Photo by CubaGallery
Has your grandmother ever been more than willing to give you advice about your home? Most of us, in our young age, let the advice go in one ear and out the other. As an adult, I wish I would have listened much more closely to the wise words of the women in my family.
My grandparents were raised in an era where they had to work for everything and their needs and wants were far less than they are today. But their household responsibilities were greater than modern families could imagine. In a world where 90% of people in their 30’s are in debt and most 20 year olds wouldn’t know how to make a home cooked meal let alone how to get a rust stain out of clothing, it wouldn’t hurt to look at advice from a past generation.
Here is the best advice I could find taken from Household Science and Arts and talking to others who have had advice given to them:
- Iron rust stains may be removed by wetting the material with cold water, applying lemon juice and salt and placing in the sunshine
- Keep moth balls in the attic of your home
- Never let the air become stale in a sick person’s bedroom, it should be as fresh as outside
Kitchen and Cleaning Advice:
- Do not leave food or garbage cans uncovered because it will attract flies, which carry germs
- Sweep floors in short strokes, keeping the broom close to the floor to prevent spreading dust
- Order of washing dishes: Glasses, Silver, China and change water whenever it becomes greasy or cool
- Arrange a place for the father at the head of the table and for mother at the foot of the table and one should be opposite from each other
- Include a soup spoon when setting the table for dinner in addition to the knives, forks, spoons, tumbler and napkin that you would use for breakfast
- Do not talk about disagreeable things during a meal. No politics or religion, especially with relatives
- No matter your income, spend carefully. Decide on your standard of living and stick to it. Decide what is a necessity and a luxury
- Wall papers and floor coverings should be quiet backgrounds for people, pictures and furnishings. Startling patterns and colors are out of place
- The living room should be warm, inviting, and quiet, sleeping rooms should be light and cool with the simplest furniture, kitchen should be light and convenient with as good an equipment as a workman would demand in a modern shop
- Avoid accumulating unnecessary articles that require constant dusting
A house that is turned into a home is one of the greatest accomplishments in any family, today and especially in past generations. The above advice should be able to give you an appreciation for how your grandparents were raised and realize their advice can still apply today. One of my favorite quotes from, Household Science and Arts is something I think any person with a home can appreciate:
“Such a place may be called a home. It is not the result of a hurried purchase of a load of furniture, but comes only with years of planning and thoughtful experience. It is worth a lifetime of loving study, for the results may not be only a work of art but a liberal education.”
To read more on the subject, check out this book from 1912.