Hello Planning Mashers!
According to the Chinese lunar calendar, spring is already here. Which I totally disagree with, since my thermometer still shows -9 degrees, and that’s no spring in my book. Nonetheless, it’s time for spring cleaning!
Now I know, I know, this sounds like I’m your mother and want you to clean your room and get a job or something, but believe me, you’ll thank me when we are done.
And of course, I’ll share with you Bullet Journal ideas on how to organize your spring cleaning! This is a Bullet Journal Blog, after all, so don’t you worry. There will also be a free printable checklist to make the cleaning easier.
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My relationship with cleaning is the same as with working out. I do enjoy it once I’m doing it, but dragging my butt to do it is a very very hard task! Especially when it’s the big yearly Spring cleaning.
As I said, I live in China, and I’ve been moving to new apartments almost every year I’ve been here, so it wasn’t difficult to just throw away unnecessary junk I didn’t feel like carrying with me across this huge city.
However, a few years ago I moved in together and got married to Hubby, and we also got to the current place, where we stayed for a few years.
That meant we didn’t have to evaluate what we should throw away and what to keep. We had some extra space, so we just kept things, under the impression that we might need that one day.
That’s why when we decided to clean the place, the task ahead of us was very intimidating. Of course, I got some help from my Bullet Journal, to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Here is my step-by-step process and Bullet Journal spread I used, as well as tons of inspirations from other creators.
Step One: Decluttering Your Home
Before there was even any talk about cleaning the house, we needed to get rid of all the extra things. After hours and hours of YouTube and blog articles, I came up with my version of the KonMari method.
Ok, it’s kind of the same as KonMari method, but customized for a very small-sized apartment. Let’s go step by step through the process:
Envision the ideal home
Let me give you some context – my husband and I live in a one-bedroom 72 sqm apartment. As you can guess, we don’t really have LOTS of space, and with my increasing stationery and journal collection – the house started feeling very suffocating. Therefore, the first thing I did is I envisioned my ideal home.
It was pretty simple – I wanted to have an apartment where everything has its place and we don’t have to completely reorganize our living room every time we have guests.
Struggling with this step? I strongly recommend checking out YouTube decluttering videos or some minimalist apartments. All the space and flowing energy of those places will definitely give you a few ideas on what you want from your home.
Commit and let go
This is a huge task, so before you jump into it, you need to commit to finishing it up! What I did is I first created my KonMari spread and then announced it to some of my friends.
That way I felt accountable and I just knew it had to be done! Letting go of things was always pretty hard for me. I can even say I used to be quite a hoarder. Not this time though! I really knew my why: I needed more space, more energy. The clutter around me just made me a blob every time I came home. Always know your why!
Tidy up by category
According to the KonMari method, you’re supposed to declutter by category, not by room. This really made a lot of sense to me! However, if I actually take out all my miscellaneous items in one place, I literally won’t have space to move around. I modified this method based on my needs.
Some things, like clothes and shoes, I did by category, others, by room. It was ok with me because I really don’t feel that attached to things (except for stationery of course!!!) and I didn’t need that smooth transition from meaningless to meaningful.
If you’re attached to your possessions more, I’d really advise you to try the original system. I feel like it gently leads you through the process and prepares you for hard decisions.
Only keep what sparks joy
And of course what you need and use. I really love this approach and it was such a relief for me to finally throw away those horrible long-sleeved shirts I hated so much but kept to use during winters. (it’s February and I still haven’t used them this year!) There are two more things that helped me personally with the choices.
First, I asked myself – if I had to leave China tomorrow, would I actually take this thing with me? Second – I made it clear to myself, that all the good things will go to charity or other people who will want and use them.
This finally allowed me to get rid of those two dresses I got two-three years ago for different occasions and never wore again. Yup, I’m a jeans girl all the way! Even for +40 summer here in Beijing, I have special jeans.
How To Stay Motivated And Finish The Decluttering
Decluttering the house, especially by hard-core methods like KonMari is a pretty demanding project. Even when you’re already committed and got started, it can just be too much to actually finish. So let me share with you some pointers I used to stay motivated and follow through until the end:
- Take before pictures
When you have all your stuff out in the open, the place looks messy, not neat. It’s easy to lose motivation if you don’t see the result. This is where the before pictures help. Look into drawers you already organized and compare them to the way they were before you started cleaning. You’ll feel super proud, I promise!
- Baby steps
You don’t have to start big. Try to divide your stuff into macro-categories and clean them up bit by bit. I started my cleaning way before my vacations, so I did it in baby steps – one day: socks drawer, one day: scarfs. Don’t push yourself to do it all at once!
- Keep yourself exposed to decluttered places
Make sure you keep the image of a clean decluttered house in front of your eyes. It can be your own vision for your home, some Pinterest pictures, YouTube videos or even just visiting some open houses. Make sure you are exposed to spaces that inspire you to go and create the same energy in your own home.
- Track your progress
Bullet Journal will be a great place to help you with that! Create a special cleaning tracker and just tick every time you clean out one more category. This is always a great extra motivation.
- Don’t be a perfectionist
If it’s your first time, it’s better not to expect to declutter so much that you suddenly live in a minimalist home. If you’re having a hard time throwing away items you’ve had for ages, keep them, don’t let them stop the whole process.
Keep them for now, and when you finish your first round of decluttering and see how amazing it is to have all that space, I’m sure it’ll be easier for you to declutter even later.
This is absolutely the way it worked for me. I just finished my first decluttering session not long ago, and I’ve become the kind of person who pays extra attention to things we use at home and thinks if we could do without them. Now that most likely you are done with the hard part, it’s time to finally get to cleaning!
