Learn how to embrace the homesteader lifestyle and start homesteading TODAY, even if you don’t have an actual homestead.
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Homesteading is all of the rage these days, and for good reason. Its a kickback on modern society, and it challenges people in all the best, traditional ways.
If you’re on this site, you probably (hopefully) have a similar desire to ditch modern consumerism and embrace the old fashioned, country lifestyle as a homemaker. Homesteading is an awesome way to do that.
I love it so much that I have a whole section on my site dedicated to the homesteader lifestyle. But guess what…. my husband and I don’t actually have a traditional homestead. We don’t have chickens (yet), we don’t have a dairy cow (yet), we don’t even live on our own property.
We have a small garden that we harvest, I am working towards making all of my own cleaning and beauty products, and last summer I got my first taste of canning! (Hello canned apples galore, I adore you).
More importantly than all of that I have an innate desire to produce, to live more slowly and simply, and to be completely intentional with my time.
Sure chickens and a dairy cow are a good representation of homesteading, but that is NOT all that it is. Homesteading is a way of life and a mindset!
Its choosing homemade products instead of commercial ones. Its trying out canning for the first time. Homesteading is reading up on chickens until your eyes are red because you can’t wait until the day that you can actually have a flock of your own. Its dipping your toes in composting, knitting your first scarf, and supporting your local farmers and producers.
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So yes, my husband and I don’t have an actual homestead, but by golly I consider myself a homesteader (a work in progress one).
If you are fascinated by the homestead lifestyle and you wish you could embrace it a little more fully but you don’t have the means to start a traditional homestead just yet, don’t worry! You may already be a homesteader, and if not we will get you there.
You can become a homesteader tomorrow with a change of heart and a move in the right direction.
PSA: Did you know I have a FREE eBook on my 5 Secrets to SIMPLE, SEASONAL, OLD-FASHIONED, Homemaking?! Its an actionable guide that will help you to embrace this vintage lifestyle in your own home. I think you’d love it! Sign up for my email list HERE to get access to yours today!
Let me show you how YOU can start homesteading today, no matter where you live, what you do, and how many chickens you do or don’t have. But first…..
What is homesteading?
Modern homesteading is primarily about living more self-sufficiently.
Most definitions of a ‘homestead’ refer to it as a piece of land with buildings on it. There are historical roots to the term homestead dating back to the 1800’s when pieces of land were given to US citizens as long as they were to settle on and farm the land for at least 5 years.
In today’s society, when someone talks about homesteading they are likely referring to the modern lifestyle of embracing self-sufficiency. This can be through different means such as growing your own food, raising your own animals, and making your own products.
To get a more in depth definition of homesteading and how you can decide whether or not its for you, check out this post HERE.
How to be a Homesteader When You Don’t have an Actual Homestead
Now we all know what homesteading is, so let’s get into how you can start homesteading TODAY, no matter what stage of life you are in.
Again, remember that above all homesteading is a mindset and a lifestyle choice. There are homesteaders at every stage of the journey.
Don’t believe that you need to be living completely off grid and not using electricity before you’re officially a homesteader. You may never do that! There are different degrees of homesteading and how far you go with it is entirely up to you.
Let’s take a look at all of the different ways that you can embrace modern homesteading today.
Practice From Scratch Cooking
Cooking from scratch is a skill that prettttty much anyone can practice. You don’t need money (from scratch cooking can actually save you money), you don’t need space or special equipment, all you need is a little effort.
One of my favorite homestead bloggers recently released a cookbook as well as a heritage cooking crash course all on from scratch cooking and recipes that embrace the ma’ Ingalls lifestyle.
If you’ve been wanting to learn more about cooking from scratch, this is an awesome place to start! I got a chance to watch several of the videos in Jill’s crash course and I was SO inspired! I can’t wait to get my hands on the cookbook.
Grab Jill’s cookbook on Amazon HERE or check out the crash cooking course HERE.
I also have a section on my site that you can check out HERE with recipes and tips for from scratch cooking. I am learning every day along with you, and I’m excited to share more recipes and inspiration as I go.
Learn About and Practice Canning
Canning is an awesome, self-sufficient skill that you can also learn with very little money or equipment. I got a lot of my canning supplies last summer from a garage sale, and a few things I got new but went in on with my mom to split the cost.
It can be really intimidating to start canning at first, but once you do it a few times you’ll feel so much more comfortable with the process.
Also, don’t think you need to be growing your own food to try canning! Its awesome if you are able to, but you can also can organic produce from the grocery store, farmer’s markets, etc.
My mother-in-law gave me a big bag of wild plums last summer that she picked off a friends tree. I canned some wild plum jam that we are still enjoying today!
