What is Your 2015 Homesteading Plan?

DSCN2932So, you want to be a homesteader, or you are a homesteader: what is your 2015 homesteading plan?  Today we’ll talk about how, if homesteading is a goal of yours, you can determine a plan for your 2015 homestead.  Even if you live in an urban or suburban area, you can put a plan in place to begin or continue your homesteading life.  According to Wikipedia, the broadly-defined definition of homesteading is “to lead a life of self-sufficiency”.  However, any homesteader or aspiring homesteader knows that this means different things to different people, depending on where they live and where they are in their homesteading journey.

Determine Your Homesteading Goals

As such, you first task in your 2015 homesteading plan is to determine your homesteading goals for the year, and those goals depend largely on where you’re at in your homesteading journey.  For instance, if your ultimate goals is to move from your current home to a true homestead, your plan might consist of how you’ll continue to raise money for that effort, and when you’ll put your current house on the market, staging that house and getting it ready for sale, so on and so forth.

However, your goals will be different if your end goal is to homestead from where you’re at, be it in the city, in suburbia or in the country.  Homesteading, although ideally done in rural areas, does have potential to be done – at least somewhat – anywhere.  It’s your job when determining your 2015 homesteading plan to figure out what homesteading tasks you can do where you’re at, and what tasks you can’t.

Make a Plan to Accomplish Those Goals

Once you’ve determined what your homesteading goals are, it’s time to make a plan to accomplish those goals. If you’re in an apartment in the city, you may not be able to plant a large garden, but you might be able to join a CSA and get fresh veggies that way.  Or, it’s possible that there is someone in your life with a homestead that you can partner up with to grow and preserve a bit of your own food supply.  Most apartments have room for at least a small deep freezer, which extends the life of frozen meats and veggies for up to a year, and under bed storage and closet storage make great places for dried and canned foods to be stored in smaller places.

If you live in a suburban area, your suburbia home may or may not allow for chickens, if raising your own animals for eggs, milk and/or meat is a priority for you.  If not, work to find someone you can partner with who raises chickens, trading work for eggs, milk or meat (making sure to obey the bartering laws in your state).

If you have a “real” homestead,   your goal might be to expand your food preservation tasks, or to learn to process meat.  Determine what your 2015 goals for your homestead are, and formulate a plan on how to get there.  There are many creative and inventive ways to homestead from anywhere.

The point is not to sit on your duff, waiting for “someday homesteading” to happen.  Self-sufficiency can be accomplished in so many ways.

Self-Sufficiency Means Many Things

 

Lowering your grocery bill and the money saved by doing so puts one in a place where, if they manage their money properly, they have less debt, making them more self-sufficient.

Trading daily takeout meals for learning to cook at home makes one more self-sufficient.

Learning to do home/auto repairs and maintenance yourself makes you more self-sufficient.

Decluttering your home and having less stuff to maintain and care for makes you more self-sufficient.

Having a six-month stockpile of food and toiletries makes you more self-sufficient.

The more freedom you have from needing the outside world, whether it be because you’ve set aside a large enough nest egg that you don’t need your job, or whether you’ve learned to grow and preserve your own food sources so that you could live without the grocery store, the more self-sufficient you are.  This is homesteading, my friends, on some level, no matter where you live. So, if you’re wanting to implement a homesteading lifestyle, use the tips above to teach yourself that homesteading means many things – it’s multi-faceted – but the ultimate goal is self-sufficiency, or at least the capability to be self-sufficient should you need to be or want to be.  This is why if you’re a city-dweller, the doomsday prepper folks encourage you to have a “bug-out” location, even if it’s a $50,000 mini-cabin in the woods.   That way those who love the city but crave self-sufficiency can have the best of both worlds.

There’s no right or wrong way to homestead, and self-sufficiency is important for everyone.  It’s up to you to determine what self-sufficiency looks like to you, and how to get there.

What are your goals regarding self-sufficiency?  Do you think self-sufficiency, at least on some level, is important?

 

44 comments

  1. Self-sufficiency is certainly important, I just think people lose sight of it with all of the modern conveniences we have. A big storm or hurricane usually puts it back on peoples priority lists. We try and take the DIY approach on most things before paying someone else.

    • Laurie says:

      I think you’re right, Brian – people do lose sight of it until something happens. We learned that first hand when we lost power in the middle of the Polar Vortex last winter. 🙂

  2. I definitely think being self-sufficient is important on a number of levels. We do as much as we can – though it’s somewhat limited as to what we can do since we were annexed by the city about two years ago so we garden the heck out of our backyard. We’re hopefully going to be able to move within the next few years and plan to go more rural so we can do even more. 🙂

  3. Laurie if I can get to the point where I can grow a few things in my tiny garden it will be a miracle! lol! I seriously might consider flying my dad out here to help me plant and give me lessons because I have no idea what I’m doing! 🙂 I do sometimes have this idea that it would be really nice to get away from the hustle and bustle and be more self-sufficient. I think as a single gal I’m not quite sure that lifestyle is right for me right now, but who knows about someday. Gotta get me a rugged handsome man who wants the same thing…and who can hopefully cook. 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      LOL, ruggedly handsome and a cook – talk about a dreamboat! 🙂 I would love to talk with you anytime about gardening, Tonya. I’ll bet you’d have no prob doing a little one.

  4. Great post, Laurie. I love how homestead means different to different people. This is true. We live in suburbia and last year we grew our own vegetables and discovered how much we enjoyed it. It was something we want to continue this year.

