February is fresh new month to make progress! Not quite spring, not quite winter, it’s a perfect time to continue working towards healthy home, financial and organizational goals.
While January often feels like the longest month of the year, February seems to fly by in a blink. Before I know it it’s Valentine’s day and then boom – March! While it can be so easy to float through the month, I find making a monthly to do list will help me stay on track and continue to make progress towards my long term goals of creating a simplified and organized life.
To help keep all of my ideas and tasks organized, I aways put together a monthly to do list. Knowing what needs to be done ahead of time helps me schedule my days so I can check these items off without stress.
If you need help starting your own to do list, never fear. I’ve put together a list of tasks I suggest completing in January. Feel free to print my list and add any other personal tasks that need to be done!
Here’s a suggested list of things to do this February to keep your home maintained and organized:
Sort, File and Purge Paperwork
If you have piles of paperwork, mail or kid art cluttering your desk or counters, then February is the month to tackle it! The way I approach a big paperwork jobs is to complete the following steps:
- Gather every item of loose paper in the house and make one pile. This might be a tidy stack or an overflowing bin, but the point is to get every piece of paper into one place.
- Start sorting. I like to use an empty dining table or even the floor. Pick up each piece of paper and decide what category it fits in. My categories are: garbage/recycle, shred, kid art, action, wait and see and to file. You may need more categories, and that’s ok! Just make piles of similar items.
- Get rid of the recycle/trash/shred piles. These are most likely your largest piles!
- Store kid art with other saved mementos. I use file boxes for each of my kid’s special items, but bins work as well. Just make sure you keep the best of the best.
- File any other important papers that need to be filed
- For the action and wait and see piles, I like to have a dedicated temporary file or bin for these items. Then I book time on my calendar to start working through the action items that need attention (bill paying, forms to fill out, address changes, etc.) For the wait and see pile, I keep in a temporary box and sort through each month to see what I can get rid of.
Prepare and File Taxes
February is a great time to tackle taxes (instead of putting off this job until April!). By February, you should have most, if not all, of your tax forms. Consider making a checklist of all the forms you expect to receive and start gathering support for any business expenses or charitable donations.
Once you have all your forms, create a deadline to start and finish preparing your taxes, or to send your information to your tax accountant. This is a perfect task to tackle after you have sorted & filed your paperwork.
Valentine’s Day Plans
Take some time in early February to outline your Valentine’s day plans. This could mean making a dinner reservation or planning a romantic menu for a night at home. If you have kids, this is a great time to plan out and purchase any supplies needed for classroom Valentines.
A few minutes of planning a prep early in the month will help prevent a scramble the night before!
Organize Medicine Cabinet
February is still cold and flu season which makes it a great time to organize your medicine cabinet. Take everything out, sort like with like, and check all expiration dates. Consider if you still like where you store your medicines or if there is a better place in your home to store these items. Remember, medicines are sensitive to moisture and heat, so sometimes storing these items in the bathroom can be less than optimal.
If you need a better way to organize your medicines, consider purchasing or repurposing the following items:
- acrylic bins or drawers
- shelf risers
- woven baskets
Take a decluttering pass on your bedroom, but from a macro level this time. How is the room functioning? Is there anything that is frustrating? Are clothes constantly piled on a chair or on the floor? These are all signs that it might be time to make some big decluttering changes.
In previous years I have been very frustrated with my bedroom, often feeling like it was tight, overcrowded and not reflective of my current life. It turned out I really needed to make some large decluttering decisions, including getting rid of a dresser and upgrading our nightstands so that they were more functional.
Take some time this month to declutter anything that isn’t working in this space or anything you no longer love.
Consider a No Spend Month
If decluttering January has made you really FEEL how much excess stuff you have, consider taking the next step with a no spend month. By not buying, we stop the inflow of STUFF into out homes, and thus reduce the amount of decluttering that we need to do.
Often when people do a no spend month, they have specific categories of items that are still OK to buy. For example, groceries, medicines, and anything that wears out or breaks. But anything that falls in the non-essential categories is halted. Not only can this save you money, but it can also help you break troublesome shopping habits that can contribute to a cluttered home.
Solve a “pain point” in your home
There’s nothing like the rush you get when you solve a problem – especially a pesky pain point in your home! Make a goal this February of identifying an area that has just been driving you nuts and decide to tackle it once and for all! To do this, brainstorm solutions and purchase anything needed to try to solve the problem. Here are some examples to get you started:
- Shoes piling up by the door? Repurpose a bookshelf to use as shoe storage or use a basket to hold the loose pairs.
- Kids robes or sweatshirts always on their floor? Add hooks to the back of their door to give them a place to hang.
- Nowhere for mail to go besides the counter? Consider adding an inbox and a recycling bin to wherever you process your mail.
Organize under the kitchen sink
Has this area been ignored lately? Perhaps it’s a dark hole that you throw cleaning supplies after you use them?
This month give this area the clean out it deserves. I guarantee it will take less time than you expect and the results will be incredibly satisfying. For inspiration and how-to instructions, be sure to check out these posts:
Organize your junk drawer
Time to tackle one more often ignored spot in your home – the JUNK drawer. Whether this is in your kitchen or your office, take the time to dump it all out and throw away anything you don’t use. For the 10% of items that are still useful, add drawer dividers and give each item a proper home. Stand back and admire your new “utility” drawer – no longer a junk drawer!
Looking for a way to track these to-do items? Download your own copy of the February List
Click here to download a printable copy of the February List and use the extra empty bullet points to write in any personal to do’s
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