Category: cleaning and organization

Bullet Journaling for the Christian Homemaker

bullet journal

I love planners. I love the sense of accomplishment from marking off tasks, I love having structure to my day, and I love productivity.

As a student, the standard planner format worked well. However, as a homemaker and the mother of a baby, I need more flexibility. Homemaking often consists of doing the same tasks every day. Being the mother of a baby means that plans often change, and tasks don’t always happen at a consistent time. I also need a section for blogging and writing tasks.

Enter the bullet journal.

 

The concept of the bullet journal was developed by Ryder Carroll. It’s an extremely flexible system that can be as artistic or as minimalistic as you want.

Bullet journaling doesn’t require any expensive equipment. Some people get fancy with calligraphy pens and washi tape, but it’s definitely not required. I started with a blank, lined notebook that I already had.

Bullet journaling is flexible. Sometimes life happens with a baby. If he has a bad day and needs more help, there is a designated symbol for moving a task to the next day. It looks a lot cleaner than having to circle the task and draw an arrow to the next day.

Recommended Sections:

An index.

A key. After you’ve been bullet journaling for a while, you probably won’t need this, but at first it’s helpful for remembering what the various symbols mean.

Weekly spreads. Some people do daily spreads, but I’ve found that a weekly spread works well for my needs. I have a columns for appointments and events, housework, and writing. I also keep a sidebar with a list of my meal plan for dinners, a sidebar with tasks to complete and notes about my goals, and a daily gratitude log.

Collections. Collections are the most fun part of bullet journaling. I have my 101 in 1001 list, the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, my workout plan, Jami Balmet’s Christian Reading Challenge, a place to fill in the titles of my 50 books, a list of business resources, my blogging goals, and a page of my top priorities during this season in my life.

Trackers. I track my daily habits and monthly blog statistics. My habits tracker includes spiritual disciplines (Bible reading and prayer), parenting (reading to my son every day), intellectual disciplines (working on my reading challenge every day), health (exercise, no sugar), and daily homemaking tasks. Do I actually accomplish all of these things every day? NO. Having a habit tracker does show me what I need to improve. For example, this month reading the Bible has gone well, but I’ve only exercised twice. Embarrassing.

I also keep a running list of blog post ideas. If I don’t write my ideas down, then I don’t remember them during my writing time.

If you’d like to see more examples of how I use my bullet journal, follow me on Instagram.

How do you use your bullet journal?

101 Things in 1001 Days

I first found a reference to the 101 Things in 1001 Days Challenge on Pinterest. Essentially, you make a list of 101 things that you want to accomplish, large or small, and give yourself a deadline for completing them. I’ve never been a big fan of “bucket lists” because of their open-ended nature. I like more specific and short-term goals. The 101 in 1001 challenge takes the best of both perspectives by allowing for some large goals as well as for some smaller projects.

My list is divided into categories: Faith, Family and Friends, Homemaking and Organization, Health, Writing, Cooking, Reading, and Just for Fun. The categories pretty much sum up my interests. 🙂

Without further adieu, here are my 101 things…

101 in 1001

Faith

  1. Read the entire Bible in 2017
  2. Read the entire Bible in 2018
  3. Pray for someone I don’t like every day for a month
  4. Find a place to volunteer at church – completed January 7, 2017
  5. Blog about a blessing in my life once a week
  6. Pray for my church every day for one month
  7. Pray for a different missionary every month
  8. Read Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
  9. Memorize ten Bible verses

Family and Friends

  1. Knit a baby gift for my cousin – completed January 18, 2017
  2. Knit a baby gift for my college friend – completed January 18, 2017
  3. Visit my college best friend
  4. Celebrate our 2nd anniversary
  5. Celebrate our 3rd anniversary
  6. Celebrate our 4th anniversary
  7. Have people over for a meal ten times – (1. January 14th, 2. January 15th, 3. February 2nd, 4. February 25th, 5. February 26th, 6. February 27th, 7. March 5th)
  8. Teach Tigger how to sing Jesus Loves Me
  9. Hand letter some cards for friends and family
  10. Write an encouraging note to someone
  11. Make a birthday cake for Jesus with Tigger – completed December 24, 2016
  12. Leave a note in my husband’s lunch five times
  13. Go to five weddings
  14. Go to my brother’s college graduation
  15. Go to my other brother’s high school graduation
  16. Be a bridesmaid
  17. Throw a birthday party for Tigger
  18. Go to a play with my husband
  19. Take my husband and Tigger to Moses Cone
  20. Write a will
  21. Send letters to each of my squad friends
  22. Join a MOPS group
  23. Take a meal to someone who is hurting
  24. Knit a toddler-sized hat for Tigger
  25. Have another baby

