Calendar instead of To-do List

“Instead of to-do lists, schedule tasks on your calendar.”

I read this advice several weeks ago, and must apologize to the blogger, because I can’t remember where I read it.

To-do lists have been a strategy of mine as long as I can remember.  I decided to give the strategy a try, and used excel to draft a calendar for the week.  The calendar included JS Jack’s work schedule, meals, exercise, and tasks.  Mrs. JumpStart and I are in our second week of summer unemployment, and needed a strategy for a productive week.

With our first college tuition payment approaching, I focused on some tasks that could raise some cash.  Clutter doesn’t affect me, but clutter drives Mrs. JS crazy, and so decluttering was also a focus.

The calendar forced me to sequence tasks logically.  Yard sale, followed by Craig’s List, recycling, and the consignment shop.

Saturday’s Yard Sale

Yard sales are strange things, and I only enjoyed about a quarter of the time.  I’d enjoy them more if I could employ a bouncer at the sidewalk.

  • Professional yard sale resellers don’t get it.
  • People with large bags or change don’t get in.
  • People who believe offering 4$ on an item generously labelled 25$ receive a sucker punch to the stomach and get kicked out.
  • Neighbors that I rarely talk to are welcome.
  • People that excitedly try on clothes in my front yard are welcome.
  • People who pleasantly chat for 15 minutes, but don’t try to buy anything are welcome.

Side hustle Idea.  Yard sale bouncer. 

Services provided.

  • Nobody rings your doorbell before the sale starts.
  • Wanding, identifying, and prohibiting large bags of change into the yard.
  • Pro yard resellers don’t bother to get out of the car when they see my face.

Anyway, our yard sale went well and raised $147.  We sold a broken lawnmower, some electronics and tools leftover from Sears MS, clothes, and useless junk other knickknacks.  We followed up with a trip to good will and made a list of items destined for Craig’s List.

Monday’s Tasks

We began by photographing and listing 6 items on Craig’s List.

Our basement had a corner pile of old copper pipes, aluminum window trim, and aluminum lawn furniture.  Cashing in my scrap metal has resided on my to-do list for years.  After 30 lbs of copper, 100 lbs of aluminum, and 2 quarters, we walked out with a $100 bill.

Our final Monday task was a trip to a local consignment store.  A large piece of wrought iron retrieved from my Grandfather’s barn had been sitting in my basement for years.  I am waiting for the store owner’s research to set a price, but I’ll collect 60% when it sells.

Tuesday Tasks

Tuesday had some necessary tasks, which weren’t going to make me any money.

I fixed the flat tire on the trailer.

I took apart two broken bikes and built one functional bike.

The giant hedge behind our house distracted me.  I began the hedge battle a day early, and blew off cleaning the grill.

Making money wasn’t on the schedule, but then a text from Craig’s List popped up.  It was an annoying offer of 20$ for a 45$ set of wrenches.  My short reply of “nope”, did not even have a counter offer.

But, then I got another text about the paddle board.   A guy who lives a couple blocks over, came by, and we reached a reasonable price in less than 2 minutes.


Battle with hedge continued.

My neighbor from Craig’s List came back with $275 cash and left with his paddle-board.


Battle of the hedge June 2017 was won.  I call it a battle because I know it will be 8 feet tall, and half way across the alley by August.  I know that I am no match for that hedge.

As of Thursday, total cash for the week is at 522$. The wrought iron is at the consignment shop, and there are 5 items still on Craig’s List.


During the school year, we cook a lot of food every Sunday and fill the fridge, knowing we will not have much time during the week.  There are some standards like mac and cheese, rice, baked chicken, and meatballs that get us through work weeks.

For the summer, we have more time to enjoy dinners.  Our dinner plan worked out well, because it took advantage of a daily restaurant special, a coupon, and a gift card.  The schedule on the fridge was also helpful to set expectations for the kids.  They knew when they were invited to join us for dinner out, and when they were on their own.  Somehow a written schedule prevented JS Jill from asking us to drive her across town on date nights as well.

I don’t know if I can give up to-do lists, but choosing items off my to-do list and embedding them into a short term calendar seemed to work pretty well.

Disease Called Debt
Posted in Uncategorized.


  1. Sounds like a good week! Congrats on getting some clutter gone and making money on those things you no longer want or need. Your last sentence sums it up well. Schedule your to do items on your calendar and you are more likely to get them done.

  2. Making money on clutter is great. I’m lazy, when the junk piles up, I pile it in the car and haul it to Goodwill; I figure its a good cause and I’m done with it.

    • I did not mention it, but my wife did take a big load of unsold stuff to Goodwill. The curb outside my house is also great for recycling. Several things were picked up by people driving by on Saturday afternoon.

  3. I always store up a pile of stuff with good intentions to have a yard sale. Trouble is, if the weather is nice we are on a ball field. If we aren’t playing ball, it’s because the weather is too awful to have a yard sale. I gave up! But I do like your bouncer idea…I bet more people would hold yard sales! haha

  4. When I was little, we used to have a street wide yard sale each year. My mom hated it because my friends and I pretty much just moved our junk from one house to another and it was a ton of work to organize.

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