By Vicki Little
Hopefully by now the dust of the holidays is settling and your home is starting to look normal again. Perhaps you have made some resolutions (maybe even already broken a few) and you are enjoying the peace that comes with school starting again. Now that you can breathe, there are a few things you should take care of before January ends, things you should make into traditions — kind of like changing the battery in the smoke detectors during daylight savings time. Here are 6 things you should do every January.
- Organize Your Finance Folder, Insurance, and Mail. Pull out a clean folder and label it 2016 so you can neatly file any tax papers and put that 2015 folder in a safe place for tax time. Look at your insurance policy to make sure it is up-to-date and nothing needs to be added or adjusted. Make sure your insurance cards are current. Finally, shred any mail that you have been holding on to but don’t need, or file the things you do need. Make sure you have stamps, checks (if you still use them!), thank you cards, and address labels for the new year.
- Update Your Will. It is never exactly fun to create or update a will, but having a will is necessary. Take the time to make sure it is updated and correct now.
- Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinets. Take a bit of inventory and check for expiration dates. Restock Band-Aids, creams, and medicines that you know you will need. If you have prescription drugs that are no longer being used or that are expired, dispose of them properly at a local disposal site.
- Organize Your Technology. Update passwords, delete emails, clear out old folders, empty the recycling bin and delete unwanted pictures. Ideally, technology is something that should be cleaned up twice a year. Check out this technological spring cleaning article for a complete checklist.
- Clean Out Your Pantry, Fridge and Freezer. You will probably be surprised at how many of your spices and salad dressings are expired, and even more surprised at what is hiding in the back of your freezer! January is always a great time to have “mixed stews, ” or unique dishes using whatever you have that needs to be used up…. like those 10 cans of green beans you have been stockpiling. Maybe make a green bean casserole with some ham in it!
- Update Your Planner/Calendar and Appointments. What used to be a thin, paper planner has turned into a magnificent “family organization system.” Whatever method works best for you, try to find only one that has everything you need in one spot. Then go through and make sure everyone’s special days are included, numbers are updated, recurring events are set up and correct, and everything is organized for the new year. This is also the perfect time to schedule physicals, eye and teeth exams, and any other necessary medical appointments. Don’t forget your furry family members’ appointments as well!
Vicki Little is a work-at-home mom with two young kids. A Colorado native, she is the Publisher and Editor of Macaroni Kid Aurora and Downtown Denver. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, reading, camping, or enjoying a bottle of wine with friends.
Want more great content from The Mother List? Sign up here!