Cleaning doesn’t have to be a drag, in fact, it can be freeing to make a “clean sweep” of things. I wondered if using my bullet journal for de-cluttering, cleaning and organizing might help make it go faster and easier. Do you have cleaning challenges? If you’re like me, once you’ve decided to organize your housework, whether small daily tasks or major seasonal projects, the pressure is on to find the best way.
Try a Bullet Journal for Cleaning and Organizing Your Home
A BuJo can act as a power tool for cleaning up your physical environment in the same way it de-clutters your mental space. One technique that many bullet journalists have employed, for example, is keeping a simple cleaning tracker so they develop a routine and then stick to it. There are many other ways you can use a bullet journal to get your housework and cleaning under control. Here are the key elements to include in your notebook.
Make an Index First
Making an index in your journal might seem like a silly thing to do, considering that you are the only person who is going to be looking at this thing, but this is all about getting
you plenty organized. Being organized is a force of habit. That means that you want to organize the thing you are using to get organized (say that five times fast) as a kind of practice run through. Making the index and laying out what sections will be in this journal will help you lay out how you want to go about tackling your house cleaning. You can certainly add sections after the fact, but this can also act to make sure you are sticking to the framework you laid out.
Use a Monthly Log Breakdown
When it comes to house cleaning, you are going to find that your work is never really done. That is why when you are putting your journal together, you should have a log for each month of the year. When you are talking about months ahead of time, you don’t need to fill out a checklist just yet. Just make sure you have a page, or multiple pages laid out for each month.
Once again, when you go to make your index, make sure you are writing down the page numbers and names of each month. That part is still all about staying organized inside your organization. If you want to break it down even further, you can have four pages per month log and on each page, is a space for a week of the month. This will allow you to organize right down to the smallest detail.
Use Plenty of Checklists
On these weekly or monthly logs, you shouldn’t be afraid to make handwritten checklists. Go through at the beginning of the week and figure out everything you have to do to clean up your home. Then go down the list and make a place where you can either check it off or cross it off. Some people say checking something off is better than crossing it out because you can more easily see what you have done and what you still need to do.
For example, I have an every day, every week, and every season cleaning checklist for every main area. My kitchen to-do list includes these items:
Every Day – load/unload dishwasher – wipe down sink – wipe down stove top – wipe down counters – sweep floor
Every Week – mop floor – wipe cabinets/appliances – wash switch plates – take out recycling – wipe inside trash can
Every Season – wipe down inside refrigerator – clean inside utensil drawers – scrub cupboard exteriors – clean stove-hood filter
Don’t skip writing down a task that you decide needs to be done. Make sure everything is on the list, even if the task is as small as “sweep kitchen floor.” Depending on the size of your kitchen, this might take almost as little time as it did to write it down. You’re still going to like checking that off and seeing that it’s done. If you are someone who tends to become unfocused because you don’t know what you should focus on next, this can be a big help. You’ll know when you did it and because of that, get a rough estimate of when you need to do it again.
Keep the Log with You
While you don’t want such a small log that you have problems writing in it, you also don’t want one that is so big that you can’t keep it with you. If you have a log sitting in one room, while you’re cleaning another you might decide it’s not worth the effort to go and get it and cross your finished checklists off. The point of all of this is to stay organized. Repetition is how you do that. Don’t slough any steps off.
You may decide to guesstimate how long it’ll take you to complete tasks and note it next to each item. So, in my case, I wrote “sweep floor (two minutes),” which turned out to be correct. I have my broom and mini-dustpan next to the fridge so they’re easy to pull out and put back. I wrote “mop floor (five minutes),” but it actually took me ten minutes. How can it can take so long to mop a tiny kitchen floor?! I don’t know, but it does. Maybe it’s because the bucket is in the bathroom so I have to walk back and forth. Plus, there are cleaning supplies inside (no other storage space!) that I have to dump out before I can fill it up with water. Then I take many runs across the floor in an attempt to make old vinyl look like new. Timing how long it actually takes me to clean led me to readjust my estimates and now I can allot enough time to get the job done, without getting frustrated.
If you’ve always had a problem staying organized when you’re supposed to be cleaning, you’ll find that keeping a bullet journal spread for it allows you to stay on track always. You’ll know at a glance what housework entails, and you’ll know how to schedule around it. This absolutely makes life easier.
Mindfulness for Cleaning and Organizing
One of the things that makes bullet journaling life-changing is that it helps us cultivate mindfulness, or non-judgmental self-awareness. The more mindful, the easier it is to focus on what’s important, to stay organized, and to get things done.
Clutter is so easy for most of us to accumulate. The reason that it’s easy for things to get cluttered is because we’re not mindful of what we have. We can have physical clutter and we can have emotional or mental clutter.
This can happen with every area of your life – from your health to your closets to your relationships. You want to get rid of clutter because it hangs onto you, you don’t hang on to it.
Clutter can make you feel stressed and leave you less free time to enjoy your life. But mindfulness can quickly allow you to cut through the clutter. Most people hold on to clutter because they assign the possession some kind of emotional significance.
A broken guitar might still be in the closet because it was the last gift that a loved one gave you before they passed away, so you associate their love with the instrument.
One of the reasons that so many people struggle to get rid of things, both physical and emotional, is because the decluttering process can be painful and overwhelming – especially when you look at it as a whole.
Mindfulness can help you get rid of clutter because it allows you to maintain your focus on one area or one issue at a time that needs to be dealt with. You’ll be able to simplify your life, keep what needs to be kept and let go of what you need to be free from.
Focus only on what truly matters to you. By using mindfulness to help you clear out the clutter, you’ll get rid of stress, too. The things we keep and the emotions we won’t let go of can be reminders of what was.
You might think that if you don’t address them, then you don’t have to deal with these things. But clutter hovers and you sense it in your subconscious. When you let mindfulness help you declutter your life, you’ll be able to maintain a better ability to focus in all areas of your life.
You’ll feel better emotionally when you let go of things. You’ll also be able to find things when you need them instead of searching and getting stressed when you can’t find something.
Plus, you won’t spend as much money buying things that you forgot that you already had. A big benefit with using mindfulness to let go of the clutter is that it does more than give you more room in your home or in your office.
It allows you to let go of the mental and emotional clutter so that you’re able to have a more improved mindfulness, too. For the best results, go through every area of your life one portion at a time and clear out the clutter.
If you’ve always found it too difficult because you think the task is too big, give yourself fifteen minutes a day to focus on the clutter. When you break a task down, you’ll find that it’s easier to do.