Are you wondering how to easily and genuinely start homesteading? Are you wanting a better lifestyle and feel that only homesteading can provide that for you? You are not alone! As a matter of fact, this post was written with YOU in mind! This post should answer most of the questions that new homesteaders ask.
This post is lengthy, but I promise if you stick with it you will be properly prepared to start your homesteading journey successfully. So get out a notebook, or print out this article, and let’s get your journey started right now.
How to Genuinely and Easily Start Homesteading Right
The homesteading movement is huge. People from all walks of life have turned to homesteading as a way to start a simpler, more self-sustaining life for themselves and their families. They want to depend on themselves more, and outside sources less. Homesteading happens in apartments, suburban houses, on farms, and even in RV’s while traveling. Are you one of these ‘seasoned’ homesteaders? Or are you one of the many that have searched Google for “How to Start Homesteading?”
What “Homesteading” Means
Homesteading means many different things to many different people. To some, it involves having their own animals for food, a good amount of property, growing large gardens, and making an income from their rural property. For others, it involves a fully-stocked pantry from canning or dehydrating their own food, saving money, and living in a small neighborhood. However, every person and family that homesteads in one way or another seems to have the same concepts that they center their homesteading journey around.
4 common activities or “ideas” for homesteaders include:
- The importance of self-sufficiency (not depending on others)
- The significance of being prepared (whether serious ‘preppers’ or just ready for unexpected occurrences)
- The ability to provide an income supplement or sole income to provide for themselves and their families
- The knowledge and skills to live healthy and happy, more naturally
Regardless of where you fall in the mix, in order to genuinely and easily start homesteading right, you need to know what homesteading means to you. Once you know what it means for you and/or your family, you can prepare for your new journey knowing well the direction or path you need to take.
A Written Plan Allows You to Easily Start Homesteading
If you know what homesteading means to you, you can start to make a plan for your journey. This seems to be the hardest step for most. Making your first plan and really putting thought into what you want to accomplish will set the stage to easily start homesteading right.
In order to start this plan, you will need 3 things or tools, if you will.
1) a Vision Board
2) A Planner
30 A Binder.
Let me explain these further one at a time in the order you will use them.
A Vision Board
Have you ever made a vision board before? They are a lot of fun! Vision boards are a visual representation of what you are trying to achieve, or working towards. Vision boards can be made for just about anything, from career goals to personal goals, your home or your homestead. They can be made in a visual digital editor like Canva, or hung on a wall using a sheet of poster board. They can be kept on a regular piece of paper. The most important aspect of a vision board is to place it where you can easily see it all the time. Thus the name ‘vision’ board.
You can see my original post on How To Make A Vision Board from 2018, for ideas for yours. That post also walks you through the process of making one for yourself. Below is a photo of this year’s vision board for 15 Acre Homestead. Notice some things have really changed. That’s the beauty of a vision board. They are not permanent.
Making your own vision board is a great way to easily start planning your homestead. It is your turn now. Make yourself a vision board so you have a clear vision of where to start. Next, we can move on to the planner.
A Homesteading Planner
Do you use a planner for your work or family activities? If you do, then you are already aware of helpful they are. When it comes to homesteading a planner is an excellent way to keep track of your goals and plans. I prefer a daily planner for my homesteading but you have to choose what works best for you.
Options include a daily layout, a weekly layout or a monthly layout. I don’t recommend a monthly layout because there never seems to be enough space to write everything in the small monthly blocks. And we are trying to easily start homesteading right?
You can read Homestead Planning With A Planner that I wrote previously to gather more detailed information or read Choosing A Planner For Your Homestead for more information on choosing the correct planner. Right now, read the posts I just mentioned and choose a planner that is right for you. Next, we can move on to choosing a binder setup.
Designing your Homesteading Binder
Now that you know the direction you want your homesteading to go and you have a planner that works for you, it is time to set up your homestead binder. The best time investment to make when trying to easily start homesteading right is to have a homesteading binder set up and ready to go. It will be the journal of your adventure forward.
You can use any 8 1/2″ by 11″ inch standard binder, but you may want to find a wider size like a 2″ or 3″ spine. I use these binders from Amazon. Binders can fill up fast, so allow for the expansion early.
Please keep in mind that like a planner, your binder will include the pages that work for you. No two homesteaders will usually have all of the same pages. Let’s look at what the average homestead binder may include.
Homestead Binder Necessities:
- The overall plan for the year
- A homestead budget
- Section pages (explained later)
- Spreadsheets, charts, and lined paper to keep track of pertinent information.
