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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Save Time and Get Organized in your Household!

Here's a "Saving Sanity" tip from me; this is how we organize and prioritize our time and around here....

Our good friends Matt and Teri told us about this concept of organization some companies use for their project management..... and they adapted it to household management...brilliant!!

The concept is that if you know what needs to be done, write it down, prioritize it, and break it down by time and resource; then you can get a lot accomplished! And here's the best part; this isn't just for mom's, it's for the whole family. It can help by helping you know what needs to be done.

My hubby and kids want to help; but most of the time they really don't "see" what needs to be done around the house to really know HOW to help....without me nagging anyway. So this is a great way for them to see what needs to be accomplished.

It's a tool to help us ALL know what to do; then we do it; then we feel a great sense of accomplishment by visually seeing what we've done! Lists help, but visually this board is amazing! You manage your time with the cards, colors represent blocks of time.

Here's the setup:
You'll need a large cork board, lots of push pins, different colors of 3x5 note cards, and a place to display so everyone who an read can see it:

You have a "Planned", "In Process" and "Completed" category list.
I have 6 colors of note cards representing how long a task should take: I have: 5, 15, 30 minutes, 1-2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours.
I write the task on a card, and who should/could complete it;


Blue Card = 1-2 hours - "Clean Room - Nathan"

Pink Card = 5 minutes "Change load of Laundry" - ALL

Yellow Card = 15 minutes "Empty/fill Dishwasher" - Nathan/Cameron

Green Card = 30 minutes "Make a treat for Church" - Kelley
or "Make Dinner" -Kelley/Kevin

Blue Card = 1-2 hours "Cameron's Well Child Check" - Mom/Kevin/Cameron

Purple Card = 4 hours - "Stain Bedroom Walls" - Kevin/Kelley

White Card = 8 hours - 3 separate cards would represent "Work/School" -Kelley/Kevin/Nathan

Here's our workstation; blank 3X5's, sharpies, a box to store repeatable tasks, upcoming tasks, and other priorities in.
I'm not getting too detailed here because my board is different from my friends'.
That's the nice thing though; every family is different so if you think this will work for you; you'll want to make this your own, make it fit your family!

You move the cards through the work flow as you work on them and complete them...

Feels great when the completed category is crowded!

You can take it a step further; gather at the board at the beginning of the day or week; refer to the board often; and/or meet at the end of the day/week to gather up all the "completed" categories and see how much time you've spent being productive.

When the cards equal your waking hours well; then you manage how much time you actually waste doing "Nothing."
Don't get me wrong, a little of that is good for you, I certianly have some "nothing" time every day. but if you ever wonder why you feel like you can't get anything accomplished, feel disorganized, wonder where the time goes.?...this tool will help!

Other Ideas:
You could make it an incentive board for the family or just for the kids; who can accomplish the most? (We all know probably mom/dad does; but the kids can get into this too and get a prize for closest second :)
The kids really like moving cards along the work flow too! And kids LOVE to help; this lets them know how, and helps them feel important.

Again, use it the way you'd like! My friends have the board represent their week; we do it by day; they calculate up their work hours and keep productive; we use it for daily organization and communication.

If you use this idea; tell me how you've adapted it to fit your needs!


  1. It is making such a difference in our lives over here. Thanks for sharing.

  2. OH MY GOSH! We have been trying to figure out a way to get ourselves organized so that we can get our tasks accomplished without feeling overwhelmed...I will be setting this up tonight!! I have everything we need for it.

  3. thats a great idea! thanks for sharing!

  4. We started again today after taking a couple of weeks off. Are you starting it up again?

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  6. So smart! I included a link to your post on my collection of color-coding ideas:


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About Me

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Utah, United States
I love to cook, it's how I de-stress; most people don't understand it but they love to taste test! I turn on some great tunes, and get to baking. Here's my family blog, come see what we're up to at I'm also big into couponing and can help you save a lot of money here: Thanks for visiting my little corner of the Web :)