Have you ever left the house to take care of multiple errands only to find halfway into your route you left something at home? Perhaps it was the letter you meant to mail or the pants to return to the shop or the shoes that need re-heeling? It is so frustrating when you have carefully planned your route and only have one hour to get everything done. All your careful planning flopped!
I have tried different methods of organizing errands–putting things in the car, stuffing notes in my handbag, making lists on my phone, using a chalkboard by the back door. None of these seems to work for me. I can’t train myself to look in all these different places before racing out the door!
The one thing that DOES work for me is my Out and About cubby. I created one place…mine is a basket…that lives near the back door. Everyone in the family knows its purpose. When something needs to leave the house, it gets deposited in the basket. All those items to donate to charity, shoes to be repaired, library books to return or even sales flyers go straight to the basket. All I have to remember when I leave the house, is to grab whatever I need from the basket.
I also keep a notepad and pen with a complete list of each item that corresponds to the errand. If I know I’ll pass by the cleaners on my way to take the boys to soccer, I’ll grab the pants that need to go and cross that off my list.
This has worked so well for us, that we use the same idea with the kids’ sports gear and school bags. My children are too young to organize themselves–yet–but they are never too young to learn responsibility. We keep bags for each sport by the backdoor, too. They know it is up to them when we return from practice to empty and repack their bags. It has become our routine. It only takes a few minutes, but saves so much chaos! I would love to tell you this process always takes place without prompting from their mother, but they are kids!
After swimming, wet clothes go to the laundry room and bags and goggles hang to dry. Baseball backpacks store their caps, gloves, cleats and bat. School bags are ready the night before.
Now when we leave the house, I am confident I have everything! The only thing I need now is more time to actually get out and about!
Here is a free printable label and list! Try it yourself and let me know if it works for you!