In this post: If you’re looking to make life simple this year, these lifestyle hacks are perfect for you, with 25 things to do this year to make it easy.⇒
My word of the year is EASY.
I’m all about making it easy.
Maybe it’s a result of the disarray of the recent past or the things I learned by the interruptions to my normal schedule. Or maybe it’s just that I’m getting older and more tired.
But I just want it to be easy.
I’ve always found that being organized in itself is a path to more ease. It becomes easier to find things, easier to know how to approach each project, easier to stay on task because you know where you are headed.
So today’s list is a combination of small tasks that will keep you organized, quick wins that will cross off long put-off errands, and ideas to ensure you add some leisure to your life.
One of my most popular posts has been ‘10 Things to Do in January to Keep Your Organized All Year’. This post is kind of a part 2 to that one (yet it can be undertaken at any time during the year) and with the focus on EASY.
1. Plan your goals for the year – for the home, for your work, for your leisure time. Break them down by cost and bite sized steps, then put them on the calendar.
2. Time block your schedule. If it doesn’t fit on the calendar, it will never fit in your day.
3. Create or revamp your morning routine and follow it daily until it’s a habit. Add in anything you find essential for your health and well being. End with a trigger for the task you want to do next. Want to work out daily? End your morning routine by putting on your sneakers.
4. Use a food diary preemptively. Plan your food for the day BEFORE you consume it.
5. Give up at least one task this year. Either delegate it, omit it or pay someone to do it.
6. There’s no storage problem that can’t be solved by the right containers. Measure it, plan for it and put it away. Then breathe easier.
7. Keep a clock in the bathroom. It will keep you from taking those too long showers that wind up making you late. (Oh, is that just me?)
8. Bring in your donations. If you clean out a closet and then leave the trash bags in the hallway for a year, you haven’t really solved much. At least keep them in the trunk of your car for easy drop off when you have time.
9. Review your subscriptions – both digital and paper – and eliminate anything that doesn’t excite you when it comes, especially if it stresses you out when it arrives in your inbox or is added to the stack on the coffee table.
10. Check food and drug expiration dates often. I am sometimes amazed at the year on some of those bottles! There’s no reason to keep something that is expired. You won’t take it or eat it anyway. If you throw it out, now you know you need to replenish it.
11. Keep a box for your keys by the door. Drop them in the box as soon as you walk in.
12. Use a deep and pretty decorative bowl in the family room or kitchen for chargers, plugs, wires and the like. ALWAYS keep these things in the same place. Never search for them again.
13. Clean out your purse and wallet once a month. It will take 5 minutes if you do it regularly.
14. Squeegee the shower door after every shower. It makes cleaning the shower so much easier.
15. Have a trash can with a liner in every room. Empty them weekly.
16. Clean out your digital files. Put photos into folders that make sense so you can find them easily. Go through your email and adopt a zero inbox policy.
17. Back up your technology. Do it today. Do not wait for a crash and to lose everything before you come up with a system. Make it easy. Choose a service or app that backs up automatically. If it’s something you have to remember to do, you won’t do it.
18. Have a list of your passwords all in one place. Update them regularly. Keep them in alphabetical order so you can actually find them.
19. Pick a media project that you enjoy and track it so you’ll be sure to prioritize it. Leisure activities can tend to fall by the wayside. Watch one movie or documentary per week, read 2 books a month, discover a new podcast each season, or whatever brings you joy. Just keep a little spreadsheet or list, as a means to be sure it happens.
20. Have a leisure time bucket list. Try to do at least one thing from your list each month.
21. Track all of your spending using a spreadsheet. Enter every. single. thing. you buy. Then check your bill against it at the end of the month. This is way easier than keeping a wad of receipts in your wallet, I promise. And there are never any surprises when the bill comes.
22. Go for quality in your purchases so you are forced to buy less. You’ll wind up with nicer items and less to clean out. They‘ll last longer and add a little luxury to your days.
23. Always keep a backup in reserve. Of everything. Buy multiples of your favorite products that you know you continue to use. Keep your old sneakers or computer, in case the new one needs repair. One caveat. Keep only ONE of the old things. Despite what my hubby thinks, no one needs 20 pairs of old beat up sneakers or every phone they ever owned. One backup will do.
24. For products you always use that you know you will keep, throw out the packaging. It will be much easier to store, especially if you buy in bulk.
25. Take notes now for next year’s holidays. What worked, what didn’t? Do it while it’s fresh in your mind. Did it make life easier shopping online? Do it all the time. Did you find a recipe you loved? Keep it in the file. Would something have been better with a little tweaking? Write that down too.
I’d love to see your ideas of things to add to this list! Please put them in the comments. Let all make an effort to make life easy!
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