“Order is the sanity of the mind, the health of the body, the peace of the city, the security of the state. Like beams in a house or bones to a body, so is order to all things.” — Southey, Robert

“A place for everything and everything in its place.”  As I’ve said many times before, one of the hardest challenges on an urban homestead is storage and organization.    Keeping all the stuff needed on hand to be self reliant without costing a fortune in nifty storage bins can be quite a daunting (sometimes hair- pulling) task.    Keeping things tidy is practically a full time job and we try to “pick up as we go”  But, oftentimes, we get busy with other projects and the next thing we  know, there’s mess here and there.

Lucky for us, friends are always giving us things that are handy for storing stuff.   Like this handy wire shelving that we can use on the back deck to put our harvest and egg baskets.  It’s easy to reach for before you head down the stairs to the garden and animal compound.

Folks are always commenting how “neat and tidy” the urban homestead is.    Yeah, well,  blame it on the genes.     Of course, we are very conscious  of our urban environs and neighbors.    Believe me, the upkeep of the urban homestead is a full time job.  Sure, there are places that are quite unsightly and a downright disorganized mess.   But, hey, we we don’t show you that – its always a work in progress.

This morning, as I was writing this entry about “order on the urban homestead”, a Facebook friend posted this link about “Order & Routine.”

She wrote:

“I was discovering that if we live in a state of continual reaction to our circumstances, we find ourselves submitted to chaos.  All our life becomes urgency and disorder.  We need to step out of that and craft an environment that highlights and embraces the beautiful and the lovely.  This will allow us to respond thoughtfully and appropriately to the needs in our lives.”

How appropriate; I couldn’t have said it better myself!  I do have a few tips, which I’ll share.


No shoes in the house
Clean up as you go
Have a regular am and pm cleaning/chore routine
Have a place for everything
Be responsible for your space or the mess you make

How are you bringing order and beauty to your environment?

PS If you’d like to get yourself an egg or harvest basket for your homestead, check out our online Urban Homestead Supply store


  1. Ginger says:

    You forgot my favorite. Touch it once—never ever set something down to put away later. Cutter is no problem is you adopt this one. Promise!

    • Anais says:

      @Ginger: Good one, thanks for sharing

  2. Karen Joyce says:

    Yes~ organization is key! I have been focusing on that more this year. Last year was almost a complete wash and I can Not afford to repeat that. I am seeing that organization/ having a decided plan of action is going to more key to success than being a perpetual motion machine!
    Question, though~ how did your Dad keep it all up as a single parent when you started out? You are all so helpful now you are adults, but you were little kidlins when your homestead started~ more of an age to run off to ply/ rebel age.
    You are an inspiration to keep me going!

    • Anais says:

      @Karen Joyce: Good question! As kids we had chores. Each one of us had a chore chart posted on the fridge. We got stickers if we completed our tasks. Of course being typical kids we grumbled and sometimes HATED doing our chores. Rather be out playing! Don’t remember ever being punished for not doing chores… maybe we had to do without something – like dessert. Now that we’ve grown up and inherited this city farming “business,” it’s our passion now and the early training certainly helped.

  3. Caryl Dungan says:

    I am sooo inspired by you and your family! Thank you! Good wisdom on the tips…we practice many of those ourselves here at our little homestead.
    p.s. I tried to look for the egg/harvest baskets but wasn’t able to find them at the *store*, maybe not looking in the right category?

    • Anais says:

      @Caryl Dungan: Wow, you are right. Looks like they’ve SOLD OUT – that’s why the basket is not showing up. I’ll check to see if we are going to get more in. Sorry about that

  4. Bri says:

    Thanks for the tips. I’m not good at it, so I will try again and use them. I also need a lot of cupboards, boxes, shelves etc. that would help!

  5. Nebraska Dave says:

    Annas, I like order in the house and for a few years that’s what I had when I lived by myself. After the youngest daughter with her son moved back home for mostly likely long term, order slipped a bit. Now I’ve learned to live on the border for chaos but still have order in the household. There are times when hot spots get messy for awhile and then it gets restored to order. I’ve learned that life is too short to get caught up in perfection which is not order. There are times when things have to get a little messy for a time to bring better order to the household. This year with the mountain of school papers coming home from kindergarten has had its challenges. Paper and clothes seem to always be the culprits that try to invade my house and bring it into disarray.

    Your tips on urban homestead living are always helpful to me. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your even busier schedule to blog about the experiences.

    Have a great California urban homestead day.

    • Anais says:

      @Nebraska Dave: Same here. We get busy and then, BOOM, mess here and there! Working at home we are saturated with papers too. Paperwork here, there, everywhere!!! Facts of life, things get messy! 😉

  6. Tessa says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I found the book Sidetracked Home Executives a number of years ago and it changed my life. Disorganization causes stress and my home was a much better place to be when I got into ‘The Box’! There are times when I do get out of the box and I pay dearly. Funny thing too, the kids are happier, really everyone is happier when there is organization. Things get done in my house that would NEVER get done when I’m in the box and most importantly I have time to do the things I want to do too- amazing.

    Happy gardening to you.

  7. Cindie K. says:

    I read the article you referenced that your friend wrote about order and peace. It was amazing! Very inspirational, and especially at this particular time in my life.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Anais says:

      @Cindie K.: You are welcome. I hope to continue to write more such posts. Glad you enjoy this one.

  8. Grizzly Bear Mom says:

    I believe that the problem is WE HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF! Getitng rid of it will make our houses orderly, warm, comfy places to come HOME to.

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