January is that special time of year at our household. Well to paraphrase me, it’s “a special time for me”. I was born to OCD my life and I get thoroughly excited about any chance to start “anew”. Beginning of the school year, check. Christmas Eve, check. Christmas Day, check. New Years Eve, check. New Years Day, check. I love love love getting my house in order, my daughter’s room cleaned up and Just Plane Dad’s garage purged. Okay, I’m lying, JPD won’t let me near the garage but I’ve tried. It just makes me happy to start fresh and get things back to the basics and organized. I watch HGTV in hopes of finding new ways to keep an orderly life, borrow books from the library on clearing the clutter and scour the internet for the next big product that will lighten my load; but the truth is and with all due respect to the aforementioned, I already have my arsenal of tricks that keeps our home running smoothly.
Here are my Top 3 favorite chores that are absolutely necessary for starting the year off with a clean slate.
Paperwork: I keep all of my homes files and important papers in a simple plastic box with hanging folders inside. Everything is in one compact space and God forbid the house was ever on fire, this is definitely an item we’d grab first. At the end of the year, I go through each file and shred [never crumple and throw] old statements or letters that no longer are needed. Once you’ve checked the statements for accuracy, they can be discarded. Or better yet, setup your online accounts and go paperless, safer for you and the environment. When you file papers, file them in the back of their respective folder, that way as you purge the front dated items, the newest stuff will automatically be available. Tax folders should be labeled with the tax year and then in smaller print, write the year they can be shred, which is usually 7 years out. So for this year, the folder will have 2012 Taxes on it and off to the right, 2019. In 2019, I can easily see that those tax files have met the audit requirement and can now be shred. Easy, uncomplicated way to file. Since New Year’s coincides with the end of our school semester, Beloved and I sit down and purge her school papers and folders. She usually keeps all scribbles and sample questions in the same notebook. Once she’s passed the final exam, we simply recycle the notebook. We refill her paper, pencils and file all saved documents on her MAC folders. We start a fresh notebook for the remainder of the year.
Clothing: Hang all clothing according to color and if you’re feeling ambitious, sleeve length too. This makes it easier when picking out outfits and shopping. You can instantly see if you have too many red shirts. Or in my case, if you have overloaded on brown! Take everything out, try it on and determine if you want to keep or donate. You will find tons to donate, I promise you. Your husband however, will want to hold on to every last piece. And for those of us with teenagers, you will cry when you look at their pile of items…as you think back to the millions of dollars you just spent purchasing them three weeks ago. Once you have the keep pile sorted, hang everything back up with the hangers looped over the rod from behind or “backwards”. Once you take it off to wear and it’s been laundered, hang it in the normal direction on the rod. At the end of the year, you’ll see which hangers are still backwards and those clothes were not worn; donate them. Whatever is hanging properly is worthy of keeping.
Cleaning: Do a quick walk through of your home with a laundry basket and place any items that don’t belong where they were found for relocation. For us, it’s dog toys and Van’s shoes that undoubtedly find their way into every room of the house. Once the basket is full, take the collected items to their appropriate rooms. Congrats, you’ve just handled the hardest task. Now each room just needs to be cleaned using your usual methods of dusting, vacuuming and Febreeze. Yes, I’m addicted to that wonderful smell too. Again, if you’re super motivated-purge through the rooms as you clean. We really don’t need 12 different Tupperware lids if the bowl has been lost for years.
1. Have your vehicle cleaned. It feels great to head back to work after vacation in a clean sparkling car.
2. Hang a brand new yard flag. Take down the snowman flag and raise up the blue birds sitting on a fence.
3. Replace the mulch at your entryway. The house looks brand new with $20 of red mulch. And finally, for goodness sakes put away your Christmas decorations!
Sit back and enjoy the spoils of your work. Happy New Year!
Hovering high and low, Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad