Holidays, Homemaking on the Homestead, Journal Style Posts

Holiday Decorations Have Begun

Fizzgig was so excited to see a gift bag that he could play with.

Gizmo immediately claimed the tree skirt as her own.

She got quite comfy.

That is, until Fizzgig decided she needed to share it with him.

This is my elf. He goes on the front door. I haven’t finished decorating, but he has been hung. I don’t hang outdoor lights because we have a two story home and I don’t like heights and neither hubby, nor myself want the electric bill that comes with hanging oodles of lights. We may get some led lights that don’t use a lot of electricity in the future, but as of right now, we decorate indoors and a few things hang in windows or on the front door, but behind the storm door. No decorations on the porch because I have not figured out how to keep them from blowing away or falling over from the wind. Eventually I will figure something out.

This was before hubby came home from work and added the tree topper and before I had finished. This is important because the final version looks different.

A bit better view from the side with more lighting. (Again, not even remotely finished)

My dining room table is covered in decorations and GLITTER!! 😂😂😂

My daughter made this in elementary school. It is made using a coat hanger and plastic sandwich bags (no zippers, just the fold ones.) Then you just add ornaments. Over the years, ornaments have fallen off or broken because they were super inexpensive plastic ones so, I added some ornaments, a stocking, and some silver glitter ribbon because glitter makes everything better.

Hubby put the tree topper on and I set up my penguin. Fizzgig ran under the tree as I was taking this and knocked over one of my stuffed penguins that I had set at the bottom of the tree. (Have you figured out my chosen theme yet? Penguins 🐧🐧🐧)

There are quite a few on the tree. I took some close up pictures of them.

I mailed this one to Iraq during one of the many deployments. He shockingly still has his tag and is in perfect condition after being mailed to Iraq every time Hubby was there in December. He made the trip 7 times.

This is our first penguin ornament. We buy at least one penguin each year. Sometimes we buy a few.

One of the kids even made a penguin foam ornament in school. There are two in this picture because they were right next to each other.

This is our disco penguin. He has a switch on the bottom and he flashes colored lights when turned on.

This one came with a pair of fuzzy penguin pajamas my fabulous mother in law sent me one year. There is a year on the back, but I didn’t think to take a picture of it.

Another penguin and a sprint car ornament. (Hubby races sprint cars on dirt so, the sprint car ornament was rather necessary. I bought it on Etsy and it is a Matchbox car.)

I told you we have a lot of penguins. And these are just the ornaments so far.

Sometimes it is EXTREMELY difficult to locate a penguin ornament. So, sometimes they are rather small ones. Other times they are large.

This one makes noise every time the cats go under the tree. (It has a jingle bell on it) I have quite a few bells too.

Not a penguin, but how many people do you know who have a batman ornament? 😂 Batman belongs to Hubby.

This one came in a boxed set with penguin ornaments and silver glitter ornaments. They are hand painted and glass so they are up high and I have them on special hooks because Fizzgig liked to climb the tree last year. (I will find the pictures of him in the tree.)

One of the stuffed Penguins I was talking about earlier.

This is the one that was knocked over when Fizzgig ran under the tree.

One of the kids won this one in a claw game machine and gave it to me.

And this is the final tree for this evening. (I still have ornaments to add, another tree to decorate, stockings to hang, etc. etc. )

Miss Mia in her antlers last year. She ran and hid upstairs when I pulled them out this year. 😂

Found it. Fizzgig playing in the tree. Oh this reminded me to get candy canes. There were some amazing ones last year, hot chocolate, salted caramel, and Espresso were the assortment that I ate every single candy cane from. My son loves the ones that taste like skittles, sour patch kids, or starburst. I had different curtains and almost forgot about them. Hubby went somewhere and came home after dark and realized he could see right into the house and was not thrilled about that so the lace curtains came down and the plaid ones went up. (The plaid ones block the cold from the windows so, it’s quite toasty in the dining room now.)

