We all know that there is a big difference between being excited about an idea and being able to actually implement it and move towards it. This is how we feel with Radical Homemaking.
We love the ideas and principles. We love the idea of the lifestyle. But how the heck do we get from where we are to where we want to be! That seems like a chasm to cross. The only way to cross that chasm though is to start building a bridge, plank by plank, baby step by baby step.
Today’s post is our first 10 baby steps that we are taking to move us closer to crossing that chasm! I found an article by Shannon Hayes, the Radical Homemaker Queen herself, about 10 Easy Steps for becoming a Radical Homemaker, and that was a good start for our list. Some we can’t do yet because of the season or because of our situation, and some we’ve already done. We wanted a list of things we could start doing right now. So that is where this list came from!
We live in a small town. I have a lot of friends in even smaller towns and rural areas. A lot of the “frugal living tips” that we find online just don’t work for our areas, or we’re already doing. Can’t utility shop much when there’s only one power company and one water company. Don’t have a gym membership already. And to add to the fun, we’re still renting our house so making major changes to the yard and house aren’t really doable quite yet.
So what are our plans for the next 10 baby steps?! I’ll tell you!
- Making a laundry line so we can hang clothes outside now that it is warming up.
- Plant vegetables and edibles in spare space around the yard.
- Quit wasting food. I’m becoming weird about it. The more food I’m making from scratch, the more I hate seeing it wasted not only because we’re wasting resources, but also because it wastes my time and efforts as well. We’re learning to eat lots of leftovers, how to have fewer leftovers, and how to freeze or dry foods for later consumption.
- Shop local as we can. We moved to a more locally owned garbage service, try to shop at Bashas over Walmart and Safeway (because even though it’s not totally local, it’s the most local grocery store we have), and the few times we do eat out we’re trying to eat at the Mom and Pop restaurants and not the chains.
- Eat a home cooked meal as a family most evenings. Of course there will be exceptions to this, but overall we want to make more of our own food and we want to eat it together!
- Shop second hand before we shop new.
- Do a strict decluttering of the house. We’ve done one now for 4 years and we’ve had fewer and fewer things to declutter, but I’m wanting to make one main final one to get us to a good place. We’ll have to do mini ones in the future, but I feel like we’re doing better at not bringing clutter into our house!
- Only have one designated day a week that the TV comes out of the chest so it is a treat and not a crutch.
- Hike and explore our area more. We are smack in the middle of the largest ponderosa pine forest in North America, and have the most dramatic part of the Mogollon Rim close by…there’s so much to explore. We need to get out!
- Utilize and improve the seed library. (I asked into it and apparently it’s been neglected for 2 years and they asked if I wanted to take it over…I’ve never had a successful garden yet, so I’m a little nervous, but the idea intrigues me! I might get my garden going and then jump into it when harvest time comes to start collecting local seeds so that the library is ready for next Spring)
Future steps we are hoping to take are:
- Go to our local Farmer’s Market or Market on the Move before we go to the grocery store.
- Forage prickly pear and juniper berries
- Offer to pick fruit from people in the area in the fall (so many in town let their fruit just fall and waste, we figure we can help them pick it and ask for a bag in return…that’s what we’ll try at least).
- Find a way to barter photography services
- Find a good solution to the garbage bag conundrum. Our garbage has to be bagged, so I feel bad using grocery bags because we just moved to a new trash service (an actual person pulls our trash out of the bin instead of the truck dumping it with that mechanical arm), because that’s more work for our garbage man, and it’s a messier job for him. However, that means buying garbage bags and even if I get bio-bags, I HATE buying bags to throw away. It feels like just throwing away our money. We’re working on having less to throw away, but for now we still have to bag our garbage somehow. So…I’m working on that! Any ideas?!
- Participate more in library activities and town activities
- Start selling Cameron’s spoons
Steps we have taken to help us move closer to goals:
- Find a budget system that works for us and stick to it to help us save money and plan for the future. More on this in a future blog post!! We’ve finally found a system after 12 years and it’s changed everything for us!!
- Walk and bike more! We got the kids bikes (yay Taxmas!!) and bike locks, we have a bike trailer (hooray for the local yard sale group), and we’re trying to do at least grocery shopping on foot. Takes some coordination, but it works!
- Declutter kids books and toys, and borrow from the library more.