Now that we’re all back to “normal” after the holidays, it’s time to get to work for the month.
I’ve been using monthly checklists for years. I tackle certain chores around the house by month. For example, it makes sense to clean the windows in the spring after the pollen is done so that you can enjoy the sunshine of spring and summer through clean windows. And I complete tasks that should be repeated every 3 months, like replacing your toothbrush, in the first month of each quarter. Anyone with military or accounting experience will instinctively relate to quarterly scheduling.
I thought I’d share my January To Do List with you.
I don’t wear much make-up, but I do wear mascara. It should be replaced every 3 months, so I purchase new mascara every January, April, July and October.
Same goes with toothbrushes for the family.
It’s some kind of Murphy’s Law that the smoke detector batteries in our house only go out at 2 in the morning. We wake up to a horrendous buzzing sound and run around like the Keystone Cops trying to figure out what the sound is. Take the time now for safety and for a good night’s rest to change the batteries in all your smoke detectors. That way you won’t have to worry about them all year.
I tackle those first 3 tasks within the first week of the month.
I try to have our thank you cards written and sent out by the second week of January. I’d like to have them sent out sooner, but with getting a 10-year old and two teenagers to write thank-yous, I’m satisfied if we get them out by the 2nd week.
I also like to have the decorations put away by the second week. I take the time to clean each decoration carefully before I put them away. It’s better for the decorations to be cleaned before they’re packed away. Plus, I know that I won’t have to and won’t have time to do any cleaning in December as I’m putting the decorations back out. Read about my Christmas un-decorating.
I have been making cards for about 10 years now. I make all our cards for birthdays and anniversaries for the upcoming year in January and February. That way I have the cards ready when each birthday/anniversary rolls around. If you purchase your cards, go ahead and do it now. Take a list of all birthdays and anniversaries to the store with you so you can select just the right card for each person. It will save you time and panic throughout the entire year. Trust me. It’s worth the extra planning and time now to save time and energy for the next 11 months.
We have one folder in our house that we shove all receipts and paperwork in that will pertain to taxes for the year. If your taxes are more involved, use additional folders for rental properties, business expenses and so on. In January I get a new folder out and label it with the year. We have a designated spot on our desk where the tax folder stays – always. That way my husband and I can mindlessly put all tax paperwork in the folder and nothing gets lost throughout the year. It also saves us time and frustration since we know right where everything is when it’s time to do our taxes. I prefer to use a file jacket. Once the taxes are filed, all the forms and papers are kept in the file jacket and filed away hopefully to never be looked at again easily accessible and neatly contained. You can find out why I like couch potato organizing your paperwork.
I also consider the seasonal sales that stores will run this month. Is there anything on sale now that we need? I try to plan ahead so that I can purchase these types of items when they’re on sale. The checklist reminded me that this month stores will have linens on sale and we really need new washcloths and handtowels. So, guess what I’ll be buying in the next couple of weeks?
This To Do list has worked well for my family for quite a while. Let me know if I’ve missed anything you do in January each year that I should add to the January To Do List.
And watch next month for the February To Do List.