How to Care for Your Home When You Work From Home

Working from home and caring for your home should seem like it’s easy … but at times it can feel close to impossible! There are ways you can care for your home when you work from home.

Working from home and caring for your home should seem like it's easy ... but at times it can feel close to impossible! There are ways you can start caring for your home when you work from home.

Unless you’re home by yourself all day long – with the entire day to focus on your home – caring for your home while staying at home can be difficult.

  • Stay-at-home moms? It’s tricky to keep your house managed with babies and children around.
  • Homeschooling moms? It’s virtually impossible to tend to your home when you’re teaching your children and holding art class and science experiments in your kitchen and dining room.
  • Caring for a sick family member? It’s difficult to find extra time and energy to look to the affairs of your house.
  • Working from home? Forget about getting much housework done when you’re trying to focus on your job.

Tips from the trenches

Since beginning to care for my own home 17 years ago, I have both worked outside of my home and worked from my home.

Believe it or not, working outside of the home, without children, was the easiest time for me to care for my home.

When I became a mom, I started working from home. Since I don’t know what it’s like to be a mom and not work from home – or work from home and not be a mom – I only know that it’s difficult to care for your home while working from home and caring for your family.

Working from home and caring for your home should seem like it's easy ... but at times it can feel close to impossible! There are ways you can start caring for your home when you work from home.

Many days, I feel like I should be the last person to ask about how to work from home and still care for your home – because I feel so defeated in my attempts.

In the midst of my perceived failure, though, I’ve learned 3 tips in the process of trying to juggle it all.

1. Let go of perfect.

Right away.

If I tried to keep a perfect home while caring for my family and working from home, I’d feel like an utter failure.

Instead, I try to do the best that I can. It’s far from perfect, and some days it’s far from pretty. But I try to decide what’s necessary every day.

I also stick to four Non-Negotiable Daily Chores. As long as I complete those every day, I feel like a work from home rock star.

Even if I wish I could do more, I make it a point to not get upset if I simply can’t.

2. Fit in housework when you can.

When I used to work outside of the home, I had enough time to clean in blocks of time … a half an hour here, a half an hour there.

I just don’t have half hour chunks of time for cleaning anymore, so I clean what I can, when I can.

Now I break my homemaking efforts into small chores and fit them in when I get a spare moments.

My entire house may never be clean at the same time, but I know that my house does get cleaned – different rooms are cleaned at different times.

3. Work when you can.

When you work from home, it can be tempting to work all the time … or at least think about work all the time.

When you leave your home to work, you have to go home – and leave your work behind. (At least, ideally, you should!)

But when you work from home, there’s no leaving your work behind – it’s there for you to work on whenever you can. Because of that, it can be tempting to work all the time.

Since I’m caring for my family and teaching my children at home, I can’t work all the time. And I wouldn’t want to. It’s a good thing to NOT work all hours of the day.

Instead, I work when I can. I try to schedule chunks of work time each day – before my kids wake up, after they go to bed, and in the late afternoon.

I carve out work time, and try to fit extra work time in when I can. (But I’m learning not to sweat it when I can’t, because my to-do list seems neverending.)

Working from home and caring for your home should seem like it's easy ... but at times it can feel close to impossible! There are ways you can start caring for your home when you work from home.

Priorities take precedence

From my work at home experience with family responsibilities, life seems to flow best when you can prioritize:

  1. Caring for your family
  2. Working from home
  3. Caring for your home

While it would be a treat to have sparkling surfaces and everything so neat and tidy, people are more important than the condition of my home.

I give myself the grace to admit that it’s currently a difficult season to manage it all … and relish the freedom to NOT expect perfection in the middle of busyness.

If you do, I think you’ll come to appreciate grace and the reality and freedom of imperfection, too!

Working from home and caring for your home should seem like it's easy ... but at times it can feel close to impossible! There are ways you can start caring for your home when you work from home.

Do you work from home? If so, how do you fit in caring for your home when you work from home?


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All images from Pixabay and Unsplash.

Hilary

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6 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this! My husband and I got married this Valentine’s Day. He owns and manages a small business and his office person left in late March. I became his office person…a job which I had helped out with when we were first dating but I really don’t enjoy. I was a nanny for 20 years and don’t enjoy being behind a desk. We won’t ever have any children but even still I am swamped with trying to help him run the business- I am currently not only helping him run the office, but every aspect of the business. I have literally cried many times over my inability to help run the business and keep my house in order. In addition, we have not been able to get all of my “Stuff” moved to places in the house. I have been living out of boxes a lot. He has been very understanding and tells me all the time “I keep you busy with the business in the time you would be cleaning the house. I would rather you be by my side in the business than have a perfectly clean home”. I appreciate that but I still do really struggle with it since I’ve always been able to keep a clean home when I lived “at home’ before we were married. This helped me out so much!!

    1. It is so difficult to balance both home and work from home! I’m glad this has helped you out. My only other advice would be to take baby steps … simply try to clean or unpack one very small project a day, whether it’s just one box or one drawer or shelf. :)

  2. This is so me! I went from working part time outside of home when I had just one child. House cleaning wasn’t too bad then. Now with 2 children, I am working at home as well as homeschooling my oldest. Can you say OVERWHELMING?! By far the biggest transition I have ever had to do!
    I always enjoyed working so I can so relate with trying not to think about work all the time. I have made my priority list like yours. :) I hate not having the house clean too and I get frustrated with that because I know cleanliness effects our health. What I do is try not to work on Sunday and get cleaning done then and try to catch up with laundry (laundry never seems to get caught up). I usually will check my email and that’s it and only work if the boys are outside with daddy or sleeping.

    But I just started doing my homeschooling in the evening which has worked out so much better for my son and helping me so much! It takes the pressure off of me during the day and gives me time to get cleaning done. And my son is more settled and has less energy after dinner and more focused to be able to sit down and concentrate on what we are doing. Plus my husband can help watch my little one too.
    Love this post! So nice to hear someone else in the same situation as me! :)

    1. I think you must be my twin. :) It IS overwhelming. All of it. If I discover any tips to make it easier, I’ll be sure to pass them along. :)

      I tried moving homeschooling to our afternoon yesterday, but it ended up consuming our entire night as well as afternoon and that wasn’t such a good fit for us. My work was finished in the morning, though! ;)

  3. Good article! What job do you do from home? I’m really wanting to work from home but I’m unsure where to start.

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