July 5

A Real 1950’s Daily Cleaning Routine

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UPDATE! Now stay on top of all tasks large and small.  Get a handy daily checklist for cleaning right on our Facebook page.  Like us here!  now..on to A Real 1950’s Daily Cleaning Routine

In the 1950s, it was common for the wife to keep her house exceedingly tidy and well-managed. If you run a search on the internet for how they did it, you will find a list that outlines a typical 1950s housewife cleaning schedule. It shows up on several sites, but I’m not sure where it originated. It appears to be an almost-impossible to achieve list, and after interviewing several women who actually lived as 1950s housewives, I am happy to report that it is indeed not an accurate portrayal of how things typically were. Thank goodness.

So what was a typical day in the life of a 1950s housewife? I am told that it looked more like this:

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Morning/Breakfast:

  1. Mom would wake up and just like we do today her first chore was often to start the coffee. She had to do this first because it took ten to fifteen minutes to percolate.
  2. While the coffee percolated, she would often prepare her husband’s and children’s lunches.
  3. Next was breakfast prep, and despite what we’ve been lead to believe, every day was not a big breakfast day. Oatmeal, cold cereal, or toast were all typical weekday breakfast fare. Big breakfasts  with pancakes and eggs, and home fries were saved for weekend days. In some homes dad would eat and leave before the children woke up. And in other homes, everyone ate together. In any event, the entire morning breakfast routine doesn’t seem to be much longer than our modern-day counterpart.
  4. After eating, dad left for work and children were sent to make their beds, brush teeth and get dressed for school.  Clothing was usually planned and laid out the night before so there was no debate.  They knew what to put on and any resistance to getting these morning chores completed in a timely manner would be met with a promise to answer to dad later that day, so resistance was rare. Mom would often be tending to younger children at this time as well as possibly making her own bed and tidying her own bedroom.
  5. Where a 1950s mom’s morning really hit the time crunch that we don’t feel today is when it came time for the kids to actually get to school. Back then, a car or second car was almost unheard of. Mom had to walk the kids to school.  I think if I could change one thing from our modern-day morning routine back to the 50s version, the walk to school would be it. It was great exercise for everyone involved, and is probably one of the reasons obesity was less of an issue than it is now.

The time spent walking to and from school was also quality time spent together. Lots of good talks and bonding happened then. I remember walking to school even when I was a kid in the 70s. We lived three miles from my school, and I don’t recall hating the twice daily trek at all. I even remember loving the days when it rained because I got to wear my raincoat and my rain boots and use my umbrella. Stomping in puddles was great fun!  In the fall, I’d enjoy swishing through the leaves. In the winter, I remember catching snowflakes on my tongue while we walked. All fond memories.

Late Morning/Early Afternoon

Once mom returned from delivering the children to school, she’d often settle any younger children then she’d take a small break for tea and maybe listen to a morning radio show (usually heavily slanted toward wives and mothers because career women were almost unheard of).

Then the busy work of cleaning would begin.   The entire cleaning routine involved about three hours each day.   The beds were made and bedrooms tidied even before leaving for school, so now it was on to bathrooms, kitchen, living room, laundry, and floors.   Most cleaning was done with simple cleaning products such as baking soda, vinegar, ammonia, lemon, castile soap, and borax.   There were also some commercial cleaning products like Simoniz floor cleaner, Spick N Span, Brillo pads, and Windex, but most women used the basics and a lot of elbow grease.

Bathrooms were cleaned daily so it was a fast chore–no scrubbing required.   A few swishes with the brush in the toilet, a wipe down of all surfaces and mirror, empty trash, shake out carpets, sweep, then a quick mopping.   There was usually only one bathroom, so with just ten minutes, the bathroom duties were done.

This 1955 washer/dryer commercial shows that by the mid 1950s doing the laundry was significantly easier than in the days when it took an entire day to wash by hand, so the habit of washing and drying at least one load of laundry per day was born.

Cleaning the kitchen was also done daily, with a thorough cleaning of the refrigerator at least weekly, and a wipe down of all cupboards–inside and out–at least every few weeks.  Some things were more complicated back then, like the coffee maker, for example.   It needed to be dumped and cleaned by hand every day.   Other items didn’t exist at all, like the microwave.  So cleaning time between then and now should still balance out.

Next, mom would move on to tidying the living room, dusting all furnishings, and controlling paper and other clutter.  Again, this was done daily, so this entire process didn’t take very long.

Lastly, there would be a quick shake out the area rugs, sweeping and damp mopping the floors, and that would complete the morning cleaning rituals.   Houses were much smaller, and wall-to-wall carpeting was still a luxury most homes did not yet enjoy, so even the task of floor care was not overwhelming.

Viola.  Cleaning complete.

For the 1950s woman, the rest of the day was filled with things like feeding lunch to the husband and children if they still came home for lunch (some did).  She might also have to walk to do some shopping and this could involve visiting several places since most items were provided by specialty shops like butchers, bakeries, and the like.  She might have mending and sewing or gardening and canning to do.  She might bake breads or pies.

Later in the afternoon she’d need to walk back to the school for a second (or third!) time at the end of the school day.  Then she had to come home and begin to plan and start dinner.

Evenings and nights were filled with bathing the kids, laying out the clothes for tomorrow, cleaning up the kitchen one last time, and then settling down to listen to your favorite radio program.  In those days almost nobody owned a t.v. and if they did it still wasn’t as popular as a good radio show.  By the time the evening programs came on, mom was ready to put her feet up and take a well-deserved break.

All in all the daily cleaning routine back then was not bad.  It was, and still is, however, monotonous.  We talked about ways to combat the boredom in a earlier post.

The only real difference between then and now is that our standards have slipped a bit these days.   Our children have more toys.  We all have more possessions.  We have more clutter and we have more distractions like television and internet.  We seldom dedicate three hours every day to getting the house tidy.   And when we do, we don’t do it as thoroughly.  Doing things like wiping out the oven weekly and cleaning out the refrigerator weekly does not usually happen in every home anymore.   It should.   If we kept up with these tasks weekly, they would be much quicker and easier and less daunting.

Two months ago I decided to dedicate my days before noon to a routine very similar to the one outlined above.  I must confess that my home is sparkling clean and peaceful.  My husband compliments me on my efforts all the time, and here’s the kicker.  I have actually achieved more outside of my cleaning routine.  Dedicating the time to cleaning didn’t hurt my schedule.  It helped it.   I spend far less time searching for lost items, feeling frantic, and feeling overwhelmed.  In fact, I feel so organized that I was able to finally start this blog, something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.

If you need to revamp your home cleaning efforts, why not make it a pact with yourself to try this 1950s schedule for 30 days?   The first week might not go as quickly as this suggests because you have some catching up to do, but after that, it’s a breeze.   Try it.   Let me know how it works for you.

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Posted July 5, 2014 by The50sHousewife in category "Cleaning & Organizing--Vintage tips

102 COMMENTS :

  1. By Denise on

    Reading this is so motivating and inspiring. I’m going to get off my duff and start working like a 50’s Wife.

    Reply
  2. By Lauren on

    I really enjoyed reading and finding I’m not alone in my routine it does make our lives happy and calm!

    Reply
  3. By Tessa on

    I want to deeply thank you for your blog. I’m a 26 year old stay at home mom who had her first baby at 15. I have been extremely lucky to have his dad stick by my side and we’ve now been together for 12 years. My mom worked a lot and my step dad didn’t do much more than sleep and yell at us. As a result at 16 when my husband and I moved out on our own to raise our family I literally had no idea what I was doing. We have 3 kids together now and I’ve stayed home since my oldest was 2. I got sick shortly after my youngest was born 6 years ago. Its a degenerative collegan defect and our home has since suffered even more. My husband has been incredibly supportive and says he doesn’t mind. But *I* mind, I don’t like being embarrassed of having people over and seeing my failures. I wouldn’t say our house is dirty but cluttered and unorganized. I know we’ll ALL be happier for it if these changes could be made. I’ve just never known where to start and have often felt hopeless and very alone. People tend to have very conflicting opinions of how I should be living my life especially my mother who doesn’t agree with stay at home moms and more especially with our recent decision to home school our kids. I nearly cried with joy when I stumbled across your blog. I have felt the intense need for change in my life but just didn’t know where to even start. I read some things on your blog to my husband and we talked for a very long time last night about my need for this change and what I need from him to accomplish this. I explained your blog on tasking and him being the CEO and me the house manager and this whole lifestyle seems like something we needed desperately in our lives but didnt know how to explain until now. Thank you so much and I look forward to reading more of your posts. We’ve decided to start all these changes on Monday with a new week ahead of us to wipe the slate clean and begin again with a clear purpose in mind. I’m excited to see where all these changes take us and to begin loving myself and my life again. I’ve been very unhappy with myself for a long time and I finally have the hope I can make these changes and be someone my husband, kids, and what’s more someone *I* can be proud of!

    Reply
    1. By The50sHousewife (Post author) on

      Oh Tessa! You are very welcome. My whole point of doing this blog is to support others like me that choose an old-fashioned (or maybe it could be considered new-fashioned) way of living. It’s your life. You go live it however feels right in your heart. Don’t let anyone discourage you! You come here for support any time you need it. I’ve got your back.

      Reply
    2. By Beth Almeida on

      Tessa, bless your heart! I DID squeal with joy when I found this blog. Like your mother, mine worked a lot, but my step dad is a sweet and quite man. Momma was, and still is at times, a loud, obnoxious and belligerent woman with an incredible temper. I married and had my first baby at 17. I divorced after 8 years, though. My husband now is a wonderful man and we just had our son, Mason, January 9th.
      This blog is an answer to my prayers! People have always joked about how it seems that I ‘fell out of the fifties! The only thing I DON’T do is dress before my husband gets home. It is YOUR life and you need to live it the way you think is best for your family.

      Reply
  4. By tammy on

    Thanks I’ve been searching for days for a website like this. How did they do it with toddlers and babies, i find it hard!

    Reply
    1. By jen on

      They had strict nap times and babies and toddlers went in playpens when mom was busy. I’m not saying that’s what you should do. That was just the norm back then.

      Reply
    2. By The50sHousewife (Post author) on

      Oh my Tammy! I’m sorry. I never received a notification of your comment. Thank you, Jen, for answering. Poor Tammy must have felt neglected! Well… Yes. Babies were put on schedules and allowed to cry but also there were other things. MANY siblings, quite often. Lots of family around. Lots of other women around–not so many worked. There was just a much better sense of community back then. Wouldn’t it be nice if our little housewife revolution spread and we could get back to that??

      Reply
      1. By Kate on

        I am a former corporate America working mom turned work at home mom. Actually, I think society IS starting to revert back to the 50s a bit! Cyclical maybe? 😀❤

        Reply
  5. By Stacie on

    This is great! It’s already after 10 here, but I’m going to start today and do as much as I can!

    Reply
    1. By The50sHousewife (Post author) on

      How’d you do? Getting set up in a routine is time consuming in the beginning, but later it becomes a true time-saver!

      Reply
      1. By Stacie on

        Well, I got more done than I have been doing, but it’s still a mess. I did finally get up this morning and pack my husband’s breakfast and lunch though, and even got dressed before he left for work! Sounds dumb but I’m proud of myself. 🙂

        Reply
        1. By The50sHousewife (Post author) on

          That’s not dumb at all. Getting up to do those little chores is the most difficult part of my day. I hate to get out of bed when it’s still dark out.

          Reply
  6. By Vanessa on

    Hi, thank you for this fascinating blog post! I’m a 28 year old stay at home mum of a 10 month old baby girl, I struggle with a daily routine and feel I’m constantly swimming against a tide of mess, clutter and dirty washing! I could definitely take a few lessons from 50s housewife. I do agree that cleaning standards have slipped, though I wonder whether this is all bad, as I cant imagine 50s housewife had as much quality time with her children after all that cleaning every day! I think that the focus of being a modern stay at home mum has shifted. In addition to caring for my baby’s daily needs, I spend time playing with my daughter, reading her stories, taking her to the park, going on playdates so she has the opportunity to socialise with other babies (as children in daycare do)…..and sometimes doing a bit of cleaning/ cooking! I would rather do a few jobs in the evening when she is in bed, so I can spend quality time with her during the day. Just some thoughts. I do really admire the 50s work ethic though and think its easier to be more lazy these days.

    Reply
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  11. By Kali on

    I thought I would be a nightmare 50’s housewife…and I still think that to be true for almost anything a woman was expected to do or say during the 1950’s. But here’s the thing. I work full time and I already have a chore list like this. Because I do it every day, only takes me about an hour or two. Three hours if it’s an extra chore for the day. But shopping and school…vroom vroom. I also do a lot of frozen meal prepping once every two weeks and a meal planner…so there is nothing new to prepare. Easy Peasy.

    Reply
  12. By Heather on

    I didn’t see anything on here about the wife getting herself ready in the mornings? Are you to do that before making the coffee?

    Reply
    1. By The50sHousewife (Post author) on

      I’ve been talking to a bunch of older ladies who talk about how they never came downstairs in the morning without their hair brushed and lipstick on. I, however, trudge to the kitchen in my pajamas. I guess that’s the “modern day” in me. 🙂

      Reply
      1. By Meagan on

        I wondered the same thing. My grandmother was a fifties working/housewife and so were my aunts. So I wondered about their self care. I am starting with the cleaning and aspiring to never leaving the house unkempt. Thank you thank you.

        Reply
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  14. By Amber on

    This is exactly what I have been looking for! My Great-Grandmothers where 1950s house wives and I remember as a kid thinking that they kept their homes so perfectly! I have struggled to maintain a neat and tidy home, its clean but messy (last night I spent my New Years Eve playing catch up again! I finally fell into bed at 3am after 5 house of cleaning and still the house wasn’t done!)
    With 2 little boys I knew I needed to change how I have been doing things (cuz clearly it wasn’t working!) and felt like I should “go back to the basics” and do things how my Great-Grandmothers did. Thank you so much for your blog! It is going to help me get my house back to order this New Year!

    Reply
  15. By Just a house wife. on

    Hello there, I was so excited to find your blog. I myself am a mid 30s stay at home mom of three under 6. I home school my oldest and the younger two attend British school. We’re military. Any who, I was so thrilled to find you here. The information is priceless and will be carried out and on with my daughters and son. I do not want my children growing into today youth. We just started strict manners and chore charts as they all understand and are capable of helping and showing go off manners. I just want to thank you for your time and work put in on this blog. You’re a real pleasure to read and a comfort to know such women still exist and are appreciated…

    Reply
  16. By kae on

    Love this! I am a 26 year old stay at home mom to.year old twin girls and I struggle everyday to keep the house clean and I often feel overwhelmed. I think I may try being a 50s housewife starting tomorrow. I consider myself an old soul as does everyone who knows me, and I just like and respect the ways of the past. This world is so out of control nowadays, I find myself wishing that it was more like the 50’s. Thanks for your blog!

    Reply
  17. By Pauli on

    This article is so inspiring! I am a mother of 3, and while I dress like a 1950s housewife, I have been failing to clean like one…until now! I don’t know why it never occurred to me that doing these simple things daily would eliminate so much stress and burdensome work. I am looking forward to the positive changes this routine will produce for my family.

    Reply
  18. By Elese on

    What a delightful post. Thank you for writing it! I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 16 years and still have never been able to nail down a good routine! I yearn for the simplicity of the 1950’s, like having only one car, school within walking distance, smaller homes, fewer possessions and most of all, no crazy schedules that keep us running all over town constantly. You’ve inspired me, and it starts with a dedicated cleaning schedule every morning. Thank you, thank you!

    Reply
  19. By Trenee on

    I just found your blog last night and read every post in one sitting! I’m 29 and a stay at home mom of an almost 3 year old, a one year old, and have another on the way. I have traditional beliefs when it comes to gender roles (I don’t think it’s a coincidence the divorce rate is way higher than it used to be!) and I love the 50’s lifestyle and everything that comes with being a traditional, old fashioned lady who takes care of her husband and kids. It’s hard to keep the house clean and organized with a toddler, a crawler, a puppy, and the exhaustion of pregnancy but I made up a cleaning schedual last night and am going to try it out as soon as I get done with my coffee! Thanks so much for helping keep traditional women alive!

    Reply
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  21. By karen on

    Found your blog a couple weeks ago and had become fed up with seeming like I always lived in a mess. My husband works evenings and I work part time whilst children are at school so have had to adjust it a bit. I do the bathroom before school run and rest in afternoon before picking little ones over. Having schedule and very clean home gives me more time to spend with little ones

    Reply
  22. By Alisha LeAnn on

    This would be neat in some sort of printable. I love this, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  23. By Suzanne Reed on

    Thank you so much for taking the time to interview these ladies and write this post for us. I tried out this routine yesterday in order and ended up working from 10 am-5:45 pm at that point I had just finished the kitchen! Hand’t even touched living areas, paper, or floors (my bedroom was pretty messy!). I have been working outside the home for all 11 years of our marriage but always wanted to stay home. Then in January I was able to quit my job and stay home full time with my preschool-aged son! I’m very excited to get the house in shape and hoping to be on a maintenance schedule starting next week.

    Hoping to find a way to get this all done early so my son can spend more time outdoors before his nap. I really like the idea of women today ascribing to higher standards of cleanliness at home, most women my age seem to take it for granted that the microwave will be a mess and there will be crunchy crumbs in the corners until “cleaning day”, and that there will always be dishes in the sink. Also I hear a lot about spending quality time with their children, but I try to include my son where I can as I cook and clean. He loves to help and he learns so much, I think it’s a very high quality time together, to work with his mother and learn discipline and cleanliness by example. Also It can be fun, making up silly cleaning songs and things like that!

    Not sure how adaptable this routine will be when our homeschooling schedule expands for kindergarten and then first grade, etc.

    Anyway, thank you again for your inspiring post!

