Learn how 1950s housewives saved time with homemaking giving them more time for their hobbies. Many of these tips can work today for the modern homemaker.
Homemakers have been trying to save time since homemaking started. One thing we all share is wanting to get more done in less time.
That’s why it was no surprise to come across an article in a Better Homes and Garden magazine from the 1950s talking about “helpers” that saved time.
They promised these items would shave minutes off of many homemaking tasks giving busy homemakers plenty of free time to enjoy their hobbies.
Aren’t these still the promises we see when we see advertisements for things like robot vacuums and other gadgets? All that has changed is the gadgets.
It’s really interesting to see what items saved the 1950s housewife time compared to the things we buy and use today.
Save Time With These 1950s Housewife Helpers
- First up was a hardwood buffer. It had twin brushes to help you “cover double the territory.” They said it could also be used on furniture tops and countertops.
- Next up was something I didn’t know had been around in the 1950s, a water softener. I always assumed they were more modern but looks like the 1930s is when they really started to be in homes. The water softener talked about in this article needed little attention and I assume the softened water would also mean less cleaning of sinks and faucets.
- A hot water heater was the next item. After the winter storm in the south last week more people can see why this is a time saver. Our hot water line froze one-day last week and having to boil water to have hot water is a big time suck. While the picture in the article is in black and white they describe it as being aqua with copper and white accents. I have to say it sounds prettier than mine.
- Now we have one that is still a tip we can use today, a laundry cart. It talks about it being a place to hang ironed clothes and a way to take folded clothes around the house to their designated places.
- An electric kettle was one of their new and exciting items to share. They proclaim it can hold 10 cups and boil in 7 1/2 minutes. And with an auto-shutoff, it would never boil over! They suggest using it for tea and coffee but also to quickly warm soups.
- An electric pressure cooker was the next item. Basically the Instant Pot of the 1950s!
We don’t tend to buff floors anymore and hot water heaters are the norm now but things like a laundry cart, an electric kettle, or an electric pressure cooker can still save us a lot of time.
Once again we see things may seem like they change a lot over time, and they do but there are always more similarities than we think.
The Procrastinating Housewife
It’s clear that the 1950s housewife was also looking to be more productive. In addition to magazine articles sharing time-saving devices the 50s housewives needed in her life, you’d find many other articles aimed at helping with productivity.
For one thing, procrastination isn’t something new. The real June Cleavers of the world struggled with it from time to time as well.
That’s why you’d find articles like “When You Can’t Seem to Get Things Done” in magazines from the 1950s. You’d even find marriage articles largely blaming women for just not having it together. Can you see my eyes rolling through your screen?
Maybe too much was expected of these homemakers, we know mental health was dismissed when it came to housewives. But even when we can get help from family and we are taking care of ourselves a little extra help never hurts.
You’ll find great modern helpers and tips you can try out if you are already using all the ones the article suggested in the posts below.
- When You Don’t Have Time for Homemaking
- Finding Time for Homemaking with a Full-Time Job
- Time Management Tips for Homemakers