5 Easy Ways to Get Organized in the New Year

Now that we are officially into the new year, I thought I’d repost 5 easy ways to get organized in the new year.

5 easy ways to get organized in the new year

5 Easy Ways to Get Organized in the New Year

*This post contains affiliate links. Read more about my disclosure policy here.

  1. Now is a good time to start gathering the documentation you’ll need to file your taxes. (I know, big fun…) Grab a folder to put all the year-end forms you’ll soon start receiving. Take an hour or so to start organizing receipts and any other papers you’ll need to file. Getting those documents organized now will allow you to file earlier and move on to the other organizing goals you may have.
  2. Start putting a set amount into your savings account each month. Figure out how much you want to save and have that amount automatically deposited so you never miss it. This will ensure that you will have CASH to spend on your next vacation or to purchase Christmas gifts. If you don’t plan on spending the money, just leave it in your savings account and you’ll have a nice little nest egg for any emergencies that may come up.
  3. Plan activities for your life and family now to avoid the “What do you want to do this weekend?” question. Just by taking a few minutes to jot down on your calendar the activities you would like to do, will allow you to have some scheduled fun this year. Just select 1 or 2 activities each month so you can be flexible if something else comes up on your selected day. My friends always laugh when I tell them that we have activities already scheduled out for the year, but for us, it’s one less thing to think about, and gives us something to look forward to. I find that if we don’t plan anything, we don’t do anything.
  4. Here’s a little tip that my family is implementing this year: We are going to list 12 monthly household projects that we would like to get done this year, and add them to our calendar. The projects could be something as small as organizing under the kitchen cabinets to as large as landscaping the front yard. By putting these items on our calendar, it gives us a blueprint and a schedule to get these tasks done. I’m sure you can probably find more than 12 projects to complete, but let’s start small to stay motivated… 😉
  5. If you’re not already, I highly recommend using some sort of calendar to organize your time. By using the calendar on your phone, a pocket calendar or a wall/desk calendar at home, you will begin to feel more on top of your schedule because you will know where you are supposed to be at any given time. Using a calendar can also remind you of things you need to do. For example, if you notice you have a birthday party this weekend, that means you need to purchase a gift. You can actually purchase and wrap the gift days ahead instead of running to the store to purchase a gift card on the way to the party. (I know, we are all guilty!) By the way, if you’re going to use the calendar on your phone, don’t forget to set reminders!

Cozi is the calendar I have been using for the past 10 years to keep my entire family organized. I’ve tried other calendars but kept coming back to this one. What I love the most about Cozi is how I am able to keep everyone’s schedule in one place. Each member of my family has a linked account and can access the calendar on their computer or on their phone. I also love that I can create a shopping list and share it with my husband when he makes a run to the store. I’ve recently started storing my recipes in the app, and I love how it allows you to add the ingredients to the shopping list! I’m still amazed that after all these years, and all that this app can do, that it is still FREE!!  Click here to sign up to get your family organized today!

These tips are designed to help you get it together this year so you can feel more in control of your day-to-day life. At the end of the year, you will be able to look back and see how much you’ve saved all the activities you’ve done, and all the home projects you’ve completed.  You’ll also feel more on top of your schedule and ready to take on the world! 🙂

Let us know in the comments what changes you plan on making this year, and what steps you’re taking to commit to your goal.

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Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

TIPS FOR A STRESS-FREE HOLIDAY SEASON

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it’s time to focus on the biggest holiday of the year…Christmas!

Just knowing that we are officially in the Christmas season brings on feelings of stress. We’re cooking and baking and partying and shopping and wrapping and traveling all within a month’s time.

Of course, we’re stressed! 😉

How to Have a Stress-Free Holiday

How to Have a Stress-Free Holiday

Well, here are a few tips for a stress-free holiday season:

