It is that time of year again when all the planning starts happening. I get my planner, my long list of tasks and goals I want to accomplish next year, paper and pen, and clear a spot on the desk, to start planning my 2018 homestead plans.
I like to have everything thought out and planned way before the new year starts. That way I can tie my business and my homestead tasks together. I usually start around the end of November and finish all my planning by the week before Christmas. (See how I planned for 2017 here)
2018 Homestead Plans: Sorting Priorities
To get started on the planning process I first look at my brainstorming list I made over the last year that includes all the thoughts and ideas I want to accomplish. I break all those ideas into priorities. You can also start by making a vision board for a visual map of what you may want to accomplish.
One of the ideas I have written down is an outdoor shower. It is not pertinent to maintaining my homestead so it is at the bottom of the priority list. However, I have a tool shed as one of my needs and it is definitely something I need so it will be moved to the top of the priority list.
I continue moving all of my ideas into a prioritized list separated by three columns. The first column is a high priority list. These are the ideas that simply have to happen for my homestead to thrive and grow.
The second column is a medium priority list which includes important tasks, things that need to be done but are not as important as the first list. The third column is the low priority list. These are the “I wish for” things that I don’t have to have but would like or enjoy.
Once my 3 columns of priorities are sorted out, I break each column into 3 sections according to cost. The first section is ideas that are 100 dollars and less. The second section is from 101 to 500 dollars and the third is over 500 dollars.
The end result before I plug in my ideas looks like this…
|> $100||$101 – $500||< $500|
|Desired/Want to Do|
2018 Homestead Plans: Filling in the Chart
With my chart ready and my list prioritized it is time to start placing the appropriate tasks in the right boxes. I go down each task in the list and fill in the chart until I have added all of my 2018 homestead plans.
These tasks may be moved due to budgeting or other issues later when I start putting dates to these tasks. This chart can also change due to receiving something that makes a task more doable at that time or if a new need comes up that can take priority over what has been planned already.
Just remember that this chart is a guideline to organize what needs to be done when. It is not set in stone. It is an overview of what needs to be done when it needs to be done and what needs to be budgeted for. Read How to Avoid Homestead Overwhelm to learn to prioritize your homestead tasks.
My chart from last year looked like this when I started my 2017 planning. I will follow the same basic setup when writing out my 2018 homestead plans.
|> $100||$101 – $500||< $500|
|Critical/Must Do||Replace strand wire |
New floor in the trailer
Reseal shed roof
Seal coop roof
|Replace barbed wire|
New tires on mower
Bush Hog Lake Area
Clear camphor trees
|The water filter on well|
|Desired/Want to Do||Outdoor shower|
Gate on driveway
2018 Homestead Plans: Setting Dates for Major Tasks
Now with a chart in hand and a pretty detailed overall plan for the year I can start putting dates to tasks. To do this I print out 12 monthly calendars, one for each month of the year. Last year I used one of those free calendars that come in the mail with the free address labels and stickers.
This year I may just use 12 sheets of paper to list ballpark dates, then transfer them to the homestead planner that I use regularly. Regardless of how you do it, you need a way to keep track of what you want to do and when. You can print free monthly calendars here.
At this point you need to decide the best way to start scheduling your goals for the year according to a few things, the amount of time it will take to complete the task, the size of the project and the cost of the project.
Let’s use the filter on the well. It is something that is a rather big expense for me so I am obviously not going to plan to do that in January right after Christmas. If I know it will cost me $2500 then I will figure out how much I will have to save each week in order to reach the amount I need. In this case, say $100 per week is what I will save. It will take me at least 6 months to save enough so I may plan for the well’s filter being installed in August to allow enough time to save the money, plus extra just in case.
On my August sheet or calendar, I will write “Filter on well.” I will also make a note in June or July to set an appointment with the good man in advance to have the project completed. I will then add an entry of $100 weekly to my budget under savings. Repeat this process for any and all major tasks that are in the last column of the table.
|Call Well Company for an appt. In August to have a filter installed||Verify Well Appt|
Verify budget in line with the purchase
|Have filter installed on well|
(budget $100 per week)
2018 Homestead Plans: Setting Dates for Minor Tasks
With all of your major tasks and expenses out of the way, it will be time to fill in the smaller tasks. I start in the first column and work my way down the blocks as I go.
The veggie garden is one of my must-do tasks, however, I need to prepare the ground for it and have warm weather in order to start the project. Since I live in Florida I know I can start planting about mid-March, so in February I will do all the preparing for my veggie garden plot.
I will add tasks like, till the ground, prep the compost pile, add manure, and rototill and cover with plastic over the last two weeks in February. On my March calendar, I will plan out what to plant and when according to what grows at that time in my climate.
If I have tasks like sealing the shed and coop roofs and I know I already have the materials to do it I will add those types of tasks in when there is some free time in my calendar. I try to have at least one task per week scheduled throughout the year. I add those types of tasks last.
If you schedule out the biggest time consuming and biggest budgeted tasks first, the smaller tasks will be used to fill in your gaps. Here is a sample of what the first 3 months may look like.
|Week 1||Prep new compost pile||Mix compost pile|
Fertilize citrus trees
|Sprinkler system install|
Hard prune Azalea
|Week 2||Set up Rain barrels|
Check aquaponic system
|Till veggie garden plot|
Add manure veggie plot
|Transplant veggie seeds|
Replace mulch as needed
|Week 3||Replace barbed wire|
|Till veggie plot again||Transplant herb seeds|
Start new seeds
|Week 4||Fix strand wire|
Tighten gate hinges
|Cover veggie plot|
Start veggie seeds- shed
Replace trailer floor
As you plan out your tasks or as you complete them you can cross off or highlight each task on the master chart to help you keep track of what you have and have not done.
2018 Homestead Planning: Weekly/Daily Planning
Now as 2018 approaches you will have an annual plan for your homestead. All that is left is to get a little more detailed in the weekly and daily spread of your planner, assuming you use one.
I keep a separate paper planner that breaks my year down into individual days, but you can use any sort of planning system that works for you. Every Sunday is my planning day. I look at the week and write out the tasks for each day for the upcoming week.
Not everyone gets this detailed but since I use my planner to plan laundry day, meals, canning and baking days, dental appointments with the Dentist in Greenbelt and homestead tasks I like knowing what I need to do each day of the week. It also keeps me from rushing on Friday to try and finish what items I didn’t get done throughout the earlier part of the week.
For example, in week 1 of January, I know I have to prep a new compost pile for my veggie garden I am starting. But by looking at my week I can see I have appointments on Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday I need to clean out the coop so I will plan all day Thursday and Friday to start on those compost piles.
This way I get everything I need to get done that week without waiting until the last minute and I am assured that all of my 2018 homestead plans get accomplished.
Here is what the week may look like…
|Sunday, January 1, 2017||Planning Day|
|Monday, January 2, 2017||Dr. Appt 2 pm|
Physical therapy 3:30 pm
|Tuesday, January 3, 2017||Dentist Appt 11 am|
|Wednesday, January 4, 2017||Clean out Chicken Coop|
Replace Straw bedding, clean feeders, nests
|Thursday, January 5, 2017||Start compost pile|
|Friday, January 6, 2017||Finish Compost Pile|
|Saturday, January 7, 2017||Canning, freezer cooking, meal planning|
Now you should have a pretty good idea on how to plan your 2018 homestead plans. Take your time, brainstorm all the ideas you can and write them down.
Remember that brainstorming is only to get all your ideas out of your head and on paper. It doesn’t mean you have to use them all. After that, the real planning begins.
If you need more ideas on planning for your homestead you can read Design Your Ideal Homestead. Would you enjoy a free 5-day email course on how to Design and Plan Your Ideal Homestead? Check it out here and see if you could benefit from this free course.
How do you plan your homestead goals? Share your comments in the comment box below and share this post so others may benefit from it also.