Scott has been gone on business for a few days. I woke up the other morning to find this list on the counter:


Taylor is following in his father’s footsteps; both in helpfulness and the need to write lists. Scott is a list man. If it gets on the list it will get done (eventually). But if it’s not on the list, the task doesn’t exist.  This works well for him, and Taylor has discovered that it’s the best method for him to keep organized.

I, on the other hand, rarely write lists. I have some general goals for the week, and long term goals way back in my mind, besides the regular stuff that needs to get done. (Laundry anyone?) I have any appointments written on my calendar, and that’s how I work. I know some people feel like they’ve accomplished something when they cross off their list.  I guess I just see all the uncompleted tasks rather than the ones crossed off.  Lists feel like a form of tyranny.  You must do such and such today!!! Which reminds me of that great Frog and Toad story where Toad writes a list of what he will do for the day, but when he loses it, he is immobilized.

But I digress. Lists never get completely crossed off when you’re a SAHM, you can just keep adding. With little kids, it’s hard to predict when I’ll accomplish something so I grab my opportunities when they arise. I also need to feel motivated. Writing that I must clean the bathrooms on Tuesday morning pretty much guarantees that I won’t do it then. What will happen is that while the youngest are in the tub, I’ll wipe a counter, then get a pail and cloth, and before you know it the bathroom has been cleaned and it did not feel like a CHORE that I had to do.

One caveat on the topic of lists, is that I do use lists to remember things.  My aging brain needs reminders to pick up a child from school late, or run all the errands I need to do in an afternoon.  And I definitely use a grocery list… items listed in order of where they are located in the store.  Ok… so I’m not totally anti-list. I’m just against bossy lists. Shopping lists are good.

What is your relationship with lists?  Good, bad or indifferent?

~ Lora

About Lora

I am a 40 something wife to my patient and talented husband Scott, Mom to my five children (from toddler to teen) and oldest sister to eight siblings. I am interested in too many things, love to read everything around me, and have developed a strong interest in design and renovation along with my husband. I am conservative, Christian, and by the grace of God, trying to find His way through the ups and downs of my life.
This entry was posted in about me, handy household tips, organization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Lists

  1. Marcia says:

    I rarely make a list, but I do take a marker and circle the bargains in the weekly flyers. I scribble what we need in the margin.

  2. Esther says:

    I am totally a list person, but not in the sense of scheduling chores by day or hour. I like to make a big list for the week or month. When I’m feeling totally swamped, making a big list and seeing that at least I DID get something done today, is motivating for me 🙂

  3. nancynurse86 says:

    I’m a list person! But I agree Lora – sometimes lists can be constricting and it’s nice clean when the urge strikes and then like you said, it’s not a chore that you have to slog through!

  4. Sandra says:

    I’m a list person for sure! Every week a grocery list with what we’re going to eat that whole week, and lists to remember odd things, and sometimes a list of what I want to do the next day. Mostly though that list is rather over-ambitious… I have done the ‘write it on a list so I can cross it off’ thing before, but I thought – who am I kidding? I find a list (for my days at home) structures my day a little more, which reminds me, I better write a list for tomorrow! Windows need to be cleaned! 😉 Taylor is quite the little ambitious man!!

  5. I jot down anything and everything I had better not forget in my daily/weekly planner. I don’t consider myself tied down to it though…
    There’s always whitevout or sn erasor! Cleaning when the urge strikes is definitely most fun but I clean in between urges too 😉 And I do the grocery lists in order too…saves a lot of back-travking in the store.

  6. Lora says:

    I guess it depends how ofen your urges strike, lol! I am always wiping down things… Probably a bit like Mom that way. Which is why my hands are in rough shape in the winter.

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