Posted in Daily Life, Frugality, Homekeeping, Homemaking, organization, Planning, Seasons, Time Management, traditions, tagged cleaning, Jennifer, unearthingthislife on January 8, 2013 |
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I’ll be reposting Jen’s wonderful series on monthly chores and tasks throughout the year. Here’s January, originally posted on January 7, 2011 by Unearthing This Life.
So many of us are working our way toward a more self-sufficient lifestyle. With that in mind we here at NDiN wanted to share some general guidelines of what to plan for on a monthly basis. Whether you’re a gardener, a beekeeper, a forager, or you keep animals, hopefully our monthly guides will help you plan ahead for the month. Depending on your exact climate you may find you need to adjust your schedule depending on your region.
Now that Winter is officially here most of us will be spending a lot more time indoors. For those in the more Southern regions, outdoor work is manageable on warmer days. It’s a good time to focus on the indoors, keeping warm, and getting a jump on this year’s activities.
- Take down and store holiday ornaments and decorations.
- Update your address book from holiday cards and gift envelopes if you’ve saved them.
- Clean out your files in preparation for tax time. Rid yourself of out-of-date warranty cards (update if necessary) and manuals. Schedule service appointments for extended warranties.
- Clean out dryer vents with a wire hanger and vacuum cleaner. Wash mesh filters with soap and a scrub brush to allow for better air flow.
- When finding new homes for holiday gifts, clean out unused items and donate those in great shape to your favorite charity.
- It’s also a great time to photograph your belongings, room by room, for insurance purposes.
- Start planning your spring garden. Look at gardening catalogs, websites, and blogs (like us!) to get ideas for what to do this year and when. Purchase seeds by March to guarantee delivery and stock.
- Research and prepare for any animal purchases for the year.
- Keep a tray of water and spray bottle near indoor plants to adjust humidity levels, especially if you have central air. Running the heater can dry them out quickly and cover leaves with dust.
- Keep fresh water available and free of ice for birds and wildlife.
- If you’ve already begun to put out birdseed continue to do so. They’re now relying on you as a food source.
- If you live in a climate with mild winters, this month may be a good time to dig new beds. You may also want to repair or build new composting bins to be prepared for this year’s cleanup.
- Keep driveways and walks free of snow and ice. Have shovels, plows, and salt/brine accessible and stocked.
- Early birthing will begin late next month for some of you. Make any preparations necessary to help mammas and babies along.
- Keep barns and other animal shelters clean to help prevent illness and discourage wild critters from nesting. Change hay often, keep tools cleaned up, and be sure to keep water free of ice.
- Put a light out for an extra two hours in the evening for your chickens. It will help keep their coop warm on colder evenings and promote more egg laying.
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Posted in clothing, Miscellaneous, organization, Purging, Recyling, tagged cleaning, giving, motivation, organization, recycling, secondhand, sorting on December 29, 2012 |
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Yesterday over on my personal blog I posted a photo of a beautiful old hand-painted wooden tray that came from my mom’s side of the family. I also commented on how I love to be surrounded by “stuff,” meaning things passed down from both sides of my family, or my husbands family. These things bring a smile to my face and I have good memories of them.
I also mentioned that there are times I am bothered by the clutter around me. Not the clutter of things from the past, but the clutter of projects that I am in the middle of or hoping finish soon, even dishes that need to be done.
Yesterday came and I had a bit of motivation in me, instead of working on a presentation I have coming up in January, I tackled an armoire in our bedroom. Ok, part of an armoire. I have more clothes than I could even need or use and it was time to chip away and decrease the piles. About 2 weeks ago, I took several boxes of clothes and other things over to a thrift store and it felt really really good. Today I managed to fill one trash bag full of clothes.
These clothes have a lot of life left in them and I need to let them get on with it. Live their life. Move on.
I know when I am met by a bit of motivation, I need to run with it. I get absolutely not where when I am not in the mood and I also know that I need to tackle things like this in small steps or it becomes too overwhelming and frustrating and then nothing gets done at all. So, I was in the mood, had a bit energy and got a lot done.
