Thursday, November 13, 2008

Monday's washday -- but that's not cast in stone

My grandmother used to clean house according to a schedule. Monday was washday, on Tuesday she did the ironing, and so forth. I think I remember reading or hearing somewhere that most women followed a similar schedule back in the "olden days," but I don't remember ever knowing how that schedule got started. Who decided Monday would be washday, and how did that person get the rest of the women to go along with it?

I don't have a cleaning schedule. I clean when the spirit moves me, which may or may not be when it needs to be done, or when I think someone who'd care might be coming to my house.

Did your mother or grandmother clean according to a schedule? Do you? Does it make it easier? I've heard there are women who actually enjoy cleaning house. I don't even aspire to enjoyment; I'd just like to know something that would make me hate it less.

Intellectually, I think a schedule would be helpful. I've read the FlyLady website more times than I can count, and all of it sounds wonderfully efficient. I read it until I begin to think about the big results I could achieve by making a number of little changes in my daily routine. Usually that's enough to give me a warm glow of possibility and make me tell myself I'll start first thing tomorrow. So far that glow has never survived the REM sleep.

And, speaking of sleep, I do have a schedule for that, at least during the work week. Good night.


  1. LOL! The only time I've ever had a schedule was the three years I worked on Carol Duvall. It was the only time in my entire career that I had a predictable work life. I do remember Monday was bill paying night and Saturday was laundry. I did feel very together during that time.

    I do know that in McComb, wash day was the day the fewest trains came through town, i.e. less soot in the air, therefore everyone did laundry that day.

  2. Mom follows that schedule, and for the most part still does. I think it goes back to when people took their baths on Saturday night and put on clean clothes for church on Sunday. I only do laundry when I'm running out of clothes, and dust when I can see it accumulating. Sometimes I get what I call a "cleaning fit" when I go around cleaning anything that isn't nailed down. But those seizures are few and far between. ;-)

  3. Yes....sigh...I've been to Flylady's site also. I admit, she has a good idea..but it takes determination and a SCHEDULE that you need to stick with. Unfortunately, I hate schedules. Its enough that I'm forced into one because of work. My mom was fastidious. Everything was always perfect...and she followed that Monday we wash, Tuesday we iron schedule. I think I rebelled against all that because, once out on my own, I always did stuff when I felt like it or when it was impossible to put it off any longer, much to my mother's chagrin. But, actually, if you want to measure it life has been just about as meaningful without a schedule if you don't count the fact that unannounced company wasn't my favorite thing. Now...I just pretend I'm not home. LOLOLOLOL At least my friends feel comfortable and don't feel they are in a sterile environment.

  4. Creekhiker, my cleaning schedule these days mostly involves waiting until the last possible moment Sunday evening to do the chores I intended to do over the course of the weekend. Naturally, I never finish it all.

    Janet, that's a good explanation for the Monday washday thing.

    Val, I'd like to think I rebelled against my neat mother, but I think I was born to create clutter. I can remember a grade school teacher fussing because my desk was so messy I couldn't close it. I like the look of neat places, but there are so many things I'd rather do than clean.

  5. The origin of the Monday wash day, Tuesday ironing, Wednesday mending was grounded in logic and was the pattern women followed for a couple hundred years, until working women and automation broke the pattern. There's a great description of the pattern and the logic here


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