Winter doesn’t officially begin until December 21st, but it’s coming. In some ways, it’s already here. Bone chilling cold temperatures, snow, and rain. After the holidays, the kids return to school and the house is quiet. As a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), I’m planning to make the most of my homebody nature and take advantage of some down time.
If you’ve read my earlier posts, then you know I’m a little OCD. But, I’m also a homebody. To connect those two counterpoints of my personality, I like to organize. Maybe it’s a character flaw from my former life as a school teacher and librarian. Or maybe it’s my incessant need to feel prepared in case of an emergency. It’s always good to be prepared for emergencies, right? You can read more about those preparations in fellow contributor Brenda’s post. Admit it; just like a bear, we hibernate and prepare for the marathon of motherhood. Winter months are a time to rest after a hectic October, November, and December. It’s also a time to reflect and organize. Moms who feel the need to fill their day.
Here are some ideas to jump start your new year:
Are your bills stacking up? What about the dreaded pile of mail? Stop by the local office supply store and gather some manila folders, hanging file folders, and various colored sharpies. The OCD gene in me just loves to organize. It also helps to soothe my anxiety. If you don’t have a shredder, pick up one of those suckers as well. It will feel good to see and hear junk mail shred into tiny pieces. Not certain whether to keep or shred a document? Click here.
If you don’t have a filing cabinet, use separate binders, like the ones above. Organize those hanging folder into larger groups such as Home, Finance, Personal, and Auto. Then, separate smaller folders into subgroups. For instance, your finance hanging folder should contain smaller folders for credit card bills, your budget, and bank statements. Meanwhile, your home hanging folder should contain mortgage payments and/or statements and receipts from any repairs or home improvement projects. This organization project is ongoing, so start with something basic such as filing your bank statements. Don’t try to complete the entire project in one day. If you do, you’ll be overwhelmed.
2. Rethink your process/routine
What’s slowing you down in the morning? Are there ways to make your morning more efficient? By that I mean things you can control, not the wayward teenager or the fussy kindergartener. Your own process or morning routine. For instance, is it impossible to find gloves and hats? If so, attach a small basket to your wall and add gloves. No more searching for those missing gloves. You don’t even need a drill or hammer. Command hooks are readily available and won’t damage your walls. They can also hold jackets and purses. Just check the weight limit, otherwise they will fall down. Ugh!
3. Tally accomplishments
Always, always do this. You can’t be expected to make lots of changes to your routine without rewarding yourself. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Complete a little portion at a time. If you only accomplish one thing on the list, I’d say that’s a win. Whether you have one child or multiple children, this momma thing ain’t for the faint of heart.
4. Network on LinkedIn
If you eventually plan to return to work, sign up for LinkedIn. It’s certainly better to browse through its feed than Facebook. Keep in touch with former colleagues. If you can, meet them in person. Maybe you’ll meet other fellow coworkers. It’s always good to stay connected.
By organizing your finances, you may have time to daydream about future plans or trips. Or, if you need ideas or just want to listen and let your mind wander, search for podcasts recommended in another fellow contributor’s post.
6. Expand skills
If you’re planning to return to work, you may want to try coding. If so, read a post about coding skills by another fellow contributor. Computer slow? Stop by the local library which also has free coding resources. Or, heck, just read a book and call it a day.