In our last office we found that hanging a mirror helped keep us organized. Not just because we noticed if we had something on our face, but also because we could write on it with a dry erase marker to keep track of our to do list (and could even use it to write a welcome message to our guests since that room slept our friends and family as well).
When we moved I missed that little organizational corner, so I started taping a comically small piece of paper on the wall with a list of things to do. And then it grew into two lists, one on each side of the large doorway. The left one was entitled: “Posts To Write” and the right one was “Projects To Do.” Since we have a giant 300+ list of things we want to do in this house (see just a fraction of them here), selecting the next ten-ish tasks that we want to tackle helps keep us focused (and enables us to hone in on which things should be prioritized and which supplies we’ll have to pick up). Plus after we do projects it’s surprisingly easy to forget to blog about them since we’re so excited to bounce along to the next one. So keeping track of what we’ve done that’s waiting to be written about keeps us sane (and keeps our lag time from “did it in real life” to “blogged about it” as short as possible).
But for some reason not having an erasable surface was seriously hurting our update frequency. See how “limb up the magnolia” is on the list when
we I already did that weeks ago? Not good.
So I padded back into the playroom (which is full of baskets, bedding, and a ton of frames and mirrors – seriously it’s where stuff goes to die in our house) and grabbed two semi-similarly-sized mirrors and asked John to hang them up. Yes, I outsourced the labor on that one (my favorite excuse: I gotta nurse the baby – it’s the one thing John can’t do so it works like a charm). And it left me free to “supervise” from the big green sofa while John got his hang on.
The result? Two dry erase boards for keeping track of “Projects To Do” and “Posts To Write.” They’re not perfect, but they look a lot better than those rarely updated little notebook pages that were taped to the wall (look no dining chairs, I pushed them all against the wall for vacuuming under the table and never pushed them back – go Team Lazy):
That picture above is what they would look like if we ever did everything on our to do list. Amazing.
But here’s what they actually look like with all of the projects and posts on our list:
Oh and that’s the blue dry erase marker on the top of the mirror on the right (since it’s deep enough to store it there). Maybe someday we’ll hunt down more of a mirror twin for one or the other (for a more balanced look) but for now we’re just happy to work with what we have. The most important thing is that we can now take pleasure in crossing things off of our list again. That’s a universally fun activity right? Now picture doing it with a dry erase marker that glides like butter over whatever you just accomplished. There’s nothing better I tell ya.
Julia @ Chris loves Julia says
This is such a smart idea! I know just where to hang a to-do/grocery list MIRROR in my house and I can’t say I am gonna wait to do so….well, maybe I’ll wait until my hubby gets home to hang it for me. *wink*
Chris Loves Julia
Did you notice any residue build up over time on the old mirror? I’m thinking about doing this on a massive but unflattering mirror that came with our rental – wouldn’t like to leave a trace!
Nope no cloudiness or anything if you wipe it down with a paper towel. Hope it helps!
Some dry erase markers will leave a slight film of color if you only dry erase the surface. To combat that, spray a very little bit of Windex on a paper towel and wipe. It will clean up all of the left over ink residue.
Good to know! Thanks Ted! I can’t believe I’m writing this, but sometimes I employ the spit-into-a-tissue and wipe method. Yikes, that’s pretty gross now that I wrote it down.
We totally do this as well — only in our master bathroom. We leave to-dos, love notes and draw funny things to crack each other up after getting out of the shower. The best part about this is when we have guests I snap a quick photo with my phone and erase and TADA we are clean and organized once again! :)
So cute. I am so obsessed with white-framed things currently!! You should use them to write little love notes and words of inspiration, too: “John, John he’s our man, if he can’t work with planks found in the backyard that were all sorts of unveven no one can!!!!!” ; (Can’t wait to see the results on that btw.)
Love the song! LOL!! Thanks for the laugh, Kathryn! :)
Krysta @ Domestic for Dummies says
First of all, two posts before noon just blew my mind!! Will there be a third? no pressure. Secondly, the mirrors look great! Sometimes I add things to my to do list that I have already done just so I can check it off. Whatever makes you feel better about yourself right?
Haha, nope this is the last one. Just slinging it up early since it’s Frrrrrriiiiiiiiiiday. Wahooooo!
