Everyone is familiar with that wonderful feeling after taking the time to really sort out your living environment. You look around at the beautiful clear space of floor and table, open a cupboard and smile to yourself as you immediately find what you’re looking for. You relish the empty washing basket, look with satisfaction at the bags of unworn clothes for charity, and promise yourself that this is the way you’re going to keep the place from now on.
And yet, a few months later, you’re running late for work in the morning, you’re falling over piles of Amazon boxes waiting to be broken up for recycling, the only clean things in your drawers seem to be beach holiday clothes from 2013 and you can’t find your keys anywhere. You look around in despair and wonder how did I let it get like this?
Does this sound familiar? Fear not! There is an incredibly simple method that can help you organise your life on a day-to-day basis and integrate all those steps for keeping your living environment the welcoming place you want it to be holistically into your routine. This is bullet journaling.
The beauty of the bullet journal is that it is infinitely flexible – you do what works for you, nothing more and nothing less. The format gives you a few basic rules to get you started. Let’s look at them.
How To Start A Bullet Journal
You start with your blank notebook and number the pages.
Then add your Contents Page. Leave 6-8 pages for this at the start of your journal; this is how you will find everything you write in your journal easily. Add that as your first entry on your Contents page – Contents, p1-6.
Next, head a page with the current month and make up a Monthly Planner. Number the days 1-31 down the side of the page, leaving a line for each day. Try to do at least the next three months when you start your journal. Add these to your Contents page – March, p7, April, p8-9, etc.
Go down each month and add the appointments you already have. Now think about the things you need to do regularly to keep your home the way you want it, and how often you need to do them.
So, after you enter the doctor’s appointment for the 15th and the work night out on the 23rd, add in “hoover living room” every Tuesday and “take recycling out” every Thursday. A good reason for planning a few months out ahead is so you can think about how often your fridge needs thoroughly cleaned out and add in a monthly or six-weekly date, or even schedule in your spring clean or your autumn closet clearout. It doesn’t matter if something comes up before then and you need to change it – having these tasks in your journal means you stay conscious of the need to do them before your living environment suffers.
Now create a daily page for each day in the week ahead and write the day and date at the top. Add each day to the Contents page, then go to your monthly page and transfer across. Now add the small daily tasks that are too routine to plan far ahead, such as cooking dinner, and washing up.
Congratulations! You now have the basic tools you need! Now you need to stay engaged with your bullet journal. Tick tasks off when you complete them and add new ones as they come up. Let yourself feel proud when you tick off a difficult task. If you don’t get through everything in a day, don’t worry – just put an arrow next to it and add it to the next day. This is a tool to help you, not your master – let it make you feel satisfied at how much you get done, not guilty. Embrace this mindset – and your home will absolutely show the benefit!