Remember those cute vintage days of the week kitchen towels that depicted a character in the midst of a household chore? These sweet sets of towels known as Day of the Week Towels, commonly depicted an image of a Dutch girl going about her daily household chores, because the Dutch epitomized cleanliness to many of Americans. These towels really became popular in the 1930-40s, especially after the war and when the economic Depression was recovering, women were back in the kitchen and embracing domestic bliss.
Days of the week embroidered towels available at AmazonThese whimsical towels are more than adorable collectibles, they also offer us a peek into the way our Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers kept house.
Once while talking with my best friend and I asked her “Why is it housekeeping comes so naturally to some, and for others like myself is a mystery”? See, for years I struggled to keep house. Early in my marriage, it was a breeze, with just my husband and myself in a tiny house, no problem! But a few years down the road add three kids in the mix, a full-time farm, sports, a much larger farmhouse with very little storage and I was lost at sea.
Time was always an issue, I never felt I was making headway.
Something had to give.
But, I digress, back to my conversation with my friend. She said something so simple it was genius.
Her answer was: “No one ever taught us to clean“.
For a moment I thought about this, cleaning is simple, do you really need someone to teach you how to clean?
But the more I thought about it the more it occurred to me household maintenance, is an important life skill. My friend’s mother was quite slovenly and didn’t worry about housekeeping. My mother, on the other hand, was particular and wanted things done the way she wanted them done, and sent us kids out to play while she handled ALL of the housekeeping, laundry, and cooking.
For my friend and I, the passing down of domestic customs and routines was skipped. But I am determined to reclaim them. And those sweet little vintage Day of the Week towel sets provided an important window into the past.
Each day of the week was designated to undertake the largest of the weekly chores. There were of course reasons for this, because, for say the laundry, it literally took all day to wash! They were doing it outside in a big pot and hanging it on a line.
Obviously, we have washers and for the most part dryers 🙂 we can accomplish much more in way less time. Why would we still want to devout a whole day to chores like laundry, cleaning, and baking?
I think the answer is because, for me at least, it means we can do it in one day – get it done. And focus on others things the rest of the week.
So inspired by the Day of the week towels, which generally spell out the week as:
Wash on Monday
Iron on Tuesday
Mend on Wednesday
Market on Thursday
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday
Rest on Sunday.
I am laying out my days in a similar order, only better suited to fit the times:
Wash on Monday
Clean on Tuesday
Bake on Wednesday
Market on Thursday
In Home Office Work on Friday
Catch Up on Saturday
Rest and Family Time on Sunday.
I already have designated one day a week to cleaning, and I will go more into that in its own post, so I am excited to undertake this.
Will you join me in attempting this? Have you or do you keep house on a schedule similar to this? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!