6.10.2021

# cleaning tips # Daily Connoisseur homemaking

10 Life-Changing Homemaking Secrets from Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management



My homemaking series continues today as I share ten life-changing homemaking secrets from Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management




Mrs. Isabella Beeton’s 1861 guide on household management remains one of the must referenced and popular guides to managing a home over 160 years later. Here are my ten observations from her book that could provide life-changing homemaking inspiration for you. 




 


⚜️The “mistress of the house” or in our case “homemaker”, is like the "commander of an army. Her spirit will be seen through the whole establishment" (p. 1). If that is the case, what spirit do you see when you look at your home? 

⚜️The members of the household are “perpetually dependent” on the homemaker for the happiness, comfort, and well-being of the family (p.1). While that may seem daunting, it should give you a sense of purpose and raison d’รชtre. 

 ⚜️"Early rising is one of the most essential qualities which enter into good household management" (p. 2). Getting up early is the “parent of health”. If the mistress of the house gets up early it is “almost certain that her house will be orderly and well-managed”. (It also says that if she gets up late, her servants will also become “sluggards”.) Most of us do not have live-in servants so maybe we can attribute this tip to the rest of our family. 

⚜️ Frugality and Economy are home virtues. Mrs. Beeton quotes a Dr. Johnson, who says, “Frugality may be termed the daughter of Prudence, the sister of Temperance, and the parent of Liberty. He that is extravagant will quickly become poor, and poverty will enforce dependence and invite corruption.” Mrs. Beeton believed that whether you are rich or poor, practicing frugality is a necessity. 

⚜️Good temper should be cultivated by the homemaker. The welfare of the household rests on the homemaker’s good temper. “Her influence can hardly be over-estimated, as it has the effect of moulding the characters of those around her, and of acting most beneficially on the happiness of the domestic circle. Every head of a household should strive to be cheerful.”  (p.5). This one convicted me. 

⚜️The dress of the homemaker should always be adapted to her circumstances. Ok, in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management she’s literally talking about changing outfits for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We can’t relate to this Downton Abbey-esque wardrobe change life, but let’s look closer here at what she’s saying. She’s saying dress for the day, but dress appropriately. So, does that mean wear yoga pants all day long since you’ll be cleaning? Not necessarily. You can get dressed for the day in your cute day clothes that express your true style and still get a majority of your cleaning done if you wear an apron and gloves. If you’re going out in the garden to weed, for example, you probably won’t want to wear your nice clothing. Change your clothes for that. 

⚜️Keep a housekeeping account book (p. 9). Mrs. Beeton suggests that you write down every single expense you have throughout the day. This will be very helpful for those of us who are prone to overspending or who are trying to stay on a budget. This way “one month’s expenses may be contrasted with another”. Judge Haliburton said, “No man is rich whose expenditure exceeds his means, and no one is poor whose incomings exceed his outgoings.” 

⚜️Method and order are the keys for good housekeeping. On p. 27, it reads: “Order, again, is indispensable; for by it we wish to be understood that “there should be a place for everything, and everything in its place.” Method, too, is most necessary; for when the work is properly contrived, and each part arranged in regular succession, it will be done more quickly and more effectually. 

⚜️The daily duties of a housekeeper are regulated by the extent of the establishment she superintends (p. 29). In this instance, Mrs. Beeton is now discussing a paid housekeeper position, but we homemakers can apply this to ourselves. We should base our daily duties on what our home (our establishment) needs. Do you live in a large house that needs regular sweeping and vacuuming? Do you live in a small house that needs constant reevaluations of clutter and storage? What does your establishment need? 

⚜️Prepare in the evening for the next day’s duties (p. 31). A good homemaker “will often busy herself with the necessary preparations for the next day’s duties. Numberless small, but still important arrangements, will have to be made, so that everything may move smoothly.

⚜️ What I'm Wearing
Rungolee Louise blouse DailyC for free silk face mask
Lulu's Sebastian Trouser (these shrink, order a size up)
Earrings SKYE Theodora Jennifer20 for 20% off
Bracelet SKYE Laure Jennifer20 for 20% off
Nail polish Londontown Dragonfruit JenniferS for 25% off


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Comment of the Week
Amber writes, "My heart leapt for joy when you said you're going on the Homemaker Chic podcast again! ๐Ÿฅฐ Shaye and Angela are my absolute favorite podcasters and I regularly listen while cleaning around the house. You also happen to be my favorite guest on their podcast so I am excited to hear all three of you chat it up again! Listening to you on their podcast is actually what helped me discover your channel so cheers to that as well! Hope you have a great virtual visit with them again and thanks for all your wonderful content!"

Thank you, Amber! Our episode has already aired and you can find it here: Wait, This Job Needs a Uniform?

I hope you enjoyed today's life-changing homemaking secrets video. Let us know your favorite insights in the comments and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog. 

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2 comments:

Stephanie said...

I've heard our modern conveniences such as dishwashers and washers and dryers compared to the servants of long ago. Truly, of we don't get an early start, our "servants" will stand idle!

Iona Parks Rosenthal said...

Jennifer, I enjoy your focus on homemaking. You have a great ability to uplift everyday tasks. There are many great tips in this video on Mrs. Beeton's book. I wanted to ask if you follow her advice on keeping a household accounts book and what journal would work well in conjunction with a daily planner.

Thanks for your insights.

Iona Parks Rosenthal