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Housekeeping Tips to Keep Your Homestead Running Smoothly

The rewards of housekeeping can be tremendous. Start by learning how to improve your efficiency with household chores.

| March/April 1970

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    Think of housework as a business that can be done effectively and efficiently.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

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Housekeeping should be a challenging subject to us American women. Instead, many of us consider it with boredom, or with resentment that we have to do it at all, and if our husbands try to talk over our methods, we are likely to fly off the handle and wind up with the old come-back, "Well, I'd just like to see you take care of the house for a while!" I'm afraid I have to admit to such arguments with my husband, Ed, in the past. And, to be honest, there is something to be said on both sides.

I do believe that there have been several things outstandingly wrong with modern housekeeping and that homesteading can answer some of our problems. The more important drawbacks I've found are:

1. Our own attitudes toward housekeeping are probably key. I'm afraid that many of us look down our noses at it, we consider most any other job but homemaking to be glamorous. What we forget is that every job, whether it's a man's job or a career woman's job in office or factory, has its own monotonous routines, too.

2. Lack of creative work in modern housekeeping. Women really can't be blamed for considering "housekeeping" a routine bore that's about all that's left of homemaking in the city or suburbs. I don't know how you classify your jobs, but, outside of raising children, I consider cooking about the only creative work left in most city and suburban homes today. The current trend seems to be for more and more of the family work, recreation and even child raising to be handled outside the home. All that will be left is vacuuming, washing dishes, and dusting, all negative and unstimulating.

3. Lack of economic satisfaction. Because today's woman has been brought up to be independent, it's no wonder she's not satisfied with the eternal routine left in the home. She's not increasing her family's security unless it's in the negative way of cutting down expenses. Because the urban custom is to buy everything eaten, worn or used, it's no wonder urban women have begun to feel their best contribution to their families would be jobs outside the home.

4. Lack of housekeeping efficiency. Manufacturers have done much to make housekeeping efficient and easy, but keeping house still needs a thorough engineering job done on it. The amount of your daily work is determined the minute you choose your house, the type of furnishings you put in it, the way you arrange your storage space and the type of clothes you buy. If we women want to contribute more to our families we will have to make routine work as efficient as possible.

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