A Simple, Inexpensive Magnetic Project to-do List for your Home

So much to do and so little time! 

I remember reading an article, when I was much younger, that the reason time seems to go faster as we get older is that when we are 6 years old a year is only 1/6 of our entire life.  (Probably more like 1/4 since not many of us have developed a cognitive organizational infrastructure to store memories until we are at least 2-3 years old.) By the time we are 60, a year is only 1/60th of our life, and by comparison, seems to fly by! 

Today I want to share an organizational idea we came up with that lets us jot down one time or repetitive tasks, prioritize them as our needs and financial resources change, and track our progress in a simple elegant way.  

  1. Start with 1/2″ wide adhesive magnetic tape that you can pick up at a hobby shop or hardware store.  Cut the tape into 3″ lengths. 
  2. Now lay a sheet of colored paper on the table and remove the protective covering on the adhesive side of the magnetic tape.  Press the tape onto the paper starting in one corner. 
  3. Repeat placing each magnetic strip next to the previous one until the paper is covered with magnets.
  4. Turn the paper over and using an X-acto knife cut the paper between all the magnets.
Magnet Strip

Adhesive Magnetic Tape on the back

 

Now write a task on the paper side of one of the magnet strips.  It can be a short term, one time goal like “Buy a Pressure Cooker” or it can be a recurring task like “Bake Bread” (weekly), “Plant Corn Seeds” (yearly), or “Clean out the Garage” (never ending!).  The point is to put on each strip a goal or task that you want to accomplish. 

Tip: Make sure you make lot of extra blank strips for when you think of new things that need to be done.

 
 
 
Now take the strips to your refrigerator or any other steel surface.  In our house we put our To-Do list on the hollow metal door leading to our garage.  That way we see it every time we leave the house.  It reminds us of things we want to accomplish as we are headed
Our "To-Do List" Door

Place your Magnetic Job Strips on a metal door or refrigerator

outside or to the store to pick up supplies.   The great part about this system is that unlike paper list (which are also way cool to create and then cross off with a flourish when you are done!) is that you can move the strips around on the metal surface.  Pick an area for each member of the family.  We put each person’s name on one of the strips and that creates the start of our “Active List” area for each person.  For example Mark might have “Clean out Garage” while Audrey’s list could have “Quilt for Grandson“.  We also put lists for our kids that we consider Money Earners.  We have jobs, that the kids can do, that we are willing to pay to have done.  The kids can pick a job like “Mulch the Flower Beds” and we will explain the scope of the work and negotiate a price.  When you’re done with a job you can either erase the task and reuse the job strip or, if it a recurring job like “Rake the Leaves“, you can move it to the Job Storage Area of the metal surface. That way, as the seasons change, or you need a job done again, you can just move it to the Active List area for the person who is responsible to get it done.

Prioritization is another advantage of this system.  Have you ever created a to do list and the item at the top of the list, that you thought was SOOOOO important, never seems to get done?  Why is that?   Often it is because the task required financial or time resources that never seemed to come together. Maybe you realize that in order to reach the goal that you need to do some other things first.  Or maybe you look at the list a few weeks later and realize that it wasn’t so important after all.  Whatever the reason, your priorities have changed.  Just take the magnetic strip and move it down the list a ways.  Maybe put a new task above it that will prepare the way to make your dream goal happen.  Move things around on your lists as your needs, the season or just the spirit moves you. 

Studies have proven time and again that when we write down our goals we are more organized and motivated to achieve them.  And remember…

Whatever you can concieve, and believe, you can achieve!

 

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