Start the New Year Off Organized


It’s the beginning of a brand new year, and that means everyone is thinking of resolutions and fresh starts. Why not start 2019 off by de-cluttering and getting organized and setting yourself up for success in the coming year? Here are some ways to get started!

Purge your clothes.

Go through all the closets in your home. Create a pile of clothes to keep and a pile to donate. The donate pile should contain clothes that anyone has outgrown, clothes that haven’t been worn in the last year, and clothes that you know won’t be worn this year. Take the whole family to an organization that accepts clothing donations. With the clothes you are keeping, set your closets up by season – cold-weather clothes together and warm weather clothes together.

Don’t forget to do a purge of clothing in your dressers too! Make sure to look for holes and wear and tear in socks, underwear, bras, t-shirts, and pajamas. Anything that is too hole-ridden for more use, put in the trash can! Old t-shirts and socks could also be repurposed into cleaning rags!

Purge your toys.

January is the perfect time to purge toys! Your kids have just gotten a fresh batch of brand new things, and now your toy bins are overflowing. Take this time to help your children go through their toys and decide which ones to keep and which to donate. Really let your kids get in on this and take the opportunity to teach them about selflessness and giving to those less fortunate. Look for toys that are no longer used and toys that have been outgrown. Find a Goodwill, a pregnancy center (for infant and toddler toys), or other charity to give to.

Don’t donate toys that are broken!

Buy a wall or refrigerator calendar.

Have a hub somewhere in your house where everyone can see the entire family’s plans. Go ahead and write in special birthdays and anniversaries. Next, make sure to add any days off from work or school coming up in the next weeks. Then grab a different color pen or marker for each family member and write in their activities on the calendar. This way not only will you be organized for upcoming events, but your kids will be as well.

For more details, go for a personal planner.

There are tons of planners out there, and one of them will work to help you stay organized! Browse the planner section at Target or Office Depot or Amazon and compare which one might work best with your schedule. There are planners that use blocks of the day, planners that list every single hour through the day, and planners that just have lines for writing. In your planner keep everything from the family’s hub calendar, but also keep track of your own needs. Mark down your meal plan for the week, keep track of your periods, and schedule your self-care!

Start meal planning.

 If you are like me and end up listlessly wandering the aisles of the grocery store on Sunday night, then use the fresh start of January to create a new habit — meal planning. Before your big shopping day, sit down and plan out all of your meals for the next week. Write each meal out in your planner and then create a grocery list to take to the store with you. This will help prevent overspending on food that ends up not getting eaten and cut down on time at the store. Don’t forget to have a few extra meals on hand and give yourself enough flexibility to switch up meals if events arise during the week that weren’t planned for. Add each night’s dinner to your family wall calendar so everyone knows what’s on the menu!

Start one new healthy habit.

Instead of the same old resolutions of losing fifteen pounds or hitting the gym four days a week, why not start on a small habit that can easily be incorporated into your everyday life? Try drinking more water each day, going meatless one day a week, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, staying away from electronics fifteen minutes before bed, or going on a walk during your day. By incorporating small changes, you’ll be much more likely to stick to them and make them a normal part of your everyday routine.

What ways are you planning to keep yourself organized in the new year?


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Michele is a Bessemer resident who was born and raised in Montgomery. After graduating from the University of Alabama she landed in Birmingham for work with the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham in 2011. In 2014 she met her now-husband Martin online and they shared a long-distance romance between Alabama and England until they married in 2016. Later that year they welcomed their first son, Lewis, who was born in his 35th week and spent time in the St. Vincent’s NICU. Michele continued as a working mom until their second son, Richard, was born at the end of 2018. She is now a stay-at-home mom to two under two and couldn’t be happier to spend her days watching her boys grow. Michele spends her free time reading, listening to podcasts, and studying to become an NFP instructor.