The origin of the word homestead goes way back to the 1860s when the land was given to families to help encourage migration to the west. The families that received the nation were asked to stay and work on the land for several years before they fully owned it. Today, the concept of homesteading is more of a mindset. It’s about looking at the things that you can buy from the commercial world and realizing that you could probably create something similar yourself.
It starts with something simple, like taking out a student loan to invest in yourself and expand your carpentry skills or learn how to work as an engineer so that you can serve the world around you. Then you begin to do everything for yourself, relying less on the people in the commercial world, and more on your unique set of skills. So, how do you start embracing this mindset of DIY potential?
Start Off Small
It’s important to start small when you’re trying to become self-sufficient. It’s easy to get carried away when you discover how easy it is to do things for yourself. You start by growing your own herbs in a pot on your kitchen windowsill, and before you know it, you’re caring for chickens in your back yard and planning how you’re going to rewire your home.
The trouble is that each homesteading strategy requires a unique set of skills. While you won’t necessarily need a full education to develop each of these talents, you will need time to perfect what you know. Because of that, it’s best to start with one or two skills that you can build over time. Start with skills like plumbing and gardening, then spend your first year on those before you move into anything else.
Have a Goal in Mind
Just because it helps to start small when you’re investing in a new homesteading lifestyle, doesn’t mean that you can’t have big ambitions. Before you jump in too quickly, take a while to think about why you’re going to adapt to this style of life in the first place. Think about your world and what you want to accomplish. Do you want to live an environmentally-friendly life, which means that you rely less on mass-produced products, and grow more of your food at home? Perhaps you just want to make sure that you’re always capable of dealing with a disaster.
When the unexpected happens and you end up with a sudden plumbing disaster or electrical mishap, having the right homesteading skills in place could mean that you and your family have the protection that you need to overcome a problem quickly. Homesteading doesn’t have to mean the same thing for everyone. For some, it will be a complex process that involves looking after your own animals and growing your own food. For others, ambition will simply be to become more self-sufficient and independent over time. Deciding on a goal and what success looks like to you is a great way to make sure that you’re going to achieve your targets over time.