10 Inspiring Homemaking Books

Are you feeling hum drum about homemaking? Take a look at 10 inspiring homemaking books that will encourage you to enjoy making a home for your family.

10 inspiring homemaking books

Homemaking is something that has become really dear to my heart. As I have grown closer to Christ, I actually see how important home is to a family. Homemaking has been made into some drudgery to be avoided in exchange for a career outside the home. That is not a slight by any means to the working mom. Working moms work very hard and both provide for their families and lovingly provide a home for family.

What I mean is, the idea of homemaking (yes, even for the working mom) has been demeaned and reduced to some sort of lower-status job. As I’ve grown older, I realize, it is actually one of the most important. Our children won’t really remember or appreciate what we did for a career, but they will absolutely remember the home you made for them.

When I lived in Europe, I was surprised at how much slower life was than in the states. I think many women would like to slow down and actually enjoy homemaking. So today I thought I would share 10 inspiring homemaking books. They vary slightly. Some are secular. Some are Christian based. Others focus on organizing and some entertaining. I’ve tried to vary a little bit. I’m sure I’ll be sharing other similar homemaking books in the future. Let’s get started.

1. Little House Homemaking

This book entitled, Little House Homemaking: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life by Melissa A Alink is a great book about simple living. In this book, she shares how to make a lot of your own staples like food and even household items like sunscreen, furniture polish, homemade anti-bacterial wipes, etc. The book additionally focuses also on recipes and homestead living. There is a lot of practical advice when it comes to running your own. I think it’s a great little encyclopedia for must have formulas and recipes when it comes to self-sufficiency.

2. Simple Farmhouse Life

I’ve been following Lisa Bass on her blog, Farmhouse on Boone, for three years now. If you don’t follow her and you are inspired by farmhouse living, you definitely should. Lisa curates a beautiful home and always shares DIY projects and this boo, Simple Farmhouse Life, is no exception. She shares simple sewing projects, delicious recipes, and natural cleaning which includes tons of recipes for natural cleaning products. Her photos are beautiful and clean. She even shares simple decorating and basic, natural gardening.

green potted plant in minimalistic bathroom with body care tools
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

3. Introduction to Home Economics

I am old enough to remember a time when we were taught home economics in school. I will be teaching my sons a lot of life skills as a part of our homeschooling. In this book,Introduction to Home Economics, veteran homemaker Mrs. Sharon White, shares how she runs her New England household. Her blog, A Legacy From Home is simple but very informative when it comes to old fashioned homemaking. I found this book more pragmatic and encouraging than ainstructional. Mrs. White is lovely and gentle with her words of wisdom. I think this book is good if looking for encouragement and advice as opposed to a step by step playbook of homemaking. Mrs. White actually has a whole series of Christian homemaking books. I would say that Mrs. White book is not very flashy and may even be a little old-fashioned for some readers, but frankly, I like it. It was like having a talk with my grandmothers, both of who have passed.

4. Home Management: Plain and Simple

Kim Brenneman is the author of Home Management: Plain and Simple.This book is really designed to be a manual for the woman who wants to know how to run an organized home. She covers a number of topics including budgeting, cleaning, organizing, etc. The author is a homeschooling mom of nine! She shares how she manages to be productive.

The most important topic she covers is how to actually get things done with kids. I know that early in my mom journey, I found it really hard to get things done with the demands of children and constant interruptions. She offers a lot of practical advice as well as how to stay on top of never-ending chores like laundry, dishes, etc and how to delegate chores to family members. The author also focuses on the fact that homemaking should be a way to honor and glorify God so there is also special attention to having the right attitude.

happy woman with rolling pin cooking at home
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

5. Gather At Home

Lifestyle blogger Monika Hibbs compiled a book, Gather at Home, full of her favorite recipes, DIY projects and interior design. I found her recipes to be delicious and simple. Hibbs shares a great deal of information on entertaining including how to dress a table, etc. One thing I loved was how to make everyday events special for your own family. For example, she has ideas for a mother’s day brunch at home, family game nights even an evening outdoor barbeque in the backyard. The book is largely about making memories for your family at home. My only caveat would be that the lifestyle represented here is maybe upper middle class. If you are simple homemaker, on a strained budget, or offput by Pinterest-perfect living, this book may not be relatable.

