Tuesday, July 8, 2008

KITCHEN TIP TUESDAY - Make a List, Check it Twice!

I’m a list maker. It’s a problem. Sometimes my lists have lists. Sometimes I need to include “checking a list” or “making a new list” on my daily To-Do list. It’s embarrassing. It's a sickness. Somebody help me, please.

Anyway, my most valuable Kitchen Tip is: Make a list… Check it twice!

Here are the lists that rule my life:
1. Grocery List – this is a check-off form that hangs on my fridge. It lists all the things we ordinarily use. When I run out of butter, I just put a check next to “butter”. The best thing is that the grocery list is arranged by department. When I’m at the grocery store, I check off the entire department on my list when I am done. That way I don’t forget anything. People look and stare, but I never forget the butter.

2. Menu – well, you know the story here.

3. Weekly To-Do List – Nothing fancy here. On Sunday, I open my spiral to a new page, list the days of the week with enough space beneath each to accommodate my To-Do’s, I get out my calendar, and I start listing. Each day, I love crossing things off as I accomplish them. Sometimes when I’ll realize that I've accomplished something that wasn’t on the list, I’ll add it, just so I can cross it off. Call me crazy.

4. Yearly To-Do Lists – These are major To-Do lists that really resemble goals. I make these lists at the beginning of the year. And no, they are not resolutions. They are things I’d like to do, hope to do, want to do, or need to do. Periodically I check out these lists and add them to my calendar, which will eventually end up on the weekly To-Do List. I call this system "Trickle-Down Home Economics". My husband calls this system "My Wife's a Nut".

5. Camping List – I never start loading my camper without looking at this list, which is stored on my computer. It lists everything that should be in the camper, and everything that I need to add at the last minute. It turns packing into a “no-brainer.”

6. Gift Lists – This has three parts: first I have a list of what I intend on giving, then I have a list of what I have in my Gift Box, finally I list what I gave people so that I won’t give the same gift to someone else or give it to them again. Now, this list does not guarantee that I'll give a gift on time. But, when I do give the gift I'll have it on the list!

7. Fun Stuff Wish List – I keep a list of places we’d like to go and events we’d like to participate in. I look at this periodically and add the info to my Calendar, which eventually ends up on the To-Do List. I call it "Trickle-Down Home Economics". This list usually leads to being awarded THE MAMA. (Most Awesome Mother Award)

Lots of lists, but it makes life so auto-pilot!

Do you have a system that absolutely makes your life work? Please share!