Friday, March 18, 2011

18 March 1957 “Child’s Closet and Room For Sewing”

Just a quick post today showing two ideas for storage from one of my vintage homemaking manuals.

childscloset Here we see a great layout for a child’s closet. This would be wonderful for an adult as well, or even for the laundry room.

sewingroom Here we see all one really needs for sewing neatly packed into a closet. When put away the sewing machine and bench look simply like furniture. There is even room for the dressmakers dummy. I also like the drawers in graduated sizes for patterns, notions and fabric.

How many of us need more organization in our life? I know I do. I have done much more than I have before 1955, but it is always an ongoing project. Any good organizing tips?


  1. 50s Gal, your blog is such a delight to me that I seem to want to comment frequently.
    Having read many of your posts, I think you've discovered the key to organization 50s style, in less consummerism.
    A 50s housewife would have had little in her budget for excess buying. Since the average house was much smaller then, acquiring excess would have been a foreign concept. Many of the families who could have afforded a house (or even found one to buy) in the post war era, may have at one time been apartment dwellers, who were even less likely to acquire excess.
    Perhaps we all need to do a "50s purge" of our belongings and reduce the amount of stuff we have, so our closets aren't overflowing.
    We've recently moved to the town where my husband works, eliminating his commute. One of our first purges was to sell one of our cars. Now we have an older used car and an older pickup. Since the snow and ice is finally melting, we are going to challenge ourselves to keep the vehicles parked and walk or bicycle as much as we can. During the 50s, having two vehicles would have indicated that we were high rollers! Now, so many families have more than two vehicles, along with the costs of insurance, licenses, etc. Or people buy the latest and trendiest vehicle that depreciates faster than they can pay for it.
    Your blog makes us take a good look at our culture and its excesses and that's a good thing!

  2. Would love to have a sewing or crafter closet like that!! Can never get enough of orginization.. We live in a tiny appartment, but people keep aksing where all the stuff is at. I guess that's a good sign:) We have it hidden away in boxes, boxes, boxes and more boxes. And also some old suitcases that we have on display. The key here is not to keep anything you don't really need, and if something goes in, something has to go out;) But have to add, it still looks like mayhem here from time to time!

  3. Rocky Mt Homemaker:Thank you so much for such a wonderful compliment. I try to post every other day, but as often my posts involve some time, it can be hard. I need to do some simple two paragraph posts in between perhaps.
    It is true, that the main key to 1950's organization was the lack of things. Though this is the decade when we begin our move from citizens to consummers, it was only just beginning and we hadn't the ease of going out and buying 10 dollar blenders and 50 dollar vacuums that would break and then we'd buy another. We have SO MUCH STUFF out there and it is all so cheap, we just buy buy buy. I am STILL working on thinning it out and I have been here for the past two years! But, I no longer add to it. It used to be normal to go out of a day and know I was going to come home with some little doo dads and bibelots and such. Today, I don't go on 'shopping trips' that often, except for food. When we got rid of our car that made a big difference in my weekly planning but it saved MORE than just repairs costs, gas, insurance, inspection, and taxes. I just used it less and less and could only go where my legs could take me so that reduced my shopping.
    It's funny when I started out with my project two years ago we had two cars and mine was a Land Rover that got 8 miles to the gallon! I have come a long way and look at my old spending habits as someone who was standing blindfolded on a short plank suspended over a shark tank, mindlessly tossing money in the air and taking BIG steps forward!
    Scary Mary-when we had our place in Boston, it too was small and organization was key. Even now my old house is quite small and has only two closets (not even in the bedrooms-as there were no closets/cupboards in 17th century bedrooms. One had free standing wardrobes and also, unless very wealthy, very little clothes. Clothes pegs, chests or standing wardrobes would hold a gals entire wardrobe!)
    I, too, have those 'mayhem' days, but I alwasy make sure I leave a clean kitchen for myself in the morning (my own treat!) and a clean dinning/bedroom/living room by the end of the day. Then hubby and I can have drinks, dinner and talk about things other than, "Where is my-fill in the blank" and so on.


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