Thursday, September 6, 2012

Schedule for the 50's Housewife

I love the fifties. I also love scheduling and lists. I might be the only person I know who doesn't think the following schedule is insane. I will be attempting to follow it in my "Stepford Week"!

Daily Schedule for the 50's Housewife:
  1. Throw back the covers
  2. Open up the blinds and windows
  3. Freshen up
  4. Make and serve breakfast
  5. Clean up breakfast
  6. Complete a 10-minute exercise regime
  7. Shower, do hair and make-up, get dressed
  8. Gather a basket for tidying. As the rooms of the home are tackled, pick up items that aren’t where they belong and place them in a basket. Redistribute them where they should be as you enter a new room
  9. Straighten up the living and dining room, including picking up potential clutter, light dusting, fluffing / straightening pillows, and watering plants or flowers
  10. Make the beds
  11. Tidy the bedroom, including light dusting
  12. Hang up any clothes that may be about or ensure dirty ones are in the hamper
  13. Do a light tidy of the bathroom including removing and replacing used towels, refilling toilet paper and soap (if needed) and cleaning the sink and basin area including soap dishes
  14. Review the menu for the current day and the next and compare it to what’s currently available in the home. Make note of anything that needs to be prepared ahead of time or marketing (shopping) that needs to get done
  15. Begin long-advance preparations for dinner (such as making dessert)
  16. Wipe down kitchen work surfaces and inside the fridge
  17. Dispose of garbage
  18. Rinse dish cloths and hang to dry
  19. Sweep or mop the kitchen floor
  20. Handle errands that might take you out of the home (such as marketing, volunteering, going to the post office, getting an item fixed, etc), bookkeeping, correspondence, or indulge in a hobby
  21. If returning from the grocery store, wash vegetables, wrap them and put them away. Place rest of groceries or purchases in their proper place
  22. Have a quick lunch
  23. Start advance food conditioning like crisping vegetables or thawing frozen foods
  24. Handle weekly chore for the day (more on that below)
  25. Set the table for dinner
  26. Arrange the living room for evening enjoyment (such as “the Mister’s” newspaper, book, and cigarettes)
  27. Do a quick sweep of the floors and ensure entrance ways are clear
  28. Prepare a special dish for dinner
  29. Freshen up before the husband returns from work. Consider changing into something more festive if the day dress is plain
  30. Set out a tray with equipment for making cocktails, should “the Mister” want to serve drinks before dinner
  31. Greet husband “gayly”
  32. Serve dinner
  33. Clear table and wash dishes
  34. Pour boiling water down the sink to ensure pipes are flushed
  35. If necessary, pack the husband’s lunch for the next day. Set aside a lunch tray in the refrigerator for yourself if having leftovers
  36. Set table for breakfast
  37. Ensure breakfast foods are available and do any make-ahead preparations for it
  38. Enjoy an evening of relaxation

Also, each day there is a once-a-week chore to tackle, such as:
  • Use metal polish on bathroom fixtures
  • Clean and disinfect all kitchen appliances
  • Scald and disinfect bread boxes and garbage pails and bins
  • Replace flowers with fresh bouquets
In addition, laundry should be done at least twice a week (including bedding) and floors should be mopped / vacuumed on a similar schedule.

Can I do it?


  1. I love this schedule. Much more detailed than my usual one. I'm going to try this one

  2. Where did you find this schedule? It is awesome!

    1. I found it a long time ago on a google search and copy and pasted it to a folder on my computer before beginning this blog so I can't remember. Sorry! When I attempted it for Stepford Week, my house was cleaner, but it definitely took a few days to get into the groove with it!

    2. This schedule is very similar to the ones listed on

    3. I didn't see a schedule on her blog, but her goals definitely seem in line with what this schedule is trying to accomplish. Thank you for sharing!!

    4. 1947 Good Housekeeping Housekeeping Book.

  3. At the bottom you should add:
    Sign up at Betty Ford Clinic.

  4. When I read "have a quick lunch" I almost died! All of that BEFORE lunch??!! I wish I could do this but my version is a little more simplistic. And people say being a housewife isn't work!

