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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It feels like Christmas!!

A package came in the mail today!
1947 Housekeeping Book!!
I was am so excited for the plethora of vintage homemaking knowledge this old book holds. I am hoping to find easy, and more natural solutions for keeping and maintaining a home, and sharing these ideas with you!
I opened the front cover to find: a 1947 Magic Chef ad!!
Because I obviously LOVE Magic Chef, since I am super obsessed with my Magic Chef double oven, that is still a cooking gem more than 40 years later!
But then I turned the ad over and found that it must have been saved for this article about how you can never have to clean house.
A 1947 article in the October Good Housekeeping Magazine, basically outlining the philosophy of scheduling housecleaning to prevent getting overwhelmed and maintaining a constantly clean home. 
This is delightful because 75 years later so many bloggers are acting like this is a new revelation.

I typed out the vintage article from the Good Housekeeping to share with you...




I never house- clean!
by Jeanne Jones
October 1947
As an ex-bobby-soxer (who married at the ripe old age of 19 and still lives it an ancient and decrepit 24), I've probably shocked more staid homemakers with the statement, "I never house-clean," than any other article on juvenile delinquency ever could. They simply gasp and mutter to each other, "Wonder what their house looks like?" Naively I reply, "Drop in any time," and I mean it. 
Confidently, I'm amazed at the number of egg-borrowers who come to my front door, march at my heels [through] the house to the kitchen, and don't miss one square inch of any room passed. But even after two or three impromptu visits, they're still doubting Thomases!
The established way to house-clean is to set a time aside each fall and spring or summer for an orgy of scouring and sorting. If that's the meaning of the words "house-cleaning," then I never house-clean! I don't see any sense in slaving over a house for four weeks every spring and fall, only to have things in varying shades of grayness the other 10 months. No house I've ever seen has been spic and span even three of four weeks after all this frantic scrubbing - unless day-to-day upkeep, making a repeat all out cleaning session unnecessary, has been applied. 
My way of cleaning is rotating the tasks and rooms so that I'm cleaning all the year around. But it's a task at a time and doesn't accumulate into "house cleaning." In June I finished doing some of the jobs usually save for "fall housecleaning." My system was developed in a three-room apartment during my working-wife days. Now with a six room home and two lively children, it's basically the same. The entire house it thoroughly cleaned every three months, but not all at once! I divide each room into 13 sections (one for each week) including curtains, furniture waxing, draperies, windows, drawers, and closets. Walls and ceilings obviously take several weeks to complete in the allotted time per week, but when they're done according to this cycle, it isn't noticeable. 
Monday and Thursday are laundry days. By washing twice a week, I'm able to finish all my ironing the same day I was and have fewer clothes for the youngsters to outgrow. Kitchen and bathroom cleanings are also scheduled for these days. Several shelves are cleaned (shelf paper changes and unnecessary items discarded), a wall cleaning a section of cupboard washed and waxed, or woodwork scrubbed. Three hours a week (an hour and a half each day) keep both rooms neat and shining. 
Wednesday is bedroom day. Beds are aired, mattresses turned, and linen changed. All glassware (including mirrors, lamps, and the assortment of bottles) are washed with mild soap and water, then polished to a sparkle with a soft cloth. Also, some special task is performed - windows washed, furniture waxed, curtains laundered, drawers sorted.
Friday may be national cleaning day, but I clean the living room and dining room only. I vacuum rugs and furniture (yes, even under the chairs and behind the cushions!) Lamps, pictures, and mirrors receive the bedroom treatment. Polishing silver, washing company china, cleaning the guest closet, and dry cleaning the rugs and draperies are among the extras. Also included is the care of numerous books, records, and plants. 
Ever day except Sunday there are routine tasks of course- dusting, dry mopping, cleaning bathrooms fixtures making beds, doing dishes, and generally "swishing" the house into order. Each time I try and beat my previous record for these chores. My goal is one hour, but it usually takes me an hour and a half. 
Tuesday is my "lady-of-leisure" day. All my mending, sewing, letter writing, "beautifying" (shampoo, manicure, and facial) or just plain loafing are done then. Sometimes I even sneak a nap in the afternoon. 
Saturday morning I enjoy an extra hour's luxury sleep. Then a round of meal planning for the following week and my shopping tour, while Father keeps the children out of mischief. Picnics and party meals are on the Saturday-evening agenda. 
Sunday the only activity planned is going to church, and we manage to attend even while traveling. Visiting friends or entertaining completes the day. Unexpected guests are welcome. The house, clean a corner at a time [throughout] the week, stands shining and ready. 
Miscellaneous activities fill the remaining hours in the week. We can literally bushels of fruits and vegetable from our garden each summer. Both my husband and I have woodworking and amateur radio hobbies. We also follow trends in architecture and home furnishings, hoping to build our "dream mansion" some day. 
Even with my "lazy" way of life, I can't sit on the porch all afternoon. But there's always another Tuesday to look forward to, and no emergency scrambling for unexpected guests. Can you regular fall and spring house-cleaning enthusiast say the same thing for your mode of life? 
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Radio Party. When there is a special broadcast, ask your friends to come over and listen with you. It's much more fun that way. And after the broadcast there's bound to be a lively discussion. When it becomes heated, stop for refreshments. 

I do like the idea of making a list of everything you ever need to clean. You can divide it up into a task list by days or weeks, so that cannot feel overwhelming and become a routine.
All of this and I haven't even started reading the book yet!! I can't wait! I hope you are all as excited as I am to incorporate this into our blogosphere.
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