Usually, when winter comes around, it’s a period of rest. You’ve spent all summer harvesting the crap out of your beautiful garden and preserving it, now do you get to relax? Wishful thinking! Here are 7 homesteading jobs for winter.
Clear Out The Clutter
Chances are, the weather is rubbish and you’re stuck inside anyway. Make the most of it and use this time to go through your clutter and clear out the stuff you’ve been meaning to get rid of. Furniture, pieces of paper, books…once you get started, you’ll suddenly feel like you may be a little bit of a pack rat. It can be empowering to take control of your space, and even more so when you stand back and look at the Pinterest-Worthy house you’ve just created.
When we started going through our clutter, we were a bit shocked. There was furniture we weren’t even using (goodbye bassinet/paper clutter storage!), books we had been given that we had no intention of reading and even pens that had that last little bit of ink left but weren’t quite finished yet. It was a bit embarrassing actually. It was when we actually managed to get cash for a lot of these (ok, so no one wants the pens…) that we got more motivated to continue with our clutter clearing.
Finish those projects
I am a shocker for starting projects and not finishing them. I have so many arts and crafts hobbies and at least one project on the go for every single one of them. That also means that every single one of them is taking up valuable space. Now that our house planning is starting to veer back towards tiny house living (yeah yeah, I know, I have to eat these words…), we’re more conscious than ever about the amount of stuff that we have.
Already, my to do list has been bumped up to finishing:
- Sewing cloth pads for a customer
- Finishing a cross stitch that I started when I was pregnant with little dude…more than two years ago…
- Binding and covering leather books I’ve started for a customer
- Knitting a hot water bottle cover for my daughter
- Finishing a dress that I started before I found out I was pregnant…the first time…
- Crocheting the last of the dish scrubbers
- Sewing the bunting that I made for a community group that I’m in
- Sewing a pair of upcycled overalls that I’m making for a friends birthday
- Finishing three quilts. Yeah. Three.
My list is actually longer than that. That’s all of the projects that I have sitting next to my desk saying FREAKING FINISH ME WOMAN. It can be a bit overwhelming, so pick one and focus on finishing that before you look at the rest of your pile. You’ll be stunned once you realise how much space you’ve got once all of these are done.
Sort Out Your Paperwork
I’m a pretty organised person. I take notes and research so many topics at once. Right now, I have journals for researching homesteading projects, the house build, healthy eating, parenting…you get the idea. The problem is, I don’t always have those journals on me. Or sometimes they run out. Then I write on a piece of paper, that paper gets added to a pile…it snowballs pretty fast.
Start by sorting that pile into little piles. Then you can decide what you’re keeping, filing, or throwing in the recycling/using as fire starter paper. I actually managed to use a chunk of mine to make seed starting pots!
Sort out your filing system
This one can be such a big job that I thought it needed a heading of its own. I used to have a wonderfully organised filer (yes, I’m pretty organised…most of the time). Then life and children happened and rather than filing everything under its tidy headings, I started just shoving things in and saying “I’ll do it later”. Then the filer became such a disaster zone that I just chucked everything in there and waiting for future me to deal with it. Well, the future is here honey, and now I’ve got an accountants nightmare to deal with.
Do yourself a favour. Sort it out now, give yourself pretty sections, and stick to it. Or you know, let it become a disaster and deal with it again next Winter. Your call!
Plan for the next year
This one can actually be pretty fun. Get out your planning journal and start brainstorming all of the things you want to achieve over the next year. What seeds do you want to sow? What animals are you going to be breeding? Are there any festivals you want to get to? Write specific dates into your diary or on a calendar.
Don’t forget about your infrastructure. Are there fences that are in desperate need of repairing? An extension to the chicken coop that needs to be done before you expand your flock? Put that pencil to good use. Get scheming!
When this is all done? Put your journal back where it came from 😉
Fill that freezer!
I’m in love with meal planning and freezer meals. I started off with my freezer filling addiction back before I had my son. We needed to have meals that I could just chuck in the oven with minimal effort on those nights that I didn’t have energy. Before we knew it, we had continued the habit!
Buy meat on special, have all of your recipes prioritised and sort out ingredients before you get started. Have a day that you’re just going to go nuts and cook your heart out. Wear comfortable shoes and an apron (you’ll thank me later). Then? Cook, cook, cook!
Alternatively, if you aren’t able to have a day dedicated to cooking (with two under two, its a dream unfulfilled right now…) you can try doubling your meals and popping half in the freezer. Soup for two? Make it for four, and freeze the other half. Baking a loaf of bread? Bake two, in the freezer it goes.
Catch up with friends
When you’re a homesteader, sometimes it can be a long time between visiting friends because you get so busy. Take advantage of the miserable weather and invite a friend over for that cup of tea you’ve been putting off. Stoke the fire and invite someone over to help with your Fill-The-Freezer day. Thank them by going over to theirs to do the same!
I find that I can get pretty isolated when I’m in the middle of a busy season and as much as I love Mr Zed, Mama’s just gotta get some time away. Chances are, your friends are feeling the same way.
Don’t have friends? (Don’t laugh! It happens quicker than you think) Go to that co-op lunch that you saw online. Nothing going on right now? Pop a post up on social media saying you’re going to be at a cafe at a certain time and if anyone wants to come and talk about the bowel movements of cows or the viability of planting certain seeds in your area, they are more than welcome.
If you can’t find a community, make one!
Winter can be a time of rest. It can, however, be a time to catch up on those jobs you’ve been putting off. Keep yourself busy this winter and make the rest of the year just that little bit easier for yourself.