1950s Cleaning Schedule: Extreme Housewife Edition

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.

bucket of cleaning supplies and a rainbow feather duster sitting next to it, 1950s housewife schedule, 1950's cleaning schedule

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.

Daily 1950’s Housewife Schedule

  1. Wake up and stretch your arms while thinking what a glorious morning it is (sorry, had to be sarcastic ha!)
  2. Open up the curtains and blinds
  3. Make the bed
  4. Brush your teeth and freshen up a bit
  5. Make everyone else’s bed
  6. Make and serve the family breakfast
  7. Clean up breakfast (meaning clean up after everyone since they don’t!)
  8. Exercise for 10 minutes
  9. Shower, do hair, make-up, and get dressed
  10. Gather a basket for tidying. Pick up items that aren’t where they belong and place them in a basket so you can put it all back as you enter each room.
  11. Tidy up the living and dining room which includes picking up clutter, dusting, fluffing pillows, vacuuming, and watering house plants or flowers
  12. Tidy the bedroom which includes dusting and vacuuming
  13. Hang up any clothes that may be about or ensure dirty ones are in the hamper
  14. Clean the bathroom which would include removing and replacing used hand towels, refilling toilet paper and soap, dusting and cleaning the sink
  15. Look over the menu for the next two days and compare it to what’s currently available in the home. Make note of anything that needs to be prepared ahead of time or shopping that needs to get done
  16. Begin long-advance preparations for dinner (such as making dessert)
  17. Wipe down kitchen work surfaces and inside the fridge
  18. Dispose of garbage
  19. Rinse dish cloths and hang to dry
  20. Sweep or mop the kitchen floor
  21. 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
  22. If returning from the grocery store, wash vegetables, wrap them and put them away. Place rest of groceries or purchases in their proper place
  23. Have a quick lunch <- Yoinks?
  24. Start advance food conditioning like crisping vegetables or thawing frozen foods
  25. Handle weekly chore for the day (more on that below!)
  26. Set the table for dinner
  27. Arrange the living room for evening enjoyment (such as “the Mister’s” newspaper, book, and cigarettes)
  28. Do a quick sweep of the floors and ensure entrance ways are clear
  29. Prepare a special dish for dinner
  30. Freshen up before the husband returns from work. Consider changing into something more festive if the day dress is plain
  31. Set out a tray with equipment for making cocktails, should “the Mister” want to serve drinks before dinner
  32. Greet husband “gayly”
  33. Serve dinner
  34. Clear table and wash dishes
  35. Pour boiling water down the sink to ensure pipes are flushed
  36. If necessary, pack the husband’s lunch for the next day. Set aside a lunch tray in the refrigerator for yourself if having leftovers
  37. Set table for breakfast
  38. Ensure breakfast foods are available and do any make-ahead preparations for it
  39. Cry yourself to sleep 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.

Once A Week 1950s Cleaning Schedule

woman doing chores in bathroom at home, cleaning sink and faucet with spray detergent. 1950s cleaning schedule
  • 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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