..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Organizing Tips For Bringing In The New Year

It's Saturday, the first Saturday of 2014! Today would be a good day to begin organizing for 2014. Here are some organization suggestions that you can do while watching those football bowl games:

* If you kept your Christmas cards and envelopes, go through your address books or contact lists and update any new addresses. Then you can toss the cards. Or cut them up to make gift tags for next year. Or bundle them together and store in a tin or plastic box where you keep your cards. I don't keep all of mine. But I do keep extra special ones that mean a lot to me. I have several tins. One is just for Christmas cards, one is just for Lovey Dovey cards (like Valentine's Day) and one is for any other special cards. The ones I keep usually have family photos or special messages. I also keep wedding invitations from family members, shower invitations, funeral cards, etc.

* Update a new calendar (whether a paper one on the refrigerator or your digital one) with all the family birthdays, anniversaries and other events you know about that's coming up. You might want to make a reminder list of all the cards and gifts you need to get for the beginning of every month.

* Label your 2014 file folders. It's hard to believe but it's time to store the 2013 folders and make your 2014 file folders. Examples: 2014 American Express, 2014 Electricity, 2014 Water, 2014 Property Taxes, 2014 Car Expenses, etc.

* Sort your 2013 receipts and file them. Make a list of tax deductible items while you sort. Use a spreadsheet or make a pencil list.

* If you haven't by now, why not go online and set up billpay at your bank and start entering bills to pay. Or if you have been meaning to use financial software like Quicken, why not start today. Create your accounts and categories today. Ex: Accounts are like your bank accounts, savings accounts, 401k accounts, investment accounts, mortgage accounts, loan and credit card accounts, etc. Categories are for sorting transactions by categories like Interest, Insurance, Groceries, Gas, Charity, etc.

* If you still use paper checks then now is a good time to sort them and store them along with your bank statements. If you are paperless, at least print out end of year statements from your bank. If possible print all your transactions for the year from your bank. Or save them to a .pdf document.

* Make a household notebook. Whether you use a binder or software, today would be a great day to make that household notebook. It's basically a tickler file for important stuff. You can get free apps to use for all your devices like Springpad or Evernote. You can also use a spreadsheet or word processing software like Excel and Word. Or use Microsoft's Notebook software. I created one 3 years ago in Excel. Each tabbed page is something that I need access to all the time. Here are some of my tabbed pages: Website Passwords & Security (alphabetical listing of websites with the passwords, usernames, security questions, etc), Medical Expenses, Home Mortgage, Utilities, Bank Accounts, Computer (info like serial #'s, warranty information, contact info, utility software info, etc,), Same for cameras, TVs, Bluray players, net streamers, printers, scanners, etc. I even keep my DAR and UDC membership information on tabbed pages. Family SS #'s, vaccination lists, anything that you need or want to keep track of. I'm trying to decide whether to switch to Evernote. It's available on all my devices but it's not as manipulitable (is that a word?) as an Excel spreadsheet. For instance, I can sort my data by date and sum it for quick tabulations in a spreadsheet. For instance I have one tabbed sheet for home repairs and remodeling. As we spend money on the house I document it in this spreadsheet along with a category. That way I can sort by date and see what we've spent each year or sort by category to see what we've spent for painting, windows, etc.

* Make lists today. Decide what you need to spring clean, declutter and clean out. For instance, it's time to clean out the garage and this is the year you are going to do it! Make a list of what you want to do in that garage. Paint the floor? Buy some new shelving? Declutter and have a yard sale? etc. Or maybe this year you plan to empty out your closets and paint them before re-organizing them. Make a list of freeze-able meals so that you can take your grocery list to the market and spend one day making meals that will last for a month. Just make them up, freeze them, pop them out as you need them and heat and serve. Make your lists and be as detailed as you need to be.

I pray this will be a blessed New Year for you all! And may 2014 be a year of organization.

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