Life Organization DIY Archives | This is Jthomp

Category: Life Organization DIY

Tips and Hacks for Spring Cleaning

How To Spring Clean: 24 Tips, Hacks, Reminders, and Plans

Spring has Sprung and it’s time Spring Clean. Who’s ready??!!! If you are not ready; don’t worry. We’ve got 24 go-to articles on the best spring cleaning checklists and plans, as well as, spring cleaning tips, hacks, and reminders to make your cleaning season a success.


Spring Cleaning Checklists / Where to Start

Chelsea at The Crazy Sahm has given us 10 spring cleaning tasks to start with. If you are new to concept of spring cleaning, don’t know where to start or want to start small, check out her article with easy actionable spring cleaning tasks that you can start with today.

Don’t know where to start? Paula from I’m Busy Being Awesome gives us a fabulous guide that breaks the home into sections and gives you a spring cleaning checklist for each section. If spring cleaning seems daunting to you. Check out this guide.

This is a great spring cleaning checklist and calendar from Kami at The Momma Diaries. It’s hard to think of and remember all the different things that need to be spring cleaned. This handy printable checklist will help ensure you don’t leave anything out.

In addition to giving us a checklist, Misty at Simple Organized Lifestyle gives us some fantastic ideas for saving time while tackling the list of spring cleaning tasks. She even gives us some pre-spring cleaning tips so that we can be ready to clean.

I always like cleaning tips from people who aren’t in that “love to clean” category. If the idea of spring cleaning doesn’t really appeal to you, Check out Stacey from Families with Grace article House Cleaning Tips from a Slob. These are awesome real-life tips to help you get into your cleaning groove.

How to Spring Clean

Spring Cleaning Decluttering and Organization

Does it seem to you that decluttering often creates a bigger mess than you started with? Check out Megan’s (Practically Perfect Meg) article on how to not make a mess while decluttering. She’s also has more links in her article for other wonderful cleaning hacks.

Jenaya from That Lady Living offers us a step by step guide to organizing your closet. Sometimes that seems like an insurmountable task, Jenaya shows us where to start.

Chhavi from Mrs Daaku Studio offers us this advice: Go room by room and declutter along with it. Make a plan of what you want to clean in a room and stick to it. For example, day 1 is to declutter the wardrobe, day 2 is to clean the fittings etc. Keep one week for each room in the house so you are not overwhelmed at any moment. This has helped me stick to the schedule and finish cleaning in about a month and a half. It really works, try it!

If you are new to decluttering Shawna from Stress Less, Be Healthy offers a wonderful beginners’ guide to decluttering. It’s a must read before you begin.

Incorporate the concept of giving into your spring cleaning routine with Jennifer’s (Why Give Online) tips for areas to start cleaning now and how to give to others at the same time.

Spring cleaning often involves getting rid of things that have been cluttering up our home. Sarah from I Heart Frugal gives us a plan for organizing those items and turning them into money while you clean your home.

laundry on clothesline

If you are drowning in laundry: Check out how my guide to going from a clothes hoarder to having a minimalist wardrobe/ capsule wardrobe.

This post may contain affiliate links.  Check out my privacy policy for more information.

Spring Cleaning: Don’t Forget

Rachel from Creators of Coffee offers us this great advice to keep your coffee tasting great: A clean coffee machine is essential for great tasting coffee. For espresso machine owners, remove and clean the shower screen. A back-flush chemical cleaner is also a good idea to clean the group head. If you own a coffee grinder, open and wipe clean the burr grinder. For coffee makers, run a mix of water and vinegar through the machine to remove unsightly stains. Finally, give all of your coffee accessories a thorough clean in hot soapy water and rinse well.

Amy at Daily Successful Living offers us this advice: Spring cleaning needs to be a family event. I’ve tried doing it on my own but I never sticks. It wasn’t until I got my kids and husband on board that things fell into place. I give everyone a big plastic bin and detailed instructions about what needs to be decluttered in their rooms and throughout the house. Getting junk out of the house has made a huge difference in keeping my whole house clean.

Debbie from The Flooring Girl tell us: Most people don’t realize that they need to seal the grout between their tiles…and that they need to do it annually. Grout is basically sand, so if you don’t do this annually, the grout absorbs all dirt, bacteria and liquids turning them darker. Thankfully, sealing your grout is an easy DIY project and spring is a great time to do it.

dust mop on wood floor

Spring Cleaning Hacks and Tips

Delia from Kids Chaos and Confusion shares with us her best spring cleaning hack plus her best spring cleaning tips! An important reminder to not forget the outside of our home during the cleaning process.

Kelsey from A Cup of Tea with Kelsey share tips for practical ideas and home decor choices that will help make cleaning your home easy from the start.

Lauren from Love Remodeled gives us some suggestions for great cleaning tools to use in your home. If you are looking to up your cleaning game, check this out.

Want to make sure that your cleaning adventure is not harming the environment and increasing waste. Kristen from Earth Friendly Tips, gives us some easy actionable steps to take so you can go green while cleaning.

Dana from Natural Earthy Mama offers us advice on how to clean a house with a newborn – some tips and tricks from a mama that has been there and done that a few times!

I am really into homemade cleaners right now. Lydia from Thrifty Frugal Mom gives us an easy recipe for a homemade bathroom cleaner that I can’t wait to try!


Spring Cleaning: Food, Body and Mind

Spring cleaning involves cleaning out pantries and freezers. Checkout Penny’s (Skill Trek: Field Guide for Life) tips on food safety when cleaning out the kitchen.

Don’t let cleaning out the pantry be a daunting task. Sarah from Our Daily Craft gives us an awesome step-by-step guide for spring cleaning the pantry.

Expiration date on peanut butter jar

While you are cleaning our the pantry, have you thought about spring cleaning your diet? Rachel from Radical Strength offers us some interesting tips for spring cleaning your diet.

Nadalie from It’s All You Boo, reminds us to not just spring clean our home, but spring clean our life. At the end of the post also check out her link to 12 ways to Spring Clean your mind.

What is your best spring cleaning hack or tip?  Do you have a killer cleaning plan of action that makes your spring cleaning a success?  Do you have a go-to cleaning checklist?  Drop a comment and let us know!


Don’t forget to share pin this article for future reference or share it on social media so others can get these great tips and plans.


While your spring cleaning: Don’t forget it’s not too late to fulfill your new year’s resolutions.

Free Bullet Journal Printables

Easy Bullet Journal for Beginners With Bullet Journal Printables


Bullet Journaling can be intimidating if you are a beginner or are not artistic.  If you look at Bullet Journaling on Pinterest, YouTube or through Google searching; you can find journalers who are highly artistic and creative and create elaborate spreads in their notebooks.  I’m here to tell you that you can have a functional bullet journal that looks great without drawing out elaborate spreads with extensive doodling. My Free Bullet Journal Printables make starting a maintaining a useful DIY planner easier than ever.


Free Bullet Journal Printables


What is a Bullet Journal?

If you have never heard of a bullet journal or don’t know exactly what it is; I recommend you check out this introduction by Ryder Carroll, the creator of the Bullet Journal.  You will see that the original bullet journal is a very simplistic way of organizing your time and tasks.  

What I like most about my bullet journal is using the idea of collections.  This is a great way to curate on-going lists that I like to maintain. Using a table of contents or index is an easy way to find those collections in your bullet journal easily.  I love how I can customize my planner to fit my own needs and always have a place for my lists, collections of information, and the planner itself for my time and tasks. I like to keep a running list of books I want to look into or movies and tv shows that people recommend.  I also keep a list of things on my wish list to buy and gift ideas for other people.

I watched a lot of YouTube videos about bullet journaling and was inspired by this way to create a customized planner for myself.  But, I also found myself intimidated by the intricacies of the layouts that people created. I tried these types of layouts to a smaller degree at first.  But, then I discovered how easy it was to use and create printables to customize my bullet journal for what I wanted to use it for. This is a simple way to have a great bullet journal weekly spread without devoting a lot of time to creating something from scratch each week.

In this post I am going to present to you a bullet journal setup complete with bullet journal printables that you can use to make your beginner experience better or to give you easy-to-use bullet journal layouts that you can use.


Getting Started

First off, you do not need an expensive journal or notebook to use.  You can get a dotted journal that is described on the Ryder Carroll site, but if you are going to use printables, that type of journal is not necessarily required.  I think the most important thing for you to consider is the size of the pages, themselves. Some people like a larger size page compared to some of the smaller ones available.  I like to use one that is around 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches (half-letter), since I like to carry it in my purse so that I always have it with me. I also like a type of notebook that has some sort of closure to it.  My current bullet journal has a snap closure to it; but my previous journals at elastic straps that kept the book closed. I also like bullet journals that have an envelope in the back. My current book did not, so I took envelope out of my previous journal and pasted into the back of my current one.  You can invest a lot of money into a planner or dotted journal to use but it is not something you have to do. I seek out a notebook that I like aesthetically and functionally.


bullet journal planner with clasp

Bullet journal envelope


In additional to the bullet journal itself; you can invest in pens, markers, stickers, and decorative washi tape.  None of this is required if you simply want a functional planner or bullet journal. I like colorful writing so I use a affordable set of Crayola markers and Papermate pens that I like to write with on a day-to-day basis.

