I wrote a little while ago about housework, and how averse I am to it… there are so many better things to do! To be fair, it is actually untidy in our house rather than anything else, and most of our tidiness issues are to do with being absent-minded and also prioritising interesting and important things like writing, painting, making music, cooking, doing other stuff.

I also mentioned the lovely old 1960’s book I found, a collection of musings and writings from the fifties and probably earlier, by Ruth Drew and entitled The Happy Housewife. In writing about housework and how important it is, she suggests a list of resolutions – she mentions them as new Year Resolutions, but I guess if you were so minded you could resolve at any time to do these things (I think that is the first time I have ever used the word ‘minded’ in that sense…)

Always remember to:

  • replace caps and lids firmly on bottles, jars and tins, so that polishes etc don’t dry up
  • oil door hinges the moment they begin to creak and not after they’ve maddened all and sundry for weeks
  • note down immediately in a shopping notebook anything which must be bought on the next outing
  • wipe up spills at the moment of catastrophe and not (vainly) after they’ve had time to soak in
  • refill basic storage jars directly they’re empty and avoid running out of essentials
  • clean the bath while the soapy water’s running away
  • keep a tube of jelly grease solvent handy to deal with possible stains during the day
  • wash white nylon before it looks even faintly dingy
  • empty the vacuum cleaner frequently and never expect it to eat on a full stomach
  • keep the tool box supplied with suitable wire for fuse mending and a torch for the mender
  • line the garbage pail with newspaper, covering the sides as well as the base
  • fit trees in shoes before putting them away

Some these helpful tips may seem redundant, or have been overtaken by modern life style, but most of them are actually very practical and useful, and humourously expressed!

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