Jan 13, 2012

List Love

So while I'm on a (temporary) break from work, I have worked up quite the list of 'projects' for myself and the house. No, I am not one of those uber-career types who create project plans for personal projects, but like many, many women I am more than fond of a List.

I have an A4 spiral notebook on the go which is filled with my Lists.

As a List is completed it gets torn out and thrown away. Much as this pains me from a Personal Archiving perspective, it is most satisfactory from a Getting Things Done And Moving On perspective.

So I had multiple lists for the girls’ birthday party and Christmas, which are all now done – which is just as well really as those dates have long passed. I had separate lists for gift planning, invitations, Santa gifts, party food and games, Christmas food, and online shopping orders (for tracking).

Here are my current lists. Because I’m assuming you are intensely interested and have a spare hour for light reading!

House Jobs: To Do

I have helpfully written at the top “Do one per day”. I have not been doing one per day.

§  Sort linen cupboard (Surely I already did this 4 years ago?). Necessary because my heart sinks a little every time I have to put towels away and I am doing that currently by shoving them in hard and slamming the door shut, or leaving clean towels on top of the washing machine instead. Very boring job however and easy to put off.

§  Sort kitchen pantry. Similar to above.

§  Create a list of pantry and fridge staples and ensure these are always kept in stock

§  Sort kitchen appliance cupboard. Since Juanita Phillips suggested in A Pressure Cooker Saved My Life to get rid of all appliances you don’t use every week, I added this to my list. I am tempted to chuck the sandwich press, the food processor and the V-Slicer for starters. I’ve had all these for years and have not used the sandwich press for at least 10, and have never used the other two.

§  Clean out sideboard – crammed with old crappy appliances that don’t fit in the appliance cupboard

§  Clean mould from the back of the crockery cabinet. I know, this shouldn’t even be on a list, I should just do it!

§  Sort and clear out the big white cabinet in my kitchen which is basically filled with crap

§  New curtains for girls’ rooms. Something cheap and cheerful and functional to replace the broken tracks and fugly things hanging there now (dark blue in A’s room but old and tatty; brown and yellow teddy bear and building block motif in M’s room. Came with the house)
§  Wall hooks for girls’ rooms. I've been searching but can't find any good ones? I just want plain white wooden hooks, say 3 or 4 on a frame. Why is this hard?
§  Get carpets steam cleaned. Scheduled for next week, hooray!
§  Get house sprayed for ants and spiders. We haven’t had to do this the last 2 summers, but we have ants again now, so it’s time. Scheduled for next week, hooray!

§  Front yard: pull out the dead lavender and diseased standard roses, and replace with simple rockery shrubs and ground cover. I tried to make a start on this last week but underestimated how much work it will be. OUCH. No progress so far.

House Jobs: Done

§  Clean mould from A’s bedroom
§  Change the window fastener on A’s window (was on the list for far too long – we have not been able to open her window for 3 years. Possibly partly to blame for mould issue).
§  New letterbox. This was to replace our old, snail-infested crumbling timber box with the lockable metal letterbox we purchased from Bunnings 18 months ago. Am pleased to report that husband completed this task last week, along with the window fastener. (That also only took 2 years of asking!)

Administration Jobs: To Do
I have helpfully written at the top “Do one per day”. I have not been doing one per day.

§  Renew my passport
§  Get passports for the girls
§  Book tickets for Greece (FINALLY, after years of intending to and never being able to save the money, it looks like we will be able to do this this year)
§  Review health insurance (GROOOAAAN)
§  Review superannuation (DOUBLE GROOOAAAN)

§  Put in outstanding Medicare claims (every time I remember this one I am shocked I haven’t done it. There’s money I haven’t collected?!)

§  Back up all photos and documents (half done)
§  Export/back up blog posts

§  Do some photo albums (massive, MASSIVE task. Put it this way: my girls are six and the baby album is only half done. I have completed 3 other photo albums since then but the majority of our photos are in my computer or on a hard drive or some CDs)

Administration Jobs: Done

§  Book cheap summer break – DONE – we go to Rosebud for 4 days very soon. Can’t wait!
§  Sort recipe book, and come up with a small rotation of meals that the kids will eat – DONE – I think (they’re at their most fussy at the moment – dinners have become a bit of a NIGHTMARE).

Recipe Folder: before

Recipe Folder: After.
Good enough for me

I have compiled my dinner list, and cooked the first one last night: steak, peas and chips. What's not to love right? THEY DIDN'T LIKE IT. But I stood my ground: nothing else was offered. They also stood their ground: nothing else was eaten. Never mind, they'll grow to like it.

Blog Posts – to write or finish drafts

§  In Defense of George Papandreou (about timing and cycles during political change)
§  What to Wear to Work When It’s Hot
§   Suburbia Superbia  (why the suburbs are great)
§   Division of Labour (response to a great post in a blog I read recently)
§  Elevator Etiquette
§  100 for 100 (100 things about me, for 100th blog post)
§  It Really IS The Economy, Stupid! (wide ranging and far reaching impacts of 2008 GFC)
§  Some Thoughts on Depression
§  The Soft Sciences and the Hard
§  You Are Not Fat: Advice to a Five Year Old Child (most of it is written – I am just finding it painful to deal with! I keep tearing up…)

So those are my current TO DO items.

