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Our September Checklist

There are always those to-dos that we put off again and again because frankly, we just don’t feel like doing them! By the time fall rolls around, we realize that we have a running checklist of items that need to get done by the end of the year (and only three months left to cross them off!). We’re sharing a few items that we are taking care of this month — we have a hunch some of these are on your list as well. 😉 If we take care of these somewhat tedious tasks now, then we’ll feel more relaxed and organized for the rest of the year. This means slow, anxiety-free Sunday afternoons, and even better, a more enjoyable holiday season! 

Closet Clean Out

If not every season, a thorough closet clean out at least once a year is essential to keeping things organized (and sane!). This can be a daunting task when you have multiple closets to tend to — your own closet, kids’ closets, hall closets, etc. We’ve decided to block off one weekend this month to tackle all of our closets in one fell swoop.

We find the best method is to pull everything out of a closet and start fresh. Once you decide what is staying and what is going, a trip to The Container Store for storage bins, hangers, and baskets will help maintain an organized closet for longer.

A good rule of thumb for sorting through clothing is to toss any pieces you haven’t worn in a year, as well as any items that don’t fit, or are stained or damaged. A lot of times we hold on to things for sentimental value, even if the item is no longer functional, which causes a lot of unnecessary clutter. In our September Book Club, we recommended The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up which takes readers through the revolutionary KonMari Method for organizing and storing — definitely worth a read before you take on this process!

Give Back

Sometimes we can have great intentions, but go months (or even a whole year) without actually executing them.  An often the really important things –  like giving back, volunteering your time, cooking that dinner for your friend or even writing a simple thank you note – can be pushed to the bottom of your to-do list or the back of your mind.  This month we are dedicating a Saturday with our kids to give back to our community.  I always find I leave gaining more from the experience than the people we are actually there to help.  I want my boys to grow up learning to serve others who may be less fortunate and to know the joy it brings to help others, and not just during the holiday season when we typically think to do it. 

Tax Prep

Ugh, taxes. We tend to put them off for as long as possible, but if we at least get organized in advance, it makes the whole process seem much more doable. This month we’re digitally filing our receipt pile and making sure that we’re on top of deductions way before taxes are due. For some 1099-friendly tax tips, check out our interview with a seasoned tax lawyer.

Reevaluate the Annual Budget

Chances are you made annual budget goals in January, but of course unexpected expenses always arise. Hopefully we are all looking at this on a monthly basis, as well. But this is a great time of year to take a look at where you are with your annual budget and determine if you need to cut back in certain areas, or perhaps allocate finances to take care of larger expenses like a car note or mortgage. Of course the holidays tend to be an expensive time of year with gifting, travel, and events, so it’s smart to prep ahead for that as well. There are many digital budgeting tools available to help you set a plan and stick to it like Personal Capital and YNAB (“You Need a Budget”).  I recently started using QuickBooks online and have found it to be a game changer for me personally and for my business.  

Annual Doctor Appointments

Before flu season is upon us, we’re making annual well check appointments for the whole family. (It helps that both the boys birthdays fall this time of the year!)  From our GP to the dentist, this is the month to check off routine check ups before the holidays when everyone is scheduling end of year visits.  Some doctor visits that are important that may have been forgotten in the past few years include a general physical exam with blood test and a visit to the dermatologist for a full body scan.  

Insurance Enrollment

For many of us, our insurance coverage is taken care of by our company or our spouse’s employer. However, for those of us who are 1099 employees, open enrollment for insurance is approaching, which means it’s time to make changes if you are unhappy with your current policy. Start researching policies now so that you can make an informed decision during open enrollment which is from Thursday, November 1 to Saturday, December 15 2018.

Preventative Car Maintenance

Surely we aren’t the only ones who dread car to-dos. This month we’re planning to visit the car shop for an oil change and inspection to make sure all is running smoothly. If anything needs updating or maintenance, we can include these (unfortunate) expenses in our end of year budget.  We also love a good car wash to feel organized!  All the mamas out there know how quickly our cars can fill with toys, crumbs general clutter.  I love the feeling of getting into a clean car in the morning! (If if it doesn’t last more than a week.)

image from here

Reevaluate Your Fitness Goals

We all kick start the year with big fitness goals and plans of “this is going to be the year I…”, but why not check-in before the holidays to make sure you are on track to actually achieve those goals.  Imagine if we didn’t wait until next January when we have to tackle the additional five holiday pounds and actually could prevent them from happening in the first place.  Grab a friend or neighbor and take a morning or sign up for a class together, it’s a great way to catch up while fitting in some exercise, as well.

Do you have any to-dos that you put off until the end of the year? Share your list with us in a comment so we can make sure we’re not forgetting something! 

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