Apparently Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, published in 1861, isn’t quite as outdated as we thought. Inspired by Sophie Dahl’s ‘Marvellous Mrs Beeton’, we delve deeper into her book of domestic goddestry, to find handy tips for all the modern houswives out there.
1. Get up early
According to Mrs Beeton, this is not only essential for your health, but for the organisation of your home. It allows you to get everything done early in the day, so you can enjoy the evening and have some time to yourself during the day. Plus, it sets a good example for the rest of your family. (Although Mrs Beeton does recommend rising at 6am in Summer, 7am in Winter!)
2. Be happy
Sophie Dahl reminds us that Mrs Beeton’s main aim was to create the perfect family home. In her book, Mrs Beeton implies that a cheerful housewife makes everyone around her cheerful, including her husband, children and friends. Your kids should feel that home is the happiest place in the world.
3. Keep the kitchen clean
Mrs Beeton suggested that not only for health reasons, but for practical reasons, the kitchen should always be spotless and provides some handy tips. For example, always wash dishes soon after use, to avoid the dirt sticking, and fill saucepans with hot water to help the cleaning process.
4. Plan ahead
Save yourself time and effort by planning in advance. Invest in a family calendar, keep a watchful eye over your finances, and if possible plan the week’s meals in advance. Where possible, prepare meals ahead. For example if hosting a dinner party, do what you can the night before, so she can get on with other things throughout the day.
5. Get organised
“A place for everything, and everything in its place,” is one of Mrs Beeton’s main mantras. It basically means, having a place for everything will prevent you wasting time looking for things. She also suggests clearing as you go and putting things away after use, so that mess doesn’t build up.
Marvellous Mrs Beeton with Sophie Dahl airs Monday 6th February on LifeStyle.