Tuesday, May 19, 2009


We Are That Family is hosting Works-For-Me Wednesday again.

I have said before that I am a list maker. I love routines. I really do. I love the satisfaction of accomplishing something and being able to check it off as being "done." So much more satisfying then having nothing to show for it....well, except the job being done, of course.

I have my cleaning routines (here and here), and that really does help keep me on track. As long as I'm doing it and not slacking off, of course. Not that I would ever slack off, not me.....yeah, right.

But sometimes, I get bored with my cleaning routine. Like now. And if that happens, then I am not so apt to keep things up as well as I'd like too. It's much more fun to find something else to do that doesn't involve cleaning. So if I get bored with my routine then things start to fall apart around here because I'm not being as diligent as I should be.

So ever so often I like to shake things up a bit and return to my cardfile. This was something that I first heard about when I read the book Sidetracked Home Executives by Pam Young and Peggy Jones. If you haven't read this book yet I encourage you to, you should find it very helpful, you surely will find it fun!

Instead of working off a list, you work off a rotating index card file system. Here is a picture of mine. I have had it for years and years. The cards are something tangible that you can see and move around as needed, very flexible. You will need a set of colorful index cards, a set of monthly index divider cards, and a set of 1-31 numbered dividers.

First you walk through your home and decide how often a job needs to be done. You decide what chores will be daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonally. Next you decide how many days a week you are going to devote to cleaning. You may decide to have one moderate cleaning day and one big cleaning day, with a few mini cleaning times throughout the week.

Or you may have three moderate cleaning days, and no cleaning at any other time. Or just one BIG cleaning day. It's up to you. Then you make up your cards and file the cards on your chosen cleaning days. For the monthly cards you will want to spread them out throughout the month.

This will even work with the Flylady system if you file your cards according to her zones.

The cards are color-coded as well so that you can see at a glance what is daily (yellow), weekly (blue), or monthly (white). There are personal (pink) cards as well, for personal things or errands. Of course, you can color code your cards however you want. This is what I did.

I put a "D" in the upper right corner for chores that are delegated to my kids.

Here's how it works. Each morning when you wake up you check your cards. After you've completed your daily chores, you would file the daily cards under the next day's date. The weekly cards would be filed one week from the day that you did the chore. The monthly cards you would file under the next month's divider.

Since many years ago I selected Friday as the day that I mop the floors, that "mop" card is filed under this Friday's date. Then, once it's done, it will be filed under the next Friday's date. If you have to skip it, you mark the date that you skipped it on the card. You really don't want to skip a chore more than three times in a row, if possible.

I confess that I don't really need a card to remind me to unload the dishwasher, do laundry, clean bathrooms or sweep the floor. However, there is something very tangible and satisfying about being able to select a card, do the chore, and file the card away! Not only that, but they are a great and fun motivator! It's like racing the timer, only you're beating the cards!

So, in order to keep things lively around here, and liveable, I like to vary the routine ever so often. It keeps things a bit fun and a bit more interesting, just by doing it differently. So this is what I will be doing this week. Getting back in the box.

Works for me anyway! For more Works-For-Me Wednesday please go here to see some other great ideas!


  1. Wow!!! That is total organization!!!! And a great way to mix it up once in a while!

  2. Sounds like you are very organized.I love your ideas!Please keep me in your prayers.I go back to the doctor today!Hope you have a great day! Blessings, Faye

  3. That system worked for me for years and years. Like you, I'm getting bored with my lists. Maybe it's time to pull out the cardfile again! That actually sounds like a great summer project :)

  4. Great tips!! I have been doing flylady for years and love it.... I also like the index cards.... i might try that with my DD... she is a list follower already!

  5. That is a great system... I think I am going to adopt many of those ideas and make one that works for me.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Ok, I thought I was organized, but you have just blown me out of the water with your cardfiling system. that is awesome. When I have a list at the beginning of the day each day...it helps me stay motivated all day long. THat is my cardfile system:)

  7. That's super organized! Good for you-it's like a rotating to-do list. There is something rewarding about getting stuff done!

  8. Mine is in a binder and can flip to each room and what needs to be done for deep cleaning. I love doing FLylady although lately I've just been fluttering.

  9. sounds like a good plan! I'm "filing" that in my mind as I'm planning for our new school year :)

  10. That's so nifty! My problem is I don't like to clean. I mean I do it (I'm not THAT big of a slop) but I just DON'T like it.

    I left somethin' lovely on my blog for you. :)

  11. This is a really great idea. I may have to try it!

  12. Very interesting to say the least! Very practical! I just don´t know if I would be disciplined enough to keep up with it. I would have fun in the beginning labling and putting them in order ect.. and then I would let it slip prob. :( This is how I am. But it´s a great idea. It would definitely be important with a big house. ;)

  13. Holy Smokes!! I love that idea! and I love that it's all stored away in a neat little box- so very cool. Thanks for the idea!
    Julianne :)

  14. Wow, that is quite the system. I am VERY impressed.

    I have never been one for list...just do what I know needs to be done...BUT...I really think I need to start making list. For many reasons, #1...I am starting to get forgetful, to much on my plate is the expression that comes to mind.

    Funny thing is my MIL suggested years ago that I should make list, but how come I will take the advice from a blogging friend and not my dear MIL? I'll let her think it was her idea...it will make her feel good. :o)

  15. Wow! That is organized!

    Crazy holey moley...that is nothing like I do!

    Girl, that is a great idea...I honestly think that is amazing.


  16. I used to be so very organized!!! the last year has been so dramatic that I have dropped the ball a little bit...this is such a great idea..and I think I might need to do this! thanks!

  17. I too don't need it to be on my list to do laundry, which is done every day, or to sweep, but there is something that I too like about being able to scratch off something easy. I guess it makes me get going. Whatever it does, I keep it on there.


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