Organisation 101: The Role of Listmaking

Are you a To-do Lister or a Ta-Da Lister? Do you write lists of household chores and keep an ongoing list of what needs to be done, both in and around the home, as a homemaker and household administrator? 

Do you have lists for home, for work, for school and perhaps also community, club or church projects you are involved with?

Do you have additional lists with dreams, visions and plans that you are hoping to implement in other areas of your life? 

Do you engage in listmaking to try and keep yourself on track, accountable, and highly engaged in achieving all the numerous goals you have set for yourself? 

The role of listmaking. It is an interesting subject to engage with in this first series of videos I am aiming to share throughout 2021.

Are those lists truly working for you, or are they proving to be a source of continual pressure and actual anxiety? 

Are you feeling continually bogged down by what is not achieved, as your lists simply keep being added to, time and time again.

Are you quietly struggling with a sense of stress and tension, because the reality is that perhaps your progress stalls, or progress in fact is being not made as much as you initially hoped?

Are those very lists acting as reminders of incompetence or even failure, rather than acting as launch pads for engagement and action?

It is totally out of my comfort zone being in FRONT of the camera...... however the first video, beginning January 2021, that is ALL about household logistics and organisation is now posted over at the Household Logistics Youtube Channel, and this very first video is all about the role of listmaking.

"Organisation 101: The Role of Listmaking," the Household Logistics Whisperer version!
It's a chatty..... it's real..... and I hope you will be encouraged to hear my honest thoughts around endeavouring to be that tad more efficiently organised this coming year in this very first upfront and on camera video that I have put together.
"To-Do Lists" are discussed in this first video, as well as what might prove to be my personal go to alternative approach to listmaking in 2021.
Are you a To-Do Lister, a Ta-Da Lister, or do you practise another effective time & project organising approach? Let's share thoughts about what can prove to be most effective in the comments over at the channel and here also at the Household Logistics Blog.
Thank you for all your support & encouragement...... it means a lot, Dear Reader.
Happy homemaking (and organising), Everyone!

Relocating & Getting Settled...... during a Nationwide Lockdown!

Relocating to a new property and taking onboard a completely new lifestyle during 2020, with the Nationwide Lockdown in progress throughout New Zealand, created additional significant challenges for our household.

Over at the Household Logistics Youtube Channel I have posted the first in a series of videos titled "Getting Settled." In this series of videos, highlights from the first days of getting settled at our new country home during May 2020 are all shared.


Rather than unpacking furniture we were scrambling around to assemble air beds and find adequate winter bedding. Rather than organising a full kitchen, we were making the most of the few utensils and pots that we had on hand after our experience of Lockdown Life living in a caravan and tent.

Creating order, setting up house and getting used to a new location are all normal components of transitioning from one home to another. Endeavouring to do it during a worldwide pandemic? Getting settled..... in all honesty, it took a little more conscious practical & mental effort I found as a homemaker, wife and mama.

I hope this series of videos will not only be interesting but perhaps also informative.

It was an unprecedented event experiencing a Nationwide Lockdown in our own lifetimes. To have our property settlement frozen in time..........it was both shocking and unsettling.

Our plans were sadly changed and stretched out, due to the nature of the necessary Nationwide Lockdown all happening so quickly.

Getting settled when our ability to continue to move forward was interrupted and there was suddenly a lot of questions regarding when our household goods would also arrive.....

To have only so many days left before final inspection and relocating, and then to find it all halted and frozen due to nationwide rulings....... it was emotionally and mentally challenging.

It is my hope that by sharing some of our own household's experience we can provide insight for others.

It is my hope that by sharing some of our household's experience that it helps those going through a similar unprecedented disappointment, due to unforseen circumstances coming to play.

It is my hope that by sharing, those onlooking & seeing others caught up in such an experience have more understanding and compassion.

Relocating & getting settled? You can check out the first video sharing our experience by following the link here.

Grocery Shopping Highlights? What are they?

Grocery shopping, it is one of those ongoing, repetitive and often very mundane components of running a household. Can there possibly be any highlights along the way, whilst carrying out a regular grocery shopping excursion?

