Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Prepping for a Homestead Suburban Style

I don't yet live on my property in Oregon. I can't for a couple more years for two reasons. One, I need to finish building the Tiny House and two, my 401k will be vested then and the amount will increase significantly. I would be a fool to leave my job before then. Meanwhile I am prepping and preparing all the things I can before I make the big transfer to the homestead. If you have a dream that you want to build a homestead of your own, but it is far out in the future at this point, there is nothing that says you can't start planning and building toward that goal.

One of the first steps you can take is to simply take inventory. What do you own right now that you would want to use or keep for your homestead?
I have a policy that I only keep things of the highest quality. I will not keep cheap things from the "Mart."  I did an inventory of everything I currently own and put a check mark next to anything I was planning to take to the homestead. Then I took those items and decided whether they are going to make it for the long haul or if I should be looking for a higher quality replacement.

Bedding is a great example of this. Sheets come in many varieties of fabrics, thread counts, and qualities. For me, three sets of high quality percale sheets, rotated out, will last for many years. Two blankets, one lightweight for summer and one heavier for winter are adequate as well. I have four queen-size pillows that I replace yearly so I make pillow cases because it is hard to find sets of sheets that include queen size pillow cases. I also know that my pillow cases are of higher quality and will last a lot longer in addition to custom matching my decor.

Churn Dash Block
Made using Quilt Block of the Month
From www.Joann.com
Another item that I like to make myself is quilts. I adore quilts. Quilts are both beautiful and practical. I currently have 8 quilts from throw size on up to king. The variety of sizes is nice since I often don't need a king size quilt, but just a throw to keep my legs warm while sitting or to hang in front of a drafty window. Quilts also look nice hanging on the wall. If you are a sewer who has never made a quilt, there are kits available at Joann Fabrics that are a block a month project. Each month you make a new block and then at the end of twelve months you put them together using a Setting Kit. All the fabrics are pre-matched and precision cut, so you don't have to worry about buying yardage to cut. Total cost to finish a full size quilt is just under $200, but it will last several generations. An heirloom for sure!

If you are not a sewer or just don't have the time or interest in making a quilt from the bolt on up, investing in several good quilts is a good idea. Things to look for are 100% cotton fabrics, strong seams, and quality even stitches. If you find an older quilt at a tag sale or vintage store check for fraying or seams that are separating. This does not rule out purchasing it, but be sure to make repairs before using the quilt so that it will last longer. Quilts tied with yarn are not the best way to quilt for long term use. I see lots of these "cheater" quilts and I pass them all by. Look for a "quilted" quilt and you will be much more satisfied.

So while your homesteading dreams may be off in the future, you can start working toward them today. Everyday items will be necessary in your future as well. Start making sure the items you own are the highest quality you can afford and that they serve a purpose. When you need to make a purchase of a new item or replace a worn out item, take some time to research and purchase the best available. Take inventory and action so you are ready to make your tomorrow a reality.