Bullet Journal Printables To The Rescue

To save time and effort, I started using printables to make my organizer more tailored to my needs without requiring redrawing my weekly spread or habit tracker, etc.  Since I was including the same type of things in my bullet journal weekly spread; it made sense for me to create a printable that I could easily paste into my notebook when I was doing my bullet journal set up for each week or month at a time.

A great resource that I love using for my bullet journal is Calendarpedia.  This site has a ton of printable calendars that use can use.


Bullet Journal Future Log

For my future log, I use this calendar. I have a color printer that I use to print my calendars out, but they have black and white versions that you can use as well.  My current bullet journal starts in October of 2018, so you can see how I pasted my future log calendar into my notebook. I use highlighters to mark dates that school is out (because I’m a teacher) and then my kids’ days off are marked differently.  In the margin I mark important dates and appointments; when I prep the bullet journal spread for my new month; input my important dates from my future log.

bullet journal future log


For the beginning of the month, I use a printable monthly calendar for Calendarpedia as well.  I paste this on the left side of a two page spread and then include a monthly goal and note sheet across from it.  I consult my future log for important dates for the month and insert them onto the monthly spread calendar.  

bullet journal monthly calendar


Bullet Journal Spreads

Next, I set up my weekly spreads for the month.  The way that I am organizing my planner right now, I’m setting up the month’s worth of bullet journal weekly spreads at once.  Previously, I would set up a bullet journal weekly spread on the Sunday before the new week. (I use Monday as the starting day of my week).  

bullet journal weekly spreadbullet journal printable weekly spread

Bullet journal habit tracker

Another thing that I felt was tedious to continue drawing out was my bullet journal habit tracker.  This was actually the first bullet journal printable that I created. If you are not familiar with a habit tracker; this is an organizational tool to help you keep track of habits that you want to develop.  This picture shows an example of a habit tracker that I drew out when I first start bullet journaling. There were habits that I was really good at accomplishing each day, but others I was not so good at implementing.  People also use similar kinds of tools to track amount of sleep or their mood each day.

bullet journal habit tracker hand drawn

You can have my Bullet Journal Printables for FREE!

You can have all of my bullet journal printables for free by signing up for my email list below.  You will receive links to the pdf files in an email. You will also be updated when I create more Free bullet journal printables.

The printables are created as 8.5 x 11 pages.  For the ones that are not the size you want for your specific bullet journal; you can print these to scale for the size you need.  My current bullet journal is a half letter size; I print my full page (8.5×11) printables at 67 or 68%. An executive size would be printed at about 85% percent.  I simply trim off the edges and glue them into my book using a regular glue stick. It’s really easy to embellish the bullet journal printables with different colors of text or adding in clip art that is printed out or stickers.  This will help you get an more creative look to your bullet journal without needing a lot of artistic talent.

Do you use a bullet journal?  What is your favorite way to plan and keep track of your time and important notes?  Drop a comment and let us know.

Check out how I’ve used my bullet journal to keep up with my New Years’ Resolutions.

If you found this post helpful, please share it on social media using the handy button that follow you on the page as you scroll!  Thank you!!

Great Free Trials

Great Free Trials

One of the tricky things with free trials is remembering to cancel them if you do not want to keep them.  What I have discovered is that you can set an alarm on your phone to go off to remind you to cancel the trial.  When you sign up for the free trial you will get the date when the trial will expire and you will be charged.  Create an alarm through the clock feature on your phone for the day before the date the trial expires and for a time when you will be able to pause and cancel your free trial if you want to.  With my android phone, I can name the alarm, so I can title it “Cancel amazon music trial.”  This way I’ll actually remember why the alarm is randomly going off.  If you use outlook or google calendar you can set a reminder up through those apps also.

Here are some free trials that are available.  (Some of these are affiliate links and I may earn a commission for free trials started)


$10 off your first Walmart Grocery Pick-Up Order



Netflix Free Month

Directv Now Streaming Service 1 week free

Sling TV 7 days free

Apple Music


Make New Year's Resolutions Happen

Or How to Stop Breaking Your New Year’s Resolutions.

Or Why Making New Year’s “Resolutions” are a Bad Idea.

Or I Really Want to Actually Accomplish my New Year’s Resolution.  


Whew….that was a mouthful.


I feel like New Year’s resolutions are almost made to be broken. We make some kind of goal, it may not be a lofty goal, but we make this goal and don’t really make any plans for how it’s going to be accomplished.


Make New Year's Resolutions Happen

Instead of making a New Year’s resolution we should be making New Year’s plans. I had a manager when I worked at Lowe’s in college who always said “plan your work and work your plan.” That’s a well-known saying; it’s often attributed to many different people but, I think it’s a saying that is worth following. If you make a new year’s goal and plan out the steps that you’re going to take to accomplish it then the likelihood of you actually following through on this resolution is greater.

