While living on a rural property is often a dream come true, managing a small property can be daunting. Whether you have inherited an acreage, made a change from urban life, or moved from interstate, there is a lot to know and a lot to do!

These days, there is also a great deal of information available through web-based research, online forums, and local groups or information services. How do you bring it all together, and know where you are going, how to start and what is most important?

The Small Farm Living DIY Property Planning tool is designed to capture the most important information and help you set realistic goals. Preparing a property plan is also a great way to ensure that everyone involved with the property has a shared vision, or to identify and explore different expectations and priorities between partners or family members.

There are four main components to the DIY Property Plan:

  1. Your property description, vision and goals
  2. Mapping your property – present and future
  3. Self-assessment – checking what you don’t know, and working towards best practice
  4. Prioritisation and Action Plan

There is also a fifth, and very important, aspect which will come later: reviewing and adapting your plan.

how long will it take?

Property Planning should not be rushed, especially if there are important conversations to have with others along the way. There may also be topics that you need to research or take time to think about in order to complete your plan. The following should be considered a minimum time commitment for developing your plan:

  • Property description, vision and goals – 1 hour
  • Mapping your property – if you are already familiar with LISTmap: 3 hours. If you are learning to use LISTmap, allow longer than this.
  • Self-assessment – as little as one hour, but potentially longer
  • Prioritisation and Action Plan – as little as one hour, but it is recommended to take a break and come back to prioritisation and action planning, to allow for a ‘reality check’.

where is my information stored?

The DIY Property Plan is for your use only. You can save your work and come back to it, print your prioritised Action Plan, and return to the tool in future to review and adapt it. For more information about privacy and information management, refer to the next section About Small Farm Living and the Property Planning Tool.

Use of this free online tool is made possible by NRM North’s Small Farm Living Program, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.