I am hoping this year to make better decisions when I myself am out engaging in trolley pushing amongst the numerous aisles. During 2021, I thought I would also aim to share regularly about various products I come across, and profile them over at the Household Logistics Channel as well as here on this very blog.

Why bother sharing a grocery shopping highlight list, you may ask?

It can be quite a juggling endeavour to work within a set grocery budget, so I personally value getting feedback from others.

We can sometimes pickup clever menu ideas, as well as hear about sound purchasing options from others who share about their purchasing choices. Hence the reason, I thought it might prove to be helpful (perhaps even somewhat informative) to share why I am choosing particular products and product brands for my own specific household.

Who knows, something shared on this very blog, or over on the Household Logistics Youtube Channel, might prove to be just that perfect, beneficial product choice and a breakthrough budgeting point for some other busy, juggling mama & homemaker, right 😉?

Does this product look to be user friendly when it comes to specific dietary needs for members of my family?

Is it cost effective and budget-friendly when weighed up against both quality and quantity?

There are numerous factors that come into play when out grocery shopping. I personally hope over the coming year to get a better understanding of particular products and why they should be potentially on my regular go-to grocery shopping list.

Grocery shopping is one of those activities we homemakers often carry out regularly and let's face it, it can be quite time consuming trying to not only shop but make product decisions at the very same time.

I hope by sharing in detail about some of the products I obtain whilst out carrying out my own grocery shopping excursions, that the profiling will prove to be handy also for some other busy, conscious of working within a budget, trolley pushing kiwi homemaker (perhaps it might prove to be you, Dear Blog Reader!).

Today over at the Household Logistics Youtube Channel I am sharing the very first episode, which I hope will be both interesting & informative.

I will be sharing similar videos throughout the coming year, so you are of course as always most welcome to subscribe to the channel (go press that notification bell, Peeps!). The wonderful thing about actually subscribing is that you will receive personal notification when each new video is posted..... that is a beneficial time saver also!

So without any further ado, here is the link to the first Grocery Shopping Highlights video, just click here and the link will take you straight over to the channel.

I am looking forward to sharing similar videos soon, so it's great to get this very first episode up and now publicly posted!


Please, feel free to leave a comment over at the channel as to whether you have found any one particular profiled product also a great one to add to your shopping cart.

Feel free to share why you absolutely love that product also. It will be great if we all learn from each other!

Until next time, Happy Homemaking, Everyone!




New House Tour!

Happy New Year! 2020 was the year that many of us were very delighted to say goodbye to. 2020 was a year that had great change contained in it, both at a worldwide level, and for a good number of folk at a much more personal level also.

For my own household, 2020 was the year that we had a complete lifestyle change, as we sold and bought property and relocated to embrace a simpler, more sustainable, and more self reliant lifestyle in a rural setting. Yes, we have become country folk, and what are complete change of lifestyle it is! 

We are now learning firsthand all about what it is to have a septic tank sewerage system, how to grow a good majority of our own food and how to care for and farm sheep. We are having to learn all about embracing a good number of other unique lifestyle aspects that come on board, when you decide to stop living life in an urban setting and embrace life out in the country!

During 2021 I intend to share about how we are going, both the ups and downs, as we adapt to what is clearly a new way of life. The past 8 months have definitely been a bit of a rollercoaster ride at times, and there have certainly been some challenges (dealing unexpectedly with a failed septic soak system only 10 days after we moved in was most certainly one of the most significant and perhaps infamous of them!).

Today, I have posted over at the Household Logistics Youtube Channel a video sharing a tour of the new house, feel free to check it out. The footage for the video was predominately filmed on the first day we had at our new property and you will clearly see that we are very much in camping mode. 

With the Lockdown levels still dictating how and when our relocation was to actually occur, we had very little with us, yet we were all just so delighted to finally be onsite at our new home! 

