The Business of Running a Home
No matter how many people are in your household – just you, you and a roommate, you and your family – you are the CEO.
- You’re responsible for household finances and budgeting: for making sure that the bills are paid every month, that you’re spending money wisely, and that you’re setting aside money for the future.
- You’re responsible for human resources: whether that’s organizing the household members to pitch in to do chores or hiring outside companies to take care of your residence’s maintenance items.
- You’re responsible for operations: for making sure that the members of the household are getting to where they need to be – on time, prepared; for overseeing the household has everything it needs to make sure it’s running smoothly; for time management of the household so that no one is double-booked, missing appointments (whether work or school), or just plain forgetting things.
- You’re responsible for maintenance and janitorial work: for making sure that everything is clean (whether you do it yourself or not) and your home and its contents are well-maintained.
- You’re responsible for catering: for planning and making sure that members of the household eat nutritious meals.
If you think about your household as a business, it’s not surprising that no one gets it right all the time. Even businesses hire specialists to run each area. Because we don’t always have the luxury of splitting the responsibility with others, we have to at least learn the basics of each so that even if we’re not really good at it, we can at least be competent.
On the other hand, our home and household should be treated with the same amount of seriousness and respect as running a business. The decisions we make have consequences – on health, on financial wellbeing, and – if you’re raising little people – their futures as well.
Sadly, we learn most of how to run a household only by being a participant in a household as we grow up. How much and how well we learn depends on how good our role model was, as well as how much we were included in the “behind the scenes” aspect of how decisions were made along the way. Really, most of us weren’t fully prepared to be an adult by another adult, though I think it’s really impossible to fully prepare someone else on how to live life.
There’s always some experimentation (read: we do have to fail now and again) needed while learning, and even after we’ve learned how to do something it takes a while to get everything tweaked to work just right for us. (There’s no school of life that prepares for anything you might encounter. Unfortunately!) There’s information everywhere on the internet about how people do things to make it work for them or how to be more efficient at something. It’s amazing, sometimes, the holes that people have in their abilities – they don’t know how to do things that others would consider simple – and it’s only because of what they were exposed to (or not) growing up.
I’m hoping to fill in some of those gaps and be a resource both for someone just starting on their journey into adulthood as well as those of us who may just be bumping along, hoping that if we get it wrong, we don’t get it too wrong and make a permanent mistake. Do you have something you would like to see covered? Let me know!