You know you need a clean home. You’re supposed to be nice to your kids. You want to be efficient with your work.
Your home needs to be comfortable. How do you keep up with it all and not hyper-focus on some aspects of home management while letting others go?
How do you avoid being the mother who is efficient but not effective? Or the mom who is nurturing and effective but a time-management failure?
How do you keep from being the homemaker with a clean, but stiff and uncomfortable home, or on the other hand, being the homemaker with the home that is relaxed and fun but also a dirty mess?
How do you be frugal without being being stingy and sacrificing health and comfort?
You keep all the things in mind all the time. And how do you do that? With a list of the 12 principles of home management!
This list will help guide your homemaking and help you balance everything out.
I made this list many years ago of the 12 principles that I think are most important in home management. They’re not necessarily in order of importance. They’re just in the order that made sense to me at the time (actually it still does!).
In some cases it’s pretty clear what that principle means. In others, it may require a little more explanation. I included, after each principle, other words that illustrate what that principle means, what it involves, and how it is expressed in the management of a home. I’m sure there are others that could be added!
Yep, there’s definitely a reason this one is on the top of the list! Safety involves things like cleanliness, healthfulness, soundness, functionality, love for others, and order.
Safety in the home includes physical safety, spiritual/moral safety, and mental/emotional safety. It includes not only the safety of the family members (and visitors) but also the safety of your personal property.
A home should be comfortable, a place you actually want to be. Comfort involves things like creativity (a dull life isn’t a comfortable life!), flexibility, quality, cleanliness, and peacefulness.
Comfort includes physical comfort as well as mental/emotional/social comfort.
Healthfulness goes a little deeper than safety, which deals more with harm that can happen quickly.
Healthfulness involves activity (physical and mental exercise!), order, temperance (self-control, avoidance of that which is harmful and moderation with that which is not harmful), and cleanliness. And laughter. And love. 🙂 It all matters.
Healthfulness includes physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Cleanliness involves purity, order, simplicity, and healthfulness.
And yes, it’s more than just the cleanliness of your physical environment!
Economy and Efficiency
In a way, economy and efficiency are the same thing applied to different areas of life. Economy is about a prudent use of money and other resources, efficiency is about a careful use of time.
Economy and efficiency involves temperance, moderation, balance, organization, resourcefulness, provision for the future, and diligence.
Love and Concern for Others
Not lower on the list because it’s less important, but hopefully it comes a little more naturally and easily than cleaning routines. Hopefully!
Love and concern for others as a home management principle is about remembering that the point of the home is the people in the home, and therefore the purpose of home management is to benefit the people in the home. The point isn’t cleanliness or frugality or efficiency, or meals, or education, or work, or fun, or entertaining. The point is the people (and the glory of God).
Simplicity involves order, economy, and moderation.
Simplicity isn’t about doing without things you need. It isn’t even about doing without things you just want (although you have to do that for the sake of choosing what’s better). Simplicity is about a lack of overwhelm, unwanted complexity, overwork, over-stimulation, distractions, and clutter.
Order involves self-control, self-discipline, communication (you can’t have order in the family without good communication!), simplicity, cooperation, and organization.
Order isn’t just about the orderly arrangement of stuff. It’s about order in responsibilities, activities, thoughts, communication, and more.
Balance includes temperance, moderation, flexibility, and prioritizing.
Balance isn’t about doing equal amounts of everything. Balance is about doing (being, having) the right amount of the right things. It’s about avoiding:
- One-sided thinking
- Inappropriate priorities
Integrity, as a home management principle is about much more than being an honest and reliable person (although it is that too!). It involves humility, individuality (letting each member of the family be their own persons), authenticity, modesty, honesty, reserve, excellence, quality, soundness, purpose, dependability, faithfulness, simplicity, and diligence.
It applies to people, your house and other buildings, stuff, your witness as a family, your routines and lifestyle, your principles.
Seriously, management isn’t all about control and restrictions. Not at all. The home definitely needs order, and self-control, and discipline, and hard work, and other like virtues and principles, but that’s not all! You’ve seen hints of that above (comfort, creativity, flexibility), but I think it deserves a principle all it’s own.
Freedom as a home management principle involves flexibility, a relaxed attitude, variety, individuality, peacefulness, and comfort.
It’s about freedom FROM things like anxiety, clutter, overwhelm, chaos, dirt, etc, yes, but also (and more so) about the way you go about managing your home and family.
The 12 Principles of Home Management. Yeah, that’s a lot of principles to keep in mind but NOT when you have a handy printable to stick on your wall or in your home management binder for easy reference.