Sunday, 19 April 2015

How Clean Is Your Routine?

Until well past the middle of the last century housework was a daily routine that dictated what jobs were done on each day of the week. Monday was washday, and women would all race to get their washing on the the line. Chimneys were still in use then, and washing left to dry outside would often become soiled with coal smuts and would have to be done again. Ironing would be done on Tuesday, and during the evening clothes would be mended and socks darned.

On the other days women would clean. Every day the front step would be scrubbed and the water sloshed across the payment to keep the dirt from coming in. Your neighbors expected all the water to be 'joined up', otherwise they would gossip about your slovenly ways. Shopping would be reserved for the day the wages were brought home in a brown waxy envelope, usually Friday or Saturday. Baking would be done on Saturday, and Sunday was a day of rest, although there would usually be a roast dinner to prepare and cook.

Spring-cleaning was necessary because people heated their homes with open coal fires, lit them with gas lamps and burned candles. The soot and dust had to be cleaned away once the days lengthened, the first went out and the sun showed up the dirt. For many people this routine continued until at least the 1960's.

Homes lacked the marvelous gadgets we have today. A whistling kettle was considered a great novelty! Carpets were brushed or beaten, driving up clouds of dust. Laundry was done in the sink, and put through the mangle to squeeze out the water. Dishes were always washed by hand, and in the days before fridges and freezes shopping was far more frequent done.

When you consider how time-consuming running a home was in the last century, you really have no excuse not to be able to keep up now, even though both men and women tend to go out to work. Haven't thing changed! There are many labor-saving devices predecessors would have give their right arm for. We have vacuum cleaners, washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers, enormous fridges and freezers, microwaves, duvets (rarely sheets and blankets), and a dazzling array of products designed to tackle every task. 

A Tidy Home Is A Clean Home

Cleaning will always be easier if you are tidy and put things back each time they are used. Become a gatherer! Pick things up as you go, returning them to their proper place. Keep a little basket by the stairs - don't make unnecessary trips. Get into the habit of scooping things up before bedtime, collecting mugs, glasses, ashtrays, papers and post; give the cushions a bang and everything will be shipshape for the morning. Who wants to be confronted at the start of a new day with yesterday's filth? 

We're all hoarders to some degree. If you cupboards and drawers are so crammed full that you are short of storage space and cannot find a permanent home for things, then you need to clear out an dispose of the items you no longer need to use. Your home will be much more comfortable and run more efficiently if things are put away. You will also have the added advantage of being able to locate what you need quickly, without the frustration of searching through endless piles of things. Once clutter is removed you can keep the surfaces clean and healthy.

Do A Little Bit Each Day

Some people cannot relax until every last chore is done, others just can't seem to get started, or don't know where to start. We're making a lot of excuses for ourselves about why we don't have time around the home 

Tidy as you go; a quick flick here and there with a duster - don't let it build up, dear - you make life easy or you make life hard, and we know which we prefer. Keep on top of the laundry, restore order in the kitchen after every meal, a quick run around the centre of each room with the vacuum, and you'll be keeping a lovely happy home. If other's don't or won't help, don't scream and give yourself a headache - if they want to wallow in their own dirt, let the get on with it!



Related article: