Running a Home

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Running a Home


Big or small, if we are lucky enough to have a place to call home, we want to take pride in it, make it comfortable and welcoming, and keep it organized and running smoothly.

Running a home is not something that just happens by itself, as anyone who does it will know.  It takes dedication and work, and good self esteem.  Yes, self esteem.  You need to feel you are deserving of a comfortable home for yourself.

Partners and children often seem unaware of how much work goes into it, but certainly enjoy the benefits of a well run home, and seeing our families enjoy the home brings a great deal of pleasure.  

Running a home is seen by some as a mysterious art form, not dissimilar to cooking.  Some of us acquire it as a skill passed down, some of us make it up as we go along, and some of us work it out by trial, error and experience.  Many of us, especially when we have busy lives with work and children, find it a struggle at times. 

As long as I can remember, having a lovely home that I felt proud of has been important to me.  I always wanted my room nice as a little girl, and still do, and am very sensitive to the aesthetics of my surroundings.  I haven't always lived in nice homes, but have tried to make the best of what I had.  I enjoy seeing other people's homes, and remember taking great notice of my parents' gardening and decorating adventures as a child.  As a little girl I would sit and draw floor plans for houses, and I still do.  I'm fascinated by lifestyle programmes on tv, whether about cleaning, decorating, housekeeping or organizing, and anything that allows a peek into other people's lifestyles, like Wife Swap and Trading Spouses. 

Running a home involves many different things:  decorating, furnishing, shopping, planning, managing insurance, paying bills, dealing with rental agents, dealing with trades people, arranging maintenance and improvements, meal planning, cleaning, keeping files and records, computer maintenance, gardening, dealing with local council matters, regular clutter clearing, and all sorts of details about things like library books, kids school stuff, recycling, pets… goes on and on.

How easy it is for us to run our home depends on our resources, i.e. how much money we have, but even without help or much money, we can keep the basics running smoothly if we know what to do. The more we are able to develop systems for all these things, regular, documented and habitual ways of doing them, the more smoothly things will run, and the easier it is to delegate tasks, or for someone to take over if we are unable to carry them out ourselves for any reason. I think of it along the same lines as running a business, and yes, I am heavily influenced by a great book about running a business called The E Myth by Michael Gerber.



#2 Christine 2008-07-25 01:37
Thank you for including this in your list of topics. I am a single mother of three sons. They are now grown and it was difficult running my home without help. Two of my sons are back home temporarily but they think I am their maid. My Ex became angry when I told my sons they had to do chores. I come from a large family where the girls did everything and the boys did nothing. My father ran our home so I did not learn how to do it properly. It was very stressful trying to learn by trial and error how to keep the house clean and all the important things up to date. I want to call a family meeting to request help. I hope you have more information on this topic. I want to learn how to run a home without stress.
#1 Josephine Gardner 2008-07-25 01:10
I liked this article. It's basic but, refreshes me to be thankful to be living anywhere. I'm living in an old house right now. But at least I've got a roof over my head. I'm working thru my clutter and reading this inspires me to keep going. Thanxs Yvette


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