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Inside of a Kitchen at Newcastle, from “Remarks on a Tour to North and South Wales, in the year 1797” By John Hill, January 1, 1800. Sourced from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

How Can I Start Homemaking as a Student?

Homemaking. It might seem like an outdated term, an outdated art. One may conjure up images of women drudging at cooking and cleaning all day, with no change, no fun, no relaxation.

The truth of the matter, however, is that homemaking is a beautiful calling. We all know how precious home can be. Think of a time when you were away from home for a long time. Think of the sigh of relief when you came back to your own house, and how good it felt to be there again, with all your own dear familiar objects around you.

Well, homemaking is the making of that space, the making of that treasured place of safety, rest, and comfort. Like any other art, it is the making of something beautiful. One might as well speak of a homemaker’s freedom being impeded because she is tied down to her home as speak of a musician’s freedom being impeded because he is tied down to making and performing music.

Now, this may seem all very well and good, but perhaps you are wondering how exactly you fit into all this. You do not own your own house, and you have your own duties as a student, as a friend, as a brother or sister, and as a son or daughter, without trying to add on the many duties of a homemaker as well.

One of the lovely things about homemaking, however, is that anybody can participate in it! Even if someone else (say, your mother) is the main homemaker in your home, any little thing you do to make the house more of a home is participating in homemaking. This isn’t just limited to cooking and cleaning, either. The physical aspect of homemaking is quite important, but there are other aspects to be considered as well. The attitudes of a house’s inhabitants, and the atmosphere in a house, are just as important (if not more so) in the making of a home than how well the house is cleaned and what dishes are served at mealtimes.

Here are a few suggestions of some simple things you can try to start homemaking yourself. If you’re already doing these things, please tell us how they’re working for you and your family in the comments section!

Make an effort to make yourself look put-together in the morning. This doesn’t mean you need a half-hour makeup routine, but wearing a nice, neat, clean outfit, which makes it clear that you did put some effort into your appearance (and makes it clear that you didn’t just roll out of bed) will likely make you more productive. Also, knowing you look put-together and presentable just makes you feel better!

Assign yourself one section of the house that could use tidying (your room, for instance) and work on it for just five minutes every day. The key to this is consistency. While it’s true that just five minutes in and of themselves are not a whole lot, if you really keep doing it every day the time builds up. Five minutes for six days a week for two weeks is a whole hour.

Try to make dinner a special occasion. Gather the whole family together, say grace together before you start eating, and try to really spend time talking to your family, instead of staring at your phone or reading a book (I’ve certainly been guilty of that last one). Clear the table of any clutter, piles of schoolbooks (guilty as charged here as well), and maybe get on a playlist of music everybody enjoys while you eat.

Schedule your day so that you will have time to spend with your family. Again, I know that we are all busy. I doubt, however, that every moment of every day is filled with work (and if it is, it shouldn’t be! No matter how much work you have, you’ll only get burned out if you don’t give yourself some time to unwind and relax). Nonetheless, having bonding time as a family is very important, and if you’re having trouble regularly spending time with your family, try to look at your schedule and make the time. Also, as well as spending time just bonding with your family, make sure to spend time praying together as a family as well!

Try cooking some meals yourself. This is a very good skill to have for any walk of life, not only for a homemaker! You can try some of the tried and true recipes in your family, or you can experiment and try something totally new. (One tip for your cooking adventures, though: clean up your own mess afterwards. Your mother will be much more likely to be enthused about your endeavors if you do.)

Hopefully these ideas inspire you! If you have tips for up-and-coming homemakers, or if you’d like to share your experiences with any of these suggestions, please leave a comment below!

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