Bikurgurl Monthly Planner/Journal, A Do-It-Yourself Guide – Step 4

Missed my past planning posts? Look at Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 or if you’re looking for a way to get all of those great thoughts out — Scripting and Journaling 😉

Planning with a Kon Mari flair!

Planning is great. Scripting out my days, making the most of my time, dreaming and scheduling to make it all happen. I’ve detailed some of it in my fall planning posts:


And actually, as long as I keep it in perspective and don’t over-schedule, I am able to reach my goals. However, cleaning with a plan has often eluded me.

I know many people who plan out their week which can look like this:

Sunday: Kitchen, meal-planning, meal prep

Monday: Living Room, laundry, trash

Tuesday: Office, garden, meal prep

Wednesday: Dining room, laundry, trash

Thursday: Bedrooms, meal prep

Friday: Bathrooms, Floors, trash

Saturday: maintain

This is one of the iterations of a cleaning plan I’ve used. The problem is when you miss a day. Or maybe you don’t have time due to special events, obligations, or you are busy reading/blogging {or is that just me?}. What do you do to catch up?

What do I do? I find myself getting into an endless trap of falling behind, stressing about catching up, letting a lot of stuff go, until it all becomes so overwhelming I need a vacation.

Is that just me? Surely you’ve gone away for a night or two just to enjoy the simplicity of a campsite or hotel room. After I come home, I find that I’m still faced with the issues I’ve ran from — but now I’m a day or two even more behind.


Overwhelming? Yes. Achievable with changes? Definitely.

First, always give yourself Grace and Space.

Second, let me say: I always get behind at some point, it’s the getting back on track that can make all the difference. I’m busy homeschooling two boys, writing, blogging, being a mother, wife, teacher, daughter, friend. Life happens. Thankfully.

Here’s the routine, or flow, I use to take back the crazy:

  1. Do something with everything you touch
  2. Move it into your car or out to the street
  3. Have a place for everything, but not everything in everyplace
  4. If you don’t love it, set it free
  5. Take a catch-up day

And what if instead of tying the tasks to days, tying them to a loop?

Start with the day your trash picks up {unless you take care of your trash yourself, then focus on which day that can happen or some other immoveable day on your schedule}, and go from there. Clean a room, take out the trash. Open a drawer, purge things you no longer are using or are no longer useful.

However, keeping all those “might need it someday” or “I paid so much for it” or “Someone {fill in the blank} gave it to me and so I have to keep it” — actually, that object is now owning you. You are a slave to give it shelter, space, and square footage you could give to something you really could use, want, or….nothing at all.

Space to Breathe.

As you make your way, every day doing a little, you’ll make progress. You’ll clean the same things over and over and you’ll think, “Why am I cleaning this thing again? I haven’t used it, it hasn’t moved,” or “This would be a great place for ______ {fill in the blank}”.

Or nothing at all.

Wait a minute: What if you want to give it the good Kon Mari go? Go for it – do the cleaning in one fell swoop — but make sure the cleaning happens on a couple of days prior to trash day. Have the time to load unwanted items out of your home and into your car for trips to charity, or call a service to pick up the items too large to transport. Don’t forget to recycle everything you are able to. Recycling is not only a no-brainer for the environment, but it saves space in your trash container, and keeps not-for-reuse items to go to a charity that will only have to discard the unusable items.

Thanks to living in Greater Seattle, we have the luxury of having curbside recycling and compost pickup. It makes cleaning out much easier than running to the recycling center – but I’ve done that too. Our local IKEA branch also takes used light bulbs and styrofoam, as well as cardboard boxes, for recycling. Your local waste management should have detailed information on sources to take discarded items.

Did I mention I still have a couple of Cabbage Patch dolls from the 1980’s I’m determined to make a little money on, but I’ve almost exhausted research options and I’m just as well to donate to one of our local resale charity stores as to take the time and energy to resell vintage online. Baby steps.

It’s not perfect, foolproof, or ever finished, but it works for me.



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