A friend of mine made these for me last year. Aren’t they adorable?!

I also hung some of the cards up. In the entryway to the dining room. It isn’t a doorway because there are no doors. So, I guess it’s an entryway. My son was laughing because I used cinnamon dental floss to hang them. He said, ” Mom, why didn’t you use plain floss? Is it because it is red and you think red is more festive than white?” Nope, it’s because I couldn’t find my kitchen twine and that was the flavor I had in my purse. 😂 It worked. I will get a close up of my tree topper tomorrow and take more pictures as I continue to decorate.

This is what my weekend looks like. Just a half a foot of snow expected. Nothing major. If we get that much, you will also get oodles of snow pictures. I love going out and looking for animal tracks. I especially enjoy the barn kitty tracks because the tracks tell me where they go when they aren’t close to the house.

Until next time….

Reviews of Products and/or Companies

Grove Collaborative Pt 2

I was really excited about receiving my Grove Collaborative order. For the most part, I am thrilled because the products are amazing. I will get into those in a moment, but first, unboxing.

Whoever packed the box took a moment to write, “Thanks” on the packing list. The first thing I noticed was the plastic sealed air. This, of course, made me cringe because this is a company that sells only natural products.

Then, I noticed more plastic in the form of bubble wrap.

Even more plastic in the form of plastic tape on every single bottle emerged. I will show you exactly how much waste was used for packaging at the end. We will get into products first because the amount of waste is just shocking.

This is one of the products I have been super excited about. It is a reusable duster, which is machine washable and I also purchased the refill because I wanted to have a clean duster head while the other was washing.

I zoomed in on the label a bit so it was legible. This is the Dust Whisper microfiber duster, which is made by Full Circle. It is environmentally friendly, replaceable heads, and nontoxic. I tested this duster before I finished unpacking the rest of the box. Before testing, I took it outside and shook it violently to get rid of loose fibers because every review mentioned loose fibers. It looked like it was snowing, but the birds loved it. They were collecting the fibers while I was shaking it.

I wanted to see how this thing worked so, I took it apart. The duster head is a sleeve and it slides onto the wand easily. There are small built in hooks right near the handle, which the heads hook onto with elastic bands.

The bands are invisible once the duster has been fluffed. They went on very easily and came off easily.

I couldn’t believe how much dust and fur this thing picked up with a single swipe. I was originally using Swiffer dusters and in an effort to be more environmentally conscious, I had switched to using dust cloths, which were microfiber. I hated the cloths because I was just moving around the dust and fur. This duster is an amazing replacement for a Swiffer duster. I will be buying more duster heads because of the level of dust and fur that accumulate in a single day from two cats and a Husky/wolf mix. (Miss Mia blew her coat recently so, fur is a real issue.) I definitely rate this a 9/10 and the reason for 9 is because of the loose fibers. Even after shaking this thing violently, I was still losing fibers. I will post another post after I wash a head to let y’all know if it survives machine washing.

Next up, is the Grove Collaborative stoneware tray. This was a free product based on how much I spent. (I purposely added another item to my cart to receive this.)

It is a white stoneware tray, which has Grove Collaborative printed on the outer edge.

It is the perfect size to hold two dish soap bottles and a hand soap bottle. This is a problem solver for me because it prevents pooling water on my kitchen counter from grabbing the dish soap with wet hands. I have had it in place next to the sink since last night and it does prevent pooling water. I love it and give it a 9 out of 10 because I wish it was a different color so I could match it to my kitchen. Sadly, it only comes in white.

This was a bonus gift, which was offered with the Mrs. Meyer’s set through a link from a friend of mine and she is an influencer for Grove Collaborative. So, I used her link specifically to receive this bonus gift. I would share the link, but her link has expired. (It expired a few hours after I placed my order.) This product is the Grove Collaborative 16 oz glass spray bottle with a silicone sleeve on the base.

