Okay folks! Forty is right around the corner and this year, I want to start it off with giving you the tips I have been putting into practice around my home. I have found that as I move forward with my word of the year, I need to have clarity and comfort. Both of these things are accomplished with order in my midst. So without further ado, here it is.
Clear the clutter in your closet
I realized that we hold on to a lot of things that we don't necessarily use. Why is that? I had jeans in here from the 90's and not necessarily the ones that are coming back in style. I also had t-shirts, baggy tops and all manner of skirts that make me feel un-awesome when I wore them. Why were they in my closet?! They had to go and go they did! I filled up a large box with clothes that were cluttering my closet and my awesome.
Clean your closet, people! Leave essentials. Clothes that make you feel great and then make a list of the items that you need. You can check out this post to help you along.
Clean the clutter on your counters
Some days I wish I could stop the barrage of mail. The kitchen counter closest to the door tends to suffer the most. It is where all the mail is laid to rest until that time that I get sick of looking at it and throw it away.
Get a mail holder. But go the extra mile. I find that it helps if I have folders preset there so that when I open the mail, I can slip the paper where needed if I'm keeping it. You'll find folders like medical bills, monthly bills, needs reply! and personal notes. This motivates me to open the mail and stick the papers where they belong. I can then move the folders to my file cabinet as I further organize.
Organize the papers
So I told you what to do with the mail. Take medical bills for example. I have an Excel spreadsheet where I keep a running list of my medical bills along with when I paid and how much I paid. This serves dual purpose. It makes sure I pay the bills (don't act like I'm the only one that forgets) and at the end of the year, I have a nice list complete with figures that can go right to the accountant when I have to get my taxes done. Win, win I tell you!
Organize your emails
More than the mail that the mailman brings every day, the bane of my existence is email. Too many things that I've signed up for, too many notices I don't read and too many emails that I inevitably end up sorting through.
As with the snail mail, make some folders and create some rules that will move emails to said folders in order to keep things together.
Then again, all you will need is Outlook. How, you ask? Rules and folders, people. Rules and folders. I like the bounce as a rule. You can create a rule that will kick anyone NOT in your contact list to another folder (BAM!). Set a rule to auto-archive after a certain amount of days or delete newsletters and such if not read within a certain number of days. With advanced rules, you can rule the world and keep your email clean! Thank me via email (and let's make sure you're in my contacts).
You guys know I love lists! I keep them safe and near me at all times thanks to OneNote. I have a notebook for my blog, for all the work I do with my sorority, for my business and for my work with MomsRising. The best part is that I can access it all on my phone whenever I need it. Which is helpful because my brain ain't what it used to be.
Organize your files
If you have Office 365, you know that it offers OneDrive and with that comes 1 TB storage. Let me say that again. O-N-E-T-E-R-R-A-B-Y-T-E!
That means that all of my files are in one place that I can access from my phone, the MamiTab, zenMami, you name it! I always have access to my files and there's a level of comfort that can't compare knowing that your electronic files are not only in their appropriate folders but just a click away.
The new year is looking great already thanks to my taking a hold of the clutter. What tips would you add here? What keeps you organized and motivated as you welcome the New Year?
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Disclosure: I am a Microsoft Office ambassador. All opinions, mail and now half of the clothes pictured are my own.