Monday, December 30, 2019

New Years Changes

Here's to a New Year!   

Well, 2019 is ending and 2020 is beginning. I have to say I am not sad to say goodbye to 2019. Here's to a wonderful 2020!

The start of a new year is a time to re-evaluate our closet, pantry, decor, vocation, relationships. It is a great time to look at our lives in general. I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. I have not been good at keeping them long. But I do think it is a good time to look are our homes and make some changes.  

If your family is anything like our family, you have packed away the Holiday decorations. Yet somehow the house doesn't look the same as it did before you put them up. That small time of unfamiliar is the perfect time to make some changes. You are already in the mood for new and different and you have created space in your home by removing the decorations. 

 #1 Did you get something new? Donate something old!

If you get a new robe, give away the old. How about a new blanket? Maybe you can give an old one to a shelter or a person in need. Even if they are a bit ratty, animal shelters can use old blankets and towels! Did you get new sneakers? Are the old ones still in decent condition? There are many people in need of decent shoes!

#2 Did you get gifts you don't want? You don't have to keep them.

I am a pack rat and I also worry that anyone who gives me a gift will want to see it used. But I have to admit that many gifts end up in a cabinet or closet somewhere. We had a rule, if we didn't use an item in the last year, it's time to give it away. But now I try to give away unwanted items as soon as I realize I will not use them. This helps me not have to do a massive clean up down the road. (Do you have one of those closets you cannot open?)

#3 When did you last clean out that medicine cabinet?

There may have been a time or two when I cleaned out our medicine cabinet and found medicine that was over 2 years old! If you are anything like me, you buy an over the counter medicine for temporary symptoms and then then shove it to the back because it's no longer used. It's unsafe to use medicine after it's expiration date.  Do you always check the date before you take the medicine? Does your spouse or your kids? I know it doesn't happen in our house. Try to go through and throw out the expired medicine once a year. 
Do the same for your refrigerator and your pantry. Expired food needs to go!

#4 Do you really need two of those?

I am also a gadget queen. I LOVE gadgets, especially kitchen gadgets. I also, forget that I have already bought things. This is a good time to go through your kitchen cabinets and give away things you haven't used at all in the last year (even if you just KNOW you might need it sometime). Also look for things you have more than one of. At one point I had 5 different sets of measuring spoons. Same measurements, just different spoons! I am a firm believer you cannot have too many bowls or too many spatulas. But if you don't have the space for multiples, I promise you can survive with only one of each!

#5 New year, new insurance?

Most insurance policies are 12 months long. But that does not mean they start at the beginning of the year. Since making changes are already on your mind, you may begin thinking of other things you can re-evaluate. You can reevaluate and make changes to your insurance policy any time. You don't have to wait for the renewal. Take a look at your policy. Look at things like contact information, housing value, coverage amounts. Sometimes the most obvious things (like changes to your contact information) are the very things we overlook. Things that may affect your coverage are adding a swimming pool, a trampoline or a new dog. It's a good idea to check in with your agent and discuss your policy.

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