Annual Check-List for Things to Do in January: Keeping Organized for the New Year

January is the perfect time of year to make a checklist of things you should check annually. May I suggest the following ten options? You can choose from applicable items on the list or come up with ideas of your own.

One: Replace any batteries that need it now. If you do not have the batteries on hand, make a shopping list, get them, and put them in the items they need to go in.

Two: Check all of your fire alarms to see if they work (in addition to checking the batteries) and check the expiration dates on your fire extinguishers as well. The latter tends to be more neglected than the former but is truly just as important in fire maintenance, should the need arise.

Three: Renew all annual subscriptions…newspapers, magazines, etc. This is also a good time to get rid of subscriptions you do not need or want anymore.

Four: It is tax season again. Get all of the paperwork you are going to need in order to make that time of the year an easier task to handle. This includes all W2’s, receipts, forms and software that you might need. Even if you will be taking your items to an accountant, getting these items in place now, if you do not do so as the prior year plays out, will save you many headaches and much stress later.

Five: Check the ink in your computer printers and replace or refill as needed.

Six: Get the annual maintenance done on your vehicles. Take them in for an annual check-up, so to speak.

Seven: Check the dates on all of your warranties and if it is getting close to time to extend or replace them, do so. This is a good time to update the box or filing place you keep this paperwork in as well. If the item is no longer in existence or paperwork is no longer needed, get rid of it.

Eight: If you are going to need paperwork during the year that takes time to process, get that work done now. For example if you need to renew or obtain a passport, maybe help a child gain admission into college, or any other item that requires a bit of patience and a lot of paperwork, get what you need in order now to make the process easier when the time comes. If possible, get the filing needed that goes along with the task(s) at hand, done now as well.

Nine: Might as well take the family pets to the doctor for an annual check-up as well (and make this a traditional time of year to do so). An ounce of prevention, as we all have heard and know, is worth a pound of cure and our pets are valuable members of the family.

Ten: Anything that gets used regularly and needs updated or replaced, but you never seem to find time to do it, do it now. Make a list and get it all done at once. This can be anything from replacing tooth brushes with worn out bristles to replacing felt on the bottom legs of the furniture and anything in between. Take a look around the house, you will be surprised at what you may find.

These ten suggestions are all easy to do and will give you a great sense of accomplishment once done as you begin your new year delightfully one step ahead of where you were last year. They are, however, not meant to be an end-all to end all but merely suggestions to get a spark going for you that allows you to create a personalized list of your own. We all have things that need done that we seem to be put off indefinitely. What better time of year than the month of January to get these things done. Happy New Year to you all.

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