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.

A Winter Wardrobe


This is not about my winter wardrobe as it is pretty much the same as last year.  In fact I don’t think I have bought any new clothes this season.  That may change, of course, but I don’t really need anything extra.

Miss O and Izz are a different story as they are still at the age where they grow out of almost everything from one winter to the next.  So, I have have been busy sewing for them and here are some of the results.

A dressing gown for Miss O

2011-06-16 01……and a nightie – I actually made 2 of them.

2011-06-16 02Pyjamas for Izz

2011-06-16 03Corduroy pinafore for Izz

2011-06-16 04Finally, a hooded jacket for Miss O.

2011-06-16 05These projects have been successful on two fronts – the girls now have more clothes that they needed and I have less fabric in my stockpile to be used up.  Lots more to use and numerous other things I want to make.

I am looking forward to doing more sewing.  I must admit I had forgotten how rewarding it is to make garments for small children.

Some people believe that it is not economical to sew but I have to disagree.  These things should not be compared to the cheapest you can buy but mid to top-range garments which are of similar quality fabric and construction.  It is also important to remember that hand-made garments can be custom-sized  with extra allowance in seams and hems to allow for growing, thus ensuring at least 2 years wear out of most items.

Sewing, like knitting, cooking from scratch and growing our own food is a skill which we should all have if there is to be any degree of self-reliance.  We cannot simply expect that mass-produced, cheap imported clothing that is produced in overseas sweatshops will always be available.

Do you sew?  Maybe knitting or crocheting?  Do you use your skills or teach others so that these arts are not lost forever?