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Organizing and decluttering the homestead

Discussion in 'Everything Else Homestead Living' started by Beekissed, May 29, 2017.

  1. May 29, 2017
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Thought I'd start a dedicated thread to the practice of making homesteading life easier through decluttering, organizing and generally keeping things on the homestead where you can use them and find them easily.

    In today's world it's become common place for people to joke about being a hoarder, but it's not really funny at all~massive and overall hoarding and the clutter that ensues from it is a drain on one's resources in many ways~financially, emotionally, and physically. If you can't find something and really need to use it, folks often go out and buy another one...it's just not good sense to have several of the same item mounting up over the years and you can't find any of them.

    Emotionally it's stressful to have a growing lack of space to store things, being unable to find things when you need them and to have to look a the chaos every time you go into that space. It gets overwhelming and people often become depressed over it. Homesteading is hard work but it gets much, much harder when you can't even find your tools.

    That stress can affect one physically, not to mention the danger of having to dig through clutter to find something and getting injured when things fall, when a snake bites you, when you get cut or punctured by something you didn't know was there when you reached in your hand.

    Feel free to post here about your organizational efforts on the homestead, whether it be in the outside realm or the inside, in pantries and cupboards. It's all our work zone and that needs to be efficient and organized to get the work done properly. It's incredible how much time is lost in a day while one is trying to locate a certain tool or material to complete a job. Not funny and that all adds up over the year to a lot of wasted time and stress.

    I'm a fan of ergonomics and have found that paying attention to the ergonomics on a place can make your life much, much easier and anyone having to replace you on any given day and do your chores finds it much easier also.


    Ergonomics~
    At its simplest definition ergonomics, it literally means the science of work. So ergonomists, i.e. the practitioners of ergonomics, study work, how work is done and how to work better.

    It is the attempt to make work better that ergonomics becomes so useful. And that is also where making things comfortable and efficient comes into play.
     
    DebLewis and tortoise like this.
  2. May 29, 2017
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Since today is the day I'm decluttering and organizing the shed, I'll post on it! I'll post pics of before and after later on and hope to do that to this thread throughout the year when we complete something similar to this. I LOVE before and after pics!

    Today is a GREAT work day! :weee A little soppy underfoot from all the rains but still a day to get things done. Today we are cleaning out the shed, a yearly undertaking to attempt decluttering and organization on the homestead. This year is less involved than the last and the last was less involved than the year before that. My big goal for this building is that the yearly cleaning just involves sweeping and wiping the dust off of things, while everything else is still in its place and there's a place for everything. That's the grand plan! :thumbsup

    Since this year's cleaning out won't take all day long like previous years, I'd like to work on the tools we have around the place a little. I'd like to clean them, put blaze orange tape on the handles for ease of finding them, and also scheduling them for sharpening. I'd like to put a good edge on them all, so that any given time they are needed, they are sharp and ready to go.

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE clean out day!!! :celebrate There's just something about taking things that are cluttered, dirty, rough and nasty and turning them into something clean, smooth, and neatly placed that gives my soul a deep satisfaction. I also love it when Mom and I~and sometimes my kids get in on it~work together as a team all day....usually she and I are working on separate things all day and rarely together.

    The great thing about working with my mother as my work partner is that she and I are equally yoked. We think alike on how things should be done, how they should look, how hard we should work on it and what our goals are. That's priceless! :love
     
  3. May 29, 2017
    tortoise

    tortoise Wild Hare

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    I love this topic! We bought a farm 3 years ago and lots of junk came with. Some has been good and useful, but most of it not. We have a HUGE dumpster this week and are clearing out all the junk. We filled it in just a couple days. Most of the contents came with the farm. I look at it and think "no wonder I felt so stuck/helpless/unable to clean up" because most of the objects were too big to dispose of in household trash.

    It's going to feel good when it's hauled away!
     
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  4. May 29, 2017
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Like you've lost a whole body off your frame, I tell ya! :woot The first few times I did this at other homes, I couldn't believe how freeing it felt. Then I started to wonder why in the world I had waited so long to do that?

