Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lifehack Printables

For anyone who spends at least a little time on Pinterest (and really, who only spends a little time) you're probably familiar with the term "printables."  Printables are pre-created files that can be printed and used for any number of purposes.  I've seen pre-packaged files for birthday invitations, teaching tools, kitchen name it, there's probably a printable for it.  The sad thing about most printables, however, is that they are "disposable."  As wonderful as most to-do lists and meal planners are, you have to print one for each day or week or month, etc.  Not to mention, they're not often tailored to what you really need.  Well, J and I have some specific household needs, primarily centered on the fact that we're rarely home at the same time.  Thus, we've created some specific, non-disposable, printables.

J came up with our first brilliant printable, used to facilitate the daily needs of Cat.  As those of you who have cats are unfortunately aware, one of the least favorite chores in the house is scooping the litterbox.  As Cat immediately uses said litterbox after it's been scooped, it's impossible to tell if this chore has been done recently.  In addition, Cat is always hungry.  Cat is always begging for food, regardless of how much or little he has had in a day.  As a result, we can't trust Cat to communicate his needs.  This is where the handy-dandy printable comes in!

We use a magnet for each category, placing it over the most recent time Cat was fed or his crap was scooped.  This process has led to fewer "Did you feed the cat this morning?" conversations over dinner, and a terrible guilty feeling any time we go to move the AM/PM marker and realize the litterbox marker is on a day nearly a week ago.

The second printable was inspired by a product we had when we had a roommate.  Three working adults in one house led to some interesting situations when it came to chores, one of which was the constant question of whether or not the dishes in the dishwasher were clean or dirty.  To remedy, we had a magnet that said "clean" on one end and "dirty" on the other.  Any time you ran the washer, you spun the magnet so "clean" was upright.  When you emptied it, you spun it to read "dirty."  In our multiple moves, the magnet disappeared, so we created a better version. (The image style is an "ambigram," a type of reversible artwork associated with tattoo artists and the Illuminati. We used an online generator, cleaned it up in an image program, and then used a free vectorizer website to make it sexy. No dollars!)

You just tilted your head over, didn't you?

The third printable is something we've tried several versions of in the past - a chores list.  Our system changes every time we move, change jobs, or get lazy.  This time, we're trying something new - a daily list combined with a schedule.  It's our hope that doing a room a day will prevent us from spending entire Saturdays cleaning when we should be crafting.  This is a specific printable of the schedule for our house.  Feel free to steal it or make one for yourself that works with your schedule.  For example, I know I'm busier on Tuesdays so that list is easier, but Thursdays I'm always home and have time to do the heavy lifting.

Overall, the importance of these printables is that they make our lives easier.  When I get home at the end of the day, I don't have to text J to see if Cat has been fed or if the dishes in our weak little dishwasher are dirty or just as clean as it's capable of getting them.  If one of us is out for the evening, the other doesn't have to check in to find out what needs to be done.  Less stress and a more pleasant place to come home to.  Oh, and making them ourselves means we get to make them funny or cute or at least less like a chore.

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