Pardon my messy table, I was pulling out products and opening them up prior to taking photos. I plan on using this bottle for a concentrated version of Mrs. Meyer’s all purpose cleanser for now, but this may change because it is a glass bottle and can easily be rinsed to change the product without the risk of creating a chemical gas (Gas, like what happens when bleach products and ammonia products are mixed. DON’T MIX THESE!!! I made the mistake so, you don’t have to. It was horrible and we had to open all of the doors and windows for several hours to clear the air.)

This bottle has a removable sleeve and the bottle itself and sleeve are dishwasher safe. The sprayer is not. The bottle is actually sold in a set of 3, with 3 different sleeve colors. I chose gray for my free bonus bottle.

My rating is 10/10. This is not a heavy bottle, it is EXTREMELY lightweight, which is surprising, considering that it is glass. The glass is not very thick, but it is sturdy and well made. The silicone sleeve prevents breakage and allows you to know exactly what is in the bottle because it is color coded (you could easily write on the sleeve with a sharpie)

Next up is the Grove Collaborative Walnut and Cellulose scrubber sponge. (This was part of the free Mrs. Meyer’s set.) I didn’t have very high expectations for this because it’s just a sponge. I made Bulgogi for dinner last night with fried rice (Bulgogi is Korean beef) and clean up usually leaves me bleaching my sponges because of the ingredients used in this dish. I did the dishes last night and the sponge stayed white. I was shocked to say the least. I never buy white sponges because they look disgusting after one sink of dishes. The scrubber part worked just like the scrubbers on every sponge I have ever purchased. It rinsed clean easily and there was no lingering scent from the chili peppers. Definitely a 10/10 and would buy again. I don’t remember the exact price of these, but they were under $3.00 (I almost bought extra, but I wanted to try them first.)

This is the Mrs. Meyer’s Cleaning Set. The little bucket (I think it is actually a “cleaning caddy”) is smaller than I thought it would be, but it is a perfect size for two rolls of toilet paper. It is currently under my sink waiting for a new home. It also has a Grove Collaborative stamp on it and only comes in white. It’s well made and I give it a 9/10 because it only comes in white. I understand that white makes things look cleaner, but I prefer colors.

Close up on the stamp.

The last three pictures are the three Mrs. Meyer’s products that come in the cleaning kit. You can choose your own scent. I chose Honeysuckle because it is my favorite Mrs. Meyer’s scent. I love Mrs. Meyer’s products and I wish they didn’t have to come in plastic bottles, but I reuse these as much as possible. I use the dish soap bottles for stain remover, which I make from a recipe. I refill the spray bottles with concentrate of the same product or remove the label and they get used for all sorts of things. The hand soap bottle gets refilled with a refill from Mrs. Meyers.

These next photos are the products I purchased to receive the free Mrs. Meyer’s set, the glass spray bottle, and the Stoneware tray.

I was so excited to find a baby formula of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. I LOVE this soap. I use it in all of my recipes for bathbombs, shower jellies, etc. I also bathe the cats with it when they get into something. (I had to bathe them constantly as bottle fed kittens)

I had run out of apple cider vinegar. So, I bought some more.

This is a new product for me and I hope it makes my wood floors shine. It’s a squirt and mop formula for those days when I don’t want to fill a bucket with mop water.

This is the vinegar based floor cleaner that I have been hoping works as the reviews stated. Its supposed to remove the cloudy buildup on wood floors.