    Then I did another big major clean out at another home and had a 3 day yard sale at killer cheap prices. STILL didn't sell it all, a family came with a flat bed trailer and took several trips to remove it all and I gave them that for free. I felt like I had made a million bucks, though I only cleared $1200 on the sale.

    After that, I kind of became addicted to the feeling I got when all that stuff left my property. :D
     
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  5. May 30, 2017
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Well...today's clean out wasn't NEAR as extensive as previous years. Each year we whittle away at the stuff more and more and this year was no different. I just keep going back up there to the shed and walking into the neatness of it all...it looks and feels so good!!! :weee :celebrate I can FIND stuff! :ya

    Before...

    101_0533.JPG

    101_0535.JPG

    After pulling all the junk outside to sort, clean and eliminate...

    101_0539.JPG 101_0537.JPG

    Piles of it!

    101_0541.JPG

    Uncovered Grandma's old copper kettle :love

    101_0542.JPG

    Put together a tall shelving unit...easiest assembly I've ever done on a shelf, took all of 5 min. and a mallet to do it. These things are sturdy, tough as nails and very affordable...lasts for years without any sign of wear or breakdown.

    101_0544.JPG 101_0547.JPG

    One cart load already hauled to the temporary "farm" dump site, which is cleaned up later and taken to the dump in the fall. Takes a good bit of time to accumulate enough stuff to warrant a trip to the dump but we've about reached it.

    This cart is stuff to take to Good Will....

    101_0557.JPG

    To be cont......
     
  6. May 30, 2017
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    When you start sorting and cleaning and find just how many buckets you actually own.... :th And these are only the buckets we store in the shed...we've got 4-5 smaller water and feed buckets down at the house.

    101_0556.JPG

    Created a handy storage for bucket lids out of an old apple basket that's too old and fragile for anything else...

    101_0555.JPG

    After....

    101_0548.JPG

    I was pleased to find I had a whole shelf of space for things later on when I bring my canning stuff back up to the shed for the season.
    101_0549.JPG
    101_0553.JPG

    101_0550.JPG

    Found full wren's nests in those tool totes! :D Had to empty those tubs all out, clean them and replace the tools.
    101_0551.JPG
    .....and done!!! Putting my hands on everything in there refreshes my memory of where I put things. The blaze orange you see all over the boxes and tubs are duct tape labels where I wrote the contents of each container. This helps Mom and also me when we are searching for smaller items.

    Now...the cabinets on the back side of the shed, where we keep hardware of all kinds, are in need of cleaning, sorting and storing where we can see at a glance where all that different hardware is and be able to access it. Last year we meant to do it but forgot to. That is a fiddly, tedious job of sorting through various boxes, jars, bags, etc. to find the different screws, nails, staples, clamps, washers, etc. and putting them into proper storage.

    For now I'm just tickled pink about getting this job done, as the rest of the work year hinges on it....finding tools throughout the year for various jobs will now be a breeze, as will keeping them organized and replacing them in their proper place.

    I thank God for this beautiful day we had, for good help and for the strength to get this all done...couldn't have done it without His helping me get through it! :love
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
  7. May 30, 2017
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Congrats - looks great!
     
  8. May 30, 2017
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

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    Job well done! It looks really neat in there now.
     
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  9. May 30, 2017
    tortoise

    tortoise Wild Hare

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    @Beekissed your photos are inspiring! I think I can do a bit more decluttering and clearing out over here now after looking at your pictures
     
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  10. Jun 12, 2017
    lcertuche

    lcertuche Almost Self-Reliant

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    It's been over a year since we moved here so things have gradually got cluttered. It's funny how you don't notice until like having your pastor carry you son in with a broken leg to the bed and you suddenly realize the mess. Oh well, water under the bridge. I started with my bathroom this morning and I'm going to work all the way around the house until each room is decluttered. I'm expecting to find all the tools and other stuff that has just disappeared in the last year. Bee you are right about the stress. Every spring I clean out the clutter but it's amazing how much accumulates.
     

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