Buying & selling, and relocating during a worldwide pandemic certainly makes the various components involved a whole lot more complicated! It was an unprecedented time in world history and the pandemic affected so many of us in a diverse range of ways.............. and for a number of us buying and selling property, it proved to be, on a number of levels, a complicated and very stressful time. Finding ourselves homeless and incomeless as a household was not a great experience by any accounts! It was a testing time and I think I can say that we are all honestly glad to have that chapter well and truly behind us. 

2021 is a new year and a new chapter and I am personally very grateful for it finally arriving. I am looking forward to sharing more of how we are going adapting to living out in the country with you all, via this blog and also the Household Logistics Youtube Channel and via Instagram. May we all have a great year, with good health and great memories at the forefront of what comes our own way. 

Please check out this latest video over at the channel and consider subscribing so you will get notification about all the other videos coming out soon. Happy New Year to you all and Happy Homemaking, Everyone!

 




New Video Coming Soon....

 Hello Friends!

I am currently working on the first of a series of videos over at The Household Logistics Youtube Channel highlighting diy makeover and organising projects (specifically those deemed homemaking!) at our new property here in the beautiful Ruapehu District of Aotearoa New Zealand.
There is nothing like creating a home out of a new-to-you house & garden............ and it is going to be so lovely to get back into sharing mode again via the Household Logistics Facebook Page, plus the Household Logistics Blog and Household Logistics Youtube Channel!
I am excited to share with you all soon the first video that will no doubt be part of something of a series about making over our small yet adequate kitchen..... the kitchen is very dated, rather small & making it over is going to have most definitely a number of challenges particularly on the available storage front!
It can be extremely challenging to do a diy kitchen makeover project when you have a very limited budget and also have to 'make-do' with a good measure of what already exists.... however, I am up for the challenge & sincerely hope by sharing the various stages of my own kitchen makeover project that it will encourage others also.
It can be very challenging to cast aside those wonderful Pinterest ideals and work with what is real and tangible, can't it.............yet, with a bit of creativity, innovation and a tin of paint (or three!) I am convinced one can still create something delightfully fresh, organised and of course appealing on the kitchen makeover front! We will certainly see firsthand what can be achieved in the months ahead, for sure!
I hope to have the first video from the new house specifically created for The Household Logistics Youtube Channel ready to share with you all early next week.... there's still a bit of editing to do for it to be viewer ready. It is going to be SO lovely to get back into video sharing mode with you all on this specific youtube channel.......Wish me well, Dear Friends!
In the meantime.... Happy Homemaking!
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Kayla Bhana

How To Help Your Child Succeed In Life: Part Two

As parents and primary caregivers of children, we must prepare them for life. From the moment they first become ours to nurture and take care of, we have a responsibility (whether we acknowledge it fully or not) to help them both survive and succeed in life. 

In this current series of blogposts, all titled "How To Help Your Child Succeed In Life," I plan to share what I hope will be helpful insights and tips I have (to date) learnt along the way while parenting and mentoring my own young children. I am still very much learning as I go myself, and it is my hope that perhaps what I share may be of help or assistance in some small measure to others.

Just last week my family went on a camp specifically for homeschoolers that focused on imparting homesteading and lifestyle block living skills. We hope to purchase a small rural farmlet soon, and so this camp was one we were thrilled to find online and be able to attend as a household. 

It was a camp put on specifically for Christian homeschooling families, and it was a camp that had both prayerful and practical content each and every day. One of the key takeaway points for me personally, from what was shared over the four days at the camp, was the concept of Thoughtfulness.

Regardless of whether you and your household have a faith belief or not, Thoughtfulness is a concept that is universally highly valued and of tremendous benefit. When it comes to journeying through life alongside others and looking after what is entrusted to us to do or to have stewardship of materially, Thoughtfulness proves to be highly beneficial. 

It became very apparent during the camp that each and every choice we make, whether it be in relation to assembling a farm fence, putting together an off-grid solar panel system or pruning an old heritage pear tree, it all requires Thoughtfulness. 

Thoughtfulness, it can very much determine how successful our child will be going forward through life, both in the short term and the long term, not only with what they say but also with what they do.

