Our first goal for this year was to create a homestead binder. Today I’m going to show you exactly how I did it. For more on why this was our first goal, click here to read our goals post.
We want to look back at what works and what doesn’t right from the start. So please try not to judge me for this…but I actually started planning my binder about six months ago.
I came across these beautiful printables from Reformation Acres and knew I had to make a planner once we moved. I’m one of those people that can’t but help get excited by organisation – probably because I’m not very good at it!
I was even more excited when I realised they have been re-done for 2016, and they’re gorgeous!
Today you’re getting a really unique point of view because this is our first year here. We only moved in a month ago! So I’m showing you how I plan to make our binder work for us, but I will also update with what works and what doesn’t throughout the year.
If you want to see a binder from someone with much more experience – check out Quinns post on Reformation Acres here.
For the binder I used –
I love this type of binder because I’m not the tidiest of people I can zip this one up and not lose any loose sheets! With the best will in the world I won’t always hole punch everything!
Also it has a really useful note pad in the back and some pockets for pens and bits in the front.
I’ve used these because they are plastic, and I can set up a nicely typed contents page instead of writing down the side in my own chicken scratch!
Printables – from Reformation Acres here.
You can use these in so many different ways. Everyone organises differently, what works for me may not work for you. What works for me this year may not work next year. But I know that the foundation of my planner can always be built from these same printables. I’m pretty big on continuity in any project.
If you still need a page you can’t find (really?!), you can go ahead and email Quinn and she will create it for you!
Making The Binder
This year is going to be mainly gardening with hopefully chickens in the near future, so I havn’t used anywhere near all of the sheets available. I’ve set my binder into six main sections.
Schedules & Lists
I’ve started with the annual schedule, outdoor to-do list and seed inventory. They are all right at the front and easily accesible – keeping them in the front of my mind every time I open the planner.
Month by Month
I’ve split this section into four, each with three months in. I don’t want to have to skip through seven months to get to July.
Each month consists of a month at a glance, follwed by the vertical and horizontal calendars, an individual garden yields and chicken egg tally sheet.
For me this is the easiest way to record what we are doing as we go, I’ve printed both calendars because I don’t know that there’ll be enough room to write in my giant hand writing on just one! I’m planning to keep one for garden and one for anything else.
The food preservation worksheet and freezer and pantry inventory sheets, are great tools to keep track of how much we use.
Knowing how long it takes us to go through 10 jars of canned tomatoes or 20 bags of frozen plums, will make it so much easier to plant next year.
I will also use this for items we still need to buy, such as flour. If it takes a week to go through a small bag, I can buy larger bags next time and save the travel to get them.
Yields & Profits
Everything we produce each year will be recorded here. There’s a sheet for each core area again, homestead, laying hens, and garden.
Knowing how much it’s costing to run our homestead is so important to us, and being mindful of what we spend will get us to our goal of financial independence that much quicker.
There’s sheet here for each core area, expansion, garden and laying hens with an analysis sheet for the end of the year.
We can use these to create a really good picture of any areas we need to cut back on.
I’ve popped in the graph paper, which we will use for planning our homestead and the vegetable garden. Also I’ve added the incubation chart for when I need it.
I really hope you enjoyed reading how I made our homestead binder, and you find it useful. Is there anything you would do differently? Leave a comment below!