Simplicity 101: Creating an Household Organizational Journal

Do you struggle with keeping all your information straight at home?  Do you have adult ADHD like I do and are trying to run a home with kids and possibly other various people and pets in your house?  If so, you need an Household Organizational Journal!  Which is like a cross between a bullet journal and a household notebook.  

When I search on Pinterest for "household organization bullet journal" layouts, all I find are cleaning ones.  It's irritating because are there not more people out there who are making household information bullet journals?  I've tried the whole "household notebook" thing, but they are too big and bulky.  So I need something small that can fit in my bookshelf and something that I can take with me if I want to (and easy to grab if I am fleeing the country or something).  

I am in charge of taking care of five humans, including myself.  I also am in charge of eleven pets (seven cats, four dogs--not all the cats are mine, but most are).  That's a LOT of freaking information to keep track of.  And, I am in charge of our house, our finances, the cooking, the laundry, the cleaning, the maintenance of most things, fixing things, building things we need (like I just build outdoor railings so my mother doesn't fall off our porch), plus trying to start my own business.  Oh, I am in charge of our diets, too.  

And, not to mention, I have ADHD and severe anxiety.  So it's fair to say I get a wee bit overwhelmed at times with all of this going on.  

I do get help, when I need it.  But nobody can keep track of all this stuff, other than me, because I still need to be able to access the information, even if someone else is taking care of it.  And they do, too, which is why I am creating a bullet journal that's just for everything that we all need to know (also know I will not be putting in calendars or anything like that, since my husband and I share one on our phones, and I have one on the fridge for my mom).  

This all started with Swedish Death Cleaning.  I read about it, and realized something: do I really want everyone else to have to take care of my shit if I died?  Uggh.  The idea of that is just dumb.  So started purging all my stuff.  I did a first round of decluttering recently (I mean, first round this year), and after it's gone to the resale shop, I'll do a second round.  And possibly a third.  I have to declutter in layers, because usually my first round just isn't enough and normally in that stage, I cannot see the value of letting something go.  So I declutter in layers, getting rid of the layer before moving onto the next.  That way I can literally see the difference it's making the more I purge.  

Back in 2018, I purged my biggest purge ever.  Like, thousands of dollars worth of art supplies (shit I had been holding onto since 1997 LOL).  And then we had a moving sale and still purged thousands and thousands of dollars worth of stuff (though we didn't get paid that much LOL) and yet STILL didn't have room in our Uhaul for all of the rest.  What in the holy crap?!  So we purged more.  Then we drove away, moving 500 miles away and everything fell apart.  We lost almost everything we owned, including our car.  We were stranded, and had to rent a car to get home, leaving everything we owned behind.  We came back with almost nothing and lived for a year without any of it.  Coming from a horribly stuff 1200 sq. foot house to a tiny apartment with nothing?  Was a gigantic shock to our systems.  But you know what?  We got used to it.  Pretty quickly, actually.

And then we got our stuff back.  And it filled our entire attic (yes, we had a huge attic in our apartment, it was freaking cool).  UGH!  And then we moved to where we are at now, and brought all that crap with us.  Sigh.  And I've been purging like mad.  So this round of purging is actually number two.  We did number one earlier in the year and got rid of a car full of stuff.  But I've been going mad with all of the junk still left in our basement and now I've been getting deep and dirty with the purging, throwing out anything that doesn't fit our minimal needs.  When you learn to live with nothing, you learn to live with less.  And now I don't see the need for any of this junk anymore.  

In the basement (or back in our attic) it was out of sight, out of mind.  But, now I am starting a business, and I need the basement space for my work.  And everything is in my freaking way.  So out it goes!  And the more I do it, the better I feel. 

