Frugal Tool: Chore Cards

I am working on a Chore Box with chore cards. It consists of an oblong basket a little bit bigger in height than a regular index card. I have an individual divider for each day in each month for the whole year. As a day goes by it gets put to the back of the box so the months and days keep going from year to year. You will always have every day of every year to add your index cards.

First, I am writing chores down one to an index card as I think of things. You don’t have to think of every single thing all at once. Any time I have something new that doesn’t already have a card, I can make one and put it where it belongs. And I know that sometimes I will be discarding cards when they are no longer needed. My one that tells me to pay on my two credit cards will be a great one to be able to throw away when the time comes.

I have used colored cards to denote different things. Blue for weekly/bi-weekly events, Green for monthly/bi-monthly/seasonal events, White for daily/every other day events, Yellow for events that speak to yearly challenges I’ve set and special goals and Pink for personal events. These are mostly actions I have to do to keep my home running smoothly, but there are other things I am writing on them too. Some have to do with tracking the yearly goals/challenges I have set up, such as remembering to document books I’ve read or tracking my weight. Others will remind me of special events coming up. Anything that I want to remember to do once or on a regular basis will be written down and put in the box.

I know this sounds time-consuming and why don’t I just use an online tool to write out to-do lists? I have tried so many of those things and I love the choices available, but they don’t work for me. I start out okay and then forget or get bored with inputting things over and over. Once I have an index card written, I can use it over and over and also add to it. I can physically move it from date to date and I think that helps me keep things more in mind than using a mouse to move things around or copying and pasting tasks.

I had a chore box a long time ago and it worked as long as I visited it every day. It was more manageable to me, I think because the cards are a tangible thing and being able to pick them out of the box and do what was written on them and then file back again in the appropriate spot was a motivation to actually keep going with the things that need to be done. The pink and yellow cards are the ones that are more optional, but the white, blue and green cards are ones that are required. When I continually force myself to stick to getting the required ones done each day, my life runs more smoothly. Another reason why this system works better for me is my forgetfulness and also a habit to put off anything I can, in preference to being online all the time. <smile>

The reason why I call this a frugal tool is because when things are done on time or as a habit, it leaves you more time to concentrate and excel at doing those frugal things. And also when frugal actions are written down and incorporated into your life on a daily, weekly or monthly basis they tend to become habits without you realizing it.

With my chore box, I can remind myself to cut coupons and prepare a shopping list, note when bills are due, remember upcoming birthdays, urge myself to purge paper (which I let get crazy), to weigh in online weekly and so many other trivial things along with household chores. I am taking an online MIcrosoft Excel class which is self-paced, so I can keep myself accountable to finish in time. And in the months of April, July and November, I can put in writing word counts and ideas to help me to win both Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo. As you can see a chore box can be a very personalized tool to help you succeed in whatever you choose.

This is my chore box below. I chose a cheap basket I found at Walmart a long time ago. To make up the dividers, I used some pre-made ones I already had and then made the rest of them with cardboard. So for me, no money was spent in the creation of the actual box. The one I had before was a Longenberger basket of the same shape and size. It could also be one of those plastic shoe box containers that are cheap to buy at Dollar stores or any type of box that fits you and the purpose you are using it for.

A chore box is a cheap and easy thing to make. It may be a little time-consuming to set up at first, but I know it will be well worth it in how it will save me time in the long run, motivate me and give me peace of mind in knowing that things are done.

keep coloring outside the lines,

Frugal Tool: Chore Cards

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