Does It Matter When I Wake Up? {Homemaking Basics}

Does it Matter When I Wake Up? {Homemaking Basics Series on}

This is one of those questions that can quickly divide a room of homemakers.  It is a question of productivity and what time a woman has to wake up in order to be a “good homemaker.”

Because I manage the home my husband works hard to provide for us, I thought the best place to start answering this question would be from him.  Here’s what he said when I asked if a woman needed to wake up at a certain time to manage her home properly:

“No.  Your days need to be flexible.  If you stayed up late to take care of something or someone, then sleeping in is justified.  However, be certain you are not using your time to play and then shirking your responsibilities the next day.”

Now, bear in mind this is my husband’s answer to the running of my husband’s home.  Your husband’s answer might be entirely different with entirely different reasons.  There will also be a lot of you with husbands who simply do not care.  I’d encourage you to seek your own husband’s thoughts on this matter before asking your girlfriends for their input or creating some guilt-ridden schedule that has you going to bed at midnight and getting up at 5 in the morning every day.  You’re much more likely to get a response from your own husband that fits your household.

That said, if your husband gives you a vague answer or truly does not care, there are a few guidelines you can follow to help you decide what time you need to wake up in order to manage your household.  So, grab a cup of tea and take a moment to really think through this minus the guilt, minus the craziness, and minus a bunch of preconceived notions about what your wake up time “should be.”

Does it Matter When I Wake Up?  {Homemaking Basics Series on}

Your Wake Up Time Should Match Your Responsibilities

Is there something that requires your attention first thing in the morning?  Do you have early morning chores or a baby that needs you?  Perhaps there is a toddler who wakes up early and must be supervised or your husband prefers you get up to see him off to work.  Your wake up time needs to match those responsibilities.  Just as a husband who has the responsibility to clock in at a certain time for work has to show up at the right time to fulfill his work responsibilities, you also must be “on time” to fulfill your responsibilities at home.

Does it Matter When I Wake Up? {Homemaking Basics on Raising Arrows}

A Homemaker’s Responsibilities Vary From Day to Day

Just as Emily Ryan in Guilt-Free Quiet Times speaks of how Jesus rose early, but also stayed up late, we too must be willing to take care of our responsibilities whenever they arise.  We have generalized responsibilities like feeding our children and keeping the house clean, but we also have unforeseen incidentals that require focused energy like caring for sick children or guiding a child through difficult school work.  Your wake up time may not always be the same due to these incidentals.

Does it Matter When I Wake Up? {Homemaking Basics on Raising Arrows}

It’s Okay to Take Comp Time, But Don’t Expect It

Comp Time is a beautiful thing.  Sleeping in can be sweet compensation for a hard day’s work.  However, you should not demand it because it won’t be long before your expectations will not be met and you will find yourself resentful of your work as a homemaker.

Does it Matter When I Wake Up? {Homemaking Basics on Raising Arrows}

Be Reasonable With Your Wake Up Time

There are seasons in life when you can rise early consistently.  There are seasons in life when you cannot.  When you consider what time you should wake up in the morning, don’t forget to consider your season and be reasonable about when you truly can hit the ground running.

Also remember, you don’t always get to pick your season.  When we started moving last Saturday, I had had a very rough night.  I did not want to get up and start my day, but I had to.  It didn’t matter that I had only had about 4 hours of sleep.  It didn’t matter that there was snow on the ground and my youngest had a cold.  My “season” was not the one I would have chosen, but it was what it was and I had to keep going.

Does it Matter When I Wake Up? {Homemaking Basics on Raising Arrows}

Factor In the Rest of Your Day {and the night before too}

As you write out a trial schedule, keep in mind your wake up time is not necessarily the beginning of your day and it definitely isn’t the end of your day.  Figure in what your night before looks like.  Figure in your husband’s schedule and your season in life.  Set a time, but be flexible.  There is no Wake Up Time Rule and no one outside your household has the ability to tell you when you ought to wake up in order to get your day off to the right start.  You have to choose a time that allows you to meet the demands of YOUR day.

Ready to get started?

Think through all of this, talk to your husband, pray over it, and then set a time!  After that, consider HOW you’ll get yourself up.  Do you need an alarm clock or will your husband be getting you up?  Or can you set an alarm on your computer or tablet?  What sound does it need to make?  (mine sounds like a phone ringing b/c in my head, that is a “Get Up” kind of sound.)  Try your wake up time for a few days and then tweak as needed.