6. White Cozy Cottage: Seasons

In the book, White Cozy Cottage Seasons: 100 Ways to Be Cozy All Year Long author Liz Glavan shares how to make a home a fun place to be. She shares to how DIY and repurpose old furniture and how to decorate even on a budget. She shares how to incorporate vintage, antique or farmhouse pieces into a modern home and also combines fun activities like setting up a hot cocoa bar for the holidays and how to use houseplants in your kitchen and home for a natural organic feel in your house. I enjoyed this book and it is actually a fun coffee table book as well.

7. The Hidden Art of Homemaking

This book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, has been an extremely popular book since its original publication back in the 1980s. Edith Schaffer, writes about homemaking from a Christian perspective and I’d say that if you are struggling to find joy and contentment or even purpose at home, this is a great book for you. Before Pinterest, there was Edith and the book is not about making your home picture-perfect. Rather, it is about the calling and ministry of being a homemaker. In the book, she explains why https://amzn.to/3uAo2nBhomemaking is far more than just checking chores off a list, but rather how to bring elegance, creativity, peace and most of all, Jesus into your home. If you need reassurance that your contributions at home matter, read this book.

8. Home Comforts

Home Comforts has been a valuable encyclopedia of homemaking art and skills for years. The book is written by Cheryl Mendelson who is a both a Harvard graduate and lawyer in New York City takes great detail to explain why housework is not “beneath us,” how it is necessary to enjoying your home life and painstakingly explains how to do housework chores. What nice is she doesn’t just explain the how. She also explains the why behind methods. She is very practical, good-humored and also provides a number of preventative routines to cut down on time and chores later. This book is perfect to read in full or as a reference.

young woman rolling dough for baking in kitchen
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

9. Theology of the Home

This book really resonated with me. Recently, as I have spent more time in scripture, I feel more called to embrace the calling of being a wife, mother and homemaker. This book is unique because while it focuses on practical homemaking, it uses a biblical lens of how by serving our families we are also serving Christ. If you are a Christian wife and you feel like the monotony of homemaking is beneath you, unappreciated, or even just dead in the doldrums of chores, I highly recommend reading this book for inspiration. Oh how we forget how important it is to build a home that nurtures both the body and soul. The book provides a Christian mindset for everything from meal preparation, to planning joyful gatherings and how to open up your home to those around you. The book has a lot sequel, Theology of the Home II which I think it also very good. I’ll include the links to both.

10. Vintage Course in Homemaking

This book, Vintage Course in Homemaking, is actually a peak into 1930s homemaking. If you are inspired by vintage homemaking and want to know how women of the past ran productive households, I think you may really enjoy this little gem. is available for free in kindle format if you have kindle unlimited. I’m not much of a kindle person. This book contains some unique advice such as how to care for the sick, how to furnish a home, manners and etiquette, and more. The book is full of common sense and practical advice but there is something incredibly charming about the vintage homemaking aspect.

Thanks for letting me share 10 inspiring homemaking books. I hope they inspire you the way they inspired me. Do you have a favorite homemaking book? I am started to keep an eye out for vintage homemaking books because I think they contained more helpful information in them. If you have any favorite books on homemaking? Share your suggestions in the comments below. Don’t forget to PIN this post for later and I’d love it if you subscribed before you go.

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8 Places to Cash in Clutter

Before you dump your items off at a donation bin, try these 8 places to cash in clutter!

8 places to cash in clutter

It’s a never ending battle to declutter. I struggle with decluttering. I paid good money for something, thus I have a hard time just giving something away. Over this past year, I’ve been trying to sell things before I just dump it at Goodwill. I’ve been surprised at what people are willing to buy. Today I’m sharing 8 places to cash in clutter.

Just this month, I made over $100 selling things I would have otherwise donated. For example, I sold an old roaster ($10) and rice cooker ($20) that was taking up space in my kitchen cabinets. I sold a corn hole game ($40) I had made for my son’s first birthday. Then I let go of a car seat ($25) left at our house by a guest. Lastly, I sold some box fans ($10) that had been sitting in my guest room for 5 years!

I’m not bragging! My point is that just because you don’t find it valuable anymore, doesn’t mean no one does. If you’re like me, you’re tired of garage sales. You have to gather tons of items to make it worth while. As a rule, you need a city permit. Usually, you sit for days in the cold or heat only to argue with someone who wants to give you a quarter for your brand new Ralph Lauren blouse you wore once. It’s not worth it, right? That’s why today, I’m going to show you 8 places to cash in clutter – that’s actually worth it!

8 Places to Cash in Clutter

Etsy

If you haven’t discovered Etsy, I’m sad for you. Just kidding…sort of. Seriously, Etsy is an absolute great find for people who love to buy and sell handmade things. If you have something unique, one-of-a-kind, or something that is antique or collectible, Etsy is a great market for you! By the way, check out my shop where I sell my handmade greeting cards and digital printables. You do need to set up a shop, but once you have it set up, it’s very easy to add items.