I have mopped the ENTIRE downstairs with this floor wash. It calls for 1/2 a cup of floor wash per 2 gallons of water. I boil water for mopping because we have hard water (I add water softener salts to the boiling water) so. I boiled 2 gallons of water, added the water softener and mixed up some mop water. I swept the floors while the water was cooling a bit. I mopped the entire downstairs which has mostly hardwood flooring, but also has tile and linoleum peel and stick tiling (I despise peel and stick tile). I also mopped the wood staircase. My floors are definitely clean. They aren’t sticky, the vinegar smell dissipated very quickly and all I smell now is oranges. It did NOT remove the waxy looking residue from previous cleaners, but I am not giving up since this was just one mopping session. The most shocking thing was the mop water when I was finished. It was almost black. I mop daily and the water only gets that gross when I have a house full of people who forget about the shoe rule. The water was downright nasty. So, I am assuming that this is part of the gross buildup on my floors…. dirt. Gross. The peel and stick tile is a nightmare to clean. It has texture so, it always looks dirty and I use melamine sponges (magic erasers) to wash the floor on my hands and knees most of the time. I go through about 3 sponges each time I deep clean the floor. They disappear while cleaning so there is nothing left when I finish a sponge. This floor wash cleaned the floor so it didn’t look dirty after mopping it. I am beyond thrilled with this product. I will probably end up putting a solution of product and water into a spray bottle to clean the wood trim all throughout the house. I don’t feel any sand or grit after the floors are dry so, I’m giving it a 10/10. I will definitely continue buying this product.

This is another new product for me. I just scrubbed down the white subway tile, which makes up the downstairs bathroom shower. I have had a miserable time keeping this shower clean so, I’m hopeful that this daily shower spray helps. The scent is ylang ylang, which, smells a bit perfume like and a bit flowery at the same time. Difficult to describe, but I use the essential oil in other things so, I know it’s a scent hubby won’t despise. Other options were peppermint and lavender I believe and he hates peppermint and I don’t do lavender. I will keep y’all posted on how this works out.

All in all, I am happy with the products and I will probably keep my VIP membership because the stores in my small town don’t carry much in terms of natural cleaners. I can find apple cider vinegar and that’s pretty much it. I order a lot of cleaning supplies from Amazon, but they only carry some stuff. So, being able to get everything in one place, with free shipping, and free products 4 times a year, is worth 13 bucks a year. (I believe the actual price is $12.99)

I know I said I would show you how much waste packaging I had at the end. Prepare yourselves, this is really bad.

The excess packaging filled the box. I can compost the paper, but we don’t have any recycling programs anywhere near us. Hubby offered to go to the recycling center (over an hour away) so, I would not feel guilty about tossing the plastic. I post cardboard boxes from Amazon for free on buy sell trades and usually include the sealed air with the boxes. I post them for free because boxes are hard to find when you are moving. Hubby is just going to take the entire box from Grove Collaborative with all of our aluminum cans to the recycling center next time he goes. We will have to pay to recycle the Grove Collaborative box and packing materials, but I am okay with that if it means it doesn’t end up in a landfill. There was a 6 ft long strip of sealed air (the airbags they use for shipping), at least 4 feet of plastic tape, and 4 things of bubble wrap. I don’t understand why they don’t just use recycled paper and avoid the plastic all together or why they don’t switch to paper based tape with embedded string for strength. This was the most disturbing thing I have ever seen from a natural products company. I have send an email and when they asked me to review my shipping experience, I also said something about it in the review. This is not okay and I do hope they stop using massive amounts of plastic shipping materials. I hope this review of Grove Collaborative is helpful for you. If you do decide to purchase using the link above, I will receive a $10.00 credit when you checkout after using my Grove Collaborative link. Thank you in advance. I can always use extra cleaning supplies. 😁 Until next time…

Journal Style Posts

Is The Age of Printed Literature At An End?

On Saturday, my mailman told me I was a relic. 😂 I adore my mailman. He is in his 70’s and only delivers mail in my small little town. He truly is wonderful. During the winter, he brings the mail to the door because he is afraid that I will slip and fall walking down the driveway to the mailbox. He brings any package heavier than 5 lb. to the door as well. He knows that we don’t use our front door and we only use the back door so, all packages are left on the back steps or in one of the patio chairs. He is thoughtful and as sweet as can be, but he called me a relic.

