4 Tips From the Past to Help With Home Organization

By O Quinn

“‘What shall I do next?’ Just this stopping and questioning involves energy and decisions, which it is totally unnecessary to make when a definite daily schedule is laid out.” -Christine Frederick

Black Country Living Museum - The Village Centre - The Chainmaker’s House - kitchen - cast iron cooker

Much wisdom in how to go about organizing our days can be found in the vintage homekeeping volumes of the past. Vintage authors wrote countless books for women of the day to help them get through the rigors of daily living. Many of these great tips are applicable to today.

1.  Christine Frederick starts off with helping us set the tone for organizing our days. A simple daily schedule or daily routine list reminds you of the pattern of your days. As you walk through your days make note of what you do at what times. Simple routines such as, “Wake, clean bedrooms, make breakfast, get kids off to school, go to work (or stay home and work). You get the idea. You won’t necessarily refer to it each day but just a glance at it can motivate you to keep on track and not get side tracked.

2.  Vintage authors also encourage us to train our children when young to be helpful in the home. Train them in helping you around the house, to be neat and orderly. Oh so easier said than done but so true. And so rewarding in the long run. If young children are at home take the time early to train them to help you in the home and in caring for daily details. Teach your children that they are valuable members of the family and it takes all parts to keep the family running well. Even if the work isn’t done to your standards of perfection praise your children for their work, thank them for their help and encourage them.

3.  We tend to think of weekly menu planning as a new phenomenon of the 21st century. But this is not true. Many vintage authors in the 19th century spoke of the benefits of weekly menu planning to save a good deal of the dinnertime headache. Know your menu in advance and be prepared. Grocery shop once weekly and pick up all of your dinner grocery items at that time. Prepare what you can in advance and preserve items that may spoil before the week is out (such as putting in the freezer).

4.  Frazzled to come up with the dinner dishes at 5 pm each day? Menu planning is more than just grocery shopping with a list. Be sure your dinner preparations are ready. Do this in the morning before heading out for your day. You’ll be sure there are no unpleasant surprises come dinner time.

Take the time to apply these timeless tips and see if they don’t make a difference in your home.


Lists are very effective ways to manage our days. Make them even more so by using Homemaking Organized beautiful forms and checklists embellished with vintage notes and tips.

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