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How Well Do You Manage Your Home?

My question today is how well do you manage your home? @mferrell

I’m having a mom moment today and I’m going to write this post as if I’m talking to my daughter. It may offend some but I believe it will resonate well with most of us who desire to live out the mandate of Titus 2:3-5 that the Lord laid out for us in His Word. I desire to live it out, with His help, because I desire a life that honors and glorifies Him. I am thankful that He has gifted me with a husband, children and a home to care for and manage.

My question today is how well do you manage your home?

We are called to be keepers of our homes. I have been saddened by those who put aside the task of managing our homes as if we are neglecting our family by mopping our floors and washing our dishes. I believe I am neglecting my family if I am not keeping a home that is in order and tidy. (I have to lay out the blanket statement here that I am not talking perfection but a sense of a home that is well cared for and loved because of the people she is caring for in it.)

God gives us enough time each day to take care of the tasks that He desires us to accomplish.  Loving and caring for my husband and his needs is first on my list, my children are second and my home is the next on the list to make sure it is managed well. If I were employed outside my home I would be sure to do a good  job for the employer that hired me, how much less when God has given me the job to be a keeper of my home to make sure it is cared for and managed well. I am a steward of the relationships God has put in my life but also the belongings He has put on loan for me to care for while on this earth.

Let’s visit a full time job outside of our homes for a moment:
You are given a list of tasks that must be completed daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. You have routines to follow to get tasks done well and consistently. Time management will be an important part of your day as you only have 8 hours a day to get your work done. You may have to take training or do some reading to brush up on your skills to do better at your job. You may have people under you that you have to train and manage. There may be others that you equip to follow in your footsteps.

Let’s compare this with our work as keepers of our homes:
Remember ladies, God is our employer. Take the time to meet with Him first thing in the morning and He will guide and help you to prioritize your days. God has already laid out our priorities as wives and mothers in His Word (Titus 2:3-5).  There are duties in a home that must be taken care of daily, weekly, monthly and yearly for it to run smoothly. Have you taken time to set up a system that works for you to accomplish and complete the work it takes to get your home in an orderly and clean state by still making the most of the time God has allotted you? Can you set up a system that helps you achieve this by not neglecting the relationships He has put before you? Take some time to read on ways to be better organized and clean with a system that works for your home. (We’ll talk more about this at the end of the post.)  God may have given you some “employees” to train if you have little ones underfoot. Take the time to train them in managing their own homes well. If you have daughters Mama you have young women who need someone to equip them in managing their homes and you are the one God has called to this task.

When I was a young mom we didn’t have the distractions we had today. There was no internet, cell phones and definitely no Facebook. I am not blaming these for all the issues we see with moms neglecting the order and upkeep of their homes because there are many who do a great job participating in the online community while still caring well for their loved ones and homes. But this can be an issue for some women.  If you are finding yourself absorbed by the online community and not able to manage your time well or neglecting the duties of keeping your home to read more blog posts about being a keeper of your home – it’s probably time to shut off the computer for a bit, repent to the Lord for your neglect of your duties and get to work!  Sarah Mae has wrote an eBook on this called The UnWired Mom – Choosing to Live Free in an Internet Addicted World and my friend Bambi over at In The Nursery of the Nation has a convicting post called Why You Shouldn’t Read This Blog.

I have always loved to care for my home as I saw what a blessing it was to my family. My husband traveled frequently when we were first married and I so loved to have the home ready for his arrival. Favorite foods prepared, house tidied and in order, candles lit, soft music, the kids waiting his arrival with clean faces and brushed hair. I took care of outdoor tasks like cutting the grass so he didn’t have to deal with it after being gone all week. I was created to be his helper. Does it sound old fashioned or out of date? Why? Is it wrong to let your husband know you delight in him and that you’ve taken the time to show him that you have been thinking about him all day?

