The start of a new year is like hitting a reset button. It feels like the world is your oyster again, and you get the opportunity to do things differently. However, much like with new year’s resolutions, we get blinded by the optimism a new year brings and don’t actually end up doing anything differently. Well I say, that needs to end. A new year does mean a fresh start, and so this year I am actually going to use it.
It’s always such a refreshing feeling to start a new year on a good note, and what better note could that be than to get organised? Over the years, I’ve felt how satisfying it is to start off the new year by improving on things done last year, purging my life of unnecessary items and adding routines to my day to become more productive. Plus, by getting your life organised right at the beginning of the year, it doesn’t become a task that gets more and more daunting the longer you leave it. By getting organised in Jan, you have your entire year ahead of you and won’t be stressing about closet spring cleaning or an overflowing inbox in June or July. Plus, it also sets the tone for having an organised and successful year if you just get started now. So, let’s do that! This is the list of things I do at the start of every year, with some new additions, so that I can start off my year in a clean, organised environment and with all the tools ready for organised success. Why not give it a try yourself?
Christmas is over (just give me a second to wipe the tears out of my eyes) so that unfortunately means it is time to undeck the halls. The tree needs to come down, the lights turned off, and all the decorations packed away into their boxes. So, why not use that as an opportunity to organise? Now is the PERFECT time to organise and sort out all of your seasonal decorations as you put them away! Throw anything away that you either never use anymore, is broken or looking too tattered to repurpose. Detangle lights and pack them away neatly. Then, sort and organise the rest of your decorations colour or theme and pack them accordingly into tubs or boxes. I’d highly recommend packing fragile decorations in a separate box (wrapped in tissue paper) just so that they don’t get damaged accidentally. Now you’re already ready for Christmas next year!
Purge your closets
Is it just me or do we all seem to collect far more clothes than we can wear? I’m not a massive fan of shopping, but even I go out occasionally and treat myself to a few new outfits. However, my clothing options may be expanding, but my closet space certainly isn’t, and soon there just isn’t enough space to fit all my clothes. Am I the only one who experiences this? Well, the start of the new year is the perfect time to purge your closets. Take everything out and try it on. If it no longer fits, then why bother keeping it? If it is ruined and can’t be fixed, throw it out. If you have no intention of ever wearing it again, make a pile of all clothes you are no longer keeping and donate them to charity. Just because you aren’t wearing them, that doesn’t mean someone else won’t get plenty of benefits from it. Then, when you’re done with that, you won’t have to dig through a massive pile of shirts you never wear just to find the only one you like. You and your clothes will have closet space to spare.
Spring clean your room
There is just something so satisfying about having a neat, tidy and organised room. You know where everything is, and the space doesn’t seem cluttered. By decluttering (whether it is your room, closet, house, etc.), you open your space, save time in the future and learn to prioritise the essentials you actually need. Why not start the year with that kind of good feeling, seeing as you’re already on a roll from your cupboards and closets? Box, or donate all the things that no longer serve a purpose being in your room. Throw away things that no longer work. Go through all of your cables, books, stationary etc. and organise them in a way that you can find them quickly. What I like to do is that if an area of my room is cluttered, I put all of that stuff on my bed. Then, I sift through it all slowly and put it away. Why I do that is because that way I declutter the space first, and know that I can only relax on my bed once all of the stuff is off it. Once that’s done, you will be able to take a deep breath out knowing your room is tidy and organised, ready for the year ahead.
P.S. for more tips about cleaning your room quickly and easily, check out this blog post! https://tallblondetales.com/2019/05/04/how-to-speed-clean-your-room-in-seven-easy-steps/
I may not be the main chef in my family, but I know how many hours it takes out of the day to cook for a family. Why do we need to sacrifice so much of our time? Well, there is nothing wrong with cooking, or making arrangements to eat healthily from home, but sometimes we don’t do our cooking efficiently and so end up wasting a lot of precious time that isn’t necessary. So, this year I’m going to try especially hard to simplify mealtimes. For instance, decreasing the number of times a week we go to the grocery store because that is a waste of time and the more times we go in a week just indicates bad planning more than anything else. Also, try meal planning or prepping so that you waste less time in the evening doing things that could have been sorted in advance. Another blessing is the slow cooker, which we will definitely try to use more, but also splitting the load. If more than one member of the family can and likes to cook, why not set up a schedule where you take turns making dinner. That saves time for everyone.
