The Power of an Improperly Ordered To-Do List

by Katy on September 15, 2010 · 14 comments

I run both hot and cold when it comes to to-do lists. I like the feeling I get from  accomplishing this, that and everything in between, but I also like just taking it easy and not feeling like I have to function as a personal task master. Goof around on the computer, read for a bit, maybe even nap. It’s all good.

Today was a to-do list day.

I knew I would be getting together with a friend tomorrow, so I set myself down with pencil and paper and mapped out my day. Grocery staples from Fred Meyer, scour the kitchen, write a blog post, get my hair cut, scoop the litter box? It was all there. I methodically worked my way through the list, all the while ferrying kids to school and back, assembling homemade sushi for the staggered dinners and feeling pretty damned proud of myself.

But the litter box? I would get to it after the rush of the day.

Or . . . I would end up having to strip my bed, spray it with Nature’s Miracle and wash all the bedding because a certain small feline creature released a puddle of urine the size of Lake Superior into the middle. (Although really, the covered litter box was on the ugly side of disgusting and I wouldn’t have gone into it either.) But thankfully, my mother has a extra large capacity washing machine that fit my duvet, and she was up at midnight, when I drove it over to her house.

From here on out, I’m going to start all to-do lists with “scoop the litter box.”

See? Something new to learn every day!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Pie September 15, 2010 at 6:53 am

Katy, I am the List-Making Queen around here. I love lists! Shopping lists, to do lists, packing lists, all sorts of lists.

Even the most menial task put on a list and then checked off is very gratifying. Gotta love the lists!


Katy September 15, 2010 at 7:04 am

Lisa Pie,

Well then, I guess I should add these menial tasks to my to-do list:

– Wash sheets
– Wash duvet cover
– Drive duvet across town at midnight to my mother’s large capacity washing machine.
– Hang duvet cover on the clothesline at 1:00 A.M.
– Spray bed down with “Nature’s Miracle” enzymatic cleaner.
– Sleep on son’s trundle bed.
– Experience weird vivid dreams.
– Drink huge amounts of caffeine to make up for poor night’s sleep.

Wow, look at all I got accomplished! 😉



jenniwaka September 15, 2010 at 6:57 am

I’m sooooo grateful my little feline has never gone outside the box, except for last month when she peed in the car on the way home from the vet. I had let her out of her cage and she was scratching around in the gravelly pebbles on the foot mat, probably thinking it was litter. I didn’t have any miracle cures like your little bottle above, but luckily alcohol and baking soda did the trick. The smell went away after a few days and I’ve learned to either keep her in the cage or clean the car before the next vet trip!


Molly On Money September 15, 2010 at 7:04 am

I’m a list maker too (second generation!). My Father always taught me to put the one thing you really don’t want to do on the top. His feeling was when you don’t you spend a lot of energy thinking about it and feeling guilty about it. Even though this was drummed into me I don’t always do it!
Today I must clean out the mobile chicken pens- it’s a yucky job and been on my list for week now!


Rebecca September 15, 2010 at 7:30 am

Thank Goodness for Natures Miracle. We love it and buy it by the gallon. Mostly for little kid accidents, vomit, explosive diapers, it works great. And for pets too.

I will gladly shell out money for that stuff, I have never found anything that works nearly as well, and this stuff doesn’t have a nasty fragrance to it either.


Tracy Balazy September 15, 2010 at 9:27 am

A-men to THAT, Rebecca! I should own stock in the company.


Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire September 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Ooooh. Been there. These days it’s because Sick Kitty has no other way to tell me when he has yet another bladder infection. Years ago, though, he was spraying in the house. We tried everything to try to get him to stop. Nothing worked. Then I changed from a clay litter to a pine litter because I was tired of the dust from clay litter, and the spraying stopped completely. Turns out, my husband wasn’t cleaning the litterbox to the cat’s satisfaction when there was clay litter in it. The pine litter turns to sawdust with urine, so I have to change the litter out every week. That’s all kitty wanted, turns out!

They’re such particular creatures.


Louise September 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I hear your pain. We have two cats that live with us in our 300 square foot RV (plus one dog and 5 fish). One cat has kidney disease, so there have been many “pee on the bed” incidents. With no washer/dryer on board, we often have to enzyme treat as best we can, stuff the bedding into the shower, and head out for a laundromat the next day.

Then there was the time we had no other bedding and had to find a laundromat at 10pm in the driving rain along the Oregon coast…

Ugh. If we didn’t love them so much, we’d have to fricasee ’em.


Jenn H September 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Uh…don’t you have 2 kids? Doesn’t the cat “belong” to one of them? I’m thinking this should really be on someone else’s to-do list! But what do I know, I don’t have kids.


Practical Parsimony September 15, 2010 at 10:24 pm

All my to-do lists are improperly ordered. However, I don’t have a litter box or cat anywhere to spur me to order. I love a list, but nothing is on there in any kind of order. I even have sublists…it works. Yes, I do put things down in all the minutia I can muster. That way, I don’t get lost…don’t even ask…lol.


Jenny September 16, 2010 at 8:17 am

Ugh. The cat litter chore. I dread it. I’ve been doing it every other day because if I don’t it gets too gross and I dread it even more.
I am going to switch to a different cat litter. I hate the fumes, the dust, and crumbles from the clay stuff. I’ll gladly pay more not to have kitty litter all over my bathroom floor anymore. I love them but I understand why some people don’t want cats.


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary September 16, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Prioritizing long lists of things — not my best skill! I always start with the things I feel like doing, not the things that need doing.

Bummer about the yucky sheets and blankets. That only happened to us once, as I recall, when we were gone for the night and the cat managed to get himself locked in the bedroom. I couldn’t really blame the poor guy, it’s not like he could open the door on his own. 🙂

At the moment we are a pet-free household, as managing the kids and the house and the job is about all I can handle. (That’s my prioritization skills, finally kicking in. )


Cate September 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Oh no! Cats are so funny and particular. We have a certain kitty who’s fond of using the bathroom sink if the litterbox isn’t cleaned to her satisfaction…not that she ever feels the need to cover up her mess in the litterbox. Ahem.

At least it’s not the kitchen sink.


Lilypad September 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Our elderly kitty is a barfer, not a pee-er. And she has barfed on my bed more times than I care to remember. My defense is keeping a Lands End fleece blanket (about 15 years old!) on top of the bed at all times, and if she upchucks on it, into the laundry it goes. It’s absolutely indestructible and washes up super easily, 15 minutes in the dryer (I know, heresy for you, Katy!) and it’s done and back on the bed, for the next round.
The carpet, that’s another story. 🙁


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