With a new year comes exciting new challenges and adventures. Starting off as organized as possible will help set the tone for your family’s lifestyle going forward. As you begin to address many different aspects of your life, it’s important to find a system that works for your family’s dynamic. If you intend to get organized this year, spend some time planning before jumping right in. Following these four tips will lead you to a more organized lifestyle and will benefit your household in the long run.
Learn to Manage Your Finances
Having a good grasp on your financial situation at the start of the new year will set the tone for months to come. As you evaluate your finances, it’s crucial to remember that it can take time to create a set budget that works for you. A great first step is to calculate any large expenses that you’ll encounter this year. Of course, you might not know for sure what the future holds, but having a rough idea and an emergency fund will ensure that your budget isn’t derailed at the first surprise expense.
It’s important to start with the “needs” rather than the “wants.” Does your family have any large projects that can’t be put off? Budgeting for home maintenance should take priority, as putting projects like these off can lead to a more substantial burden in the future. For example, if your HVAC system needs some maintenance this winter, it’s better to get that taken care of before your only option is a full replacement. For large projects like this, line of credit options may be helpful to access exact amounts as needed. When planning for projects like this, it’s important to consult your financial institution before making any big budgetary decisions. Once you have a plan, you can calculate a monthly spending budget for your family by subtracting any recurring expenses from your monthly income. The remainder of your monthly income can be put in savings for anything the future may hold.
Spend Time Decluttering
The task of decluttering your home can be daunting. As you sort through the belongings you’ve accumulated over the years, a good rule of thumb is to get rid of things you don’t actively have a use for. Items that hold sentimental value can also be held onto, but things you no longer find yourself reaching for can always be donated or sold online. It’s best to take the decluttering room by room, as this can prevent it from becoming too overwhelming. If you devote one weekend a month to organizing a few rooms, you’ll be able to tackle the whole house in no time.
This also includes decluttering your closets and kitchen cabinets. These areas can accumulate the most clutter over the years, as we’re constantly buying new clothing and kitchen utensils without cleaning old items out regularly to make space. The time you spend decluttering can also be used to label things, implement organizers in drawers and cabinets, and do a much needed deep clean. Once you’ve chosen which items it’s time to say goodbye to, you can decide which items are worth selling and which ones are better off being donated. With the money you make from selling your things, you can treat your family or put the money in savings for a rainy day!
Shop for Quality Items
Many people think the best way to save money is to buy items that are the cheapest upfront. Although this might be true for smaller purchases, it’s actually smarter to invest in higher quality items when making a big purchase. Kitchen appliances are a great example of this. One refrigerator might be significantly cheaper than another, but the more expensive one could last five or ten years longer, which would make it a much better investment and save you money in the long run. When you look for quality over price, while still sticking to a budget that works for you, you’ll likely save money in the future on maintenance or a premature replacement.
It may sound silly, but the same goes for investing in your clothing. Purchasing items that will last in your closet for many years to come is a great way to prevent unnecessary shopping for occasions. Oftentimes, people purchase an outfit for a special event and only wear it one time. Purchasing versatile items, even low cost ones, will allow you to get the most out of your closet and give you some extra money to use in other aspects of your life that are more important.
Utilize a Calendar or Scheduling System
Finally, one of the most important things you can organize is your time. After all, time is precious, and getting the most out of your weeks will only benefit you and your family. This can be accomplished by implementing a calendar or scheduling system into your home. Whether your family wants a physical calendar of events in a common space or prefers to keep things digital with a shared calendar app, scheduling your family’s activities will be much easier when you can see everything in one place. This also gives you the flexibility to alter schedules and plan out meals for your family.
As you begin your organization journey for 2023, remember that it takes time to get the right system in place. Taking the process step-by-step will help you develop a method that works for you and your lifestyle.
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