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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1981

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1779
DOMESTIC SERVANTS AND THEIR DUTIES

at the bottom. The bolster is then beaten and shaken, and put on, the top of the sheet rolled round it, and the sheet tucked in all round. The pillows and other bed-clothes follow, and the counterpane over all, which should fall in graceful folds, and at equal distance from the ground all round. The curtains are drawn to the head and folded neatly across the bed, and the whole finished in a smooth and graceful manner. Where spring mattresses are used, care should be taken that the over one is turned every day. The housemaid should now take up in a dust-pan any pieces that may be on the carpet; she should dust the room, shut the door, and proceed to another room. When all the bedrooms are finished, she should dust the stairs and polish the hand-rail of the banisters, and see that all ledges, window-sills, etc., are quite free from dust. It will be necessary for the housemaid to divide her work, so that she may not have too much to do on certain days, and not sufficient to fill up her time on other days. In the country, bedrooms should be swept and thoroughly cleaned once a week ; and to be methodical and regular in her work, the housemaid should have certain days for doing certain rooms thoroughly. For instance, two bedrooms on Monday, two on Tuesday, the drawing-room on Wednesday, and so on, reserving a day for thoroughly cleaning the plate, bedroom candlesticks, etc., etc., which she will have to do where there is no parlour-maid or footman kept. By this means the work will be divided, and there will be no un-necessary bustling and hurrying, as is the case where the work is done at any time, without rule or regulation.

Weekly Work. Once a week, when a bedroom is to be thoroughly cleaned, the housemaid should commence by brushing the mattresses of the bed before it is made; she should then make it, shake the curtains, lay them smoothly on the bed, and pin or tuck up the bottom valance, so that she may be able to sweep under the bed. She should then unloop the window-curtains, shake them, and pin them high up out of the way. After clearing the dressing-table, and the room altogether of little articles of china, etc., etc., she should shake the toilet-covers, fold them up, and lay them on the bed, over which a large dusting sheet should be drawn. She should then sweep the room, clean the grate, the washing-table apparatus, removing all marks or fur round the caused by the water. The water-bottles and tumblers must also her attention, as well as the top of the washing-stand. When these are all clean and arranged in their places, the housemaid should scrub the floor where it is not covered with carpet, under the bed, and round the wainscot. She should use as little soap and soda as possible, as too free a use of these articles is liable to give the boards a black appearance. In winter it is not advisable to scrub rooms too often, as it is difficult to dry them thoroughly, and nothing is more dangerous than to allow persons to sleep in a damp room. The house-maid should now dust the furniture, blinds, ornaments, etc.; polish the looking-glass: arrange the toilet-cover and muslin; remove the cover