to talk about sin . . . using actual words . . . .

If you’re literally lazy, selfish, hateful, proud, etc. it’s going to be a problem.

We ALL have issues. We ALL need forgiveness, grace, and character development.

Our moral character will always play a role in our struggles with homekeeping but it might not be a significant area for you (even if you initially think it is). But IF IT IS, you are not okay, you are not enough, and you are not a great mom.

There I said it. But that’s the beautiful thing about the Truth. Even when you are not okay, you are more valuable than words can tell. More loved than humans can comprehended. And just a redeemable (to the uttermost) as anyone else).

Physical, Mental, Emotional health, and the Way Your Brain Works

Sick? Tired for “no reason?” Broken? Different? Feeling kinda crazy? Of course that’s going to affect your homekeeping.

I know, it’s a huge category . . . but all so interrelated! All of us deal with some of these things at times. Some of us live there and that is why we struggle so much.

Honestly, I think this area is a bigger reason so many of us struggle with homekeeping and so many other things, than most people realize.

I know from my own experience (and I’m a fairly bright, extremely analytical person) that it is possible. . .

  • . . . to be sick without realizing it,
  • . . . to be depressed without knowing it,
  • . . . to wonder if you’re lazy only to discover years later that you’re actually a very tired person with a tremendous desire to be busy and accomplish things along with a tendency to overwork,
  • . . . and to have anxiety that you do not know is anxiety (even though you’re familiar with anxiety because you’ve known it by experience it since you were a teenager).

Call me clueless, I guess. But it happens!!


Well, there you have it.

  • Attitude/Mindset
  • Knowledge/Skill
  • Character
  • Physical, Mental, Emotional health, and the Way Your Brain Works
  • Space/Environment
  • Time/Responsibilities
  • Tools/Methods
  • Money and Resources
  • Other People
  • Special Challenges

Ten categories of problems we may face that cause us to be struggling homekeepers (or anything else!).

Your Turn!

1) Which areas do you think are significant for you? Which are causing you the most trouble? Creating to be biggest (or, more to the point, the most stubborn) challenges? What are your worst barriers?

2) How do you think each of these areas affect your ability to be an excellent homekeeper (or just a . . . person . . . who does things)?

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