Want to clean like a 1950s housewife? Try this 1950s cleaning schedule. Your home will be spotless but you may be a bit exhausted! Plus get some 1950s cleaning hacks to make it all easier.
Having a clean and well-put-together home was very important to housewives in the 1950s. And they generally spent a lot more time cleaning than we do now.
It was, in general, most women’s full-time job and they took it seriously. Of course, not all situations for women were the same but overall women were more likely to be full-time housewives and that meant a lot of cleaning.
“Cleanliness was a mark of respectability. Sitting down was only acceptable in the evening.” – Dr. Liz Yardley, a lecturer in sociology at Birmingham City University.
The time women spent cleaning is one of the reasons many think women were so much thinner in the 1950s. They spent a lot of hours on their feet every day, cleaning and doing other housework.
Trying out a 1950’s cleaning schedule can help you get your house in amazing shape and burn a few extra calories. You may not want to do all of these things every day but try adding some of these to your daily cleaning schedule and see what you think.
It can be a really fun experiment to do for a week or so. If you track your steps you could track how much they increase while following this routine. If you do try this you should comment below with your results, I’d love to hear about it.
1950s Housewife Cleaning Schedule
This list is adapted from a list shared by Jen but Never Jenn, be sure to check out her fun 1950s housewife series. This is also just a fun list from the time. It was from a 1950s book so just like we don’t all follow the routines suggested in today’s books this wouldn’t have been what EVERY 1950s housewife did, it would be an ideal that was promoted to them.
Check out the Web Story version of the 1950s cleaning schedule.
- Throw back the covers and let your bed air out. (read why this is important)
- Open up the blinds and windows.
- After breakfast clean up the kitchen and eating area.
- Gather a basket for tidying. As you tidy the home, pick up items that don’t belong in that room and add them to your basket. When you enter a new room place the items from the basket that belong in that room where they go.
- Straighten up the living areas, pick up clutter, lightly dust, and straighten pillows, and water plants.
- Make the beds.
- Tidy the bedroom, including a light dusting.
- Hang up any clothes that may be about or ensure dirty ones are in the hamper.
- Do a light tidy of the bathroom including removing and replacing used towels, refilling toilet paper and soap (as needed), and cleaning the sink area including soap dishes.
- Wipe down kitchen work surfaces and inside the fridge and discard any old food.
- Dispose of garbage from around the home.
- Rinse dishcloths and hang them to dry.
- Sweep or mop the kitchen floor.
- Handle weekly chores that need to be done that day. (see examples below)
- Set the table for dinner.
- Arrange the living room for evening enjoyment with the family.
- Do a quick sweep of the floors and ensure entrance ways are clear.
- Clean up the eating areas after dinner and ensure all dishes are washed.
- Set the table for breakfast.
Don’t forget a lot of housewives didn’t have dishwashers, many didn’t have dryers, and overall there were so many fewer time-saving devices. Many were starting to gain popularity but still weren’t in the budget for a lot of households.
Want some free cleaning products to use while trying this routine out? Get my favorite Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning set for free.
Once a Week Chores
- 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 (including bedding).
- Vacuuming and mopping.
There were many other chores that had to be taken care of monthly and seasonally. Just like now what chores needed to be done varied depending on the home and family situations.
Free Printable 1950s Cleaning Schedule
Want to try this list out as well? Sign up below for access to a free printable 1950s cleaning schedule checklist and other great printables.
With this cleaning checklist, you can follow along with me and others in cleaning like a 1950s housewife. You may find some chores you want to add to your normal cleaning routine.
Be the Best Homemaker You Can Be
Do you ever wish you could join one of the homemaking clubs of the past? Sip some tea and share some delicious treats while talking about homemaking?
Now you can do just that! The Retro Homemakers Club is a place to learn and connect with other homemakers with a fun retro flair.
It’s a great place to learn every more 1950s housewife tips and tricks to use in your home. Plus practical advice for the modern homemakers.
More 1950s Homemaking Tips
If you want more retro inspiration I have a lot of fun posts for you to check out. You can also join the FREE Retro Housewife Goes Green Community to connect with others that love retro homemaking.