August 14, 2009

Household Management

In the process of going through the masses of photos I mentioned earlier, I also came across some interesting jewels of family memorabilia such as old, handwritten letters, birth/marriage/death certificates, and my great aunt Tee Tee's high school composition notebook. This notebook is tattered and worn and it smells old and musty. There is no date on it anywhere, but it states that it is from her 9th grade year, so I am assuming it dates back to the 1920s. Given the information written in the book, I imagine it was used for a Home Economics class. There is a list of articles needed for sewing, descriptions and even swatches of various materials, and an article about the production of silk. But what I found most interesting was her notes on Household Management. What I am sharing with you is exactly what was handwritten in pencil by my great aunt. While some things are quite common sense, others are quite unique and intriguing. My favorite tip is the one under Cleaning Material.

Household Management
1. Order in placing things. Everything should be kept in its place, as nearly as possible.

Towels should be placed near the bathroom. Bedding should be placed near the bedroom.

Clothing should be kept in an orderly way by each member of the family. If possible each member of the family should keep their clothes in a seperate place. Clothes that has been worn should be aired before putting away. Winter clothing should be protected by moth by wrapping in paper. Put them in a cedar chest or trunk with some strong oiled substance, moth balls or cedar oil. Summer clothing should be washed putting away unstarched and unironed.

Brooms, Brushes and Dusters
They should have a place of their own. They should be well ventilated. They should be put away clean.

Cleaning Clothes
Cheese cloth makes good dusters, and heavier cloth for work on the floors. A sponge and chamois is better.

Cleaning Material
Air, sunshine, and water are the great purifiers and muscular energy.

Soaps and Alkalies
White and yellow soaps, washing powder, salsoda, caustic soda and household amonia.

Oils and Polishes
Crude oil, kerosene, mixture of linseed oil, vinegar and turpentine part each. Cottonseed oil and alcohol.

A solution of oxalic acid (should be marked poison) and vinegar should be kept among kitchen supplies.

A weak solution of carbolic acid (marked poison) chloride of lime and rock salt.

To Clean Fabrics
Brush, shake, and dust articles out of doors. Notice the way of the wind that the dust may not be carried back into the house.

To Clean a Rug
To spread on ground (grass if possible). Rub with a stiff brush with soap solution on the wrong side. Turn over, rinse the right side with water.

Wood Works
Painted surfaces should be wiped off with a soft cloth, wrung out of warm water. A small amount of white soap in the water or paint if it is greasy, but alkalie is ruinous to paint. A highly polished surface"piano" is cleaned by washing with a sponge in warm water and rubbing dry with a wet chamois wrung out of cold water. A dry chamois streaks the surface. Furniture may be kept clean daily by soft dry cloth. But once and awhile it needs cleaning with crude oil or the mixture of oil, turpentine, and vinegar. This makes a good varnish.

So, tell many of these handy tips do you use today in your household management program?

2 comments: said...

How cool that you have handwritten notebooks from so long ago! I LOVE reading letters, compositions, notes, recipes, etc. from days of old. I only have a handful. It seems that neat penmanship was a priority in those days - especially compared to my scribble. And the sentences seem so well thought out.

About the only thing my house hold management has in common with your aunt's is that I try to keep bath towels close the bathroom. And I do have my own dresser drawers for my clothes that I *attempt* to keep somewhat neat. I do keep my brooms and such in their own area. Oh, and I do shake rugs and such outside.

The oil/turpentine/vinegar mixture for furniture sounds interesting. I may try that and see how it works!

Anonymous said...

i like that one too - i also like the "to clean fabrics" one where she reminds us to notice the wind... that is a good rule to follow whether you are cleaning or not :)