    Reply
  24. By Elese on

    Suzanne you are so right, having your little one there with you while you are working is WONDERFUL for both of you! That quality and quantity of time together, just doing daily life, talking, singing, even if he is just playing alongside with some playdough while you cook, or playing with cars on the kitchen floor while you clean the microwave is so very valuable and precious! I remember my mom giving me a shoelace and a Tupperware colander to play with while she ironed… I would lace that shoelace in and out of all those holes and thought it was super-fun! (Also great for small motor development… but I just thought I was “sewing” 😉 My own daughter was entertained “washing” her little tea set plates and cups at the sink while I cooked dinner, or painting or coloring at the table while I did dishes. Those moments of relaxed chatter and just BEING together, doing daily work is such sweetness, and will be some of his best memories. Great job, keep up the good work mama! 😉

    Reply
    1. By Suzanne Reed on

      Thanks for the great ideas, and for the encouragement, Elese. I am going to get out my colander and a shoelace for my son, I bet he would love that!

      Reply
    1. By The50sHousewife (Post author) on

      Oh Suzanne, you doll! People have been asking for a checklist forever. I am running out right now but I’ll check it out when I get back. Thank you!!

      Reply
  25. By Jodi on

    This is fantastic! I had to leave my job as a lieutenant of a men’s medium security prison over a year ago due to having a total hip replacement and rheumatoid as well as osteoarthritis. My husband and I were not supposed to be able to have children, but the Lord had other plans for us and we had our daughter one week before my 44th birthday. I have worked outside of the home since I was 14 years old, so it has been a great big adjustment to be a stay at home mother. I have to say that it has been a wonderful blessing to be home with our daughter in spite of the daily pain. It has been difficult though, falling into a routine. I often wonder how I kept the house and spent time with Iris and my husband and worked 12 hour days. I have been working to clean out the clutter because as you said, folks didn’t have as much back then, but they appreciated what they did have more. This I believe is the first step. Then, when that task is accomplished, I will certainly follow this routine. Please don’t take it off before I can hook up the printer and print it out tomorrow! Thank you so very much for this!

    Reply
  26. By Shelby on

    I am happy I found this post too! Usually I am a very clean person, people used to comment on it all the time. But then I met my retired US Marine husband and ironic as it may be, everything fell apart. I blame two children in three years.

    My second is three weeks old and our schedule is still a mess, but I have been watching old 1950’s shows and they are inspiring. Cheesey, but I have been trying to emulate them. I want my old clean house cleaning back, I am tired of hearing how horrible my house is from my mom and sister, the two most chaotic housekeepers I know, ha!

    This list is helpful!! Especially the walking part. And I don’t know what people are talking about this taking away time with my kids. My two year old and I do more together cleaning than in awkward playdates. Rock on 1950’s housewife!

    Reply
  27. By Tonya Pietrzak on

    Ahhh… I love this <3 I am a 20s,30s,40s,and 50s housewife in training and so this helps. Been doing this for a few months now and I'm so into it, I even go vintage shopping for my home to look more like the eras

    Reply
  28. By Rian Kerr on

    I had a question. What about ironing her husband’s and her own clothes? I try to put that chore off as long as I can because it takes up so much time out of my day. But then I end up spending two to three hours on all of it when I finally get to it. I KNOW they ironed not only clothes, but many ironed sheets and pillow cases as well as cup towels. Just wondering. Thank you for your post! I shared it on my fb.

    Reply
      1. By Laura on

        You have to remember that fabric was different back then too. There was no such thing as permanent press! Sheets, towels etc don’t NEED to be ironed anymore, unlike in the 50’s. Neither do most men’s dress shirts (well, maybe a quick touch-up) if you remove them from the dryer as soon as the cycle is done and give them a good shake, then hang them up immediately (or fold). Linen towels, cotton sheets (with no modern fibre treatment) etc wrinkled terribly, whereas our modern fabrics do not, as a rule.

        Reply
  29. By Sarah Wilson on

    Thank you for your wonderful post! I am actually a full-time working mum of one so a little different from some of the other ladies who have commented. However I find I struggle to keep on top of certain areas of housework – I am going to try implementing a routine similar to the above (albeit a little different to fit around work and our 10 month old daughter)and I’m hopeful it will improve my current feeling of being overwhelmed by it all. Thank you again for your lovely writing – a pleasure to read.

    Reply
      1. By Sarah Wilson on

        For me – work keeps me sane – but the housework I find overwhelming and time consuming. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, I do like having a clean and ordered house but once I’ve picked up my daughter from childcare, cooked and eaten tea, then done bath and bedtime I tend to start getting tired. Then when I see the mountain of chores still left to do I get stressed! I’m hoping having a stricter routine will help a little. 🙂

        Reply
  30. By familyandfarming on

    Oh about time I found this post! I’ve been looking for this exact thing!
    I’m stay home too with 3 kids (6, 3, 16m) and find it very hard to stay clean and organized. I have learned to get myself ready first thing in the morning or I never get out of my pj’s, I had read that ladies in the ’50s did this and do it also. I always wondered how they did it all but your post puts it into perspective. I pretty much do what you have posted but seeing it more in detail, I will give the 30 day schedule a try! One perk, I love to wear an apron when cleaning, you should add that to your blog, its helpful to keep your clothes clean and carry veggies in from the garden.
    Between the house, kids, schooling, garden, husband, and the farm; I’ve learned I can’t do it all but getting a schedule figured out really helps my sanity.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  31. By N on