Messy, neglected homes should not be glamorized or considered the norm for Christian wives and mothers.  We should not be making excuses or falling back on the excuse that relationships are more important. Relationships are but God has given us enough time to take care of both – we do not need to neglect one over the other.  What example are we setting for our children if we waste time away to prioritize activities outside the home so much that the home itself if neglected. What example are we setting to the young women we are called to mentor in the example of Titus 2?

There may be seasons (illness, death in the family, etc.) where the home is a little set aside but it should not be the normal everyday pattern for our lives.  (please read Encouragement on Difficult Days.)

The world is watching us and how is living in a cluttered, dirty mess honoring to the Lord? If your yard has weeds up to the windows and you haven’t cut the grass in two weeks, what testimony of Christ at work in your life is that to your neighbors? If your neighbor can’t comfortably sit at your home for a visit without brushing crumbs off a chair first or they can’t take their shoes off because your floors are dirtier than the sidewalk outside, how have you taken the time to put their comfort above your own?

We can use the old excuse of the Lord knows our hearts but the world doesn’t know our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). The world is judging us by our actions and how we live our lives.

Our conduct has a direct influence on how people think about the gospel. The world doesn’t judge us by our theology; the world judges us by our behavior. People don’t necessarily want to know what we believe about the Bible. They want to see if what we believe makes a difference in our lives. Our actions either bring glory to God or misrepresent His truth.”
~Carolyn Mahaney, Feminine Appeal

Listen again, this is not having a perfect home but we should have homes that reflect the beauty of the work of the Lord in our lives.  This can be done on very little time each day when we take the time to learn to manage our time well and be productive in the time the Lord has given us.  When our homes are in order we are more likely to graciously and spontaneously offer hospitality. I know personally I feel much better sitting with a cup of tea and a book when my home is not in chaos. Clutter and disorder bog you down.  You forget important things and spend a lot of time looking for missing items. Many times you are in such chaos you don’t know where to begin to get order.

If you are in total chaos and disorder and are finding escape online I suggest you turn off the computer now and start first in putting your kitchen in order (See Where to Begin When You’re Overwhelmed).  Make a list from there of the most important rooms and take it one room at a time. Declutter (you can’t clean clutter) and clean. Pretty simple. It doesn’t happen by itself but takes work. If you are home with children take the time to have them work alongside you and teach them now how to manage and clean a home. Don’t send them off clueless in this most important life skill that they are going to need everyday – unlike Algebra :).

Once you have your home in some semblance of order take the time to set up routines to keep it that way. I have my system I share here called my Homemaking Binder that I still continually tweak to whatever season I am in. This system may not work for you but find one that does. If you don’t start – it will never happen and your chaos and disorder will just continue to build.

We all waste time and we all have lazy moments. I continually pray for the Lord to convict me of my laziness and that I would make the most of my days and the time He has gifted me with.  Maybe you are doing too much outside of your home and you need to sit with your husband and adjust your schedule.

If you really need some help my first suggestion would be to find a mentor (an older woman who loves the Lord, her husband, children and manages her home well) to help you one to one.  It may be your mom. Younger women if you are too prideful to ask for help I pray you will repent of that hardheartedness right now and humble yourself and seek some help.

Let me leave you with some simple tips that help to keep a home in order on a day to day basis:

1. Make your bed every morning. Teach your kids to do the same.
2. Keep up with dishes throughout the day and try not to go to bed with dishes in the sink.
3. Keep laundry going and moving – try not to wash that leftover load of clothes in the washer three times before it hits the dryer :).
4. Make a To Do List everyday to keep you on task and focused.
5. Deal with mail on a daily basis and have a bill paying system.
6. Put things away when you’re done using them. Teach your children this one while they are young.
7. Take the time after dinner to tidy the kitchen (I quickly wipe down counters, the stove if needed and run a quick vacuum over the floor) and think about the next day’s breakfast and meals. Do this as a family!
8. Continually declutter, declutter, declutter! (Toss or donate)
9. Shower and get dressed first thing in the morning. If you are nighttime showerer than get dressed first thing.
10. Meals are a big part of day so take the time to meal plan.

