Already feeling like you need more organization in your life? Here are some simple things you can do to help get ahead.
The past few weeks have been a welcome break.
Later bedtimes, later wake times, and less deadlines.
But now it’s the new year and now it’s time to get going. Everywhere I turn people are posting about their goals, resolutions, and specific dreams for this year. While I love seeing others’ enthusiasm… it’s also made me stressed.
It’s made me feel anxious I’m already behind on this year and it’s barely begun.
So in an effort to feel like this upcoming year is under my control, I made a list of simple things to do and have been knocking them off one-by-one.
And you know what?
It feels amazing.
7 Simple Things You Can Do To Prepare Your Family For The Whole Year
If you want to feel more settled, ordered, and organized for the new year then take a few hours over the next week or two and knock these out one by one. You’ll already feel less anxious and stressed about what the year holds.
Get A Planner & Add Important Dates
I normally buy a planner that goes the school year (August to the next December), but if you’ve recently purchased a planner then now’s the time to add in all the dates you can. Just having a paper planner is a lifesaver. If you are a digital planner than get out your calendar online and fill in those important dates as well.
When I add in an important date, I may also go back a few weeks and put a reminder to buy a present or book a reservation, etc.
Dates to Add In:
- Holidays you celebrate
- When you need to begin preparing for something (i.e. 2 weeks out from Thanksgiving, etc.)
Make Yearly Appointments For All Family Members
It’s much easier to remember to go to an appointment than it is to make it. Choose a month of the year to do certain appointments (i.e. dentist appointments every January and June) and book those out in advance. You can add them into the planner you purchased above or into your digital calendar and set reminders. I’m not great at remembering to make appointments off the cuff, but doing it in advance ensures it gets done.
Appointments To Make
- Dental cleanings (at least once, preferably twice a year)
- Female check-ups for mom
- Appointments with specialists (allergies, etc.)
- Follow-ups for all previous diagnoses, procedures, etc.
Add School Calendar And Standing Events In Planner
If your children at in school, you can easily access the school’s yearly calendar by going to the county website. They’ll have a PDF version available for you with most events for the remainder of the year. Add in things to your planner so you’ll be prepared. Again, you can put in reminders a week or two in advance if you need to do anything beforehand.
Events to Add
- School starting and closing dates
- School holidays
- Spring Break and Winter Break
- Tryouts and sport season information
- Standardized testing dates
Get Thank You Notes & Stamp Them
One of the best things I’ve done recently is to pre-stamp my thank you card envelopes. I’ve just purchased some regular cards and will pre-stamp those as well. This means when it crosses your mind to write a note, jot down a thanks, or say a simple “I’m thinking of you” then you can do it in a few minutes and get it done.
Busy moms have the best of intentions, but a shortcut like this will mean you get the thoughts out of your head and into the mailbox without the mental barriers.
Reference Info For Notes And Stamps
- You can buy stamps online
- I buy our thank you cards and personalized cards from Vistaprint (half the price of Shutterfly or Minted)
- Minted (high quality)
Add Vacations In Calendar And Book What You Can
Last year, I booked the entire year’s worth of vacations in one sitting. It was exhilarating to know it was all done and as each trip came nearer, all we had to do was pay the balance and make some to do lists. If you know you want to go somewhere for spring break, Memorial Day weekend, or Thanksgiving, look ahead and if you’re able, go ahead and book.
The vacation rental by owner sites usually require 50% at the time of booking, but hotels will often reserve your spot with a credit card but no money down.
- National Parks
- Trivago (get the cheapest rate at your desired hotel)
Update (Or Create) Your Household Binder
If you like the idea of a central command zone where most of the pertinent household information is located, get a homemaking binder. You can get a 3 ring binder from your local store and then fill it with the essentials. Photocopies of driver’s licenses, passport information. Copies of bills so each adult in the house can locate the necessary phone and account numbers if they need to take care of business.
From budgeting info to favorite recipes, a household binder will help you feel immediately more organized and in control of the household administrative duties.
Grab It: Print Your Household Binder Here (currently at 30% off)
Revisit Budget & Tweak What Didn’t Work
Look at your budget again. If you are like me then the monthly budget is much the same from month to month. Before you roll it all over without another thought, check it out again. Look at your line items. Are there any things you can take off you don’t use anymore? Any you’d like to add so the budget is slightly more conservative, ensuring you don’t go over?
Check Out These Line Items
- Subscriptions (Netflix, Sirius, cable, etc.)
- Spending $
- Fun $
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