I am apparently an extreme rarity because I write handwritten letters and I am subscribed to a plethora of magazines. I also order books on a regular basis because I love reading.

Every month, always on a Saturday, he brings me my stamp and flat rate box order. I love being able to order stamps and boxes with the bonus of having them delivered to the house; as our post office is not open on the weekends and I rarely have the ability to get to the post office during the week.

So, on Saturday, my mailman was delivering my order and I had received six magazines and a package from Barnes and Noble with a few books inside. He handed me my order, my package, and the magazines and said,

“My dear, you are a relic in this age of computers. People don’t subscribe to magazines anymore because they can read them on their phones. They don’t buy books because they can read them on their phones or listen to someone reading the book to them. “

I didn’t realize that I was a rarity, or a relic as he had called me, and I had no idea that magazines and books were no longer the norm. I have a Nook and a Kindle, but the sound a book makes as the spine cracks when you first open it, the smell that wafts upwards as each page is turned, and the rustle of each page as it is turned are things that cannot be duplicated by a digital version of a book.

Don’t get me wrong, I love both of my e-readers and I have thousands upon thousands of books stored on them. I would not have access to many of the old cookbooks that I have collected if it weren’t for the digital archival libraries. I love reading cookbooks from the 1700s, 1800s, and very early 1900s. (I own several actual paper cookbooks from these timeframes.) However, as much as I love my e-readers, I love books more. Hubby and I both have multiple magazine subscriptions and the kids have their own subscriptions. We are just a family that prefers to be able to have the full experience while reading. My daughter loves the perfume sample pages and the occasional product samples, which only come in the paper version of magazines.

I enjoy the portability of my e-readers, but magazines and books are also portable. I cannot carry thousands of books or magazines in my purse, but I can carry one or two and then, have my e-reader in case I finish the ones I brought.

I receive a massive amount of paper catalogs too. I think my favorite catalog is Lehman’s. I received a catalog out of the blue one day, shortly after we bought the house, addressed to myself, which was odd because I didn’t order one, but I fell in love the second I opened it. Hubby has a wishlist from this catalog, which is really weird because the only thing he ever wants are racecar parts.

I am happy being a relic. I hang onto especially interesting magazines, but it’s rare for me to keep the entire magazine. (I kept the royal wedding issue of People magazine.) I usually take a photo of a recipe, cut the recipe out and slip it into a binder, which holds loose recipes. (Sometimes, a cookbook only has one or two recipes I want so, I scan them, print, and give the cookbook either to the library or to someone I know.) Hubby and our youngest kiddo, on the other hand, hoard magazines. They have every issue. The kiddo hoards magazines on gaming, computers, technology, and Scientific American. Hubby hoards racing magazines.

With books, I have bookshelves full of children’s books from both my childhood and the kiddos’, assorted textbooks and an entire reference shelf. The reference shelf is dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias on specific subjects, almanacs, Guinness world records books, atlases, medical books, herbology, astronomy, astrology, and science based books, and language books.

I figure that we should be good to go if the internet suddenly doesn’t exist. The only magazines I keep every issue of are Readers Digest and National Geographic. I only have a two year subscription of each of these so, I won’t have thousands of them.

I also have bookshelves full of books on subjects that interest myself or someone in the family, a few trilogies and series that every home should have, Such as, the Lord of the rings trilogy, Harry Potter, The Divergent series, and the Hunger Games. I also have the books everyone reads in High School, those books that are classics and everyone should read them.

A few examples are:

Where the Red Fern Grows

1984

Farenheit 451

The Giver

To Kill a Mockingbird

Stuart Little

The Secret Garden

Charlotte’s Web

Where the Sidewalk Ends

White Fang

Catcher in the Rye

Lord of the Flies

The Outsiders

Of Mice and Men

A Wrinkle in Time

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (This was a favorite of mine when I was younger.)

