Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Days Of The Week


Photo courtesy Flickr

At one time, women, it was women, divided the work week by tasks. Monday was wash day, Tuesday ironing day. Time has cast a merciful pall over the others, although Saturday lives on as bake day. Susan Strasser’s Never Done lays out the particulars of this sequence. 

This year’s late summer maintenance thrash has made it clear that a different sorting system for chores makes it easy to organize the tasks that are more than routine and less than major make-over. I focus on textiles for one round of setting things to rights, then shift to food, to things related to travel and emergency preparedness, to dirt (aka gardening), and to general cleaning and detailing. Digital is a world unto itself.

The sweet reward for puttering is to play fourier, originally a “forager”. The fourier was the advance man for a mobile medieval European household of privilege. He went ahead and arranged for food for the horses, then set up the castle of the moment with a comforting collection of hangings, bedding, and portable furnishings.

Scraping a room back to its bare bones and then restoring only the functional necessities increases productivity tenfold. First-rate bedding, well-resolved window coverings, and apt lighting are all it takes to relax a rigorous layout into a welcoming and supportive scene that’s a cinch to maintain.

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