Step Two: Cleaning The House
I don’t really like cleaning. Ok, that sounds horrible. I mean that I LOVE living in a clean place, but cleaning is always a boring chore unless you are a Disney Princess and have lots of forest animals to help you.
But honestly, it’s just a matter of starting and a big, HUGE motivation comes from seeing your living place completely free of useless junk and in order. You’re just one extra step away from the house of your dreams!
To make sure I don’t miss anything, and generally to make me feel extra good for finishing up with the cleaning, I created a little checklist in my Bullet Journal.
This is basically a list of a room by room cleaning chores I have to do (haha as if I had more than just two rooms in the whole apartment). This helped me to make sure I’m not missing anything and generally made me much more motivated – checking out items from your to-do list is really so empowering!
Step Three: Keeping The House Clean With Cleaning Schedule Bullet Journal Spreads
Now that the big cleaning project is done, it’s time to make sure it won’t become such a big project next year. The secret to a clean house is to keep it clean. Here are some tips on what you can do:
- Each thing has its place
Yes, NOW I sound like your mom, but believe me, momma was right! Each thing in your house has to have an assigned place. That way, it’ll be easy to just put it back there once you’re done using it, vs putting it somewhere at random and not being able to find it next time.
- Do a little every day
Don’t turn your cleaning into such a huge project, try to do a little bit every day. Just 15 minutes a day will make sure your house is always clean and shiny!
- Create a cleaning tracker
Trackers are a great motivation and help, they make sure you remember to do your chores and feel especially happy by checking them out in your BuJo.
Below check some amazing Cleaning trackers and schedules. I’m sure they will give you some idea of what kind of a spread you can add to help you up with this.
Erin has the most amazing cleaning trackers! This tracker looks clean and organized and yet it has so so much information in there – what kind of cleaning, which days, how often.
As absolute perfection of cleaning trackers if you ask me, and all in my favorite circle format.
Erin actually sells those as stickers and as stencils, just check out her Etsy shop.
I love how the artist is being so creative with a cleaning tracker.
I feel like it’s a very fun idea – those cute bright pokemon make cleaning look much more exciting.
One of the ways to clean is cleaning by room. This is exactly what I represent in this tracker.
This is a great system to use when you need to tackle something like big spring cleaning. Dividing a huge task of spring cleaning by small areas will help you to actually finish it.
This is not a cleaning spread per se, but this is something that definitely will help to guide you through the cleaning process.
Cleaning is a tedious thing, and saying goodbye to that old junk we kept with us for so many years can be very hard. A page like this can help to stay on track and complete this big task.
Another cool yearly cleaning tracker. I really like that she used different colored pens to fill them out.
Cleaning is such a chore, I’m always up for anything that can make it look better and more fun.
This is not just a tracker, this is a full-on cleaning schedule.
I love that on one side there are small tasks that you can simply do daily, and on the right, you have different months associated with different areas to clean.
Live this list and how bright and happy it looks. That comic-style clean word makes me wanna stand up and start cleaning right away!
The handwriting on this page is also so pretty, kind of sharp and stylish.
My little weekly cleaning spread.
This is not a tracker, it’s more like a cleaning routine spread which I should look at from time to time to remind myself of all the cleaning I have to do.
This one is very original and like never I’ve seen before.
I love that there is a key on the side and that this kind of tracker gives a good reason to have a full calendar log. I don’t usually use a monthly log, because I have nothing much to write there, but this cleaning tracker might be exactly what I need to start using the big monthly log.
This is my monthly cleaning tracker. As you can see I went extra doodly with it and I must say – I really enjoyed doodling cleaning items and supplies.
As you can see when I created this tracker I also just started discovering the awesomeness of washi tape, so I might’ve gone a bit overboard with it here as well.
Weekly cleaning to-do list and I love how each day has its own area to clean or something to focus.
I really like that there is also one day for rest. No chores no cleaning, just having a rest. It’s always great to have a complete day off.
Black and white pages can look just as amazing as the ones in bright colors.
It’s a yearly cleaning tracker but doesn’t have any daily cleaning tasks. This totally makes sense because marking all the daily cleaning activities in the same yearly tracker wouldn’t be very practical and space-efficient.
This spread is incredible, the flowers are so perfect!
I like that she divided all the tasks by week and each week by day. It’s always easier to actually follow through with the cleaning that way.
Here is my yearly cleaning tracker. As you noticed for daily tasks I only left the space to write them down without actually creating a tracker.
I also feel like I made a few mistakes counting the weekly and bi-weekly trackers, so if you decide to recreate this one – be sure to recount those.
This is such a cool cleaning tracker and I love that idea with post-it notes.
You can also use this technique on other things, such as meal planning or grocery list.
Love this tracker and Rhio has just the sweetest illustrations. The face of her little character here is exactly how I usually feel when I need to get some cleaning done.
I also really like that she has a little area that says you have to give yourself a reward. I think it’s important to reward yourself for things like cleaning.
I love the minimalist style of this spread and of course the amazing handwriting.
Liz from @bonjournal_ always had the most amazing talent to drawing flowers and that floral pattern on the right size is stunning.
A more creative way to create a cleaning schedule by areas.
I really like the blue color use for this spread, it kind of creates that calm atmosphere which is just perfect for a cleaning tracker.
Another zone divided cleaning tracker. This one kind of confused me a bit.
This setup really is similar to how you would set up a weekly spread so it took me a minute to figure out what’s up on this page.
A beautiful and very efficiently set up cleaning tracker.
How are you getting on with your spring cleaning? Do you already use any Bullet Journal spreads to help you?
I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling and Don’t Be A Blob.