70+ Homestead Hacks: Nifty Shortcuts to Make Your Life Easier

homestead hacks

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about homestead/farmer folk…

…it’s that you guys are a ingenious bunch (especially when it involves baling twine or duct tape!)

I’m all about conserving time whenever possible, and I’m always on the look-out for a good homestead hack to add to my collection.

What’s a “Homestead Hack?”

Good question. Here is how Wikipedia explains it:

“Life hacking refers to any productivity trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method to increase productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life; in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem in a clever or non-obvious way”

Apply that definition to homesteading, and that, my friends, is a Homestead Hack.
I’ve featured various Homestead Hacks in the past, but this, my friends, is the granddaddy of all Homestead Hack posts. I hope you are ready for this! ;)

70+ Homestead Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

tour21

For Your Animals

  1. How to Weigh a Pig without a Scale
  2. A Cheap DIY Waterer for Ducks and Geese
  3. Turn an Old Kitchen Sink into a Dog Water Bowl
  4. 5 Tips for Putting Your Chickens to Work
  5. DIY $1 Chicken Feeder and Waterer
  6. How to Trim Your Goat’s Hooves
  7. How to Make a DIY Goat Feeder
  8. How to Make Your Own Udder Balm
  9. How to Stop Your Milk Cow from Kicking
  10. How to Remove Skunk Smell (without tomato juice)
  11. DIY Beehive in a Mason Jar

mint

For Your Garden

12. How to Kill Squash Bugs and Eggs with Duct Tape

13. How to Freeze Root Vegetables

14. How to Get Free Containers for Starting Seeds Indoors

15. How to Repurpose Masonry Ladders in the Garden

16. 6 Tips for Planting and Growing Beans

17. 10 Tips for Growing Awesome Tomatoes

18. How to Warm Up Garden Soil for Early Planting

19. How to Get Superpowered Garden Soil

20. … [Continue Reading]

8 Reasons I Love Life in a Small House

small house living

I always used to feel like I had to defend my little farmhouse…

… when people would first walk through the door. No one ever seemed to notice all the neat things about my home; the hand-painted signs adorning the walls, the farmhouse antiques I had salvaged from yard sales, or my creative furniture arrangements…

They only seemed to want to talk about the size.

“Wow… this is… small.”

“So, are you going to build an addition soon?”

“How are you going to have more kids?”

Now honestly? Our house isn’t that small. It’s around 1100 square feet. I know of much larger families living in much smaller spaces.

But it is very representative of the houses built 100 years ago out here on the high plains of Wyoming. Resources were scarce, so the rooms are small and choppy and the stairs are so narrow that if you have big feet (like me) you kinda have to turn your foot sideways when you walk down the steps.

small space living

Is it functional? Absolutely. But my boxy little farmhouse is a far cry from many modern-day homes with sweeping living rooms and a bathroom attached to each bedroom.

But what started out five years ago as “I guess we’ll just make it work,” has turned into, “Hey… I actually kinda like this!

My insecurities have melted away and this quirky little 96-year old farm house has grown on me… A lot.

As of right now, I can confidently say that, not only am I content with living in a small space, but I’ve actually come to prefer it. Here’s why:

8 Reasons I Love Life in a Small House

1. Little houses are more budget-friendly. 

Small spaces are cheaper to heat and cool, and usually have smaller electric bills as well.… [Continue Reading]

No Diffuser Required! 5 Room Spritzer Recipes (w/ Free Printable!)

homemade air fresheners

Ya’ll, I love my essential oils.

I really do consider them life-changing, and I use them all.the.time in my home.

Being a recovering candle-aholic (well, I still appreciate a good candle on a snowy winter night…), I especially love using my diffusers to spread the benefits of the oils all over my house.

The cool thing about essential oils is, not only do they smell pretty, but they can also have medicinal benefits as well. (Like being anti-bacterial or helping to clear congestion.)

However, if you are just starting out with oils, then purchasing a diffuser right away might not be in your budget. (Although I have this one that Amazon sells and it’s a little workhorse for a reasonable price!)

These five simple room spritzers are a wonderful way to quickly freshen up a room, even if you don’t own a diffuser. Just mix up and spray to your heart’s content!

5 Easy Room Spritzer Recipes

A few guidelines:

  • I am a stickler for quality essential oils. The cheapie ones at the health food store just won’t cut it for me. That’s why I use and love doTERRA- you can read more about them here, or find out how to purchase them for yourself.
  • These recipes are for small batches. Feel free to double or triple if you find a mix you really like!
  • You can use whatever type of water you have available- I just use our plain tap water.
  • Not only does the addition of the vanilla extract in some of these recipes make the blend smell fabulous, but the alcohol in the extract actually helps the mixture to not clog up the spray nozzle. (Just make sure you are using the real stuff– the fake “vanilla” isn’t the same. Here is how to make your own vanilla extract.)
  • Because some essential oils have the tendency to break down plastic, if I am going to consume a blend, I always, always keep it in a glass container.
[Continue Reading]

8 Tips for Adding Farmhouse-Charm to a Builder-Grade Kitchen

how to add farmhouse charm to a builder-grade kitchen

Our little prairie farmhouse has quite the history…

Originally built in 1918, its walls have seen many families come and go. Every once and a while, a former resident will pull into the driveway and want to reminisce. I absolutely love hearing the stories of the folks who loved this piece of land before I did.

I’ve learned that the original family who built the house raised four girls in the tiny upstairs bedrooms. And how their uncle would pay them for every rattlesnake they killed on the property (which apparently was quite a few…). And how the family that lived here in the 1940s and 1950s would candle their eggs in the basement and how this place was their pride and joy.

Unfortunately, I’ve also heard how the house fell on hard times in later years. It became a rental at one point, and was severely neglected. In fact, there was even a horse (it was either a pony or a foal) living IN MY LIVING ROOM at one point…

Thankfully, the man who we purchased the property from completely remodeled the inside before we bought it. Out of necessity, he put in all new sheet rock, flooring, fixtures, and appliances. It was literally like a brand-new home in the inside. (You’d never know that a horse had ever seen the inside of these walls– promise!)

Unfortunately, in doing some of the necessary remodels, some of the original old-house charm was lost. I am so thankful that my kitchen came with all new appliances, counter tops, and cabinets, but it just seemed to lack some of the character it should have had as a old homestead house.

As you know, I recently undertook the massive task of repainting my kitchen cabinets, and during that process, we also added a few extra touches to increase the farmhouse charm-ability.… [Continue Reading]