I’ve been organizing, provisioning, cooking, and trying to stay positive. I need a break! I’m posting information concerning essential Victorian room furnishings and other domestic advice from this fabulous work:
emember that to govern a family well, you must first govern yourself.
If you wash Monday, bake Tuesday, iron Wednesday, clean Thursday, mend Friday, and bake Saturday. Of course you will be somewhat governed by the peculiar situation of the family; but it will be found to be a good plan to have a regular routine for each day. If you keep but one servant, it will be found more convenient to wash Tuesday, putting the clothes in soak Monday. There can then be a nice cold dinner prepared for washing day, and the same can be arranged for ironing day.
HINTS TO YOUNG HOUSEKEEPERS, IN SELECTING HOUSE AND FURNITURE.
In selecting a house choose one not only within your means, but with reference to the number of persons in your family.
A large, empty house is only a burden, especially when good servants are scarce, and means limited. If possible, obtain one with a good hall, the principal rooms opening from it: rooms interfering with others are a great annoyance to housekeepers, as it is impossible to keep a room tidy when used as a thoroughfare by members of the family without frequent use of broom and duster, which is a constant wear on carpet and patience. The dining-room ought either to open out of the kitchen, or be separated by a hall; each should have a closet opening from them; and the kitchen have a passage to the cellar, and an outside door. The parlor is the most pleasant facing north, and should be independent of the other part of the house. The nursery is most convenient on the principal floor. Small bedrooms are preferable with closets to large ones without. Spring and rain water should be near the kitchen. Furniture appears well in small, that would hardly be called respectable in large, rooms.
Furnish your house with uniformity; nothing looks more vulgar than a splendidly furnished parlor, while the remainder of the house is hardly decent.
Decide how much you can afford to spend on furniture ; commence in the kitchen, and go through the house, making a list of all necessary articles, with their prices. If, after this is done, you find the sum appropriated not expended, select the superfluities, being careful not to crowd the parlors.
NECESSARY KITCHEN FURNITURE.- Range, or stove, for cooking; pot and kettle with covers; two small kettles with oval bottoms; tin boiler with steamer; tea kettle and steeper; coffee pot and mill; dripping pan and spider ; gridiron and meat fork; preserving kettle and saucepan ; griddle and pancake turner; iron ladle and spoons; knives, with forks strong and large ; butcher and bread knife; dippers, quart and pint, colander and large skimmer; waffle irons with rings; butter ladle and potato pounder; bread board and rolling pins; sieve, cake pans, and grater; mixing and baking pans, for bread; milk pans and strainer; milk pail and small skimmer; pie plates and pudding bakers; pepper shaker and wooden salt dish; flour dredge and cooky or biscuit cutter; bowls of common ware and dishes; jars for soda, cream of tartar, and spices; canisters, or bottles, for tea and coffee; tin box for bread, and one for cake; jugs for molasses and vinegar; spring and rain water, cleaning, and swill pail; iron ash pail and firebox ; shovel, tongs, and match safe ; kitchen table and chairs; candlesticks and snuffers; broom, dust pan, and scrubbing brush ; bottle cleaner and stove brush ; boxes with handles for sugar, etc. ; wash-boiler, and wash-tubs; clothes line, washboard, and clothes pins ; flat irons, ironing blanket and sheet; skirt and bosom board; clothes basket; knife and spoon basket; market and chip basket; dish pans and towels.
With these necessary articles, the writer closes the list, although there are many conveniences not enumerated, which are pleasant to use.
Dining-Room.—Table and chairs according to family ; tea and dining set, full or not, as desired; knives and forks for dinner and tea; tea and table spoons; mats and waiter; carpet or oil-cloth on the floor; two high lamps, or candlesticks; small side table; tablecloths and napkins; tea and coffee pot with stands; covers for meats, of wire; castor, butter knife, and carver; fly broom, pitchers, and goblets.
Hall.—Oil-cloth, lamp, and hat-stand.
Almost all prices being fixed to these articles according to their beauty and value, the purchasers must be governed by their means and taste.
Family Bed-Room.—Bedstead, with furniture and crockery; bureau, washstand, washbowl, and pitcher; slop jar, soap dish, foot bath, and two pint mugs; rocker, and other chairs; footstool, stove, and window shades; looking-glass, and small table; carpet, broom, and dust brush.
Parlor.—Carpet, table, chairs, sofa, lamp, footstools, shades.
Library.—Book-case, with all conveniences for writing ; table, chairs, and oil-cloth or carpet.
Spare Chamber.—Bedstead and furniture; washstand and furniture; Foot bath, slop jar, teeth mugs, and towel rack; dressing bureau, or table with glass; small stand, stove, chairs, windowshades, and carpet.
Bed-room.—Carpet, bedstead and furniture; washstand, bowl, and pitcher; looking-glass, small table, and chairs; window-shades.
Servants’ Rooms.—Bedsteads, chairs, small stand, looking-glass.
Every member of the family should have a bag for soiled clothes; where there are closets in the bed-rooms it is well to fasten them on the inside of the closet doors; take one yard and a quarter of dark drilling, fold it so as to make a bag a half-yard deep, with the quarter projecting beyond, bind it all around with strong colored tape, make loops in the corners to hang up by, and put them on the door with carpet tacks. A good method is to have a bag for each variety of patch, cotton, woollen, silk, etc., and sew a square patch on each bag, to show what they contain ; for instance, on the calico patch bag sew a square of print, on the silk, a silk patch, etc.; we find this the most convenient method of designating them, as we often have help who cannot read sufficient English to bring a bag with the contents written or printed on it.
A bag made in the form of the old-fashioned needle-books, with pockets just deep enough to hold shoes, and one in the same form for combs and brushes, will be found convenient. A paper bag should hang in the kitchen, containing refuse paper for covering cake, etc., when baking. One with bits of woollen and cotton for holders and iron wipers; and one to contain the bits of twine which come around bundles.
We ourselves would not know how to keep house without these bags. Every spring they are assorted, and all superfluous patches put with carpet or paper rags, which keeps them in good order the year round, and saves much needless trouble in hunting patches, buttons, etc., from among quantities of rubbish.