Making your Lists

Confession of a Mother of 6:
I forget everything. I have to write which kid is on restriction, for what and for how long and post it to the fridge so that I can enforce it... if not, I wake up the next day and treat him/or her like the child of God I know they are and happily send them off to school. I didn't realize I did this until I announce to my son one day, "You're on restriction for 1 week as a consequence for your poor choice." To which he replied, "That's okay mom, you'll just forget." OOoooo, desperation leads to creativity! I was going to prove him wrong.

I make lists... and I used to forget where I put them until I got smart and started keeping them all in the same place.

Here's my system.
Little List Book

I use this baby size book to keep all my random lists.

  • What movie do I want to see/rent (hate standing and deciding at the video store)
  • What book I want to read or have read.
  • Things I want to list on Craigslist
  • Blogs I want to write
  • Gift ideas for my kids or friends
  • Date night ideas with my hubby
  • Family outing ideas
  • Kids info- clothing sizes, favorite colors, My hubby's measurements etc.
Here's what you need to start a similar book:

  1. Just a cheap Mead 5x7 notebook (Wal-Mart $1)
  2. Self stick dividers

Decide what categories you want in your book. I keep the following: Book ideas, Craigslist, Date Nights/ Family outings, Gift ideas, Movies to see, Household projects, My wish list.

Now, divide the book into sections and peel and stick the tabs onto a couple of pages. Done! Fill your book!

This has been such a great tool for me. I never wonder, What does my husband want for his birthday?... because I wrote a note in my book the last time we were out and he said, "Wow these are really nice. I could really use this." Shopping made easy! I give one page to each kid in every section, that way I can easily find their book, or shoe size (we have 16 feet in this family) or which poke-boco-starwars-mega-cool-due-guy they want for Christmas.

Next list:
The Family Info Book

I keep all important information that the family needs in this book. Like:
  • Church phone list
  • Babysitter Info
  • Dr. Numbers
  • School schedules, teacher contact info, cost of lunch money, PTA contact info
  • Emergency numbers
  • Book Group rosters
  • Library recommended reading lists for my kids (Newberry and Caldecott)
  • Cleaning/ Laundry schedule
  • Chore chart
  • Shopping lists
  • Take out menus and phone numbers
  • Little league practice/ snack schedule
No calendar... I use the giant board meeting brainstorming session size on my wall ( the wall that no one can see because it looks super scary by the end of the month).

You get the idea... this baby is the 411 for the house. Make it to fit the needs of your family.

Here's what you need:
  1. 3 ring binder
  2. Plenty of dividers. It's helpful to have the kinds that have folders so you can slip a handout from little league or church into it.
  3. Phone lists, family addresses, Dr.'s contact info. etc.
I slip the important information into the clear sheet on the front of the binder (no cute scrap booking stuff... I need info fast in this house) This is the notebook that the whole family grabs when they need something... it's all there. Ahh.... and my brain feels so clutter free and pretty organized.

Family Medical Log

Okay- so with 8 people in the family I dread the doctors question, "When was the last time your daughter had strep throat. (or any other ailment for that matter)" How the heck am I supposed to remember with 6 kids... THEY ALL GET IT! One starts it off and then the rest are sick for weeks. It's a month before I can surface again and resume normal life. If it's stomach flu.... don't get me started. We had to treat our entire family for scabies one time (contracted from our pet rat... who is not our pet anymore) I took the entire household of linens and clothes to the Laundromat $65 later and $300 worth of medicine for 3 weeks x 8 people... we were cured. I decided years ago that I needed a better system.

Here's the log.

I won't show the pages because you'd fall over dead to see how many times we go to the doctor in 1 year.

This was done very quickly and I'm still using it... it's one of my not so Pretty Organizers that I keep in one of my Pretty Organizers. I divide the notebook into sections. Every family member gets their own page. Every time my kids get a prescription or have a major event, I write the date and a short note of what it was for. I use the stickers that Walgreen's or CVS gives you with your prescription and stick them to the entry so I know exactly what was prescribed and in what dose... this helps if the medication needs to be changed. After several years we have a pretty comprehensive medical history that I can proudly recite when a doctor asks me... I can even tell him what he prescribed!

How do you organize your lists?

Stay tuned this week... I have a major Giveaway... for 5 lucky families!


Kira said...

Love the kids comment (was it your second child?). Little Keaton is starting to get wise to that and I only have one kid. I keep everything it a little pocket calendar. It works for now for 3 of us. Great ideas for the future though.

Amara said...

Neat idea -- I wish I had the energy to get some of these started. At least the idea is there fermenting in my brain now. It might happen! A great calendar we use is the Google online calendar. That way Jeff and i can both update it -he at work and me at home, and we can see what's going on. I highly recommend it. It does repeat appt's for you too automatically. We even have a Earley family one that meshes with ours.

Pretty Organizer said...

Yes. Second child. Bingo!

Lisa said...

Love these ideas. I took notes..lol.

Anonymous said...

I love it! I have 4 children and came up with a similar idea. However my "family" information and "lists" are in a compliation of 2 binders. Once my husband couldn't remember his employee number to change his something-or-other! I pulled out the binder and told him what it was. He has now dubbed them my MAGIC BOOKS! Love your blog!

Imz said...

This is my favorite post!

Phaedra : ) said...

This is my favorite post as well! I am a fervent list taker...but then I can never find my list! LOL
I like the idea of consolidating the little list into once central notebook though. I want to go get a new notebook and dividers and get started. I also like your family medical book as well. I really enjoy your posts on organizing because that is something I have been working on and never seem to get there! Keep up the inspiration!

Jennifer Tankersley said...

I think we were cut from similar cloths! Always love to meet fellow listmakers - great post!!


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