Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.
— Annie Dillard

I’ve always written loosely in a Moleskine for over 10 years now. No expectations or organization. It works great for writing, my morning pages, and doodles but makes organization difficult.

For January, I vowed to try out my bullet journal I bought last year. Rather than buying a planner, I wanted something that would last longer and be a worthy investment and allow me creativity. I’ll admit, these blank, bulleted pages were slightly intimidating. I’ve followed accounts on Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube that simply get it. Their designs, the way they organize everything, how they use it seem flawless. I don’t expect perfection out of my journals but I was worried I would mess up my pages before I even began.

Let me tell you - I started this around January 1st and I’m obsessed and slightly mortified I haven’t done this sooner. I love that I can make each month unique and design it how I want to. There’s so much more freedom and what I once found intimidating, I love using.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

The first thing I created in the index page was a key. It’s unfinished in case I create more symbols. This is my first time bullet journaling so I’m not 100% sure what I’ll use and what I wont’t use.

Not pictured: the cover page says “no eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.” I’ve written this down in my journal since I got my first Moleskine 11 years ago. It has always served as a reminder that wasting time is truly a waste.

Minimal Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

I created a yearly overview page. As you can see, the color scheme changes from here on out. The browns and pinks were pretty but I felt like too much for me. I decided to go with gray and black for the following pages and I’m so happy I did. I thrive in simplicity and being organized also means being minimal and colors can, on occasion, feel too busy. I may experiment in later months but I’m loving the freshness for a new year and new journal.

A monthly overview then goes into a weekly overview. Both are roughly blank right now because I wanted to take pictures before filling it up with personal information.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

Again, I have more to write for these but I created a spread where I can look back on 2018 and plan for 2019. I’m excited to see the growth year to year and see what changed from 2018-2019.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

I pulled a yearly Tarot card to see what my year will represent. I find myself always pulling the Fool card during times of new beginnings (i.e. summer solstice, easter, etc). I really love the free-spirited nature of the Fool and hope to embody that this year.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar
Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

This is absolutely one of my favorite spreads and I’m so happy I did it. The moon means the world to me and creating this spread gave me a sense of peace. Tedious to design having to figure out what the moon phases were going to be, write it in pencil, then go over it in black ink, drawn the moons, and write it out in such small numbers but being able to glance at this rather than my phone to keep up with the upcoming lunar phases makes it so much more meaningful.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

A habit tracker! Ironically, I need to make checking these off daily a habit but I chose reading, learning French, writing, blogging, yoga, using social media less, and I have a bad habit of picking skin around my nails.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spreads & Yearly Lunar Calendar
Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

A little cleaning spread to organize my days better. I also started a series tracker for television shows I want to watch. I can highlight whenever I finish an episode and cross it out when I finished the season. I want to make sure I’m not being repetitive with what I watch (i.e. Star Trek & The Office). I’m working on a more comprehensive book & film list I can check off when I finish them.

So that’s it! I’m looking forward to my experience with bullet journaling. It’s very different from what I’m accustomed to and I’ll definitely be keeping another one for when I just want to chicken scratch out ideas. However, this is perfect for organization.

Do you like seeing my bullet journal spreads? Let me know if you want to see more spreads and bullet journal ideas.

Do you have one yourself?

Weekly Cleaning Rhythms

Cleaning is not in my genes and I can't say that it's something I completely enjoy doing. However, the result is almost always rejuvenating. I'm a strong believer that a tidy house is a happy house. It takes away an element of chaos, confusion, and stress. Even if we don't have everything under control in our lives, it lessens a worry many of us face on a day-to-day basis. 

After Maddox was born, I was worried my house would never be clean again. I spent most of my time with a little bundle curled into my arms and latched onto me while we enjoyed the comfort of the couch. It was lovely and calming, if we were in our own personal bubble. The house started to be more than I could handle (and mind you, it was a spacious, one bedroom apartment). Things began to pile up and pile up, even if it felt like I was constantly picking up. I would get into a rhythm and then something would throw me off. As he got older, it became easier. Then summer would hit and we'd always be out and about, losing rhythm once again. Now we're back into a rhythm, for both his teachings, our outdoor play, cleaning, and so forth and it's so refreshing to be on a 'schedule' that allows room and movement to breathe. 

