There is a tracker in almost every bullet journal. Trackers vary from a single subject, to a whole page full of tasks or things to be marked off. One of the topics you often encounter in a tracker is the household and the tasks that go with it. These can be self-designed schedules, Mari Kondo, Flylady etc. Same in my bullet journal. I use the Flylady system, combined with the #minsgame. In this article I won't describe the whole Flylady system in detail, there are better blogs for that, like Diane in Denmark, but how I include this in my bullet journal and apply it at home.
Flylady and Minsgame
For the daily household I use the Flylady system, which I have adjusted to my home and family situation. The Minsgame I use to throw stuff away, because oh ... a person save a lot 😉
It's like a mountain which I dread to throw stuff away, not because I can't dispose of material things, but more because I didn't know where to start. The famous mountain you can look up against. No, my house is not overflowing with junk, but we all have a room or closet or drawer that we'd rather leave closed, right? The Minsgame is ideal for that. It goes in super small steps and it has effect, without making you feel overwhelmed. Here you can read if the Minsgame is something for you as well you can also include this in your bullet journal. It is explained with clear pictures and also in Dutch. Don't forget the download free Minsgame tick off list.
Without going too deep into the system, it is useful that I explain some terms, otherwise my spread will be abracadabra for you.
The Flylady system is an American one, let me say right away that for us down-to-earth Dutch people it is a bit over the top presentation of a cleaning schedule. About the downsides I will continue later, because of course it also has advantages, otherwise I won't apply it.
The core of the system is that you can get everything done in small steps by developing a routine, without cleaning aaaaalllll daaayyyy. Flylady talks about routines, zones, zone cleaning, weekly home blessings etc. To get the hang of it all, she starts with the '31 baby steps'. With the baby steps you develop a basic routine. I apply this routine daily and find, together with the zone cleaning and weekly home blessing (WHB), the strength of the FlyLady system.
The 31 baby steps
I apply the eventually daily routine, which is created by going through 31 steps, according to these 9 points.
Points 1 to 5
- Make up bed.
- Dress to shoes (or footwear you wear indoors, such as slippers), get your hair done, put on makeup if you use it. In other words, you get yourself ready to leave the house in no time.
- Turn on a load of laundry, fold dry laundry away.
- Have your clothes ready for the next day (including underwear, socks and perhaps some jewelry).
- Leave the shower neat and tidy. Just a cloth through the sink, bottles neatly, if necessary quickly clean the floor with a Swiffer or something similar. A cloth over the toilet. This takes me less than 5 minutes, because it is done every day.
Points 6 to 9
- Clear a hotspot. By this she means a place that somehow always attracts clutter. For example, the stairs with stuff that needs to go upstairs, the hallway closet where all the keys end up while you have a key cabinet. A place in the cabinet or on the table where all mail and advertising material is laid down. I think you understand what I mean. In my home this is our 'white cabinet' as we call it. This is really one of those places that easily becomes a mess. If I don't keep up with this, this place will become a messy area.
- Go through your calendar or planner. What appointments are planned for the coming week, what tasks do you have to complete.
- Make sure your sink is clean and preferably it shines, too. Really ... this sounds very weird, but you can be truly proud of a shiny sink. It's like ending the day for me and it gives me a satisfied and tidy feeling. If you think in yourself 'tssss .... crazy', would you like to try it for me and let me know in the reactions below whether or not it has produced a positive feeling.
- Take care of yourself by going to sleep on time.
These are my 9 steps that I follow every day and which are included in a tracker in my bullet journal. When you do them depends on your personal situation. I shower in the morning, you might shower in the evening or both... bend it to your lifestyle. By the way, these steps have already been adapted to my situation by me. Flylady also added the 5 minutes room rescue, I don't do that. I use the Minsgame what I was talking about earlier.
Strangely enough, you will not find clear information about the system on the Flylady website, because that's a bad website. So incredibly cluttered, which I find ironic since it is a cleaning / organizing site.
Do you want to receive a lot of email and advertising? Then you should sign up for the Flylady mailing. I unsubscribed for that very quickly.
Good information can be found on the website of Diane in Denmark. On her YouTube channel you can watch videos about this system, she was a Flylady mentor. In addition, she is currently on her Instagram reviewing the 31 baby steps again. Furthermore there are Dutch Facebook groups about the system, of which I find the Flylady Groep NL a friendly group and the "Flylady in je bullet journal" group. Diane also tells you more about the daily focus and pampering etc., I won't elaborate on that in this article.
Weekly Home Blessing
Well, I don't really know how to translate this into 3 Dutch words. For me it's just the weekly cleaning tasks that have to be done. It can be described very nicely with 'blessing', but it's just the job that has to be done. Or am I the too sober Dutch person 🙄.