As well as those I have my PROJECT or WISH LIST items, which are the things I would like to do if we had the money, and which I tell myself we are planning to do in future.

Wish List / Projects

§  Add an extension, which must comprise 2 more rooms with LOTS of cupboards, a proper laundry (to replace our current "Euro laundry" in the bathroom) and a second toilet. We are happy to give up half of our massive garage and the dead portion of backyard behind the garage to achieve this. I have no idea what it would cost and am afraid to find out.

§  Fix the rotting deck in the backyard (IDEALLY: rip out and replace with brand new decking and a new pergola cover. ACTUALLY: replace the worst rotted planks and posts and re-paint)

§  Get some gardeners to do a massive tidy-up of the front and back yards – it is beyond our expertise and psychological strength

§  Plant flowers and rockery shrubs everywhere, that are beautiful and hardy and require minimal work (ie none) to upkeep

§  Plant fruit trees – husband is very keen on this in particular. As he is Greek, they will go in the FRONT yard, natch

§   Replace rotting white picket fence with an iron railing fence (I love those) – something like this:
White tubular steel fence by InStyle Fencing

§  Get a screen door for the front door so we can leave the door open during the summer heat

§   Replace our two hand-me-down sofas with a new modular sofa in the loungeroom – something like this:
Modular sofa I like by Domayne. With kids
and a dog I don't want white, obviously

§  Get a cabinet maker to put in white floor to ceiling book shelves over two walls of our loungeroom, with cabinets for storage along the bottom and a space for the TV. Something like this - IN MY DREAMS:
Built-in library shelving
Image: Traditional Home via www.trianglehoneymoon.com

So those are my lists.
What about you? Do you use lists? What is on your to-do list now?


  1. You've got quite a set of lists there JackieK - I'd be content with the neater recipe folder and then wander over to the computer, start reading blogs....

    I'm a list maker too. Seeing as we're renting over here, I don't have the house stuff that you have but here goes:
    * Start new novel (done yesterday but migraine and then shopping has put paid to anything written today)
    * Learn French for at least an hour every day (errrm, nothing so far)
    * Buy a fruit bowl (the oranges keep escaping the half-flattened basket I have them in and rolling under the sideboard but damned if I'm spending sixty francs on a big bowl)
    * Sign up for the photography club that's part of my International Womens' club fees (still too shy to contemplate this)
    * Buy snow shoes for snow walking/racquetting weekend (I'm hoping for a crazy winter shoe sale between now and 28th Jan)
    * Submit some draft articles to selected UK magazines for consideration
    * Contact tutoring agency to see if they need someone with English/history skills
    * Research Luxbembourg (our likely next destination if it coincides with LC's conference and Sapphire's school holiday)

  2. Hi Kath,
    I LIKE your list - it is so much more interesting than mine! I would probably achieve the fruit bowl one then pat myself on the back and spend the rest of my time carefully writing up the rest of the items on a lovely new list...

    These are all great things - you should (and can) definitely do them all.

  3. Hi Jackie,

    Just one thing on my list ...


    and then I might get round to doing something worthwhile.

    BTW - I love Greece. We were there a couple of years ago (Crete) but I guess it's quite a big deal all the way from Oz.




  4. My problem with lists is that I keep making them and never stick to them - but keep at it. I may attempt this myself in the near future - but I feel that may be a rather scary read.

  5. Thanks PM,
    Yes as you can probably tell I am a bit of a procrastinator myself.
    Yep, here in Oz it's a big deal to travel anywhere. We're very jealous of all the delicious destinations so close to London!

  6. Thanks Pandora,
    I would like to see your lists. Again, like Kath's, no doubt much more interesting than mine!

  7. Did you see any of my pre birth to do lists I posted on FB? Gave myself 3 weeks to do a crazy amount of things (reorganize 3 wardrobes, do 3 yrs of tax, assemble diff bits of furniture, etc etc). The trick was having a deadline - I will do something only at the last minute.... Like everyone!
    Also , due to constant domestic arguements, the new arrangement I have with my husband is that on Friday I put a sticky note on the fridge with 2 jobs on it. Not big jobs, things like change light globe in bathroom, clean washing machine filter. He has til Sunday evening to complete them. In return, he doesn't get hassled about odd jobs around the house and has a happy wife. We don't even talk about odd jobs anymore- we found the answer!!
    Now, onto my post- birth lists. I love lists!!!!
    Great blog!!

    1. Thanks Licia! Yep, that "nesting" thing is real and awesome! I did heaps pre-birth too. I actually got quite a lot done the first two weeks after I stopped work, but have discarded the lists and can't remember what they were!
      I love your weekly sticky note idea. I am going to try that. The letterbox and window opener got done when I set a deadline, funnily enough...

  8. Would you look at that. I've only JUST realised there is a 'reply' function here. Is it new I wonder, or have I just never noticed it.



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