And with that, I really must go to bed…so I can wake up refreshed in the morning!

What Time Should I Wake Up? {Homemaking Basics} |

Want A Home Management System That Doesn’t Add to Your Clutter?

Want a Home Management System That Doesn't Add to Your Clutter? {review of Paperless Home Organization by Mystie Winckler} |

I wish I could find the words to tell you just how much reading Paperless Home Organization by Mystie Winckler has changed my life and household management!  It has been such an exciting transformation and came at a time when simplifying was much needed.

I knew I needed to do something different because the clutter of my notes and binders was overwhelming and not functional in the least, but I had no idea how to make it work any better.  In fact, my binders were literally collecting dust on top of the refrigerator.  The only household binder that saw regular use was my Blogging Notebook, and even that I was finding increasingly useless.

When Mystie contacted me about reviewing her ebook Paperless Home Organization, I thought it was definitely worth it to look into something else.  Little did I know how much it would revolutionize the way I manage my home!

The ebook opens with these words:

“I have put together at least three household management binders in my 11-year career as a homemaker to date.  All three times I thought it through, made it well, and used it
for about 2 weeks.”

Mystie goes on to say how paper never stays pretty in her home and she hated to give up space to a binder (in my case, several binders).  She had me nodding my head and anxious to keep reading to learn the secret of making a functional binder.

Paperless Home Organization Review |

Before I go any further, I want to be completely upfront and honest.  I did not implement everything Mystie suggested nor did I end up using every program she used.  What Paperless Home Organization taught me were the skills I needed to take her method and make it my own.

For instance, it taught me how to make Gmail work more efficiently.  For years, I’ve had people tell me I needed to set up filters, mark my emails, and organize them accordingly, but no one told me how, and no one had instructions and specific steps I needed to take to make this work as a homemaker.  With Mystie’s guidance, I finally got my email under control!

She also taught me how to organize Evernote so it made sense and worked for my homemaking needs.  I’ve been using Evernote for quite a while, but I wasn’t proficient at it.  I knew I was missing a big chunk of what it could do, but I didn’t know how to remedy that.  Paperless Home Organization answered that for me!

It also made sense of Google Calendar.  I was randomly inputting things in my calendar, but once again, never using it the way it was meant to be used.  Boy, was I missing the amazing power of this tool!

And finally, it gave me the confidence to step out on my own and make these online tools work for me as a streamlined home management system!  I made meal plans that can be archived and revisited instead of the endless pieces of paper I was throwing away week after week.  I link my menus to the actual websites where the recipes are and have those menus available from my computer, iPad, and phone.  I set up folders for all the Trim Healthy Mama recipes I find on Facebook and through friends that are not pinnable to Pinterest.  When we were house hunting, I compiled everything in Evernote as I browsed from my computer at home and made them available to my husband on his phone via the Evernote app.  I share my calendar with my husband and kids, and I have created reminders to keep me on track.

I am still tweaking and I have revisited Mystie’s ebook several times along the way, but I finally feel like I have a system that works for me.  Mystie is the first one to admit this way of managing your home isn’t frilly and pretty, but it also isn’t collecting dust the way my frilly and pretty binders were.  I’d encourage you to check out Paperless Home Organization today and consider if this is something that would help out your homemaking!

If you decide to buy a copy, I have a great deal for you!

Get 30% off with coupon code:

And, even better news!

I’m giving away 1 copy of Paperless Home Organization along with GTD for Homemakers (see it HERE)!  Enter to win below!  {If reading via email, click HERE and scroll down to find the giveaway!

Looking for more Homemaking strategies?
Visit my Homemaking Basics series!

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Ask Amy – Messy Young Mommies

Ask Amy - Messy Young Mommies |

I recently received an email from a woman who desperately wanted to help her daughter-in-law.  Her daughter-in-law was eager to learn how to keep a home running and clean with 3 young children in tow.  As I read the email, I saw myself not all that long ago – a young messy mommy.

Young Messy Moms {there is hope} |
There was a time in my life when I struggled to keep my home clean.  In fact, the only time it really got clean was when someone was coming over.  Even then, I would often have to throw dish towels over the dirty dishes to “hide” them.

My mom would regularly come to help me get my home back in order.  But, it wouldn’t last long.  Soon, we would be back to shoving clutter to the end of the kitchen table so we could eat and pushing a path through the clothes and debris to find our beds.

I knew it was bad.  I knew I wanted it to change, but I had no idea where to start.

{affiliate links included}

Having a house full of littles is hard because you are all there is. No one helps you. Quite the opposite, they actually tend to spend the day UNdoing any cleaning you manage to do.  I can honestly say, a young mother doesn’t really come up for air until some of her children are older and more capable of pitching in and helping out.  Until then, it is imperative she learn how to stay afloat.

The first step is to create habits.  For me, it took reading through to get me started on creating habits that would keep our home running smoothly.  Another wonderful tool is the ebook 28 Days to Hope for Your Home by Dana White of a  The idea behind both of these is to help you take small steps toward habits that will help to keep your home running.

But a mom of many little ones might find she needs a bit more help.  She needs to break her cleaning into pieces.  She needs to stay afloat by cleaning in a way that isn’t perfect, but is completely functional for the season she is in.  {In my ebook The Homemaker’s Guide to Creating the Perfect Schedule, I give step-by-step guidance on how to do this.}

So, if you are a messy young mom, start learning the habits it takes to keep a home clean, then add in the chores you need to do on a daily basis to keep things running smoothly, but please remember never to compare yourself with someone not walking in your shoes.

You may see my home and wonder why you can’t keep up in the same way.  Consider where I am.  I have older children who can help out.  I’m not living the days of all littles anymore.

Some day you will be there, but not now, so don’t expect your home to be the same as mine.  Your reality will be a little messy on the top layer, but clean enough on the underneath side.  Shoot for always being only about 15 minutes away from company-clean-enough.

You can do this!  I did.  It won’t be easy and it won’t be fun and it won’t look at all like you want it to look until much later, but you can get to a place where your home is not a nightmare.

And remember to stay tuned for my Homemaking Basics!  Since we are moving, the schedule will be a bit delayed, but never fear – it’s coming!

Homemaking Basics

Homemaking Basics {Introduction} | RaisingArrowsManaging a home is work – hard work. In our modern society, many woman are not equipped to run a home effectively and efficiently. They feel stressed out by even the simplest of tasks.  I’ve written before about how I feel homemakers are pretty wimpy these days, but I also understand that many of us lack the skills needed to do the job.  We haven’t been trained. (or we didn’t listen while we were being trained…or we didn’t retain our training…or, well, you get the idea…)

What I want to offer here on Raising Arrows throughout the next year are some of these basics to managing a home. You aren’t going to find fancy, time-consuming projects or picture-perfect meals or gorgeous tablescapes.  But you will find the basics to managing a home.  How you fill in the blanks will be up to you and your unique giftings.  I’ll help you lay the groundwork…you get the build the home!

Before we get started, I want to impress upon you something of major importance -

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain…
Psalm 127:1a

All your hard work will be useless if you don’t start your foundation on the Rock – Jesus Christ.  You may succeed for a time, but you WILL fail.  You WILL have bad days.  You WILL have messes and screaming children.  Jesus doesn’t make these things magically disappear, but He does makes these moments bearable and worth fighting through.  With Him, you won’t just survive, you will thrive!  You don’t have to despair that you will never get it “right” because Jesus went before you in perfection.  So, as you build, there will be gaps (and sometimes gaping holes!) in your work, but Jesus fills those with His grace and the house-building continues.

I’ve set up a page here on Raising Arrows to hold all of the Homemaking Basics posts.  You might want to pin it or bookmark it somehow as we work our way through these skills.

Homemaking Basics |

I’d also encourage you to check out Homemaking 101 from Family Vision Films.  This DVD includes short segments of homemaking information that will get you started on your journey to building a better home without overwhelming you.  The DVD also features advice from a Titus 2 woman, easy recipes, and footage of the Ross family actually living life (it’s not all perfect, folks!)

You can check it out here (affiliate link):

I also wanted to let you know that The Pursuit of Motherhood is on sale all month for $3.99! This is a study guide as well, steeped in Scripture and wisdom from many different mothers from many different walks of life (myself included!).

The Pursuit of Motherhood Sale!

Hope for Your Home Cleaning & Decluttering Book Bundle Sale!

I remember a time when my home was hopelessly messy.  I remember when we used to push all the stuff on the kitchen table to the back of the table just so I could serve dinner.

12 years ago I decided enough was enough and I took a leap of faith into the world of small, slow steps to learning how to keep my home clean.

When I met Nony of A Slob Comes Clean in 2010, she had just begun her journey.  She was blogging her way through it, and eventually wrote an ebook to help others “come clean” as well.

I highly recommend her ebooks and methods to those who feel utterly helpless.  And now through January 2, her ebooks are on sale!
{affiliate links}

Cleaning & Declutter ebook sale

Each individual book is on sale for $3, but you can get the set for just $5!

and use code:

You can do this!

Mom’s Command Central {why I decided to create my own office space}

Mom's Command Central {why I decided to create my own office space} |

It started with a meltdown.

Most of my good ideas start that way.

I was overwhelmed.  Beyond overwhelmed.  I couldn’t seem to put two thoughts together and I was getting nothing done.  All of my home chores were either not getting completed on time or being left undone entirely.  Many times this was happening because I couldn’t even remember what it was I was supposed to be doing.  And then there was my blog.  I had so much stacked up and digging out seemed impossible.

I felt completely incompetent.  How in the world did I get here?

I went to my husband, asking him to excuse the mess I was making and begging him to help me figure out what to do to regain control of the chaos.

His answer was to compartmentalize.

We all know I’m a list maker, but this sort of list-making is different.  This is how my executive-husband runs his office – lists that are specific to a certain task or area of his job.  He suggested I do the same and get my list under control by dividing it up into a more manageable grouping.  

After talking it through, I decided to divide between 2 lists -

Home & Blog

I decided against Offline and Online because the things that involve my blog online are very different from the things I do for our home online and vice-versa.  I also did not think I could handle more than 2 lists, so I took the two things that take up the vast majority of my brainpower and focused on separating them out.  (For you, this might look like Homeschool & Homemaking or Home Business & Family Life – you get the idea – and YOU  might even be able to handle more than 2 lists, unlike me!)

However, as I was talking through all of this with my husband, I began to realize that compartmentalizing into lists was not going to help me if I didn’t actually look at those lists throughout the day.  I had become notorious for making lists and LOSING lists.

I decided right then and there, I needed a Command Central.

For the 2 years we have lived here, I have been without a real landing place for all my stuff.  I had a crate of homeschool things by my chair, a pile of lists on the kitchen island, a desk in my bedroom I never used.

There really wasn’t any one good place for me to set up shop.  Our living room and kitchen are small, our dining room is a strange shape, and the one wall I could have a desk on doesn’t have an outlet.  The printer was in my bedroom (you know, on that desk I never use), but guess what else is in the bedroom…my little guy!  And we all know that baby’s nap time is prime to time to actually get things done…and printed off!

I felt a little doomed, but I knew I somehow had to pull this off because I needed to run this household effectively and efficiently and that wasn’t going to happen as long as my brain was strewn about the house on tiny bits of paper.

What I finally decided to do was carve out a bit of space in a corner of the living room next to my chair and partially hidden by the piano.  It was out of the way, but super convenient.
{affiliate links included}

Mom's Command Central (control the chaos) |

I used an end table from my bedroom as a “desk”.  Here, I placed my printer and pens and my compartmentalized lists.  Underneath were school books and more paper.  In the crate beside it were homeschool materials and binders I use on a daily basis.  I bought a LapDesk (see it up against the wall?) and used that for sitting in my chair and typing on my laptop.  I keep the laptop on top of my printer and charge it right there as needed.

(And yes, that is a DOOR behind my chair.  We rarely use that door, so it made sense to put a chair in front of it.)

I had created an office space for myself.  It wasn’t fancy, and it sure didn’t look like an office, but it was in a location centralized and convenient location.  It gave me a landing place for all those things I needed in order to run this home of mine.

I have to realize that all good leaders have a Headquarters.

I manage a home.  I manage a blog.

This is my HQ.  This is my Command Central.  I do this because it makes me a better home manager, a better homeschool teacher, a better wife, a better mother.

Homemaking Tips & Inspiration Pinterest board - Amy Roberts

Here are some other Command Central ideas for moms from my Homemaking Tips & Inspiration Pinterest board:


Don’t have a desk?  Put everything on clipboards and hang on the wall!

cart from a changing table

Forget the bar!
Makeover an old changing table into a rolling desk you can roll out of the way!

wall folders

Files and chalkboard (or white board) all in one place!

Another way to compartmentalize

Another way to compartmentalize!

So, tell me…do you have a Command Central?  What are the things you HAVE to have there to keep your home in good running order?