1950’s Cleaning Schedule: This Seems Extreme

I’m going to be honest, a black man writing about a 1950’s Cleaning Schedule seems…



Yeah, let’s go with different.

So what brought me to this place?

Because I work from home, I try to stay on my feet as much as my feet and legs allow because for the past 15 years I’ve done a great job of just sitting at a desk. That’s why I now have a standing desk that is adjustable.

Also, because I’m tracking my health a lot more closely, I was shocked to see the impact that standing has on your health.

If you didn’t know, standing is so much healthier than sitting around!

With two kids (both boys), my wife does a lot of cleaning because:

  1. She loves a clean home
  2. Boys/Men are messy. At least that’s the excuse I give myself which is a terrible excuse.

Because she’s on her feet a lot doing stuff around the house, by the end of the night she talks about how exhausted she is. Now, I’ll be the first to admit when she began doing this my thinking was “why? you’re just walking around the house doing small things?”

I know.

No, I know.

Scold me now. Let’s get this over with.

Anyways, when I started to use a standing desk I was amazed that I could barely last 10-15 minutes standing in a small space. Now I’m thinking about all of the standing and bending my wife does almost daily and dammmmnnnn, she could probably lift the house if she needed to.

Then I came across an interesting article that talked about how people were so much skinnier back in the days because they were more active and there wasn’t as much trash food around.

This led me to do some research on how many calories one burns by standing or doing chores around the house and what I found is that in the 1950’s, women had some wild cleaning schedules.

I’m not going to pretend to understand any of the history, stereotypes, and other nuances of that time period, so I won’t fake the funk with you.

All I want to show you is the typical cleaning schedule of a housewife in the 1950’s. I came across this list at Jen But Never Jenn, so I thank her for it.

  1. Throw back the covers
  2. Open up the blinds and windows
  3. Freshen up
  4. Make and serve breakfast
  5. Clean up breakfast
  6. Complete a 10-minute exercise regime
  7. Shower, do hair and make-up, get dressed
  8. Gather a basket for tidying. As the rooms of the home are tackled, pick up items that aren’t where they belong and place them in a basket. Redistribute them where they should be as you enter a new room
  9. Straighten up the living and dining room, including picking up potential clutter, light dusting, fluffing / straightening pillows, and watering plants or flowers
  10. Make the beds
  11. Tidy the bedroom, including light dusting
  12. Hang up any clothes that may be about or ensure dirty ones are in the hamper
  13. Do a light tidy of the bathroom including removing and replacing used towels, refilling toilet paper and soap (if needed) and cleaning the sink and basin area including soap dishes
  14. Review the menu for the current day and the next and compare it to what’s currently available in the home. Make note of anything that needs to be prepared ahead of time or marketing (shopping) that needs to get done
  15. Begin long-advance preparations for dinner (such as making dessert)
  16. Wipe down kitchen work surfaces and inside the fridge
  17. Dispose of garbage
  18. Rinse dish cloths and hang to dry
  19. Sweep or mop the kitchen floor
  20. Handle errands that might take you out of the home (such as marketing, volunteering, going to the post office, getting an item fixed, etc), bookkeeping, correspondence, or indulge in a hobby
  21. If returning from the grocery store, wash vegetables, wrap them and put them away. Place rest of groceries or purchases in their proper place
  22. Have a quick lunch <- Yoinks?
  23. Start advance food conditioning like crisping vegetables or thawing frozen foods
  24. Handle weekly chore for the day (more on that below!)
  25. Set the table for dinner
  26. Arrange the living room for evening enjoyment (such as “the Mister’s” newspaper, book, and cigarettes)
  27. Do a quick sweep of the floors and ensure entrance ways are clear
  28. Prepare a special dish for dinner
  29. Freshen up before the husband returns from work. Consider changing into something more festive if the day dress is plain
  30. Set out a tray with equipment for making cocktails, should “the Mister” want to serve drinks before dinner
  31. Greet husband “gayly”
  32. Serve dinner
  33. Clear table and wash dishes
  34. Pour boiling water down the sink to ensure pipes are flushed
  35. If necessary, pack the husband’s lunch for the next day. Set aside a lunch tray in the refrigerator for yourself if having leftovers
  36. Set table for breakfast
  37. Ensure breakfast foods are available and do any make-ahead preparations for it
  38. Shoot yourself in the head Enjoy an evening of relaxation

It’s important to note that this is just the DAILY schedule.

I didn’t even think of 75% of these things. Now I’m concerned about how many tasks my wife has in her head! I think she’s due for a day at the spa.

But we would be remiss if we also forgot the once-a-week chore list.

  • Use metal polish on bathroom fixtures
  • Clean and disinfect all kitchen appliances
  • Scald and disinfect bread boxes and garbage pails and bins
  • Replace flowers with fresh bouquets

Laundry should be done twice a week (I’m pretty sure my wife does it daily with these kids) and floors are to be mopped and carpets are to be vacuumed on the same schedule.

If I’m being honest, I’m not even sure where to begin here. It makes me not want a house. No wonder people are starting to live in vans.

But of those that don’t have the “luxury” of living in a van, then you’ll probably want to keep a clean house. You can give this outrageous schedule a shot or you can focus on decluttering your home so that there is less stuff to clean.

Also, since this list was made for the 1950’s woman in mind, there are going to be some things that you possibly forget to clean. Don’t worry, we have your back.

Here are 37 things you might forget to clean.

Check Out More From Our Cleaning Hacks Series

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