Commenter Miriam was kind enough to share the link to a vintage housekeeping manual called "The American Frugal Housewife" (for those of us who are not ashamed of economy!:). Be sure and check it when you have time!
What I noticed about vintage homemaking books is that those from the 19th century will usually give you general information on cooking, cleaning, saving money, managing the servants etc, while the manuals published in the mid-20th century usually attempted to give you a comprehensive plan on how to run your household.
For instance, the one I own from the 1960s has a long tedious chapter which describes in great detail how you are supposed to clean every room of the house. It also suggests that you write a daily plan somewhere along these lines:
7.00 a.m wake up and get dressed
7.15 morning excerices.
7.30-7.45 making breakfast.
8.00-8.30 washing the dishes.
10.15 drinking a cup of coffee (only one!) etc etc
If you follow this link , it will take you to a discussion board where you can read an extract from a 1947 housekeeping manual which suggests quite a rigorous cleaning schedule for every day of the week. Schedules always possess some sort of a charm for a beginner housewife, but I learned to avoid them like plague. I cringe when I read one. In fact, I start understanding why those 1950s and 1960s housewives rebelled and started burning their bras:)
Seriously though, a schedule can be helpful. I do have a housekeeping plan of sorts which I follow rather loosely; however, I am firmly convinced that the plans like the one above take all the joy out of housekeeping. After all, I'm running a home, not a factory. What if I have no desire for coffee at 10.15, but rather at 10.30? What if a friend phones me at an hour when my schedule calls for something else?
In my opinion, those mid-20th century manuals were written by the enemies of housewives who wanted to make housekeeping so unbearable that all the women at home would join the feminists!:) Well, what do you all think? Do you find schedules and plans helpful or frustrating? Feel free to express your opinion in the comments section!