    I’m excited to come across this blog (thanks to Pinterest). I am a stay at home mom of a 5 and 2 year old. I have a tendency be idle and have been convicted over it. I desire to be more like the Proverbs 31 wife, noble and excellent. I already get up at 4:30 every morning and cook 3 meals a day. Then clean the kitchen. I do the basic pick up and tidy but the house feels cluttered and I rarely feel accomplished at the end of the day. Knowing where to start and what to do on a day to day basis will be very helpful. I’m looking forward to starting this tomorrow. Thanks so much and I will be a frequent visitor

    Reply
    1. By The50sHousewife (Post author) on

      Welcome !!! Also hook up with us on Facebook. I love when we all share our tidbits there too! (there’s a link in the side bar of this blog)

      Reply
  32. By Lauren on

    I really enjoy your Blog! It’s nice to connect with other ladies that are keeping traditional roles. I am a housewife and mother my only child who is now 8. I love the natural flow of life with my husband as head of household and me the head of the home. It’s worked for a long time now. I can’t imagine being any where else but here homemaking!❤️

    Reply
  33. By Courtney on

    Thanks for this. I have seen the “impossible looking” 1950s schedules out there and it did seem daunting. This puts it in perspective and seems doable. I think I am going to try this! Thanks again for the post.

    Reply
  34. By Patty on

    I am starting this tomorrow. I homeschool my kids but a good walk before starting school might be a good idea. Thank you for this blog.

    Reply
    1. By The50sHousewife (Post author) on

      You are very welcome! We also homeschooled our kids in their junior and senior high years. It’s a lot of work!

      Reply
  35. By Tonya Pietrzak on

    I’m a practicing vintage housewife and I LOVE it. Thank you ❤ it truly motivates me to be even a BETTER 50s mom and wife!!

    Reply
  36. By Comomof5 on

    Thank you for this blog. I’ve been looking for housewife related advice, and sadly most of the places I’ve found mock the traditional role of what a housewife is. The authors tend feel it’s belittling, anti woman , and in some cases self harming to take on such a role. I’m a 31 year old stay at home mother of 5 children and I must admit lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. Nobody I know shares my views on serving your husband and making his desires a priority (out of love, not force), taking pride in a clean home (as opposed to justifying idleness) and training children in obedience and accountability (and how to cook, sew, and other things schools now deem obsolete). It’s so encouraging to me to have found this blog, and reading all these comments lets me know I’m not alone!

    Reply
    1. By The50sHousewife (Post author) on

      You are absolutely not alone. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. So glad you found us! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest. We do lots of sharing in those places as well and you can get to know some of the others!

      Reply
  37. By Scarlett S. on

    When it comes to laundry, I hang and smooth most things the minute the dryer stops while they are still hot. If you get to them quickly like that and there isn’t much wrinkling. The only thing I ever iron are my hubby’s dress shirts. Saves me a lot of work.

    Reply
  38. By LisaLadrido (@LisaLadrido) on

    That’s exactly how I remember it growing up! Life was not as complicated as today. We have so many distractions with all the technology now. Thank you for bringing me back to when I was a kid growing up! I tried commenting on MOGUL but couldn’t!

    Reply
  39. Pingback: The Weekender: Edition 5 | Happy Heart and Home

  40. By Patricia on

    I just wanted to thank you for this article and your website. Im a very old fashioned 34 year old Italian wife and mother. We homeschool and make meals from scratch. I have been struggling trying out all those “simple” cleaning routines. They just aernt enough (in my opinion). I feel good knowing that other woman feel the same as I do about a clean home and the joys it brings. I dont like the idea of letting the housework go while my children grow up. I was curious in doing a 50’s routine, how often would you wash hard wood floors in the bedrooms? How often would you wash parquet wood flooring in the living room? ( all my wood gets dusted or vacuumed daily). How often would you clean an extra bedroom thats just used as storage? and how often would you sweep the basement down and wash the basement stairs? Thank You:)

    Reply
    1. By The50sHousewife (Post author) on

      Hi Patricia! We rotate all those chores. Check out our weekly and weekend chore checklists. You can get them all by liking our Facebook page.

