Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be truly self-sustaining? When everyone else is worried about rising food prices and the cost of services like repair specialists or plumbers, you could live happily in your own self-sustaining bubble where you take care of everything yourself. This type of lifestyle, often referred to as homesteading, has both pros and cons, but the advantages tend to be plentiful enough to outweigh any inconveniences you might encounter. Here are seven simple ways you can get started with homesteading.
- Start with Small Goals
The first thing you should do when establishing your homestead is to set clear goals. What exactly do you want to achieve? Get specific. Don’t just write a vague statement like, “I want to produce my own food.” Though this is a great goal to set when just starting out, it’s not a clear one. What does producing your own food mean for you and your family? Maybe it means raising chickens and cows to provide eggs and milk or maybe it means growing a produce garden to harness fruits and vegetables. Regardless of what your goals are, be as specific as possible to ensure success.
- Adjust Your Lifestyle
Once you have your goals set, it’s time to evaluate your lifestyle. Look for habits that fit with your goals, as well as those that take away money and time from homesteading, and find ways you can be more self-sufficient. If you constantly find yourself going to the grocery store to buy vegetables, consider starting a vegetable garden in your backyard to prevent frequent trips to the store. If you love drinking beer, learn how to home brew.
- Make It a Gradual Process
Many potential homesteaders want to jump right into the thick of things. To avoid getting overwhelmed, look at the homesteading process as a gradual one. You don’t have to have everything figured out immediately—it’s okay to pick one or two areas you want to work on and figure the rest out as you go along. A good start for self-sustained living is to pick one or two projects you’re interested in and then go from there. For example, starting a small compost pile is a much more achievable goal than raising livestock.
- Do Your Research
In addition to starting a few small projects, do your research on the facets of homesteading. Read up on the benefits of this lifestyle and how to accomplish different projects, like brewing your own beer and raising your own livestock. As you do your research, remember that no homesteader knows everything—you’re bound to make mistakes and learn as you go.
- Pursue Your Interests
Don’t start homesteading by going after a goal you don’t particularly enjoy. With so many elements of homesteading (growing your own food, raising livestock, producing energy, etc.), focus on ones that interest you first and then tackle the more challenging ones. Consider all of the elements of homesteading and prioritize an area that interests you and make that your first goal to work towards.
- Start Upcycling
As you homestead, you’ll get into the practice of utilizing almost everything. You can use food scraps to create a compost pile, coffee grounds to fertilize your garden, and egg cartons or toilet paper rolls to use as seed starters. You can also upcycle glass bottles into flower vases or newspaper into mulch.
- Aim to Be a “Handyman”
One area that can really boost your self-sufficiency is learning how to repair major systems and appliances within your home. As a homesteader, try to repair as many items in your house as you can before replacing them entirely. If repairs aren’t an option (and you really need a working refrigerator to store food), check your home warranty to see if you can replace your appliance altogether. This will prevent you from having to enlist the help of a service technician to repair your appliance and save you a ton of money in the process.