Homemaking and Organization

  1. Come up with 101 things for this list – completed December 15, 2016
  2. Declutter my clothes – completed March 3, 2017
  3. Organize the pantry – completed January 27, 2017
  4. Implement the Daily Tasks from A Slob Comes Clean – completed March 1, 2017
  5. Implement the Weekly Tasks from  A Slob Comes Clean
  6. Send Dana a fan email (bonus points if she writes back)
  7. Hang the pictures! – completed January 8, 2017
  8. Fill out my blog planner – completed March 20, 2017
  9. Update my resume
  10. Figure out what a bullet journal is and how to use one – completed January 1, 2017

Health

  1. Do a kettle bell workout three times a week for three months
  2. Cut all sugar for the month of January 2017 – completed January 31, 2017
  3. Cut all dairy for the month of January 2017 – completed January 31, 2017
  4. Cut all gluten for the month of January 2017 – completed January 31, 2017
  5. Run one mile
  6. Run a 5k
  7. Quit soda – completed February 1, 2017

Writing

  1. Write more than one brief for COG
  2. Write two blog posts a week – so far so good! – February 10, 2017
  3. Write a blog post about each number as it is completed
  4. Buy a domain name – completed December 23, 2016
  5. Make a content calendar for 2017 blog posts
  6. Write a guest blog post – completed January 25, 2017
  7. Create a printable – completed March 13, 2017
  8. Write reviews of some of my cookbooks
  9. Choose a word of the year – completed December 30, 2016
  10. Watch the videos in that blogging Facebook group – completed March 16, 2017
  11. Participate in a link party – completed March 20, 2017
  12. Write an ebook
  13. Hit 100 posts on the blog
  14. Delete that Twitter account I never use – changed my mind on this one. 🙂
  15. Write comments on 101 blog posts – lost track, but I’ve commented on a lot of things
  16. Set up a newsletter – completed January 27, 2017
  17. Write a letter to myself to be read at the completion of this challenge

Cooking

  1. Try one new recipe a month
  2. Have one vegetable with every supper for a month
  3. Cut sugar
  4. Keep the food budget at $75 per week
  5. Make a 30 day meal plan and corresponding grocery lists – completed March 13, 2017
  6. Figure out how to make an avocado taste good
  7. Make homemade Larabars
  8. Drink black coffee
  9. Write about my love of Aldi
  10. Make refried beans from scratch – completed March 15, 2017
  11. Make salsa from scratch
  12. Either make or delete every recipe I have pinned on Pinterest
  13. Feed my family for one week using only ingredients that are available at Aldi

Reading

  1. Make a list of my ten favorite quotes
  2. Read twenty books from the Rory Gilmore Challenge
  3. Get a library card at the library in our new city
  4. Read fifty books
  5. Join GoodReads to keep track of all of these books – completed December 15, 2016

Just For Fun

  1. Document the stories of all of our Christmas ornaments
  2. Learn how to do eye shadow
  3. Judge at five debate tournaments – (1. March 11, 2017)
  4. Be on the launch team for a book
  5. Judge the final round at a debate tournament
  6. Learn how to do some hand lettering
  7. Take a halfway decent picture with the fancy camera
  8. Buy something with my monogram on it
  9. Visit a new state
  10. Take a break from Facebook for a week
  11. Watch 10 documentaries
  12. Vote in a primary
  13. Vote in a general election
  14. Go to a museum here in our new city
  15. Make some sort of decoration for my home

I’m looking forward to doing these! My 1001 days began on December 15, 2016, and will end on September 12, 2019. 

When to Declutter

It’s starting to feel like spring here, which means time for spring cleaning. I’m also 38 weeks pregnant, and I’ve been nesting as much as possible. The combination of these two circumstances means I have been in major decluttering mode for the last few weeks.

When should I declutter?

My answer to this is simple: If I feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in my home, then I have too much stuff. A home is supposed to be a place of peace, not a place of stress. Having less stuff makes me less stressed. Less stuff means less cleaning and less maintenance.

Due to a variety of circumstances, my husband and I had to choose an apartment in a brand new city in about two hours. We didn’t originally plan to get a 2 bedroom apartment, but that was what was available. We decided that the second bedroom would be our “stuff room.”

For an embarrassingly long amount of time, the so-called “stuff room” was the dumping ground for everything that we didn’t want to declutter. We both had boxes that we’d packed up before we left for college and hadn’t touched since.We started college in 2011 and 2012!

The impending arrival of our little boy got us motivated to clean through our boxes. After a 3 day weekend and multiple trips to Goodwill, the stuff room is now the baby’s room.

IMG_1653
I knitted the blue alphabet blanket. We can’t paint in our apartment, but hanging the blanket adds a splash of color.

We also have pictures hanging on the walls now! I always think a home looks more finished once there are pictures on the walls.

When to Declutter

Decluttering has had so many benefits. This morning my grandmother called and asked if it would work for her to visit this evening and tomorrow morning. Since I’ve been decluttering for the last couple of weeks, I was able to have my house in a state where I could have visitors in less than an hour. I love having that freedom!

I also feel ready for my little boy to arrive. I know that even if the house falls apart for a while after he is born, the major projects are done. Even if all we can do is keep up with the kitchen and laundry, we should be in pretty good shape.

Do you find freedom in having less stuff?