Declutter your digital devices
Hey, it happens. We store thousands of photos on our phones without sifting through them or saving them to google drive/icloud etc. or we never clean out our email inboxes. Unfortunately, all of that means tons of space being used up unnecessarily, it slows your device down and makes it harder for you to find a photo or email you might need. So, I’d highly suggest taking a day out and completely decluttering your digital devices. With the amount of time we spend on them, I’d say it is critical. Take the time to delete any apps you don’t need, sort out your photos, back them up and then delete ones you don’t need on your phone. Go through your social media and sift through your followers and who you follow. By having a device that is clutter-free and easy to navigate through, you will feel free (and have tons more data space).
Create a morning routine
Imagine you just want to maximise every extra minute of sleep you can get, so you prolong getting out of bed for as long as possible, and then once you’re up, everything is chaotic trying to get ready for your day in a stress-free manner. Then you find out that you’ve forgotten half your things at home in your race out the door. Your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day, so if your morning is chaotic and dysfunctional, that’s not exactly starting off your day on a stride for success. Having a morning routine can bring order and peace to your day before it’s even really started, plus, by getting up an hour or so before you actually need to, you give yourself so much extra time to do things like exercise, journal, read or just enjoy a cup of tea at a mellow pace. If you have a morning routine that works for you, you’ll start your day ready and in control which will mean a positive mood, plenty of energy and ready to show up without one ounce of fluster. Doesn’t that just sound perfect?
For tips or an example of a good morning routine, you can get into, check out this blog post! https://tallblondetales.com/2019/09/28/10-tips-for-having-a-great-start-to-the-day-including-good-morning-habits-and-routines-that-can-help-you-start-the-day-strong/
Stop hitting the snooze
How can you take on 2020 if you can’t even get out of bed in the morning? As harmless as hitting the snooze button may seem, what it does is teach your brain that your commitment to getting up and starting the day is weak, or even non-existent. This can spiral into your mind, repeating this in other, more essential instances than just getting out of bed in the morning, and that is not a good habit to start. To resist the temptation to hit the snooze, put your alarm on the other side of the room and then go to the bathroom and brush your teeth. That way you’re a little bit more awake, a lot less tempted to go back to bed and ready to start your day with plenty of time. Commit to getting out of bed when you say instead of hitting the snooze – you’ll get so much more time in your day that way.
Set a priority/goal for the day
Setting yourself a goal or priority for the day is always a good idea. Not because it forces you to do something, but it keeps you on track and gives you something to strive for. It is always lovely at the end of the day to know you did something productive or achieved a small goal. Every morning I write myself a short to-do list, and if there aren’t too many things to do, I assign myself a goal (anything from organising my bookshelf to spending a few hours playing with my dogs). Then, by the end of the day, you know that, even if it was a relaxing day at home, you still did/achieved something, which is always a good thing.
Diaries, calendars and more
Probably the best way to get organised is to get an organiser. That’s right. I’m talking about one of my favourite things here. Diaries, calendars, schedules and all the rest. We are all so busy that it is impossible to remember everything we have planned, and it’s always useful to have a heads up for approaching deadlines or trips. What could be more useful in those circumstances than diaries and calendars? I have a diary that I carry on me so that I know what I need to get done during the day (because the worst is getting home, thinking you’re done, only to discover you forgot three things off your list) and a desk calendar at home so I can plan things a little in advance. Don’t let things take you by surprise and stay on top of your dates and commitments so if you’ve never really gotten into diaries before, now is the time. Take it from someone who has multiple, my diaries and calendars have literally saved my butt on so many occasions.
And so there you have it! We all deserve to start the new year off on a good note, and so I hope that, if you take any of these tips, that it does that for you. Remember though, these things don’t just magically maintain themselves for a whole year. You need to continually put in a little time to keep building on all the excellent foundation you’ve just laid. Anyway, I just want to thank you all so much for reading today’s blog post. Please let me know if there is anything you want me to write about, and don’t forget to hit that like button and subscribe. I wish you all an incredibly organised and productive 2020!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx