Stay Organized with a Box of Chore Cards
Stay Organized with a Box of Cards
Are you overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done? Does looking at your To-Do list leave you tired? Do you regularly forget appointments? Are you easily distracted? Then you are a perfect candidate for a box of cards!
What is a Box of Cards?
A box of cards is a way of organizing your world, so that you never forget anything again. It is a simple way of organizing your schedule and reminding your self of the things you want to get done.
A box of cards contains:
- 3x5 index cards, for chores and appointments
- tabbed dividers, numbered 1-31 for the days
- dividers for January-December
- ABC tabbed dividers
On each card, a chore or appointment is written, with all of the necessary details.
Chores are divided up by frequency and written on colored cards, accordingly. This makes them easy to find, sort and arrange.
Why It Works
A box of cards works because because everything you need is right at your finger tips and only the current project is in your face.
If you are someone who is easily overwhelmed by a list or distracted by things around you, take hope! This system takes the frustration out of cleaning, organizing and sorting. When you get distracted, and wonder what you were doing, just take another look at you box of cards. The chore you were on is right up front!
It is important to take the time to organize your cards each day, preferably at night, so that they are in the most desirable order. This insures that you can buzz through your chores before your morning coffee has even had time to kick in -- no thinking required!
It also works because it is tailor made for you! This little box revolves around you and your life, making it possible for you to remember everything you need to and to efficiently plan ahead.
Buy Supplies Online
Before you begin gathering supplies, grab some paper and a pencil.
Write down every room in your house, area of your yard, including your gardens and the garage. If you have storage units, include them too.
Now, make a list for each area detailing any and all jobs you can think of, whether you are responsible for doing them or not. Next to each chore, mark how often it needs to be done.
Make a list of all the things you do for yourself each day, such as getting dressed, brushing your teeth and washing your hair. If you make time to read each day, include that also. What things do you do each week? or month? List these also.
Now make a list of all the things you do outside of the home, such as trips to the grocery store and the post office. Church, play dates, regular dentist and doctor appointments, and even those evenings out with friends.
From these three lists, you will compile your cards.
Now, it is time to gather your supplies!
Make Your Supplies:
Making Your Cards:
There are many different sets of colored cards avalible on the market. Choose some to fit your personality, or if you are crafty, make some. You will need six different designs.
Choose your favorite color. On these you will list the things you do for you. One thing or group of things per card. For example, getting dressed. Your card could look like this:
Get dressed, fix hair, apply makeup and brush teeth.
It really depends more on how you function, or desire to function, than anything else.
Choose the color you want to use for daily chores. These will make up the bulk of your cards, so choose another favorite!
List each daily chore from your list, one per card. Write down any details that will help you to complete the chore to the best of your ability. If a chore needs to be done more than once a day, make multiple daily cards for that chore. This will ensure that you get it done as often as it needs to be.
I have three 'laundery' cards and two 'dishes' cards. Each card specifies what aspects of the chore needs to be done each time the chore is completed.
Using Your Cards
Once you have made your cards it is time to organize them in the box and use them.
First, place the month cards in the box, starting with the current month. Then put the numbered tabs in front of the month, starting with today's date. Move the days that have already gone by to the next month.
For example, today is March 8th, so my months are:
And the days are:
Tabs 1-7 are in front of the April tab.
If you have any upcoming appointments, write the exact date and time on an extra index card, of a color you do not normally use. I use white for my extra things. Place appointments in front of the proper date. If your appointment is a few months off, just place it in front of the month. You will put it under the right date when that month comes.
In front of today's date place all of your daily cards. Between today and tomorrow, spread out your 'every other day' cards. Over the next seven days, place your weekly cards. Look at a calendar while you are placing your cards, to make sure the chores are going to work with your schedule.
I like to do most of my chores on Tuesdays and Fridays, so all of my weekly chores are spread between these two. I do one or two monthly chores a week and a seasonal chore a month. I have a bit of a schedule written on a white index card, kept in the lid of my box, so that I can easily place a card when I am done with it.
Get to Work:
Each evening, look at your calendar to see what events are coming up, then arrange the next days cards in a manner that suits your day.
In the morning, you will be able to look at the first card and get to work, even before the coffee kick in. My first jobs look like this:
- Make Husband's breakfast.
- Make Husband's Lunch, pack lunch box.
- Start Children's breakfast
- Get dressed
- Make bed
- Start 1st load of laundry.
About the time these things are done, I am awake! It is then time to get the children up and start them on their day.
*Note: This article is based on how I use "The Sidetracked Home Executive System" created by Pam Young and Peggy Jones. I have been using this system for more than ten years, and adapted it to fit my lifestlye. I have shared with you the exact method I used to put together a box of cards that works for me. Every few months I look at what is working and what is not. If it is time to replace a card or two, I do so. If a card is no longer needed, because the job no longer exists, I toss it. If I consistantly avoid a certain card, I figure out why. Maybe, I just don't really need to do that job!
"There is no greater waste of time than doing something well that needn't be done in the first place." ~Dave Anderson
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