Monday, February 2, 2015

Get Organized

For the month of February I will be focusing on organization! Its the one thing we all need more of, am I right?! Well at least I do! Most of the organizing tips I will be sharing will be projects I am currently applying.

Today I will show you how i put together a homesteading binder. I have read post after post of other bloggers talking about their homestead binders, and how easy it was to put together, and how effective it is, and how they are more organized....! I have even printed them out and tried to use them and realized that most of the set up didnt apply to our lifestyle (which on some days can be considered borderline crazy!!), so instead of using someone's else's blueprint for a binder, I made my own!! Well, I'm still making it.... And I want to encourage you to make your own!

First, think of what aspects of your lifestyle you want to organize. Here's a few of mine:

  • Gardening: for this I will plan out what I want to plant, how much to plant, when to plant and what materials I will need to have ready. Example: tomatoes, purchase plants, this year I will be making a temporary, mini greenhouse in my garden so I can plant them before the last frost date, supplies needed for green house will be plastic tubeing and clear plastic, coffee grounds for acidity, and tomato cages and cotton strips to tie plants if using poles. I will emphasize on this more when it comes time to plant!
  • Canning: I will be taking inventory of what I have leftover from last year and plan what I want to can this year. Such as salsa, beans, dilly beans, stuffed hot peppers, chicken, jams and fruit butters, pickles and grape juice. Its important to keep inventory of your canned goods so you dont end up with food sitting on the shelf out of date. Also you dont want to can up more than you are using. For example, I didnt can up grape juice last year because I canned up 56 quarts the year before! Our supply is now low, so this year I will be canning up some more. A friend introduced canning grape juice to me and I'm glad she did! It is so easy!! I'm sure we'll both be sharing later during harvest season!
  • Cleaning schedules: Now for this one, I dont mean your regular household cleaning! I'm talking about cleaning the chicken coop, decluttering your attic or storage spaces, cleaning the fridge and freezers, kitchen cupboards, closets, etc. I try to clean my fridge once a month, usually before I go and do my 'once a month shopping trip'. (I just recently restarted this way of shopping!). The attic will be done this spring and the coope gets monthly maintenance and a full cleaning in spring and fall. Maintenance on garden tools, wagons, mowers, wheelbarrows and other homestead tools, fall into this category as well. We use spray paint on wagons and tools tools to keep them from rusting. Also, applying oil in the fall to your gardening tools, will help them last longer. You can use vegetable oil for this.

  • Menu Plan: this is helpful with monthly shopping and keeps you from facing the 5:00 frenzy of what to cook!! I just look at the menu, get the meat out thawing or put ingredients in the crock pot!
  • Shopping Lists: I have a master copy of household supplies and groceries that we use and when making my shopping lists, I just look through the master list and check if we are out of something.
  • Favorite Meals: I also keep a list of our favorite meals so when making the menu plan, I just fill in everyone's favorites. Tacos are a main favorite in our family, so we have 'Taco Tuesday' on Tuesday's, and pizza every Saturday. That leaves 5 out of 7 days to plan meals.
I bought a 3 ring binder and plastic sleeves to hold all of my copies so that way they are all in one place. I also use a yearly planner to keep track of daily, weekly and monthly lists.

Its important when creating a binder, whether for homesteading or day to day life, that you make it to fit your lifestyle. I found it very frustrating and discouraging to print off someone else's plan and try to make my lifestyle fit into their blueprint. I'm not saying that you can't find someone else's plan helpful, just dont try to plan your life like someone else's. Organize your life around your lifestyle! Dont try to organize like a 'minimalist' if your a homesteader, cuz us homesteaders have a lot of 'junk', cuz ya never know when you might need it!! ;).

I hope you have found this helpful!
What will you be organizing this year, month, week?


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