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Use These 11 Strategies to Organize the Homestead

Use These 11 Strategies to Help You Organize the Homestead

Despite my struggles with finding simplicity and joy on the homestead before, I know deep down the simple life can be exactly that… simple. I’ve tasted of the beauty, reward, and joy that comes out of working willingly with your hands. I know it can be recaptured and enjoyed again if I use the tools I’ve created and these strategies to help organize the homestead. They can help me staunch the flow of chaos and mud and mess and “mud” found on the homestead and in life.

Sometimes though we need reminders of things that we already know perfectly well. Over the years, I’ve been a homemaker and now a homesteader. I’ve discovered that with a bit of forethought and planning we can organize the homestead so our work can more easily be managed. Our days more fruitful!

This year, I’ve realized just how much I need those homestead management tools to run this home and farm. How frustrating it has been to always be scrambling and never able to keep up! I’m eagerly looking forward to hitting the reset button so to speak in the new year, but always keeping in the front of my mind that…

For without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5

Here are 11 strategies to organize the homestead I’ve learned will make finding simplicity on the homestead and in the home achievable. I hope you’ll find that to be the case too!

'Cause life doesn't have to be chaotic and out of control-Use These 11 Strategies to Help You Organize the Homestead

11 Strategies to Organize the Homestead

{A Good Tomorrow Begins Tonight}

Did you inspect everything you asked the children to do? Did you remember to defrost meat for tomorrow’s dinner? Do you need to transfer anything from today’s list to tomorrows or will it just have to wait until the next time on the schedule? Make outlining tomorrow’s list part of tonight’s bedtime ritual…

{First Things, First}

I have found it incredibly helpful to look over tomorrow’s To-Do List today and then number each item according to priority. When doing so, my tendency is to want to get all of the small jobs, easy jobs, or fun jobs knocked out first. The problem with that is the large, and often more needful, work is left undone at the end of the day. (Especially if the To-Do List was overly ambitious in the first place. ) Prioritizing the To-Do List with the big, important, and often dirty jobs getting done in the early part of the day allows you to spend the rest of the day doing your work with the satisfaction of knowing they’re behind you. You can look forward to the rest of the day instead of dreading it and making excuses why you weren’t able to get to done.

Use These 11 Strategies to Help You Organize the Homestead

{The Early Bird}

I’ll admit, I don’t always rise early. It’s especially difficult for me in the winter when the bed is warm and the air is cold and I should be up hours before the sun. And it’s doubly difficult when my favorite moments of the day include fuzzy-headed, stinky-breathed little people. I often deliberately sabotage my morning in order to make these precious memories, but I’ve learned that when I do rise early, my days go more smoothly, with greater efficiency and productivity. A good morning is key to accomplishment!

Whatever you do, do NOT start it out on the internet. You have no control over what you’ll find needs your attention in the inbox or on Facebook and it is SO easy to get sucked in and shoot your day in the foot! When I fail to heed my own advice in this regard I can easily lose an hour of my morning. And usually, when I check again during nap time, it turns out that I really didn’t miss anything. Instead, start your work day by reviewing the to-do list. Make some mental timelines and goals to get them done… and then get cracking!

{Time Yourself}

One way to prevent dawdling with tasks is to make a goal to finish a job in a set period of time. We’ve used a method of playing “Beat The Clock” for timing ourselves that I love! Mostly used during at dishes time, we can have them done in 15-20 minutes or so. And that’s hand washing them for our family of 10! It is such a relief to have a clean kitchen done and out of the way so we can enjoy the rest of our evening! Same goes for a busy schedule!

Organizing Your Homestead

{What’s For Dinner?}

It is incredibly helpful to always have dinnertime plans swirling around in your head. Especially if you’ve determined to feed your family food prepared from scratch. To lack a plan for food, an un-stocked pantry, or frozen meat, you’re just asking for trouble! (And the expense of unhealthy take-out!)

{Every Day Has It’s Work}

For years now I have assigned each day of the week a task. Friday is bathrooms & windows. Thursday is ironing. Wednesday is mopping. And so on. I still need to add the daily task to my list, and remember to prioritize it at the top. I’ve learned all too well that though I know what I’m to do, if it’s not on the list I sweep it under the rug. I admire those who can clean their house one day each week and keep it clean! For some reason we can only manage a couple hours at a stretch before it looks like a war zone again. If you have the same problem, try giving every day its own work! The best reason to assign every day it’s own work is because….

Use These 11 Strategies to Help You Organize the Homestead

{It’s Easier to Clean a Clean House}

Let’s face it, there will be days where you don’t get to your work for whatever reason. It is much easier to go back and clean when you did it a couple of days ago. (Maybe weeks or months depending on what job we’re talking about.) Once you’ve made it easier to clean the house by keeping it clean, you’ll work through high priority items on your list more quickly and move on to the fun stuff!

