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For many people, home is where you may both live and work (it is for me when I’m not on a press trip!). It’s where you lay your head at night, and it’s often the place that you retreat to read or watch a movie when you need some downtime. But while your home should be a haven away from the outside hustle and bustle, you should also make sure that it can provide for you without too much hassle. A fully self-sufficient home is like a castle that can protect and defend you while providing for your every need. In fact, the resurgence of self-sufficient living has gone up significantly since the beginning of the pandemic.
You don’t have to go full-prepper and be completely off the grid with an enormous homestead. You do what works best for your family to be self-sufficient. Here are some ideas to get you started, whether you want to just lower your environmental footprint or you’re preparing for a SHTF scenario.
Tips to Make Your Home More Self-Sufficient
One of the most important factors is having enough fresh and clean water to drink and cook. Since many parts of the world are experiencing a water crisis, you need to take steps to ensure that you have access to good, clean water. When you run out of water, you are prone to dehydration and disease. If it isn’t illegal in your city or state, consider installing rain barrels to collect and store as much rain as possible.
If you don’t have any of the supplies to provide for your entertainment, it’s best to use paper books and board games or simple card games like Phase 10 or Uno because they don’t require electricity to operate. You can also take advantage of an old-fashioned radio for entertainment. However, if there’s no power, you can still tune into your favorite radio station using a solar-powered radio.
Always try to use natural alternatives whenever possible because if something goes wrong with your toilet, it could lead to issues with disease and illness. The best option is to build an outhouse should the sewage facility no longer work in your city. When we were off-grid in Canada at the farm, we had both an outhouse and a bathroom with a commode. Us kids hated the chore of emptying the commode, but everyone had to contribute.
During the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of the pandemic, we already had plenty of toilet paper stored as well as a handheld bidet (we cloth diapered when the kids were young). We did invest in a new bidet, and we love it except we can’t seem to get it to not constantly break our toilet seats (we’ve gone through three in less than a year because of this thing!). Our goal is to eventually get an all-in-one bidet rather than just a seat attachment.
Unless you’re going to rely on an electric or gas cooker, you need to have a stove that you can use for cooking. You also need a way to cook food without using an oven because it can be a fire hazard if there’s a power outage. A wood-burning stove is a good choice because it’s easy to use and more energy-efficient. When we had our 14 acres in the Ozarks, our cabin had what they call a pot-bellied stove. It couldn’t fit big logs, but it could fit smaller ones. No matter which option you go with, you must have a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector if you’re doing any kind of cooking in your home. It saved our lives TWICE one winter.
You don’t need to have an enormous garden on your land; the key is to make sure you can grow some of your food. You can get the help of architects and contractors to design and build a garden that’s both cute and functional. With this plan, you will grow vegetables and herbs that will serve as your primary food source. We’re fortunate enough to live relatively close to the Seed Saver’s Exchange in Decorah, IA, and get most of our seeds there if we didn’t save them the year before. Don’t get hybrid seeds because you can’t save them for the following year.
A Way to Get Rid of Garbage
Everyone has garbage cans in their homes that are used to store trash for later disposal. Have a separate container for compost to fertilize the land, which will keep it healthy and beautiful. You mustn’t store your garbage in the house because you’ll need to be able to get rid of it quickly. If you live in a small town as we do, you probably know where the waste disposal site is outside of the town limits.
Conclusion: Be Self-Sufficient
While it may seem like you need a degree in engineering to create a self-sufficient home, the truth is that it doesn’t take much to make sure that your house can shelter you without any major inconveniences. By using the best tools and supplies, you can greatly increase your home value. The key is to make sure you have all the proper supplies before you start building.