Housekeeping vs. Homemaking


A small treatise on what it means to keep a home. The gist of it is that the people in the home are more important than the things.

WHAT is good housekeeping?

One feels tempted in answering this question to paraphrase Plato’s definition of a “good education” with the following result: Good housekeeping is that which gives to the home, and the members of the household, the greatest perfection and happiness of which they are capable.

To most of us the words “good housekeeping” mean simply the keeping of the house in perfect order and the prompt serving of well cooked meals. Is this all the words signify?

Let us go into a well kept house for a few minutes.

…a dainty reception room. The shades are half way drawn in order to keep things from fading and also to give a subdued light. There are attractive rugs on the polished floor, quantities of bric a brac on the mantel; one log carefully adjusted on the finely burnished andirons and beneath it a neatly swept hearth. There are dainty gilt chairs scattered about the room and everything is immaculate.

The few books in neat piles on the corner tables look as if they had never made friends with anyone, in fact as if there were no one there who would sympathize with them, were they to open their hearts.

A person might have gone through the entire house, found the same neatness everywhere and still have gone away, feeling that it was not a real home or that people were not particularly happy there.

What was lacking?

Certainly order is Heaven’s first law and conducive to the happiness of a household.

To order one’s house well is simply to place things in their proper relation. We must constantly remember that the house was made for man; not man for the house.

This order, or placing of things in their proper relation must extend to every portion and member of the household; otherwise though our house be swept and garnished from top to bottom, it will be full of unhappiness.

It is much more indicative of poor housekeeping to have the baby pale from lack of sunshine than to have every carpet in the house faded. It denotes much better management to set a simple table where things are wholesome and appetizing than to ruin our children’s stomachs…with rich food.

If we have this just adaptation of parts to each other, our home life will rise in a beautiful harmony– a tribute to God, who has given us its possibilities, a blessing to the community, and an inspiration to everyone who enters our doors.

~The American Kitchen Magazine, Volume 3 p.165

Making A Happy Home

Buy at
Apple Pie Harvest


Home-making, like the other arts, is with some an inborn gift,- the secret of making others happy, of conferring blessings, of scattering the sunny largesse of love everywhere, is as natural to some as to breathe. Such sweet souls are to be envied, as are those whose happy lot it is to dwell with them. But, at the same time, perhaps they are not so deserving of our admiration and respect as some who, in order to confer happiness on others, themselves undergo what is to them mental and moral privation, who day by day have to keep a curb on themselves in order to crucify the “natural man.”

It is possible, even for some whom Nature has not endowed with her loveliest gifts, to cultivate that spirit in which is hidden the whole secret of home happiness. It is the spirit of unselfishness. No selfish man or woman has the power to make a happy home.

~Courtship and Marriage

Happy New Year!

Vintage New Year s Greeting Postcard
© Photographer: Kathryn Sidenstricker | Agency:

Grocery Shopping 1950’s Style

vintage-grocery-shoppingThis little video from the past gives some good grocery shopping tips for today. Even with they stereotypical husband being clueless about how to go grocery shopping (mine is pretty good at it but occasionally he is guilty of impulse buying) it has good tips for today.



1. Shop with a purchasing list (grocery list). Keeps us from impulse buying.

2. Buy according to family size to afford waste.

3. Buy what the family will eat.

4. Read the labels and know what you are buying before you buy.

5. Economical to buy in season.

6. Do your own food preservation to save money (ignore the comment about the housewife’s time not being too highly valued).

7.  Cooking ability can turn less expensive cuts of meat into attractive and tasty dishes.

Buy Wisely and Stay Within Your Food Budget

Going Back to School

A merry tramp of little feet

just hear the sweet vibration!

The children over all the land

Have had a long vacation,

And back again they haste

to In school the dear old places,

To measure out the days by rule,

With fair, unshadowed faces.

~Good Housekeeping 1890


Copyright © 2006-2012 Vintage Homemaking