What got us into a rhythm? A chart. On the fridge. Boom. I've always seen a bunch floating around Pinterest but never thought it would be useful in our household. But I was wrong. It's been a dream for our family.

So often, before the little chart, I would do things sporadically. Overall, it worked but I still didn't feel like I was doing enough to keep the house clean, tidy, and organized. If we got thrown off, I couldn't figure out how to get back on track. For many, it's so easy to become stressed before we even start to tackle the house - putting our entire rhythm off balance to begin with. I used to spend so much time thinking too much about how to get things done rather than actively finding a system that worked for us. What's important is finding a rhythm that can work around everything else we need/want to accomplish. I created a cleaning rhythm that works with Maddox's recently created Waldorf home rhythms and it has made our days so much more enjoyable. Maddox even enjoys helping with all the household chores, too, which is a positive I'm grateful for (even if it means things get messed up in the process). 

Rhythms are different than schedules. They are predictable but they're loose. It's not the end of the world if things are done out of order. It's not the end of the world if something is switched out, and another thing is put in its place. It doesn't matter if you do it in the morning or at night. You'll know the rhythm that works for you as you play along. I'm here to help you find that rhythm by sharing what I personally do to keep our home tidy or a daily and weekly basis. Our home is one of the most important things. It's where we lay our heads, it's where we love our families, it's where we create memories, it's where we laugh, it's where we dress, it's where we shower, it's where we live. Just like we nurture our families, our hobbies, our friends, our work, we need to also nurture our home. Once we clean, we feel fulfilled, relieved, and refreshed and in turn, it makes us happier and with that - makes our home and our families happier. No relationship and no object lasts without a little bit of maintenance and TLC. However, we don't want to exhaust ourselves or stress ourselves out by feeling the need to perpetually clean. This schedule is meant to help aid you and create a reasonable rhythm that still gives you time to unwind at the end of the day. 

Daily Tasks

Make the bed 

In our house, Dave and I usually wake up around 6/6:30. I'm able to get up, drink some coffee, tidy anything up that may have been missed the night before (doesn't usually happen but occasionally, I choose bed instead of finishing my duties), prepare breakfast, read, write, or scroll through Facebook, and I wait for Maddox to wake up. Usually, I feed him automatically because he's a major morning grump. As he's eating, I'll sneak into the bedroom and make the bed. I never understood why my mother insisted on beds being made in the morning but it really does set a tone for the day and makes your bedroom clean without having to do too much more to it. 

Sweep + Vacuum

With a toddler (and even myself), crumbs wind up EVERYWHERE. The other day, I vacuumed in the afternoon and ended up having to do another swoop at 5pm because the rugs were dirty again. Sometimes I sweep or vacuum every other day but I try to do it everyday because the floors pretty much need it. 

Wash Dishes 

Waking up to a sink full of dishes is the worst. It sours a mood instantly and sets a tone of dread for the rest of the day. We have a dishwasher but I happen to prefer hand-washing dishes. If you have a dishwasher, make sure you unload it the day after you clean them. I find it beneficial to wash dishes a couple times throughout the day so the pile isn't extraneous. 

Find a Home For Everything

Throughout the day and at night, tidy up. Make sure everything is tucked nice and neat into its home. If you do it as you go along, you have less to do at night. 

Wipe Surfaces

If you make a mess or eat somewhere, make sure to wipe the surface you were using. I do this multiple times a day. If I'm particularly busy one day, I'll save the surface cleaning until my son is asleep because I know things will stay clean that way. 

Weekly

*I based this off some of the information I've learned about Waldorf education + rhythms, I've found them useful in keeping a home tidy as well as teaching Maddox*

Monday

  • Launder clothes, towels, and bed sheets. Fold and put away when finished.
  • Deep clean the bathroom(s). Scrub and sanitize toilets, sinks, tubs, tiles, shower heads, mirrors, floors, etc.
  • Water your plants.

Tuesday 

  • Clean kitchen and appliances. Stovetops, dishwasher surfaces, refrigerator surfaces, cabinets, etc.
  • Clean out fridge and organize it. Mark what you may need in a grocery list. 
  • Dust/polish furniture. 

Wednesday

  • Wipe your glass and mirror surfaces clean and help them shine.
  • Organize drawers, closets, pantry. I reorganize all of these because it can sometimes find itself in disarray throughout the week. It's also a good time to see what you have in your pantry and add whatever you need to your grocery list.
  • Declutter and donate items. I like to purge items as much as possible so I'm always going through everything to see what I can rid our home of. 

