For many of us, one of our New Year’s resolutions is to be more organized. The good news is that unlike that other resolution we all seem to make each year, improving organization doesn’t require hours at the gym to see results.
Here are five simple ways to have a more organized new year.
- Keep Lists
Reduce the stress of having to remember everything by writing it down. This works well for groceries, errands, and general “to-do’s.” You’ll be amazed at how much you get done. Technology today offers so many convenient options, it’s easy to find a solution that’s right for you. Between smartphone and tablet apps for taking notes and creating lists, 2017 is the year you should give something a try. It won’t take long to get hooked, and you’ll wonder how you managed without it.
- Reduce Paper Clutter
Take advantage of the electronic delivery and online payment services that your banks, utilities, credit card and insurance companies offer. If you already pay online, but still receive paper statements, it’s time to turn them off. I know you like the control, but you’re missing the convenience of auto-payments where bills are paid automatically … and on time! Not only do you eliminate late fees and paper files at home, you also reduce the risk of identity theft and make a positive impact on the environment.
- Start Prepping for Your 2017 Taxes
Yes, I know you haven’t even started on your 2016 taxes yet, but imagine not having to search high and low for all of your charitable donation receipts and other documentation. Create an annual folder for medical expenses, business receipts and tax documents so that as you receive items throughout the year, you have a place to keep them. When you make the donation to a local charity in July, simply drop the receipt into the folder. You will rejoice next January when all of your tax documents are in one place.
- One Bite at a Time
Commit to putting down the smartphone or tablet for 15 minutes each day to keep organized. Use the time to sort the mail, put away dishes or clear the clutter from that spot in your home where everything seems to collect. Tasks seem more manageable when done in smaller chunks and, chances are, you can find a little time each day.
- Organize Photos on Your Mobile Devices
Most of us have more pictures than we know what to do with on our mobile devices. Make it a habit to delete the photos that aren’t worth saving. It’s an easy thing to do while you are standing in line or waiting to meet a friend for lunch. Be sure that you save your photos to a secure location and organize them to make it easier to find the perfect picture when you need it.