Organizing: The Master List

I once asked an organized friend her secret of getting rid of stuff and staying organized.

She laughed. “Move every 2 years! We’ve done that. It works great!”

At the moment, we are considering a move. It may not even happen, but just the prospect has admittedly helped me view my stuff and house projects more clearly.

I went through each room, and wrote a comprehensive list of all the projects that need to be done. (All the of them – including the small, 5 minute ones and the larger 10 hour ones).

This mind clearing experience has made me wish I’d written this a long time ago! How many times have I felt overwhelmed about where to even start? How many 1 or 2 hour segments have opened up, and I squandered it because my mind blanked so I just jumped on Facebook instead?

Next house, I’m making this list in the first month. – Maybe before we even move in!

Here’s how to make the list:

1. Walk through each room and made a list of all the projects that need to be done.

2. Estimate and write the amount of time next to each one. (This way, if your kids are napping or your husband offers to take them fishing, you can check your list to see which project can fill that slot of time)

3. Write a shopping list on a separate sheet of paper so you can pick up any supplies that you need on hand for when the time to deal with it comes up. (Within reason)

4. Optional Idea: I also put used a code system to help me know at a glance what items needed to be done with or without kids. “A” notes that the project needs to be done by me Alone without the kids. “K” is for things that can be done with the Kids, and I put a “J” next to the projects that I need my husband to help me with. :-)

5. Optional Idea: Many organizing experts suggest organizing or renovating one area at a time so that you can see your progress. For this reason, organizing the projects by room may be useful.

Here’s a sample of my list from the kids’ room:

Kid Room

  1. Paint Touch-up                                                20m                   A
  2. Put up 2nd curtain                                           10m                   K
  3. Declutter closet                                                30m                   K
  4. Scrub woodwork                                              30m                   K
  5. Replace Wall Vent                                           15m                   K

(To Buy: Vent)

Using the List to make your life more efficient:

With exception of the paint touch-ups, these projects are actually all ones I can do with the kids. So I could easily schedule one morning to do these.

The paint touch-ups will need to be done without the kids. That will be a little more of a challenge. Summer is almost here, and my husband will often take the toddlers fishing with him to give me a 2 hour breather. If I paint as soon as they leave, the touch-ups should hopefully be fairly dry by the time they get back. Having my master list helps me to utilize his gift to me by using it more efficient.

- Verity

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