The first of the year is a great time to take care of some of the more mundane tasks of adulthood and parenthood. You know, those ones that will slip your mind if you’re not careful, or add annoyance to a day somewhere down the road.
Taking care of them now will be one last gift to your future self coming off the holiday season. Below is a list of 5 tasks to add to your to-do list this month. Schedule time to get them done and then you won’t have to think about them again…at least until January rolls back around in 2024.
Think of this list as an investment in your time this year, and always remember that these tasks should never fall to just one person in the family. Have a meeting to decide who is doing what, so that it all gets done quickly and efficiently.
- Schedule Appointments & Reminders
Check-ups are important. Use this time to schedule wellness visits for each family member (including pets), along with dental cleanings and optometry visits, too. (Be sure to check on any additional age-related screenings you may need this year that you haven’t before.)
Remember to add everything to your calendar as you go along, or set a reminder to schedule any appointments you weren’t able to this week.
If you are a regular at a local salon, see if they will book appointments for the family for the year. This will be a big time saver later!
It’s also a good time to make appointments for car and home maintenance tasks you need to get done (oil change, tire rotation, a detail, professional carpet cleaning, HVAC and chimney inspections, etc.).
- Stock Up
One of the best things about January? Everything is on sale! It’s a great time to stock up on any winter items you need, or fall/winter clothing in the next size up for kiddos.
Go ahead and grab bulk quantities of things you know you love and will use (toiletries, cleaning products, etc.) so you don’t have to shop for them again this year. (I love this option better than a subscription; those tend to always pile up!) We only recommend this if you have the space to store bulk items.
It’s also a great time to pick up a stash of cards for different occasions and small gifts to keep on hand for birthdays and hospitality gifts. Just make sure you have a tote or basket designated for these so they have a home!
- Set up Stations
There are three stations in your home that you can set up today that will help keep you organized all year long!
The first is a donation bin or basket. Keep it in a central location and let the whole family know where to put anything they’re ready to part with. When it fills up, transfer the contents to your car and drop them off.
The second is a put away bin. This is especially helpful if you have a two-story home! It’s a basket that you keep in your living room (or near the stairs) that anything can go in that has wandered from its designated home. In the evenings, or once a week, depending on how quickly it fills up, redistribute the contents. This is a great job for an older kiddo.
Finally, set up a returns basket. Keep this near your door, or in your garage or car. It will likely get a lot of use this month!
- Financial Housekeeping
Tax season will be here before you know it. Make a list now of all the documents you will need to get them done and gather what you can in one specific folder labeled “Taxes.” Add the others as they become accessible over the next few weeks.
Check your bank statement and cancel any subscriptions you’re not using anymore. I always like to revisit all my monthly expenses at least once a year. It’s so easy to forget what you’ve signed up for!
It’s also a great time to revisit your big-picture budget and make adjustments as necessary and to check on your credit score.
- Audit Your Email
This task you may not be able to outsource to your spouse, but it’s an important one. There’s nothing worse than the stress of trying to find that one email you need in a sea of thousands.
The good news is that over the holiday season, every single store or group you’ve ever signed up with has sent you an email, so it’s the perfect time to go through your inbox and hit that unsubscribe button while you’re watching a show.
While you’re in there, set up a folder system and sort the emails you need to keep; delete the rest. (It’s a good idea to schedule a regular time in your week to do a mini version of this task throughout the year – during your weekly reset might work.)
If you’re struggling to divide up tasks like these in your family, revisit my Shared Household Responsibilities Blog.
January is a great time to start new systems and more equally dividing household chores is one I highly recommend!
With all these little jobs out of the way, you’ll have 11 months to focus on your resolutions, to spend more time doing what you love, and to hang out with your family.
If accomplishing everything on this list has gotten you excited for more, reach out! We’d love to get you on the schedule for a home organization project that you need some help with. Get a jump on the “Spring Cleaning” crowd and get on our schedule now!
Each of my career choices-wedding coordinator, event planner, and teacher — gave me the creative freedom to organize everyone and everything. I have always thrived on to-do lists, planners, and systems! Now, I lead a team of organizers to help me on my mission. Read more…