We are about halfway done with winter in our area and I am taking some time to look over our “to-do” list of winter projects and evaluate what has been done, what has been added, what has been taken off, etc. We have learned over the years, when buying fixer-uppers, that the first two years the goals and projects are constantly shifting as the tyranny of the urgent is in play. We are in our tenth month at the new house and farm and that fact couldn’t be more true! We bought a MAJOR fixer-upper this time and the plumbing leaks and other such urgent things have had us running since day-1.
Our main project focus lately has been building the new coop for the chicks. We are under a time constraint with that one because the chicks are growing fast and wont fit in the brooder for much longer. However, the tyranny of the urgent reared its head at the end of last week and we spent the weekend installing new flooring in the kitchen and putting in the new refrigerator. On top of that, on Saturday, six tiles fell off the wall in the master shower. Guess the shower just jumped up the list! It was quite surprising to get the new kitchen floor and refrigerator so soon – but I am so excited about it and really like them both. The floor used to be carpet (I don’t understand why people put carpet in kitchens or bathrooms!?). It will be so much easier to clean now!
I am so blessed to have a husband that is excellent at construction projects of any kind and can take care of these things for us. If I didn’t, I sure wouldn’t buy a fixer-upper!
So as I look at the rest of winter and the projects I was hoping to complete I am realizing that some of the more “ascetic” type projects are just going to have to wait until next year (at least) and we really need to focus on preparing the farm to produce plenty of food for us this year. And I also need to finish a few indoor projects that I just wont have time for when nice weather hits.
So here is the
subject to change at any moment due to the tyranny of the urgent to-do list:
- Do a temporary fix on the shower so it is usable until we can afford a full overhaul
- Fix the plumbing leak from the washer that is running into the downstairs bathroom (there’s a bucket under it now that hubby ripped a hole in the ceiling) and replace the damaged ceiling
- Finish the new coop and pen for the pullets
- Wire the bottom of the cow pen fence (to prevent predators from digging in to get to the pullets)
- Finish wiring the bottom of the backyard fence (to keep rabbits and predators from the garden, small coop, and children at play)
- Terrace the hill for the garden
- Build and install garden boxes
- Fence and gate the garden
- Build the barn hay loft
- Finish up the two younger children’s quilts
- Make summer pantaloons for the girls
- Finish tiling the hearth
- Install the new stovetop
In addition to this list I do “winter clean-out” each year in February. I guess it is similar to spring cleaning, but I do it in winter because in spring I am too busy outside. So I clean and go through every nook and cranny of the house, getting rid of stuff we don’t need and organizing what we do. It includes going through all the closets and dressers, emptying all the kitchen cabinets and wiping them down (same in bathroom), going through all our bookshelves and homeschool supplies, deep cleaning floors and rugs, etc. I leave the outsides of the windows for actual spring cleaning because it can’t be done in the winter.
It probably sounds crazy to some people to do this major of a clean-out every year. But I am WAY into simplified life and simplifying our “stuff.” With six people in the family it is SO easy to accumulate stuff that we don’t need and is just taking up space. Plus, with growing children there is a constant change in what clothes fit them, what books they read, what toys they play with because they are growing and changing. I refuse to have a house full of unnecessary stuff, and so we do this every year. It feels SO good when we are done and everything is clean and organized and simplified.
I am about halfway through winter clean-out and have been very happy with my progress so far. The kids have been helping a bunch – it is so nice that they are getting old enough to help. Now that we have lived here for a while I feel like I can better decide what should actually go where, so I am enjoying doing the organizing this year as we settle into our new space.
Whew! That is a lot to get done in the next two months. I better stop typing and start working. 🙂