It’s the season of resolutions and fresh starts. But where exactly do you start? A good jumping-off point can be right in the comfort of your own home. Check out these eight things you can do at home to help take you into a more organized 2017.
The First To-Do Is A To-Do List
Here’s your first “to-do”. Make your to-do list.
Whether it’s the notepad on your phone, the old-fashioned pen and paper, or one of the countless organization apps in the app store, pick a to-do list you’re going to remember about and that you’re going to use. We’re starting with eight things for an organized 2017, but chances are you will think of more along the way. Choose a medium that’s easy to refer back to, and always close by.
A New Calendar
With all the electronic devices in our lives, something like a calendar may seem old-fashioned. But it can be fun to find yourself a calendar that suits your style - choose one filled with images of beautiful landscapes, motivational quotes, or even have one printed with family photos. Then hang it in a high-traffic area of your home, such as the kitchen, where it can serve as both a reminder and a décor piece.
Once it’s tacked up on the wall, it’s time to populate it. Jump on the phone and start booking your appointments for the year. Yes, for the entire year. Medical, dental, chiropractic, financial, vehicle; whatever your list consists of. Why not get as much as you can scheduled in at the start of the year? It saves last minute juggling of appointments or putting it off altogether!
Change With The Seasons
As the seasons change, so too does our apparel. Rather than rummaging through drawers and closets, desperately searching for the appropriate item for the appropriate temperature, re-organize in advance. Pull hats and mitts out, pair them together, and throw them in a bin that can be easily accessed by all.
Move bulky winter wear to the front of the closet and push spring and summer wear to the back. It’s all about making sure things are easily accessible. It helps you get out the door, saving time and energy. When the season changes, simply rotate the wardrobe.
The Kitchen Cabinets
The kitchen is a busy place in the home. If you tend to play a tug-of-war with pots and pans, or find yourself on your tiptoes reaching over mounds of dishware, take a step back, pause, and ask: what do I use most often?
Re-organize cabinets and drawers to bring your most frequently used dishware to the front. If you simply don’t have enough room, consider a hanging rack or hooks on the walls or do a purge and get rid of what you don't need. Pots and pans that are used less frequently could be stored toward the back of your cabinets, or even in another room. Your kitchen may remain busy, but it will be much more functional.
A Flexible Budget
A common misconception about budgeting is that it needs to be strict. This is true to an extent, but it will actually be easier to stick to your budget if you leave some room for flexibility. You can find budgeting programs online that can give you a better idea of where you have more flexibility, and where you need to be firm.
Another idea that can help you with budgeting and organizing your finances is to get your taxes in order. Gather receipts and start adding up deductions early. This way, you are able to send in your tax return earlier, or at least be prepared in advance. It's all about trying to see a full picture of your financial status for the upcoming year, making it easier to make necessary adjustments along the way.
Tackle The Piles
We’ve all had them. The dreaded pile on the dining room table, or the kitchen countertop, or even the bedroom dresser. Unfortunately, ignoring the pile doesn’t make the pile go away. It’s not the most exciting activity but it’ll reduce stress in the year ahead; that’s a guarantee.
Whether it’s a filing cabinet, a shoebox, or the Cloud, get your papers filed away. Recycle what’s not needed. And here’s a bonus tip, most utility and cellular companies and financial institutions offer bills via email. If you’re looking to cut down on paper in 2017, switch to online bills.
And Computer Files
If you’re already filing away your papers, you might as well take care of your computer files as well. If you’ve got emails flagged in your inbox, there’s no better time to fire off some responses right now. If you work from home, dedicate some time to cleaning up your desktop. We all get behind in responding to emails, but a new year is an opportunity to get back on track, or even get ahead.
We understand! It’s tough to stay organized all year round. Life gets busy; that’s a fact. But between closets, calendars, cabinets, and budgets, there’s a lot you can do to get ahead of the game and start the year off organized.
The great thing about getting organized early is when things start to slip it's easier to recover. Many transitions in our day-to-day lives follow the cycle of the seasons. Our last piece of advice: do a little re-organizing at the start of each quarter. It just might help this 2017 resolution end up a success.