Best Homemaking Books for Homemakers

One of the best ways to learn more about homemaking is by reading good homemaking books. I’ve accumulated quite a few books about homemaking over the years, and these are some of my favorites!

a homemaker holding a broom and an open book

Best Homemaking Books

Many people want to learn more about homemaking and what it means to be a homemaker, but they just don’t know where to begin. 

Over the years, I’ve had to teach myself a number of homemaking skills like sewing, cooking, and organizing. 

Some of these domestic arts can be learned by trial and error, but it’s so much easier to learn when you have a mentor or someone with more experience who can show you what to do. 

That’s where good homemaking books come in! 

I get it–some people learn better in person or by watching videos. And those learning methods are just fine!

But for me, I’ve always found books to be my favorite go-to resource when I wanted to learn something. 

basket of homemaking books

I love settling in to my favorite chair with a cup of tea and a good book. There’s just something about peacefully flipping through the pages of a book that I just can’t experience through other learning methods. 

That’s why I’ve put together this list of my very favorite homemaking books. 

Some of these books are stronger on practical advice while others are more along the lines of an inspirational guide. 

Others combine the best of both worlds with practical tips and motivational encouragement. 

I think you’ll find at least one favorite book to help you on your homemaking journey! 

The Life-Giving Home by Sally & Sarah Clarkson

the life-giving home book by sally clarkson

I’ve shared before about how Sally Clarkson is one of my favorite authors. 

Sally’s real-life, God-focused approach is always an encouragement. Every book of hers that I’ve read has imparted some valuable lessons! 

In The Life-Giving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming, Sally and her daughter Sarah share what I like to think of as the “heart” of homemaking.

The point of the Clarksons’ book is not to provide nuts and bolts tips about homemaking skills like cooking and cleaning. 

Instead (as the title suggests), they focus on creating a “life-giving” home, where your primary goal as a homemaker is to seek to nurture a warm, hospitable, welcoming home atmosphere. 

Here’s just one nugget of wisdom from this book:

Homemaking—not in the sense of housekeeping, but in the broader sense of cultivating the life of a home—has to be done on purpose.

Sally & Sarah Clarkson

But this book is not just theory with no practical application. 

In encouraging readers to nurture a life-giving, welcoming home, Sally and Sarah urge us to find ways to facilitate warm relationships among family and any visitors to the home. 

They ask readers to think about things like how to arrange seating areas in such as way as to make it easier and more natural for people to spend more time together. 

For these reasons (and many more!), I highly recommend The Life-Giving Home as one of my favorite homemaking books. 

Home Management by Kim Brenneman

Another excellent homemaking book is Home Management: Plain and Simple by Kim Brenneman. 

Home Management by Kim Brenneman

Kim is a a stay-at-home mom of nine kids who has written an excellent how-to guide with many helpful tips for anyone wanting to learn a range of homemaking skills. 

She shares from the heart about how to manage a home with kids, juggling all the responsibilities of laundry, cooking, cleaning and more. 

Although Kim is a Christian homeschool mom, and her advice might be most useful to other homeschool moms, much of her advice is applicable to homemakers in general. 

You can get a feel for Kim’s heart with quotes like this:

We all live in a home of some sort, we all have laundry, and we all eat food. It’s universal. All this living can be messy…. My goal for the reader is that you will be able to progress faster and jump ahead in home management so that even your best days will be better.

Kim Brenneman

Kim’s book is straightforward and practical. She includes step-by-step advice for what to do with each specific task, along with checklists so you can mark your progress with each chore. 

As I am a visual person, one downside for me is that this guide has no photos.

But other than that, I would definitely recommend Home Management as one of my top housekeeping books. 

Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook

Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook

Few names are as closely associated with homemaking (particularly cooking) as Martha Stewart.

In her Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home, Martha has written a truly comprehensive guide all about all aspects of home life and being a better homemaker. 

This is truly a massive book (over 700 pages in length!) that covers just about everything an aspiring homemaker could want to know. 

The Homemaking Handbook is laid out in a very comprehensive way. It starts off taking the reader room by room, from the kitchen and dining room to the bedroom, bathroom, and even outdoor spaces. 

Martha discusses just about every basic skill and tool that would be needed to run a house in an orderly way.

