Polly's pages (aka 'Donna Williams')

Ever the arty Autie

Entrepreneurial ideas for stay at home people.


 Simply Being by Donna Williams Writing a book, making cards, artworks, crafts, CDs, DVDs are all wonderful creative things to do if you can’t take work outside of the house and you can always start a free quality blog which you can use to showcase your work, even link it to an online payment facility to take payments.  But it’s hard to sell anything right now as people don’t have money and for many the future of their jobs is uncertain so they are understandably holding onto their money very tightly.

So what else can a stay at home parent, housebound or transport-limited person do? 

People still need services, still rent space and will still buy things they can eat, especially if they are home made.  Can you pet sit?  Do you have police clearances to look after children and would you be good at it?  Can you sew, iron, wash clothes or offer an affordable drop off-pick up clothes repair or laundry service for those without the time or facilities?   Can you shine shoes, cut hair, do makeup or nails for functions?

Do you have a garden patch in which to cultivate and grow potted herbs, cacti or native plants?  Could you make sauces, home baked CF/GF bread, cakes, cookies, pickles, herb oils or vinegars and make them presentable, make a nice flyer with which to sell them with an order form at the bottom and see if you can get some shops to take them?

Do you have counseling or advocacy skills, experience or qualifications to do emergency e-consulting or phone consulting and charge affordably via an online secure banking facility like Pay Pal?

Do you have a spare room or shed you could rent out as storage space for someone’s boxes of belongings, their furniture, even temporary accomodation?  If you have garden or driveway space you could even rent parking space or accept a lodger in a caravan who can hook into your power supply and fill up their water tank with your water as part of their rental fee.  If animals are your thing, maybe you can look after someone’s dog for a limited time at a set fee as its stand in carer.

And think about the ways you can also save money by cooking at home, eating more fresh foods, dumping the soft drinks, the fruit juices, the cigarettes, recycling and revamping what you have, even holding parties to swap unwanted items with a group of friends or local community group.  Instead of buying new kids clothes and toys, put the word out that you’re open to good quality donated ones and donate those your children have grown out of.   Save treats for one chosen day of the week or month on the basis this will make those things more special and less about addiction.  Get creative with more fruit and veg and less meat. It’s cheaper, healthier and better for the environment.

If you’re at risk of losing your home and despairing, can you rent out a room or some part of it?  Could you get a caravan or rent an on-site one in a nice tourist caravan park whilst you rent out your house?  They can be highly affordable.  I’ve lived in around five caravan parks and the tourist ones can be nice, with trees, play and recreation areas, barbeques, kiosks, post collection, security entry, pay phones and some have wireless internet available and you can always get a local post office box if you don’t want your postal address to show you’re in a caravan park.  You can even add an annex to the side in which to park a car, hold BBQs, or an enclosed annex as a hobby room or where pets stay (some parks will accept pets).  You can always keep one room or garage in your old house as your own secure storage room for when you’re financial enough to take the house back over.  And you can even build a small no-dig garden around your caravan if you’re there long term. Think of it as an exercise in simplification.

Maybe go dig up those dandelion roots and make homemade dandelion coffee or learn which weeds in your garden are actually edible herbs or useable in salads or for medicinal purposes.  Collect your water and clean compost.  Waste nothing but if you don’t want to keep it, swap it for something you can use.  Even the kindness of generosity often ultimately leads to some degree of generosity coming back.

Donna Williams *)