I currently have ten lists going for this move. It may seem excessive, but when you’re trying to coordinate a move to a new province, a birthday party, a house sale, a house purchase, a business move, and a writing career, lists save lives. And marriages.
Let’s start with the pre-move grocery list. This one shrinks every week as we try to use up whatever we have laying around. It’s also becoming significantly unhealthier as time becomes more precious and cooking utensils get boxed. On the upside, the weekly grocery bill is dropping.
Which leads to the post-move grocery list. All those things we’re running low on (dish soap, flour) as well as a freezer and cupboard restocking are on here. This list has definitely regulated my mild panic when I open a cupboard and see we have no backup laundry detergent. Or backup ketchup. I like backups. Zombie apocalypse prep.
Then there’s the birthday party list. The address change list. The utility/mail list. The post-move furniture list.
The weekly to-do list in writing that gets transferred to the daily to-do list on my phone.
The move budget list.
The master list (a backup of the daily list for reference).
And, of course, the New Series plot idea list.
Yes, it seems excessive. But the system has its benefits.
1. “What needs to be done?” isn’t a question met with a shrug. Here. These three things need to be completed by 2pm. Done.
2. That tip about packing toilet paper to top up heavier boxes? On the list. And done.
3. There is a lot to do, with more popping into mind every hour or two. So on the appropriate list it goes and voila, not a concern. Just another task for Wednesday.
4. I freakin love checking off done items. And I get a reward break for every 5, whether they’re as small as emptying the dishwasher or as time-consuming as reconciling the business accounts. Right now, my preferred reward is 30 minutes of writing time. Or a cookie.
5. Without reminders, it’s easy for days and weeks to pass. This is especially important when setting up play dates for the kids. They want to see their friends before we go, and adding this task to my list ensures their needs don’t go unfulfilled during this mayhem.
6. There are deadlines, people. And if they’re on a list, they aren’t forgotten.
So there’s my moving tip this week. Make lists. Lots of them. Break tasks down into specific jobs (‘pack three boxes’, not ‘pack’). Reward yourself with every 4 or 5 tasks completed.
And be grateful you Marie Kondo’d months ago.