If You Can’t Have Animals, Study Up on the Ones You Want to Eventually Get
Okay, so farm animals are pretty quintessential of the homesteading lifestyle. Yet not everyone has the means to own or raise farm animals.
You can still embrace homesteading by practicing all of the other skills mentioned. AND you can start looking into the animals you’d eventually like to get.
Researching and educating yourself on the proper care for animals is a great thing to do while your dreaming of the day you have your own.
In addition, you can purchase your animal products (meat, eggs, dairy products, etc.) from local producers. Supporting self-sufficiency any way you can!
Make Your Own Cleaning Products
DIY cleaning products are a great way to be more self sufficient and they have so many other bonuses as well. They’re usually cheaper than store-bought, commercial products, they’re safer and less toxic, and they’re easily customized.
You can make anything from your own laundry detergent, to hand soap, to citrus dusting spray.
Once you learn the basics of DIY natural cleaning, and you have the basic supplies on hand (baking soda, vinegar, castile soap, etc.), you’ll be able to whip up whatever you need when you need it.
Make Your Own Beauty Products
Getting into the realm of DIY beauty can be SO FUN. Its a great step in the direction of self-sufficiency and the homesteader lifestyle.
When you start making your own DIY beauty products you can have much more control over them. If you have sensitive skin learn to adjust what you make to work for you.
Even if you can’t (or maybe you just don’t want to) make your own beauty products, try buying from small businesses and individuals that do.
Mend Your Own Clothes and Learn Other Sewing Projects
My own mom is awesome in this area and I look up to her so much. Being able to sew and to know how to mend clothing and other fabrics can be so helpful. I don’t know how many times she’s helped me patch a hole, shorten and hem a pair of jeans, and add some sleeves to a dress.
Learning how to sew can open up SO many doors for you. Think of the possibilities!
Related: How To Sew Pillowcases With Lace Trim
Related: How To Sew a Basic Apron
Handmade cloth napkins for your DIY, spring table setting. Curtains that you made yourself with the perfect fabric to match your decor. DIY Christmas pillow cases for your kiddos (my mom did this one too!)
Once you learn the basics, the options are endless. If you don’t know how to sew yet but you want to get started, Lisa from Farmhouse on Boone started a series on her Youtube channel just dedicated to sewing. She starts off with the very basics and walks you through every step. Check out her Youtbue channel HERE.
Anything handmade is a move in the right direction, it doesn’t have to be sewing! Try doing handmade gifts for friends and family, and making as many things as you like around your home and in your life. Check out our handmade section HERE.
Start With Even the Smallest Things
There are SO MANY small things that you can start doing today to live more self sufficiently. You can save your food scraps to compost. Even if you don’t have a garden you can make compost tea for your indoor plants.
Try buying your produce and meat from local producers and farmers. If you can’t produce yourself, its much better buying locally when you can and supporting the cause. This goes as well for cleaning and beauty products, clothing, etc.
Make your own candles, practice less food waste, ditch the plastic baggies and invest in quality containers, etc. etc. etc.!
Whatever you can do to rely less on modern society and more on your own skills and resources, will get you closer to being a bona fide homesteader.
Change Your Mindset
If you only do one thing in your journey towards homesteading and a life of self-sufficiency, this is what you need to do.
You need to change your mindset! Start thinking about things differently.
Just knowing in your mind that you don’t want to live the fast-paced, consumerism lifestyle that’s common in today’s society, and that you want to embrace a more self-sufficient one, is all you need to become a homesteader today.
Embrace slow and simple living.
Every move you make in that direction, and every small and big task you practice, will just get you closer to the life you want to live. Keep mastering things until you’ve achieved the self-sufficient lifestyle you’re proud of. Then, live it up the best you can.
Just one last note: sometimes, labels can be kind of silly. I love the homesteading lifestyle, but I try not to get obsessed with the label: homestead, homesteading, homesteader.
Whenever I think about the life I want to live and the life I want to show other women how to live on this site, I like thinking more about the details of it rather than the label.
Fresh, homemade food, a cozy and old fashioned home, seasonal living, gardening, nature, handmade gifts, handmade everything, farm animals to teach our kids about, hard work, less materialism, intentional living, etc.
I don’t always like slapping a one-size-fits-all label on that.
With that in mind, know that homesteading is what you make it. Its YOUR version of self-sufficiency, whatever that may be.
Okay friends, do you consider yourself a homesteader? Do you feel confident enough to become one now? I hope so!
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Check out some of our other homesteading posts!
55 Ways You Can Make Extra Money With Your Homestead
How to Start Homesteading When You’re Flat Broke
11 Feasible First Year Homesteading Goals