My hope today was not to drag you down but to encourage you to get this most important area of your life under control. We all make excuses as to why we do the things we do. I know keeping our homes looks different to everyone and we will not all have the same level of cleanliness but we should all have the same heart to manage well what the Lord has given us to manage.

If you have been neglectful in this area of your life pray and ask the Lord’s forgiveness and help to change and bless your family with a home that they will look forward to coming home to and spending time in and bringing others to share the love of Christ within your four walls. If you only clean your home when company is coming over what does this say to your family about their priority in your life? Shouldn’t my husband and children be better cared for by me than those outside my home?

When you write a post like this there always come all the criticisms so the only one that I know for sure will be brought up for sure is the issue of our hearts.  I can have a perfectly kept home and have a heart that is far from the Lord and neglects to love my husband and children. If I am choosing to have a sinful unloving attitude towards my loved ones at the expense of having an immaculate home than I am in sin and need to be on my knees and in God’s Word and not reading a blog at the moment. Walk away from the computer and get into God’s Word if this is you.

Let’s get busy ladies we have been given a job that has eternal purposes. God is using the caring for your home to grow you spiritually. If you are a born again believer He is working all things for your good even the care and upkeep of your home (Romans 8:28).

“The challenge of ministry in our home is that we do not always feel very “spiritual” when we wash our dishes. It hardly feels significant to scrub our toilet. and we can feel that we are truly ministering when the Lord uses us to communicate a word of wisdom to someone, or He provides an opportunity to share the gospel with our neighbor. That seems like real ministry. And that is real ministry to be sure! But no more so than when we are wiping runny noses or cleaning the bathroom. That is because we have a very narrow view of true spirituality… The Lord wants to help us see the significance of ministry at home. He also wants to expand our vision for the multiple opportunities that we have for ministry in the home. Let’s ask the LORD to help us gain a biblical perspective of our ministry at home.”
~ Carolyn Mahaney, Feminine Appeal




  1. Thank you so much for your website. I’m so glad that my father can still humble me and for his mercy on me. Your articles it me pretty hard. Thank you so much.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this knowledge. The Lord has recently shown me who my husband will be and in preparation for the blessing I sought out “keepers at home” and have been greatly encouraged by your post. I remember once thinking the same thing…that washing the dishes or doing some “menial” task was too small. But the Lord showed me that if we are not faithful in small things we will not be faithful in larger things. Obedience…no matter how small is precious in his sight and such faith will always be rewarded. Thanks again.

  3. Janelle at The Peaceful Haven says:

    Wonderfully encouraging post! Thank you!!!

  4. Love this! This has always been my heart for my husband, my children and my home as it was the example that was lived out in front of me growing up.

  5. Hello, and thank you for your work and desire to help others. I wish I knew someone personally that is like you that lived near me that could disciple me. I constantly struggle with keeping my home in order. I am a born again believer in Jesus Christ, wife, homemaker and currently have 4 children, ages 5,4,almost 2, and 4 months. I am also planning on starting to home school my older two later this month. I feel overwhelmed all the time, and know that there are very few who understand what it’s like having 4 children ages 5 and under. I am always reminding myself to “Do the next thing”, because I know that when I try to schedule things, they almost always do not happen the way they should, with all the time I must take with breastfeeding, disciplining my children, the baby crying, putting the baby and my toddler down for nap(s), all the laundry and cooking I have to do, messes and spills to clean up, etc. Honestly most of the time it seems like I get more done(though still not enough) when I don’t try to schedule anything, which doesn’t make sense! I live out in the country, and do not know anyone who is able to spend much time to disciple me and help me (like in a previous post you admonish older women to do). Everyone who might do that for me lives too far away. The church we are a part of is an hour and a half’s drive away. My parents live 3 hours away and honestly my mother isn’t a great example when it comes to homemaking anyway. I look at some homemaking tips and helps online, but due to my responsibilities at home I don’t spend much time online. I greatly desire to learn how to better manage my home for the Glory of God, but don’t really know how to go about it with the little bit of time I have. I struggle with wishing I had someone to help me, but at the same time I know the responsibility is mine. Any advice/help you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Marci Ferrell says:

      You sound like you are doing a good job for the busy season you are in right now. Do the next thing is a very good motto for you right now. I do pray you get time to sit at the Lord’s feet no how matter how busy the days are – you need this encouragement and refreshment for all your dealing with. Even if you need to sit with littles on your lap and around you to read the Word, take that time to do that. Your best work right now is going to be in teaching and training your littles – teach them to help with even simple chores and maybe setup a good morning routine where you all get dressed (set their clothes out at night so they can get them on in the morning), brush teeth, make beds (let them make their own no matter how it looks), keep the items they need for their table settings in an area so they can set their own place and teach them to clean up after dinner and even their toys when they’re done playing. Keeping order and keeping it simple in your home will be help. Anytime you take organizing an area to make it easier to clean up and put things away is well worth your time. Meal planning is going to be your good friend too. Praying for you my friend and you have your priorities right that you don’t spend much time online – life is too busy with all you have going on right now. Blessings to you and much love, Marci xo

    2. Here is an interesting post that may help to put things in perspective…especially with the little ones. I do not recommend this site, there are many issues there…but this may be helpful to you.


      If we want to complete things consistently and successfully, we really have to force ourselves to stay on top of the right things (some stuff we make time for is not necessary).

      I have found something that works for me and allows me to break up my daily demands into smaller (hence easier) pieces. Some people like working on big housework projects, but I don’t. I call this technique, the “rule of fives.” I’ve shared it with others who also liked it. Somebody said it basically makes housework fun and like exercise. Here is how the “rule of fives” works:

      Let’s say I want to work on a long project, but I have been working on several housework tasks to complete.

      I go to the kitchen and literally do five things, e.g., putting away five dishes out of the dish rack (three forks, a spoon, and a plate–five things).
      I go to the family room and do five things, e.g., straighten five books on the bookshelf or put away three pencils, a paperclip that is on the floor, and file a document.
      I go put a load of clothes in the wash and then go through the cycle again–kitchen, family room, laundry.

      This is only an example. I might be doing some research. I say, “I am going to make these business calls first.” I do that and then begin my research. An hour later I say, “I need to put the chicken in the oven.” I then clean up behind myself and go back to my project for a while, etc.

      Another thing I do. Let’s say I’ve eaten and think, “I don’t feel like cleaning up.” Then I think, “Well, you just ate so you have the calories to clean up”–so I do it.

      It may seem that not much gets done when one does five things, but actually a lot does happen and it happens quickly. You are moving in a flowing circuit and everything is very fast. Some people prefer to work on one thing–we are all different, but I like quick projects.

      [An aside (of sorts): We live in irregular times and with the perpetual electronic distractions like the computers, cell phones, etc., many don’t know how to order a life outside of them. We are accustomed to hunting down more data. We actually have to seek ways to engage in a real, non-electronic life (I’ve read that the modern cancer epidemic may be caused by electrification). The work lifestyle that I often speak of is a life of productivity. In the New Testament epistlels, the Bible speaks a lot about work. “Created unto good works,” “study to be quiet, and do your own business working with your own hands,” etc. When one lives the work lifestyle, at the end of the day, he looks back and see that a lot has been accomplished.]

      The rule of five works so well for me. Oftentimes, I do five things and basically say, “Surely I could do this and this, too,”–and end up completing a lot. But sometimes I think, “Okay, five is enough.”

