Thursday, April 10, 2008

On Making Lists

I mentioned in my previous post, the thoughts of the blogger, Morning Ramble, on making lists.

The truth was, she did not believe in making them at all!

I think some people saw this as an attack on their way of life. After all, some people like lists. I can think of a few people who do in fact ;)
She wasn't attacking that, but rather, suggesting an alternative to list making. A case of doing something when needed.

For some of us, lists don't work.
I start out with lists, but if the truth be told, I work FAR better by establishing HABITS.

Grandma and the ladies of yesteryear, did not make lists.
They had days of the week assigned to certain chores, and they did them on those days, they had HABITS.
Chores were simpler. After all, with only two sets of clothes, you really did not have much in the way of washing :) even though you had to do it by hand. So perhaps we could make ours SIMPLER.

For me, I do washing daily. Or every other day.
My washing is sorted to avoid pink or grey whites.
I wash my bedding every other day (for skincare reasons) and my towels once a week (twice if they begin to get a little musty - we have a towel rack for them to dry on).
I iron if I need to.
I cook from scratch daily during the week, and once or twice on the weekends.
I weed when the garden needs weeding, dust when the furniture needs dusting.

When I read that post, I realised, we really need only to 'train our eyes to see' the chores we need done.
If the kitchen is routinely cleaned after meals/cooking, then there is no time I have to set aside for cleaning. Cleaning the kitchen has become habitual.
If I learn to see the dust or laundry piling up, then I can tackle it then and there before the job is too big. It becomes habitual.
If there is mending or crafting I need to do, establishing a time to do it makes it habitual.

And for those of you who like lists, and use them and can make them work... :) I happen to know that Elizabeth Foss has recently had some great laundry related posts :)

On Lists
On Laundry

And before you think that she is advocating the list over the life... well not really! As the original poster pointed out, lists are used by women used to the corporate lifestyle, and since most of them were not trained or brought up to just know what needed to be done, the lists are necessary. Elizabeth is showing you a way to learn how to know what needs to be done, using the list. Until your life becomes more habitual :) And there, you have the best of both worlds.


  1. Yup, thats a really good way of putting it, developing habits. I like that.

  2. This is so true. I used to use a checklist for every. little. thing. Now I just "do the next thing" because...that's what ya do. ;)

    I agree that lists are a great teaching tool, though. We are making one for our dd to help her with cleaning her room. Right now we have to stay with her and direct her to "do the next thing" because she gets so overwhelmed. "OK, now pick up all the pencils and put them in the pencil box. Then put the box on the shelf." The child needs a checklist!


I always enjoy your comments, so please feel free to leave them or message me if you cannot!
I will try and reply as much as I am able :)

I have turned on word verification because I am getting spammed without it! You can always use the audio feature if you can't read the words.