Mega Lists ~ Organize Now

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Learn about mega lists the easy way to organize now! Homeschool. Meals. Laundry. Oh, my. That is how I felt when I was attempting to school my kids as well as complete my other homeschool duties.Mega Lists ~ Organize Now Podcast 449

Learn about mega lists the easy way to organize now! Homeschool. Meals. Laundry. Oh, my. That is how I felt when I was attempting to school my kids as well as complete my other homeschool duties. Fast forward and the kids are all grown, and they survived! And, now I can share this information with all of you!

Thank to our sponsor Courageous Legacy – after ten years the feature film Courageous which has changed so many lives for the better is back, this time as Courageous Legacy – this movie has been remastered, it includes a new ending as well as bonus scenes. If you missed this, you will want to catch this version, I saw the original movie and it is another wonderful Kendricks’s brothers production. You can find more information at Courageous The Movie

Are you a supermom? I really don’t try to be I just can’t do things halfway. I can not let things go and I can be the absolute worse micro-manager. Well, I am describing the old me!  I was attempting to school my kids as well as get a healthy meal on the table. Until I realized that if I didn’t have it on a list (even a ready-made one I purchased) it was not getting done. In today’s podcast, we will explore the value of having your own custom lists that are ready to go, as well as a surprise in the show notes – – episode 449 – Mega Lists Organize Now.

Raise your hand if you have at least one book on the bookshelf, eBook, or bookmarked blog or podcast that deals with Organization. In 1998 before my second child was born I purchased a book entitled the Busy Woman’s Checklist.  As with any checklist book, there are so many non-applicable things – such as I didn’t need to layout my close for work, or set aside money for tolls, or keep a to bring list before I left for work because at that point in time I had retired from teaching and was a full-time stay-at-home mom. But what I loved about her book was the categories she had:

Daily time savers. Managing Your Life, Kid Stuff, Finances, and Record-Keeping, Travel, and Planning, and Medical Matters. These categories and others were ones I could work with short and long term.

In the mid to late 1990s to the current time, I spoke at conferences. Now I host some of my own conferences, but I have spoken for years in person, stand-alone conferences where I was the only speaker, moms groups, homeschool groups, state conferences, and online conferences as well as hundreds of podcasts. The organizer of the state conference called me one year and asked what homeschool moms were struggling with and I answered organization and I am not the person who can do that talk but I do have someone I know that I can recommend!

In all my years of speaking there is one question that never changes and that is how do you get so much done. I use to answer, I a lot done but none of it is done well. It was meant as a joke, but the Lord convicted me that was not the right thing to say. So, while I may not consider myself the best person to teach you – I too have struggled with organization so maybe you can learn from my struggles.

Before we get started with lists let’s look at your own situation. People jump to the best ever organization lists without any thought to one size does not fit most – that is why we attempt these things and fail. First, analyze your household, your work, or your stay-at-home schedule. Are you still homeschooling? Are you taking your kids to lessons, are your kids older but you still flounder?

Your Situation:

  1. Do you have help in the form of a spouse or older kids?
  2. How many kids do you have under the age of three?
  3. What is it that you need to accomplish each day?

Let’s begin there – take a moment to think through these questions before we forge ahead with custom lists.

Since we are not in a place where you can share numbers one and two with me, let’s jump to number 3 – what do you need to accomplish each day.

Here is a generalized list that applies to all households.

  1. Kids – Our jobs are to keep them alive if they are younger, and to help manage their time if they are older. This can be lessons, homeschooling, or playing chauffeur.
  2. Eat – food needs to be purchased, prepared and cleaned up.

That’s it two things – kids and food. Those are the only things we have to do each day and look, you have all of the other hours of the day to accomplish the rest. Feel better about your day? I know I do! I did not add all of the other things we do – such as work (I work from home), or chores, cleaning, laundry, shopping, lessons. These things have to be done at some point during the week but you can pick your day.

Routines are the best advice I can give you when planning your lists. What routines do you do each and every day? My favorite lists that work great and are adaptable are category lists. I can divide a paper and add categories that remain the same daily, and then add to this list. I divided a sheet of paper into four sections and wrote out the things I needed to do under these headings. Later it got fancier and the name – the 4-Square Planner came to be! I am currently working on this planner that I hope will be out soon. This has the templates so you can create your own custom planners. Well, this one page was much more manageable than making a bunch of lists that I would then proceed to lose. If you can’t wait for the 4-Square planner book I have a set that is a 12-Month Planner ready to download here!

Here is the freebie 4-Square Planner sample. It is being created as we speak, and hopefully, this will help you get started. 4-Square planner and forms

So, take a sheet of paper and either fold it into quarters or draw a line horizontally from end to end and vertically. You now have 4 squares to write 4 categories which can be anything you want. In my homeschooling days, my squares looked like this…. [Listen to the audio for details.] You can use this method for parties or shopping. The 4 headings on my planner for a party are…[Listen to the audio for details.]

Now we can break each segment up into details and you can use another page for that or the same one. I like master lists that I use all the time. Another time-saver is to use sticky notes either on the refrigerator if you can stand it or on the side of the frig. When you run out of something you need to purchase write it on the note – this is store specific if you shop at more than one store. A lifesaver for me is ordering online. You can do it for free and pick up the stuff or have it delivered – which can then incur a fee.

So where is the mega-list to organize now? It is within each of the categories which makes it so much more organized! You can do this monthly and then the smaller lists weekly.

  1. You have your 4-Square Planner
  2. You have subcategories underneath each of these.
  3. If your subcategory needs its own list – you would add that to another page, for example, your household list is going to be products to clean and cook vs. actual groceries.
  4. Your additional lists will focus on each additional category. For example, one page may be household and your four squares will be cleaning/ laundry, grocery, errands, cooking. You can be detailed under each of these 4 squares – remember routines. Recently I started cooking different things as I was tired of our go-to meals, burgers, Mexican food, Italian food, and baked chicken. But what happened is it caused me to add to my grocery list and that took longer than before. Also, I like to mega cook meals, and could not with things like baked chicken.

Additional lists can be kept on your calendar. This is a set it and forget it. I love to add birthdays, appointments, etc. You can remind yourself for upcoming bdays a month ahead and weekly if you use something like google calendar that comes with a Gmail account, or you can add things to the notes section of your phone. For example the kid’s sizes, or ideas for presents.

What I have done is taken a huge list and made it routine-oriented as well organized under topics on one sheet of paper whenever possible. You can make your paper and 8-square instead of 4 square or whatever you want! Hopefully, this has helped, and don’t forget to get your free planning sheets-this is just a sample of the larger planner that is in the works! VHM Ep. 449 and thanks to our sponsor…

Friends, can you do me a favor? We are approaching another network birthday with lots of giveaways and fun planned and I’d appreciate it if you’d share this network with a friend, on social media. In addition, if you could give this podcast a star rating on your fav podcast app!



A Special Thank You to Our Network Sponsor:  Courageous Movie


From the Kendrick Brothers, creators of the No. 1 box-office movie WAR ROOM and OVERCOMER, comes the remastered re-release of COURAGEOUS Legacy, in theaters September 24. Celebrating 10 years of impact on families and fathers, this updated version of the film includes new scenes and an enhanced look and sound.

Filled with action-packed drama, COURAGEOUS Legacy will once again have viewers laughing, crying, and cheering as they are challenged and inspired by everyday heroes who long to be the kinds of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children. Protecting the streets is second nature to these men. Raising their children in a God-honoring way? That’s courageous.

Check out the trailer here!



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