A Personalized Grocery List
Stop guessing what you need while strolling in and out of every single aisle at the grocery store. Create a spreadsheet of all the foods you buy on a regular basis and write down which aisle each one is on. Print out several and keep it on your fridge. Each time you finish an item, check it off on the list. When it’s time to visit the store, you can make a bee line directly for the aisle you need, and only those aisles.
See the bottom of this page for a template.
A Laundry List
Yes, it’s a commonly used phrase, but it actually is a thing! Keeping a list of items you may forget to add to your laundry basket can help keep everything getting cleaned on a regular basis and prevent you from having to run the dreaded half-load. Keep it posted on the wall next to the soap so that you can’t begin those suds until you have checked it off. Laminate it or just keep it in a plastic page protector to prevent fading from being in such a humid room.
You can start with the template at the bottom of this page.
Eating healthy is hard. Sometimes just finding time to eat is hard. Finding time to cook can be a struggle which means keeping track of what food you need in the fridge, how long meals will take and when you’ll be eating at home versus out, or how many people you’ll be cooking for is crucial. If you are trying to keep your meals balanced, you can even divide it by food category. Plan out your meals the day before you buy groceries so that you can know what items to get.
To keep track of all these details, all you need is a white board in your kitchen, marked with meals by day. Or, use one the template at the bottom of this page and laminate it or put in in a page protector so you can write on it with a dry-erase marker.
Getting in regular check-ups is good for you! But when you move cities or jobs or change doctors for other reasons, you can’t always rely on your doctor’s office to remind you when it is time for you to make an appointment. Keep a list on your phone in notes or a spreadsheet in your Google Drive keeping track of when you visited your primary OBG, dentist, dermatologist, optometrist, and any other doctors you visit regularly. Be sure to include notes here about what happened at your last appointment and what you want to discuss at your next.
You may also want to keep a paper list taped to the back of your wall calendar or in your home office space. If so, you can use the template at the bottom of this page.
When you get to that doctor’s appointment, they will probably ask you how your health has been. Keeping track of how often that foot hurts you, when you get headaches, how many days your stomach hates you and even how many colds you have had in the last year can be very helpful. Make a habit of noting whenever you feel ill, even in small ways, on a list on your phone. There are also several apps available. Also include important information like your blood type, that you may need to have handy.
Making daily habits can be a lot easier if you get into the routine of checking how you did with those habits each day. Create a Before Bed list to check off before going to bed each night. You will sleep better from that feeling of accomplishment and a lack of wondering if there was something you had forgotten. This can be especially helpful if you are trying to get in some small workouts throughout the day (especially if you work from home) that will keep your muscles from waning from sitting all day. If you keep this list on your phone, be sure to make it an entirely separate app from your other to-do lists. You want to make sure this doesn’t get mixed up with tasks than can be pushed to another day and general reminders.
Big Events by Month
Sometimes really important tasks can get lost in the minutiae of a physical or e-calendar. You want to make sure things like renewing your driver’s license and passport, changing smoke detectors, renewing the dog’s license, paying your car taxes, rotating your tires and reviewing your finances, don’t get the same small line on your calendar as dinner with friends or a minor appointment. Keep this taped to the back of your wall calendar or visible in your home office space.
You can print this template or copy the one at the bottom of the page:
What are the things that come up on a job interview or home application? Do you always remember them off the top of your head, or are you jogging your memory, scrolling through emails and digging through files to remember the name and number of every employer, the date you moved in and out of that apartment, and who was your supervisor when you volunteered.
First of all, DO NOT keep a file called Passwords lying around in your computer and certainly not online. Rather, keep a written list of passwords in your safe. Most people nowadays simply have too many passwords to remember. It’s just not feasible for our brains to remember them all. Remember to include a column for the website, username, password, pin, security question answers and confirmation numbers.
You can make one list of everything that might need to be packed for all types of trips. A spreadsheet is best for this, as it allows you to highlight the boxes under each column to show if the item needs to be packed for that type of trip. See the bottom of this page for a template which also includes a list for planning out what you will want to wear each day to avoid over-packing:
Also, here’s a quick packing hack: buy miniature zipper laundry bags (the kind sold for washing delicates). Attach a plastic ID holder with a safety pin. Inside each holder, insert an index card with the day of the week written on it. Pack each day’s clothes separately. You can easily find the clothes you want to wear in the morning and return them when they are dirty. This beats using a large laundry bag for all your dirty clothes, as they never seem to fit in a suitcase as well as when they were folded clean, (no, your dirt doesn’t take up that much space, it’s just an inconvenient way to re-pack and makes the end of a trip feel like even more of a downer).
Sunday Night Checklist
If you want to start the work week off on the right foot, try making a list of all the things you can do Sunday nights. Set aside an hour or two to get yourself prepared, and you can wake up Monday morning to much less stress. Some things you may want to include are:
❖Planning/preparing meals for the week
❖Picking out clothes for the week and ironing them
❖Reviewing your calendar/to-do lists to make sure all your reminders are set
❖Update your wake-up and other alarms
Cars can get so messy, so quickly. And yet, you don’t want to be without any of the things you really need (or want), so you keep shoving it all in. Check out this link for my checklist for what to keep in the car, and where it goes (to keep you sane):
Future Home Projects
When you finally have that extra money or time, you will already have pre-calculated which projects can get done first. Order them by importance, cost, the time needed and how much it will inconvenience your daily living whiles it’s getting done.
Seasonal Special Activities
This is especially great for creating special family traditions and should be particularly eye-pleasing, and big! You’ll want this list to be a part of your kitchen or family room décor rather than just another list. To start, think about how you will want it displayed…a decorative white board, or a board covered with dry-erase contact paper, a hard surface covered in dry-erase bulletin paper, or a roll of butcher paper affixed to the wall. For each season or month (I usually make one for every season, but count Christmas as a fifth season), list all the fun traditions your family is looking forward to, such as making cookies, returning to an annual fair or festival, watching certain movies, family birthdays and volunteer projects. Also include any other special activities taking place that season, such as a road trip, having visitors, or a wedding you will attend.
Or, print these templates and color in the picture as the activity is completed.
Holiday Text List
Have too many holidays have flown by where you wanted to send a text to so many people and forgot half of them? To solve this, keep a holiday text list so that you will remember just who you want to reach out to on special days.
Print this list or check out the one at the bottom of the page:
A Wardrobe List
This might seem gratuitous, but making a list of your ideal wardrobe (in terms of practicality, not fashion) can be a huge help to simplifying clothes shopping. Have you ever wondered why you have three shirts that are almost identical, but at another time wondered why you don’t have a certain color top or bottom? Try outlining what you want to have in your wardrobe: which color pants, dress shirts, t-shirts, etc. This way, you can calculate which items are missing and be better prepared to shop with a purpose.
A wardrobe list is also very helpful for purging for a smaller living space, building up for a new career, keeping track of what is stored away in the attic, keeping tabs on clothes that you want to remove the tags from, and monitoring what items kids have outgrown.
Check out the template at the bottom to get your own list started. Keeping this on your phone is a great way to ensure you know what you have and don’t (and what condition things are in) whenever you are out or online shopping.
A Cleaning List
Last, but certainly not least, is the list that might be the most helpful. Create your home cleaning list and then enter reminders onto your phone and calendar. If using a printed list or a shared online sheet, color code duties to clarify who does what.
Print this list or see the one at the bottom to edit:
All the Lists to Keep You Organized:
Here is a master list to get you started: