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.
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.
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.
2. Fit in housework when I 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 I 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.
Priorities take precedence
From my experience, life seems to flow best when I prioritize:
- Caring for my family
- Working from home
- Caring for my 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.