Now why am I talking about New Year’s resolutions when it’s March? Well, because it’s March. It’s not too late to get started on these plans for the New Year. I always have the problem that time gets away from me. Before I know it it’s the end of the day, it’s the end of the weekend, it’s the end of the month, before you know it it’s the end of the year and those great goals I had for the new year will become great goals for the next new year because I haven’t accomplished anything.  

calendar for future plans

My Future Log from my Bullet Journal

I started 2018 with the idea that I would plan my new year and work my plan.

The first thing I did was make a list of all kinds of things that I wanted to accomplish.  

This included:

  • the resolutions from 2017 that I never actually got around to doing  
  • what are things that I want to try for this year
  • what are ambitions I just generally have for my life
  • what kind of habits to I want to start or newer habits that I am still working on keeping

Next I started categorizing this list.

Here are my categories:

  • Small/Quick Goals
  • This is where I listed the habits that I wanted to starter or newer ones that still needed work
  • Mid-size goals for 2018
  • Long Term goals to start in 2018 (will not complete in 2018)
  • Long term goals/Ambitions to set a future date for beginning



What I want the focus to be right now is not just goal setting but goal PLANNING.  I feel like we sometimes do a lot of goal setting but we don’t necessarily do the planning that it takes in order to accomplish these goals.

I’m going to take you through my goal planning process for some of my 2018 goals in my New Year’s Plan.  These are not resolutions….they are plans. I can follow a plan. I can follow steps to complete a task. I know that you can too.  

Now I haven’t been perfect in this.  In fact some of my plans I haven’t even started and March is already underway.  So there is no better time than right now to get back into the groove and make those New Year’s resolutions into actual plans that you can make happen!


Small Goals/Habits

  • Continue keeping a bullet journal/make sure to keep it updated

Reason for the goal

  • The bullet journal helps me to stay organize and keep track of a lot of information in a format that works best for me.
Example of a bullet journal spread

An Example of a Bullet Journal Spread

Steps for Fulfilling this Plan

  1. Get new journal for 2018
  2. Set up new bullet journal before new year begins (transfer lists/collections that need to be moved, set up future log and January
  3. Schedule specific time on Sunday to set up new week in bullet journal.  
  4. Carry bullet journal with me daily to be sure to have it on hand when needed


Mid-Size Goal

Usually I say I want to lose weight as a New Year’s resolution.  However, that is a very vague goal to plan. So this year my New Year’s plan is to drop 1 size by the end of June and drop another 1 size by the end of the year.

Long Term Goal (beyond 2018)  

  • Get to a size 12.  Drop 1 size by the end of June and drop another 1 size by the end of the year.

Reason for the goal

  • I’m out of shape and my clothes do not fit well.  I do not want to buy bigger clothes. I’m almost at my heaviest and I don’t like how I feel.  

Steps to fulfill this plan


  • Explore diet options
  • Tried keto again; had good results before
  • Stop drinking regular soda

Plan Update

  • Did keto for 2 weeks; not really what we want in a diet
  • Exploring other options, looking into weight-watcher or just eating less processed foods, more balanced approach.  Look into Volumetrics


  • Start walking for fitness, in the morning
  • Look into other exercise options (turbo fire and PiYo again?)

Plan Update

  • Discover Kangoo Jumps and workout classes on YouTube.
  • Got Kangoo Jump shoes on Facebook Marketplace
  • Start working with shoes
  • Need to work into a regular routine of usage
  • Continue walking also
Jthomp wearing Kangoo Jumps shoes

Check out my Kangoo Jumps

Long Term Goal

  • Get a PhD in Human Sexuality from Widener University

Reason for goal  

  • I’ve wanted to earn a PhD as a life goal.  The Human Sexuality program interests me. This is for personal fulfillment

Date to start set

  • Seek admission for Fall 2019

Steps to fulfill plan

  • Look up application deadline
  • Examine admission requirements
  • Start application process in January 2019



  • Write a Young Adult genre novel

Reason for goal 

I have a story that I think would make a good novel.  I like to write fiction. I think it would be cool to write a novel.  This would be for personal fulfillment.


January 2019


So that was an idea of what some of my new year’s plans look like in my new goal planning state of mind.

The key is to reexamine and update your plan.  In my bullet journal I keep track of what I have done/or will do during the week to work towards my plan.  [If you are wondering about the bullet journal that I keep referring to; I plan to go over my system of use in 2 weeks.  You should first examine the website of the originator of the bullet journal, Ryder Carroll ]


You still have ¾ of the year left to make good on those resolutions that you have turned into plans.  


Do you still make resolutions?  What resolutions have you accomplished?  Tell us about how you felt when you met the goal.  Do you have a plan to met this year’s goal? Leave a comment and let us know!