During this cleaning hour or an hour and a half, the intention is to clean the areas that are used the most. Not in detail, because that's what the zone cleaning is for. More about this in a moment. In my home this includes the hallway, toilet, living / dining room and the kitchen. Immediately I have to make an exception for myself, because according to the weekly home blessing, you vacuum once a week. We have four cats, so we vacuum every day. Those are the adjustments you have to make to your routines yourself.
My Weekly Home Blessing consists of:
- cat litter box cleanup;
- cleaning cat tray where they eat;
- mirrors and doors / door handles;
- bed linen change;
- cleaning toilets;
- watering plants;
- hair removal from carpet in the living room;
- collecting trash and taking it away (all trash cans in the house);
- process mail.
You can do these tasks in one go, so that you are ready for the rest of the week. With a guideline of 10 minutes per task. Or you can spread them out over the week. I often divide it over two days. Twice 45 minutes. Except for the daily vacuuming, which takes 5 to 10 minutes because it is done every day.
So far your daily routine will take about three quarters of an hour to an hour, from getting up to sitting down for coffee. So including showering, preparation, tasks, etc. In addition to these routines, you now have 1 or 2 hours of weekly cleaning tasks. One to two hours a week yes! That' s good to keep up with, isn't it?
In addition to these daily routines and the weekly home blessing, you'll be taught to do some extra household chores every day. Once you've mastered the daily routines and weekly cleaning tasks, you'll begin zone cleaning. First that, then pick up the zones. Otherwise it becomes too much all at once.
These cleaning tasks are divided into zones and a zone stands for a certain part of your house. Because it is an American system, some things do not apply to Dutch people. For example, the vast majority of the Dutch population does not have 2 or 3 bathrooms in the house. That is why I adapted it to my situation (simple family home / small town house).
15 minutes zone cleaning
By applying this zone approach to clean your home, your whole household will be cleaned in a month. Feel free to adapt the system to your own situation, it is a guideline. An important element is the timer. Maximum 15 minutes at a time! This is to prevent you from cleaning for hours at a time, making it too big of a job and increasing the risk that you don't do anything anymore.
Which zone belongs to which part of the house and when does a zone start? This is how I have arranged it, it can be different for you, because for example you don't have a front garden or attic. In my situation, the children clean their own bedroom and change the bed themselves, etc. So I don't look after their rooms. How I approach the zones you can download here.
Click on the corresponding zone for more information
This runs until the first Sunday of the month.
Dining room / living room, hallway, front door, garden path sweeping. Dining room and living room is one room here.
- Feather duster
- Windows + mirrors
- Basement cabinet
- Hallway table
- Coat rack
- Shoe rack
- Front door inside and outside
- Toilet vents
Zone 1: dining room / living room, hallway, front door, garden path sweeping. Dining room and living room is one room for us.
Zone 2: the kitchen and basement cabinet.
Zone 3: the bathroom and an extra room. For me this is the 'small room' as we call it. Or the study and hobby room.
Zone 4: the master bedroom and the attic.
Zone 5: the living room.
The intention is that you spend a quarter of an hour every day on the zone in question. Not perfect is also good!!! Yes, with three exclamation marks. Progress is better than perfection.
By building up a routine in manageable time blocks, you won't have to spend too much time on your household. Because everything is handled regularly, it doesn't get very dirty and takes less effort to keep up.
Flylady in my bullet journal
In the beginning of my bullet journal I made an overview with all zones, routines, pampering and daily focus. Each zone table contains the number of tasks I want to have done in that zone, so I can easily see what needs to be done that week. I wrote down all the routines, zone cleaning etc. in my journal every month for a long time, until I got tired of repeating the entire routine every month. Laminated task lists seemed to be the solution. With a whiteboard marker I could mark every job done and start the next week with a clean slate. That saved me a lot of writing.
After more than half year, I started to include everything in my weekly spread again. The writing down and stripping off does something to my feeling of 'getting things done'. I like to write down on paper what I've done. But above all do what you like and what works for you.
Long story short
Use your journal to develop routines in your household, making cleaning easier and not a boring pile of work you'll have to deal with. Grow in these routines by keeping a tracker in your planner, bullet journal, phone or whatever. Use a system, in my case Flylady and Minsgame, to systematically run your household, making it orderly and manageable.
Feel free to delegate tasks to someone else. For example, the person in my family, who in the evening has the 'sink job' (cleaning the dishwasher etc.), knows that the sink has to be clean and that the coffee machine is ready for the next morning. If there are routines, everyone benefits from that. It is clear what needs to be done and you can get it done for up to 15 minutes at a time.
How do you run your household at your home? Do you do this alone or together? How did you divide it up? And of course I would love to see your bullet journal page in which you process this!