What other things do you do as your share of housekeeping besides taking care of your own room? Every thinking girl realizes that it is her responsibility to do a share of the housekeeping. In any good business organization every member of the firm has certain responsibilities and certain duties. In some respects the problem of home-making is like a well organized business. In this business of housekeeping it is important that every member of the family have particular responsibilities and duties. These may consist in furnishing money for the running of the household, planning or managing various household activities and in performing the various tasks that are necessary. In what way do you share responsibility in the housekeeping? It is only fair that you should contribute your share in doing the necessary things for the home. You probably can make the most helpful contribution by performing such tasks as running errands, washing dishes and caring for other rooms in the house besides your own room.
Something to Do. - 1. Make a list showing what things you have done in the past week.
2. Do you have a regular schedule of tasks that you are expected to do every week? Make a schedule showing , what you do each day in the week. Record the number of minutes or hours that you spend each week in helping with the housework. Something to Think About. - Do you do only the things that you are asked to do in helping at home? Do you think to offer to do extra things so that your mother may have a little rest or pleasure? Do you do your share of work willingly and pleasantly? Do you have to be reminded constantly of your responsibilities?
A Plan for Cleaning. - Just as you saved time in making your bed and keeping your room in order, you can save time in cleaning and caring for other rooms. The most important thing is to have a plan for doing your work so that you eliminate needless steps and motions.
One plan in Fig. 108 shows the trail of a girl who spent all of her Saturday morning cleaning four bedrooms. Try to follow her trail. The other plan shows the trail of a girl who "used her head to save her heels" and finished her Saturday morning cleaning in time to go and play tennis before lunch.
Sometimes it is better when cleaning several rooms to do the sweeping in all the rooms, and then the dusting in all the rooms, and sometimes it is better to dust, sweep and finish each room as you go. Try different ways of doing your cleaning and find the quickest way of doing your work. Each girl should report to the class on what she has done with her problem.
Your Responsibility for Putting Things in Their Places. - If you always put your things in their places it is sure to save you time when you are in a hurry. You know where to find your things when you need them. Yet there is another reason for putting your things away instead of dropping them around the living-room or dining-room, or any place that you happen to be. Do you think that you have any right to leave your things around rooms that are used by other members of your family? Do you think it is considerate for you to leave your things for other people to pick up? Certainly every thoughtful girl realizes that it is her responsibility to put her own things where they belong.
Caring for the Bathroom. - Cleaning the bathroom is different from the cleaning of other rooms in that there is one kind of cleaning that is particularly important. It is in the bathroom that the matter of sanitation and health must be especially emphasized. Since it is a room which every member of the family uses, every member of the family must help to keep it orderly and clean.
Can you tell how many people there are in the family that uses the bathroom shown in Fig. 109? Each member of this family has his or her own towel, wash cloth, and drinking glass. This shows that they realize it is hygienic to have individual things in the bathroom. You will notice that all the towels are clean and hung up neatly. Every member of this family does his or her share in helping to keep the bathroom orderly. Do you think it is considerate to wipe your hands on a towel before you have washed them clean?
A bathroom that appears quite clean and orderly may not be sanitary. We know that diseases are spread by means of bacteria and germs which are too small to be seen. Bacteria and germs may be present on the surfaces of the bathtub, closet, and lavatory. These surfaces should be kept so clean that there is no chance for bacteria to remain upon them. This means that every member of the family should be continually on the alert to do his share. The bathtub and lavatory should always be cleaned immediately after using.
Cleaning the Bathtub and Lavatory. - A brush or cloth should always be kept in a convenient place in the bathroom for cleaning the tub and lavatory. This brush or cloth should be used for this purpose only. Powdered cleaners are much used for cleansing purposes. Coarse powdered cleansers sometimes scratch the enamel. This frequently happens even though apparently no harm has been done. These tiny scratches make an excellent lodging place for germs and bacteria that are hard to remove. Eventually the surface of the enamel becomes rough and therefore more difficult to clean. Fine powdered cleaners are likely to collect in the drain pipes and trap. This, however, can be avoided if plenty of water is flushed through the pipes immediately after using the powder, and one should be careful not to use more powder than is really necessary. Soft, flaky, powdered cleaners are probably most desirable for cleaning the bathtub, because they will not scratch and will dissolve in water, therefore not clogging the drain. At all times it is important that enough clean water should be run through the pipes so that dirty water does not stand in the trap.
Many housewives find that kerosene is a good cleaner to use in the bathtub and lavatory. It will in no way injure the enamel surfaces and removes the dirt easily. Some people object to it because of the odor, although this soon disappears. It is necessary to use hot water and soap after using the kerosene in order to remove the film of oil from the surface. Other housewives prefer to use a naphtha soap with hot water, which also removes dirt easily.
A very helpful device in cleaning a bathtub is the rubber tube which can be attached to the bathtub fixture. The picture in Fig. 110 shows how this device can be used to rinse out the bathtub.
Cleaning the Toilet. - A long-handled brush is a necessary tool for cleaning the closet or toilet. Occasionally some cleaning preparation must be used to remove the stain or discoloration that appears in the bowl of the closet. Great care should be taken by all members of the family never to throw refuse into the closet. Even small articles, such as cigarette stubs, burnt matches or hair may cause serious stoppage of the pipes. Nor should coarse, stiff paper be put down the toilet because it does not disintegrate as quickly as soft paper.
The Floors and Walls in the Bathroom. - If the bathroom has a tiled floor it can be cleaned in just the same way as fig. 110.
the tub and lavatory. If the walls and floors are finished with enamel paint they can be cleaned by washing them with warm water and soap. Surfaces should be finished with waterproof varnish or with paint that is not harmed by water. Sometimes bathroom walls are finished with calcimine, which spots easily with water and can not be cleaned except by washing it off and putting on a new coat of calcimine. Do you think such a finish as calcimine is really suitable for use in a bathroom? Surely in such a room where hygiene is so important it should be possible to clean everything with soap and water.
Suggestions for Home Projects. - Each girl should select a definite thing to work out at home. Some girls may wish to undertake the cleaning of the bathroom, others may assume responsibility for cleaning the living-room, dining-room or other rooms, others may make a project out of caring for their own things and putting them away. Or do you not think you might make a project of being cheerful and willing? Sometimes the most difficult project is to attempt to do things with a good spirit, to remember without being reminded and to take suggestions or criticisms kindly.
Arrange a day when each girl will report on her home project. Devise some way of making a report that will include the amount of time you spend and how successful you have been.