Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Rise Of Household Help

Have you ever noticed that we seem to be getting more and more of our regular work around the house done by outside services? 

Did it ever occur to you that maybe this was nothing new?

It seems to me that 150 years ago it was common for people - especially the middle & upper classes - to have servants who did all the daily chores - like cleaning, cooking, washing, serving, driving, car cleaning etc. In fact I have been surprised when looking at our family who migrated to NZ, Australia & US in the mid to late 1800s at how many traveled with one or two servants.  And most of those families would not have been considered wealthy.

With the changes that went on around and after the first world war the use of servants dropped off for many and it became normal since then for most families (apart from the wealthy) to do most of those day to day chores themselves.  Maybe that was what drove the development of the automatic washing machine!

However, if you look at what has happened in most large cities over the last 30 years you will note the growth of businesses that are offering the services that were once provided by servants - home cleaning, lawn mowing, window cleaning, oven cleaning, car cleaning etc etc.

Have a look around the people you know and count how many are now using a service that would once have been provided by a servant -  I think you will be surprised by the number who are.  The shear growth in these businesses gives testament to the call for these services.

We may have all the "mod cons' but the one thing we are still short of is time. So rather than having a servant who "lives in" we have people coming in regularly to do the work.  We have a lawn mowing guy who mows the lawn every 2 - 3 weeks, we have a cleaner who cleans our house every 2 weeks, we take our cars to a car valet service every month for full detailing, we have the house washed once a year and so forth....

So maybe the day of the servant has not gone....just transformed.

1 comment:

  1. Really good tips. I must admit that nowadays we all need the assistance when cleaning is concerned and should look for it.