Rising Early & Other Old Fashioned Household Advice

“Another reason for early rising is, that it is indispensable to a systematic and well-regulated family. At whatever hour the parents retire, children and domestics, wearied by play or labor, must retire early. Children usually awake with the dawn of light and commence their place, while [domestic chores] are usually preferred in the freshness of the morning. If, then, parents rise at a late hour, they either induce a habit of protracting sleep in their children and domestics, or else the family are up and at their pursuits while their supervisors are in bed.”
-Principles of Domestic Science, H. Beecher Stowe, 1866


Along with reading older cookbooks, I also enjoy studying and reading vintage home economics books. Within the pages, we find so many virtues and practical household tips and advice. So vast is the wisdom that our homemaking books of today fairly lack in depth compared to their vintage counterparts. We are so far removed from the disciplined lives of those women in our history. It is rather shameful, at times, to think of how lazy and unmotivated we must appear, if only one could compare our generation to those from, for example, the late 1800s.


It has been a bit of bodily training but it has benefited me in so many ways to rise earlier than my family. At some point, I found myself wishing and wanting my husband to get out of bed at the same time, so we could enjoy devotions together or just have a morning coffee together before the fuss of the day. His job, however, is so sporadic with his work hours that one never knows how much sleep he will get (as he is often called out in the night, sometimes twice in a row, to make house calls). I know he needs his rest. I also see the Scriptures pointing to the woman to rise early – it is my job to discipline myself and not discipline my husband.



My goal is to do most of my challenging tasks in the morning hours – whether it is canning or weeding, food organizing or cleaning out closets. This does get a bit confusing with homeschooling- my schedule is moved around a great deal and I must use my afternoon time for such projects and allot the morning hours for school work and academic studies. The summer brings so much more freedom for me to accomplish my household chores. I am frequently reminded that I must make the most of my time, use my hours wisely or else I will pay the price when Autumn approaches and my tasks are not yet finished. Of course, one never really finished all their household tasks – we just simple cycle through the list and continue organizing, cleaning, cooking and tending to the needs of the home life and family.



{Isn’t this a huge rabbit? This white Angora bunny lives wild on our property and proved a challenge for Lovelyn to catch – but she did! He is beautiful and incredibly fluffy.}

“Another important item in systematic economy is the apportioning of regular employment to the various members of a family. If a housekeeper can secure the cooperation of all her family, she will find that ‘many hands make light work.’ There is no greater mistake than in bringing up children to feel that they must be taken care of, and waited on by others, without any corresponding obligations on their part.

-Principles of Domestic Science;
Habits of System and Order


I know that I must do all my canning and food work in the summer days – this ensures I have food put up for the fall and winter. It also eases my work load when school starts up and I am not able to spend as much time dedicated to straight kitchen work. Canning soups and chilis, meals and vegetables brings me much peace of mind.


{It’s always faster – and more interesting! – with my helpers!}

“The Creator of all things is a Being of perfect system and order; and, to aid us in our duty in this respect, he has divided our time, by a regularly returning day of rest from worldly business. IN following this example, the intervening six days be me divided to secure similar benefits. In doing this, a certain portion of time must be given to procure the means of livelihood,
and for preparing food, raiment and dwellings.”
-Habits of System and Order;
Principles of Domestic Science


Staying on top of the laundry is a daily tasks that cannot and must not be ignored. Pictured above are just a few pieces of delicate laundry which I hand washed at the end of the day. Normally, my clothes line is well-loaded. I make sure we do a load of laundry a day – or sometimes two, if there is a lot of dark and lights. I never, ever wait a day to do laundry. In the winter, I run the washing machine and hang up the laundry to dry overnight by the woodstove. In the spring and summer, I run the machine at night or early in the morning and hang the laundry on the line before breakfast. It is usually always dry, fresh and sweetly scented, by lunch time. I fold it before lunch and the girls are to put away their laundry right after lunch. It is a system that seems to work for us. If everyone puts their laundry away every day, there is only a small pile per person; it is much more manageable, especially for little people who would be overwhelmed with a large chore. We wash our sheets weekly and that does take up extra time. The older girls usually wash their own bedding, while I take up the task of all the little ones on Wednesday and Thursday. I wash our sheets every Monday morning.  This is a system of order that works for our family.



{My sweet antique soap saver;
simply place in your running water or bucket of warm wash water and swish your pieces of soap around;
it works wonders.
Pictures beside the soap saver is a poem I am attempting to memorize with the children…}



“The value of time, and our obligation to spend every hours for some useful end, are what few minds properly realize. And those who have the highest sense of their obligations in this respect, sometimes greatly misjudge in their estimate of what are useful and proper modes of employing time. This arises from limited views of the importance of some pursuits, which they would deem frivolous and useless, but which are in reality necessary to preserve the health of body and mind and those social affections which it is very important to cherish.”
-Economy of Time and Expenses

I also must learn to guard my time wisely. Not only is time something you can never have again, it is also something we are held accountable for in Heaven. Are you getting some rest in your day? Our days and hours can become long and wearisome if we do not have proper rest. How are we spending our ‘down time’ or or quiet moments? I attempt to spend at least 45 minutes in the afternoon to read, drink a cup of tea and sit and be still. This is usually during a scheduled nap time. I have found it to be very refreshing for my body and my temperant. It will give me that needed boost of energy to finish off the day, the supper hour and the clean up that commences following.


