You’re stuck at home. You’ve watched everything interesting on Netflix, and it’s only been a week. It might be time to do some of those projects you always knew you should but have been putting off… and off… and off… If you can accomplish all of these, you’ll come out of this time of lockdown with a much more organized life and a clearer head.
1. Get your documents in order.
Put all of your family’s essential documents in one place. This includes marriage licenses, birth certificates, passports, social security cards, medical files, car titles, a copy of your LES and orders, the deed to your house and insurance documents. Do you have a will? If not, now is a good time to do one, either online or virtually with a lawyer. Make sure you have all the insurance you need – not just auto and health insurance, but pet insurance, disability insurance, cell phone insurance, and flood insurance. Also insure your wedding and engagement rings. These are the ones people typically overlook.
2. Photograph your house.
Take a photo of everything in your house for insurance purposes.Make sure you have a photo of each room, and all of your valuables. If you havea prized book collection, photograph the titles – you’ll want to remember whatthey all are if you have to replace them. Keep the photos on the cloud and on aUSB that you keep in your safe.
3. Clean your car.
Now is the perfect time to clean your car! Like, reallyclean it. Take everything out – all the car seats, trash, reusable shoppingbags, first aid kit, etc. Wipe down everything with a leather or car cleaner.Vacuum everything – get into the nooks and crannies. Clean the inside of theglass and all the crevices of the vents. Then tackle the outside of the car. Geta full tank of gas. You’ll feel SO much better.
4. Go over your finances.
First, if you don’t have a budget, make one. It’s especially important now to stick to one and to know what you’re spending (and not spending). If you’re married, do this as a couple. Next, go over all of your bank accounts and make sure both you and your spouse know how to access all funds and what the passwords are (so military spouses don’t know the passwords to pay their bills until a deployment happens). Go over all of your investment accounts. If you have kids, consider setting up a 529 for them. If you haven’t yet, set up an IRA or Roth IRA. Put contributions on auto-debit if you tend to forget. Another tip to consider is splitting your savings accounts into different accounts. For example, have one for “vacation,” one for “auto tax (which usually is billed all at once every year), one for “utilities” or any quarterly bills, one for “auto maintenance fund,” etc. This will make it easier to see what you have in each.
5. Get rid of stuff.
Go through every room and every closet and see what you havethat you can either sell online, donate or save for a garage sale this summer(hopefully we’ll be able to have these this summer). This will help free upsome extra cash if you need it, and it will also help you see what you have andwhat you don’t use. You’ll be surprised what you find. Commit to doing one roomof the house each week.
6. Home improvement projects
Now is the perfect time to tackle those home improvement projectsyou’ve always wanted to do. Change out the hardware in your doors and outlets –it will make a big difference. Paint. Change out light fixtures. Replace yourfaucet or backsplash. Paint your front door. These are simple fixes that havebig impact.
7. Make a list of grocery staples and meals
Write down all of the things you regularly buy at thegrocery store – this will make your life so much easier when you’re shopping. Identifya place in your fridge or pantry for each of these items and always put themthere; that way, you can see when you’re out. Also, put together a list of fiveto ten meals and recipes your make regularly. That’s the first step to mealplanning, which is the first step to a much more organized dinner life.
8. Back up your files
Make sure all of your computer files are backed up. Cleanout any unnecessary computer programs. Print out your favorite photos and putthem in an album too, which will give you extra security.
9. Zero-out your inbox
This may be the most difficult, but it’s so important foryour productivity. If you have thousands of emails (too many to sort through),I recommend creating a folder called “Emails until January 2020” and puttingthem all in there. Then create either work folders or folders for your personemails like “Online orders,” “Kids school,” “House,” “Military,” etc. Go throughthe last several months and start a new system of filing everything away (ordeleting it) once you read it.
10. Talk about your future
Talk about your goals for the future with your spouse, or, if youre single, journal about them. Where do you see yourself in five years? In twenty? What is the one thing you’ve always wanted to do? What is that trip you always wanted to take? If you identify what’s important to you now, you can do the steps necessary to get there.