10 Tips for Getting Organized in the New Year

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10 tips for getting organized in the new year

Hey mamas, can you believe it’s already 2015?! I don’t know about you, but I am more than ready to welcome 2015 – bring it on!  And today, I’d like to share with you 10 tips for getting organized in the New Year.

One of my favorite gifts I receive for Christmas each year is a new calendar.  And not just any calendar, but a “Mommy Command Center” calendar, complete with rows for each family member’s calendar commitments.  On a side note, I think I am the only mom on the planet that still writes her schedule on a “paper” calendar, but I love it.

And of course, as soon as I open this calendar, I am immediately motivated to start getting organized for a fresh beginning in the New Year.  Here are some easy tips…and I’d love to hear yours!  Something to keep in mind too, you don’t have to do these all at once! Even if you pick one thing at a time, taking a stab at getting organized alone just makes you feel better.

1. Update Your New Calendar

Here’s an obvious follow-up, but I suggest taking an hour or two and updating your new paper or electronic calendar with important dates, birthdays, anniversaries, work/school commitments, scheduled breaks, etc.  It’s a small investment of time, but will help you feel so much more in control.  That way when the calendar turns to January, you are already organized and know what’s on your plate.

2. Out with the Old, In with the New

This is a great opportunity to do a quick closet and dresser scan for you and your kiddos – look for obvious clothes that the kids have outgrown, anything that could be donated, anything that’s too small (or too big), and set aside for storage or donation.  Then you can easily put away any new stuff from the holidays.  That feels better, right?

3. Clear Off Your Desk

Whether it be your actual desk, or virtual desk, clear it off and clean it up!  December is stereotypically the craziest, busiest time of year, and my desk is piled high with notes, Post-its, flyers from school, Christmas cards, to-do lists, etc., etc., etc.  Take a breath, take an hour, and put your stuff away.  File, organize and clear out the recycling.

4. Organize Your Pictures

Upload the hundreds of pictures you took from the past month or two and organize them into files on your computer or laptop – even if it’s just a file labeled “December 2014.” If you still print pictures (like me!), ask your kids to help put them in order and stick them in a photo album.  By (somewhat) organizing pictures, we can start fresh for the New Year…and create more space on our phone and/or camera!

Bonus step – if you have an extra few minutes, upload your pictures to a shared picture site (I tend to use Shutterfly), and send out all of your holiday pictures to your friends and family.  They’ll love it!

5. Clean Out Your Car

Sometimes I feel like I live in my car most of the day (during school days, I kind of do!).  This is a project the kids can help with, too…clean out the dropped toys, under seat “treasures,” Cheerio and Goldfish crumbs, random stuff that was jammed into the trunk, trash…pick it up, throw it out and shake out those floor mats.

Bonus step – treat your family car to a professional car wash – even if it’s a quick drive-through.

6. Start a Fresh To-Do List

Consolidate all of your electronic notes, Post-its, paper to-do lists, and random reminders into a fresh ‘to-do” list.  It will feel so much better, and you will feel so much more on top of things.  At least I do!

Bonus step – Help your kids make a list of thank-you notes they can write to thank family and friends for the holiday treats, goodies and presents.

7. Give Your Home a Scrub

Why wait until Spring Cleaning?!  After all of your holiday company has said goodbye, survey the damage, and have your family pitch in for a few hours.  Clean up and put away holiday decorations, clean out the fridge (or at least label leftovers and/or freeze anything that can be salvaged for future meals), dust, vacuum, scrub down the bathrooms, and help your kiddos organize any new holiday toys in their room.

8. Clean Out Kid Backpacks

When my kids celebrated their last day of school before winter break, I literally took out their lunch leftovers, and then threw their backpacks in the hall closet…because we were in full, crazy holiday preparation mode!  Now’s the time to take a breathe, go through any folders they brought home, take stock of any replacement supplies they may need, and get their backpacks ready for the return of school.

Bonus – Go through their school artwork, homework and projects from the first semester that you’ve kept, and  either file, make stacks to give to grandparents or family, or (ahem) recycle (shhhh!!!!).

9. Organize Your Mommy “Command Center”

Whatever you call it, every mama should have one place in the house (even one corner in the house!) that can help you stay organized with family and kid activities, commitments, schedules, etc.  Whether it be a paper calendar like, I have, inboxes, labeled folders, hanging racks with places to put things – whatever suits you – start fresh in the New Year.  Either clean out your current overloaded command center…or set up a new one.  It makes such a difference, and I know it helps me stay organized!

10. Set Those Resolutions and Goals!

Last but not least, set your New Year’s resolutions and goals.  Put pen to paper and write down your top five or 10 goals for this next year.  It’s therapeutic, and it’s a great way to start the year fresh and organize your thoughts!  My husband and I like to label them “goals” versus “resolutions” because it helps keep us on track throughout the year, without the pressure and stigma that “resolutions” can bring.

What are your tips for getting organized in the New Year?  Please share below!  And happy, happy New Year to you all!!

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