Krysta, so funny – I do the same thing! Actually a co-worker and I were just talking about this two days ago and we both admitted that we were “add it to the list just so we can cross it off” people. I feel so much more accomplished that way!
I love this, great idea! If you ever need more, here’s a link to one made out of a picture frame and scrapbook paper! http://pinterest.com/pin/13972835/
Here’s a link to the tutorial: http://www.makeandtakes.com/wipe-off-weekly-menu-board
Hope you guys have a great weekend!
Love it! Thanks so much.
I LOVE that idea!! Thanks for sharing it – off to find an empty frame & some cute scrapbook paper. :) :)
This is such an awesome idea! I love to-do lists, but they usually end up on post-it notes, which tend to get lost very quickly. Time to make this to-do list pretty frame!
i do the same thing but instead of writing to do lists i have “today i am happy because…” printed on a pretty sheet and then a blank below and every day i write something that made me happy that day. helps me remember the little things : )
I love crossing things off lists! Sometimes I add things I KNOW I am going to do just so I can cross something else off! Ha ha ha :)
Sometimes I add stuff to my list AFTER I do it just so I can put the pretty little check mark next to it. :)
I am so lame.
sometimes i write things like, “get dressed” just so i can cross it off…so bad but it makes me feel better :)
Any idea if you will paint them a contrasting color? I feel like they disappear against the white.
The walls will eventually get painted, so then they should pop a little more. We’re always down for painting things like mirrors too, so that’s a definite possibility!
Go team Lazy!! I love it.
Katie Kerr says
Why of why haven’t I thought of this before!
I’m so doing this..! Do you ever get blue ink on the white frame?? coz that would drive me insane.
Miraculously not yet! And we’ve used the method for around a year in our old house. I wonder if I’m just super conscious about how much that would annoy me so I steer clear of the edge. Haha.
Andrea S. says
Love this. We love dry erase markers at our house. An entire wall of my husband’s home office is a giant dry erase board that he uses for work-to-dos & brainstorming. But my favorite is the 5 x 7 frame in our master bathroom that say’s “I love you more than…” and then we use a dry erase marker to fill in all kinds of crazy things – depending on our mood. :) I also found a heart with “B + A” inside of a heart written on my washing machine one day. Yeah…we like to doodle around here. Glad we’re not the only ones!
B @B Getting Hot says
Swooon! What cute ideas Andrea!
That’s so sweet!
I do this! (And I thought I was one of the only weird ones who do) I love to leave little love notes and honey-do’s on our bathroom mirror. Also, in college, I used to put spanish verbs on the mirror and say them in my head over and over again while brushing my teeth. I wouldn’t erase them until they were memorized.
Love the idea! Have you ever heard of http://www.teuxdeux.com? I’m new to the site, and it’s awesome. You still get that crossing-things-off good feeling, too.
Never tried it! Off to check it out.
Jeez, I love this! And I think it’s hysterical that it’s “the 15th greatest invention of all time”! And why isn’t Nutella higher than #6?? Just sayin’.
I was going to post too about the frame and scrapbook paper method, which worked for me … Til I realized I need a body-size frame for my list! Love that I can change out the paper, too, so I can move it to any room.
I was wondering about build up/cloudiness too. I might have to give it a try in our currently bare walled office.
Robin just left a really great comment about this a few comments after this one, so feel free to scroll down for that info! Very interesting indeed.
I love this idea. I have to be honest, sometimes I write something on my to do list that I have already done just so I can cross it off! :) It is a feel-good feeling to cross things off! :))
I do believe there’s some stuff on the big list you can cross off! Like the “charcoal gray u-shaped sectional”!
Haha, it’s true. We have to update that post but it feels weird to cross it off back on that old one. Maybe we need to do another update one and add more stuff we wanna do and cross off the accomplished stuff.
Robin @ Our Semi Organic Life says
We do this on our big bathroom mirror as well! To do lists, funny jokes, cartoons, keep track of our weights etc. I’ve noticed that if you leave the markings on too long (aka 6 months or more) that they’re harder to clean. I sometimes can see a faint outline of our old drawings from a certain angle.
Good tip! Ours usually change completely over 6 months but we’ll be sure to wipe things down every month or two to make sure that we don’t get any markings! Thanks!
