How I Prepare For the New Year
Being a planner and organizer at heart, there's nothing I love more than a fresh new year! Since I have time off around the holidays, I like to take some of that time to clean out, organize, and take care of those pesky tasks that I put off during the year. It really helps me to go into he new year feeling refreshed and balanced! Here are some of the categories I make sure to conquer:
I deep clean my house multiple times throughout the year, but I feels fitting to give it a nice deep clean at the very end of the year. I'm talking cleaning the blinds, inside of window panes, baseboards, clean out the fridge, all of the tasks that can get shoved to the back burner during the business of the holiday season. Nothing beats starting out the new year in a fresh, clean home!
Purge & Organize
I also like to take time to focus on one area of my house to purge and organize at a time. For example, I might start with my closet and go through and take inventory of what I have. If I see items that don't fit, I don't like, or haven't worn in over a year, I purge them and make a big bag to donate. This helps me create a closet full of items I really love and space for new purchases I may make in the new year. Next, I'll move on to my bathroom and purge/reorganize my drawers and bathroom closet. I do the same with linen closets, our office, kitchens drawers, coat closet, until each room of the house has been cleaned out and reorganized.
I also take advantage of this time of year to restock our gift closet. I could do a separate post on this, but I keep a separate section in our office closet where I store gift wrap and various gifts that are great to have on hand. This has been so helpful when a last minute get together comes up, a birthday sneaks up on us, or we need to put together a gift basket for someone but don't have a lot of time to stop by the store and figure out what to get. I pick up all kinds of gift items throughout the year when I see a great sale or something unique and add them to the closet. After the holidays, our supply gets a little depleted, so its a great time to stock up for the new year.
That's right, phones need organizing too. I am the absolute worst about having 4,678 emails and 18,000 photos on my phone. It's ridiculous, and although it does cause me some level of stress deep down, its not physical clutter so it always gets put on the back burner and the chaos that is my phone just grows more and more out of control. The end of the year is the perfect time to take inventory of your phone. Scroll through your camera roll and delete screenshots or duplicate pictures. Go through your email and delete junk and unsubscribe from all those annoying emails you don't wan to receive. Even just taking 10 minutes a day to work on this until you get it organized makes such a difference! Once you've cleaned up your photos, make sure to back your phone up to your computer and save all your photos from the year - maybe even print some of your favorites to display in frames or create a photo book of your memories from the year.
My planner is my life. There's just something about having an actual planner where you can cross off completed items, add sticky notes, and use colored pens that cannot be replaced by a phone calendar. I use mine for the monthly spread as well as daily and weekly to-do lists. I have my new planner ready for 2019 and I'll be taking time over the next few days to fill in birthdays, important dates, travel, and appointments for the new year.
After filling out your planner and taking a look at what you have going on in the coming year, its a great time to analyze your budget as well. If you have a big trip coming up or a big life event you need to save for, go ahead and work that into your budget now. I am by no means a budget expert and I tend to spend more than I save, but I'm trying to be better this year about spending actual money (not reaching for a credit card so often) and saving up for trips and events ahead of time. I know so many that swear by Dave Ramsey's envelope system, and while I don't think his exact system is for me, I plan to tweak it to fit my needs this year.
I'm talking real, achievable goals. Not "I'm going to work out 6 days a week" or "I'm going to eat healthy every single day." Those are the classic new years goals that people stick with for exactly one month. Or, if you're me, one week. But take a minute to self assess and determine your goals and your situation. If you don't work out at all, could you commit to once or twice a week? If you hate to cook, could you commit to making one healthy, homemade meal per week? If you want to spend more time with your family, could you commit to one additional family night per week or cancel one of your other activities? Probably so. I find I stick with my goals better when I have a detailed plan. Instead of "I want to work out more" I would come up with my motivation behind it and the steps I'm going to take to reach my goal. For example, if I want to look great at the beach in June, my goal now has a motivator and a deadline. Then, I add in the steps to get there - " I will walk or bike once a week and do one workout dvd per week". You can even plan ahead and add more intensity to your workout each month. The biggest takeaway is to take an honest approach with yourself and make sure you are creating an achievable and well thought out goal. That way, you're setting yourself up for success!
So, how exactly does one tackle all of this? Don't attempt it all in one day! Make a note in your phone and break down the days/evenings you have available. Give yourself just 2-3 tasks per day or even one each evening if you don't have much time off. Think of something enjoyable you want to do that day and tell yourself you can't do it until your list is complete. Ex: I can't watch my favorite show until I complete today's task, or I can't spend my Christmas gift cards until I complete today's task. If you hold yourself to it, chances are you'll be checking tasks off of your to-do list in no time! Don't forget to enjoy your holiday time and spend time with family and friends too. Just break this up into manageable chunks so you can rest and relax, while also prepping for the best new year yet!