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Using Your Journal To Help Plan Home Improvements

by Ambassador Team 01 Jun 2024 0 Comments

Do you feel your home is never quite finished?  Perhaps you are short of time or just can’t make a final decision on lighting or gallery walls.

While we can't always have a large home renovation project on the go, we often feel there are areas of our home that need improving.  It may be spending some time clearing a cluttered corner, touching up a painted wall or finally finding some time to hang pictures on the wall.  Today I am going to share some journal spreads to help organise ideas for smaller home projects that will hopefully make you feel you have a more complete space.

open journal with moving house timeline and ruler

Hello, it’s Alex (@TheJournalCorner) from the Archer and Olive ambassador team.  I am far from an interior designer, but I have done my share of painting around the house.  I often find that although a room may have a fresh lick of paint I am then indecisive about lighting, smaller furnishings and accessories.  Some spaces have been left untouched and while awaiting decoration (one day), could be made a bit more homely.

This blog post will take you through some suggestions for using your journal to manage projects around the home.  I am going to use an 8x8 Archer & Olive journal, but they will work in other sizes too.

Remember you can also find a video of my steps at the end of this page if you prefer to watch.  I have also created printable pages to help you save time in your journal.

Supplies needed

8x8 green journal with supplies (pens, ruler, washi, stickers)

I really love the 8x8 size journals for larger layouts which will be useful today.  The ideas behind these pages will work in any sized journal though.  You can take a look at what Archer & Olive journals are currently available here.  

In addition to a journal, some of the ideas I am sharing today will also need pens such as the calliographs and a writing pen.  A ruler and pencil will also be useful.  It’s always nice to add some simple decoration too and Archer and Olive have some lovely themed washi and stickers.

zoomed in teal flower washi tape

If you are looking to purchase anything from Archer & Olive, please use ‘Alex10’ to save 10%. This is an affiliate code, so it allows you to support creators like me too.

1. Room Update Planning

Open page divided into 4 sections

When time or finances allow you to make improvements at home, it maybe hard to prioritise what to focus on first.  Sometimes you are so used to seeing a room as it is, you may miss something that you always intended to replace or improve.  For example, I finished painting a room 2 years ago but still haven’t added lampshades to the wall lights! I have just got used to them as they are.

In order to really focus on what you can do in a room I have created a list divided into categories.  This works well as a grid in an 8x8 journal but can also just be a simple bulleted list with headers.

I dedicate one page per room and using the calliograph brush pens, create a title.

green inked title ‘living room’ in centre of page

I then divide the page into 4 sections:

  • To Do First
  • To Do One Day
  • What to Buy
  • Research

To Do First - these are the priorities in the room.  Does anything need fixing or annoys you every time you walk in the room.  Maybe you need to declutter a shelving unit or wash some blankets.

To Do first title close up

To Do One Day - these may be less obvious but try to really look at the space and find something that needs up cycling, repairing or replacing.  Could you plan to save for new furniture for example.

corner of page with title one day

What to Buy - Once you know the areas you want to improve or items to replace, make a list ready for purchases.  This may include painting supplies for bigger projects or just a new light bulb or decorative accessories.

corner of page with green pen title ‘to buy’

Research - If you do decide on changes and improvements you may want to research items ahead of purchase.  This could be reviews ahead of a TV upgrade, researching different lighting types or just browsing for new cushions!

bottom right of page with title ‘research’ in green pen

Finally I often use washi tape and stickers to add some simple decoration to a page.

finished page with added washi tape and stickers

2. House Project by room

If you need a broader overview of your home, especially after a house move, you may find a more visual list suits your needs.  When you feel overwhelmed by tasks around the house and they do all need doing, perhaps try a bulleted list for each room within a sketch of your house.

House outline in pencil on open 8x8 journal page

I have used an 8x8 journal for this page but again it can be adapted for other sizes too. Start by simplifying your home into a sketch which includes a block for each of the rooms.  The calliographs brush pens work well to outline each room by colour if this helps make them stand out.  The broader tip is perfect for a wider lines and the narrow end for smaller details, for example a room name. 

Close up photo of house outline with colours per room

Once you have completed the outline, you can create a bulleted list per room.  Try to prioritise the main tasks in order to complete the project.  

Final page with house outline and names of rooms

You could also use this type of page to plan a whole house declutter or even a decorating project with a supplies list per room (colour/amount of paint to buy etc).

3. When did I last (for the house)

You may have seen this type of page before as it’s very useful to note down less frequent task and when you last completed them. Where better to do this than within your journal.  You may find it easy to add into a calendar overview, but alternatively try dedicating a page to this.

Open journal (8x8) with when did I last title and 3 items listed

I created a title using the calliograph brush pens.  Under this title, write a list of house tasks that only need completing every 3/6/12 months.  Try to focus on longer term ones that you are more likely to forget when you last completed.

To the right of the page I have added 4 lines per task to add the date when it is completed.

Completed page with title 'when did I last' and 6 items

Adding washi tape and from Archer and Olive filled any blank space and added a decorative touch too.

4. Home Renovations Timeline

Have you created a timeline page in your journal?  It can be a useful way to visualise a longer term project, especially for something like moving house or building works.  You don’t need to include specific dates either, in this example we break it down into seasons.

Open journal with line and boxes with words ‘moving day’ in the first one

For this timeline I used a double page spread in an 8x8 journal to maximise space.  I added boxes to a central line and then colour coded the line to winter/spring/summer/autumn.  There should be space to add a title too.

Open journal with title in green ‘Daisy Cottage’

I then planned out the main tasks, project and purchases that would be likely for moving house.  But this can be applied to building works, a garden project or just focus on one room with a weeks not months timescale.

Open journal with completed time line - top page
open journal with completed timeline bottom half

Printable and Video

Please take a look at the printable below to save you time creating similar pages in your journal. 

Thumbnail of available printables

Don’t forget to watch the video to see more on this process too.



8x8 journal and accessories

I hope you have found this article useful in helping you with ideas to manage some house projects this year.

For more journal inspiration come and say hello @thejournalcorner. We always love to see your creations, so please tag @archerandolive or use #aoshare on Instagram.

The Archer & Olive blog has a lot of articles to help inspire your journaling and improve your home.  Perhaps you are in need of a clear out, take a look at this bullet journal spread.  Maybe you are thinking about improving the garden or use your journal to help make decisions on your home project. There are also more ideas for using an 8x8 sized journal here.

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