{Many Hands Make Light Work}

Whether you take a “Divide & Conquer” approach or have everyone work together to get things done, the work goes so much more quickly and cheerfully if you know you are working as a team instead of feeling like a slave to everyone else! We used to do the former when it came to tidying up rooms, lately I’ve had everyone working together. We all seem to agree that it goes way more quickly and pleasantly for us! Gather everyone together and get done and move on with your day!

Use These 11 Strategies to Help You Organize the Homestead

{Keep Homestead Records}

I’m the type of person (and if you’ve read this far, you probably are too) that needs schedules, routines, lists, and spreadsheets to organize the homestead and be the most productive I can be. There are many reasons to keep homestead records. I feel a sense of accomplishment when looking at a list and seeing all the things checked off. I have found my Homemaking Binder System incredibly effective at organizing my work IF I remember to use it! I’ve adapted this system for my homestead and have made the sheets available so you can effectively manage your homestead too!

{Let It Go}

The junk that is. Try Decluttering… it’s addictive. I don’t know about you, but decluttering is a big one. I can’t see through the mess to get anything done! Messiness and piles of junk are frustrating and when it’s cleared away, I feel like I can breathe again. Whether that’s in the kitchen, basement, shed, or barn, throw out old junk that hasn’t been used in a while. Especially when you see no foreseeable use in the future. Garage sale or scrap yard profits are a great incentive to declutter.

Use These 11 Strategies to Help You Organize the Homestead

{Do Simple Things}

Leave time for the truly important things not on your list. Reading a book aloud to the children, have a conversation, or watch the sunrise or set. Listen to the birds, watch your chickens search for food, or the cattle ruminate. These rewards will make you work more diligently to be organized & productive so you can find the time for the simple pleasures in this life!

Are you naturally a more organized or disorganized person? What are your best tip to organize the homestead? 

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12 Comments

  1. but in the few instances I’ve had everyone working together recently, we all seem to agree that it goes way more quickly and pleasantly for us! Gather everyone together and get done and move on with your day! AND you’re teaching your children valuable skills..such as working as a team and that they’re being held responsible for something. My daughter and I clean homes for a living and we have so many clients who’s children’s rooms are absolutely terrible…old food and plates beside the bed…cups and garbage everywhere….I think (and this is my opinion only) that those children will grow up with a sense of entitlement because “someone” always cleaned up after them. Besides it’s fun to work together and have the house sparkling and then be able to go to the beach or the park…..a reward for all that hard work.

    1. I agree! Sometimes the circumstances warrant splitting up, but we all enjoy working together much more than solo. 🙂

  2. I am naturally a VERY organized person. However, since we moved from the city to our farm seven months ago I can’t seem to get it together. Too much of a change I guess. I’m sure I’ll get there some day. Homeschooling takes up such a big chunk of the day. The computer is definitely a time guzzler, even when it is helpful…like your post 🙂

  3. What a wonderful post Quinn, so thoughtful and true. When we get a place that is bigger than this studio, then I should really start assigning different tasks to different days.

  4. This was great advice, thank you! With all there is to do on a homestead, where do you find the time to homeschool your children? I’m having that dilemna right now. I fit it in where I can but also there is alot of learning involved in the chores but sometimes I feel I need to fit in some more structured “school time”. Help!

    1. Oh, all the thoughts I had to answer this question!! I’ve a list… might as well turn it into a post so stay tuned! 🙂 I actually was doing things one way that was working real well until this year and have a new plan for next year.

      1. I can’t wait to read that post. I am struggling with finding time to do school with all of our other farm duties. My oldest reads everything in sight, but the others need mama more for learning and I’m not doing a great job at that. Hope you write up that post soon! Love all of your ideas and will try to put some to use.

  5. Hi Quinn! Thanks so much for sharing all this. I’ve found that, for me, things start to spiral out of control quickly if I don’t stick to my routines, especially prepping for the next day after the kids are asleep! I have a hard time keeping up lately with 3 very young kids and I wondered how you manage, especially when you have a newborn in the mix? Any thoughts you’re willing to share are much appreciated. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
    -Jaime

    1. Well having a newborn always throws a cog in the wheel and I’ve learned to just be ok with that. My baby will be 1 in a few more days though so I should have recovered by now! I think the combo of the move and baby in the same year was a bad one, then Bill threw a job change and starting up the micro-dairy in the mix. Agh! Normally though, when the new baby is about 3 months old or so (depending on how needy they are), I start looking at the ebb & flow of the day and seeing if we can work back into our old routines of if we need to reevaluate and go in a new direction. I feel for you trying to do it with 3 littles. It’s a rough season you’re in! But it will pass- and quickly too. They can only increase in their helpfulness so that’s something to look forward to. Prepping for the next day is very, very wise and beneficial to things going well! Be not weary in your well doing mama! In due season you shall REAP! Blessings, Quinn