Thursday

  • Run errands. Thursday is usually "travel" day so this is when I gather my little troop and head out to run errands. 
  • Sweep/vacuum/mop floors.
  • Menu plan for next week. Sometimes I'll do this in the morning while sipping my morning brew if I'm planning on doing a grocery trip once the little wakes up. 

Friday

  • Work on big projects or any projects you want to start. Sometimes, instead of making something for myself, I like making something for another. 
  • File papers.
  • Garden.

Saturday

  • Catch-up on anything missed throughout the week or something you'd like to clean again (some people are anal about clean bathrooms, so they'll do it multiple times a week). 
  • Bake something scrumptious.
  • Rest.

Sunday

  • Rest.
  • Family.
  • Fun.
  • Maybe an errand or two. 

Ways to help you motivate yourself

  • Do it at an appropriate time during the day. If you have children, do it when they're focused on another project or allow them to help (mopping floors may be difficult and this may need to be done early in the morning before the children rise, late at night, or during nap time, whenever you can fit it in). 
  • Light a natural, soy candle or diffuse refreshing essential oils (like lemon! Perfect for getting you in a cleaning mood). 
  • Listen to music you love and music that motivates you. I have a little ihome (because my record player needs to be fixed) on my kitchen counter. I can just turn music on my phone and the music lingers over every inch of our apartment.
  • Add flowers or plants to your home to brighten things up. 
  • Meditate. Sometimes starting the day with a fresh mind or starting a task with a fresh mind, helps us begin and surrender to what is necessary in the physical realm. 
  • Reward yourself after with something. Whether it be reading a book, or crafting, or a smoothie bowl, or eating a cookie larger than your face.
  • Make your own cleaning products. I always find DIY to be more filling to my soul. 

As I said earlier, rhythms allow you to flow and never feel bad for not completing a task. Nothing is perfect, schedules fall apart, clean houses collapse some days. Most of us are busy people, constantly creating, or doing, or going, or being. Rhythms break away from expectation and let us do and get done what we need to and what works for us. It teaches us to relax and adjust to change. 

Cleaning helps us keep a happy, organized, and easy-flowing home. It allows us to keep our head in stressful situations. It is our space: where we love, learn, laugh, and grow. Follow this rhythm I have laid out for you and adjust as you need to. Follow it and find yourself happy and refreshed.

Print off this gorgeous and calming list to help remind you of your rhythms. What do your weekly rhythms look like if you already have one?

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Shayna Shattelroe

25 years old. Mama to Maddox. Word weaver. Lover of love. Coffee addict. Psychological science student. 

A woman of curious nature, my name is Shayna. I am wild & reserved. Humbled & proud. Quiet & clamorous. Strange & familiar. I live in the trees of New England typing away as lifestyle blogger. You can always find me with a coffee cup in one hand and a book in the other.

Blogging since 2005, I’ve had an innumerable amount of blogs on a vast number of platforms. Finally, I’ve found one to call home: The Lovely Cicada. This blog is a piece of myself I extend to you.

Mindful Minimalism: Letting Go of Digital Clutter to Regain Focus

Letting Go Of Digital Clutter

Since Maddox has been born, I've accumulated an excessive amount of photographs. Both on my phone, on my camera, and then on my laptop. We're not talking a couple hundred but thousands. On one hand, it's great. I have every single moment captured. On the other hand, I have unnecessary moments captured that I should have just went through and deleted before uploading them. Do I really need 10 pictures of my son eating broccoli? I know I'm not the only one because I have had mothers telling me they have no picture space on their phone because they've used it all and if you scroll through their album, it's endless pictures of their kids. And maybe a dog. And maybe some memes that help mothers keep their sanity. 

My other problem? Mindlessly scrolling through Facebook as if anything on there is truly relevant. It's such a poor habit to utilize the quiet space in between the busy times with aimless scrolling. There are gems and wonderful pictures here and there but most of it is nonsense. It takes away from what I could be doing: creating rather than consuming. I lose my focus and become engrossed with information (like what someone ate or how a stranger feels about her sister) I'll never need again while I could be spending time writing for my blog, editing pictures, creating jewelry, writing one of the five books I have started, or anything. Anything at all. 