  6. Hello, sister.. I have just discovered your blog and am being truly blessed by these great posts. I know Im oftly late to the discussion here and I imagine you miht not have time to answer this, but if you did I would so appreciate it. One of the biggest struggles for me as a homemaker is this feeling that Im not being a good Christian if I spend most of my time at home. And yet, for me as the wife of a man who works 50-60 hours a week to take care of us, and who has two young children with autism (5 and 2 1/2), if I am going to truly be the mom and wife i want to be with regard to our home and taking care of my kiddos as they need, it really resticts the amoutn of time I can be out of the home. This is due in part to just the kind of person I am- lots of interruption really disrupts my ability to focus and stay engaged with tasks, so a day where we dont have to go out anywhere is just so refreshing ot me and I feel like I get 10 times more done. But I also dont want to be totally isolated, especially in this day and age where I have no Christians in my immediate neighborhood, and I also want to be faithful to follow up on relationships God seems to have brought into our lives with families who dont yet know the Lord, and yet… I just cant do it all. Its like I want to give myself “permission” to put my home and family first, but today even respected Christian leaders seems to suggest that in order to be truly gospel centered a mom has to be out engaging with the world around her more than being home. So I just feel torn all the time… I keep going back to the scripture and seeing that God says I am to be busy at home, and yet at the same time I look at the proverbs 31 woman and she seemed to be out in the community a fair bit, engaging with people, serving the poor, buying and selling, etc. Anyway, I know Im going on and on. Thank you for your encouraging post, and if you have an opportunity to respond I would love to know, when your kids were very little (and we are homeschoolin I should add), how often a week do you think you went out to do things, if you can remember? DId you have a set rule? Or how many times did you have people into your home? Thanks so much for this lovely blog, I intend to read more as I can (I have recently given up facebook and all other forms of social media so I have a little more time to read blogs of worthy content to encourage me 🙂 ).

  7. I’ve just come across your blog and enjoyed this entry very much. I have been struggling with being enough because I am at home with one child who is 10. It’s such a blessing to be at home and I have wanted nothing more than to be a wife and mother. However, I sometimes, okay…often times, feel like I should be doing more because others are balancing full time careers, children, marriages and running their home at the same time. This was a great reminder of how important my “job” really is and how much I love it. There is certainly room for improvement on my part, but I do love being a stay at home mom and can homeschool our son. The Homemaking 101 series is wonderful and I appreciate your willingness to share your heart because it is very encouraging and informative at the same time letting me know exactly what I could be doing to make my home a better place for my family to live.

    1. Marci Ferrell says:

      Judy thank you for taking the time to share that with me. What an encouragement you are to me today.

  8. Dawn Paoletta says:

    I always have to ask God to help me in my Homemaking! I am so glad I did get to read this post today. It is an ongoing challenge to balance and prioritize. I appreciate your encouragement and call to action and am continuing to grow in this area. God is faithful, and gracious- for that I am thankful!

  9. This post was *such* a blessing for me today – thank you so much! So many times I feel sorry for myself for having to do 95% of the work around the house, but when I view it as working for the God and for blessing my family it absolutely changes my attitude and my heart.

    It seems like I’ve heard this sentiment so many times, but it really sank in with this post. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  10. Laura Lane says:

    I needed to read this article this morning. Thank you.
    Mrs. Lane

  11. Jim and April says:

    I needed this ♥

  12. So true. Loved your post. Keeping up your home is such a blessing to your family. People thought I was old before my time because keeping up my home was important to me. But it was something I learned from my mother. Although she worked full time she made sure we learned the basics to keeping a home and this helped to ease her burden too. I lived at home during college and would make dinner and clean house when I came home from classes. I was never asked or told to do it I just enjoyed it.
    Nice post.

  13. Melanie Davis says:

    Thank you. I am a “keeper of the home” in progress.

  14. What a wonderful post! Thanks so much for linking up over New Life on a Homestead…that’s how I found you! I have to say…this article was convicting, but for all the right reasons! THANK YOU! I do my best to keep my house tidy, but I know there is more I can do. I am on my way to begin setting up a routine that hopefully I can stick to!

