Friday, March 4, 2016

"Odds & Ends" Monthly Home Maintenance ~ Printable Checklist

Doing a monthly home maintenance once a month would be optimal. However, I realize it is not completely doable! Whatever system you choose to implement in your home, this would be a most helpful prelude to your spring cleaning routine. Remember, this is not necessarily a cleaning routine but a home organization routine. This maintenance will put everything into order prior to the deep scouring and scrubbing that many of us do in the spring and/or autumn. Following the Victorian Era advice of the Beecher sisters from the The New Housekeeper's Manual (circa 1873), we have also created a printable (shared below) to help you along on your homemaking journey to an orderly home.


"There are certain odds and ends where every housekeeper will gain much by having a regular time to attend them. Let this time be the last Saturday forenoon in every month, or any other time more agreeable; but let there be a regular fixed time once a month in which the housekeeper will attend to the following things..."
~ Catharine Beecher & Harriet Stowe, The New Housekeeper's Manual, 1873

To begin this course on a monthly home maintenance, visit our introduction here.


  • "First. Go around every room, drawer, and closet in the house, and see what is out of order, and what needs to be done, and make arrangements as to time and manner of doing it."

~ Catharine Beecher & Harriet Stowe, The New Housekeeper's Manual, 1873


To be honest, I am one of those people who tend to get overwhelmed when the house is out of whack. By simply implementing the list-making in step #1, my mind can rest. Not that Rome will be tackled in a day but I know that I will eventually get to it. My list says so! It may take me 6 months to go through all the steps but at least there is constant order being implemented. Progress is a pleasant antidote!

To view our step #1 procedure, visit here: What Needs to Be Done in Your Home?



  • Second. Examine the store-closet, and see if there is a proper supply of all articles needed there.
  • Third. Go to the cellar, and see if the salted provision, vegetables, pickles, vinegar, and all other articles stored in the cellar are in proper order, and examine all the preserves and jellies.
  • Fifth. See if there is a supply of dish-towels, dish-cloths, bags, holders, floor-cloths, dust-cloths, wrapping-paper, twine, lamp-wicks, and all other articles needed in kitchen work. 
  • Sixth. Count over the spoons, knives, and forks, and examine all the various household utensils, to see what needs replacing and what should be repaired.
~ Catharine Beecher & Harriet Stowe, The New Housekeeper's Manual, 1873


Please note that some steps were placed together and altered to make for modern day needs. In this case, we have grouped together steps #2, 3, 5 and 6. To view these procedures in practice, visit the following:





  • Fourth. Examine the trunk or closet of family linen, and see what needs to be repaired and renewed.
~ Catharine Beecher & Harriet Stowe, The New Housekeeper's Manual, 1873


Regarding the linen, we have split these steps into two posts. One features the kitchen linen while the other features what we did for our bed linen. See the following for ideas and inspiration:





  • Seventh. Have in a box a hammer, tacks, pincers, gimlets, nails, screws, screw-driver, small saw, and two sizes of chisels for emergencies when no regular workman is at hand."
~ Catharine Beecher & Harriet Stowe, The New Housekeeper's Manual, 1873


And the final step which is shared here: Step #7 Toolbox {or Junk Drawer} for the Homemaker.



To make this process convenient and fun to do, we have created a printable checklist of the steps required to perform a monthly home maintenance. This would make a perfect addition to your home management binder. I recommend viewing each individual step in our posts prior to commencing so that you have an idea of what you can do in a practical way and what you can do in a pretty way. Happy homemaking!

"A housekeeper who will have a regular time for attending to these particulars will find her whole family machinery moving easily and well; but one who does not, will constantly be finding something out of joint, and an unquiet, secret apprehension of duties left undone or forgotten, which no other method will so effectually remove."
~ Catharine Beecher & Harriet Stowe, The New Housekeeper's Manual, 1873

24 comments:

  1. Wow, JES, you are simply amazing. The research, the hard work - what a blessing you are to other homemakers. Thank you x

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    1. Thank you for the kind comment Sarah! Though I fear some may not appreciate this list as it means more work! :) Have a lovely weekend!

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    2. Ha, it is more work, but I think it causes less stress in the end. I find the older I get the less I remember so the printables are a great help.

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    3. Yes, here here! It seems I just finished one round of maintenance and am ready for another! Our homes are a constant work in progress to keep running smoothly...

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  2. Just look at the table where the homemaker is sitting... I love old-fashion tables with drawers to hold things. And I love that they are wooden, not plastic. We have a multitude of plastic containers for organizing or storing non food items, but I loathe them.
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Toni

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    1. I have cut out a lot of plastic in our home too! I love glass!!! But unfortunately, to be practical, we had to keep a lot of storage pieces too...

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  3. I too have to put tasks, even small ones, on a list so I both remember they need doing and can let my mind rest knowing it's there & I'll get to it. What a beautiful reminder.

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    1. I had a feeling you shared the same sentiment on list making! :)

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  4. JES, this is a wonderful resource indeed! Thank you for making it so handy with the printable to keep and refer to often! I appreciate you, and all you do to make housework more manageable :) Have a blessed day my friend!

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    1. Ah, thank you for the sweet comment to start off my weekend! Have a lovely one! :)

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  5. Jes, thanks so much for that. I really should print out some of your wonderful printables for my daughter as she can't use her printer at present. It would make a nice gift for her. You really are a blessing you know with all the resources you provide.

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement! I enjoy organizing on paper so it is my pleasure! :)

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  6. Ah, how I do admire the organization and the seriousness with which, in every field of life, Victorians followed rules ... which are useful for us today too, that's why I do love them !
    Thank you for this teaching of yours, my darling JES,
    sending blessings on your weekend,
    with heartfelt gratitude
    Dany

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    1. Good point about the rules as I do like to play by them! :) Thank you for sharing here today Dany!

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  7. This is a list that I need! That way I won't fall behind on all of those tasks I need to complete.

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    1. Yes and by simply assessing the situation and writing it all down, you FEEL better! :)

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  8. Jes, I love this. It just makes one feel so organised. Thanks for sharing at Five Star Frou-Frou this week. Love, Mimi xxx

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  9. Cleaning out the junk drawers and getting new linens (or fixing up the older ones) always makes me feel so much better! Thanks for adding this to From The Farm...yet another favorite this week! Hope to see you again Friday!

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  10. I shared all three posts JES! I love when you share posts like this one though. It's so funny to me how seriously the old books took the tasks of homemaking. And nowadays, we aren't really taught to keep homes at all. I remember when I first got married, I was shocked at the dust I kept finding. I'm so glad you share these instructions with us. (Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop!)

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    1. Thank you for sharing Jennifer! :)

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    2. I do so appreciate you sharing! Thank you :)

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  11. So interesting thanks for sharing, I would add to my list a few more modern 'to do's', such as cleaning out the rain gutters, and replacing worn door handles and hinges.

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    1. Excellent additions! Thank you for sharing! :)

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