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Stephanie Hanna | Essmak

Label Task Lists Are Good for Remembering How to Do Tasks

May 2nd 2015 at 12:52 AM

I don’t know about your kids, but mine get distracted so easily. They don’t have ADHD, but they still seem so scattered at times. And they often forget how to do things.

This can lead to a bit of chaos in our home when my three teenagers go ahead and do a task wrong just because they are supposed to do it. I’m not sure which is worse, having them do it wrong or not at all.

Take the laundry, for instance. I got so tired of explaining over and over, if you have to do your own laundry because there is something you want to wear and I am not available, separate the light from the dark clothes, put in a fourth of a cup of detergent, and set the machine to regularly wash.

We have one of those new washers that uses only a small amount of detergent to do a big load of clothes. When they use too much detergent, their clothes are so stiff, they could almost walk out of the washer.

After explaining this many times and having them get it wrong every time, I decided to start labeling this task with the steps necessary to complete it. I used’s chalkboard labels and liquid chalk markers to list each step of how to wash clothes.

I was so frustrated by the time I began the task list for washing clothes that I may have gone a bit overboard. Instead of tiny print on one label, I wrote each step in big, bold print on its’ own label. Then I affixed the labels to the top of the washer where they would be staring at anyone who used the washer.

The results were amazing. My kids stopped making all their white clothes gray and complaining about it until I bleached them white again. They began using the correct amount of detergent.

I was really surprised when my kids thanked me for making washing their clothes so easy. This inspired me to do this with other common tasks that they did wrong or halfway dead.

Of course, after a while, it became a bit of a joke around our house as to what task mom was going to label next. Jokes at the dinner table sounded like this, “Number one, raise forks, number two, put fork in food” and so forth. But it was good natured ribbing, and their tasks got done right, so I didn’t mind.

Then I happened to think that if the task lists worked so well with my kids, they might also work well with my Dad, who is in a nursing home with the beginnings of Alzheimer’s.

I took the labels to the nursing home and got permission to label some things my Dad does backwards or messes up with task lists. The staff loved the idea and are using it with other patients.

Then I thought about making some task lists for myself. There are things I do so infrequently that I forget the steps to them. Pretty soon I will be making lists of my task list so I can keep track of all of them!

About The Company: is a website where you can order stylish & waterproof labels, which help busy families, keep track of kids’ belongings & everyday items.  Their products are a big success in schools & nurseries too, because they help parents & teachers identify what belongs to whom. The great thing about is that you can customize the labels to your taste by choosing text, icons, colors & fonts.

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