For many of us, the last and hardest thing to de-clutter is our digital world and the amount of time we spend within it. It's easy for many of us to ignore it because it's not tangible. We can't always see the disorganization or the abundance of files or the amount we actually pick up our phone because it's not sitting out in front of us with glaring eyes. We have almost infinite amounts of space on our hard drives where we can endlessly snap and upload photos without worrying about it. We have infinite apps we can download with promise of a free meal or free points or free browsing for as long as we want or free games we can obsess about. 

But what happens when we want to upload a throwback photo to Instagram? Or make a photo book for a birthday? Or find a specific recipe we remember seeing? Or we look back and see how we've spent our time? Or we look at all this objectively? That's when the problem is blatantly staring at us straight in the face. 

What To Do

Review and Manage Photos Daily

Any day you take pictures, go through and delete the blurry ones or the ones you don't need to have duplicates of (like your iced coffee) or the ones that didn't come out all that wonderful. For me, it's hard to choose between which photos I love and which ones I don't need. So I always go back a few days later and delete again. If you're a parent (or an animal parent), it is seriously okay to delete photographs of your children. It's not the end of the world and they didn't change noticeably from last week to this week so if you find a picture you don't really need - delete it. 

Unsubscribe to E-mails

I have so many unopened e-mails it's actually absurd. It's a task I've been putting off because there are thousands. However, unroll.me makes things so much easier. It shows you everything you are subscribed to and allows you to choose what you want to unsubscribe to. It lays it all out for you and makes things quick so you stop receiving junk e-mails you don't need to see. 

Delete Apps

Did you hear about an app, download it, only to use it once or twice? Delete it. There are so many I've downloaded and have felt were mediocre apps. I would leave it on my phone and my computer just in case yet never used it again. You don't need 10 photo apps, 10 game apps, 10 retail apps, 10 social media apps. Choose your favorites and the ones you use at least weekly. You'll be able to download them again if you actually need them. 

Delete Games

Whether it be on Facebook, your phone, your computer - delete the games. Allow yourself to keep 1-2 and rid yourself of the rest. There's nothing wrong with occasionally playing a video game but it will take away your focus from something more productive if you are constantly spending empty spaces playing them. 

Unfollow People & Groups On Facebook

Give yourself a little more control about what you see on your feed. Unfollow groups and only use the app so you have to choose when to see them. Unfollow people that you want to keep up with but don't want to read their constant political banters or what they ate today. Delete the ones you truly don't care about. Unfollow pages you still like but don't care about what they post. 

Use Apps That Allow You More Control

Instead of pictures and status's from acquaintances and family members, you can tailor Pinterest to your interests almost completely. You choose the boards and people you are interested in seeing ideas from. Same with Instagram. You see pictures and potential ideas. They may be easy to get lost in, but they are more minimal in content. Don't mindlessly pin. Only pin things you want inspiration from or plan to do in the near and far future. 

Delete Bookmarks

The browser on my Mac is filled to the brim with bookmarks I haven't looked at in over a year. It's time to go in and delete the things I really never needed to save in the first place. It's another symptom of the "just-in-case" mindset. Most things in my bookmarks can actually be pinned on Pinterest for better organization. 

Organize

Give everything a place. Separate your photos anyway you like (by year, by faces, by things, etc). Separate your bookmarks (knowledge, writing inspiration, gifts, etc) or pin them all to Pinterest. Make your Pinterest boards easy (for kids, edibles, style, etc). Put your documents in folders (for school, writing, resume, etc). Give everything a clear and concise name that details what something is about. Make sub-folders if needed but try to keep them minimal so you don't have to click and click and click before finding what you need.

Create New Habits

Start setting your phone down. Throw it under a pillow, or put it in another room, or turn it off when you have the urge to use it. Start filling your spaces with ideas and creation. Pick up crocheting (and only use your phone for tutorials), start a journal, go on Pinterest and go into things you've already saved and create something, go for a walk outside, start making jewelry, organize your home, start conversation. Fill your spaces with less consumption and give yourself more focus. 

We need to stop feeling we need to escape from the world, from the silence, from each other. We need to reconnect with ourselves, the people around us, and things offscreen. The things that are tangible. There is nothing wrong with sharing our lives but we have to remember to turn off and go live them. Find a balance between posting an Instagram story and getting suckered into scrolling down your feed for half hour. We need to continue to create and live and love what surrounds us.