Using a Bullet Journal for OCC Shoebox Organization


You all know I’m a big fan of packing Christmas shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. You can read previous posts on this subject here, herehere, here, here and here.

I’m off to a good start this year by using my new bullet journal pages to track what I need and what I already have. Yes, I’ve taken to carrying one journal with me, but still use the system I outlined here for my journaling. This one I carry with me is like a note pad to jot things down to remember.

RULE CHANGE for 2017:




I try to pack every box with a Malawian village child or a former USSR-country orphan in mind. It’s up to the God where the boxes go, but that’s how I choose to shop. I track my boxes and was pleased to see my prayers, while not answered EXACTLY by country, at least they went to areas with the same sort of needs. The two cold weather boxes I packed went to a country with mountains and cold nights, so someone is sleeping in nice warm pajamas this year!

To me this is a personal mission for both me and the recipient. I bargain shop like a maniac, but I always stop and ask myself: “Would I have been willing to buy this for [my kids]?” Note, I don’t ask “Would they have begged for it?” Unlike many today I almost never took my kids shopping with me for clothes.  I know I could fund many more shoeboxes buying wholesale lots of the same thing–and there is a great need for that–but I enjoy doing as many “personalized” boxes as I can. It feels more like giving a real Christmas gift then. I always color-coordinate the bandana and hair accessories to the top I send in a girl’s box. Regardless of age or gender, every box gets a covered cup with a straw or a water bottle. Clean water must be kept clean!

Some of my recent bargains for 2017 Shoeboxes:




  1. Soccer/basketball pumps for $1 each at Dollar Tree
  2. $1 knit dress, brand new!! at Wal-Mart
  3. 2 pairs of cute girls shoes for $1 and $2
  4. 1 free tote bag of good material with cute graphic [Thanks My son was THRILLED that I got him a shirt from there and gave me the tote bag for a shoebox]
  5. Brand new Chaps shirt for an older boy $3
  6. Valentine’s bandanas with no words just cute colors and a few hearts $0.10 at Wal-Mart
  7. I found the Barbie for under $3 at my Kroger


I decided to do an on-going inventory page(s) in my journal so I could better picture what I had better and to curb impulse purchases. I also had a stash of these blue baskets (below) and, amazingly, created an almost empty bookcase so I am working on a “packing station” that I will show in a later post.



Things never to bother buying:

Kleenex. This baffles me. Do Americans really think everyone knows what this is? It will become, at best, toilet paper (nice, but they “work around” this problem all the time) and people blow their noses everywhere in the world.What a waste of box space! Ok?

Deodorant: Ultimate first-world product. Not sustainable in use. Becomes trash. Just no. It is only used in the first-world. Skip it.

Tampons: Culturally inappropriate in many societies due to virginity taboos. Also, having an insufficient supply means over-use and that can lead to Toxic Shock. If you only have one tampon for several days…… [Same is true in donating to Women’s Shelters]. Remember, when packing sanitary products do so DISCREETLY. How would your daughter feel about unwrapping a bag of Kotex on Christmas morning? Cloth pads can easily be made or bought on Etsy for reasonable pries (I buy them) but make sure they are dark colors and in a dark cloth bag. Include a few Ziplock freezer bags for soaking and carrying used pads home from school.


RULE CHANGE for 2017:



New to OCC Shoeboxes? Read How to Pack A Box

Have you started shopping for your Shoeboxes? Do you only do items you get free? Do you make anything to go in boxes? Leave me a comment–I love to hear what others do for this super cause!






Note: You are entirely free to like or dislike anything, but negative comments on the organization profiled here will be deleted. This is not a forum for discussing religious differences or disagreement. Thank you.


5 thoughts on “Using a Bullet Journal for OCC Shoebox Organization

  1. sjbraun

    No candy — seriously?? I always felt like that would be a huge treat for kids 😦 Anyway, I like your idea of keeping track in a journal. I just buy throughout the year, and consequently often don’t have things turn out evenly … heading to search for a notebook.


  2. ohmummymia

    sounds awesome! I’ve never heard about it so I need to read more and I think I will try to do that shoebox:)


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