Thoughtfulness. As I have chewed over all that was shared over the four days at the camp, I have felt very much that Thoughtfulness is a key concept we need to emphasize more often in our family and our household going forward on through life. I truly believe that Thoughtfulness, in relation to relationships as well as the actual literal practical choices we each daily make, would make a positive difference for us individually and as a family team.

Even a very young child can be encouraged to see how they can practise Thoughtfulness more. Too often we as parents, as their mentors and guides, actually unwittingly encourage our children to in fact be too self-focused. Encouraging a child to see how things said or done, (directly & indirectly) affect those around them, is something that we can do as parents from when they are quite young.



Picking up their toys independently, and receiving positive affirmation about how lovely it is to have them be so grown up about helping Daddy or Mummy keep the floor area safe & clutter-free, is a great starting point towards encouraging Thoughtfulness to grow within a child. 

Letting a small child know how it makes a practical difference time-wise when helping to put the groceries away in the pantry; praising the kindness they have shown when they offer Grandma a cool drink of water when she comes to visit on a hot summer's day ...... when we encourage our children to literally practise Thoughtfulness more & more in relation to those around them, we help them obtain gradually more & more experiences of success in life.

Being thoughtful about choices is a skill that grows over time. An awareness of others takes gradual developmental maturing at a cognitive level. Yet, as parents & caregivers we can encourage and emphasis the positivity and constructiveness that Thoughtfulness offers to a child from even a very young age. 

Affirmation, confirmation and encouragement all aid to build awareness and willingness, when it comes to nurturing Thoughtfulness in one's child. We can affirm a child's choice of kind & thoughtful words. We can affirm a child's choice of caring & thoughtful actions. Most importantly and most effectively, we can model Thoughtfulness ourselves and therefore mentor that very quality in our offspring daily. 

Today I thought I would share a Chart of Life Skills I put together & compiled, that are wonderful for a 3 year old child to work away at mastering. This list of life skills builds on those highlighted in the Life Skills Chart I shared in my previous post, and which you can view here.



What may be as simple an action as picking up their Lego blocks as a preschooler, may one day lead on to them being a thoughtful and responsible employee in a busy industrial setting as an adult. Being able to see the need to keep a workbench safe and hazard free in later life, may well start directly stemming from those lessons taught about keeping their bedside cabinet clutter-free. Learning to guard their words around others, may install such wonderful communication skills they are promoted to a more responsible managerial role within the company they were originally apprenticed to. We simply do not know what the long term constructive outcomes may be, for encouraging even a very young preschooler to practise greater Thoughtfulness.

As parents and caregivers of young children, we can prepare and help our child have greater opportunity for success through life, by keeping the concept of Thoughtfulness always in mind and at the forefront of all day to day decisionmaking. Success is relative to what effort and guidance is gently, yet directly given when parenting, mentoring and guiding our children. Thoughtfulness has the potential to make a very significant difference; it is surely worth nurturing it in our children from now on.


How To Help Your Child Succeed In Life: Part One

As parents and primary caregivers of children we must prepare them for life. From the moment they first become ours to nurture and take care of, we have a responsibility (whether we acknowledge it fully or not) to help them both survive and succeed in life.

How to help your child succeed in life should surely be one of the major reasons we do what we do, as parents and caregivers. We should do our upmost to literally prepare them for life and for being independent functioning adults, and that does take some planning and practical effort, both short term and long term.


One of the things that stands out for me personally as a parent is that I must make every effort to impart actual day to day life skills to my children. Surely, there is no point in encouraging a child to be a top achieving student academically, or to encourage them to excell in some area of particular giftedness that they have (such as in sport or music), and not ensure that they also have the necessary basic life skills to look after themselves. We need to prepare our children with those necessary skills to help provide themselves in later life with food, shelter, sound health and well-being, as well as good social skills for positive relationships and constructive citizenship.

