Everywhere I look, I’m being pressed to organize and clean my house. From sales flyers to magazines to online sites, organizing is the order of the day. And I love that. I love to make lists and card files. When I’m finished and it’s all neatly in order, I push it aside and forget about it.
Maybe it’s not an unusual failing. An old “Father Knows Best” radio program treated the same subject. Margaret, the mother, is hard at work with some very strenuous spring housecleaning activities. She’s climbing ladders, pushing heavy pieces of furniture out from the wall, etc., with the help of daughter Betty. When a weary Margaret suggests she could really use some help with the heavy work, Jim (Father) says, “Oh no, I’ll tackle the yard.” (In radio days, father was quite the jerk.) Then he begins to note what needs to be done and decides the work properly begins with an orderly list. He then disappears to the den, taking son Bud with him, expounding on how nothing can be done until proper organization has occurred. Of course, the tasks at hand are never addressed anywhere except on paper. I can relate.
I love to read household management tips from any era but especially from vintage women’s magazines, housekeeping manuals, cookbooks, etc. In older works, I love the concept of home and womanhood. Being a homemaker was a recognized vocation, and ideas were available to help with this work.
The following are extracts from the Rumford Book on Home Management, compiled by Hannah Wing for the Department of Home Economics of The Rumford Company. No publication date appears – the ‘20s, I think. As the photos of the cover show, it's not an attractive little book, and my copy shows use, which makes it all the more special.
“This book has been planned by the makers of Rumford Baking Powder to give busy housekeepers and young home makers the most helpful of the recent knowledge of modern home economics as applied to the general management of the home. …. The book is a ready reference book not a discussion paper. It is planned for the woman who knows what she wants to know.” [Don’t you just love that -- “for the woman who knows what she wants to know.”]
“A POSSIBLE PROGRAM OF WORK
A suggested program for the special work which must be fitted into each day while still carrying on the routine of the regular daily work. The program should always include a daily rest period and at least one afternoon away from home.
Monday: Mend, count and prepare laundry. Tidy house. Wash ‘fine pieces’
Tuesday: Washing. Mop kitchen and laundry floors. Basement stairs and back porch
Thursday: Clean bed rooms
Friday: Clean living room, clean bath room and do special occasional cleaning
Saturday: Clean kitchen, ice box. Week-end marketing, and extra cooking”
Sounds like a plan!
From what I could discern through online research, Rumford Baking Powder is still produced by Clabber Girl. I don’t recall seeing the Rumford brand, but I know Clabber Girl. KW
Report of “finishes”:
SS retirement benefit online application
Organizational emblems returned