Calendars and Charts, Gettin' Those Ducks in a Row

My All-In-One Planner

Every December, one of my favorite gifts is my shiny new planner. Yes, I said every… I always manage to con one of my gift givers into making that their Christmas gift to me because I love my planners so much. I have never been much of a phone calendar person-yes the alerts are nice but I like to have something I can open and see all at once, easily flipping back and forth between months or weeks.

I spend my winter December evenings, filling the pages with birthdays, upcoming events, work days, etc. Then I start filling in my book list and movie release dates. Last, but not least, I list my monthly homesteading tasks – my favorite part.

Before the first of each month I take out my planner and make sure everything is down that needs to be. Of course life happens and things get added and whited out, but this way I easily remember all the things that need to be done in my homestead life, work life and social life.

One thing I try to do, is to have a different color pen for each category of life. Because I didn’t start this year off thinking of our homestead as anything different than a baby hobby farm, all my homesteading activities are in light green pen, which is my social life color! I still don’t find any farm chores to be “work” so it still fits.

Dark navy is my work color, royal blue is for appointments, purple is for my list of books I’d like to read and turquoise is for the movies coming out that my husband and I would love to see. I utilize stickers as well for important events, our pets’ heart worm medication and pay day.

After I’m done filling out the dates of my calendar, tasks that have no specific dates yet go into the “Notes” section. This is also where I put the list of movies and books as they have no specific dates assigned to them either. Just whenever I get to them!

For the  weekly view in my planner, I have half hour time slots and a column for a list. Very few things go into the time slots as life on the homestead is not that structured. However, my work day hours can, as well as any special events like weddings. And I’m really OK with this arrangement… it makes me feel like I have more free time!

My system is by no means perfect, since we just officially started this homesteading adventure, but it works and helps tremendously. I’m sure as the months go on and the years pass I will tweak it here and there. Regardless, putting everything down in one place helps me simplify my life and remove unnecessary stress.

*Would you all like to see what my planner looks like each month? Let me know in the comments!*

Calendars and Charts, Gettin' Those Ducks in a Row

Chore Duty

In our home, I do the laundry and my husband does the dishes. It works well for us because dishes are my least favorite chore and he hates folding laundry. Don’t get me wrong, we still jump in and help one another or do the chore for the other from time to time, but this arrangement makes us both very happy.

As we got to learn one another more, it became clear what we did and did not like to do. Thus we were able to separate the chores naturally and without a fuss. My husband does all things dishes, though I do jump in and do them myself when need be. I do all things laundry, but he also jumps in when necessary.

He has always taken care of the yard, mostly because he chose a hand push mower when we lived in Colorado. However, now that we live out in the country I truly enjoy helping with the majority of the outside chores. The only outside job he dislikes? Planting. And I do not mind taking care of that for the both of us. So on and so forth our list goes.

However, there are various other methods of splitting chores, two of which I’ve read in books. One of my favorite books on organization is A Simplified Life by Emily Ley. In it, she discusses that she and her husband used a sticky note method to divy up the chores.

With this method, Emily and her husband wrote down all the household chores on individual sticky notes and laid them out on the coffee table. Each of them took turns taking one sticky note until all the notes were gone. Quite effective if you and your spouse both dislike several of the same chores.

One method I really like, and one that I will probably employ when we have children, I read of in the Do It Yourself Homestead. Instead of having specific chores assigned to specific children, she has a “kid of the day.” She has a list of daily chores and the kid of the given day gets to choose what chores they’d like to do first. Then the other children get to split the rest among themselves.

I love this because each child will know how to perform each task, but won’t get burnt out on one chore. It also makes chores fun for the child who gets to pick their favorite for the day. This could also be utilized for adults too. For instance, if a chore list is pre-made and the adults rotate through who gets to pick theirs first each day.

I’ve found, especially in new marriages or relationships, that no one wants to open up and admit they’d love to absolutely refuse a specific chore. My husband, for instance, is often guilty of not wanting to burden me more or hurt my feelings. Other times, people are passive aggressive about what they don’t enjoy or about how much they actually want people to help (not healthy for any relationship).

Our chore split happened organically. I love the way it happened, though I love these other ideas too. I highly recommend simply taking the time to pay attention to what your partner seems to avoid doing. Then sit down and talk with them about it. However, if you are not particularly perceptive, just have a discussion on the topic and employ one of the above methods. It will save a lot of headaches and arguments in the long run. Trust me.