Homesteading is not for the faint-hearted. The idea of self-sufficient homesteading is comforting when you consider it. You might start to feel like nothing is impossible. Of course, you can figure out how to fix your plumbing, build a well, set up a windmill, or make a new hen coop. It is the main reason homesteading was your thing!
However, when you are in the middle of it all, trying to get things to work that just will not, you might despair and fear you made a terrible mistake. Do not be disheartened, as everyone will go through times like that. Some things can not be fixed with hard work and willpower.
‘Perfect’ might not be that picture in your head. Look, self-sufficient homesteading is a way of life and why shouldn’t things be on your terms? Never forget the primary goal though, being self-sufficient.
You can spend hours and days getting that fence just the way you like it. But that could be valuable hours that you could have spent on something else. If it’s not functional, you might want to reconsider spending a lot of time and resources on it.
You may also want to add something new to your skills arsenal, such as welding. There will be research, education, and possibly obtaining a mentor to learn how to weld. (But at least you can enjoy free shipping on Unigloves to cut down on the initial equipment investment!)
Tips For Self-Sufficient Homesteading
Self-Sufficient Homesteading: Income and Time
Homesteading will come with finding a source of income. Make sure that the source of income makes sense. Consider time, effort, complexity, and quality as variables in an equation you need to solve. If something costs too much time and effort, are you reasonably making the most of your time?
Time and energy go hand in hand with complexity. Sure, having a finished product like beautifully packaged honey might fit your idea of homesteading. But does it make sense of time and effort-wise? Homesteading is about having time, time to do something worthwhile. It is not about wasting time.
Self-Sufficient Homesteading: Be Realistic
Find something that feels functional and effective to do, something you can grow in and eventually produce a better sellable product. Look at the time you want to spend on generating an income. Set a realistic financial target and start honing your craft.
Just remember that time does not equal money. But time equals skill and skill equals living your homestead life. It might take you a while to get there, but divorcing time from cash is important.
When you set a realistic financial target, make sure to include any lifestyle expenses that fit your idea of homesteading. If you want to travel or go out for a meal, it all needs to be part of a sensible plan. The trick is to balance the incomings and outgoings in such a way you are not working yourself into a complete meltdown.
Self-Sufficient Homesteading: Research and Ask
Research is your best tool! It either being books and friends or, if you have not gone entirely off the grid yet, the internet and how-to videos, knowledge is power. Having an idea of what you want to achieve and reinforcing a strategy of how to do it, is all part of your planning process. It can do wonders just to ask.
People in most cases will be delighted to tell you how they have built something. In some cases, they might even start you off on the DIY track with some spare or unused things they have laying around. Getting things done properly around the homestead is synonymous with doing things with care and planning. Never rush into things.
Self-Sufficient Homesteading: Ask For Help
Sometimes doing it yourself is not the right way to go. Sure, homesteading is about being self-sufficient, but nobody is asking you to be that within a day. Some things you might not want to jump straight into.
Major plumbing or electrical work for example. Get the plumbing work wrong, and the worst-case scenario is you flood the place. Bad electrical work can lead to electrocution and fire. For some work, you just need a professional to come in and do it correctly.
You would not clean the chimney yourself, for example. The cost of the equipment already would make it an uneconomical effort. No, you call someone like Black Goose Chimney Services who will take care of that for you.
Final Thoughts on Self-Sufficient Homesteading
The most important thing on a homestead is not to take things too seriously. Things can, and they will go wrong. Think: ‘we fall so we can pick ourselves up’. Or find a different homestead motto for yourself. Homesteading is a marathon, not a sprint. Be flexible and take the setbacks on the chin so you can enjoy the highlights even more.