Housekeeping – How To?


What is housekeeping?  The literal definition would be ‘keeping house’.  According to the wonders of Google it is ‘the management of household affairs’.  This is a fairly broad definition but allows for everything from shopping, cooking, providing meals to cleaning, organisation, paying bills and filing.  Does this sound familiar?

I am not planning on getting into a debate over the merits of mothers who stay at home versus those who do paid work or male versus female workload within the home.

My interest is more about what you do, how to do it and where you learned the skills/methods that you use.  Today I was at home and it was a sunny winter day here.  I took the towels and bathmat from the bathroom and hung them on the line where they could air thoroughly and dry.

This got me thinking about how often I wash the towels and why.  We have one towel each and a bathmat and these are washed once a week.  I do this because this was the routine my mother used when I was growing up, and I suspect, her mother before that.  That is not to say that that I have religiously followed everything my mother did.  An example is the 3 pegs on the towel:  I do this because I can’t stand the way the towels go out of shape if you just peg them with a peg at each corner.

We have a climate where it is possible to line dry the washing virtually all the year round.  As you can see from the photo the line is undercover which gives protection from the rain and when it is cold we generally have the fire on at night so the washing is finished off indoors.

So, where did you learn your housekeeping routines and skills?  Have they changed and evolved over the years?  Do you ever discuss things of this nature with others – friends or family?  Have you intentionally taught your children or do you just expect that they will work it out for themselves.


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This morning as we were standing on the platform at the railway station, The Duke realised that not only had he forgotten to put a handkerchief in his pocket but he had forgotten his belt.  Luckily the belt is not essential for his trousers to stay up but it certainly gives a finished look to his work attire.


I thought that it was great that he forgot these things because to me it meant that the 2 weeks away from the office had been a real holiday for him.

How long do you need to be away from something to lose a routine or habit?

No Frills Friday


This is not a new series of posts but simply the best title I could come up with.

The power was interrupted briefly yesterday evening so I reset the clock radio alarm for 5am before I went to bed.

2013-03-08 01The Duke usually takes care of this but he was out of town.  I re-checked that I had set it correctly then hopped into bed.  It was actually much earlier than 12.38.  That is the only picture I could find.

I am not sure whether it was the cool night, the bed to myself or just sheer exhaustion but I slept soundly and the first thing I knew was it was 5.23am.  The music was playing but the volume was quite low.

We generally leave between 5.36am and 5.40am to catch a train at 5.53am and drive almost 8km to get to the station.  I had 30 minutes to achieve the impossible!

Out of bed and showered
Teeth cleaned, medication taken
Dressed, hair brushed, face moisturised
Grab prepared breakfast and lunch
Grab my bag
Let dog out
Lock door
In the car at 5.38am and standing on the station platform at 5.48am – exactly 25 minutes from when I opened my eyes.

I am a no-frills kind of girl at the best of times so I really managed to do everything I would normally achieve in my morning routine – just at super speed.  Being organised certainly helped as I had already decided on my outfit and did  not have to trawl through a cluttered wardrobe wondering what I might wear.

I have one handbag which contains the essentials and it is ready to go.  My essentials for going to work are – rail pass, access pass for office, purse and car keys.  There are other things in the bag but that is what I need to easily navigate the day.

What is your routine?  Can you pare it down further if the need arises?

Rhythm & Routines


In the midst of the upheaval of flooding and other extreme weather events coupled with the uncertainty of some personal issues it is comforting to know that some things remain constant.

This evening we have followed our regular pattern of making and eating dinner, preparing lunches, doing the dishes and of course the ironing.  I know that ironing is one of the jobs that many of us love to hate but even that provides a stability and certainty in the turmoil of the moment.

What routines do you have that keep you grounded, regardless of what is happening within and beyond your life, and over which you have no control?

Thank you all for your lovely, thoughtful comments.  I have not responded to all of them yet but will endeavour to do so soon.