  1. If you plan on doing a lot of cooking and baking this season, take some time to create a shopping list of all the items you’ll need. Check your pantry and cabinets first to make sure you don’t purchase duplicates. Purchasing everything at once will help eliminate multiple trips to the store and dealing with massive crowds.
  2. While we’re making lists, create one for all of the gifts you plan to give this year. Try to include everyone-relatives, teachers, bus drivers, gift exchanges, newspaper and mail carriers. Assign an amount to each gift and that will give you your shopping budget. I use the app Christmas Gift List (free for Android) to keep track of the gifts I have purchased and still need to purchase. There is also a free similar app on iTunes called Gift List.
  3. Speaking of shopping…if you’d like to avoid the crowds, try shopping later in the evening or early in the morning. The crowds will be much lighter during those times.
  4. If you really don’t want to shop at the stores, purchase all of your gifts online. I use Ebates when shopping online because I earn cash back with every purchase. During the holidays you can earn up to 10% cash back and some stores offer even more! Click here to sign up and receive $10.
  5. During the holiday season, be very picky about the activities you participate in. Saying yes to everything that comes along will surely overwhelm you. Decide in advance which activities you will attend and devote the “empty” days/evenings to family activities (baking, watching holiday movies, wrapping gifts, etc) When invitations come in on those days, you can say you have plans and not feel guilty.
  6. Play holiday music as much as you can stand it! 🙂 Listening to holiday music is guaranteed to lift your spirits. Pandora is constantly playing in our home.
  7. Take some time to do something just for you. Take some time off of work, have someone watch the kids, and do something that makes you calm and happy.
  8. Last but not least…Relax and enjoy your holiday with family and friends.

Hopefully, reading this post is getting you into the Christmas spirit. The good thing is that now you have the tools to make it a stress-free holiday season! 🙂

How do you keep your stress level in control during the holidays?

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Organize Your Entire Life with a Free Calendar App

I know the title of this post may seem a little out there, but stay with me on this. I am going to show you how you can organize your entire life with a free calendar app by Cozi.

Free Calendar App by Cozi

Free Calendar App by Cozi

*This post contains affiliate links. Read more about my disclosure policy here.

My family and I have been using this free calendar app by Cozi for 10 years. I have tried other apps in the past but always come back to this one. This is also the ONLY app I recommend to my organizing clients and they LOVE it! No other free calendar app has the number of features that Cozi has.

When using the Cozi app you are able to:

  • Coordinate EVERYONE’S schedules and activities in one place! Now everyone can be on the same page. Each member of your family can access the calendar on their own device. They will then be able to view the entire family’s schedule or just their own schedule. Anytime changes are made to the calendar a notification can be sent to let everyone know! This feature has helped my family on numerous occasions when there were last minute appointment changes.
  • Create and track grocery lists! Now you don’t have to keep separate lists or use sticky notes to keep track of your needed grocery items. You’ll have your list at your fingertips while shopping at the store. Also, anyone signed in to your account can view the list and pick up items from the store.  The list feature also works for regular shopping lists, gift lists, school supply lists, and more! This feature is priceless for me and my family during grocery and holiday shopping!
  • Create and manage To-Do or chore lists! Actually, you can create as many task lists as you want! You can create a to-do list for someone else or a chore list for your kids. The great thing about this feature is that the task can be checked off in the app when completed so you can see what has and hasn’t been done. If your kids are too young to access the app themselves, print it out and hang it in a spot where they can see it and check off the items when they are completed. I usually offer rewards for completing the chore list by a certain day or time so I don’t have to constantly check or nag about getting things done.
  • Plan dinner meals!  This is another one of my favorite features of the Cozi app. You have the ability to add your favorite recipes and even save them from a website to the app. Once the recipe is loaded into the app, you can add the ingredients to your grocery list!  Then, drag and drop the recipes onto the calendar so everyone will know what’s for dinner each night.  Another thing I love is that when you are cooking, the screen stays lit so you don’t have to keep touching it to follow the recipe. This helps to keep your device’s screen clean. LOVE THIS!! 🙂
  • Integrate Cozi with other calendars! Currently, Cozi can be integrated with Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Outlook. The great thing about this feature is that you can share calendar appointments into Cozi from other calendars or you can add Cozi’s appointments to other calendars. This works well when you subscribe to other calendars for school, sports, or work. Now you don’t have to check multiple calendars…everything is in one place!
  • Pay Nothing…IT’S FREE!! In case you missed it earlier, Cozi is a free calendar app. There is a paid version available, but all of the features I’ve mentioned here are totally free!

If being free isn’t enough reason to try Cozi, how about the fact that Cozi currently has 20 MILLION users, a 4.5-star rating with iTunes and Google Play, and is a 3-time Mom’s Choice Award Winner?

If you’re ready to give Cozi a try, click here to download it today. I’m sure you’ll love it! Let me know in the comments what your favorite feature is or will be. 🙂

Also, be sure to follow SimpLeigh Organized to receive more organizing tips. As a bonus, you’ll receive a free printable when you sign up!

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