How many times have you seen a notebook in the store and thought “Oh, I need this!” Only to discover 30 unused notebooks at home? What about promising, or even making a resolution, to journal every day? You may stick with it for a week or so, but soon that journal gets abandoned. The notebook gets shoved in a drawer or cupboard with all the others. Or perhaps, notebooks are where you keep your story ideas. You want to write a novel, but haven’t quite gotten around to it yet. Then the January Use It Up Challenge is for you! This month, we are focusing on notebooks.
January Use It Up Challenge – Notebooks
What is the Use It Up Challenge?
This is a monthly decluttering challenge that focuses on using the items instead of simply getting rid of them. This helps to reduce waste and also gets your money worth out of those items. Each month, a new category is chosen and we will focus on that category all month long. However, you don’t have to stop once that month ends. Keep decluttering and using up those items all year long. It will have a huge impact on your home and life at the end of the year.
If you are joining in, be sure to share your progress on social media using #IHUseItUp. I’d love to see how everyone is getting along with the challenge.
Where to start?
First, let’s take a moment to gather all of the notebooks that we have. Search every drawer, closet, nook, and cranny. Make a pile of them. You might be surprised at how large it gets. Doing this will give you a visual representation of how many notebooks you have. If you are like me, you probably have more than you need.
Second, let’s sort them into two categories. Used and unused. Flip through each notebook to determine if it has previously been used. Make a pile for each category. This is another way of realizing how few notebooks you have actually used. You may be feeling a bit disgusted with yourself at this point. All that money spent on notebooks and so few of them used. Just remember, we are going to be working on this. That’s part of the challenge. You need to know where you are before you can start.
Lastly, sort the used notebooks into categories. Are some journals? What about novel ideas? Perhaps a few are notes for other projects. Know what each notebook was used for. That way, you can continue to use them for that specific purpose. It’s okay if some notebooks cover multiple categories. Those can be used as general notepads for when you need to jot something down.
Which ones to use?
Now that they have been sorted, it’s time to decide which you will use up first. Which ones you choose will be completely up to you and depend on what the purpose of those notebooks is. You can choose a single notebook or multiple ones. However, keep in mind that you are working on using them, filling every single page with something, so don’t get overzealous. Once you have one notebook filled, you can move onto another.
With your notebooks picked out, decide what to use them for. On top of this, make sure you are setting aside time to actually use them. For journaling, make sure you set up a daily time to do so. Adding journaling to your morning routine is a great way to ensure it gets done regularly. Should your notebook be for general use, make sure that it is easy to access. And don’t forget to keep a pen with it! There’s nothing worse than needing to jot something down but not being able to find a pen or pencil anywhere.
Remember, while the focus for January is notebooks, the challenge does not end with the month. By using your notebooks every day this month, you will be setting up a habit that should stick with you for the rest of the year. Keep using them until they are all done.
What I’m using up
I have selected five notebooks to focus on.
The first notebook is for journaling. My plan is, to journal every day – something I have been doing for a few weeks now. It’s something I do in the morning, and occasionally, in the evening. At this point, it’s just random thoughts that pop into my head, however, one day I would like to use some journal prompts as well.
Next is another notebook that will also be used daily. It has been my goal to learn Japanese and one of the areas I am working on is writing and reading comprehension. This is where I will be practicing Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. This is an unlined notebook, which will allow me to write bigger to start with, while I get used to the characters.
Two are for novel ideas. These may be the slowest to fill up. I often make notes in Word instead of in a notebook. However, as I am putting more time into writing, especially finishing my current WIP, I know these notebooks will come in handy.
Lastly, the catchall notebook that sits on my desk. Any time I need to jot something down, whether it’s a reminder to do something, a blog post idea, or a grocery list, that’s the one I turn to. This is my most used notebook, as I know I have burned through several of them over the years. So, I am confident that this one will fill up relatively quickly.
Are you joining me for the January Use It Up Challenge? How many notebooks do you have lying around the house? What do you plan to do with them?