Dear Granny –
Your home always looks so lovely. Neat, clean and orderly indoors and out.
My question is: How do you keep on top of all the various, diverse homestead tasks? Do you use calendars, or a series of calendars – or is it all just second nature after all this time?
My question is: I struggle with keeping on top of things here on just 12 acres with far fewer animals! Try as I may, I have yet to find a ‘system’ for staying on top of everything.
Thank you for the compliment.
Actually for the most part I don’t use any type of calendar system except for animal health matters and keeping a spray schedule. I note on a calendar when calves or lambs are due to be born and when worming or vaccinations or spraying needs to been done or repeated.
My “secret” for keeping ahead and on top on things is that I’m a full-time farm wife/housewife and I no longer have children at home.
My home and farm is my entire working life.
I don’t work outside of my home and I allow nothing else to get in the way of my own “home economics”.
I get up at 4:30 am most days and put in over 75+ hours every week – more during the summer. I work much harder for myself than I would work for someone else.
“By the inch life’s a cinch. By the yard life is hard.”
At the beginning of every new week I make a list of chores or projects that need to be accomplished that week.
I prioritize my list and try to be realistic about my energy level. What I don’t get finished in a week gets rolled over to the next week’s list. I work steady until my goals are completed.
I usually work 6 days a week and spend just about every morning of my life doing 4- 6 hours of routine or heavy housework with the balance of my day spent outdoors when the weather is good.
My days are spent cooking, sewing, gardening or engaged in some type of household or farm type maintenance – painting, mowing ,livestock health & care, minor carpentry repairs or another type of upkeep.
I keep two days of the week set aside for regular housecleaning and laundry.
Every week I try to save one day for errands away from home and for unexpected occurrences – a down cow, a flooded basement, a morning migraine headache or a visit by a home repairman.
Basically I try to give a cushion for the unforeseen and the unplanned.
I try to keep one day a week for myself to do whatever I like and one or two days a month are set aside for batch baking and cooking.
Time spent online is mostly confined to the wee morning hours before the sun comes up and when I break for lunch.
“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.” – Wendell Berry
Clutter is kept to a minimum inside and outside and I pick up and clean up as I go along – all day long. That means buckets, feed pans and bailing twine out of doors and dishes, coats and junk mail indoors.
Everything has a place.
I don’t allow myself the luxury of procrastination and never leave a day’s work incomplete unless I physically cannot continue without rest.
And if I run out of room or the clutter gets out of control – it’s a sign I have too much stuff – and I pitch it out or give it away.
Also I don’t ever watch TV . And I do mean never.
You will find HOURS of increased productivity if you will give up the TV habit.
I haven’t really regularly watched or owned a working television in over 20 years. And it’s not an exaggeration to say that without a television I became a free thinking and self-reliant person.
But that’s a whole other post of its own.
Don’t forget that you are only seeing selected snippets from my life.
You see what I want you to see and not the complete truth. I too have lots of homesteading frustrations.
Like the big junk pile that’s been waiting to be burned for the last 3 years or the paint cans piled up in my front entrance or what the dogs have done in the mudroom -again!