About the Author

Melissa Michaels is the NY Times Bestselling author of Love The Home You Have and The Inspired Room book. Her blog, The Inspired Room, was voted Better Homes & Gardens Readers' Favorite decorating blog in 2014 and 2015. Melissa is a church planter's wife and a mom to three human kids and...

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  1. Melissa,
    I admit that I am not a person for whom homemaking comes naturally. I am an okay cook – I try to put a warm edible dinner on the table each night, but people aren’t begging to get my recipes. If left to my own devices, I can be a bit of a clutter bug. But, I am learning that a good way to say “Thank you” to God who has bestowed upon me everything I have (including my home), is to take care of it well. I have also found that the less clutter and “stuff” I have lying around, the more peaceful I feel and that helps me let God in more easily. It’s easier to sit at the feet of Jesus if my house is not screaming “pick up all this stuff”. Sometimes less is truly more. Thanks for setting my compass straight once again.
    Blessings from a homemaker in process,
    Bev

    • Thank you, Bev. I agree with you! It’s so hard to feel peaceful and focused on what matters with so much stuff everywhere. Blessings back to you from me, another homemaker in process.

    • Amen, Bev, amen. this is another bug trying hard to de-clutter. It isn’t so easy sometimes.
      ‘Time’s your friend, but if you waste it – enemy instead’. I used to fret over how much time I felt I was wasting because I am not fast enough; it took a long time to dawn on me the time was never wasted if I learned something. And homemaking – housework – however you put it, is an art. I have nothing but admiration for all those women whose home, no matter how grand or spartan, always has a warm, safe feel when you enter it.
      God made the Marthas; he made the Marys and the dreamers too! 🙂

  2. I have struggled so much with this. When I first married, I was so idealistic. Thought it was going to look different. Babies started coming, and with it challenges like colic and autism and depression, and now I find myself surrounded by “stuff” in every corner and I know it owns me. I don’t know how to own it. I make a bit of progress once in a while, but it truly feels un-doable. I WANT it to be different so badly! There are so many other things I want to be focused on, and I want to be cleaning an organized, pretty house. You do inspire me to keep trying, and I’ve signed up for your emails. I know that this is a main focus for me, and I want so much to be loving on my family so much better in this area. Thank you for what you’re doing to encourage people like me.

    • BJ, Listen, an autistic child is a major challenge for the most loving parent. Take it from one who has been there, look after yourself as much as possible. Children and husband need you with enough energy to just enjoy them.
      If you need the ‘stuff’ (e.g., essential paraphernalia for a sick child) there’s nothing anyone can do. If the ‘stuff’ is mainly toddlers’ toys – even the tiniest can enjoy clearing up, a big cardboard box is a great toybox. (Mum reading a story once the box is filled is a good bribe). You can help the offspring colour the outside or paste coloured posters to make it look cheerful.
      And if you can have the dishes washed and the beds made, simple but well cooked meals – that’s all they want.
      A loving, cheerful, happy wife and mother is the jewel in the crown.

  3. Melissa, your photos are so welcoming. You help me want to keep clearing out our clutter. Do you ever declutter with a friend? Any tips there? Thinking I may need help. But inspired to keep trying! Thank you!

    • I wrote a little bit about the need for support and shared the things that are challenging for me (and how I work around my issues, ha) in my book Make Room for What You Love. I do so much better when I have a friend to declutter with me, otherwise I have trouble focusing! It definitely helps to find friends or even a professional to help out when you are stuck or even just need encouragement so I say YES to that idea! xo

  4. Homemaking is suffering from a lack of appreciation. I needed to take a break from my “outside work” to focus on my people at home this year, and I was surprised that people feel sorry me when I see it as a luxury. Autumn at home is wonderful!

  5. I do get tired of the routines and the repetition that come with home making, but this time of year, when the darkness comes early and the air is chilly I love the feeling of nestling into a home lit by candles and the colors outside my windows are always reflected in my choice of table linens and the fall pumpkins.
    Your words echo Paul’s in Colossians: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart . . .”
    I’m sure your words will inspire some wholehearted home making!

  6. I love a beautiful, well maintained home that is warm, welcoming and clean! Alas, that is not always the case at MY house! I have recently come to the conclusion that I am a clean person – people aren’t afraid to use my bathrooms! – and I have lots of wonderful intentions and great ideas – BUT – I just can’t seem to make it happen! I think that sometimes I welcome the holidays simply because I know I will clean and decorate like a crazy person for weeks – and then I can relax and bask in the “homey-ness” for a long time! Thank you for this reminder that God has blessed me with this home (and family) and it should be my honor and pleasure to maintain it and enjoy it! I love your books and website! Be blessed!

    • Thank you, Shirl! It is so hard to make all of our aspirations happen and of course, we’ll never get it all perfect. But even some effort is worth it, I agree with how you put it, a good pre-holiday cleaning helps me to relax and enjoy my home for a long time.

  7. I need help. I want to be a good homemaker but at the moment I lack the energy and drive to get it done. Can anyone tell me how I can successfully file away our papers: receipts, correspondence and day by day mail? I bought a filing cabinet with hanging files but it has only two drawers. Through the last two years mail has come and piled up to the extent that I cannot find important papers and spend hours tracking through masses of mail some not responded to yet. The reason for this chaos is that I have been in hospital so many times and have failed to cope with the day by day intake. I have bought two large plastic boxes in which files can hang but with arthritis in most of my joints I cannot lift the boxes or carry them at the moment..

    • Hi Audrey,

      I’m so sorry for the challenges you face. I shared a lot of my tips in my book Make Room for What You Love. Paper is my downfall as well. Here is a quick thought or two, recycle almost everything unless it is necessary for taxes or something big down the road. If you can use a shredder, that will help with papers that have personal information on it. I would take one of your file drawers or boxes and file important papers you know you’ll need long term like taxes, home warranties, medical information, home or repair info, etc. The other drawer or box I would use for the daily stuff that piles up, but you might need (like receipts). Then clear that box/drawer out monthly and move anything significant to the other file. Everything else that wasn’t needed can now be recycled.

      Hang in there!

  8. I used to decorate for all the seasons, then health problems kept me from doing much at all, now I’m back with a vengeance, look out cobwebs and dust bunnies, and cleaning toilets, well as opposed to not, I guess it’s not so bad. Housework takes you mind off things and though it seems like I’d never be caught up, I’ll get there by spending time in my prayer closet.

  9. I love homemaking!! I was a “latch key kid” growing up, so with both parents working, I came home to an empty house every day. Now that I’m a parent, there is nothing that gives me more satisfaction than making my home feel warm & welcoming to my family and guests alike. I crave the structure of planned meals and the solace of family dinners. We have learned that decorating does NOT have to be expensive, nor done new every year. We keep bins for each season and “refresh” our home decor from those bins. As soon as the hot summer air cools and the leaves begin to turn, I find comfort in going through the bins and tucking away our beach decor and setting out wheat stalks, pumpkins, and burlap we’ve collected over the years. There is comfort in these rituals!

  10. Melissa, You have a great bunch of readers here on this post! I truly appreciate their transparency, because I often struggle in the same areas and wonder if I’m the only one.
    This post resinated with my heart and a great reminder to cultivate a value in the makings of what we call our home….after all it’s where God has placed us.

  11. I love this Melissa. It had never really occurred to me, but you’re right…my heart does kind of turn toward home in the fall. Just this Saturday I felt pulled to clean out some cluttered areas in my home and do a little deep cleaning I had avoided.

    I’m not always great at keeping a clean house, and strangely enough it has actually become more difficult to be committed to cleaning now that my children are grown and gone. For a while there I just felt like my two primary motivations for a clean welcoming home had moved away! So I’ve had to shift my thinking to realize that my husband and I deserve and need a lovely, warm and happy home, too. In the past year I’ve rekindled my love for creating a lovely and inviting home. I’ve redecorated a little and cleaned out a lot of stuff.

    I agree that home making often gets a bad rap, but don’t you think that’s because the enemy of our souls seeks to destroy anything that God has created and places value on…and God certainly created and values the home. I think it’s important for women to realize this tactic of the enemy and reclaim this turf. Thanks for your lovely reminder of what a gift this is.

    • It is a unique season when the children start to leave home (we have one left!). I agree, we need to reclaim the turf and give God the glory for this gift and make it shine! Thank you, Kay.

  12. “For me the opportunity to create a home is a real blessing.” YES! Thank you for your words today. This fall is completely changing my perspective, as I begin to see homemaking as a gift rather than a chore. I am a new wife and have found great joy in serving God and my husband through homemaking, but admittedly I didn’t always serve cheerfully. Now I have found myself in a season of “can’t” due to health…can’t carry laundry, can’t stand long enough to do the dishes, can’t DIY, can’t cook, can’t bake…and it has completely changed me in two ways.

    First, I’ve realized that the opportunity and ability to serve my husband and God through these things is a gift that not everyone has. Some go through seasons of inability, like me, but some are permanently unable to do, and must rely on others for help. Still others have never had a home to make. How easy it is to lose perspective!

    Secondly, I realized how much of my worth I placed in my productivity! There’s such a fine line between creating a warm, inviting, peaceful home, and being dependent on that peacefulness (or that completed checklist) for comfort.

    We are still managing in this season and our house is still a home, even if the chores sometimes go undone. At the end of the day, it’s not a tidy closet or scrubbed kitchen that my husband wants to come HOME to; it’s my heart, my attitude, and my joy in serving, whatever that may look like today.

  13. Love this! I am falling in love with home making again! Autumn (fall) is here and it is true……a well loved home for loved ones is warm and inviting to others too!

  14. Like some others have said here, I’m not a natural homemaker, but I still felt inspired by your post to keep at it. I like having a cozy and warm house for my family, but I think this is a special gift for some people. One of my friends has 7 children, and she LOVES to rearrange furniture, decorate mantles and change paint colors. Me? I’m happy to keep it clean and somewhat organized with half as many kids. But I guess my “homemaking” touch is finding one new pieces of decor for each holiday. It’s so simple, but it’s a special thing for us to enjoy 🙂

  15. LOVE the idea of making housekeeping a hands-on act of gratitude. Perspective is everything, and this simple change of attitude is sure to be a game-changer! Thank you, Melissa!

  16. Yes, I too see homemaking and all the stuff at home and helping family as a way to show love and I do like to be hands on. It feels good to cook a meal they all enjoy, vacuum the house, and clean the kitchen. If I could just get someone to magically clean my bathrooms I would be set.

  17. This was so wonderful to read as my husband and I (along with 2 littles) have just bought our own home. As we were moving in this past weekend I just want to make sure our home is comfortable and a place people want to go for comfort. I love the perspective of showing God gratitude, because He is ultimately the reason we are in this home and it is a wonderful way to say thank you!

  18. Melissa,

    I’ll admit I’m not the best home maker. I don’t do much decorating either. In the Fall season with its cooler weather and gorgeous colors I desire to bake breads, cookies, etc. Love creating new dishes for people to enjoy. It makes me grateful for some of the things God has given me. I realize that baking means we have food to eat.

    I am constantly decluttering my house. Every chance I get I go through my closets and rid myself of clothing I no longer wear. Why should I keep stuff when there are others in need? God said to help the widows, orphans and less fortunate.

    Blessings 🙂