Is the rug in that photo new? I had not noticed it before. I’m in the market…so I’m intereted!
That’s an old Pottery Barn rug that we got from the outlet a while back. Maybe try ebay?
Unrelated but….I love how one pic you see Clara chewing on that poor toy and the other she is mysteriously gone lol.
A Girl’s Next Best Friend
I love this too!! I was going to comment: Clara — Now you see her, now you don’t. ha ha
(look no dining chairs, I pushed them all against the wall for vacuuming under the table and never pushed them back – go Team Lazy)
As the resident person-who-vaccuums in my house, I just want to say that that is ingenious!
Er, the leaving it to the side thing, not the moving them in the first place thing.
Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen says
This is really funny, but I had no idea you could write on mirrors with a dry erase marker! What a great idea :)
Using mirrors for a to-do list has been a great tool I have used for years and I would recommend it wholeheartedly! After a while, little particles of the erased dry erase ink gather, but it is easily cleaned up. My husband and I also left little messages to each other, which was even more fun than crossing things off a to-do list!
Such a great idea! I love it – may borrow it myself!
You’re still nursing Clara! Awesome!
(and the dry erase marker on a mirror idea is pretty cool too)
Reason #2 to nurse: Best excuse EVER!! Reason #1: goes without saying!!
LOVE crossing things off my list! I am afraid with a dry erase, I wouldn’t get the same feelig as seeing it crossed off. I may or may not jot things down on my “to do” list after I have just accomplished it, just to see it crossed off?!
Cait @ Hernando House says
We do this, too! In college my bathroom mirror was full of to-dos, and now my husband writes to-dos on the green mirror seen at the bottom of this post a lot.
Cheryl C says
Awesome idea!! Stylish and functional – love!
Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage says
looove the to do list idea. But I wanted to give you a WAY TO GO pat on the back for nursing your little one still! :) After nursing two until they were 1, I know you sometimes need one!
Missy G. says
You should do totally one of those scratch through the text and change the wording about the “limb up magnolia”. “We” should be “I” did that… LOL.
And I love that “hang mirrors in office” was #1 on the little paper to do list.
Haha, you’re right! Off to do that now. You know I love crossing things off! Hahaha.
That office area is such a nice space! And the mirror/message board idea is really neat too!
Ever consider the chalkboard paint on that wall? Could be fun.
Yes I love chalkboard paint and am dying to use it somewhere!
I turned an old split barn window into a chalkboard for our wedding, and plan on putting it up in the house after since I’m into the farmhouse chic look of things. For now though, since I had extra paint, I painted a huge square on a wall I know we’ll be tearing down and it’s been awesome. For the most part it’s been for lists, but every once in a while we use it for greeting someone.
If you scroll to the very bottom of our engagement photo blog post (from our photographer) you can see the wall paint.
#1. You guys are adorable
#2. Your dogs are adorable
#3. Love the barn window chalkboard idea.
How about painting the inside of Clara’s closet in chalkboard paint? Some luscious color (it can be customized) with a bucket of chalk nearby . . .
Uh oh, I’m kind of obsessed with that idea. Wahoo!
I think painting the top of a little table would be cool. She could have her own little craft corner! Though I like the closet idea too!
That’s fun too! Love it.
I do this on our sliding glass doors. I’m using them to teach my son how to read and write. We sort of have a classroom chalkboard! It’s also fun because on rainy days he’ll spend hours (ok, maybe half an hour) drawing all kinds of monsters and rockets on a blank “canvas.” We use washable markers though. Dry-erase markers stain.
I’m a chronic list maker and also love the feeling of crossing the item off once it’s done:) And I’ve also been known to add things I forgot to write down but have accomplished just to see them crossed off!!
And I agree – time for un updated to-do list post!
I just did a wall in our kitchen with chalkboard paint. LOVE IT!!! Even my husband, who was skeptical, likes it. Lots of fun for the kids and great for notes, lists, calendar, etc. I’m in the Near West End if you want to stop by and see it!
I honestly like that they’re not perfectly the same. I love the chunkiness to the one on the right very much. :)
Am copying this idea this weekend – I like writing things down where I can see them instead of putting them in a computer file (that never gets opened!)
