I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions, and instead I like to focus on starting the year with a clean slate. For me, January is a time for cleaning, organizing, and tying up any loose ends from the previous year, so that I can start the New Year refreshed. December is always full of parties, hearty meals, Christmas cookies, and holiday travel so by January, my home is a mess, and my body is exhausted! To overcome the stress of the holidays, here are a few things I like to do at the start of each year:
1. Clean like it’s “Spring Cleaning”
Every week I do the basic home cleaning of vacuuming, dusting, washing towels and sheets, and scrubbing bathrooms. For the New Year, I like to extend this to include cleaning out the fridge, drawers, the pantry, and other areas that I don’t clean on a weekly basis.
2. Go through your Wardrobe
Divide your clothing into three categories: donate, toss, and keep. Start by adding anything that is stained or has holes (unintended) to the toss pile. From there, try on all your clothes, and donate any items that no longer fit or you don’t wear. Everything still remaining is your “keep” pile. Hang these items in your closet with the hanger facing away from you. When you wear one of these items, after washing, hang the item back in your closet, but flip the hanger to face you. At the end of the season, donate any items that are hanging away from you and haven’t been worn.
3. Organize your Inbox
No matter how much I try to delete unnecessary emails, they still end up filling up my personal inbox, making it hard for me to sort through and find important messages. Sit down, put on your favorite show, and delete all those unwanted emails until your inbox is empty. Also, unsubscribe from any emails you no longer wish to receive.
4. Finish your 2016 Scrapbook
The longer I wait to complete any photo albums, the harder it gets because more pictures keep piling up. I was doing a decent job staying up to date with my photo albums, but then we received over 1000 wedding photos, and I got overwhelmed! My goal is to finish all my 2016 albums by the end of January so I can get back on track for 2017.
5. Schedule Appointments
An easy way to remember to schedule any yearly checkups with your Doctor, Dentist, or Eye Doctor is to schedule appointments at the start of each year. I like to schedule everything at once so I can get it over with!
6. Toss Expired Makeup
I’m guilty of keeping makeup long after the expiration date because I don’t want to part with a product that isn’t empty (usually powder products or lip gloss). However, expired makeup can harbor bacteria, which may lead to skin irritations, breakouts, and even eye infections. Also, overtime some makeup dries out and doesn’t apply as easily. Go through your makeup bag, and toss any items that are expired!
7. Buy a Planner
Before the holidays, one of the items on my to-do list was to purchase a new planner, so I was pleasantly surprised when my soon to be sister-in-law gave me one for Christmas. There’s something about a pretty new planner that makes it so much easier to get organized!
November and December were full of holiday gatherings with an abundance of food, Christmas cookies, and alcohol, which left me feeling unhealthy. Take the month of January (or more if you are ambitious) to cut back on drinking, sweets, and fatty foods. Your wallet, body, and skin will thank you.
9. Wash & Clean your Car
By January, my car is usually full of dead leaves and pine needles from the past few months. Vacuum and wipe down the inside of your car, visit a car wash, and schedule any oil changes or maintenance. I find driving in a clean car makes those morning commutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic a little more enjoyable!
10. Treat Yourself
Even in the most chaotic times, a fresh haircut and manicure always makes me feel like I have it all together. Maybe you enjoy getting a facial or a pedicure – whatever you enjoy, find some time to treat yourself this New Year!