Excerpts from "SHORT CUTS IN HOUSEWORK: From Our Readers Who Have Made Their Work Plans Work" (Good Housekeeping, January, 1927)
Under the Challenging title, "Minute, Minute, Who's Got a Minute?" one housekeeper lists her seven greatest time-saving methods of work. Here they are:
1. "There are but twelve hours in any day -- and isn't it a short pattern? It takes considerable contriving to turn them around so that a full day will cut to advantage, and still allow trimmings of recreation, but it can be done.
2. "Isn't it a waste of valuable time to stand in line awaiting one's turn in the stores? I do my marketing around 8 o'clock. Usually I'm the only customer. I not only get prompt service, but I also get the pick of the stock -- especially at the green grocer's. Then I come home to make the beds, which have been airing and wash the dishes which have been soaking.
3. "Isn't it a waste of precious time to wipe the dishes and then carry them to cupboards when those same dishes must be taken out and used at the next meal? I wash mine, put them carefully in a wire drainer, pour scalding water over them and leave them covered with a clean towel. I wipe the silver, but that is all. Neatly arranged, clean dishes on the drainboard do not seem 'shiftless' to me. I use the time saved in this way to prepare, as far as possible, the next meal. I make my mayonnaise as soon as the bowl is empty, instead of waiting until I want to mix the salad. I mix and sift the dry ingredients for biscuits and keep this on hand.
4. "I have learned to cut out the non-essentials. I find that cookies, and baking powder biscuits, too, are not unattractive and taste just as good when the butter is made a little thinner and dropped from a spoon as when I rolled them out and cut them with a cooky [sic] cutter. I know I make them much more frequently than I did, when I thought they had to be rolled.
5. "On Monday mornings I read my paper in the laundry, while the washing machine sings its lay. Then, when the 8:10 trolley brings "Martha-by-the-day," the sheets are ready for her to hang out. With this early start things dry much sooner, and she is able to finish the ironing the same day.
6. "I straighten up the living-room and plump up the pillows before we go to bed. This takes only a few minutes, and it helps the morale considerably in the morning.
7. "I won't allow myself to dawdle over any task. It can be made a habit to work briskly. I had to force myself to speed up, at first. But I find that I'm not so tired as when I poked. If you sing about your work, don't retard it with a dreamy waltz."
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