Monday, November 18, 2019

Ways to Organize This Month

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Here are a couple ways to organize today:

Create a separate e-mail for birthday freebies.  Two days until my birthday!  I happen to like collecting certain free things that stores offer for my birthday, but you always need to be signed up for their e-mail lists to get it.  Rather than bog down my own personal e-mail with that nonsense, I created a separate, free e-mail which I use to subscribe to that sort of thing.  I only ever check it during birthday month, to see what my offers are.

Assess cookware and tupperware.  It's possible these things haven't been getting as much use lately but also that they're about to, if you're hosting anything.  Take a few minutes to go through what you have, declutter anything that's past it's prime, and make a list if you need to pick up anything so you can hit up a thrift store.  These things are also on sale on Black Friday, if you have a large list of needs.  Don't forget about glass tupperware for leftovers!

Clean things that get ignored, like baseboards, blinds, and light fixtures.  You might have done these for spring cleaning, but it's possible you haven't touched them since and it's been 7 or 8 months.  Time to tackle those real quick, particularly if you're expecting holiday company.  These things are usually just dusty as opposed to actually dirty, to it won't take long to go over everything with a microfiber cloth.

Clean the gutters.  This will be the last chance before snow, so get them done before it's too late.  If they're full of leaves when it starts to snow, you might end up with a big mess because you'll get heavy frozen patches that put too much weight on the gutters as well as cause icicles with all the overhang.  Everything will defrost better if you have clean gutters.  You can even hang your Christmas lights at the same time.  Two for one job.

Clean the carpets.  Another task that gets done relatively rarely compared to other cleaning projects.  Carpets don't really need to be shampooed all the time, but it's a nice thing to do on occasion because it makes a big difference.  Which will look and smell nice to any guests you have in the next couple of months.  You can rent carpet cleaners to do this yourself, but it's honestly pretty inexpensive to hire a company to come out and do it for you, especially if you move the furniture out of the way yourself.

Max out your contributions.  The goal is to make your accounts work for you and not leave any money on the table.  If your employer matches, contribute up to the match amount.  If you have a Roth IRA, the max contribution was upped to $6,000 this year, so make sure you get your money in.  These things need to be done by the end of the year as opposed to before tax time, so just over a month left to get everything in order.  You'll be setting yourself up for a very nice future, one in which you don't have to work until you're 80, so make the effort.  The more you put away now, the more time it has to grow.

Plan and make your year end charitable donations.  Likewise, anything that you want to be a tax write off needs to be done before December 31, not before April 15 of next year.  Some people donate all year long but a lot of people make holiday donations.  Don't forget to factor that into your December budget.  If there's anything you've been meaning to donate to, now is the time.

Add extra baskets to living rooms for throw blankets.  We have blankets on the couch all year long but we do tend to add more in the colder months because it's just so nice to cozy up under a mountain of blankets surrounded by Christmas tree light glow.  And also because I refuse to turn the heat on, but that is neither here nor there.  But when not in use, these blanket mountains can just look like a giant mess and make a space seem dirty even when it's not.  I like to add extra storage baskets next to the couches to solve this problem, so they can easily be tucked away.  Some people use a wooden, short ladder to drape them on.  Just make sure there's an easy place for them to be put away so they aren't just constantly piled up in a couch corner.

Are you getting anything organized before Christmas?

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