Hey, y’all, I’m Quinn from zquinns_art. I’m on the Archer & Olive design team, and I’m very excited to bring you a bullet journal spread to help you in your post-holiday and winter cleaning!
Winter is by far my favorite season, but it’s easy to forget that it continues past the holidays and the new year. We still have a few months cooped up in our homes before the warmth of spring can draw us out. While some of us may like to keep the decorations up to keep around the holiday joy, I also know that some of us prefer to use any time off to get down to clean and organize. I used to fall into the first group, but now I enjoy the “art” of cleaning and thought I would share a spread and some tips for tidying up after some holiday fun.
I also want to note that this is for people who don’t celebrate or decorate for the holidays, too!
Supplies I used:
Archer and Olive A5 Journal: The one I’m currently using is an old design, but I’m in love with the raven design of A Visitor from the fall collection!
Calliograph Pens: sky blue and indigo from the Jewel Collection
A good black pen
Watercolors: I’m using Indigo and Payne’s grey. Feel free to choose your own colors!
Holiday Organization Tips
For those of you who celebrate any winter holiday, this first page of my spread is for you! There are a lot of things to get done and a lot of things to remember when organizing and putting everything away, so I made my list of things to remember. You, of course, can add your own checklist to be the most helpful for you!
The first, and hardest step, is always to take down the decorations. Once you’ve done that, it gets much easier. I, then, like to put them into different piles: one to keep and store, one to donate, and one to throw away (for any decor that is unsalvageable). My general rule of thumb is that if I cannot fit the decorations into my storage containers, then I need to find another home for them. Another good indicator is if things are broken or if lights still work; if they don’t, it’s time to retire them. Finding ways to reuse or fix items is always better, and I usually see trash as the final option.
Then we have the wrappings from presents. In this category, I include not only wrapping paper, but boxes, bags, tissue paper, ribbons, and shipping boxes. Shipping boxes, particularly smaller ones, can be quite useful to hold onto (but make sure you don’t keep too many as then you have another problem on your hands). For my wrapping paper, I like to put a hair tie or rubber band on the tube to hold it together. For old boxes, bags, and ribbons that are too far gone to be used OR if I have so many I cannot store them, I will put them into a trash or donation pile. For the ones I keep, I like to use the bigger shipping or gift boxes to store everything.
One thing I feel gets forgotten is what to do with the presents you received. There were many years where I would still have presents laying around my room a month after the holiday. SO, first thing’s first, decide what you want to keep and put it away! Then you can deal with the rest of your gifts. Decide what needs to be returned, what can be regifted (which is a valid option), and what should be donated. Remember that when you put something in the “regifted” pile to add a note of who the gift was from. This will help to negotiate any future awkward moments.
So I kept noting in each section to donate things. This is important because, for one, it helps break the mindset of automatically throwing everything away, and for another, it gives a good deadline to help encourage the cleaning process. Write a date down on the “Donation Day” to encourage yourself to finish in a timely fashion. Some donation ideas: “Buy Nothing” Facebook pages, local donation centers, or even apps like Nextdoor.
Winter Deep Cleaning Tips
Now for my favorite part, the winter cleaning. It is a common custom in many cultures to clean the house before the new year. The idea is so that you don’t bring any dirt or bad things from last year into the new one, so you can get a fresh start. It helps there to be only good vibes in the new year. It can be hard, though, to fully clean with decorations up or with guests still around, so it’s always okay to wait until after the holiday commotion is over. For me, at least, a clean home leads to a clear and calm mind.
When you deep clean, try to limit yourself to a few areas so you don’t get overwhelmed. For winter, I like to focus on the areas that get used the most at this time: the kitchen, the carpets, and the guest room(s).
As my kitchen gets used the most during the holidays, I like to give it a good cleaning. It can be gross at times, given all of the food, but it can be so satisfying when it’s all done. There are of course the main big appliances to deep clean such as the oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher. After all the baking, stored leftovers, and tons of dishwasher loads, they probably all need it. Also, a quick tip from my mother: a good way to clean your dishwasher is to run an empty load with a cup of vinegar! It can really help to clean everything out, though be warned that it can make your home a little smelly. I also like to use this time to clean my baking utensils including any cookie sheets, muffin tins, and cake pans. In my experience, these can get forgotten and stained, so I like to make sure to clean them well at least once a year.
After having many people over with food involved, your carpet or rugs could probably do with some love. A good thorough vacuuming is always a good idea. For this, I like to vacuum my carpet in four directions: horizontally, vertically, and in opposite diagonals. It makes sure everything gets picked up. And, if you’re lucky enough to have a shampooer, now would be a good time to shampoo your carpets, as well. If not, a good spot cleaner would suffice for anything that sticks out.
After your guests leave, it’s a good idea to clean up after them. Even if you have the cleanest guests in the world, it can help you to feel that the process of having guests is complete by cleansing the space. Of course, give everything a good wiping down and vacuuming. I also like to use this as a chance to launder all of the bedding and vacuum the mattress. It’s a difficult task, but this is a good reminder to get it done!
Winter General Cleaning Tips
These are just a few things I like to remember to help my home feel cleaner and a bit cozier for the rest of winter. Since we have to spend more time inside, we might as well make it all look nice! But as always, feel free to customize it to your needs.
I hope some of these ideas were helpful for you! I enjoy making cleaning lists so that I remember to get everything done. If you do create a list like this, feel free to tag me on Instagram @zquinns_art! I’d love to see what all you come up with.
I’ve included a video tutorial so you can see how I set up my spread and did my decorations! Feel free to check it out here:
Feel free to download this free printable to create your own cleaning and organization lists! I made two separate pages for those of you who don’t celebrate/decorate for the holidays. I’ve also added a few of my own decorations here, but feel free to add even more little doodles or colors to this spread.
Once again, please share with me what you create! I can’t wait to see how y’all clean up after the new year :)