April 26, 2022

Best books for the (new) homemaker


A good book can inspire us to do great things. As a (new) homemaker you can learn so many new skills while creating a beautiful home. There are some great books out there for the (new) homemaker. I picked a few of my favourites to share with you.

I share these books to inspire you to keep learning new things. The opinions and experiences are my own. These book recommendations do not equal total endorsement of all that’s written in the books.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here. All opinions and experiences are my own.

A stack of five books in bright, light, pastel colors on a white chair.

Crisp + clean

This is one of the first books I got on homemaking. It’s “The organically clean home” by Becky Rapinchuk. It’s a favourite book that I still refer to every now and then. It contains 150 recipes for making your own cleaning products, handy schedules and checklists that you can use every single day.

The book "The organically clean home" on a dark background with overhanging green leaves from a plant

Making your own

Making your own cleaning products for keeping house is beneficial in many ways. Firstly, it allows for you to buy many products in bulk.

Also, a lot of the ingredients used in this book can be used for multiple recipes. You can use baking soda for scrubbing and you can use it in your homemade natural laundry soap too.

It’s also a real money saver. Homemade cleaning products are a lot cheaper to make and usually require just a few ingredients that you can tailor to your needs as well! If you buy your ingredients in bulk it will get even cheaper.

Furthermore, one of the pros of making things yourself is what I briefly mentioned above. You can make it to suit your family’s needs. Do you like lavender? Add some lavender essential oils. Don’t like that lemon and citrus smell in your bathroom? Leave it out and substitute for clove and rose. You can get creative here!

Less chemicals

Becky included a lot of great recipes that you’ll actually use. It’s divided into the places of the home where they can be used making it a very practical book. That makes it easy to navigate if you need something quickly.

She uses all natural ingredients and that helps greatly in reducing the amount of chemicals used in the home when cleaning.

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Recipe layout

Each recipe states how much it will yield and what its purpose is. The ingredients are listed and directions to make the recipe. Also, each recipe has a helpful tip, or suggestion. Which, I think, is great because they actually add something. Like what essential oils you can use or suggestions for essential oil blends, etc.

Schedules and checklists

One thing Becky does well, very well, is giving you the tools to develop a routine. There are example schedules to give you a starting point and to help you get into a routine. Also, blank schedules and checklists to make your own.

To sum up

On the whole, this is a good book to start if you want to simplify or even move to a (more) zero waste lifestyle. You can choose to start replacing one cleaning product with a home made alternative. Also, you could start one room at a time since the recipes are listed per room. Moreover, this book is a handy tool if you want to develop a cleaning routine. And for the more seasoned homemaker, this book is so full of recipes, there must be something new to learn.

The book is readily available and is a great value for money. In addition to this, it’s a great gift for a newly wed, housewarming gift or any lady really :).

Healthy food

Next up is “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. Its subtitle is: “The cookbook that challenges politically correct nutrition and the diet dictocrats” and that is exactly what it does. It has an amazing amount of information on such an important topic. How to prepare and cook your food so it’s actually nutritious.

Another cookbook?

This is not a straightforward cookbook full of recipes. It starts with a lot of information about healthy fats, protiens, why soaking is beneficial and a LOT more. As you can guess by it’s subtitle it has a lot to say about “regular” food from the store and health guidelines that turn out not to be so healthy as promised.

A page from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions

If you want to dive a little deeper into healthy meal preparation for your family this is a great book to start. But be prepared to make some lifestyle changes. I have had a lot of “ah, haa” moments reading this book (and I haven’t even finished it yet!).

A page from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions

Recipes and tips

Sally gives a lot of amazing recipes and even meal plans and plans for special occasions. The tips and information on the side are very helpful. They provide alternatives and information about a certain food or the way it’s prepared.

To sum up

A great book that should be in every homemaker’s kitchen. It’s packed full of information about healthy nutritious foods prepared in a traditional way. Besides that, it is a great reference guide and companion if you want to strive for healthier meals; natural, unprocessed & nutritious. Great value for money.

