The Search for the Orderly: Growth – Updates

Good afternoon everyone! I hope you made it through the week okay. I’ve been struggling a bit with anxiety lately, but in the best of ways. I know that doesn’t make sense, but bear with me. I am pretty much afraid of everything, and I shy away from many things that are required for someone to be a “functioning adult”. For example, I am terrified of driving, applying to jobs, going anywhere new, and freeways. Guess what? I will be applying to a job that is going to require me to conquer so many of my fears.

A few of these fears were caused by bad experiences. I got in a super minor accident on the freeway, and I had a bad experience due to poor training at a previous and short-lived job, alongside my already severe anxiety. Though I am so nervous about where this could take me, the fact that I am willing to make the jump is a big step for me, and I’m very proud of my progress over the past year and a half.

Not only have I become more organized and less forgetful, but my bullet journal allows me the space to reflect and pick up on issues. Since my anxiety began to get worse, I started using my journal less, and I noticed things around me begin to reflect my mental state. Now that I’ve acknowledged that there is something going on in my life that is causing me a little bit of distress, I can take steps to work through it.

The first step is to make sure I am purposefully interacting with my bullet journal. I need to maintain this good habit of using my journal. This gives me a place to reflect on what’s going on, what isn’t working, and where I’m failing. I know my nightly routine has fallen to pieces, and I am not maintaining my physical environment the way I should be. I need to make sure I’m taking care of myself, so I don’t lose the great progress I’ve made.

The second step is to take action and make sure that I follow through. On Monday, I spent some time de-cluttering and cleaning my bedroom and bathroom. Putting things in order has a stimulating effect for me, it makes me feel good mentally and emotionally. I am also purposely taking time to pamper and care for myself. Whatever I can do to make myself feel more confident and push my way through the bad things that I feel.

Now, when I say push through the bad things, I don’t mean to say that I am completely ignoring them. I think it’s important to push yourself when you’re not doing the best, and I find that it helps me recover more quickly when I am determined to deal with them. However, it is important for me to acknowledge the way that I am feeling, and address those issues the best that I can. I am anxious, and it is affecting the way that I think and feel, so I need to take time to deal with those feelings and handle the things that are causing those feelings. I’m scared, and I will not ignore the feelings of fear, but I know that I can face them and I will take the little steps that I need to face those fears.

This is where I am in my journey toward the Orderly. Sometimes it gets personal and you have to deal with the tough stuff  instead of sweeping it under the rug where you can’t see it. I hope this helps you in your search for the Orderly as well!

Let’s keep growing!


The Search for the Orderly: Cleaning Schedule

Hello! I hope you’re having a wonderful day so far! Following last week’s discussion of goals and “why statements”, I wanted to talk about one of my main goals: cleanliness! I will admit that I am not the cleanest person in the world, and sometimes my family regards me as a walking tornado. Everything I touch, becomes messy. Though they don’t seem to notice some days, I have made a lot of progress.

When we moved into a larger house, I was given the master suite, mostly due to there being stairs that separate the bathroom into two sections, making it a dangerous situation for my mom. The other reason was that I was going to be sharing this level of the house with two guys, and needed a little bit more privacy. I now had the responsibility of taking care of more than just a room. I was responsible for keeping it clean and under control.

I tried to make one day a week my cleaning day, where I would pick up the room, clean my bathroom. This didn’t last very long. It was overwhelming for me to clean my space, as well as deal with whatever chores I was asked to do for the general household. I often wore myself out too much, or didn’t get it done at all. So, I broke the big task down into smaller pieces.

Enter: the cleaning schedule. Instead of cleaning the whole space in one day, I broke it down into small tasks for every day of the week. Mondays I do laundry, Tuesdays are for towels and sheets, Wednesdays are when I clean my bathroom, Thursdays are when I take out my trash and recycling, Friday is for my desk area, and Saturday is when I pick up the room.

For each week of the month, I focus on two deep-cleaning or larger projects. Week 1: cleaning the birdcage and my desk area. Week 2: cleaning the floor and washing my sheets. Week three: cleaning the shower and bathroom in more detail. Week 4: another sheet change as well as dusting. If there happens to be a fifth week in the month, I spend it catching up on things I may have missed earlier in the month.

I also have goals for the entire month. These goals are mostly de-cluttering particular areas of my life. They are simply closets and cabinets, desk and documents, bedroom, digital, and goals. I’ll go through these things, figure out what isn’t needed anymore, reorganize, and prioritize.

What about you? Do you break up your cleaning into smaller projects? Or do you prefer to set aside a particular day for cleaning?

