We all know that in majority of the houses, the real home manager is the mother, the lady of the house. Also it has often been told to her, “What do you do all day at home? Nothing!” But if you ask the lady, she will tell you that it is more than just serving food on the table and washing off the laundry. Just like any other management it also requires proper planning, organising and controlling. To understand this, let's dive in its meaning first.

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What is Home Management?

As per the definition given by iedunote, Management is the art and science of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives by coordinating and integrating all available resources efficiently and effectively.

Similarly, Varghese et al said home management is the mental process of utilising the available resources to achieve what you want in life.

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Aspects of Home management

As we know, management is divided into several departments like marketing, production, HR, finance, Accounts, etc. wherein the individual efforts of all the departments are brought together to achieve the ultimate goal of the management. Similarly, home management also comprises of various aspects which together make the home management efficient and effective.

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  • Time management

“We often hear people saying, we need more than 24 hours in a day to finish the work”. Yet it is surprising to see our moms finishing her work within the stipulated time period. Tell her, we need to leave in half an hour, she will be ready with the meal in 10 minutes. This is nothing but an appropriate time management skills.

As per one survey, 3.9 million women gave birth last year under the age of 50 out of which 61.8% were also in the workforce.

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  • Kitchen management

Kitchen job starts right from the morning breakfast, followed by the lunch, supper and dinner and ends with the pile of dirty utensils to be washed. So if you see, the home’s kitchen is never closed. Its always open and so the kitchen work also never comes to an end. In such a situation also, the home manager successfully finishes the tasks everyday and enters the kitchen again with the same enthusiasm every day.

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  • Behavioural management

Even after so much of work load, stress and tiredness, the home manager manages to be calm and happening all the time. After the completion of the household work, s/he manages to give time to their children in order to make them better persons tomorrow. They even manages their anger.

A survey in America done by A.W. GEIGER, GRETCHEN LIVINGSTON and KRISTEN BIALIK showed that 77% of people believe that women face a lot of pressure to be an involved parent.

Source:The Economic Times

  • Money management

Generally, it is the home manager who takes note of the household expenses, where to spend, how much to spend, where not to spend, etc. Every household expense and saving is taken care of by the home manager. This makes him/her the Money Manager.

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  • Waste management

An efficient home manager doesn't let anything get wasted in the house. They can make meals from the left over meals if the previous night, they can make compost for plants from the rotten vegetables, they can make home decors from plastic containers. There is no doubt that they are the best waste managers. According to a research conducted by Buzong Bright, Bright Buzong Yintii, Maxwell Anim-Gyampo, Maurice Braimah, 43.3% of mothers were responsible for waste management in Ijebu Ode, South Nigeria.

Benefits of Home management

“Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everone wants to get to work and deal with them.” - Paul Hawken. Let us understand why a good home management is essential and how does it help.

  • Savings

Almost every home managers, prepares a monthly or quarterly budget tracking the expenses. S/he also take notes of the types of expenditure and the unnecessary expenditure made which can be eliminated the next time. In this, s/he will also take care of the market prices of the various houselhold items and will make changes in the usage accordingly. Ultimately, leading to savings. In a survey of 1000 adults published in an article by Connie Prater, 26% gave mothers top billing for shaping their financial habits.

For e.g. We dont get all the fruits for 12 months, some fruits are available in some months and some fruits in other. Ow if we go to buy non seasonal fruits, they are going to be available at a higher price than what it should be. So the right home manager will avoid buying such fruits and instead,s/he will buy other seasonal fruits. This will avoid unnecessary expenses.

  • Proper division of labour

It is very much simple that if 4 persons live in a house, everyone is supposed to do certain number of tasks in the house. But what task should be given to whom depends on the home manager. An efficient home manager will Assign everyone the tasks relevant to their skills and talent.

According to one survey, 88% of the laundry is done by mothers.

For e.g. There are 4 persons, Father, mother, a son and a daughter. Father takes care of the tasks like shopping, mother must be good at cooking, daughter must be good at cleaning and son must be good at gardening. So a good home manager will consider the skills of the respective persons and will assign job accordingly.

  • Proper education to the children

A proper division of labour will involve the children in the household chores. This will teach them the importance of taking responsibility and managing their homes whenever required. Also, involving them in the budgeting of the house will teach them the importance of savings as said by Chris Joseph. As per a survey published in an article by Connie Prater, nearly 49% of the adults 18 to 24 years old said that they are influenced by their mothers the most.

For e.g. While gardening, you can make your children sit with you and show them how to sow seeds and what is the importance of fertilisers and pesticides.

  • Organised activities

If you are efficiently practising home management,you will be able to keep all the things organised, at their respective places. And you will not have to rush unnecessarily at the time of their needs as suggested by Chris Joseph.

For e.g Every morning, you need to wear socks to go to office. Now, after the laundry, if you keep the clothes at their respective places, you will find them easily but if you miss to keep things out at their designed places, you are likely to waste time and energy in finding them in the morning. Moreover, this may even make you late in reaching to your office.

  • On-time Activities

It is pretty much obvious that if things will be organised, tasks will be completed on time. We know that by what time we need to finish a certain task or we know that by what time we need to reach to a certain place, so if we plan accordingly, we prepare and finish things accordingly, then we are bound to complete tasks on time.

For e.g. We all must have heard about the fast life of Mumbai. Women manages home as well as their work. Now, after the completion of her office hours, she reaches home at the dinner time. So she doesn't get enough time for preparing the dinner otherwise things may get delayed. In orderto avoid this delay, she gets certain things done on her way back to home like chopping the vegetables. His enables her to manage things on time.

  • Prevention

Proper home management definitely helps us to take precautionary measures for anything. Because if we practice home management on a regular basis, we can identify probability of any occurrence that may lead to huge loss like affecting the health or heavy expenses.

For e.g. In Gujarat, there are holidays for atleast 3 days during the festival of Janmashtmi and the entire market gets shut down. Now, if we consider this, we will make a list of things which may fall short at home and will get them ordered before the arrival of festival. This is a preventive measure taken in irder to avoid the suffering during the festival. Otherwise, we may have to buy things from unknown sellers at a higher price or we may not even get the things required.

Decision making

Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) studied that women are generally the alpha partners who instigate financial decisions and does all the research whereas men are the beta partners who relatively take low levels of responsibility. Hence, women are the main decision makers in the house. (James Hall) However, let us sneak into the type of decisions to be taken at a house as mentioned by Shuani in an article

Individual decisions

Individual decisions are the decisions generally taken for self. These decisions are generally taken quicker as compared to others. They generally or hardly affectothers in the house. They revolve around the values and standards of the house.

For e.g. Decision pertaining to one's education are the individual decisions which hardly affect others in the house.

  • Group decisions

Now, these decisions again may be pertaining to one or may be pertaining to everyone. This may also involve friends and relatives if required. The ultimate decision comes through the collection of varying values and standardsof different individuals.

For e.g. Decision of marrying a child is pertaining to one but it involves everyone.

Decision of whether to go to a particular location for a family trip is pertaining to all and involves everyone.

  • Habits related decisions

These decisions are generally related to the daily routine. Practising the same routine everyday becomes the habit one day. These decisions are not really given a thought of. They just occur out of practice.

For e.g. Dividing work amongst the members and assuring it to be done regularly are the habits related decisions. This may include washing utensils, keeping shoes on the rack, etc.

  • Financial decisions

These decisions are generally taken by the major in the house, mostly the bread earner. However, if the mother is a homemaker, she also takes certain financial decisions secretly like allocating the resources for certain things and saving certain resources for uncertainties.

For e.g. Decisions pertaining to buying a house is taken by the bread earner, however it definitely involves the discussion with everyone in the house.

  • Other major decisions

Certain decisions are critical to be taken by any. There might be several alternatives to choose from or there might only one option available falling unfavourable. In such cases, due care and accuracy has to taken considered because it may affect others in a crucial way.

For e.g. Suppose, someone in the house has badly fallen ill. The doctors in the town are risky to consult. And the family doesn't have enough funds to get the person operated in a larger city. Such decision prove to be critical and may affect crucially to the person concerned.

Source:123RF.com

Tips for better home management ()

“Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves”-Lord Chesterfield

If we want to create a better and a planned future, it is important to live a planned present. And to avoid any mishappenings, certain tips some of which have been mentioned by Kate Davis are listed below which may help the managers to manage their homes efficiently.

  • Shopping online

One of the major advantage of e-commerce is the availability of the products at your doorstep at the same or even a cheaper price. Not everything, but certain things like bathroom essentials,utensils, clothes, etc. Can definitely be bought online. By this you can save time that you might spend in going to the market and the energy that you might spend in selecting and choosing the products.

  • Avoiding procrastination

This is one of the major factor that affects any job. We often try to postpone certain things may be out of laziness or due to its complexity. But honestly,this is just going to load you off one day. So its better now tham later. Procrastination only makes you lazy, which in turn, will end you in a situation where you will simply start neglecting your responsibility.

  • Prioritize things

Many a times it may happen that you may be loaded with multiple tasks and there may not be anyone to help you around. In such a case, it is recommended to make a priority list and finish them accordingly. This will not affect ypur important things and you will also not miss out on less important things.

  • Making a predefined menu for the week

This is the best way to avoid unnecessary wastage of time. Because otherwise every morning, you will sit and think for atleast half an hour to decide what menu to cook. Also this will make optimum utilization of the groceries present in the house and you can make a list of things that is required which again will save your time and you will not forget things to buy while in the market.

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  • A proper schedule

Yes, you cannot make a schedule for each and every thing in the house. But certain activities like breakfast, bathing, lunch, dinner, playtime, etc. Can definitely be scheduled. This will make things easier and quicker.

  • Delegation of work

There are several tasks to be done at home. It is not necessary that all of them should be done by the home manager only. Certain things that might not need much care can be allocated to others in the house. This will reduce the load on one person and will save time.

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A study by Pew Research Centre noted that in dual income households, fathers put in on average 58 hours a week whereas mothers put 59 hours. However, the data changes when either of the 2 is the only bread earner in the house.

  • Taking proper rest

Taking proper rest and giving time to yourself is the most important because that keeps you happy and contended everyday. No play Only work makes Jack a dull boy. Everyone needs some time for one self. As per a survey, nearly 43% of new mother get only 5 to 6 hours of sleep which means 900 hours of lost sleep in a year.

However, despite of several tips, a home manager's unpaid job is never going to come to an end. Statistics published by Maria C in a blog say that if a stay at home mom were to be compensated for the 94.7 hours per week of work she does in the home, she would draw an annual salary of $112,962 and a working mother would draw $66,979(excluding 9 to 5 job salary) for the 57.9 hours per week of home job.

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