How I get organised in January – Tips for getting (and staying) ahead

Organised in January

I mentioned in a previous post that I love the start of a brand new year for feeling fresh and getting organised in January, and because also it gives me a rather insane feeling that I can achieve absolutely anything (although I can vouch that this particular feeling does not last much past February). I’m mostly a pretty organised person, and whilst I can do spontaneity (I know, ker-azy), feeling disorganised and chaotic really makes me feel stressed and also reduces my mental capacity to be a good Mum and run my business well. It’s probably a control freak thing, but really I just like things to run smoothly and it frees up time for the fun stuff! 

In the run up to, and at the start of each new year (and I also do lots of these things at the end of the long summer holidays), I run through a short checklist of mine and carry out a few small tasks, all of which help me feel ready to tackle my plans, and get organised in January. 

Get a new notebook/ fresh planner

This is basics I believe, and I also don’t need any excuse for buying new stationery! I have a brilliant filofax from Paperchase that I’ve had for a few years now, and it houses work ‘to do’ lists for each client of mine, one for general lists/meal planning, one for jotting down ideas, and another list for general life admin. 

Clear out your handbag and purse

I’m embarrassed to say that my handbag has been the handbag of doom lately…. there has been SO much crap in there. I gave it a good old well overdue clear out the other day and discovered numerous kids hair bands, a pack of playing cards, football cards, pack of tissues, stones, shells, loose change….I could go on! Kids are magnets for all manner of tat, and binning all the junk means I no longer scrabble around and get stressed trying to find the important stuff (car key, I’m talking to YOU). 

Meal plan for the month

I’ve meal planned weekly and ordered our food shop online for several years now, and honestly, if you don’t already do this it’s a game-changer and saves so much money. When it comes to our Tesco shop and getting organised in January, I roughly meal plan for the whole month ahead, and it means I save SO much time when I want to crack on with other stuff in January. I find it works well for this month, as it’s usually a quiet one for us socially, but if we do decide to do something or a plan crops up before one the planned weeks, I scrap the order for whatever is on the menu that day, no biggie. 

Fill out your calendars

I have a family planner that lives on the pin board in our utility room, and I buy the following year’s one in October so I have plenty of time to fill it in, and transfer birthday, anniversary info over that I might otherwise forget. 

Update your address book

Check that everyone you send birthday/Christmas cards to has their up-to-date address in your address book- we’ve had quite a few friends and family move lately so this is something I really need to do.

Write some goals down

I find that if I write down approx 5 things I want to achieve throughout the year then it makes them seem eminently more ‘doable’, and gives me something to focus on. I then think about those 5 goals and then also write down 3 things that I need to do/could do in order to make them happen. You can read more about my 2023 goals here – I think they can be achieved by the time I turn 40 later this year!

Change how you view your time

I read a book a few years ago that seriously changed how I view my time as parent who manages her own workload around the children. It was called “I know how she does it: How successful women make the most of their time”, by Laura Vanderkam, and it really was a revelation for me. Laura views a person’s whole potential time as being 168 hours (1 week) rather than just the daily 24 hours, and she shows various ‘mosaics’ that several career women fill in and state how they use their time. In most cases of these successful women, they worked long hours but not always at obvious times, and still managed to have plenty of ‘me’ time and family time. I always used to want to stick two fingers up at the Facebook memes that screamed “You have X amount of time in a week, don’t tell me you can’t find 3 half hour slots to exercise!” but they were right- it’s totally possible to do more than you think if you stop viewing your days as simply 9-5, whatever job you’re doing. 

So these are the things that I do after the New Year and to get organised in January – what do you to make yourself feel more together? 

See more of my life organisation posts HERE



  1. Carie
    January 2, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    I think there’s always more time than you think, but at some point there is a finite amount of time and you can fun out of it – usually while stupidly busy at the day job! I’m with you all the way on the new notebook though – my new diary is still in transit and I’m itching for it to arrive so I can start making a few plans 🙂

    • Becky
      January 4, 2017 / 11:05 am

      That’s true Carie- I think we all have to draw the line somewhere otherwise we would constantly be ‘doing’! Hope your new notebook has arrived, I love opening a fresh one so much!

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