    Self-sufficiency at any level is important. You can’t depend on others is my thinking. I have to take care of my family and growing my own vegetables, my own food, was a start for me. I knew where the vegetables were coming.

    Again, this year we set goals and in the future self-sufficiency is something we are striving to reach.

    • Laurie says:

      Exactly, Joyce! It’s so important not to count on others to help you out. If the crap hit the fan, most everyone would work to take care of themselves first and forget about helping others. This is where it’s vital to be able to care for oneself.

  5. Alexa says:

    I grew up in the country. My parents had lots of lands, all kinds of animals, a pond to fish, four wheelers, woods to roam in, etc. and these are some of the best memories of my life.

    I want my own little homestead and I want my kids to grow up where being outdoors is more fun than playing on the Kindle! So my goal is to save $20k this year to go toward a downpayment on a property but it’s going to take me a couple years to build up a down payment big enough for me to feel comfortable buying!

    • Laurie says:

      Alexa, I have no doubt at all that you can do this for your family. And, when you’ve achieved that dream, what a story it will be, my friend!

  6. Amy says:

    I love this broad definition of homesteading, Laurie. I don’t really think of myself as striving for a “true” homesteading lifestyle, but I like the idea of increasing self-sufficiency. For me, that starts with paying down our debt, so we can eventually keep all that we earn.

    • Laurie says:

      Us too, Amy!! I think paying down/off debt is a huge part of being self-sufficient. The more money one can keep, the more money they have to do what they need to do with.

  7. I think self-sufficiency is super duper important! If only we could be totally self-sufficient. I like electricity and water too much though;0) We do plan to grow more in our gardens this year and preserve as much as we possibly can. We also have started a stockpile of emergency food and have an emergency kit complete with a bucket and toilet seat attachment;0) Hey! It’s a start!

    • Laurie says:

      There’s always a manual pump for your well and solar panels for electricity, LOL :-)Seriously, though, you guys are doing great, Jayleen! Keep up the awesome work!

  8. Kali says:

    Love it, Laurie! This is the year we start looking for our homestead and I’m so thrilled everything is coming together and we’re going to be able to embark on this adventure. Excited to expand on our current definitions of self-sufficiency, too 🙂

    Hope you’re doing well and have had a wonderful start to 2015!

  9. Thanks for including the homestead definition. I was really curious what homesteading truly was. I think self-sufficiency is important, but I like to not think about “doomsday” scenarios. I rely on allergy/sinus/asthma meds on a daily basis and my quality of life would be a lot lower without them, so that’s something I can’t really become “self-sufficient” from. But I do think it’s good to be prepared with water, food, energy, etc. in case of short-term disasters.

    • Laurie says:

      Meds are definitely a concern and a good thing to stockpile if you can. You are thinking about it, DC, and that’s the important part!

  10. I don’t have homesteading in the basic sense of it as a goal; however, I would love to become more self-sufficient. Last year we took baby steps with a small garden and it went so well that we are going to expand more next year. We have also gotten better about learning how to fix and repair more things around the house so we don’t have to pay someone else for it. I have loved watching how far you and your family have gone into self-sufficiency.

  11. Laurie just reading this is making me feel tired. Seems like a lot of work! Although my wife would be all about it. She’s always trying to get me on board with growing our own food, canning, etc. Maybe I’ll see the light this year.

  12. The Stoic says:

    The two main things I’m going to focus on this year are growing a garden and preserving some of the harvest as well as continuing to develop my DIY skills. In a couple of years I’m planning on finding a few acres and having a more rural homestead, but for now I see no reason I can’t begin to live the way I envision myself living then.

    • Laurie says:

      Absolutely, Stoic! It’s actually quite a smart idea to start now. That will make the transition easier when you make the move to the acreage.

  13. I’m with you on self-sufficiency! It’s been a hallmark of how Mr. FW and I operate for years, but with our homestead-in-the woods plan coming closer and closer, we’ve tried to ramp up and do even more ourselves. We’ve gotten to the point where we’re comfortable researching and doing basically whatever needs to get done around our house, which I hope will serve us well out on the homestead.

    The one thing that I feel really unprepared for is extreme gardening. We have zero land here in the city, so I can’t test out my skills (we’re on the waiting list for the community garden). I think the best thing for me will be to read gardening books for the time being so I’m at least gaining knowledge in some way. Do you have any that you’d recommend? Thanks!

    • Laurie says:

      VERY smart idea to start reading and educating yourself now. Part of gardening has to be trial and error, but knowing as much as you can before you start is a smart, smart move, my friend!

  14. Been taking care of my self-sufficiency for a while now to be well prepared and ready at all times. This is also caused by my financial goals to be financially ready. Thus, I get all means to be self-sufficient like working overtime, doing some business, and increasing my 401(k) plan.

  15. Sarah says:

    This is a great post! Lately I’ve been thinking about living a more rural life, but for us it probably wouldn’t happen for at least 15 years or so. My husband is growing a handyman business and his clients live in the city, haha. I definitely want to be more self-sufficient, start cooking more, grow some of our own food, learn more about fixing things around the house, have a stockpile of food / household supplies, etc. Great post!! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Laurie says:

      Sarah, glad you liked the post! Yes, keep educating yourself on preparedness and self-sufficiency – it’s an awesome place to be!

  16. Very interesting post! Last year I grew a little container garden out on the back deck. I learned what I could grow easily and what we actually ate. This year tomatoes are out and I’m going to give lettuce and green onion a whirl instead!

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