Big City, Little Homestead

Living rural in the city.

Month: January 2013

Getting organized

In preparation for New Year’s, I followed the old Scottish tradition of cleaning out the house (next New Year’s for me: Hogmanay!). This did not follow my usual discardia formula of starting in a room and working clockwise through it, which I first found in The Procrastinator’s Handbook by Rita Emmett. Instead, it was more like this article I found helpful to reframe my habit of doing house work instead of going straight to my desk (visit the link, and Ctrl-F “cleaning a closet”). Also, I had guests coming, so the house needed to be orderly and clean. I didn’t want anything stagnant rolling me over into 2013.

One such issue in getting organized is known as the Endowment Effect. Having something in your possession makes it seem more valuable than if you did not have it but were faced with purchasing it. This is one thorny issue for a lot of people: if it is worth something, has a use, and/or would be wasteful to throw out, it becomes hard to just get rid of it.

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New Year’s Resolutions for the homestead

Come New Year’s, I always ask people what their resolutions are (even if sometimes it’s just being polite because I want to tell them about one of mine). Most people say “None, resolutions are only made to be broken,” but I disagree; that’s all-or-nothing thinking. But some people surprise me with something ambitious or unusual that they want to do that year. Last year I had a friend that I did some resolutions and goal work with and she accomplished more than she thought she would. This graphic (right) was what she found very helpful, but I prefer this version and explanation:

(From 13 Rules for Realizing Your Creative Vision)

So I have (yes, within the week limit for “banish procrastination or else throw it away”) finished my “planning” for the next four months. The quotations are because planning is deadly and wankie, so much falls by the wayside when you spend time pondering or choosing which action – just Get Started or stick it on the calendar! You’ll figure it out!

The things that affect the homestead, or are part of the greater homestead vision, are:

  • becoming a wildlife rehabilitator: take a course
  • finish my quilt (border, bagging, binding in slow progress)
  • rip up the asphalt driveway and install two cobble and field-stone wheel paths, moss, grass, native species, and narrow water barrel
  • provide homes for solitary bees; see if there is any way I can keep honey bees (I don’t have a flat roof, so this has so far been tricky)
  • the front fence that’s o/s (shorthand for outstanding) from last year – the stuff is ready to go so yes! It’ll happen!
  • Plant a tree every year: fruit tree, or swap an ornamental for a fruit tree
  • carbon neutral: own a hybrid car; go solar
  • turn the house into a real BnB or business; acquire a deposit of some kind to buy a farm or other dwelling in the country. (Or else sell it to the right people who will not mess with nature, as most city people do. Which is why I do this blog.)
  • Go to the shooting range and handle something bigger than an airgun
  • Increase my blog readership by 10 X or more.

What are your resolutions? And do you have any suggestions on things that might help mine?