She even covers topics other homemaking books don’t such as home safety and living with pets. 

Although the book has quite a few photos, I was a little surprised that they are all black and white.

I would have found the book to be more enjoyable with full-color photos, but this is not a major issue. 

She also includes mentions of specific products she recommends. This might be useful for those unfamiliar with these products, but it also seems a bit commercial-like. 

All in all, Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook is truly a great resource that just about everyone (not just women or full-time homemakers) could benefit from. 

The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer

The next book in my list of favorite homemaking books is The Hidden Art of Homemaking

The Hidden Art of Homemaking Edith Schaeffer

Edith Schaeffer was probably most well-known as the wife of Christian thinker and author Francis Schaeffer. 

The Schaeffers were very influential in the 1950s through 1980s through their writings, videos, and public speaking.

They were also the leaders of L’Abri, a community founded in Switzerland in the mid-1950s. Students from all over the world came to study with the Schaeffers at L’Abri, working through honest questions about the Christian faith.

The Hidden Art of Homemaking is not a “how to” homemaking book about the nuts and bolts of cooking and cleaning.

Rather, it’s more along the lines of providing encouragement in finding the way of “art” and beauty in everyday homemaking duties. 

Edith describe how God is the “first artist” who loves beauty as demonstrated through His wonderful creation.

Since we are created in God’s image, we too are called to be creative artists in our daily lives. 

I really love this approach to homemaking as I am very drawn to the idea of using our talents and available resources to infuse beauty, creativity and an atmosphere of warmth into our home life. 

This book is very motivational and inspirational in urging us that having a beautiful home involves much more than attractive physical possessions and surroundings. 

By learning and practicing The Hidden Art of Homemaking, we can help bring about a truly artistic, lifegiving home, where Christ is exalted and His beauty is genuinely reflected. 

Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson

Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson

With a doctorate in philosophy and a law degree from Harvard, Cheryl Mendelson may not seem like the type of person who would write a homemaking book. 

But in Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House, Cheryl has provided an encyclopedia of domestic arts with many step-by-step instructions for common household chores.

This book truly contains a wealth of information and is one of the most practical guides on homemaking. 

With nearly 900 pages packed with helpful content, it covers just about every topic imaginable for the modern home. 

The main categories covered in the book are food, cloth, cleanliness, daily life, sleep, safe shelter, and formalities.

Many of these categories are also found in other homemaking books, but the last chapter dealing with legal issues and insurance is unique and seems authoritative since the author is a practicing attorney. 

A few readers of this book have complained about it being too “scientific” but I don’t think many readers will have difficultly understanding the book’s concepts. 

I do think it would have been helpful to have more or larger illustrations, but the limited hand-drawn illustrations are helpful and attractive. 

All in all, Home Comforts should be helpful to a wide audience of readers, particularly those with little to no background in basic homemaking skills. 

Home-Making by J.R. Miller

Last (but not least) in my list of good homemaking books is Home-Making by J.R. Miller. 

Homemaking by JR Miller

​This book has the distinction of being the only book I’ve included that was written in the 1800s — and it was also written by a man!

Some people might wonder how or why a man would have much to say on homemaking. But he does have important things to say, and what he says is very good!

This book is not a how-to manual, but touches more on the heart and spirit behind building a Christ-centered home. 

Miller divides the book up into several topics addressed to various members of the whole family.

He discusses marriage, husbands, wives, children, and siblings, providing biblical admonitions for each group. 

As a Christian minister, he focuses heavily on the spiritual life of the family. Here is one quote from the book:

If men take such pains to know how to grow flowers which fade in a day, should we not take pains to know how to grow souls which live forever?

J.R. Miller

It’s true that the tone and writing style may not be the same as what you would find in a more recent book. 

But the insightful discussion and advice about nurturing and forming a godly family life make this unique homemaking book one that is an excellent addition to this list. 

Closing Thoughts on Homemaking Books

I’ve really enjoyed putting together this list of some of my favorite homemaking books. 

While some of these titles are very practical and “hands on” in approach, others are more along the lines of providing encouragement and motivation towards cultivating a beautiful home life. 

Let me know in the comments if there are any other homemaking books you would recommend!

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