Permanent 'Messages'

Maura63September 20, 2008

I have permanent "repeat messages" --

I use permanent marker and plastic lids, instead of labels or notepaper, in some instances, for "repeat" messages:

* On a clean cat litter bucket cover I wrote: "These clothes are clean; feel free to fold them". I put this on top of a basket filled with clean clothes when they come out of the dryer if I am not going to fold them right away. HA! I don't kid myself thinking that someone may actually come along and fold them, BUT, it does prevent the kids from adding dirty uniforms, clothes etc. to this basket.

* On another plastic lid (maybe from a Chinese food container) I wrote: "STOP! Put your dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher." I usually put this in the kitchen sink after the kitchen has been cleaned after dinner. I hate walking back into the kitchen later in the evening to find new cups, etc. in a sink that was scrubbed an hour or two earlier. My DH and kids never think to put items directly in the dishwasher otherwise. (I think it is genetic.)

I bought foam doorknob hangers (the type for crafts) at the dollar store (several to a package). With marker I wrote various "repeat" messages, such as:

* "On a business call, do not disturb." This hangs on the back of our office door and placed on the front when needed.

* "Cat in garage." This sometimes hangs on the door leading from our house to our garage to alert family members not to open the outside garage door (and having our indoor cat escape). This hangs inside the nearby closet when not is use. Another sign kept here might hang on the opposite side of the garage door saying "Please remove your shoes." That is not a rule in our house, but if the floor has just been washed this might be requested.

I also have "repeat messages" that I made using bright colorful stock paper and clear ID pouches (12 for $1.62 @ Walmart) - instant lamination! I attach a magnet to the back and they stay on the side of the fridge when not in use. When needed, they are simply moved to the front of the fridge. These can easily be color-coded for family members, but I don't have that many messages, nor are they for a specific person. Sample messages: "Don't forget laundry hanging outside." This is helpful to me since our kitchen does not face our backyard where the laundry is hanging. I hang it in the morning, move the magnet to the front of the fridge, then I am reminded at dinner time if I haven't yet taken the clothes off the line. Another says, "Basement windows are open." so I am reminded in the evening to close them. Some are tailored to family members: "DS/DH/ DD/Mom You have a message on the answering machine." We are at the point where anyone of us checks messages, and once they are checked the light no longer blinks, and messages donÂt always reach the recipient, so this helps.

Hope this was useful to anyone who took the time to read this, LOL!

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I like that idea and as I was reading my thought was to put one on back of the toilet that said "PUT TOILET PAPER ON THE HOLDER" because it seems that I am the only one that knows how to do that.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 9:14PM
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I also put labels on leftovers I do or do not want my kids to eat, like if I'm planning on serving the leftovers as dinner. My two daughters are vegetarians. I had half a turkey wrap in the fridge. My older daughter unrolled the wrap, took out the turkey, then re-rolled the wrap with just lettuce tomato and mayto inside. That was very disappointing!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 9:46PM
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These are brilliant!

I want to use the P-touch to put a label on the underside of the toilet lid that says, "Please shut the lid so the cat can't drink out of the toilet."

I can tell when company has come, bcs the lid is up. Everyone in our family puts it down. It grosses me out to have the lid up; I envision stuff falling in.

I *did* use the P-touch to put a label on my elderly neighbor's toilet lid that says "no wipes in toilet" bcs the nursing assistants were clogging the apt. bldg's drains.

But yours are great because they move around!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 11:58PM
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Precisely, Talley Sue nyc, I should have headed this thread "movable repeat messages"....

The idea is to not have to re-write the same messages that are needed with certain frequency (But not necessarily daily), since these messages do not necessarily apply ALL the time.

I would use my P-touch for messages that are ongoing, such as those on the toilet bowl.

Jannie, for your dilemma, I might keep a movable repeat message in magnet form on the side of the fridge to place on the leftovers IN the fridge as needed. OR you could designate a place in the fridge and label it "DO NOT EAT these leftovers" but then this space is permanent and so I would not opt for this solution since I may want to re-purpose that particular space as needed.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 10:42AM
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I love your idea. I've done similar things to keep myself on track and organized.

I may have gotten the idea from those little stick-on things they sell for dishwashers that flip to say clean/dirty to keep people from putting dirty things into an unloaded clean batch of dishes.

I have my laundry room in the basement and when I put a load in I pin a ribbon on my shirt to remind me to transfer things to the dryer or to unload the dryer. It keeps me from forgetting, and I never find a mildewy mess four days later or clothes so wrinkled they have to be redone. When I go back down to completely finish the laundry I put the ribbon pin right back on top of the washer lid so it is there the next time I start wash and pin it on again.

