Getting real with your New Year’s Resolutions: Getting organized

Organization can reduce stress and help you focus on important tasks.

As I mentioned in part one of the New Year’s Resolutions series, getting organized was the second highest New Year’s Resolution according to a 2014 study conducted by University of Scranton (Statisticbrain, 2014). Several variations can fall under the category of getting organized.

It is important to keep important documents organized so that when you need them, you know where to look. Organization can reduce stress and help you focus on important tasks. Before working on getting your finances in order, it may be a good idea to get your life in order. Ramona Creel offers the following five tips on organization:

  1. Clear out some clutter: Get rid of the things in your home and office that you do not need.
  2. Learn how to say no: It is okay to say no; if you have too much on your plate, you may not accomplish it all.
  3. Deal with new paperwork right now: Go through your mail daily and shred what you do not need.
  4. Plan your day the night before: Plan out your day, include all appointments and tasks and get your clothes and lunch ready.
  5. Make time for yourself every day: Even if it is 20 minutes for a walk, sitting in silence, or mediation.

Once you have organized your life, you can work on your finances. It is important to spend some time each week reviewing your finances (with your partner, if applicable). As with other important documents, you should have a designated place (perhaps a fireproof box in your office) for your important financial papers (i.e. wills, bank statements, paystubs, mortgage docs, etc.).

Be sure to read the other articles in this New Year’s Resolutions series – Is a gym membership worth It? and Spend less/save more. Find more great articles on ways to save at Michigan State University Extension. Additionally, take the Financial Health Survey to discover other methods to help you improve your financial health.

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