Get it Done: The 5 Projects You Always Say You’ll Do
These resolutions always make the rounds. This is the year they will actually get done.
Clean Out Your Closet
The best way to get organized is to make a mess first. So dump everything on your bed. We mean everything. Done? Now you have to finish this project today, or you literally won’t be able to sleep.
Go through and decide what you’re ready to part with. Make three piles: keep, donate, or throw away. Look out for items that don’t fit (obviously) or impulse buys you haven’t worn since the day after you bought them. If they aren’t too worn or damaged, donate them to a local clothing drive. If they are worse for the wear, toss them.
Before you stuff everything back into your closet, invest in a few organizing essentials: clear plastic boxes for your shoes, or a hanging rack for sweaters. Take off-season items and pack them away—either on a high shelf in the closet, or in boxes under your bed. Sort your clothes by type—dresses, pants, button-down shirts—and hang them in like groups. It will be much easier to find tomorrow’s outfit when you know where everything is.
Organize Your Photos
Those piles of photos from your vacation have been sitting in a corner of your living room since June. Or worse, your computer has years’ worth of photos that you haven’t found time to print.
First, decide: Do you want to print them or go digital? If you choose the latter, carve out an hour to spend on photo websites, like Minted or Shutterfly, and create digital photo books. You can make a huge book of all of your unseen photos, or divide them up by event and season. Either way—you place the photos; they’ll ship them to your door.
If you’re more of a print-them-out kind of person, make sure you have a place to put all your photos once they’re in your hands. Pick your favorites, find a blank wall, and hang them gallery-style If you aren’t feeling creative, just fill up photo albums (but make sure to label the photos with dates, places, and people using Post-It notes). Whatever you do—do not leave them sitting in a shoebox collecting dust.
Develop a Meal Plan
When it comes time to make goals, “eating healthy” seems to top everyone’s list. The secret to eating better is planning better—because you can’t stick to a healthy diet if you check your pantry and realize all you have for dinner is a bag of chips and a box of pasta.
Pick a day to go shopping every week—and stick to it. Take time to think about your week in meals—it can be detailed (like recipes for dinner) or general (like knowing you’ll have a yogurt for breakfast). Create a shopping list based on your week long menu—and don’t forget snacks.
Be strategic with your plan—choose meals that will make great leftovers for lunch, or that require very little prep time. Find recipes you trust and can return to again and again. Try Real Simple's No Time to Cook app for daily recipe inspiration, shopping lists, and how-to videos or their Meal Planner, where we’ll streamline dinner prep for you every day of the week.
Bonus tip: Want to eat well without a ton of extra prep time? Become best friends with your slow-cooker. Dive Into the Junk Drawer
Everyone has that one drawer in the kitchen that slowly became the place to put everything. Well, it’s time to see what’s really in there. Take the drawer out and dump everything. First things first—get rid of trash. Old receipts, dried-out glue, or broken pens can all be thrown away. Once you’re done, take a look at the inventory, and decide which items belong there, and which ended up there by mistake. Replace tools to their rightful place in the toolbox, for example, or stick the stray spoon that somehow got into that drawer into the dishwasher.
Then, find a divider or insert that will work in the drawer. Bundle like-items together, like office supplies or sewing essentials, and section them away from others. Find a colorful bowl or patterned contact paper to dress up the inside of the drawer. If it looks pretty, hopefully you’ll be more motivated to keep it organized.
Create an At-Home Workstation
Whether you work remotely or just need some space to tackle your bills and to-do lists, it’s a good idea to have a designated place for productivity. You don’t even need a separate room—you can find space in the kitchen, in an unused living room nook, or your bedroom.
Make sure your at-home desk has plants and easy access to sunlight—research has shown both can increase productivity. While you’re at it, find some green décor—a 2012 University of Munich study found that the color green boosted creativity.
If all you have is a table, use baskets to keep files and supplies organized and out of the way. You can repurpose a shoebox into an organized charging station for your desk’s cords. Then, buy or make a calendar or bulletin board so that you can see all of your projects and to-do lists at once. Add a few framed photos or keepsakes from around your home, and now you have a great space to plan all of your upcoming projects.
Source: RealSimple.com - 5 Projects You Always Say You’ll Do… and How to Finally Do Them