  5. We're moving in 2 days & starting a new routine. Thank you for posting this! I made sure to "bookmark". This will make life so much easier & tidier. A housewife IS a full time job! Thanks again!!!

  6. I actually do this, Fly Lady was my inspiration. I've been called a prisoner of my home and have been told a person can only clean so much. Of course, this came from someone who used to pay to have her house cleaned and chooses shopping and ready made meals first. A schedule like this is so easy. I love having my house clean and don't ever have to worry if someone shows up unexpectantly.

  7. I like this list, but it's missing quite a few things. I'll have to make myself a modified one that includes taking care of a baby. ie I spend a few hours a day nursing.

  8. Before I started working again, I followed Fly Lady but modified the zone layout for my split level home. It would be just after lunch when all would be done, and The Walton's would come on. Now I'm trying to figure out how to adapt such excellent schedules into a full time schedule, especially for those nights I am wiped out. Staying at home had that one advantage, you had the day to get it done. You ladies are great!

  9. When I stop laughing I will ask if you are out of your bleeping mind. Yeah I know the wifey is supposed to keep the home but my full time job isn't this technical. Still like your site Stepford Sisters!!

    1. My mother did this every day but Sunday.. with 8 kids and a job..our home ran like a well oiled nachine. I do it now .. with 3 kids a job and school. It can be done if you are motivated enough.

  10. This is fantastic, I'm going to try adding some or most of this into my daily. I'm bipolar, so structure and scheduling are really important in helping keep me stable, especially with the prospect of my annual winter depression looming. This might really help. Thanks for posting!

    1. Also, I have the wardrobe down already. I wear 50s dresses and petticoats every day :)

  11. so who washes the windows, walls, curtains, carpet, closets, drawers, cupboards, porches, toilet, bathtub, shower, cleans yards, grows the food, feeds fido, and takes care of the kids? everything i do today will have to be redone tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow and it doesn't end with retirement. i've been cleaning house for fifty years and it's still not done. i have also worked two jobs and raised three kids alone. then i went to college. at age seventy i'm tired of it and just want to be alone to write poetry. my advice is have a career that pays well enough to hire a house keeper,

  12. Someone said that "people say being a housewife isn't work". I don't think people say that anymore, society knows better. I think if wives were still like this and could find true satisfaction in serving their family and keeping home, there would be less than half the divorce rate! It's not for everyone I know, I just think women need to see the great value in it. I've been happily married for over 25 years with eight children whomwehomeschool, and would choose no other occupation. I thank God my husband appreciates what I do!

  13. This is wild. I read the comments and see that some folks actually think this is good. I would need to check into an insane asylum. She worked her bums off and did not use a single brain cell all day. day after day after day!!!!I bet her house was great and her husband happy until she exploded.

  14. I LOVE this schedule and would LOVE to implement it in my home, do you have suggestions to implement as a working mother of 3?

  15. This is a great post. I like this topic.This site has lots of advantage. It helps me in many ways.Thanks for posting this again.

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  16. As much as I would love to be able to do this schedule, I work 6pm to 6am schedule with 6 people living in my house. I can barely get 3 of those things done in a week let alone daily! Lord, help!!

  17. Where does it say to yell at your kids for the fourth time to finish getting dressed, brush their teeth/hair, go to bed, pick up after themselves, stop fighting with each other? Where does it say to enjoy time with your children, husband, friends, family? This list is completely unrealistic for anyone who works outside of the home, has children, and a spouse. This is just setting people up for failure by suggesting they try to live 70 years in the past with their household routines, but not in any other way (example: not having as much stuff: toys, clothes, dishes, etc). Get real!

    1. I forgot, tell your husband to get off his lazy ass and help out.

    2. You must have missed number 38, enjoy your evening- which is when your husband and kids are home.

  18. I remember reading one that was published in a 50s magazine about being a good wife to your husband. It was hilarious, too. :)

  19. I like how she is supposed to start the day taking care of herself, and then ends the day the same way.


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