I have tried using my cell phone alarm for remembering wash but it is cumbersome to carry a cell phone around the house as many of my house clothes don't have pockets and sometimes when the alarm went off I was in the middle of things so did not run down right away and subsequently forgot all about the wash. The alarm would go off when I was at not at home and at the store and could not get to it and then forgotten about. I don't mind wearing the ribbon on my shirt out of the house on the few occasions that I have done it. People probably think its one of those 'breast cancer awareness' ribbons or 'bring our troops home' kind of ribbons. No one has ever asked me about it.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 12:31PM
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These are brilliant ideas!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 1:11PM
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Simply Brilliant!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 5:41PM
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One of the things I did to keep myself organized was to paint my kitchen door (the one that open into the mudroom to the outside). I painted it with black chalkboard paint.

What I use this for is fort of a 'reverse' shopping list. Its for things going out of the house rather than things I want to remember to bring in like groceries. I list things that I have to take places to drop off when I leave for running errands, that I might forget. Things like; return library books/take candlesticks back to mum/return shoes to Target/drop off cake/mail package.

I used to pile things like that up in front of the door 'so I wouldn't forget' but it was bad feng shui. It looked unsightly and I was always having to kick them aside just to take out the garbage to the garage or go mow out to the lawn.

Now with the list written right on the door that I am forced to look at every time I leave I never forget anything, well, hardly ever forget. I am never out on errands and then remember that I should have grabbed the library books.

I like the chalkboard door better than mounting a noteboard on a door. It's big and bold and sleek, and looks sort of decorative (to me).

I also write things that I need to do 'first thing' in the morning on my bathroom mirror with one of those dry erase markers. Something important that I might forget. Where I live you are not allowed to set your garbage carts out at the curb until that very morning. When I wake up I don't always remember what day it is and if I get involved in things I forget, and the garbage goes uncollected. I even remind myself to make those important "I'll call you first thing in the morning" calls with a BR mirror note.

These aren't "permanent markers" like maura63 uses but her idea gave me the idea to do a "permanent marker" for the garbage day thing on my BR mirror. I had hoped the mirror frame is magnetic, but no, I checked. I'm going to try some other stick on/off version of a 'permanent marker'. A plastic coffee can lid with duct tape behind it to make it stick maybe?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 9:23PM
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Dilly dally, I love that idea. There's also whiteboard paint for those who don't want to paint a door black. I once saw on a show where they made a painted frame and mounted it to a wall and then showed how you could paint the wall inside of it with either the blackboard or whiteboard paint. I think there's also paint that acts like a magnet.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 11:35PM
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Love these ideas - especially for outgoing stuff!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 9:12AM
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That makes sense. Little signs to help us remember our good habits. I have done something similar.

I have sometimes put post-it notes on the mirror so I will see them first thing in the morning.

To remind hubby to put the kitchen sponges into the dishwasher for sterilization, I made a note in Microsoft Word that is the exact size as the top of the dishwasher powder box. I print one, cut it out, and tape it to the top of the box. It also helps me to remember to put the sponges into the dishwasher every time I put the dishwasher powder into the little receptacle and start the machine.

I have taped handwritten notes to walls and windows.

The one about the "cat in the garage" would be useful at our place.

Recently, I decided that I want a note to remind hubby not to abandon dishes in the sink, when the dishwasher is right next to the sink! Also, he tends to leave pans to soak in the sink, where they only invite the clutter of more dishes that could have gone into the dishwasher. He says he forgets. He really does tend to clean up after himself without being asked. Well, maybe he just needs a note to remember. I keep taking the offending items out of the sink. I put soaking pans to the side of the sink, so that I have an empty sink and can start to deal with the backlog.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 9:18AM
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I love the idea of reminding myself to put the sponges in the DW by writing on top of the soap box!

I always forget, and they are of course the last things to put in, as you don't want wet sponges closed up in there mildewing or having to look for them if you put them in too early before you are ready to run the machine. I always forget to put my sink strainer thingy in too.

I just went and used a big Sharpie on top of the box.

Marie26, where can one purchase whiteboard paint??? I Googled and all I found where posts of people looking to buy it and the answers were always "There is no such thing" or "They don't make it anymore". I am wondering it had a high lead content and is banned and there is no good substitute.
I like the black chalkboard paint and I have a dream of painting my kitchen cabinets white some day. Yeah someday. They make green chalkboard paint and maybe that will go better with the white when/if I do it. An option I did think about was to install a whiteboard and use a dry erase marker. You can get shower wall liners to use for this purpose and they can be cut to the size of the door. After tossing the idea around I feel I would not like a shiny door nor do I care for the look of the dry erase markers. I want something rather vintage looking.

And yes, there is paint that is magnetic. I did think about using it under my black chalkboard paint. That way a note to "return shoes" could have the receipts right next to it but I thought that would just look tooo messy with stuff stuck all over the door. I keep my receipts all in one spot held together with a clothespin and sort out the older ones every couple months. magnetic paint on a door is still a good idea though that would work for some one else.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 2:52PM
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Permanent Messages! This is one of my favorite strategies. For one thing, I don't have to "verbally" nag! Like the sign over the toilet "Stand Close, It's Shorter Than You Think".

I use the metal door to the garage for a lot of things permanent and temporary: coupons, doctor's appointment cards for DH, permanent Pack and Do list for trips, checks to be deposited.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 3:44PM
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we had a door-size chalkboard, too--it was great! It was an interior hallway door, positioned so that you had to look at it on your way into the house.

It didn't get used for outgoing things; but it got used for messages and reminders.

Instead of painting the door itself (which was lumpy w/ molding), my dad cut a piece of masonite to fit over the door, and painted IT, then screwed it in place.

The magnetic paint can end up sort of lumpy (w/ metal filings in it);painting over it can be problematic years later. If I wanted a big magnetic area, I think I'd take inspiration from my dad and buy a sheet of steel to cover that area. And paint it, then attach it to the wall somehow.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 6:24PM
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Oh, and I realized today I need one of these for this time period when I forget that I wore my jacket to work, and leave without it.

I could make one I hang on my tote bag or purse when I get to the office. Those, I never forget.

But if my jacket is hanging behind the door at quitting time, I forget to grab it. And in the morning, when it's chilly on the way to work--no jacket.

I could make something that I keep on my coat hook in the office, and when I hang up my coat, I move it to the tote bag or purse. And move it back when it's time to go home.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 6:26PM
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I use a clothespin on my purse handle to help me remember stuff like that. I don't need a note. If there is a clothespin I see it and "know" that there is something else I brought that I need to take with me. Sometimes I clip the clothespin to my keychain in my purse so that when I take out my keys to leave I remember what it was that I was suppose to do. Sometimes the clothespin on my keychain is to remind me to make a stop to do something or buy something on the way home so I don't get all the way home and then remember "Oh yeah. Kitty litter". When not needed to jog memory the clothespin sits at the bottom of my purse.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 11:16AM
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I need an idea for our powder room. We have one of those toilets that will make a big flush or a small one, depending on how long you hold down the flush handle.

Hubby and I didn't even notice it ourselves, but we figured it out after several different guests plugged the toilet. They had not held the handle down long enough for a big flush. And sometimes, there'd be leftover debris after a guest had left. Then hubby told me that he was able to figure out how to make a big flush and a small flush. Duh!

I need to make a small sign that says, "If you need a big flush, hold the handle down like you really mean it."

What is the most polite way to say that? Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 2:38PM
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I'd just have the sign say something like "Please hold handle down to flush completely". If your guests over-flush once in a while, it's not really a problem - there's only a problem if they under-flush. So I'd just have the sign encourage them to flush big!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 7:26PM
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And if this is only a once-in-a-while message (when guests are over), I might put a small plate/easel stand on the toilet tank to hold your sign, then store both sign and easel under the sink or in a closet when not in use.

Here is a link that might be useful: like these....

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 8:01PM
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I used to have REALLY HOT hot water. Well, I still do, but now I have a single-handle faucet, so I don't worry about guests' burning themselves by hoping they only have to turn on one side of the water, or by turning on a lot of hot (bcs you'd need a LOT of cold to balance it)

I got one of those engraved plastic signs (I saw a booth at the mall and got it there) and had it say "Caution: Hot Water Can Be Scalding" and put it over each sink.

I didn't have room for an easel, and it was enough of a safety concern that I didn't want to fear that I'd forget to put it up when company was coming.

A few friends thought it was weird that I'd live in my personal home w/ a sign that looked like it was from an office restroom, but I just didn't care.

I don't think I'd know what "flush big" meant, but maybe "Please hold handle down 5 seconds" would be clear.

If I had your problem, I'd try to find a plastic sign the color of my wall tiles, and use foam poster tape to stick it to the wall right above the toilet.

Here is a link that might be useful: engraved plastic signs--$7 or so, for a little one

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 3:12PM
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This may offend some, but it's a true story. My sister has well water and they need to conserve year-round. She made a sign for her guest room toilet "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down." She did it in cross-stitch, with a flower and butterfly. True story.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 6:34PM
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Hmmm. My mother was a big believer in the 'mellow rule'. I think it is a bit much to ask of guests though. How often do guests visit and use the toilet? Can the water be that scarce?

At holidays when visiting, I always run to the bathroom immediately and FLUSH that toilet, before other guests arrive or 'discover' it. Eeeew. Why would someone have holiday guests over and have everything looking so lovely, but have that morning's 'mellow' still sitting in the toilet for the guests to view? BTW my mother's home is immaculate as far as housekeeping.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 2:21AM
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