20 Organizing and Time-Saving Productivity Tips for the New Year
1) The hanger helper: when hanging your clothes up in your closet, put the hanger facing backwards. After six months, whatever still has hangers facing backwards, it's time to purge those items from your closet.
2) Music mess: alphabetize your CD collection A-Z by last name in the following genre categories: pop/rock, classical, soundtracks and compilations.
3) Tame the crazy cords: When storing cords or cables, bind each one up with a rubber band first. It helps keep them tidy.
4) Buy a label maker: It is vital to help stay tidy and know what you have. It’s an organizational must-have.
5) Reduce paper clutter: Sort out junk mail immediately and recycle it before it even enters the house.
6) Keep reducing paper clutter: Shred all paperwork except for financial statements, legal documents or income taxes. 8 out of 1 O pieces of paper you save will never get touched again; and if you do accidentally toss something you may look for later, most likely the information is available on the internet.
7) Work on decluttering: Don't be afraid to re-gift or donate things you don’t want, need or use. Cluttering up your home with unused or duplicate presents is not what the gift-giver intended. Pass it on to someone who will enjoy it as much or more than you will.
8) Keep working on decluttering: Overrun with sentimental items such as three sets of Grandma's china or six boxes of Jimmy's artwork? Save a cup and saucer, scan the artwork or frame your favorite pieces. Then pass the rest on to other family members or donate to charity. Saying goodbye to the rest doesn't say goodbye to the love or memories.
9) Get prioritized: Think for a minute: if you had five minutes to save something(s) from your home, what would it be? Now look around and prioritize accordingly. Odds are you will find a lot you can live without.
10) Get real with this Organizing Credo: “use it or lose it.” If you haven't used it, touched it, looked at it in one year’s time or more, or, you didn’t even remember you owned it, then let it go! Less is morel
11) Let the date help you declutter: A lot of things in our kitchen and bathrooms, especially, come with expiration dates. While some discretion can be applied, as a general guide, use the products’ expiration dates to tell you whether to throw it out.
12) Get Cooking: Create a cooking calendar, either weekly or monthly, to help keep organized on what to shop for, and to know what night you can order out for pizza.
13) Refresh your family’s chore chart: Take a minute to see if last year’s chart needs tweaking. Can children take on more responsibility? Are there new tasks around the house that need attention?
14) Take a trip to Goodwill: As you are putting away all the gifts from Christmas, gather up things that can be donated to Goodwill. For example, clothes that don’t fit, books that you’ve read last year, toys that the kids no longer play with. Don’t make it a big deal. Just grab a couple boxes and set aside half an hour. You’ll be surprised how fast you fill up that box.
15) Start your tax folder: Designate one folder in your office to keep all tax documents that will come into the mail as tax time approaches. Having everything all in one spot is a huge time-saver.
16) Schedule all your docs appts: Don’t forget your health! Sometimes it takes weeks to get into see your doctor, especially specialists. Sit down and look at your calendar and schedule out all your doctor’s appointments, ideally for the year. While you are at it, check your prescriptions to see how you are doing on your refills.
17) Flip your files: This is something I have done in my home office for years. At the turn of every year, I go through my paper files and I shred the previous year’s papers. The exception, of course, are important documents such as legal documents, birth certificates and tax documentation.
18) Archive your emails: If you like a tidy email inbox as much as I do, than this tip might be perfect for you. I sort all my emails by date, and then move them to a folder labeled with the previous year’s date. This comes in really handy if your email server gets too full and you need to delete emails fast and easy.
19) Review your budget: If you keep a personal or home budget, the start of the new year is a great time to look back to your previous year’s budget and see if changes are needed. Are you expecting new expenses? Did you get a raise at work? These are all things that can significantly impact an annual budget.
20) Buy all of your greeting cards for the year: How many times have you found yourself scrambling to send a birthday card at the last minute? A great way to make sure you don’t forget a loved one’s special occasion is to pre-plan your greeting cards for the year.