30 Little Chores You’ll Be Glad You Did a Year from Now
Spend five minutes now and save hours of hassle and frustration later. Hint: One of these “chores” could get you to a beach.
Make a dentist appointment
“When you avoid seeing the dentist on a regular basis, minor conditions grow into major issues. For example, a small cavity develops and grows until you end up with an abscess. The abscess will take considerably more time and money to fix than the cavity, not to mention the pain. I always emphasize to my clients that it’s just as important to do ‘health chores’ as it is house chores.” —Alice Price, certified professional organizer and coach. Check out 50 other healthy habits that will help you live longer.
Book a vacation
“We tend to put off big projects, like planning a vacation, because they take more than one step to complete and need to be managed over a long period of time. But procrastinating may mean you do a sub-par job or, worse, it doesn’t happen at all. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, do some planning and scheduling. Break down a project into small tasks that can be done fairly quickly. Research locations online one day; then gather supplies another day. Mapping out a plan and scheduling time to do each step will help you save time and money and get the vacation you really want.” —Janet Schiesl, certified professional organizer and owner of Basic Organization
Deep-clean your fridge
“A lot of my clients struggle with productivity and procrastination, especially in the home. One household chore I’ve found that helps clear some mental and physical space is to clean out the fridge. Clean up little spills as you go but once a year make time to clean it out top to bottom. If that sounds too overwhelming, think about the very first thing you need to do to get started rather than the entire chore. One of my favorite mantras is ‘If it’s difficult to get started, the first step is too big.’” —Joel Minden, PhD, Clinical Psychologist at the Chico Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Just avoid these cleaning mistakes that leave your house germy.
File important papers right away
“People defer decisions on paperwork because they don’t know where to put a bill, an office memo, or a recipe, so it ends up in a pile and you can never find anything when you need it. Creating a system that’s easy to maintain means that it will be, well, easy! You’re much more likely to put something away if you know where it goes than if you feel like you have to figure out where it goes each time, so develop a fool-proof filing system—and use it.” —Erin Strasen, professional organizer and owner of Placed by Erin. Check out these other 26 secrets professional organizers won’t tell you for free.
Install a financial app on your phone—and use it
“It’s easy to procrastinate dealing with finances but this is how people get in thousands of dollars of debt and lose control of their financial health. Balance your checkbook, keep an app on your phone such as Mint or LearnVest, know your net worth and stay on top of your daily spending habits and budgeting plans. It only takes a few minutes a day but letting this get out of control can cost thousands in interest payments, late charges, unused and unnecessarily purchased items as well as a lowered credit score which in worst cases, can prevent you from getting jobs, homes and transportation.” —Beth Derrick, life coach at Live Good, Live Well. Your bank account will thank you for these 10 easy ways to save $20,000 in a year.
Back up your digital photos
“Upload your pictures to your computer or a cloud service at least once a month. Even better, take a minute to change the names of the photos to something more meaningful. Or organize them into folders labeled with the date and event (like Sep 2017 Kim birthday). You can go a step further by right-clicking the photo and selecting properties. This menu option will allow you to add keywords or names to an image making it easier to search for specific images later. Making backups will save time and money later on and also give you peace of mind.” —Cheri Warnock, Photo Organizer and owner of Cherish Your Photos
Squeegee your shower
“If you have a walk-in shower, get a squeegee and use it to remove excess moisture from any windows and walls. It only takes 30 seconds and will do wonders to prevent mildew and soap buildup. If you have a shower/tub, wipe down the walls and tub (along with the shower curtain) after each use. These little preventative measures will save you from having to do a massive shower scrub later on.” —Marty Basher, home organization expert at Modular Closets. Learn about the things smart homeowners do every week.
Set up auto-pay for bills
“Take the time to set up auto-pay for all the bills you can; then you don’t have to worry about being late and paying fees and it will improve your credit score. If you can’t do auto-pay, schedule a time one night a week to pay bills. Have a ‘bill paying’ drawer or basket that has envelopes, stamps, a pen, checkbook, everything you need to pay bills.” —Felice Cohen, professional organizer, author, motivational speaker. Here are 35 more things every homeowner needs to know.
Sort your mail at the recycling bin
“Before you even put the mail down on the counter, take a quick look at each piece quickly. If you know you don’t want the catalog, flyer, advertisement, or credit card offer, drop it in the recycle bin or trash straight away. Do not put them down and then let these junk items join the rest of the pile of mail. Recycling as the mail comes in saves you time because you won’t be looking at things twice. Even better, sort it over the outside garbage can so you won’t have to take it out again.” —Diane N. Quintana, certified professional organizer at DNQ Solutions. Memorize these 13 secrets of people who always have a clean house.
Clean out your accessories and makeup
“You should clean out your closets and drawers every season. But don’t just focus on clothing. Make sure you also sort through your makeup, travel items, small electronics, accessories, jewelry, and home goods. You may find some ‘hidden treasures’ that you’d forgotten you had and it will save you the expense of re-buying them.” —Rebecca Gitana Torres, interior designer, Healer through the Home Space. Find out how often you should clean everything in your house.