Minimalism is simple. You just get rid of stuff and live with the bare necessities. But your needs look different if you live out in the sticks. Especially if you raise chickens, bees, and gardens. How can you make less trips to town?
I live in town. I can walk to the grocery store. Most anything I need is within a 5-minutes drive. But it’s a different story if you live 10 or 20 miles out of town. You need to practice living in a way to minimize trips to town.
I’ve done my share of country living in the past. I enjoy being out in the country, but I made a decision to live in town about 15 years ago. It’s more convenient and I don’t need as much stuff. That doesn’t mean that everyone who lives in the country has excessive amounts of stuff.
Introducing Mike & Carrie
I have several friends who still live out in the country. My friends, Mike & Carrie, wouldn’t call themselves minimalists, but they make do with what they have. And they’ve learned to operate their small homestead without running into town every day. I can relate. I remember my country-living days. You have to make conscious decisions to have the things you need at home.
Mike & Carrie have a small homestead 20 minutes outside of a town of about 50,000. They both work from home and at home. Carrie does accounting and Mike takes care of the ranch. They raise chickens and bees. Their home is on a good portion of land that needs to be cared for. It requires stuff to keep things up. But they still live relatively simple.
When you walk into Mike & Carrie’s house it looks like the average American place. It’s not cluttered, but they have their share of stuff. Mike has a shop where he can do just about anything with engines, wood. And they have several small outbuildings for chickens, bees, and a well. And a nice little recording studio.
When you live out of town, you want to be prepared to do what needs to be done. But you don’t have to live in the country to make less trips to town. Today’s post can be applied to anywhere.
4 Ways To Make Less Trips To Town
- Focus on needs: Something homesteaders have in common with minimalists is that we both focus on needs. In fact, homesteaders might have a better grasp on what our needs really are. The extreme minimalist might have to run to the store when he needs a hammer. You need to know what your needs are if you want to make less trips to town.
- Stock up on the basics: When you understand your needs, you know what you need to keep stocked. Mike & Carrie buy lots of dried bulk foods and make their own bread, granola, and more. When you have chickens and bees and tractors, you need to have grain, supplies, and fuel on hand. The basics look different out in the country.
- Don’t get rid of everything: Mike & Carrie live in a canyon. A creek runs through their property. Instead of spending $50K on a new tractor, Mike bought an old tractor for keeping the hillside from eroding into the creek. He had everything he needed to get and keep that tractor running. No trips into town. It was all in the shop. Mikes advice: “Know what you might need so you’ll have it when you need it.”
- Coordinate your trips: No matter where you live, you can coordinate trips. Go shopping, get the mail, and take care of that doctors appointment all on the same day. Make lists if you need something to help you remember. You can make one trip a week instead of four by thinking things ahead.
You’ll Have More Time To Do What You Want To Do
When you make less trips to town, you’ll have more time to live. Who wants to run around constantly. Running around is what keeps us busy doing nothing and it adds extra stress to our lives. But if we focus on needs, stock up on basics, save stuff that we can use, and coordinate our trips, we’ll have more time and less stress. What could you do with that time?
- Spend time with family
- Build something
- Read a book
- Write a book
- Have a barbecue
- Play a musical instrument
- Start a new hobby
You get the idea, and the possibilities are endless.