  15. Laura Merrill says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. These words are what my heart needed to hear. I have been struggling with my housekeeping and letting things go. Laundry ran 3 times… been there! I am one of those people that get in a cleaning frenzy right before company arrives but my husband and babies are so much more important! Thank you!!!

  16. More Dawn than Andy says:

    All I can say is “Ouch!” Tough truth to speak AND hear! Thank you Marci for sharing your heart! <3

  17. Ashley Ditto says:

    This completely encouraged me, sweet Marci!

  18. Lisa @ Our Country Road says:

    Thank you for this post. It was exactly what I needed today.

  19. Thank you so much for this. I have actually been thinking for awhile now, that I need to put my facebook account on “hold” for awhile. This pretty much convicted me that I need too. While I do not live in a “pig pen”, I could be managing my time much more wisely. Passing this along to friends and family. Thanks again and may God bless you for your willingness to be honest and encouraging us younger Mom’s and homemakers.

  20. theconfidentmom says:

    So true and thank you for standing up for what needs to be said. I agree 100%! Caring for our home is not second hand work – it is our priority and God given role – when we neglect the tasks that are needed to create a peaceful place for our family we are not following God’s plan. I believe older women have the obligation to share with younger moms how to do this and I plan to do more of this – it is how we can support and encourage each other. Thanks and great post!

  21. Michelle Marvian says:

    I remember when I first read the book Fascinating Womanhood. With a liberal mom, I was so relieved that the old fashioned woman I longed to be deep down was actually what was Godly! It’s hard to believe now that I fell for what the world said was normal.

  22. Sue@House Pretty says:

    I’m not sure if I was supposed to have the reaction I did to this post or not, but it cracked me up! How you describe, basically, living in a pigpen, and if that is you, stop reading blogs and get your house tidied. And yet, everything you said was right on the money! Excellent post!!!

  23. Léslie Lansky SPS says:

    I needed to read this today! Thank you Marci!

  24. Loved this post! Beautifully written and full of encouragement, but very convicting as well! Thank you for these words and for the teaching spirit in this post. So thankful for you and your blog <3

  25. Sherry Hayes says:

    This is so great–thank you for taking time to put it together. I will be sharing!

  26. sharlanicky says:

    I loved this! Thank you!

  27. Marci, this was fantastic. A very needed word. The truth is often hard to hear, but it needs to be said!

  28. I have been going day by day with so much stress. I make a list everyday of the things I need to do, but without a broad plan of my week, I worry about what I am going to be able to get to. This post has inspired me to come up with a binder of my own. I have already taken a few steps in the right direction, and God must have known that I needed to read this. I want to be an example to my daughter and have her involved. Thank you so much for the reminder that my ministry is home, and there is no where else as important as the hearts of my family.

  29. Amber Courreges says:

    Hello, I really loved your post today and I am a newer reader of your blog. I feel convicted of this often because I will let things pile up! For me I struggle with wanted to have that totally picked up neat house all the time that you are never embarrassed to have people over in and I don’t! No exscuses here I just don’t! I read so many ladies blogs about routine routine routines and for me I have tried a million times over and had 20 or more different lists or binders or routines and I am a person who is easily distracted and while cleaning one room i while I see something in there that needs a home somewhere else then when I go to put it away I realize something needs to be done in there and I continue on from there, kind of like the Dog in the movie Up, “squirril” and all is lost on me! I thank you for this post and I will continue to pray for focus and keep working on myself! Thank you again! Amber

  30. Truly enjoyed your sharing today!… 4 of my 5 children are adults now, and 2 still live at home. I do have a 13-year old daughter, and although I have “more” time on my hands than when all of the kids were little, I find that often, I actually have “less” time in my day. Your sharing was a wonderful reminder to me that managing our home at this stage in my life is just as important as it had been in the years of diapers, homeschooling, & car pools. May many younger women be blest by your wisdom… Thanks & God Bless!

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