It’s hard to believe we have only been living on our homestead for a month! It feels like we have been here all our lives. We have achieved so much in a short space of time but there’s still so much more to do. What have we learned after a month on the homestead?
1. Take small actions every day to make progress
Sometimes it feels like we haven’t made any progress – especially during the week when we had been working in town all day and then it was raining or we were tired after a busy day but we made sure we did something every day to keep the momentum going. We have a huge list of little jobs but most of them we can knock out in no time at all. These are things like building planter boxes and getting ready for growing veggies to hanging a mirror to fixing Eli’s spade handle. Every time we ticked something off the list it felt like we were getting stuff done and moving forward.
2. Things do not always go to plan
Things not going to plan is a lesson we have learned many times in the first month. We wanted our outside side to be up in the first weekend but it rained so we got all our inside jobs done first. Then the shed was a huge mission to get up – which was a huge realisation that we had to let things happen at their own pace. When we couldn’t get the shed up, we had a make another plan and even now it is still not 100% finished. Another thing that did not go to plan was our solar power upgrade. We were without power for 6 days – we have a gas oven so we could still cook – but we had no internet and no way to charge our phones. No things do not always go to plan but we got there in the end!
3. We can survive with less
Every time we moved we decluttered more stuff. Our house literally has 4 rooms – 2 bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen/living room. We don’t have space for more stuff! And being without internet for nearly a week really taught us that we don’t need much to survive and be happy.
4. Don’t overdo it
We have literally been thinking about this for 5 years and really planning this for over a year. When we first moved in we wanted to rush and get things done and we nearly burned ourselves out. We still work and then work harder on the weekends. Our poor son has been pretty neglected but he has found ways to entertain himself. We get him to help – he uses the power drill, digs in the garden and uses his dump truck to cart dirt to where we need it. On the weekends we made an effort to take breaks, go for swims in the (freezing!!) river, go on bush walks and hang out at the beach.
5. Make a list and tick things off as you do them
Ticking things off a list has been great for building momentum and keeping morale up. It can feel like progress is slow sometimes but as I said in #1, when we take a small action every day we look back over the month we have been here and are amazed at how much we got done. We had a huge list – but we have slowly ticked everything off and now we will make a new list!
6. Don’t try to do everything at once
It’s hard to not be disappointed when progress feels slow and we want everything done TODAY. We wanted veggies growing and to get pigs and chickens, get solar power and put a fireplace in. We have had to prioritise and know that we will get there eventually. We moved in a bit late to plant a garden but we did it anyway. We slowly chipped away at tasks – some things have taken longer than we planned but others have been much quicker – we do actually have veggies growing which we thought we would only have done next year.
7. Ask for help
This has been a big one. You can’t do everything on your own and sometimes you need to ask for help. We got help building our shed and with the solar power. We realised we couldn’t do the shed on our own so we found a local person to help us. This has been crucial as getting the shed up meant we could move some of the boxes and now our house looks less like a storage unit and more like a home.
What lessons have you learned on your homestead in the time that you have been there?