We all know that Christmas is a chaotic time of year, and before you know it, you’re ploughing into a new year with no sense of direction or clear strategy ahead of you. Organisational expert Steph Pase has seen this all too many times and so has put together her eight crucial steps to an organised new year, to help readers enter the new year with a clear and positive mindset.
1. The first step starts with Christmas!
I truly believe the first step to an organised year ahead is to plan your Christmas affairs in advance instead of rushing around like a mad man on Christmas Eve, so you can enter the New Year in a calm and organised state (rather than a frazzled mess!) Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year, so organising yourself in advance by writing your tasks down and engaging in my favourite thing, online shopping, is not only beneficial from an organisational point of view, but also for your mental and physical health. With this in mind, I have created a free downloadable Christmas Planner which includes a Christmas To Do List, Gift Planner, Budget Tracker, Recipe Template, Grocery List, Dear Santa Template for the kids, My Christmas Gift List and a Kids Christmas Gift List.
2. Setting goals!
Now is a great time to reflect on your 2022 goals and establish some new goals for the year head, but first up, check in on any goals you set yourself in the past year. Did you achieve everything you set out to? If so, take a moment to thank yourself for showing up, and maybe choose a cheeky little reward. If you didn’t quite smash it, what went wrong? Did you put too much pressure on yourself? Were the goals you chose too big to achieve in a year? Whatever the reason, acknowledge it, let it go, and focus on next year’s goals. The key with goals is to keep them simple and achievable, so whether your goal relates to finances, health, family, fitness or something personal, try breaking it down into bitesize chunks to avoid overwhelm. Once you’ve chosen your goals, write them down in your diary or notepad, and break it down if it’s a big one. Whether it’s starting a new business or hobby, anything is achievable if you plan ahead and now is the perfect time to research and get those plans in motion!
3. The dreaded ‘b’ word (budget!)
With the never-ending hike in interest rates, groceries, electricity, petrol and general cost of living, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your spending and get your 2023 budget in check. Love it or hate it, budgeting is something we all strive to keep under control, and the more you check-in, the more cash you’ll save.
Look back on all your expenses from the past year and identity what you need and don’t need, and what you can cut back on by asking yourself some hard and honest questions. Do you need Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime AND Foxtel? Is there an app you are being charged monthly for and never use? Are you really getting use out of that gym membership? And of course the most obvious one, groceries! See what groceries you can cut back on – do you really need to spend your life savings on those individual kids yoghurt pouches or would it be better to buy a big tup and refill reusable pouches at a fraction of the cost? Are there other things you buy on a regular basis that you never really think about, like takeaway coffees or reusable shopping bags? Try cutting takeaway coffees down to half the usual amount (I can hear you swearing at me) and buy a good quality instant coffee or invest in a coffee machine, so you can make a coffee at home on the other days. If you always forget to take a shopping bag to the supermarket and spend money on a new one every time you go, try putting a storage tub in your car boot that you can fill with reusable bags. All these tasks might sound painful now, but once you get into these good habits, it will become second nature and you’ll see the savings roll in. Every little bit helps.
4. Meal Planning
Most of us tend to cook the same meals on repeat, so it’s pretty easy to plan ahead. Take a look at your family’s schedule and note down days when someone is away, you have an event to attend or the kids have after-school activities. Once you know which days don’t require cooking and which days you’ll be limited on time to get dinner on the table, you can plan your meals around it. I also personally love cooking extra on certain nights, so we are able to have leftovers the night following. The Steph Pase Magnetic Meal Planner is currently half price on my website and perfect to stick on the fridge as a reminder. stephpaseplanners.com.au/products/meal-planner
5. Check in with your habits
Now is the time to check in with your habits and identify what might be hindering your productivity. Do you check your phone every five minutes? Do you eat dinner on the couch every night? Daily habits can be hard to break, but they have a massive effect on our mindset and productivity. Try putting your phone in a drawer when you need to get something done or use the Pomodoro Technique for intermittent periods of working and resting. If you tend to eat dinner in front of the TV every night, set a couple of days each week when everyone eats dinner together at the table. This can provide all-important family time and is a great space for everyone to talk about their day.
6. Clear your inbox and junk mail
Are you one of those people whose unread email notifications sit in the hundreds of thousands? Yep, I see you, girl. Having an inbox full of junk makes it super-hard to spot anything important and find things when you need them. Delete the junk mail, delete things you’ve already read, delete expired offers and unsubscribe from anything that no longer interests you. Also labelling/filing emails into categories makes life much easier when trying to find that email that was sent months ago (its like finding a needle in a haystack!).
7. Schedule your workouts
Everyone knows how much I love my walks and gym time, but if I didn’t plan for them, they’d never happen. Exercise plays a massive role in our physical and mental health so setting time aside in the new year for movement is crucial, no more excuses! Try setting your alarm for 30 minutes before your usual time or before the kids wake up to squeeze in a short walk or home workout. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes to your day and if you manage to keep that up all year, you’ll see experience huge metal and physical benefits (plus you’ll look and feel great!)
8. Organise your home and declutter
The best way to keep your household organised and start a new year feeling fresh is to declutter!
Decluttering your home can be super overwhelming, and I know one problem most people have is worrying about possibly regretting items they have culled later on. Well, I have some good news for you – I have made up a list of 20 NO-REGRET items you can cull right now! These are pesky items living in your home that you can get rid of with no regrets later on.
1. DVDs/ Videos
2. Coat hangers not in use
3. Broken Toys/ Missing pieces
4. Mismatched Socks
5. Broken crafts
6. Broken Stationary
7. Dead Batteries
8. Old Makeup/ Hair accessories
9. Old Broken Jewellery
10. Expired spices
11. Tech Accessories + Boxes
12. Broken Appliances
13. Clothes with Holes
14. Old Sheets you don’t use
15. Old Scripts/ Medications
16. Old Receipts
17. Old Gift Vouchers/ Menus
18. Shoe Boxes
19. Unused Gifts
20. Kids Clothes that don’t fit
You can download the checklist from my justanothermummyblog.com.
Steph Pase is the organisational expert and powerhouse mum of two behind Just Another Mummy Blog who first stepped on the social scene by empowering the households of many to re-organise their homes, launching the popular and viral term of #stephing. It wasn’t long before her platform grew, and with 239K @justanothermummyblog Instagram followers, she now has a loyal Australian following. From there, her successful business Steph Pase Planners was born. You can purchase Steph Pase organisational tools and planners at stephpaseplanners.com.au.