Thinking about building a homestead but don’t know how to start? You came to the right place.
If you think you need to own a farm to get started on homesteading, you’re wrong. Even without acres of land or a sprawling backyard, you can begin your journey of self-sufficiency.
This article will walk you through the steps to achieve a healthier and more rewarding lifestyle.
Step 1: Evaluate if Homesteading Is What You Want
Before you move to a different state and buy acres of land, think about how homesteading will change you and your family’s life. Best to sit down with them and discuss everything in detail before making any commitment.
This step is also an excellent time to do your research because living a self-sufficient life doesn’t happen overnight. Read about homesteading as much as you can from books, articles, and watch videos so you get a clearer picture of what it involves.
From your research, you’ll learn that homesteading requires a lot of hard work and sacrifices. Things like growing crops and raising livestock are time-consuming and physically demanding. Not everyone is cut out for these types of tasks, so you really have to ask yourself and your family members if everybody is willing to make a significant change.
Step 2: Determine Your Goals
Part of deciding whether you want to homestead as a full-time job or only as a hobby is figuring out how much of your life you are willing to change.
One of the best things about homesteading is that you can practice anywhere and still achieve a sustainable lifestyle even if you live far away from lands and trees.
At the end of the day, homesteading is defined by the choices you make in your life and not where you live. Now it’s up to you to determine what you want out of it. But before you decide on anything drastic, ask yourself these questions first:
- Do you want to grow your own food and raise livestock?
- Do you want to live entirely off-the-grid, partially off-grid, or on-grid?
- Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint significantly?
- Do you want to save money by living green?
- Do you want to move states to have more land?
Once you’ve set goals for yourself and your entire household, the following steps to take should be clear as day.
Step 3: Decide Where You Want to Live
If you still plan on keeping your job and just do homesteading as a part time gig, then there’s no need to move places since you can always try your hand at urban gardening. But if you decide to make it your whole life, you’re better off with a bigger property to grow your fruits and vegetables and raise your cows, sheep, chickens, and other livestock.
When choosing where to settle down, you need to consider many factors like climate, cost and quality of land, state and homeschooling laws, water accessibility, and the community. To help you in your planning stage, here’s a comprehensive article that talks more about the general factors to consider and lists down the 10 top states for homesteading.
Step 4: Create a Budget
Becoming completely self-reliant can cost a thousand bucks. But if you have a well-thought-out budget in place, you won’t ever have to worry about going broke, even after giving up your steady job.
First thing you should keep in mind: don’t splurge just to buy your dream property. Save some for future changes and improvements on your land and home because you will have to spend on renovations, equipment, taxes, utilities, and emergencies.
However, you can’t rely on your savings forever. Since you’re deciding to live a self-sufficient lifestyle, you’re gonna have to think of other ways to generate income. Here are some ways you can make money from your homestead:
- If you know a few food preservation techniques, sell homemade preserves and dehydrated goods.
- If you have a green thumb, expand your garden and sell your extra produce. Here are crops you can grow in your survival garden.
- If you’re crafty, create handmade decorative pieces and sell them.
- If you’re planning to raise llamas and sheep, collect their wool and sell them.
- Dairy animals like cattle and goats are excellent milk sources; try selling any excess to local neighbors.
Step 5: Live the Simple Life
If you’re serious about turning your life around through homesteading, start by living a more simple lifestyle and changing your mindset.
To do that, you have to free yourself from the vicious cycle of always wanting to own the latest gadgets, the newest designer clothes, and other things that make you spend more money than necessary.
You can also make an audit of everything that’s draining your finances, time, and energy and see if there’s anything you can eliminate. For more advice, follow these actionable tips to cut back on your material possessions and excessive lifestyle:
- Stop spending more than you earn.
- Don’t tolerate debt.
- Take the time to consider your purchases.
- Cancel your gym membership.
- Simplify your wardrobe.
- Declutter your home.
- Limit your screen time.
- Restrain from ordering takeout.
Step 6: Practice and Build Your Skills
Homesteading can be intimidating at first, especially if you know nothing about growing crops and raising farm animals. But you don’t have to jump right in and make all these huge changes immediately.
The trick is to start small. You can do that by growing your own plants indoors or cleaning out your abandoned fireplace to use for heating. You can also begin raising chickens if you have a decent backyard.
These minor lifestyle changes will make the difference even if you just add one or two projects a year. There’s really no point in rushing because you can always set your priorities and do the things that make the most sense to you first.
Other skills that will come in handy for homesteaders are: gardening, composting, preserving food, crafting, repairing things, foraging, cooking from scratch, creating herbal home remedies, and making homemade cleaning products.
To most folks, homesteading may seem like the ideal lifestyle, but unless you’re willing to put in the time and effort, this way of life isn’t for you.
But for those serious about simplifying their lives and becoming more self-sufficient, this way of life is gratifying. By following the steps that we’ve mentioned above, you’ll be moving closer and closer to living the life of a homesteader.
Did you like this article? Feel free to check out our other posts on survivalism and preparedness.