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/frugal living/urban homesteading/whatever you want to call it.
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.
in 2019 I laid out our first 10 baby steps that we were taking to move us closer to crossing that chasm! Shannon Hayes talks “about changing the world by moving toward what we love, not running away from what we fear”1. She continued on in a fabulous post about 10 Easy Steps for becoming a Radical Homemaker,
10 Easy Steps for Becoming a Radical Homemaker
- Commit to hanging your laundry out to dry.
- Dedicate a portion of your lawn to a vegetable garden.
- Get to know your neighbors. Cooperate to save money and resources.
- Go to your local farmers’ market each week before you head to the grocery store.
- Do some spring cleaning to identify everything in your home that you absolutely don’t need. Donate to help others save money and resources.
- Make a commitment to start carrying your own reusable bags and use them on all your shopping trips.
- Choose one local food item to learn how to preserve for yourself for the winter. Get your family to spend more evenings at home, preferably with the TV off.
- Cook for your family.
- Focus on enjoying what you have and who are with. Stop fixating on what you think you may need, or how things could be better “if only.”
That is a good place to start at 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!
- Recommit to hanging laundry out to dry as much as possible instead of using the dryer for ease. Wash clothes by hand when possible again.
- Plant vegetables, herbs, and edibles in the back yard.
- Get to know our neighbors more for more cooperation to save money and resources.
- Find local produce options.
- Cook for my family again (this has been lacking the last year in a big way).
- Shop second hand before we shop new.
- Reorganize the house to make it flow and work better for our needs (get rid of things that are taking up precious real estate and care time).
- Hike and explore our area more. We need to get out, especially when it’s not blazing hot!
- Find at least one local food item to gather and preserve.
- Make library visits a regular happening
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.
- Walk and bike more! The Madsen Bike has made this a much bigger success than in previous years!
- Decluttering regularly
- Make a laundry line so we can hang clothes outside. In our last rental Cameron made a clothesline that we could “retract” when it wasn’t needed and remove completely when we moved. Two hooks screwed into the sides of two trees, a camjam rope tightener hook, and some paracord was all it took! Our new rental has an actual laundry line installed in the cement pad.
- We don’t buy garbage bags, we reuse the bags we get from the grocery store. No buying stuff just to throw it away. Someday I hope we can use mostly reusable grocery bags and only have to get the plastic grocery bags occasionally when we need garbage bags.