This time of the year brings rest and building excitement for the year to come. For us it is far from sitting around, being bored and watching tv. It is resting and feeling accomplished inside the house and the workshop. It has taken longer than usual to get to this spot physically and mentally this year. Starting with the VERY late fall animal projects that had to be done before the cold weather settled in, the stock of Goshen product that I had to keep up with during the holidays, then topping it all with a changed work schedule from part time to full time, it's been a constant workload. I finally am feeling the letdown though and keep working through my inside projects feeling so cozy and accomplished.
It is in this season that I try to pick some projects I want to learn or proceed farther in learning about. Deep cleaning, organizing, Reading, studying and experimenting... most of all just thinking and gathering information. My researching is broad and covers lots of topics and I just love to indulge in those that fascinate me. I don't do much reading for entertainment; it is all about learning. I have a couple of books I want to work on this winter in reading thru, one on honeybees. I will link it below in case anyone is interested.
It is the season to do a deep clean, organize and make more efficient the area you live and work. Starting in the spring it is all hands-on deck OUTSIDE and even though I keep the house picked up and clean, it usually goes from “clean and organized” to “who has time to keep up with that right now? I will get to that later" OR "Hey, it was clean yesterday... sorry you missed it!” It is the time to put back and maybe organize better for the incoming clutter of summer.
I have a worktable out in a back room that has become covered with jars and jars of my dried herbs and plants and nowhere to put them. Infusing oils, soap supplies and jugs of oil that have nowhere to go, but on the floor stored under the already disastrous table. Containers and many other ingredients that it takes to make all of the different products I have shoved in unmarked boxes. If you want a space of clear tabletop to work on it is all an overflow of projects. This means you take care of one project in order to make room for the next. I hate that it is like that, but when you live in a small house and are busy people... it is the way it is.
This winter I asked Kenny if we could go get a large bookshelf that was in our library from our previous house and put it in the back room so I could try and make the room usable and efficiently organized for all my goody stocks and projects... and shelves is what I REALLY needed. This meant going and getting the bookshelf out of storage, which is a whole project in itself. While I was there, I decided to get an old cabinet that I had “dragged home” because I knew someday, I would have the perfect job for it. This summer I can fix it up with a paint job and door repair, but for right now it is JUST what I needed to organize and display all my jars! Now all of my jars in neatly stored in my own little Apocathery! That has been a vision for a while! We not only got the room neatly organized and extra efficient workspace, but Kenny was also able to put his desk in for work! Another project was to centralize my running and making my business paperwork and printer more easily accessible and central, saving on trips from here to there just to get a package ready to ship.
I told Kenny after a day of finishing another room that I felt so accomplished! He told me the same thing as he FINALLY had a few days to spend making his workshop more organized and picked up. In all of these projects, messes are made, but many wonderful big projects are finished! It is amazing what organizing your living/workspace can do for the clutter not only in the environment, but also mentally. When we have chaos and clutter all around it wears on us mentally and adds stress. Even if you just pick one room, one project area and start from there. Think of how you can make your systems easier to access and take inventory of what you really need and what is just taking up space. NOW this does not mean that I think it is healthy to throw out everything that you don't “Love or have I used this lately”, like the new popular ways of Simplifying.... Lord knows I am a prime example of storing things away until they can have a new purpose or fabricated to make a new “something needed”. For instance, my bookshelf and salvaged cabinet I used in the back room is perfect and just what I needed to help me!
With much cleaning behind me I can now start to look forward to my new set of dreaming and planning! This year's garden and planning, projects I want to work on and projects left that still need to be done. Mostly the anticipation of the garden ahead, making orders and decisions on the seeds and plants to come. Getting out the calendar and starting to look at sow dates and winter sowing! This year I want to finish my herb and medicinal gardens. There are still just a few new plants I want to add and just make sure that everyone is happy and getting established. I have 2 garden projects that I want to make. A garden table with sink for sorting and cleaning the garden produce before taking it to the house and a decoration made from windows for a focal “peace”.
Now is the time of rejuvenation and cultivation of the exciting summer to come, making a place that you don't need to vacation from.