So, I have a fairly normal collection as far as I know. I try to teach my kids to love reading and can’t imagine an existence without paper books. I understand that technology is advancing and it is making our lives so much easier, but I don’t want to see a world without libraries filled to the brim with books or a time where no one even knows how to write a letter. I adore receiving mail and I have penpals, who reside on the other side of the world. When I send a letter, I don’t just send a note, I include little items that lie flat such as stickers, a leaf, a feather, a random button, or anything that strikes my fancy that day. So, when someone receives a letter from me, it is covered in stickers or drawings and filled with absolute randomness. It is the equivalent of joy inside of an envelope.

I believe that we can prevent the death of paper Literature and letter writing by writing letters, buying books and magazines, and teaching our children to appreciate writing letters and reading. If you homeschool, teach your children how to write letters, write them letters so they get excited when the mail comes to the mailbox. Teach them how to utilize a library. Teach them how to use the relics of our time, atlases, almanacs, dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias.

I am content with being referred to as a relic. I dread a time when children ask “What were books?” or “What’s a letter?”

Cursive writing is no longer taught in many schools because it is no longer considered useful in the modern world. Children no longer learn to sign their name and soon, if cursive ceases being taught, no one will be able to read historical or ancient documents written in cursive. One major example of such a document is the Constitution of the United States of America. If we teach younger generations to appreciate books, printed Literature, writing letters, and teach them cursive writing, the knowledge will not be lost and the time of printed Literature will not end just yet. Until next time…

Emergency Preparedness on the Homestead, Homemaking on the Homestead

Emergency Preparedness on the Homestead Part 3

It’s 2:30 in the morning and insomnia is keeping me from sleeping, yet again, so, I am writing the third part of my Emergency Preparedness on the Homestead series. This post will focus on the Household Binder. I realize this may not seem like an emergency preparedness item, but it really is and I will explain how to create one as well as why it should be a part of your emergency preparedness plan. This will explain everything and you will know how to create your own by the time you reach the end of this post.

First, I am going to give you a list of supplies, some of which are necessary, while others just make the whole process more enjoyable. I will differentiate between necessary and optional with an asterisk next to the necessary items. Almost all of the necessary supplies can be found at Dollar Tree stores and are generally inexpensive no matter where you purchase them.

Supplies for your Household Binder

  • *One 3-ring binder (I used a 1 inch binder)
  • *Clear plastic page protectors (these are plastic sleeves for sheets of paper)
  • * Tabbed Dividers (you can go with the inexpensive paper ones or the more costly plastic ones. It doesn’t matter which ones you use.)
  • *Paper (either notebook paper or printer paper or both.)
  • * a pen or pencil
  • Dry erase markers
  • Colored pens
  • Pocket folders with 3-ring holes pre-punched
  • A 3-ring hole punch
  • Washi tape
  • Stickers
  • Highlighters
  • Printer
  • Printed pages (this will make more sense as I continue)
  • Markers
  • Colored pencils

Now that you know what supplies you need, we will get started on what a Household Binder is and what goes inside.

A Household Binder is an organizational tool for your home. It helps you to keep track of everyone’s schedule, favorite recipes, important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries, and so much more. I am sure you are still wondering how this related to emergency preparedness and I promise I will get to that, but first, I am going to give you a list of sections and pages for your Household Binder.

