The Modern Mrs (or Mr) Beeton - 3 ways to make household chores easier in 2021
Updated: Mar 22
Roles have changed, and houses have evolved since Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management was first published in1861, but has modern day housekeeping got any easier?
Women in 2021 are likely to spend more time each day in front of a laptop, than in front of a stove (or performing other household chores), and the break down of social stereotypes has to be a positive move. But with these changes, has the modern women ended up adding to her overall workload?
There are definitely more demands on her time. Fifty years ago, she could spend her day focusing on the smooth running of the house. Now she is expected to be some kind of super woman, with a perfect house, a job, caring for elderly (and longer living) parents, perfect kids and as if that wasn't enough, home schooling adding the icing on the cake!
Fortunately other things have changed too. A shift in the division of roles, hasn't just resulted in more working women. Modern men are increasingly likely to be found in the kitchen, thanks to Jamie Oliver in the 90s, making culinary skills a desirable attribute for men to acquire.
Household appliances and equipment have changed over time. Trading a twin tub for a washer dryer and clothes made from non iron fabrics, mean that women no longer have to have a dedicated "washing day", but the modern day "housekeeper" faces different issues.
In the past people didn’t fill their houses with so much stuff, all that stuff takes effort to keep clean and well organised.
The very things we're encouraged to buy, sold to us to "make our life easier", or "make our life more fun" often end up adding to a never ending list of tasks, taking up more of our time and causing additional resentment and stress.
Something has to give, particularly at the moment when people are spending more time at home, eating more meals, making more mess.
So what can you do to make housework easier?
Get rid of the excess - declutter, reduce the number of items that need your care and attention.
Buy less - limit the quantity of new stuff that comes in to your home in the future.
Set expectations - it's not just the woman of the house who has dishwasher loading capabilities, and it doesn't take a GCSE in Physics for a teen to be able to put on a load of washing. BUT, the more organised your house is, the more efficiently it will function. If everything is easy to find and clear processes are in place, the easier it will be for you to get family members involved in everyday tasks and the more willing they‘ll be to help.
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🙏 My thanks to Kari Taylor Reflexology for the "On the Ceiling" card. Please check out Kari's website and book yourself in for a relaxing massage.
Jo Hall is a Berkshire based Declutterer & Organiser, working on site 🏠 and supporting clients virtually 👩💻
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📸 Photo Credits: emotional-rescue & Jo Hall