"My advice is to go into something and stay with it until you like it. You can't like it until you obtain expertise in that work. And once you are an expert, it's a pleasure." ~ Milton Garland

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fundamentals of Homekeeping

Often the difference between a good homemaker and a poor one is a matter of following basic principles which lead to success. The following are some of the most fundamental principles which, if followed, will lead to a clean, uncluttered, well organized household:

The management of a household requires concentration. One cannot daydream or ponder problems and at the same time expect duties will be performed with efficiency. There is some work like ironing, cleaning windows, and doing dishes in which daydreaming is possible, but most of our work requires thought as well as hands, especially organizing and meal preparation. So, put other things out of your mind and concentrate on the jobs at hand. (BE IN THE MOMENT. ~ Holy Spirit) What is often interpreted as lack of homemaking ability is usually mental laziness.

You cannot become a good housekeeper if you have TOO MANY THINGS, such as too much furniture, too many dishes, unnecessary clothes, old papers and magazines, too many toys, objects or ornaments, or old treasures which are handed down from generation to generation. "Priceless objects," you may say. They may be valuable if they are useful or add beauty to the home; but they are not priceless if they make life difficult. For greatest efficiency, households should have only enough goods to serve the family. Anything more only clutters and burdens the homemaker.

If you have a cluttered household and would like to turn it into an organized one, the first step is to simplify by getting rid of things you do not need. A good suggestion is the following: Set aside a day for "whittling life down to the bone." Get three boxes and label one "throw away," one "give away," and one "can't decide." Go through all of your cupboards and drawers quickly, keeping only things you know are essential and discarding the rest in the three boxes. Also consider all objects sitting on open shelves, tables, or hanging on walls. When you have covered your entire household, put the "can't decide" box (or boxes) in the garage or attic and leave it there for about two months. In this time you will be able to see whether you have needed the items or not. Then, sort through the box when convenient.

In simplifying a household, remember a basic principle: Everything in a household should be either USEFUL or BEAUTIFUL. And you should have only ENOUGH useful and beautiful goods to serve your needs. In other words, an egg beater is useful and glasses are useful, but you do not need two egg beaters or forty glasses to serve your household. BETTER TO HAVE TOO FEW THAN TOO MANY. And, as for beautiful ornaments or pictures, not only should they be beautiful in themselves, but should enhance the beauty of your home. In other words, the home should not be a place to just "store" beautiful objects. And as for family heirlooms, art treasures and things of sentimental value, if they burden your life rather than enrich it, how can you justify their possession?

Basic good homemaking depends upon being organized. This means having a PLACE for everything and a TIME for everything. If you have "simplified" your household as I have just described, then you should have a PLACE for everything. But the important thing is to always put things back in that particular place. A household should be so well organized that you should be able to get up in the night, without turning on the light, and find something you need. This means that the dishes bowls, glasses and pans should each have a place of their own and be put back in the same place.

As for organizing time, this should be less rigid and more human, but the following is recommended:

For ROUTINE JOBS, work out SCHEDULES--weekly and occasional schedules. To work out these schedules, list all routine jobs of the household and then arrange them on the two schedules.

FOR NON-ROUTINE JOBS, follow a CALENDAR or DATED DIARY. In this, record phone calls, appointments, daily menus, and things to do which are non-routine. Also work in things on the occasional schedule. (The weekly schedule should be memorized.)

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