Leaving The House: Bring More Than A Planner | Giftie Etcetera: Leaving The House: Bring More Than A Planner

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Leaving The House: Bring More Than A Planner

I can't remember a time in the last year when I left my house without my planner. There are times when my planner stays in the car (like during a wedding), but it is always at least sitting on the passenger seat when I am out and about town. Usually, it's sitting in my handbag or tote.

But I rarely leave the house with just my purse, cell phone, and planner, though those (along with my inhaler) are the essentials.

Instead, I make a list (as part of my daily plan) of items or tote bags that need to leave the house with me. In today's example, the items are crossed off with a highlighter as I packed them into my launch pad area (a dedicated space for things leaving the house with me each day).

At first glance, making a huge list seems like a complete waste of time. In fact, I resisted doing this even when my kids were babies and I had to carry seemingly the whole house with me (clothes for them, backup clothes for me, bottles, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, car seats, blah, blah, blah...thank goodness those days are over).

But let's take a look at what I packed and discover the WHY behind the list of things I bring with me out of the house.

I bring my workout bag daily. That way, I can stop by the YMCA on a break and workout, keeping me fit and healthy. If I don't bring the bag and it rains or gets hot outside, I don't workout. (I actually keep the bag in my car except on Fridays, when I wash my yoga mat and socks and restock spare clothes and towel.)

I list the special stuff my kids need to bring. Sometimes, that includes lunch or a project. Today, it was just water bottles and snacks. If I don't, it's a 30-minute drive each way to pick up whatever we forgot.

I bring my own water bottle and a snack in a reusable container. That way, if I get hungry while on the road, I don't have to waste plastic (Save the Earth, y'all) or money by buying water. Also, I eat much healthier and cheaper if I have sunflower seeds and some fruit to snack on. Sometimes, depending on my schedule, I also bring lunch.

I bring my own coffee. It stays hot for hours in a good thermos. Again, I'm saving money and the planet!

I had to put my cell phone on the list. Yes, I bring it daily. But it plugs in overnight to charge and if I don't have a reminder, I tend to forget it.

I bring my work bag and computer with me if there is any chance at all that I will be working from the library, office, or a coffee shop. If I don't, I inevitably waste time that could be billed.

If I am substitute teaching, I bring my sub tote, with a lanyard and activities for the kids.

Sometimes, I bring a library tote (to return/check out books) or an errands tote (to carry all the little things needed for my errands, like pants to get hemmed, a gift to return to the store with the receipt, and a gift to deliver to a new mom).

TIP: Have a different tote bag for each activity. 

For example, I regularly go to the library, work remotely, write, substitute teach, run assorted errands, and workout/take yoga or pilates classes. I have a designated tote bag, pre-filled, for each activity. Only the bag itself and items that are not already in the tote bag go on my list.

TIP: Make a "found time" tote. Put magazine articles that you want to read, a book, some thank you notes to write, or your knitting in a bag. When you are waiting or stuck somewhere, you'll have something to do.

Speaking of, let's talk about making the list.

First, I list upcoming activities for tomorrow, including both events/appointments and tasks.

Second, I use today's list of things to leave the house to make one for tomorrow.

TIP: If some things repeat daily, a moving sticky note is a good solution.

Third, I check tomorrow's upcoming activities to add anything else that I might need to the list of things to leave the house.

TIP: List the totes that you plan to bring, and under each, list items that you need to add to the totes, as pictured above.

Fourth, I pile everything that I can (usually, everything except hot or cold foods) in the launch area.

Fifth, in the morning, I highlight the list to check off packed items.

TIP: If you have a very routine life and things rarely change for you, you might just post the list in the launch area on a wipe erase board to reuse daily. This tip also works well for kids!

Read more about what is on my prep list here!

If you haven't joined the conversation in the Giftie Etcetera Facebook Group, please consider it. We talk about planners, but we are different than most planner groups in that we also talk about order and organizing.



Sandy said...

Yes, I do similar a similar thing. We have internal access from our laundry to the garage where I keep my car. Its a sportswagon with plenty of room in the back. I keep 4 largish tubs in there and each child has a designated tote which sits in the tub. The tub stops the totes from falling over when I drive around corners. If I have a big day planned, I load up the tubs and their totes with everything I'll need. Like you I keep my gym bag and shoes on hand, plus bathroom supplies so I can shower at the gym if needed.

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