Simply living well

One of the best homemaking books for the modern homemaker. Just as in the books mentioned above, the author gives a lot of helpful tips and the book has many lovely pictures. A great guide and starting point for living a more simple and sustainable life.

A simple life

I think I don’t even have to say a lot about this book. It has so many beautiful photos, that I think it speaks for itself. I will tell you why it’s my favourite though, a little further down.

The book Simply Living Well by Julia Watkins opened to one of it's first pages. The left page has a picture of a garden and on the right is written text.

What’s inside?

This book contains many tips and practical ways on how to reduce waste in the home. For example a handy checklist is inside on what to substitute in the kitchen for a a more natural, low-waste lifestyle. Also, there are many tips for gardening, and natural living in general. Besides that, Julia included a lot of recipes. Recipes for natural beauty products, for cleaning the home, natural remedies and recipes for food.

Though the cleaning recipes somewhat overlap Becky Rapinchuk’s book “The organically clean home” it’s still unique and worth buying since Julia’s approach is different from Becky’s.

To sum up

If I were to describe this book in one word, it would be “lovely”. Simply Living Well is a wonderful book just to read with a cup of tea, but it’s also a great recipe book and a very helpful guide to refer to whenever you need to know something “simple living”-related. A great three-in-one. And more, if you ask me.

A guide to simple living

“Down to earth” by Rhonda Hetzel is a comprehensive guide on simple living and probably my favorite homemaking book. Indispensible for every (new) homemaker. Rhonda did an amazing work as it covers all the aspects of home management. From cleaning, to finances, gardening and even building a strong home and relationships. Lots of practical advice

What I love about this book

What I love about this book is that it’s written by someone with experience. Rhonda gives so much helpful advice and tips on how to live a joyful, simple life. Advice that can only be given so well by someone who experienced much of it herself.

The thing I like most about this book is that the author starts with a strong foundation, namely “the home”. How to build a home, not just the materials, but also the intangable things that make a house a home and build strong families and relationships.

What’s inside?

I find this book a great one to start your family/ adult life with. It will give you advice and skills, you would normally learn over many years, in one book.

There is a lot of information on keeping the home. Helpful, practical tips about cleaning, organizing, meal planning and decluttering. It’s so complete, you could call it a handbook for homekeepers.

Also, the book is accompanied with beautiful pictures that reflect a simple, yet very fulfilling lifestyle.

To sum up

Rhonda Hetzel’s book Down to earth is a very complete guide for any homemaker in any season of life. From the young newly wed to the lady in her fourtees, fiftees and beyond.

It contains lots of valuable information and tips on life, recipes, how-to’s. A very worthwhile book.


This is another favorite book of mine that’s probably not even in print anymore. It’s a book I bought at a thrift store for less than the price of a new magazine and that’s why I wanted to mention it here.


Why an out-of-print book?

I wanted to show you here that you can buy great books at thrift stores or yard sales. They may not have the most up-to-date trends & colors like new homemaking books, but they often do contain timeless information on homemaking, decorating, gardening and the like.

A timeless reference

As with many books on homemaking mentioned above, this book contains lots of information on gardening. Where to put certain plants, how to grow vegetables and what are good materials to use. Those are all topics that haven’t changed much over the years.

Plus, it makes you creative in the sense that you can take a trend from the past and translate it into something that’s currently in fashion.

Furthermore, “the old books” sometimes contain more sustainable tips, because long ago plastic wasn’t the norm, but it was normal to use glass jars, have chickens in your back yard and grow your own food.


A book list of the reviewed books:

Overall, let books be an inspiration to learn new skills, to get creative and to enjoy. To find joy and to bloom at the place and stage of life you’re at right n

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  1. Rhonda Hetzel April 29, 2022 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Hi Tahnee. Thank you for sharing my book with your readers. I’m pleased it’s helped you achieve some of your goals too. I’ll be back when I have more time to read through your blog, it’s delightful.

    • Tahnee April 29, 2022 at 3:30 pm - Reply

      Thank you Rhonda for your kind words, I really appreciate that.

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