9 Lists You Need for Homestead Organization
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Organization is important on the homestead, and if you’re anything like me, it helps to write things down. Here are 9 lists I keep to help with my homestead organization
(Don’t want to read all the words? This blog post is also a podcast—just press the triangle play button on the little black bar at the top of this post!)
Note: You’ll find I haven’t created these lists for you—I don’t have anything for you to download and fill in. The reason why is that everyone’s set up is different and the way I keep track of things might not be the way that works for you. If you’re absolutely in love with the idea of me creating a set of lists for you to fill in, email me at [email protected] If I get enough requests, I’ll pull up a chair to the computer and design something awesome. Otherwise, just take a gander at the very much pen and paper examples of what I use in my own home.
Homestead organization list #1: what’s happening this week/month/season?
While it can be easy to look at a calendar and know what’s happening this week, it’s good to sit down and connect with your family about what’s going on longer term. It is good to figure out what needs to be done at what point, and then work backwards to figure out when you need to start those projects!
Is this the month you have to butcher the chickens? Move the wood pile? Clean the back of the barn to get ready for a new animal? Go through your pantry and figure out a new way to organize it? Maybe this is the season to watch the grapes and find that perfect moment when they’re ripe but before the yellow jackets attack.
It’s hard to have all hands on deck when not everyone knows their hands are needed. It is so helpful to sit down with family members and make a “what’s happening” list so everyone is on the same page.
Homestead organization list #2 – what you need to remember for next year
This is a list you make this year (as the year progresses) to help remember things you will need for next year. I usually keep this list in my farm journal.
Did you end this gardening season realizing you need new tomato cages? More tomato cages? Do you need to replace the solar fencer? Do you need to start your seeds earlier? Later? Did the netting around the main garden get a huge rip in it after the last storm of the year? Do you need to fix the floor in the back chicken coop before you can put birds in there again next spring?
It’s no fun to be standing in the garden next year and realize oh, that’s right. We were gonna… This list is very helpful to compile all the things for next year’s homestead so you won’t be behind.
Homestead list #3 – future plans/goals
This is the long term list of things that will take more time, money, or require that something in your life changes. You may know you want to add a porch to the front of your house, but it may need to wait until your old windows are replaced and paid for. You may know that you want to build a bigger chicken coop, but that might need to wait until you fence off the back pasture.
This list is for things that will take more budgeting, planning, time, and/or muscle. And it will keep your homestead more organized if you write these things down!
Homestead list #4 – costs associated with what you’re raising/growing
Sometimes people make this list because they plan to sell what they raise or grow, and want to know they’re charging enough to make a profit.
But even if you don’t plan to sell what you raise or grow, there are two reasons you should still keep this type of homestead organization list. First, it helps you know if it’s a cost efficient adventure for you, or if you need to change something up regarding your feed, etc. But secondly, people who are interested in homesteading and raising/growing their own food will often ask you about your costs when they’re in their research phase. If you don’t keep track of your homesteading stats, your answers won’t be as helpful to them.
Homestead list #5 – what’s in the freezer?
It’s very important that you keep track of what food you have. We have several freezers on our farm, and a few times a year I go through all of them and tally up what we’ve got in them. Each freezer has its own section on the paper, detailing the kinds of items that are in that freezer as well as the number of those items. 5 packages of breakfast sausage, 4 packages of ribs, 14 whole chickens, etc.
I keep this list on our fridge. When you take something out of any of our freezers, it is your job to mark off what you’ve taken out. If you bring up sausage for breakfast, you’d better change that 5 packages to 4 packages.
The what’s in the freezer list is helpful to know what food we’ve got on the farm. It is helpful for figuring out meals, and also for planning for next year’s garden and barns. (You can also make this list a “what’s in our pantry” list!)
Homestead list #6 – master grocery shopping list
You’re thinking, “grocery list, Amy? Duh.” No. What I’m talking about here is a master list of items you usually purchase, laid out in order of how you shop at your grocery store.
This list also lives on our fridge. When the gallon of milk is getting dangerously low or you use the last of the peanut butter, it is your responsibility to circle that item on the list. Then whoever heads to the store next grabs that list and knows what is needed. Bonus: it shouldn’t take as long to shop because the list is in order of how the store is set up. You won’t have to go back and forth across the aisles looking for items.
Be a winner at homestead organization. Make this list on your computer, print several copies, and stick them in a binder clip magnet on your fridge. Print more when you run out.
Homestead list #7 – What’s for dinner
When you know what’s for dinner, you don’t have the 4:30 pm what am I going to feed my family panic.
And if you’re a homesteader, let’s be real—most of the stuff you’re dealing with is ingredients. Or it’s frozen. And yes, I know we have instant pots. And we have meal prep. But you have to be organized to make use of those—which requires a list.
Menu planning can be a pain—especially as a homesteader—but it’s so helpful, y’all. Write it down, friends. Plan it out.
Homestead list #8 – Important numbers for contact information
Do you know your neighbor’s phone number? How about the feed store? What about the vet?
And I get it, those numbers are probably stored in your smartphone somewhere. Or if you need them, you will just Google it. But friends, sometimes technology fails. Write. these. numbers. down. somewhere. and. post. them.
Homestead list #9 – How to run your homestead
You may find yourself in a situation where you can’t get home, or you have to be gone unexpectedly. If you have to call your neighbors or a friend to feed your chickens and goats, will they know what to do?
It is helpful to make a list the details how to do chores (or other related things on your homestead) and it’s better to make this list before you need it. If you’re gone from the farm because of a stressful situation, you do not want to have to quickly figure out what you need to tell Neighbor Joe or Friend Susie about your chickens, pigs, and goats.
Write down the details about your farm—when do your animals eat, where do they eat, where is the feed, etc—and post it in the barn.
Homestead organization helps you
It helps to write stuff down. Keep track of items and plan things out with these 9 lists, and you’ll be on your way to great homestead organization!
Links mentioned in episode 78: