As you get to know me, you will learn that I am a Mom who loves checklists. I love them and I need them. I seriously would forget my pants in the morning if I didn’t have a checklist. My kids would be going to school with no lunch, my house would be a disaster, I would be making 10 trips to the grocery store each day, my clients would never get their work back on time and my dogs would sporadically get their medicine.
I truly love my checklists (perhaps too much? – nah!). With 2 kids, 2 dogs and a hubby, we have had to ramp up our use of checklists this season. Between school, rugby (Daddy coaches), volleyball season (Mommy’s fun), Mommy’s 2 businesses, girl scouts, Lego league, caring for my aging Mom, upcoming construction on our house, and ongoing home maintenance inside and out, there isn’t much time to waste!
Here are the ones I use most often:
- Kids morning routine during the school year.
I have fine-tuned this one and now it works. I had to split it into 2 lists – one for upstairs and one for downstairs so they remember to do what they need to where they need to do it.
- Kids chores.
This is our first year of chores that are spelled out. We have given them chores to do sporadically like picking up the sticks in the yard (a big, ongoing issue – we’ve got loads of trees!) but I am forever forgetting who did what and when.
- Grocery list.
My grocery checklist was inspired by the Fly Lady. I put our most used items on the list and then I leave spaces to write in the rest. Funny, we are a very digital family and we have tried apps for our shopping list but, for us, it always works best on a piece of paper. It’s a great reminder to check and see if we need our usual stuff.
- Lunch list.
My girls are in elementary school and towards the end of last year there were some complaints about what was included in their lunch. So this year we decided they are old enough to pack their own. I put a list on our fridge of 1 main item (sandwich, mac cheese, etc.), I fruit or veg and 1 snack if they wish. They know that the snack is optional but the main and fruit/veg must be included. So far, so good!
- My daily routine.
Between getting up at 5am and flopping into bed around 10pm I need to be sure to use my time effectively. I have a timeline which includes a morning run, my client work, my business work (including writing and developing products for Live Love Marketing!), meals for everyone and even some down time for me. It’s really more of a schedule than a checklist. My days don’t always work like clockwork but I’m flexible and so is my schedule. It does, however, remind me that I need to find some time for me each day
This past summer I did a schedule, too. Summer days can so easily disappear with kids only taking a brief reprieve from their computer tablets for sustenance (ie: snacks and lunch) so we made sure to include reading, workbooks, pool and some screen time, too. It didn’t work everyday but it did more often then not.
It took us a while to setup our checklists and they still get tweaked but it makes me feel more in control (and less forgetful) and helps teach my kids responsibilities. They understand what they need to take care of and they feel good when they check off those items they accomplish.
Are you a checklist family or do you have other routines that work for yours? We would love to hear about it!