I spent eight years reading books and articles, watching videos, trying things, and talking with people who were already doing what I wanted to do. You’d think that I would have foreseen some of these.
Here’s my list (ever-growing) of things I wish I had been told before we made our move to our rural homestead:
- You don’t have long enough extension cords.
Seriously, you might think that you’ll be fine, but you’ll be surprised how tethered you’ll be when weed whacking, or extending your electric fence charger, or whatnot. Buy LONG extension cords. And several of them.
- You need better shoes.
Not nicer shoes. Better shoes–for easily slipping on when you need to make a quick run out to check the chickens or grab something from the shed. You might THINK that the short walk won’t mess up your town shoes, but somehow dirt or muck seems to get everywhere you don’t want it. Yes, even when you’re careful. So invest in some muck boots or garden clogs and keep them by the door. Oh, and actually remember to use them.
- There will be a steep learning curve.
Whether you’re getting used to simple things like hand-washing dishes, drying clothes on a line, putting up firewood, or you’re scheming and tackling a new construction/renovation/maintenance project, there’s lots of new stuff for you to experience. Enjoy your journey, ’cause this could take some time.
- Everything takes longer than expected.
Reread point #2. Then add further distance to town for supplies and plenty of time to rework what you messed up because point #2. Just don’t forget to enjoy the journey.
- Your current weekly planner is not good enough.
When trips in to town for work, school, groceries, and entertainment suddenly cost you more in gas money, you’ll need to make the most of every trip. Find a good mobile app to communicate with ALL the family members regarding things like scheduling and shopping needs. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting back home only to find you forgot someone or something.We’ve been using the Trello app to keep our family on the same page. We all can update shopping lists and family calendars via the app on our phones or any web browser. It’s been such a time-saver. AND it’s free!
- People won’t visit you.
Sure, when you’re planning the move, your friends and family will say all the things you want to hear about coming out for fun days and hikes and potlucks and stuff. But after that first trek to help you unload the moving van, your country place will seem too far for most folks. You’ll want to point out the fact that they think nothing of driving 45 minutes to work or an hour to a ball game downtown, but the 30 minutes “out” to your place will be somehow unmanageable. But take heart, these are the same people who will like all your Facebook and Instagram photos from your new place and jealously comment about how lucky you are to be there.
- But you’ll enjoy life more.
OK, I can’t really guarantee this, but if you’re like me, you will have plenty of “pinch me I’m dreaming” moments as you gaze around your property (big or small) and take in the space, the beauty, the opportunity, the freedom, the lifestyle, and the fact that you’re actually starting your dream. Stop what you’re doing and breathe in those moments.
What about you? Do you have anything to add to the list? Share them in the comments below.