Sections

  • Finances
  • Calendar and Important Dates
  • Pantry
  • Housework
  • School/Work
  • To Do
  • Babysitter
  • Pets
  • Medical
  • Shopping
  • Holidays
  • Emergency Preparedness

Pages

  • Babysitter checklist/Letter
  • Seasonal Task List
  • Holiday Gift List
  • Holiday Budget
  • Household Budget
  • Monthly Bills (due dates, amounts, and who to pay)
  • Monthly Calendar
  • Weekly Calendar
  • Yearly Calendar
  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Internet Account Passwords (for paying bills, children’s online gradebooks, etc.)
  • Master Grocery List
  • Master Pantry List
  • Master Freezer Inventory
  • Master Fridge Inventory
  • Master Pantry Inventory
  • Household Member Clothing Sizes
  • Emergency Kit Inventory Checklist
  • 72-Hour Kit Inventory Checklist
  • First Aid Inventory Checklist
  • Housework Schedule
  • Laundry Schedule
  • Spring Cleaning Schedule
  • Holiday Menu
  • Birthday and Anniversary Budget
  • Address Book
  • Phone Book
  • Pet Medication Dose Tracker
  • Map of Child’s School (in a sleeve)
  • Child’s Class Schedule (in a sleeve)
  • Emergency Escape Routes
  • Household Fire Drill Schedule
  • Household maintenance Records and Schedule
  • Copy of immunization Record and Immunization Schedule for Children
  • Pediatric Over the Counter Medication Dosage Charts (for Babysitter or Parent who doesn’t normally do this)
  • How to for Spouse or Significant other for running things while you are away.
  • Current Shopping list (workable)
  • Current To-do list (workable)
  • Bills to pay (in a sleeve)
  • Daily Schedule (workable)
  • Weekly Schedule (workable)
  • Weekly Menu
  • Monthly Menu
  • Daily Menu

Now, you have a pretty good idea of what a Household Binder is and what it includes. If you noticed, there are pages for sitters and pages for your spouse or significant other, which will give them the information they need to do things they don’t normally do. For example, if you are at work, in a meeting and unable to answer your phone, the dosing chart for fever reducer is in the household binder. So, if your little one suddenly starts running a fever, the person caring for him or her can now accurately dose your child. Say you are unexpectedly hospitalized and unable to pay your bills, your spouse or anyone you trust can open that binder and successfully pay your bills for you while you are unable. If you have to suddenly leave town, your most used recipes are in this binder as well as a daily schedule, a weekly schedule, and if necessary, a monthly and yearly calendar and Schedule can be included as well.

If you have started building a stockpile because you became obsessed with couponing, you can keep a running list of what is in your pantry, when those items expire, and you can even chart put where everything is located in your pantry. A master pantry list allows you to go through the pantry and ensure you have your most used pantry items stocked up in the pantry, but it will also tell you what is missing when you can’t figure it out by looking in the pantry.

A maintenance schedule reminds you to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, have the chimney cleaned, air filters changed on schedule and the central heat and air units serviced, which keeps your family safe and helps save money on electric or gas bills.

Those optional supplies like dry erase markers allow you to write on the plastic sleeves and then just wipe them off when you are finished. Washi tape and stickers are simply for decoration. Colored markers, pens, pencils, and highlighters allow you to designate a specific color for each member of your household, making appointments much easier to distinguish with a simple glance. (You can color code your entire house to make life even easier. One color per person and that color is applied to drinking cups, tooth brushes, bed linens, underwear if you have multiple boys or girls, etc. Just let each one pick their favorite color and color code everything possible.)

I do hope this post was helpful to you. A Household Binder really is a wonderful tool and it falls right in line with being prepared. I strongly recommend including the emergency kit checklists. Check your kits twice a year. The best way to remember this is to schedule those checks on the dates for Daylight Savings. This doesn’t work if you live somewhere that does not participate in daylight savings such as Arizona. If you live somewhere that does not participate in daylight savings, check your kits on your birthday and your significant other’s birthday, or on your children’s birthdays. If you are single, use your birthday and Valentine’s Day. This way, if anyone asks what you are doing (and you don’t actually have plans) you can easily say, “I have a date, it has been planned for a year.” You will be telling the nosy person asking the truth and if they ask with who, just say, “someone important, but I am not at liberty to say” again you will be telling the truth because this date is with your emergency preparations and the important person is yourself. Keep the nosey buggers guessing. 😂

Until next time…