It’s free to create an Etsy store. However, Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee for every item you list, making it one of the most affordable places that charges. Furthermore, Etsy allows multiple ways for customers to pay, including PayPal.

Ebay

Ebay has long been a trusted source of selling used items. Even though the big Ebay boom is over, it continues to have a strong marketplace. Last year, I made $200 back selling baby clothes. (Tip: the best way to sell baby clothes is in large lots.) Ebay has a wide array of categories and the selling fee structure is a little complicated.

First, Ebay offers various ways to sell. You can sell it as an auction. You can sell it at a flat price (Buy It Now) which can also include “best offer” flexibility. The charges depend on the category, but as a rule Ebay charges about 10% of the amount you were paid (that includes shipping). Also, if they buyer is paying through PayPal (which is typical), you’ll incur an additional 2.9% fee for the transaction. So you’ll need to carefully choose what you sell. Ebay is known for shipping items and has a super easy, built in way to print labels once your item sells. However, they also have a local pickup option which is especially helpful for large items.

Facebook Marketplace

This is where I have had some of my best success. I am shocked to see how easy it is to sell things. Best of all – it’s completely 100% FREE to sell. You get every penny. No store setup. Just find Marketplace within Facebook and list your items by following the prompts. Customers can pay through Marketplace or they can give you cash. You can also accept PayPal or Venmo if you want to guide them that way.

It’s up to you, but people will ask you to hold things until a certain day. I caution you from doing that. I’ve been burned more than once. There are lots of flakey people out there! I’ve held something for someone who flaked out, meanwhile I turned down 5 other interested buyers. Now I specify in the description that it is “no holds.” This means that if they can’t come until Thursday and someone is willing to buy it and pick it up before then, I won’t hold it. You can choose whether you have the buyer pick up the item or whether you deliver it. You must specify in the description. People will always try to get you to deliver otherwise.

Facebook Groups

Facebook groups is another one of the places I’ve had good success. Like Marketplace, you can post pictures and description of what you’re selling. There are lots of pages that are designed for your city, area of town, or neighborhood. Find some, follow the selling rules and make money.

Like Marketplace, you will need to specify whether the buyer need to pickup or if you’ll deliver. If they pay in advance like through PayPal or Venmo. Incidentally, I recommend posting directly in Marketplace. Facebook now has a feature where if you post in Marketplace, you’ll have the options of sharing in the Facebook selling groups of which you’re a member. There are no selling fees involved with Facebook groups.

Pro Tip #1: If you are posting on multiple sites, be sure to include the acronym “POMS” in your description.

LetGo

The LetGo mobile app has slowly been gaining popularity (30 million users have downloaded it) after Google listed it as the Best of 2016 apps. It still has a fairly good reputation. It’s most attractive feature is that there are absolutely no selling fees – you set your price and get every penny! You choose how the customer pays and the app has a review system (don’t worry – you can dispute negative reviews).

LetGo doesn’t have a way to make payment. You will need to work that out between the buyer. Also, you are restricted to selling within your geographical location. Similarly to Craigslist, you’ll need to meet up with buyers to exchange goods and money – and anyone can sign up for it without any kind of check into who they are. So always be careful when meeting up with strangers.

Just Between Friends

So as I started to get rid of baby things, I tried local consignment shops. I was surprised at how little they offered. Pennies on the dollar. It was honestly, a little insulting. What they offered, wasn’t even worth my time to drive down there! That’s when a friend introduced this awesome bi-annual sale to me. If you’re willing to live with the items for a few months, this can bring in some money for all your maternity, baby, child, and teen items.

Just Between Friends is a nationwide consignment organization. Search their website to see if they have a sale in your area. They are in most major cities and have two sales per year – Spring and Fall. They will only accept seasonal appropriate items. Items are inspected to make sure they are not broken or stained. They will reject items that have a safety recall on them.

You will tag them using their online tagging system. As a rule, clothing must be on hangers. You have the option to put your items half off as a ditch effort to sell them. Additionally, they have an option to donate items that are unsold, so you never have to deal with them again. The day before the sale, you will need to check-in and put out all your merchandise on the sales floor. During the sale, you can see live results of your items selling. You set your own prices. You get 60% of the selling price. If you volunteer at the sale, you 70% of your sale, plus your $12 consignor fee is waived. Last year was my first year selling, I didn’t take a ton of stuff, but what I did netted be a couple hundred dollars – and I didn’t volunteer.