If you are a parent of a child it is absolutely up to you to teach them the basics. We can and must step up and teach our child how to cook, clean, budget, do home maintenance, etc and the sooner we start the better. As a young adult I left home to go off to do tertiary training and I wasn't at all equipped for a number of the real life aspects of home away from home. I barely knew how to use a cheque book and I certainly had no idea how to change a lightbulb or even a car tyre for that matter! Looking back with hindsight I was, quite frankly, rather clueless and ill-equipped on the life skills front.

Looking back, I would have had so much more opportunities and advantages potentially awarded to me if I had been taught an even greater range of life skills, before leaving the family nest. I want to ensure that my own children are far more clued up and far more experienced and practically skilled than I ever was. Yes, it is wonderful to promote academic excellence before your child, but if they have no idea whatsoever about how to properly sort their household laundry, or have never learnt a healthy range of meals to prepare, they will be incredibly ill-prepared for actual daily life!

I expect both my children to have all the basic life skills, regardless of their gender or their natural preference for particular activities. Life really is such that we must prepare a child for day to day life living; regardless of any preconceived social ideas about who should do what or the like.

I personally believe it is most beneficial for my son to be just as good at understanding the practices around cleaning and cooking as my daughter. Likewise, it is beneficial for my daughter to know how to change a tap washer, a car tyre or jump start a flattened car battery. We simply do not know what very skill will prove to make a significant difference in our child's life ahead! We have a responsibility to equip our children, each of them, as much and as best we can for what may be on life's path at a future date.

Some mothers can be their child's worst enemy, with their over-mothering of their children, even through to them being in adulthood. You know the type. There are some mothers who go about after their offspring, regardless of their child's actual age, constantly picking up after them, making their beds, doing all the aspects of their laundry, etc and the result is deemed wonderful because everything looks good and is perfectly in place! Yet, what has really been achieved with regards to actual skill sharing?

How can a young adult not know how to properly make their very own bed or care for their laundry in this the year 2020?! Surely, this would clearly not constitute genuine true success for life, in this current day and age! How can we deem ourselves a parenting success for gifting a child a cellphone and have not set up for them to take full responsibility for paying to run that very cellphone eventually?! We have to put in place that which promotes independence and that which includes good stewardship of all things material and immaterial also.

Yes, we can do things faster and better than a child, yet we have to think beyond the immediate outcome and think further afield down the track. We simply must train our children up in the way they will eventually go. We want them to be independent and functioning human beings, who show thoughtfulness literally to others, via their contributions. We surely want our children to not be helpless and dependent on others. We surely want our children not to be sadly placed in a position later in life of being easily exploited for their ignorance or lack of ability or skill!

There are many skills we can impart to a very small child, that will hold them in good stead. Surely we want that for them when they themselves are one day an adult, have their very own household, and are out interacting independently in the wider world.

I would like to share some ideas about teaching a child life skills, over the next little while, via this very blog. There are skills that can be taught, and that are age specific, that we as parents can share with even very young children. I sincerely hope what is shared will both encourage and inspire other parents & caregivers, when it comes to training up and skilling their children for success in life.

I am still very much on the journey myself, when it comes to parenting and training up our young children. However, I genuinely hope by sharing some insights all learnt along the way, and by sharing some helpful tips that have worked well for our household, that it might prove encouraging and helpful for others also in a similar season of life with young children.

Life skills take time to learn and master. Some can often prove to be quite complex skills that require much simpler steps to be initially grasped by a child first.

Everything from waterplay, with some nonbreakable dishes, can help install in a child the basic skills needed for life going forward. What was once simply waterplay can lead to washing and drying the nightly dishes, or even eventually taking responsibility for loading and unloading the dishwasher.

We have to start with simple basic skill sharing. We have to practice immense patience as we repeatedly model and guide, and eventually each individual skill gets learnt and mastered for growing complexity and success. We can literally teach our children to have success in life by developing their independence and dexterity in a range of diverse practical day to day life skills!

