Friday, June 13, 2008
Hints from Heloise
I was looking through an old copy of "Heloise's Housekeeping Hints," published in 1962.
Here are a few excerpts that I found amusing: "All women have more than they can do because they take on more than they have strength for."
"Relieve your mind of a lot of its frustrations by simply accepting the fact that you are a woman. Next, make yourself believe that you do the best you can. Tranquilizers are expensive...so are doctor's bills. Instead of worrying yourself into a state of jitters over keeping a 'perfect' house, let this book show you how to make it easier for yourself."
"Jar loose once in a while and spend a few nickels or dollars on yourself. Don't do without those few simple things that would make your life easier, such as a carpet-sweeper, plumber's friend, feather duster and pants-stretchers."
She does give some good, basic advice. Her "top down" theory works for me, although I didn't know it was from Heloise. It just makes sense to start at the top if you're cleaning out a closet or cupboard. She advises to clean out closets when you're angry so that you are more tempted to get rid of things! She said to "top clean" first so you have the time to really deep-clean later.
"Learning to Top-Clean: Remove the breakfast dishes and put them to soak in hot water and detergent, make the beds, pick up papers and empty ash trays into a big paper sack you carry around. Heat coffee. While it is heating, douse toilet tissue with rubbing alcohol and wipe the bathroom fixtures. Use a carpet sweeper to 'hit' the middle of the floors, take a feather duster to the coffee tables, then go back and do the dishes. Learn to get the 'effect and appearance' of being neat. It gives a woman a feeling of not being embarrassed if a neighbor drops in."
While I didn't read the entire book, I was looking for tips to go green, or anything that might be relevant on a tight budget. Her grocery and cooking tips were pretty much outdated. She joked that beef would never be more expensive than a nice center-cut ham slice.
What I would like to share with you is her tips for cloth diapers. I'm way past the diaper-stage with my kids, but I hear lots of new Moms or Moms-to-be contemplating the use of cloth diapers. I used cloth diapers years ago, but I was lucky enough to have an affordable diaper service at the time. I shopped around and found a few velcro diaper covers that worked great for me. They were a new idea at the time, but they're now readily available in easy-to-use, easy-to-wash designs.
Here's what Heloise had to say about washing cloth diapers. "Soak them in a pail of cold water with a little pine disinfectant added. This eliminates all odors. Empty the entire pail into the washing machine and let the solution spin dry, then wash as usual through the entire cycle." She advocates shaking them out and hanging them on the clothesline to dry. That would depend on your time and how much energy you want to spend vs. how much you want to save!
All in all she has some good, yet out-dated advice on all sorts of things. Don't go to the grocery store hungry? Hmmmm guess I'd better get some breakfast before I go spend my nickels!