Teaching Our Daughters to Clean a Home
Not all of us come into marriage and motherhood with the understanding of how to clean a home. It can be a little overwhelming to the new bride and thankfully most of us started in very small surroundings so we could learn to clean and not be overwhelmed. One of the important skills your daughters (and sons too) need to learn is how to clean a home. It is not a natural skill for everyone to see what needs to be taken care of in cleaning a house.
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One of the traits we have shared with our children many times is learning the skill of walking into a room and seeing what needs to be taken care of without being told. Are the shelves untidy? Pillows messed up? Does it need to be vacuumed? Fingerprints on the window? Dust on the table? The easiest way I found to train my daughter in the skill of cleaning a home was to work together with her one room at a time.
I keep a Homemaking Binder that has a breakdown of what needs to be taken care of in every room when we clean. Every task may not get taken care of in one cleaning but it is a guide as to what we accomplished and what we need to do the next time we clean that particular room.
This list was a great tool for training my daughter in how to clean a home. Over time it gave her the eyes to walk into a room and see what needed to be taken care of without looking at a list. We were able to work together to teach her the skills she needed to complete each task. Let me give you an example of what the list for a room may look like.
Kitchen Cleaning List:
▪ Straighten and clean the refrigerator
▪ Clean microwave inside and out
▪ Clean oven and cooktop
▪ Wash all items on countertop/use dishwasher for items if needed
▪ Wipe all fingerprints off walls/appliances/clean switch plates
▪ Polish cabinets
▪ Clean toaster
▪ Clean out china cabinet and dust thoroughly
▪ Wipe down kitchen table and chairs
▪ Clean pet dishes and tray
▪ Feather dust light fixtures
▪ Clean up kitchen desk area
▪ Tidy kitchen drawers frequently used
▪ Wash countertops
▪ Scrub kitchen sink
▪ Vacuum rugs and floor
▪ Dust baseboards and wash around baseboards
▪ Mop floor
▪ Straighten under the sink/clean garbage can
▪ Put out fresh towels
We enjoyed working together and dividing the list up so the room would be cleaned up in no time. Make the time enjoyable by listening to some upbeat worship music and put on a pretty apron. Cleaning truly is a joy and shouldn’t be looked upon begrudgingly. We are preparing a home for our families – what joy we should have in taking care of what the Lord has blessed us with!!
In my binder are breakdowns for each room in my home just simply typed out and kept in sheet protectors so we can easily cross off the items with a dry erase marker. The next time that room rolls around for a deeper cleaning we know what tasks we missed and would be a priority for the next time.Taking the time to teach homekeeping skills to our daughters is a help to us now but it is a greater help as they become keepers of their own homes. It takes time to train, and many times may seem easier to do the tasks ourselves but this is missing what it means to “train up the younger women” (Titus 2:3-5).
Homemaking is truly a skill and requires time, energy and experience. My vocation is a wife, mother, and homemaker so my desire is to put my best into all that I do in my home to meet the needs of my family. God has given us, as homemakers, this work to do and the responsibility to train up our children and we are called to do it all for His glory and honor. May we not neglect the responsibility of teaching and training our daughters to be keepers of their homes.
The beauty of the house is order;
The blessing of the house is contentment;
The glory of the house is hospitality;
The crown of the house is godliness;
What are some ways you work with your children to teach them how to clean and manage a home?
Teaching the Younger Women to be Keepers of Their Homes
The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook
Oh and I meant to add…I second the person that asked for copies of that binder!
I can agree with a lot in your article. I wish that my own mother had spent more time teaching me how to properly take care of a home though I don’t fault her at all for my lack of organizational skills now. She was more the do it herself type. My husband came prepackaged with this knowledge. He was the oldest of six boys and his mom had to have all hands on deck when it came to keeping the house looking nice. Every single one of them can do any type of house work, and many of them are great cooks as well. He and I split the housework about 50/50 since we both work full time. The exception is of course during the summer when I’m off in which case I naturally do more of the housework and find time for other homemaking projects I enjoy like canning and crafts.
I know that you made a side mention that boys should be taught some housework skills as well, but you seem to have focused way more on girls. I think it’s lovely if a woman wants to be a homemaker and thus take on the majority of the responsibility for the housekeeping, but we do ourselves a disservice if we assume that is the path that our children will take. Do you worry that by setting up the difference between your son and daughter (you mentioned this in a comment) that she will feel guilty if she has to split the work more evenly with her own husband because she chooses or they need for her to work outside of the home as well? Also what if your son remains unmarried or has a wife that works, if the skills are that important shouldn’t they be taught equally? Again I’m not trying to be difficult, and I do think there is a lot of validity in directly training children in household skills, but I wonder about tilting it a bit far toward one gender or another.
Whitney thank you for your comment and sharing your thoughts on this :). I did not grow up in a home where learning to clean and cook were a priority and had to do much learning on my own after I got married. My grandmother was a blessing to call and ask questions as a new bride and I’m so thankful for books! I’m coming from and really what my blog is based on is being a Titus 2 mentor so I do look at teaching our daughters and young women how to be keepers of their homes with cleaning being a huge part of this. So many women have never been taught how to care for a home. While I may seem biased and it is true many husbands help with the housework (I am thankful to have one) the majority of the inside and sometimes outside home keeping is the woman’s job. I am and much of my audience are stay at home moms so the management of the home is what I look as my role to be a helper to my husband. I love it and see it as the job the Lord has given me.
I don’t view it as boring or mundane but truly as a job from the Lord and one I need to do well and teach my children to do well. I do believe each family will view this differently and will determine how this will look in their home. I do have to say my son is a pretty good bathroom cleaner and creative cook in the kitchen though :).
I need to put posts together yet on the binder I have but I’m not a techy blogger so I’m not sure how to make them as printable ;). Working on that one soon. By His Grace, Marci xo
Marci, was there any difference when you taught you daughter and your son to clean house? what was your son’s attitude towards the task of cleaning up?
Natasha, I definitely spent more time with my daughter in teaching deep cleaning home skills. My son is still living at home and is working and going to school so most of his chore time is spent doing work outside with my husband. I have gone over with him basic cooking skills and kitchen clean up. He is responsible for cleaning his room, bathroom and doing his own laundry.
I am merely curious, why is it the daughters job to do inside and the sons to do outside? The mess in both parts is created by both of them equally in both spaces so shouldn’t they both help out and learn how to take care of a home equally?
I do so agree with you and I’m thankful for your comment. I do reference our sons in the first paragraph of the post but the reason daughters are highlighted is because my blog is written in the spirit of Titus 2:3-5 so my posts are directed towards women as keepers of their homes. Our son learned and used this list alongside his sister so he could learn to clean a home if he was living on his own or to be a help to his future wife :).
Do you have your room checklists available for download?
Lord, have mercy! I need this and my Girl does too!
I always love seeing a comment from you Dawn. Blessings sweet friend 🙂
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