Cleaning, cooking, teaching, sports, service projects, church events… These are just a few of the things that we have to take care of as mothers. I have found myself forgetting what day it is, missing meetings, and not starting my slow cooker dinner until 4 PM (late dinners are acceptable, right?)…
All of this because my mama brain gets overloaded with all that we have to remember. How can we possibly keep up with it all?
My answer–> lists!!
It might seem like common sense to you or it might seem like an extra complication, but hear me out either way. Maybe I can give your brain the organizational boost that it needs.
Making Productivity Lists
I hear often that a mother is the glue that holds a home together. How in the world am I supposed to do that when some days it seems as if I can’t even hold myself together? My short answer is this…lists.
Longer answer…a running list of lists that keep me on track and keep my home in order.
I don’t know about you, but I thrive with order. I am fine with toys laying out during the day and my home not being perfect, but I need a sense of order. If the room that I am working in is totally cluttered, then my brain feels cluttered and I have a difficult time being effective with my work.
It is also hard for me move on from one task until it is either fully completed or my thoughts and plans about the task are written on paper. I have found that my home and my family suffer when I do not follow my routine and when I try to work without my ‘security blanket’ of lists.
My Household Productivity Lists
I have several lists that I use in my home currently. Some of these are fixed and some are variable (items on the list change periodically). The fixed sheets have assignments typed on them. I usually laminate them and use a dry erase marker to check off tasks as they are completed. The variable lists are not laminated (with the exception of the grocery list) and the assignments are replaced and reprinted as needed.
My set of lists, The Household Management Notebook, is kept in a large 3-Ring Binder with my blog planner with the exception of the ones that I keep on the command center wall & the kitchen cork board.
My daily routine is split into three sections…morning, afternoon, and evening. I have stopped using specific times for each task because I was feeling down when I would do my dishes at 6:00 instead of 7:00. If specific times help you, then use them! I just prefer to keep my time frame set up with only the morning, afternoon, and evening deadlines. This way I can adjust as needed without feeling like I have ruined my day.
It is so easy to forget about the chores that are not completed every day and when we do remember we feel like we just don’t have time to do them. That is where this list comes in. There is a section to write specific chores for each day of the week. For example, on Monday I clean out my car and I clean the oven & microwave. Tuesdays are for weeding the garden and cleaning the garage, porch, and patio. This really helps me to keep the bigger tasks in check. You can even give the kids their own customized chore charts!
This is the one Variable list that I do laminate. I keep it as well as my weekly Meal Plan and Prep on a cork board in my kitchen instead of in the 3-ring binder with the others. I use a dry erase marker to jot down food or household items that I am running low on throughout each week so when grocery shopping day rolls around my list is ready to go.
Monthly Deep Cleaning
I said that it was easy to forget about the chores that aren’t completed daily, so how much more difficult is it to remember the ones that are only completed monthly or even yearly?? You guessed it, I have a list for that.
You have certain things that you have to accomplish each day and you probably have a running list of those tasks in your mind. I promise you that you could complete these things in a much more effective (time & money saving) manner if you had them written out on a pretty piece of paper…So download my pretty paper🙂
I like to keep a list of projects, home repairs, etc. I don’t want these items cluttering up my Daily list when I know they won’t be completed for another month or more so I keep them separate.
Since I grocery shop each Saturday, I try to plan meals for the next week by Friday. This list allows me to plan Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and two snacks for each day of the week. I write my meals down in the boxes and tack the sheet onto my cork board for easy access.
Watch this video to see how I implement each list in my home!
Household Management Notebook
That list of lists might seem a bit overwhelming, but I promise once they are implemented they will simplify your life significantly! I have just finished making each of these in a printable format so that you don’t have to spend so much time making your own.
All you have to do is download the file and you will have access to all of the lists in one comprehensive pack. You just print them out, write in your tasks/goals/etc, and laminate as needed. Hopefully these will work well for you!