New Year Kick-Off Tips
Time saving and organization is about planning and multi-tasking. A little investment now will give you big dividends throughout the year. Here are our tips for starting a new year off right!
1. Whether you use a smart phone, an on-line calendar or a traditional wall-mounted version, start the new year off by posting birthdays, travel dates, doctor appointments and reminders for routine maintenance or renewals for the whole year now. If your calendar is electronic, schedule events to repeat where appropriate. Annual events such as car inspections, oil changes or even ordering your Thanksgiving turkey will automatically come up year after year and keep you on track with minimal effort.
2. When you take holiday decorations down, evaluate the items you left in the box. Will you ever use them? Some may have sentimental value such as children’s crafts but others exist for the what if factor..as in what if I need this later on. If you haven’t used a decoration in 3-4 years, let it go to someone who will.
3. Create four sets of files; one for monthly expenses, one for annual expenses that will reported on a tax return such as medical receipts, another for permanent records such as account numbers and legal documents, and a third for home improvements that will be deducted as capital improvements should you ever sell your home.
4. Create binders for all your manuals and warranty documents. Staple the sales receipt inside the manual so it’s easy to find when you need service. File by manufacturer. Now when you bring home that new camera, you know exactly where the manuals should go instead of tossing them in a drawer, never to be found again.
5. Why save a whole magazine if there’s only one article you really want? Clip the articles out, organize them by topic and place in binders using clear protectors. You will have a concise library to reference.
6. No drawer should go undivided. That’s right. Drawer dividers create better space that you can easily find things in. This is obvious for a desk pencil drawer but the concept works just as well for sock and underwear drawers or kitchen and craft cabinets.
7. Store December gift wrap separate from all others. You only use it once a year. Why search through it when you are trying to wrap for a birthday or baby shower.
8. Plan your summer now. Ok, we know this sounds crazy but how often have you said “I don’t know where the time went? I never did half the things I wanted to do.” Get your calendar out and now, when you have plenty of time to think about it, outline of all the things you would like to do. Pencil them in before something else sucks up your time.
9. Some of our most organized people prepare their greeting cards for the year in advance including stamping the envelope. For the truly time challenged, there is something to be said for only having to drop that birthday card in the mail rather than run to a store on short notice.
10. Keep a slip of paper in your wallet or a note in your phone for jotting down gift suggestions. Holiday gift shopping a year from now will be so much easier with this to refer too.