I’m a list-maker. I keep grocery lists and shopping lists. I keep wish lists and to do lists. I make a separate reminder list if I need to do something from my grocery, shopping, and/or to do lists on the same day. I get so much satisfaction checking the item off my list that sometimes I even shout, “Check that box!” I make my Unlazy Days of Summer list all year long, and I am already checking some boxes by hanging my son’s jersey in his room, maintaining my vegetable garden and meeting up with my out-of-town friends. So why do I keep these lists and what do I have on them? Well, I thought you’d never ask!
I wouldn’t label myself with OCD, but I function better in an efficient environment. List-making is how I stay efficient and on task when I set almost any goal. At home, I go by the rule that when there is chaos in my house, there is chaos in my head; I can’t get anything done in other aspects of my life when I am in a cluttered space. By putting items in their place, I can have time to do the things I need to get done. So, when “neaten up the house” is on the list, I may make sub-lists with tasks for each room, like switch my daughter’s clothes in her drawers from winter clothes to summer clothes, or put away all books (working on that!). I have a permanent list for each week by assigning a day for specific tasks. For me, Monday is laundry day. Although I’ll do a load of sports uniforms or workout clothes during the week, the bulk of the dirty duds are washed on Monday. Tuesday is trash day. Wednesday is “clean off the back counter of all the papers” day. You catch my drift? I break up my lists to make them more manageable so that they don’t overwhelm me and throw me into procrastination mode. Procrastination mode? Well, that’s when you sit on social media sites or watch TV instead of checking something off your list. It happens!
I love using note pads, smart phone apps, folders and binders for my lists (wait and read on before you judge and think me crazy). I keep a notepad in the kitchen that is specifically for the groceries. It’s a lined Post-It pad so this way when I go to the market, I can stick the list to the handle of my cart and have easy access to it. I also like to use the Reminders app on my iPhone because it works in two ways. First, when you make a list, it puts checkable boxes next to each item, then lets you set a reminder alarm so that you don’t forget to complete the task. I love checking those boxes! I keep my Unlazy Days of Summer list on this app. Sometimes, though, lists are bigger and you need something bigger to handle them. Enter the folders and binders…
More than just my every day or summer lists, I have bigger lists. Those include my flea market list, my home makeover list, and my kid trip list. My flea market list is basically magazine clippings of flea markets featured around the country. One day, I would like to get to all them for the sole purpose of shopping (and then checking that box!) This year, I was able to check one off of this list! The Country Living Fair came to the northeast and a friend and I attended. Actually, it inspired my first blog post! My home makeover list is more visual than an actual list. When I see a design I like for the bathroom in a magazine, for instance, I tear it out and put it into my “bathroom” binder. Recently, I have updated this “list” by going paperless. Now, I either “pin” what I like on a board on Pinterest, or I make an “ideabook” on Houzz for each room. It’s a green way to make a list, and it takes up way less room on my book shelf!
The last list I keep is the kid trip list – you know, those places that you don’t necessarily want to spend your vacation budget on, but your children should experience? For example, I knew I had to take my kids to Disney. I loved it as a kid and knew that they would love it, but as an adult, the idea of waiting on lines in the heat in big crowds was not my idea of a vacation. When my daughter was old enough to enjoy and remember the trip and my son was still young enough to appreciate the magic of Disney, we took them. It was the best experience for us all: The kids loved the rides and the characters, and I loved that it was 60 degrees and, therefore, devoid of crowds. I couldn’t have asked for a better Disney experience. So when friends who go annually ask us to join them on another Disney trip, I let them know that I have checked that box! We have also checked the box on Washington DC. We had a hockey tournament two winters ago in Virginia, and during our down time, we rode the Metro into the city. It was about 8 degrees. We went from monument to monument, and although we missed our White House tour due to a blizzard(they will see that when they go on the 8th grade trip), they saw so much of our nation’s capitol, I considered it enough to check the box. It’s not that we won’t ever go back to these places, but I have satisfaction in knowing that we have taken them there and crossed them off our list. Other places that have yet to be checked are national parks, Israel, and a Pacific Ocean beach, but hopefully we will get there. The great thing about the kid trip list is that they will always be my kids, so I don’t have a deadline for completion.
So do you still think I’m crazy or are you itching to start a list? Let me know – I love reading your comments below!
Blog written for the day – check that box!