Not all advice is good advice!


I love reading Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I never subscribed to it, but for some reason they keep sending me the issues. I find that it’s a great place to get ideas that never work in real life. But I still enjoy looking at it; I enjoy seeing the colors, styles and decor of dream houses – that stay dreams.

And then there’s the practical tips page; the ones that promise you the easiest solutions to all your problems, guaranteed to work and fail proof.

I don’t know who writes them, but it’s certainly someone with little life experience.

Or someone who was never a mom.

So I was reading this must-try brilliant answer to all of life’s challenges, an easy way to get organized:

Post a dry erase board on the refrigerator and every time you remember something, run out of something or need something, just jot it down on the board and presto, at the end of the day your list is made and nothing is forgotten.

Great idea, no?

Well, I laughed out loud and couldn’t help imagining what would happen if I tried this in my house.

I’d start the day off with breakfast,  and we’d run out of cheerios. I’d quickly jot it down on the whiteboard.

The kids get dressed, and I notice 5 year old has yet another pair of pants with ripped knees; I quickly jot down to buy more size 5 pants..

I remember I need to make dentist appointments, and I quickly jot it down.

Ran out of mayo, no problem, it’s already on the list.

More tissues. There it goes, onto the whiteboard.

No more trying to remember things;  the white board is doing it for me!

Somewhere between supper and bedtime, one of my kids – don’t know if it’ll be 3, 5, or 7 year old, will notice the whiteboard. And the dry erase marker.

And there are fewer things more tempting to little hands than a dry erase board. I’d say it comes in at a tie to a Sharpie marker.

And in one little swift giggly move, gone would be my list. And the contents of my brain. And a whole day’s work. With no way of ever getting it back. And in its place would be some indecipherable modern art drawing, probably with Sharpies.

Yes, dear dry erase board and brilliant ideas writer in Better Homes and Gardens, please put a disclaimer with such ideas that for reasons of sanity, not to try it at home until the kids are married and have moved out.

Which reminds me of an important rule I follow when it comes to filtering all advice, especially the unsolicited type:

Not all advice is good advice, and not all good advice is good advice for everyone.

For me, my Little Yellow Notepad works. For some it’s Post It notes or a spiral notebook. Good old fashion ink-on-paper.

And even if little hands get hold of it and try to destroy any level of organization I’ve worked so hard on establishing, I can always get on my hands and knees, collect all the bits and pieces and tape them back together.

Trust me it works; I’ve tried it.

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