- Receipt folder
Within the binder, you will want to add ‘sections’ to divide the areas of your homestead. I like the durability of these binder section tabs on Amazon. Below I have listed some common sections. Feel free to customize yours for what works for you and your homestead. You may wish to add or remove some of the sections to customize it for your homestead.
Homesteading Main Sections May Include:
- Animals and livestock
- Machinery and Equipment
Once you know which sections and pages you will need, print them out, hole punch them and place them in your binder. Now we can really start the journey!
I have a subscriber-only page available with PDF downloads you can refer to or print out when designing your homestead binder. Just enter your email information below and the password will be sent to you immediately. If you are already a subscriber, don’t worry about signing up again, just drop me a quick email on my contact page asking for the password and I’ll send it right out to you.
Choosing Priorities: Your First Step to Easily Start Homesteading Right
When starting on your homesteading journey you must decide what your priorities are.
In order to figure out your priorities, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- What is most important to me? (Animals for food, gardens, home, water, etc.)
- What resources and/or skills do I have available? (help to build a barn, skills to build a pen, supplies to dig a garden)
- How much money can I reasonably spend? (your budget)
- Do I have enough help? (can you hire someone or is there enough help within your friends and family circle)
Once you ask these questions and answer them honestly, you will know your priorities. For example, you are not going to make building a barn a priority if you have no one to help you, or if you don’t have enough money to purchase the materials. You may want a large garden but can you dig a 200 sq. ft. garden yourself? And if you can, will you be able to eat everything you grow in that large of a garden without wasting it? Asking these questions before time will save a lot of unanticipated “let-downs” in the future.
For more detailed information on setting priorities for your homestead please see How To Set Priorities On Your Homestead.
Doing Your Research Before You Start Homesteading
Once your priorities are in order it is time to move on to your research. This is another important aspect of easily starting homesteading right. Choose one of the priorities you decided to go forward with for your homesteading journey. Let’s use “getting animals for food” as an example.
You know you want to have animals on your homestead. Maybe you wish to have goats for milk. Maybe you want chickens for meat and eggs. And maybe you decide you would like to raise a few pigs for pork. Now that you know which animals you will start with, you need to learn everything you can about each one BEFORE you purchase them. Trust me, I have made some common mistakes early on. Those mistakes led to unnecessary overload and stress. You can read about The Lessons I Learned While Homesteading.
Your research would include:
- Housing, pens, or fencing required
- Feed and water needs
- Health care needs and hazards
- Breed options
- Breeding and general care information
Breaking Your Research Down Further
So you know, for example, you want chickens on your homestead. That means you will need to see what breeds are right for you, what their housing requirements will be, how to care for them daily, and probably a bit of knowledge on breeding them also. With all of that knowledge in hand, you can start setting a budget for the materials to build a coop and a run, the actual purchase of the chickens and any supplies that are needed for their care.
You can also start making a plan including dates of the tasks you need to do and a deadline for completion in your planner. You can keep breed charts, drawings of coop plans, brochures about chicken care, and more within the animal section of your binder.
Tracking Your Projects, Planning, and Purchases
You will repeat this process for all of the priorities you have chosen for your homestead. All of this information should be recorded in the appropriate places within your homestead binder and your planner at this time. Track your budget and expenses when you spend any money on an “expense sheet” for chickens in either the “animals” section. Expenses for the coop can be kept in the “buildings” section. If you would like an excellent income and expense statement to use for your homestead, check out The Farm Wife’s Income and Expense Sheet.
In the planner, record the dates you plan to build your coop as well as dates you purchase the animals and other important information of which you need to track. By assigning dates in your planner you are setting up a way of tracking not only what you need to do but you can keep track of what you have accomplished as well. I often reflect back to earlier planners to find out how old an animal is or when they had their first litter.
Where To Find The Right Information
There are a plethora of resources available to anyone who wishes to easily start homesteading. From books to magazines, and from blog posts to videos, you are sure to find anything you need to know on the topic of homesteading.
Check out the following resources for gathering information:
- The Ultimate Guide to the Best 2019 Homesteading Resources
- Comprehensive List of Homesteading Resources
- Epic List of the Greatest Homesteading Resources
- 20 Super Informative Homestead Resources You Should Know About
- Helpful Books for The New Homesteader
- Top 5 YouTube Channels for Homesteaders
- 10 Homestead Blogs I Read Religiously
Other Resources for Starting your Homesteading Journey
You may enjoy my Free 5 Day course, How To Design and Plan Your Ideal Homestead! In 5 days you will have a complete plan for starting your ideal homestead. Just sign up below or in the sidebar on the top right and get started today!