{a very fast sewing job on a much-needed apron}


These are only a few pointers I have learned along this journey … there is so much to learn as a wife, mother and homemaker. It is amazing how much we can learn every day if we apply ourselves. Tending to the home, caring for a family, raising children and providing good, healthy food and a clean, happy home takes a lot of energy, a lot of purposeful moments .. it should truly be a full time career; a role blessed by God!



P.S. The above quoted book can be found here.

July 29, 2018 - 9:05 pm

Gigi Hi Lori, I’m sorry, I feel like I wrote you back. I remember writing but maybe I didn’t send! I do get distracted some days. Thank you for thinking of us, but we are okay for Math books. 🙂 Are you still homeschooling?

July 29, 2018 - 8:43 pm

Lori Speare Hey Gillian! I emailed a while ago about a box of math books that I acquired in a weird way, from Rejoice Christian Academy. They are the old paces from the school. I wondered if you wanted them? I’m going to recycle them if not, we use a different math program.

Hope all is well,


July 27, 2018 - 4:05 am

Gigi Heather, thank you. I bought the skirt from etsy (if you search prairie skirts, you may find something you like) and I made the apron. Yes, finding nice outfits is tricky! It requires good searching abilities or a sewing machine, if you can.

July 26, 2018 - 8:28 am

Heather Your skirt and apron are so lovely! Did you make them yourself or buy from someone? I would love to know where you got them from! I have a hard time finding modest yet femine skirts like that!! Love this post!

July 24, 2018 - 6:42 am

Gigi Monica, yes, those school months make the early rising a challenge! So glad to hear you, too, rise early. 🙂

July 24, 2018 - 4:56 am

Gigi Lauren, I was the same way. I LOVED staying up late. It was like my ‘other world’, full of quiet and peace. I loved it, but times change and I felt a bit convicted … now I go to bed a LOT earlier and get up earlier so it is just flipped around. You can do it!

July 24, 2018 - 4:56 am

Gigi Lauren, I was the same way. I LOVED staying up late. It was like my ‘other world’, full of quiet and peace. I loved it, but times change and I felt a bit convicted … now I go to bed a LOT earlier and get up earlier so it is just flipped around. You can do it!

July 24, 2018 - 2:37 am

Lauren You make me want to get out of bed early. Ugh i have never, and I mean EVER been a person to wake up — willingly — early in the morning. I’ve considered doing it many times, but, I stay up late! That’s when it’s quiet time!! But it sounds better to get up early and just start the day properly. It’s somethjng I know will take a lot of self discipline.
That fluffy bunny is just magnificent! SO CUTE and fluffy, like a cotton ball!!!

July 23, 2018 - 8:03 pm

Monica I usually rise between 6-6:30am. I find this is enough time for me (in the summer) to have devotions, read an excerpt in a good book, check messages, and prep my day (see what meals are to be made, feed the cow etc). During school months I will have to rise earlier as the children will be getting up at a scheduled time to get our day going for school. For years I got up at five when I had really small little ones, all under five or six years old. It was a life saver for me! This is wonderful advice for mothers and women in general to rise early!
I love the soap gadget! That is so neat! I’m not sure I would’ve have known what that was had I seen it in an antiques store. Now I will be on the lookout!
I know what you mean about not skipping a day of laundry! I have to do laundry daily, except I usually don’t on Sunday! If not, someone will be out of underwear! ☺️ Or I will have a mountain awaiting me!
Great tips!

July 23, 2018 - 1:10 pm

Gigi Just add a drop of pink liquid dishwashing detergent to your cleaner as you make it! In regards to the liquid dishwashing soap, I had a soap batch that did not set right. So I boiled up a huge pot of water and added my softer soap and turned into a lovely liquid soap. You can add tea tree oil or lemon essential oil and it will smell lovely when washing up. It is not a specific recipe but I know you can grate hard soap and boil it up in a bit pot of water, leave it for 24 hours to gel and set and then you can scoop out and use as you please. I hope that helps!

July 23, 2018 - 8:22 am

Our Home of Many Blessings I do the same exact thing(rising early and along with my Bible try to catch up on some very much needed vintage book reading in the early mornings….).I would love to know how you can your green beans!….Also I have made your laundry detergent and homemade cleaner and they are both lovely and the cost is like nothing!! Although mine did not turn pink like yours,it is still lovely.I would also love to know how you make your dish soap,please.Do you have yourself a Bible time later in the day as the children are awake and can see you?I feel that they should she me reading it to help them with that much needed habit.I also have a short rest time (if I can) at our naptime and thought maybe that would be a good time to start doing that.Along with knitting because I love it so…Your apron is lovely also. That pattern would make pretty dinner napkins. I have lots of prints like that,that I just love…Have a great day!