I used to collect (aka hoard) fiction books.  I never read any of them, so I just donated them all (in our last purge a few months ago).  I kept the ones I really want to actually read, but I got real with myself about the rest.  I said "Listen, you aren't going to read this, are you?  How many YEARS have you had this book?  Like five?  Yeah, you're never going to read it.  PITCH IT!"  And I listened to myself and I don't even miss any of them!  I don't read certain types of fiction anymore.  I may in the future, but for now, I read fantasy, dystopian, and thriller.  That's it.  So my huge collection of Jodi Picoult books and Paulo Cohelo books and the billion others are now finding new homes with other people.  Sure, I loves me some Jodi Picoult, but I am in a stage of my life where I only read those genres I just listed.  So why keep them?  Just in case?  

But then I watched some videos by The Minimal Mom and she said something kind of amazing: If something brings you joy (looking at you Marie Kondo), then are you willing to maintain that item and take care of it?  That just blew my mind.  Because people like me get super attached to inanimate objects, so a LOT of my stuff brings me joy.  But the question needs to be asked, am I willing to keep maintaining it?  Cleaning it or storing it or whatevering it?  And that has literally changed my view of most of my stuff.  

And then I was watching her videos and she sent me over to Clutterbug and the woman who runs it, Cassandra Aarssen, has changed my life (again, after The Minimal Mom did--that's twice my life changed in one day!)!  I found out my organizational style from her and now I can't think about anything else!  Go to her website right now and find out yours, you will not be sorry.  Oh, and I think Cassandra Aarssen is my long lost sister, and we may have have been separated at birth.  She's super hilarious (possibly even more than I am) and I need her to be my BFF right this very second (you may end up feeling the same way, but I have dibs, remember that).  Anyways, she taught me all about my organizational style and now I know why so many things do not work for me (and what things do work for me).  I will be forever in of their debts, because now I feel I can actually tackle my dreams of being more minimal (not quite a minimalist, but kinda sorta--a minimalist with lost of books and crafting items).  Oh, I am a Bee/Butterfly organizational bug thingy, by the way, just in case you were wondering.  And yes, I want to be friends with The Minimal Mom, too, as I think the three of us could rule the world together, because we're awesome like that.  Well, I think they may be more awesome, as I do not have a YouTube channel, because I am kind of terrible at it.  I'd rather write than speak, so I can write all the propaganda for our organizational takeover.  Marie Kondo can come, too.

Anyways, on my journey to simplicity (my theme word for 2019 that stuck), I've been paring down, getting more organized, becoming more minimal, and most of all, trying to become more organized, especially with important information.  And now I realize I need a bullet journal to help me on this part, because bullet journals have always been very helpful for me.  But instead of making one with random crap in it, this one will be all about information I need to know, in case my house started burning down--I'd need to grab it and all the information I need to know would be safe.  Or, in the worst case scenario, I died or aliens abducted me or something, my family would have access to all the info they need, too.


And, when I have access to all the information I need to know, I feel so much better, and so much less overwhelmed.  Having ADHD as an adult, royally sucks, by the way.  So this bullet journal will be my brain saver.  

Also, since I am such a non-fiction book hoarder, I have a journal where I keep all the titles arranged by genre.  And I just bought like a bajillion more this week.  Thank you Half Price Book for keeping my addiction alive.  So I don't need that in my household bullet journal, thank goodness (I'd run out of room!).  Though after watching The Minimalist Mom, I am honestly thinking about paring down a LOT of my collection, because who wants to keep moving all that crap?  And as for Swedish Death Cleaning, do I really want to leave all that work to my family?  Yeah, so I will have to really do some deep "layering" of book purging soon.  

