Do you believe that one homemaking habit can genuinely transform your life into more good habits?

Would you like to discover how a routine works for a full-time homemaker with young children? Over 20 years ago, I'd wake to my kitchen sink full of dirty dishes and feel overwhelmed before the day even started. I didn't just have dirty dishes, but piles of junk on my kitchen table, laundry and clutter everywhere. The mess would breed more clutter in my tiny little kitchen. It was suffocating and depressing. This scene awaited me every morning as I tried to figure out how to make daily homemaking work with a new baby. By the end of the day, I was exhausted because I had not established peaceful daily rhythms. 

Before I became a stay-at-home Mom, my time was filled for me. 

My husband and I married before we graduated college. I finished up my last year of college while trying to discover how to be a wife during that first year of marriage. My husband was working full-time while also getting a college education. Life was chaotic, and we were in a season of survival and change. I had no idea how to keep a clean house. It felt uninspiring.  

Two months after I graduated and became a licensed elementary school teacher, we found out we were expecting our first baby. Between nausea and intense exhaustion, I found a teaching job and began my first year teaching Kindergarten at a local elementary school. It was one of the hardest things I had done. I realized very quickly this was not my dream job. It was taking away family time with my husband with such a rigid schedule while experiencing morning sickness for the first time. My heart longed to be at home as a full time stay-at-home mom. I had a lot of outside pressure to spend all my extra time in the classroom, instead of resting and preparing a home for our future family;  enjoying the best things of life.

I look back at that season and wonder how I ever survived.

It wasn't long before I realized my heart desired more important things: to stay home and create a place for my family to grow and thrive. I didn't want a career like I thought I did. So we took a step of faith, and I quit my job when my son was born, 20 years ago. I became a full time stay-at-home mom with no vision or experience. I didn't even have friends becoming mothers at this time so I truly felt alone and in the dark. 

My hectic life came to a screeching halt. I was accustomed to someone else telling me how to use my time. I had no idea how to create a daily schedule or routine to build a thriving home. After the hustle of college life, planning a wedding, our first year of marriage, and the whirlwind of my first year as a teacher while pregnant; I had no idea what to do with all my extra time. So I just sat in front of the TV with no vision. Before Netflix, YouTube, Amazon prime, and smartphones, I scanned the local stations to see what could entertain my son and me while we waited for my husband to get home in the evening. Hour after hour. It's hard to believe this was how our family life began. If you can relate, there's hope. 

My house was a mess. I was depressed. I honestly had no idea how to build a home with daily rhythms. 

Then I discovered a sweet author, Elizabeth George, and couldn't put her books down. I soaked up all her wisdom and chose one habit to focus on—my kitchen. She shared old-fashioned homemaking routines I had never considered. I became so interested in learning how to make daily homemaking routines work for me by prioritizing household tasks, a weekly schedule and having more time and creativity for more family activities. 

We were living in a small home without a dishwasher. I was exhausted by the night's end and had no desire or motivation to clean up my kitchen after dinner. I had no concept what an evening routine was, so I let the soiled dishes sit for the next morning hoping I would be more motivated. The problem was that I didn't feel any more energized in the morning to tackle it. I felt defeated before my day even started. 

Together with my husband, we devised a plan. We would no longer leave dirty dishes in the sink at night. We committed to each other that we'd stick to this new evening routine habit. I could not have imagined how life-changing this one simple task would be for our lives. I began to have clarity of what the most important things in my day should include in my daily routine. 

When I woke up that next day to a clean kitchen, I couldn't believe how energized I felt to tackle my to-do list. It was a good start to wonderful change ahead. I woke up to a clean slate and, therefore, a clear mind. My heart felt free and peaceful. This old-fashioned homemaking routine was about to change my life forever. It was the starting place to create a tidy home with simple things and routines. 

It didn't stop there. 

The good news is, with my renewed energy and a clear mind, I had the space and ability to take up more new habits. A little bit at a time, I was able to dream and grow a vision for the home I wanted to create. I now had the time and space to put together a morning routine. It was simply a springboard that propelled me to implement more change. Next, I wanted to tackle the paper clutter on our kitchen table. The kind of clutter I had to scooch over every night before we ate dinner. 

Now that my kitchen was clean, I wanted to use it and learn new things and tackle larger projects and other routines in my home. Following, came the inspiration to try new recipes and build new skills in the kitchen. I no longer wanted to buy prepackaged and boxed mixes to feed my family. I wanted to learn how to cook nourishing meals from scratch. 

One step at a time, I spent less time on TV and social media and spent more time creating and building a well-run home. 

Over the years, I've used trial and error to develop lasting daily rhythms with a morning routine, afternoon routine and evening routine that work so well for our family in daily life. These simple routines are the foundation to my day and where I place the most important things for our family. 

If you wonder if my husband and I still live by this rule, the answer is a resounding YES! Over 20 years later, with older children and younger children, and different types of schedules over the years, we do not go to bed with a dirty kitchen. Do we miss a day or two here or there? Rarely. That's how life-changing this habit has become in our daily life. Through exhaustion, new babies, sickness, and beyond, we clean our kitchen on a daily basis with this simple homemaking routine. It really only takes small changes to make a big impact on your family's lifestyle. The art of homemaking is beautiful, simple and filled with many opportunities to meet your family's needs. 

Do I have hard days that require more rest? 

Absolutely. That's when my husband and kids pitch in and take over for me. We try not to spend much time on this daily routine so that we can spend our evening building family memories with Scripture reading, outdoor activities and other simple pleasures of life. We've developed a 15-minute cleaning routine, so the kitchen clean-up takes up a minimal part of the day. 

Would you like to see our kitchen cleaning to-do list and how we put together this end of the day evening routine?

Each person has a specific job that includes these list of things:
Clear the table
Load up the dishwasher
Put away the leftovers
Wash the dishes
Sweep the dining room and kitchen floor 
Wipe down counters, stove and table tops

In order to lighten our load after dinner, I do focus on cleaning our kitchen after breakfast and lunch as well as late afternoon before my husband arrives home. I have a cooking to-do list created the night before and begin to work on that list in little pockets of time throughout my day. My goal is to have most of my prep work and cooking completed before I'm worn out and tired from my day. This allows me to have some rest time right before we begin our evening routine and to lighten our load without a big mess after dinner. 

On a weekly basis, I will plan simple meals for each day of the week in my daily planner on Sundays. I have one day we do our grocery shopping as well as have groceries delivered to our home. I like to make an easy meal each day so that my energy can be focused on spending quality time with my family members. I then plan a daily list of what kitchen tasks and food prep we need to do each day. 

Would you like to see our family in action and more tips?

I invite you to stick around for more stories and inspiration from my 22 years of building a home. You can also get my free printables here

Before you leave, don't forget that building a daily routine and habits will take time. It will also take some trial and error figuring out what will work best for your family. Start with the simple things that matter most to you and build upon this old-fashioned homemaking routine foundation I have shared with you today. Share any tips you've found helpful over the years below. 

Thanks for dropping by today! I hope you found encouragement for building a peaceful home. If you know another mom who might benefit from what you've learned here today, be sure to share this post with her!

Before you go --- I have laid out all my tips to creating calm in your home, and you can get it below:

Learn my 4 Daily Habits to Calming the Chaos at Home

Looking for more calm in your day to day life? 

A calm home is possible--with the right habits.

Learn my 4 daily habits here, it's free:


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