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 Rid yourself of out-of-date warranty cards (update if necessary) and manuals.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.