Too often in planning the budget, and the daily work, the housekeeper forgets to allow for the constant wear and tear on the house itself, and its furnishings; but to preserve the beauty and usefulness of both the house and furniture, as much thought and time are necessary as for the repair of clothing. In addition to the care and cleaning, there must be a constant attention to small repairs.
Have a series of cards in the card file, or pages in the notebook, where needed repairs may be jotted down. Have a regular time for looking over different parts of the house; and give a brief daily look as you pass from room to room. Each member of the family should be asked to report whatever goes wrong in his province, - a leaky faucet, a squeaky door, or broken castor, a tear in a curtain, a shade roller that does not work.
For large repairs, like a leak in the water or waste system or shingle on a roof, a trained worker is needed; but for small repairs a special worker from outside is too expensive, and there needs to be a handy person in the house, who can put in a screw, and use a monkey wrench, touch up the paint or varnish, or mend the wall paper. It is pleasant work, and in these days when schools teach so much handicraft, there should be some one in the family glad to do it.
Have a shelf somewhere for the repair "kit." Look at the woodwork of your house, and see what is needed; whether paint, or varnish, an oil mixture or stain, or all of them. Have on hand a small can of each, and bottles of alcohol, turpentine, and glue. Two or three paint brushes of good quality and of different sizes are needed. Keep a bundle of wall paper including pieces of all the patterns on the walls. A box of tools is needed, including a hammer, gimlet, screw driver, monkey wrench, a sharp knife, with boxes of nails and screws of mixed kinds and sizes such as may be found at any hardware store.
1. What are the reasons for keeping an inventory of household goods ?
2. How should winter garments be cared for in summer?
4. What are the advantages of a vacuum cleaner over a broom ?
5. What are the best methods of removing dust ? Of cleaning paint and woodwork and glass ?
6. How are metals cleaned?
7. What are the most important points in caring for a bed-room?
8. What is the order of work in a thorough cleaning of a room, and why?
9. How should plumbing be cleaned?
11. How may all the family help to some extent in household work?
12. Can you plan the best order of work for a day for the home worker who has no help but some one to wash and iron?
13. What are the dangers from different household insects?
14. If a kerosene lamp suddenly blazes up, what should you do?
15. What is the principle involved in putting out a fire?
16. What are some of the simple methods of fire prevention?
17. What simple repairing can be done by members of the family?