As a parent I can promote open communication with my children as we go about learning each new skill, and we can discuss the benefiting consequences that result when the particular skill has been fully mastered. I have personally found that my children grasp life skills so much better, when the reasoning behind what is taught to them is explained in ways that they can understand. They remember it better, and they understand why we do what we do and how we do it, when time is taken to get it right from the outset. What is done with intentional thoughtfulness and care, often proves to be done eventually with excellence and noticeable immense skill.


How to help your child succeed in life? It can begin as early as training up a two year old to master some very basic skills.  As I explained to my young ten year old son very recently, the very same principles that apply for putting away his soccer ball and keeping it out of the rain and sun after playing with it, are also those that would help him potentially look after a large commercial grade farming tractor, should he choose to own one at a much later date. Both items can suffer damage if not looked after properly, and it takes thoughtfulness and conscious effort on his part to keep all his personal property in good order.

Go for it and help your child succeed in life today, by starting the new year with a simple and age appropriate system of chores being set up and implemented across your whole household. The legacy of skilling our children with day to day life skills, will benefit our descendants potentially for generations upon generations to come. We can help a child succeed in life, beginning today.

Dishwasher Tablets Recipe

Some time ago I shared, via a video over at the Household Logistics Youtube Channel, the steps and recipe we had used as a household in order to make homemade dishwasher tablets.


You can find the link to the actual video here, if you would like to see each step involved in a video format.

I did not at the time actually share, via this the Household Logistics Blog, the actual ingredients and recipe in written form, so I thought I would do so now. We ourselves need to make another new batch of tablets, so it seems like as good a time as any to put it all together (both the list of ingredients and necessary list of directions), for everyone's future reference.

So here it is, the recipe for our homemade dishwasher tablets..... I hope it may be helpful & budget-friendly for your household also.

Homemade Dishwasher Tablets Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups of Washing Soda
2 cups of Kosher Salt
2 cups of Baking Soda
1/2 cup Citric Acid

Method:

1. Place two cups of Washing Soda into a large glass mixing bowl.

2. Add two cups of Kosher Salt and then stir these two ingredients together with a wooden spoon so that they combine.

3. Add the Citric Acid next. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly (you may find the mixture begins to froth, this is normal).

4. Finally add the Baking Soda and mix all ingredients thoroughly again with the wooden spoon in order to combine.

5. Test the binding ability of the mixture by trying to form small balls or hand shaped tablets. It is important that the mixture is able to bind together.

6. When it is ready, you can then create dishwasher tablets using a mould (If you do not wish to make tablets, you can simply store the resulting dishwasher powder in an airtight container, as is).

For those wishing to make actual tablets, I found ice cube trays provided a good mould for making individual tablets and ones that proved to be just the right size for our dishwasher's dispenser.

7. Place spoonfuls of the mixture into the ice cube moulds and remember to press the mixture down firmly (this will help it to bind later as it dries). It is important to make sure each and every tablet is compacted well, otherwise it will potentially just crumble and break.

Please note: How long each tablet takes to air dry will depend on air humidity. It can take up to 12 hours or even longer to air dry them completely. I personally chose to use a kitchen food dehydrator to speed up the drying process and the following steps will explain how this was done.

How to dry the tablets using a kitchen food dehydrator:

1. After making sure each and every tablet is compacted down well, they can be carefully removed from the ice cube trays in order to place them in the dehydrator. The tablets are still not dry, so do handle them with care.

2. Space the individual tablets out on the dehydrator tray so that they do not touch each other.

3. Once they are all on the dryer trays, they can be loaded up and the drying process can begin. The tablets can then be dried at 55 degrees celsius ( 131 Fahrenheit) for 4 hours. You can check the tablets after a couple of hours to see what works best for you.

4. Once dry, the dishwasher tablets are ready to be used or put into an airtight storage container.


How to use the dishwasher tablets:

The dishwasher tablets are now ready to be used. You can also add a little white vinegar as a rinse aid should you wish to do so each time. Do check what is best for your particular dishwasher.

To see the process of the making this recipe step by step, if that will help further explain how this was done, do feel free to check out the video over at the Household Logistics Youtube Channel. The link is here.

Happy Homemaking, Everyone!