Bullet Journal: March 2019

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Good afternoon! This month I’m focusing a lot on building good habits. I’ve decided to cut back on the amount of fancy set-up I have laid out in the past. I’m not even using washi tape. The bullet journal system is meant to be quick, and effective. I was at a point where I felt like I was spending too much time setting up my months. I was feeling less and less motivated to draw out and decorate the months. It was time to take a step back and go back to basics.

This month, though I wasn’t incorporating brush lettering or pretty washi tape, I do have a color theme. For this month, I’m using various shades of green from the Tombow Dual Brush pens I have. My favorite is #228, which is gray-green. I use them in the titles for my pages, and maybe some hints of color in a few places to brighten up the pages. I am not spending a load of time drawing lines for columns. Most of the lines I have drawn are just to divide the page in half, or section off the top of my weekly spread where I keep my events so I can see them.

In Ryder Carroll’s book, “The Bullet Journal Method”, he talks about how he doesn’t designate an amount of space for any given day (p89). I did a bit of thinking on this and realized he was right, I was limiting myself by setting out pretty little columns to keep my lists in. This month I got rid of my set columns, divided the page in half, and let the lists figure themselves out. I still have my full-week view without limiting a day to being x number of boxes tall. Letting them take up half the page made it easier for me to write longer notes as well when I needed them. They may not look quite as cute, but I felt more comfortable and free to pour my notes out onto the pages as I went through my day.

The bullet journal community is so full of talent and beautiful, artsy spreads. However, the original system was built to be neat and simple. Sometimes we have to step back, stop over-complicating things, and go back to basics. That way we can focus on what we want to achieve, and stop fussing over that flower not looking quite right.

I hope you have a great and productive rest of your week!

Search for the Orderly: Why?

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Good afternoon! I talked a little bit in my first post about why I started this adventure toward the Orderly. I didn’t like the way I felt about myself and the habits I had developed, and I wanted to better myself and feel more in control of my life. Finding those reasons why not only gave me motivation to move forward, but they also really helped me dial in on what I wanted out of my bullet journal, those de-cluttering projects, or those workouts. In turn, knowing what I wanted out of those experiences helped encourage me to keep trying and progress forward toward my goals.

My journey started with a bullet journal. Why? Because I wanted to be more organized, and I knew that I worked well with lists. I wanted to stop getting yelled at for forgetting simple things. I wanted to improve my productivity and get more done. I made my to-do lists, kept track of information I needed and events that were occurring so I could plan for them. Little did I know that this little black notebook would become so much more than a collection of to-do lists and notes. I soon began to journal about how I was feeling and reflect on my weeks and what I thought I could do better in the future.

There are a couple pages in my first bullet journal from a time where I was so consumed with anxiety that I was physically in pain. I filled out two pages: one was called Worries, the other was called Plans. On the worries page I listed absolutely everything that was bothering me, from emotional and mental stuff, to stuff that just needed to get done. After compiling that list, I grouped things together and started filling out the Plans section. I created a sort of strategy guide for dealing with the things that were bothering me. Mental health? Talk to my mom and see a doctor. It’s time to get help. Physical health? Talk to a doctor, make sure I’m okay. New job? Make a list of things I need to get done and papers that need to be filled out, and tackle them.

After that point, I continued to learn how to identify problems, figure out how to deal with them, and set goals for myself to achieve. I can flip through the pages of my journal and watch myself grow not only in my layouts and style, but in confidence, and as a person. I take time before every month starts to reflect on my “why statement” and what I want to achieve in the coming month, as well as identifying my failures and how I can improve on them.

If you are new to planning, organization, bullet journals, or goal-setting, I highly recommend you take some time for yourself to evaluate your goals and why you want to achieve them. I don’t mean “because I can” or “because it’s there”. Get specific, focus on what really matters to you or what really bothers you. What is that reason that will drive you forward? Write it down, make it permanent, put it somewhere you can see it. Find a way to remind yourself every day of what you want to achieve this month, this week, or even just today. If you’d like, feel free to share those goals!

Let’s get growing!

The Search for the Orderly

I’ve tried to blog for awhile now under this title “Always Discovering Disorderly”, which played off the acronym “A.D.D” (which typically stands for Attention Deficit Disorder). I was making fun of my struggle with my chaotic, messy, unorganized tendencies. Recently, I’ve felt a need to talk about my journey I’ve been on. I’m on a search for the orderly.

I have always struggled with being a messy person. My family has actually built jokes around it — stereotypes, even. If it’s missing, it’s in my room. If it’s messy, I did it. If it needs to be remembered or kept track of… hah, funny, yeah right. For a long time I just went with it, made fun of it with them, but I’ve grown to hate it. I really do. It feels like an identity I can’t get rid of. Even if my family doesn’t notice, I’m working on it, and I’ve actually been making progress.

I started using a bullet journal in November 2017. It’s now February 2019 and it has made a big difference in my life. I’ve become more organized, and more functional as a person. It has given me a space where I can not only keep myself organized, but I can also reflect and find flaws that I want to work on improving or correcting. I have been exploring new ways to tackle my biggest issues and bring in new habits that I hope will benefit me in the long run.

So let’s talk. Let’s get better. Let’s get orderly.

Bullet Journal Layout: November 2018

Good morning internet! As of Thursday evening, I’ve returned from a week away in Arizona to visit the grandparents. It was kind of a working and not-working vacation. We did some inventory sourcing at a few thrift stores, and spent some time catching up on work or meeting a few goals that needed to be dealt with. In all honesty, we (I) didn’t get as much done as planned for a variety of reasons, but the time away and relaxing did a world of good. I was feeling rather depressed and really needed a change of scenery to get myself back to normal.


So now that I’m home and feeling inspired and rejuvenated, let’s talk about November. It’s a busy month, so I’m glad I got my layouts settled months in advance. This month’s theme is lightbulbs, which has been very fun to doodle and play with. I usually don’t do much drawing in my spreads, so I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and was very happy with the results! It’s paired with a autumn-colored ginkgo leaf washi tape and bright orange and yellow Tombow Dual Brush pens (933 for the orange, 055 for the yellow from the Bright color pack).


I have really been experimenting in this bullet journal. I’ve been doing much more doodling and trying out stickers and playing with paper textures and brush lettering effects. It has been a lot of fun! This month I also decided to not use my ruler and save myself some strain. I’ve found being obsessed over having a perfect and neat journal is too much stress for me. I’m a messy person, and my journal is going to reflect that.



What is your bullet journal theme for November?


Migration to My Second Bullet Journal

Hey! Long time, no see! Depression and chaos has had me pretty busy lately. But, I wanted to talk about my new bullet journal! Last month, in September, I finished my first bullet journal and have migrated into my second. My first journal was a Peter Pauper Press, A5 grid notebook. It was a great notebook with good paper that held up well for about 11 months, and it cost around $10.

For my new bullet journal, I moved into a Leuchtturm 1917, which seems to be a favorite in the community. I got it in Nordic Blue and added an awesome vinyl sticker from Etsy! I was so excited to get into this journal and see what all the hype was about. I literally squealed when it arrived! It was a gift for my birthday, which was awesome because it gave me time to work on the migration process while I finished filling out my first bullet journal.

The color on my bullet journal was absolutely gorgeous and the sticker I chose looks  beautiful on the cover. I was really looking forward to the dot grid, which looks much cleaner than grid lines. I also love that it has archival stickers, so I can label the spines and fronts of my journals. I actually used one set of stickers on my old journal, since there were extras. I also love that it has a table of contents that I can fill out, without having to build one myself and worry about how many pages I will need. There is definitely plenty of space for what I will need! Now, I will mention that the pages in this journal can be a small bit thin, and they do ghost. That doesn’t really bother me since I don’t do much in the way of water color or heavy marker work, but I know it bothers some people.

Now my old journal is not completely inactive. I actually have pages and collections that are still being used: my weight and exercise data sheet, my beauty projects, shows and books I am working on, etc. These are things I didn’t want to have to rewrite, since they were only partially used in the old journal. So I created a page called “Page Threading” in my new journal that references where these collections are in case I am looking for them in the future.

The biggest change I made in my new bullet journal, was I was moving all my collections to the back. Aside from a few necessary life things I wanted in the front, I have started my various collections at the back of my notebook (medical notes, notes for work, loan tracking, savings tracking) and I am working forward as I add to them. From the front, I am working my monthly and weekly/daily spreads. At some point, the day-to-day stuff and my collections will meet when I fill the journal.

I have also started implementing some color coding. I have a few categories for types of spreads:  mood lines, work, life stuff, collections, and maintenance/guides. These are marked along the edges of the pages toward the bottom, and I guess it helps me find a few things or at least categorize them. I am still figuring out how to make the best use of them. I know some people use colored pens as they write to help certain types of tasks or notes stand out, but I personally prefer just to use black pens so I don’t have to worry about carrying everything with me when I’m out and about and find it rather messy-looking when everything is in half a dozen different colors. One form of color coding I do like, though, is month to month. Each month has a theme color, and that main color is marked on the edge of the page. It makes it very easy to skip around between months when I am looking for things.

I don’t think I’ll go any deeper into my journal stuff today, and I will probably add pictures to this later (unless I forget). With my depression, I just kind of needed to get a blog post OUT, and not let making things pretty and perfect hold me back from sharing my thoughts.


*Transparency: None of these links are affiliated. I’m not getting any sort of money through clicking them. I just want to share the materials I use!