Thursday, June 6, 2013

90 minute To-Do List Rehab

A couple years ago it must be now, I realized I could use wet and dry erase markers on glass. I saw a suggestion somewhere to put pretty fabric in a frame and use it like a white board. An idea was born.

Months later, I found myself building a home office, and I needed a dry erase board to keep track of my project list for the business. I went to the thrift store and bought a frame, but since there were three more to match it, I bought them all in case I wanted more space for some reason. Boy, am I glad I did!

This blog has featured my white board A LOT. I've wanted to upgrade to something nicer, but without a safe space to hang something with glass in it (since the white board lives on the pantry door), I hadn't done it yet. This week we moved our To Do list into our bedroom, right next to Mr. Moon's side of the bed. The 'Rents weren't using it, it allows more space for the menu AND for each day, and it allowed me to put some more personal notations on it that I didn't want available to the public. Thus, this project was born. Bonus, when it's the end of the day and time to arrange the to-do list for tomorrow, even if I'm exhausted and in bed and DONE for the day, I'm right there and we can adjust it while looking at the list instead of having it in the kitchen.


  • For this project I used four 10x14 frames. They need to have the glass front (for writing on), cardboard filler, and a back with hanging mechanism. 
  • You need some sort of paper or fabric for the backing. 
  • You also need some sort of adhesive--spray or tape, up to you. 
  • You MAY want to print off something to put in the frame, as I will show you later, or you can use it like your average dry erase board and just have a nice neutral backing where you can read what's written on the glass.

To Do List:

  1. Decide on your To Do List style. 
  2. I made a print-off that has the daily tasks for each day, and the weekly tasks that are assigned to each day, and formatted my page so that I had two days per sheet, side-by-side. Since I had some awesome rainbow-patterned printer paper from the dollar store, I made sure to keep my margins such that it wouldn't interfere with the pattern at the bottom of the page.
  3. Each day has daily chores stuff: Breakfast, empty dishwasher, garden (10 minutes, just enough to water and maybe pull some weeds and get any additional tasks scheduled), and the night time routines like scooping the litter box, sweeping and mopping the kitchen, and making sure every dish is clean. 
  4. Each day also has some weekly chores, which are assigned to days just like we had it. Monday is bathrooms, Tuesday is vacuuming, etc. 
  5. At the top, each day has a goal. It could be a simple as "survive" or "smile" when it's going to be a rough one. It could be a complicated as "get the storage unit done." This is the one thing that, even if we have to sacrifice some daily routine to do it, we really want to accomplish. The hardest part is going to be trying to keep it from always being about chores, or letting ourselves let the routine slide to get the goals done. It's supposed to be the focus of the day, or maybe the thing you get when everything else is done. Whatever works for you, or in our case, whatever we need that day. 
  6. There are empty spaces between the morning routine and the night routine for adding tasks. Errands to run, projects to work on, laundry day, work shifts, job hunting tasks, whatever else we need to add that doesn't happen every day or even every week or at least not on the same day every week. 
  7. There are spaces to check things off when they're done. Mr. Moon is really motivated by being able to check things off, he says it feels like getting a gold star by his name in kindergarten. 
  8. There is a reminder at the end of every day to check tomorrow's to do list. Oh shoot, I didn't get the vacuuming done today, add it to tomorrow's list. Hey it looks like we have some place to be at 11am, we should have a plan for breakfast. That sort of thing. 
  9. There is a reminder right after breakfast to check the dinner plan and get any prep done we need to do. 
  10. The list is in roughly chronological order, in that morning stuff is at the top, night stuff at the bottom, with the empty spaces in the middle of the day. But it's not a rigid schedule. 
  11. Since there was an empty half page, the last one is a spot for weekly, monthly and yearly goals. They're not allowed to be housework- or chore-related, these are LIFE goals. Priorities that our daily lists should be working toward. It's nice to have them right there to keep us focused. 
  12. Made columns, made the list, got it printed on pretty paper. Yay!

Prep:
  1. Separate the parts of the frames. 
  2. Figure out your pretty backing pattern, if there is one. I used scrap fabric, and ended up making sort of a rainbow pattern. 
  3. Adhere the backing to the cardboard. If you can avoid going over the sides at all (like the purple on the right), great! If not (as I have in the yellow one on the left), you'll have to tape or glue it down all the way around (which is a pain and I don't recommend it!). 
Assembly:
  1. Place the frame face down on the table. Add the glass. 
  2. Add the filler paper (with your checklist) if you're doing that part. You may want to tape to your cardboard piece. I didn't and a couple are a little off-center. 
  3. Add the cardboard and foam backing (if you have that, one of mine didn't but it's definitely more stable with it in these frames). 
  4. Add the final back piece. 
  5. Repeat steps for all the frames you're going to do and Voila! 
To Hang: 
If you've got more than one frame to hang like I did, there are a number of ways you can get them hung evenly. This is mine:
  1. Decide how much space you have total and how much space you want between frames. 
  2. Find scrap piece of yarn that is long enough to do the whole line of frames. 
  3. Tape one end of yarn to the wall. Use a level to make sure the line is straight, then tape the other end. 
  4. Figure out how you're going to hang these buggers. Mine were heavy enough that I didn't want just one picture nail holding them in place, but the usual picture hanging parts in my kit didn't work either with the backs of my frames. My best bet was to use two nails, placed close enough together that there was some wiggle room in my placement so I didn't have to measure too precisely, and could adjust for leveling a bit. 
  5. Measure how far in you want the hanging nails, and add that number to the space between frames. The spacing between my frames was 4 inches, and I needed the first of two picture nails 5 1/8 inch into the framed area, then another 3/8 inches or so later for the second one. So since I was using the door frame as the starting point and keeping my frames 4 inches apart, my total measurement was 9 1/8 inch. 
  6. Measure along the yarn line to the first (or only) nail and tap in place. Eyeball the second one and tap in place. I tapped the nails into the wall immediately below my yarn line, for reasons which will soon become clear in step 8. You can go right above it too if your angles work better that way, just pick one or the other and don't go through it. 
  7. Hang pictures on nails. Adjust for leveling. Step back and make sure it looks right, adjust anything as necessary. 
  8. Remove the yarn by untaping from one end and sliding up (or down) from behind the frames. Now you don't have to take your pictures down or wrestle with unwinding yarn from picture nail heads! 
Step back and admire your work. 

Now we just need to decide a way to keep the wet erase markers by these, and the project is complete. Day 1 is a success, Day 2 is a success in progress. But as Nony says, it's when the newness wears off that we will see how successful it really is. 

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