Amazon

Wait….you can sell old things on Amazon? Yes, you can. Amazon offers an individual seller account where you can sell gently used items. In my experience, books do well, but other things can be listed. However, it only permits forty items per month. After that, you’ll be directed to upgrade your account to a Professional selling plan. It is a monthly subscription of $39.99 and you have the awesome Amazon name and traffic behind your goods. So depending how much you plan to sell depends on how much it costs. The individual plan costs $0.99 per listing (some categories include additional fees).

Pro-tip #2: The acronym PPU stands for Porch Pick Up – a way of the buyer picking up without having to physically interact with them.

Offer up

Offer up is available on both online and a mobile app. It is fairly easy to use and even offers selling solutions for the private selling of vehicles.

It is free to use for buyers and sellers. However, just recently they included a shipping service so sellers could reach a wider audience. You decide wether you want to offer shipping or not. If you do offer shipping, they charge a 7.9% fee when the item sells. If you want to avoid seller fees, consider doing pickup only.

That’s it. In conclusion, yard sales are almost a thing of the past. Yes, it takes some time to list items individually. But, the return you get from these 8 places to cash in clutter, has proven to be worth it!

The post, 8 Places to Cash in Clutter, first appeared on My Beautiful Mess.

Learn about other decluttering tips in the post 50 Things To Throw Away Right Now

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent For Pennies

This post, Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Pennies, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this post, I may receive a small percentage at no cost you

Have you ever noticed how ridiculously expensive laundry detergent is? Making your own detergent is a great way to reduce your grocery bill. I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for about five years now. It is just as good as any commercially made detergent, but it is a fraction of the cost! Today I’m going to show you how you can make your own laundry detergent for pennies! I’ve figured out it costs about 5-10 cents per load based on where you buy your ingredients!

This 100 year-old recipe is tried and proven to clean clothes. You can make it in both liquid and powder form. Today, I will show you the easiest way to do it – powder form. I prefer powdered form because it is faster to make. The liquid form requires cooking and is a slower process. 

The greatest thing about this recipe is that you need very little for a load of laundry. Only two tablespoons for a large laundry load! I have found the cheapest place to get these supplies are at Wal-mart. Many grocery stores carry the ingredients, however they are often obscured on the bottom or top shelf since they aren’t as common. For your convenience, I’ve also included an Amazon link. 

About the Ingredients

Fels-Naptha can also be used on it’s own as a pre-wash stain treatment or to hand wash delicates and sweaters. In existence since 1893, Fels-Naptha is a home remedy for poison ivy, poison oak, and other skin irritants. As a result, it is suitable even for people with sensitive skin. Most importantly, it is a powerful stain remover, particularly for tough stains like oil and grass.

Borax is a natural, mild alkaline salt. It works as a gentle abrasive, therefore making it a great cleaning product outside of laundry. Firstly, it’s already in many cleaning products and cosmetics you may already use. In laundry, it has a wide variety of uses! For example, it stops dyes from transferring or bleeding. In addition, Borax softens water as well as enhances bleach and stain removing. Furthermore, it also works as an additional agitent. Lastly, Borax also works as a natural mildicide and fungicide, by retarding bacteria growth.

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda is also an amazing cleaning product! It has so many uses! For example, in laundry, it increases detergents cleaning power and it eliminates and neutralizes odors. In addition, you can also use it with warm water to clean tubs, sinks, cookware, even silver, copper and brass.

Now lets get started making laundry detergent!

Supplies

  • Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (not baking soda)
  • 20 Mule Team Borax
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Cheese Grater
  • Large container to store your soap
Borax, Fels Naptha and Washing Soda

Recipe

  • 1 Cup Borax
  • 1 Bar of Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap
  • 1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, grate the entire bar of Fels-Naptha. This takes some elbow grease!
  • Add one cup of washing soda, followed by 1 cup borax. 
  • Gently stir until evenly combined. Transfer into storage container.
  • Repeat as necessary for more laundry detergent.
Fels Naptha Laundry Soap
Make your own laundry soap for pennies

That’s it! Making your own laundry detergent for pennies is that easy! Save money and lower your grocery bill by making this quick, low-cost detergent. I’ve been pleased with the stain-removing power of this recipe and I know you will be too! I’d love to hear what you do to save money in your household. 

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Pennies first appeared on My Beautiful Mess

Looking for other ways to be organized? Learn more about 5 Steps to Decluttering Books