A Shaker Village ran on cooperation, order and efficiency. The Shakers devoted their lives to God, but that doesn’t mean they ignored material things. They paid a lot of attention to the proper way to perform household chores, grow crops, and run their businesses selling brooms, packaged seeds, medicines, farm products and furniture.
From making paint to cleaning glass to eliminating cooking odors, there was a ‘shaker way’ to do just about everything under the sun that fit within their beliefs. And all the best practices were designed to support the creed of the founder of Shakerism, Ann Lee:
“Put your hands to work and your hearts to God; pay all your just debts, and right all your wrongs. Remember the poor; if you have but little to spare, give to them that need. Be neat and clean, and keep the fear of God in all your goings forth.”
By today’s standards, some of their methods seem dated, but they work — sometimes better than modern methods. To illustrate the simple Shaker household habits, we’ve pulled together a few of their favorites.