My organization focused goals for this year include going through, cleaning out and discarding or recycling some of this stuff. Through this process decisions need to be made whether something should be retained because ‘it might come in handy someday’ or it has sentimental value or, or, or…
As a homesteader I am trying to keep things like nails, screws, bolts, tools, etc. which will be valuable when something breaks or new animal housing is required. I am finding there are piles growing, both inside and out, of things that are still useful, but that won’t be used for a year, two or more. Pallets can always be taken apart and recycled. Hardware cloth and fencing are other valuable commodities. Pieces of flat steel and other construction materials will be utilized, someday. Little man’s father likes a good deal and loves the ‘free’ piles on the sides of the roads on Sunday afternoons – all that stuff that didn’t sell from the weekend tag sale. How many pop-rivet tools does one family need? (I found five in the workshop last night, still in their packages.)
As Little man grows decisions need to be made on whether to keep some of his clothes for the remote possibility that we might have another child someday or consign it/give it away because that same possibility is so remote. How many kids books does one little boy need? For things like outdated technology and scraps of a possible future craft project, those decisions are easy.
Old jeans have been stockpiled for a craft project I hope to complete someday. Skeins of yarn occupy a corner of one of the upstairs bedrooms; it needs to be organized so that we can get the bed back, but yarn will always be useful for clothing and crafts. Old sheets will be repurposed this week as cushion covers so the cushions in the kitchen chairs will last a bit longer. Three entertainment centers have been collected over recent months – those will be sold or added to the burn pile.
As the winter clean-up continues I have managed to find a full-size table saw in the workshop which I seem to remember having been there when we moved in and the chop saw which I knew was there but haven’t been able to find in over six months. My trash collector has been the recipient of an extra bag or two for the past month of items which cannot be salvaged. My burn pile has grown exponentially as I scan needed documents into electronic format and can discard the paper (Wood/paper ash is great for traction on an icy driveway as well as good pest control in the garden); I only await a day with less wind so that I can actually burn. Only one item has been listed for sale, I hope to get pictures of more and get them listed soon. One large box of Little man’s clothes have been handed down to the next generation.
It is hard to find that balance especially when you consider a VERY tight budget and that replacing something – should I possibly need it again ever – costs money. In the meantime we will sell what we can to catch up on our outstanding bills and work to develop a network of folks who would like to barter with us for needed items, tools, babysitting, farm labor, etc.
As January comes to a close I have reviewed my farm planning list and found almost everything crossed off for the month. Those that didn’t are mostly outdoor chores; they will be added to February’s list which will be printed this weekend. With temperatures predicted to be at or slightly above freezing it should be very productive!