Mrs. Dunwoody’s Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping, by Mirian Lukken, is a wonderful book. It’s written in the style of a woman passing on advice on the running of an orderly home. It includes, cleaning, first aid, recipes, etiquette, and all kinds of other little gems. She treats housekeeping as an art rather than a chore, and it inspires me to do the same. I have gotten off track, as you know, and so I have come back to this book to get me back in the right frame of mind. Rather than a series of chores that is never done, homekeeping sets the stage for life. An orderly home frees its occupants to focus on things other than housework. It can lighten a mood to come home to a comfortable house that is orderly and welcoming.
Women of centuries past knew how to direct servants or keep their homes themselves. It has become a mostly lost art. While few people have the luxury of being ho e full time without distractions to be able to focus on housework for a portion of the day this book reminds us that it is possible to take pride in your home. It is not just somewhere to collapse at the end of a long day. The way you keep your home teaches your children how to keep theirs. Putting thought into it is something many people don’t really do. We do dishes and laundry and collect pieces for our homes. How often do most people change the drapes in their sitting room to match the seasons? Or the pictures on the walls? I barely see what’s around me anymore I’m so used to it all. We accumulate clutter without thinking and soon our homes feel cramped or uncomfortably stuffed.
I’m looking around my home now and realizing that I have to do a full-on fall cleaning to get back on track. I know what I’ll be doing today. But, at the end of the week, I should have a home I can be proud of again. One that’s welcoming and pleasing. One that facilitates work and play and peaceful rest.
I love this book and its good influence.