So, here are the pages I am considering putting in it (not all of these will make it into my Household Organizational Journal, some may be put elsewhere, depending on how much room I have, and some will be compiled into the same pages as similar ones): 

  • Car maintenance and car info
  • Bills List (prices and dates due--must comb through finances for this)
  • Medical records for each person (doctors, medications, etc.)
  • Mom's med list (sticky note)
  • Daily, weekly, monthly, biyearly, yearly cleaning/chores
  • Mortgage/insurance info 
  • Home Maintenance info
  • Passwords
  • Birthdays
  • Places lived (past addresses)
  • Pet Medical Records (a page for each with sticky notes, vet visit tracker)
  • Service Tech numbers (plumber, electricians, car, etc.)
  • Doctor List
  • Address Book (small, we don't know many people)
  • House rules (including zero waste rules, etc.)
  • Credit Cards
  • Instructions (on how to do shit, like run the washing machine or how to clean out the hot water heater yearly, etc.)
  • Important info (life insurance, 401K, health insurance, etc.)
  • Zero Waste Ideas/Plans
  • To-Do Lists (master, monthly, etc. with sticky notes)
  • I Did It Lists (with sticky notes)
  • Weight Trackers (my whole family is on a weight loss journey)
  • To Buy
  • To Read
  • To Watch
  • Wishlists
  • Favorite Bands
  • Favorite Books
  • Favorite Authors
  • Favorite Movies
  • Favorite Shows
  • Zone Cleaning
  • Debts Page
  • Time Management: ABCDE Method, Eisenhower Matrix, Pomodoro technique
  • Budget
  • Holidays (Samhain, Thanksgiving, Xmas/Solstice, Spring, Summer/4th of July, Harvest)
  • Anxiety Management Techniques
  • POTS, Hypothyroid, ADHD, etc. information 
  • Brain Dumps (possible sticky notes, so I can layer them)
  • Cleaning Products Recipes
  • Symptoms (my random ass POTS symptoms, etc.)
  • Diet Plans (not strict plans, but ideas)
  • Board Games list (Catan games, etc.)
  • Goals Pages (like for my business, for life, for minimalism, body, mind, soul, etc.)
  • Level 10 Life Pages (like 10 or so)
  • Garden Layout Ideas
  • Homestead Ideas plus layouts
  • Planner doodles
  • Seasonal Fun To Do Lists
  • Seasonal House/Car/Self To Do Lists
  • Therapy Notes (possible sticky notes, or maybe a journal all on its own)
  • To Don't List
  • Favorite Words List (I have a box of these, and I would like them to be written down, because I thought I had lost the box before--it's an origami box I made myself, the only origami I've ever made).  
  • Things To Remember List (on a sticky note, then replaced when done)
  • Things to Make List (though I think I like the idea of having a "maker journal" instead--a journal full of items I want to make, or have made)
  • 50 Reasons My Bullet Journals are Too Big and Messy (ha! j/k)

Well, geezus.  That looks like a crazy person's list.  Like, that's the least organized and least pared down simplistic list of pages you could probably get.  Well, that's how my brain looks inside.  It's quite a mess in there.

The whole point of creating this book is so I can keep my brain organized, and unstuffed.  Maybe I should call it my "Brain Book" or "Shay's ADHD Keeper" instead?  This way I can keep what I need to remember written down to make room for more important things in my brain like art and sewing and stuff.  Then again, if my stuff my book with random bullshit, doesn't that defeat the purpose of finding "simplicity"?  Whatever.  It is what it is.  Sigh.  Better to have a messy bullet journal than a messy house, amiright?  

One thing I am super stoked about is that I recently bought this item below from Hobby Lobby (but you can find it on Amazon) to help me with my bullet journal to make circles (and pie pieces).  And it was only five dollars and I can't wait to use it (yay, more stuff to take care of!).  And the funny part is, after creating the entire journal, I forgot I had it and didn't make a single page with it!  ADHD FOILS ME AGAIN!  Oh well.  I'll use it later at some point.  Here is a link: 

Anyways, below are some of the pages of my journal and below the pictures is a video I made for you (yes, I do have a YouTube channel, but I am not good at it and like I said, I prefer to write LOL) of my finished journal.  I hope you like it as much as I do!  (the book, not the video, though I hope you like the video too LOL)

Here is the video I made for you!!  

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