Sparkling Vintage Fiction. Among other things.

Fall cleaning the way Grandma used to do it

housekeeping2Most homemakers are familiar with spring cleaning, but what about fall cleaning? I think fall is a great time to do a thorough cleaning. In our rural northern climate, the house has been open all summer, and fresh breezes blowing through open windows and doors carry dust, and dirt has been tracked in from the garden and hiking trails. And just like during the rest of the year, various gimcracks and trinkets and papers have continued to accumulate and need sorting out. Cold-weather clothes need a good going-over, and now’s the time to change out a few summery decor items for more autumn-ish things.

Here are a few more suggestions for fall cleaning, gleaned from Mrs. Dunwoody’s Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping:

Clean and clear out cellar and attic.
Wash all blankets and sun the heavy quilts.
Clean, mend, and put by furs, thick clothes, winter hats, and winter bedding.
Replace summer curtains with winter drapes.
Remove, clean, and store summer slipcovers.
Wax the furniture.
Clean lamps and shades.
Hang carpets for a good beating and then sun them for a day.
Sun and air mattresses and pillows.
Turn mattresses.

As for what to wear while scrubbing, heed this advice from Veronica Dengel l(1943):

“[Work clothes] can be flattering and still serve their purpose. There is no excuse for going round in ‘any old thing’ just because you are doing housework, or have come in from the office and removed your business clothes. If you can sew, you can make lovely, washable house dresses with an individual touch; but they cost very little even if you have to buy them.” She added, “Need I remind the housewife that she should be clean and fresh and pretty when her family comes home? Men dislike women to be messy and unkempt and crying about how much work they did during the day. Even children notice their mother’s appearance more than may be realized, so be sure their childhood memories of you are what you want them to be.”

2 Responses to Fall cleaning the way Grandma used to do it

  • Jennifer, your website is gorgeous! I love opening the windows. Here in Texas, we stay so closed up through most of spring through most of fall. Every now and then, we’ll get a cool day to open the windows. And it’s heavenly.

    I loved how my grandmother hung clothes out on the line … she did that till the day she died. Running through that fresh laundry is wonderful.

    Love, love your site. Vintage is the word. Gorgeous.

    Shelli

  • Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much, Shelli! I’m glad you found it appealing. I spend a lot of time with my head in the past. 🙂

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