A laughed a bit, because as I went through the clothes, ever single piece was something that was handed down to me, things I didn’t spend a penny on and I don’t think I wore any of them. I hope someone else can get some better use out of them. They certainly aren’t doing anybody any good folded up in my armoire.
I still have way too many clothes, but it fells good to go through some of it and move it out. This journey continues.
What do you find is the best way for you to clean out a bit of stuff?
You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.
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Posted in Daily Life, tagged cleaning, letting go on July 20, 2011 |
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Mr Chiots and I were talking the other day and I said, “What did I ever do with all my time before I started blogging and gardening?”. Then I laughed and said, “I guess I kept the floors clean”. That is so true. I used to be crazy about having clean floors and a clean house. My floors were vacuumed and moped three times a week, the bathrooms cleaned several times a week, and a dirty dish rarely was seen in the kitchen. Then we started a business and our busy season happens to be in summer. Gardening came along next and naturally canning and preserving followed. Before I knew it, I had too much on my plate and there was no way I had the time to keep up with the thrice weekly floor cleaning. There’s simply no way to keep the counters clear when you have vats of pickles and sauerkraut fermenting that need tending. Summer’s bounty from the garden usually coveres half the table and I’m about to move all those tomatoes just to wipe the table down every night. The floors can get pretty dirty with all those trips in and out and with three pets living inside.
At first it really aggravated me when the house was messy and I would stay up late and use every spare minute to try to keep up with it. Then I decided to give myself a break. I noticed that the more leeway I gave myself the less it bothered when the house got a little cluttered. I must admit, I almost appreciate some clutter now as I feel it makes my house looked lived in. I also feel like it helps visitors feel comfortable knowing that I didn’t spend hours cleaning before their visit. That being said I can only let it go so far before it needs cleaning up. The bathrooms still get cleaned once a week and the kitchen gets tidied up almost every night, though not scrubbed to sparkling. The floors however can go two weeks *gasp* between cleanings now and it doesn’t even bother me. The dust bunnies will hold a convention at the end of the hall and it doesn’t phase me when I walk by. Now that I allow myself to let a few things go, I can breathe easier in the summer. I would much rather spent my precious spare time going for a stroll at sunset than inside mopping the floors.
What’s the first thing to do when you get busy?
I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, maple sugaring, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Ethel Gloves, Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op, and you can follow me on Twitter.
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Since the REAL Food Challenge was such a success and we had a lot of interest in other areas of REAL, we decided that each month we’d spend some time focusing on one area. This month we’ll all be talking about REAL clean. Healthy, natural, non-toxic, or homemade alternatives to the things you use to clean your house, your pets, your kids and yourselves.
Here at Chiot’s Run we started detoxing our cleaning products many years ago and our personal care products a few years ago. For cleaning I’ve always used vinegar, baking soda, Dr. Bronner – Sal-Suds and some of my own cleaners.
I started thinking about the ingredients in personal care products when I was on a patch medication. I would apply a tiny patch to my hip once a week and enough medication would be absorbed through my skin throughout the week so I didn’t have to take a pill every day. That got me thinking about all the soaps and lotions that we slathered on our skin each day and how we absorb all those chemicals through our skin! I read The Green Beauty Guide: Your Essential Resource to Organic and Natural Skin Care, Hair Care, Makeup, and Fragrances and was appalled by the things I learned about all of the ingredients in personal care products. We threw away all of the products we were using and started to search out products made from organic non-toxic ingredients. If I won’t eat it, I wouldn’t put it on my skin! This area is kind of a minefield though as there aren’t really any regulations to govern the labels. You’ll find things labeled “organic”,”non-toxic” or “all-natural” that really aren’t. Some “all-natural” ingredients like mineral oil are anything but safe!
After trying all kinds of products we’ve finally settled on a few that we love. I’ll be talking about my favorite personal care products next week and I’ll do a post about my homemade cleaning products later this month as well. We’ll be doing a giveaway for some Tropical Traditions Lotion and Deodorant as part of our REAL clean month as well, so check back for those.
What are some thing you’d like to hear about during the REAL clean challenge?
Resources for the REAL Clean Challenge: I’ll be adding more links throughout the month for specific products and links with great information & recipes.
Books with Recipes for Homemade Personal Care Products:
This is my favorite little home cleaning book:
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