      Reply
  41. By Patricia on

    Thank you for the terrific routine ideas! Im wondering though with older hardwood flooring, how often should those be damp mopped. I dont think they should be getting wet weekly? If im dust mopping daily how often would you damp mop or polish those floors, and what would you use? Thank You Patricia

    Reply
  42. By Iris Kirkland on

    I am a believer of asking my husband for help. But I’m quickly learning that the help comes and goes. This leaves me with asking more than once which leads to “nagging” voice and thenMe fussing and frustrated. I’ve been praying for another solution. I’m in the process of decluttering my house and getting it back to normal. I started with the bedroom and I have to say every week I tackle it and it’s easier to keep clean. So reading your post was confirmation. I just need to find my rhythm and make things happen. I will still let my husband know he needs to help. But I won’t let it become a battle.

    Reply
  43. By Margaret on

    I loved it! Any advice that would provide more detail on achieving this?

    Reply
  44. By Cristina on

    Hi, I love your blog, but I have a question. I pretty much have this kind of a routine down but it pretty much fills my day. What I am wondering is when did they find the time for, hair and makeup, exercise, grocery shopping. Etc.

    Reply
  45. By Celia Wilson on

    I have always wanted to live at this time. Looking at this cleaning schedule I am not so sure anymore. Thank you for sharing such an interesting post! Best regards!

    Reply
  46. By Lena on

    Challenge accepted! 🙂 I’m going to try this for 30 days. My house is a HOT mess. I need some organization. I homeschool but I can see how this would help even that go more smoothly.

    Reply
  47. By Mary Beaver on

    The kids also played in their highchairs while you cooked dinner. You talked, sang, taught them nursery rhymes.

    Reply
  48. Pingback: The Weekender: Vol. 5 | Happy Heart and Home

  49. By JANE on

    I just have to say this is so reassuring that I’m not the only one out there haha I have taken upon myself to have at least 1 (this week I had 2!!) No driving days, my son is only 1 so there is no back and forth to school yet, although I love the idea of walking.

    In regards to this post! I had my husband’s aunt stay with us for the past 2 years over the holidays. Every morning she got up at 7 and did my dishes (I am/was horrible with dishes) she told me if nothing else try to do the dishes before bed or before 9am. Her logic was you couldn’t adequately make breakfast with dirty dishes, but it’s an amazing feeling to have no dishes in the sink right away. 🙂

    P.s. totally adding cleaning the refrigerator once a week to my list (magic erase markers work AMAZING in the fridge)

    Reply
  50. By Trisha on

    That would be wonderful: bring back the 1950’s household and sense of community and everyone helping everyone!

    Reply
  51. By Cassidy on

    Hi, I just stopped to say I loved your post. Some of the other 1950’s housewife blogs are a bit daunting to say the least. I like how you provided a reasonable timeline rather than making it seem so daunting and unattainable. I’m not naive enough to think that some things haven’t improved since the 50’s, but I’m also not naive enough to thing that some things were better then either. 🙂 I think we all need to find a balance between the old and the new, and that this will help get me started on my way.
    As for the whole getting dressed thing…I know I need to, but even when I get dressed to take my kids to school when I get home I put on ‘comfy’ clothes until I’m ready to leave again.

    Reply
  52. By Cassidy on

    We used to live in an old house and I damp mopped at least once a week, but we had a lot of pets (my in-laws 2 dogs (one large and one small), their 3 cats, plus our 2 cats which equals a lot of pet dander/dirt/etc), then there was my in-laws, myself, my husband, and our two kids all living together so they needed that weekly cleaning. As long as if you make sure your mop is thoroughly rung out as well as making sure that the cleaner you use is safe for wood floors it should be just fine.

    Reply
  53. By Nita on

    Wow! This blog made me nostalgic for my elementary days. We lived in the city with one major street to cross. There were no Cross Walkers back then. Mama walked me to school and back from kindergarten till 1st grade at which time I made friends with classmates and we would walk to school together with their older siblings. As we grew older we would be the ones to make sure the little ones got to school and back.

    Reply
  54. By TheLifeofE on

    I’m a stay at home mum of an almost 5 year old girl living in switzerland. In switzerland walking your children to school is still a common and huge thing, it even is recommended in the leaflet they send you for registering your child for school. I agree with you, it’s such a good thing. My daugter and I will habe a little chat about her morning and often she makes arrangements with her friends for the afternoon before we even come home for lunch, this is such a sweet thing I wouldn’t want to miss it. While she is at school I try to tidy and clean the house so I will be free in the afternoon. Of course I’m not able to do it every day and my house certainly does not look like a 50ies home but it is definitely werth it. I’m able to spend my afternoons and weekends(!!!) without cleaning or living in a messy house. Thank you very much for this post, I’m new to your blog and looking forward to going through all of your other posts.

    Reply
  55. By Becca on

    I highly doubt it was the norm for mothers to walk their children to and from school. My parents were both children in the 50s and they were most certainly not walked to and from school by their parents; nor were their friends. I was a child in the 80s and I clearly remember, the second day of kindergarten, asking my mother to not walk me to school. Kids haven’t changed that much; nobody wants their mother to walk them to school, that’s just embarrassing. I’m pretty sure even the ancient Egyptians wrote about that on their papyrus. The Babylonians wrote about it in cunieform. It was probably the foundation of the Rosetta stone, because some things are just universal.

    Not to mention, in the 1950s, the things parents worry about now – kidnapping, child molestation, etc. – were just not talked about. Which isn’t to say they didn’t happen; but they were certainly not on the radar for most 1950s parents. They were much, much more slack when it came to child safety.

    Reply
  56. By Heidi on

    Wow! Love this article, i will be reading more for sure. Anything I say would be a repeat of other comments before me. But I know I need to be a ’50s housewife!! Thank you.

    Reply
  57. By Jennifer on

    I am LOVING this! It is very similar to how my mother would clean however she worked outside the home so we all were expected to pick up after ourselves well and we helped her clean Saturday, that was her big cleaning day. Every single thing got cleaned that day, every week, without fail. So it was never very dirty or hard and one day a week was plenty.
    I have been cleaning for 3 hours a day and loving it!!! I even homeschool and I still wash dishes by hand which is my preferred method (so yes I am washing three times a day cuz I cook a meal three times a day!). I still have time to read in the evening or watch TV, play with the kids, take them to dance and acro classes, and get their schooling done with them every day.
    And since we homeschool and I work from home, I added a walk with them in the mornings! We aren’t going anywhere no, but the walk is really nice and they love it!!! We have park days yes, and we are an active family already, but the walk is so good, and more physical activity is always good and it is just enough to break up the morning for us. This is working out so nicely.
    I love being more active all day with the cleaning routine, and it just makes me feel good. And it is REALLY cool to….wake up to a clean house…go to sleep in a clean house…..cook in a sparkling kitchen….bathe in a sparkling clean bathroom….I am just SO relaxed with this daily routine it is AWESOME. And I think the whole family is really loving it, relaxed mommy, clean house, and it hasn’t taken away from any of our time together as a family, if anything it has added to it! <3 THANK YOU!

    Reply
  58. By audreyhepburnholiday on

    My mom told me that when she had my 3 older sisters (in the early 60s) every Friday night she would stay up until 3am and clean the house until it was spottless…then it was done for the week. I still haven’t done this yet since I have a nursing baby at night, but someday I will get into it! Thanks for this blog post. It was very encouraging and something to think about. I read another person’s blog that commented on the “one touch rule”. Maybe you have heard of it. The idea is that when you touch something, it goes back into its place…not moved over, not placed on another surface, but if you touch it once, then it gets put away. I have tried to do this and succeed at it most days now. It is just being mindful of what your doing. Having little ones to occupy so much time, it is hard to be mindful sometimes…especially with internet and iphones, etc. They take up so much time and you get sucked in!! How did 1950s moms get so much done if they had a couple toddlers at home? My little ones want so much of my attention that I reluctantly turn on a show when I really NEED to get some chores done or make dinner! What did 1950s moms do??? Thanks again!

    Reply
  59. Pingback: The true 50s housewive | allaboutcherries

  60. By Brandi Cunha on

    Hi! Love the great article. I was just wondering if we could have the checklist on your website, because I don’t have Facebook. Thanks!

    Reply
  61. Pingback: Becoming a 50’s Housewife – Phase 1 | Homemaking Maven

  62. By ReallyMissTheGoodOldFashionedWomen on

    Well the real good old fashioned women years ago were certainly the Best of all compared to the women of today, that is for sure.

    Reply
  63. By Heidi on

    I love your page, lots of useful information. Thank you x

    Reply
  64. By Helene on

    Hi, I was born in 1942. One thing you don’t mention is the laundry. Most women hung their laundry outside. In addition, they did a lot of ironing. I would come home to my mother ironing the sheets, T-shirts, handkerchiefs in addition to the slacks, shirts, blouses and dresses. Wrinkle free fabrics have helped a lot to cut down on the hours of housework. I still do more ironing than some people, because I am used to the crisp feel of ironed tablecloths and clothing. Thanks for a fun article.

    Reply
  65. By Sarah Sleezer on

    Hi this might sound weird because I am only 17 but I was so drawn to your blog I was raised to be educated but eventually be a housewife. It seems so normal to me but other people don’t seem to understand that I love to cook and clean. I guess I just wanted to say I appreciate your blog and knowing there are other people like me who feel like they live in the 40’s/50’s.

    Reply

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