So excited for this project!
Erin @ The Impatient Gardener says
Love the idea, but I love the rug more. How have I missed that rug being in your house? What’s its story?
For me, I like a list that I can cross things off on and see all the things crossed off. I’ve been known to put things that I’ve already done on to-do lists just to have some things crossed off from the get-go.
That’s the same office rug we had in our old house. It’s from the Pottery Barn outlet a while back. We love it! Maybe try ebay?
That’s a great idea, and I have the perfect mirror for it sitting in my closet. I may have found myself a new weekend project!!
Lori @ Richmond, BABY! says
What a good idea! I have small pieces of paper with lists and then I lose them. I always wonder if I lose them when I’m out and about (because they really do disappear) which then leads me to wondering what the person who finds them thinks of my bizarre and random home improvement lists!
There’s a website that posts random found objects like your to-do lists. Can you imagine if you ever saw your own list on there? LOL
Oh yeah I love that site so much! Such a fun concept.
Lori @ Richmond, BABY! says
Hilarious! Going to check it out now…will let you know if mine is on there, ha! :)
I made something similar for my bathroom, but instead of a to do list, I made it for leaving (and hopefully receiving) sweet messages to my husband! :D
I am the queen of lists! I keep a small notebook in my bag at all times in order to make lists.
I love the mirror idea!
Smart! I love organisation tips!
The mirrors look great. Would you mind sharing where you got them from Sherry?
One of them was a hand me down from John’s sister (the chunky one- which was once wood with ornate flowers, I just painted it white) and the other one was from Target a while back. Hope it helps!
Thanks! I want to do a wall of white mirrors. So I am looking for white mirrors to buy or those that can be painted over.
LOVE your blog!
Hilary @ My So-Called Home says
This is a great idea because I’m sure you could easily get overwhelmed (I know I would) at the amount of tasks needing to get done. But of course it’s all about taking it one step at a time, right? Do you think you’ll add an area rug to ground the dining table, or leave the floors bare for easy clean up?
For now we’re planning to have an area rug in the entryway and in the office so the table will be bare and sort of balanced in the middle. Once we add a big chandelier above it to ground it (and soften the room with things like curtains) we hope it’ll work. Who knows though, might change plans someday!
We do this with a glass-fronted picture frame in our kitchen. It has a large white mat which makes for a good sized “writing surface”, on one side we put a grocery list, on the other side is a to do list. Where the picture would usually go, I put a cute, graphic 1 week calendar and we jot our meal plan for each day on it. That way, whoever gets home from work 1st knows what the plan is and get dinner started.
For those who worried it’s been over a year and no cloudiness. We’ve used a little glass cleaner (vinegar & water at our house) occasionally as needed.
Great idea! Nothing gets done around here without my to do lists!
Amy @ This DIY Life says
I love that the mirrors aren’t matchy matchy! A little extra interest in a symmetrical world :)
Jessica C says
Great idea! If you wanted to make the marker a little less conspicuous or cute…scrapbook paper and mod podge would be so easy!
This has absolutely nothing at all to do with mirrors or dry-erase markers… but can I just tell you how much I love this blog? :) I’ve never really been a big blog follower before, but you guys are so great that now I’m addicted. My hubby and I just moved into our very first house a few months ago (in January). We have a 21 month old little boy and another on the way due any day now. So naturally, our time, money, and energy/motivation are running slightly low these days. I have been completely overwhelmed by everything we need/want to do to the house, and I’ve also gotten really discouraged thinking that everything was supposed to come together all at once, and fast – like preferably before the baby comes! :)
Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how much you have encouraged me that this whole home-owning/decorating/organizing thing is a process that will change and evolve and take time – and that there’s no need to stress because we have it! It’s our little world and we get to make it wonderful at our own pace with the freedom to make mistakes and start over or change our minds or whatever we need to do. You have completely inspired me and given me the courage to just start trying – with no pressure or timeline involved. So… I just wanted to say thanks for that. (Also my poor husband, who bears the brunt of all my stress and indecision and crazy nesting urges, thanks you too.) :)
And thanks also for being so honest and light-hearted and funny! Your entries always make me smile.
Thanks so much Megan. You just made my day. So glad you found us!