The day's routine of work varies in different households and makes it impossible for one to offer an infallible system. The keeping of but one servant does not admit of an elaborate mode of living, and on the days on which the heaviest work - washing and ironing - falls, madam would do well to assume considerable of the regular work herself, the care of bedrooms, dusting and putting to rights of living and dining rooms, preparation of lunch, and whatever else seems best. All of the hardest work should be done in the morning, before the first freshness of maid and day is worn away. After you have established a satisfactory schedule abide by it and oblige your maid to do the same. It soon becomes automatic and is, therefore, accomplished with less exhaustion of mind and body. The regular day's work is about as follows: The maid rises an hour or an hour and a half before the breakfast hour, throws open her bed and window, and goes to the kitchen, where she starts the fire (if a coal range is used), fills and puts on the teakettle, and puts the cereal on to cook. Then she airs out dining and living rooms and hall, brushes up any litter, wipes off bare floors, dusts, closes windows, opens furnace drafts or looks after stoves, and, leaving tidiness in her wake, sets the table and completes the preparations for breakfast. The amount of work she can accomplish before it is served depends upon herself and upon how elaborate the meal may be. After the main part of the breakfast has been served she may be excused from the dining room, and takes this time to open bedroom windows and empty slops, after which she has her own breakfast. When the breakfast table has been cleared, the dining room set to rights, food taken care of, and utensils put to soak, the mistress inspects pantry and refrigerator, offers suggestions for the disposal of left-overs, arranges with the maid for the day's meals, and makes out the list for grocer and butcher, adding whatever she thinks best to the list of needed staples already prepared by the maid - tea, sugar, soap, etc. Never leave the entire ordering of supplies to the maid, her part being simply to jot down on a pad hung in the kitchen for that purpose a memorandum of such things as need replenishing. When the conference is ended the maid washes the dishes, puts kitchen and pantry in order, fills and cleans lamps, prepares dishes which require slow cooking, makes the beds - unless her mistress prefers to do this herself - and tidies up bed- and bathrooms. If the living rooms were not dusted before breakfast, she attends to it now, perhaps sweeping front porch and steps, and is then ready for the extra work of the day, the cleaning of silver, washing of windows, etc. When the after-lunch work is disposed of she will probably have an hour or two to herself before it is time to begin preparations for dinner. She should not be interrupted in her work for this, that, or the other, but allowed to go on with it according to schedule.
She usually attends the door except on wash day or during extra stress of work. She will, perhaps, object to doing so when her mistress is at home, and may need instruction about slipping on a clean white apron, greeting a caller with civility, presenting a small tray for her card, etc. Initiating her into the mysteries of setting and serving the table may be a long operation, for the good waitress is usually born, not made. But don't be too exacting; remember that she is not a specialist and arrange the flowers and add other nice touches yourself, and dispense with elaborateness of serving. Teach her to economize time by washing dishes between courses when her presence is not required in the dining room, and insist upon having meals served at stated hours, being careful that your family respond to the summons to the table with corresponding punctuality.