I had a holiday rush these past few weeks. It’s not about gifts. (I’m still frugal yet wiser. I dealt with gift shopping faster than last year.)
I signed up for an invaluable task with a deadline: organizing files in fancy folders complete with labels and envelopes.
Not everyone has the time and the spirit to organize in the last two weeks of the year when sales and gatherings are anticipated more than ever. But I did. I have to because it’s hard to squeeze the seemingly-simple-yet-procrastinated task comes the new year. It must happen this year.
I dragged the files on the floor and read everything. With Abba on the background singing Dancing Queen, I managed to keep headache away. Occasionally humming along especially in chorus has shaken the anger and annoyance out of my brain.
I will never let things be so cluttered anymore.
No Achievement is Too Small
After several replays of Abba, I ended up with bags of recyclable materials and much more:
- Old clothes were evicted out of the closet for donation or for package. (More or Less inspire me to make it a habit.)
- The unlikely-to-be-read books were stashed away. Unfinished books are nearby whenever I feel like reading and not blogging or watching.
- Notebooks were lighter than before. Notes I randomly scribbled were torn into pieces. (I salvaged blog ideas waiting to be written for about a year, I suppose. There’s still hope.)
- My laptop has more storage space. No more cookies, remnants of software, and unimportant files. (Farewell to-be-read e-books). This task is harder than filing documents. It’s hard to delete files only occupying virtual space. Nonetheless, a clutter is a clutter.
It was a monumental event. Doing is ten times better than whining.
A Little Help from the Expert
But wait. The biggest challenge of all is creating financial spreadsheet. (For a minute I feel like a professional financial planner.)
I am grateful for the FREE spreadsheets on Squawkfox. Kerry Taylor has made ingenious and colorful downloadable templates; however, I picked the following in terms of necessity:
I never thought of having fun to know how much I spend each month. The figures don’t lie.
I have to be honest to myself: I spent more on clothing. (I really do need them.) Gadgets were on the second place. (Tip: buy an antivirus online. Sale will end in first week of January.)
That’s how an entire week was spent. (I still make revisions once in a while.)
Organizing and singing along is inarguably a perfect team. The latter keeps me sane enough to finish more than the plan. I realized it’s best to plan a little and become flexible.
Organize as fast as you can. Don’t exhaust that enthusiasm since it may take more time if you jump from one task to another (like I did).
But don’t leave any unfinished task.
Deal with one task (then do the “Dancing Queen” move if you want to) before making a giant leap to whatever you feel like sorting out next.
For a final note, I will leave you with tips from Pat Foran, the author of The Smart Canadian’s Guide to Saving Money: Pat Foran is On Your Side, Helping You to Stop Wasting Money, Start Saving It, and Build Your Wealth. Wheww. Quite a long title yet worth reading.
Update: The video is not available on YouTube but here’s a quote instead.
Number one: start tracking where your money is going.
Done! Thanks for reminding Pat. I stumbled on this video after all the hard work on my over-customized spreadsheet. (Is green better than sky blue? I’ll settle with tan then, for now.)
With Pat Foran’s tips and Kerry Taylor’s spreadsheets, we can start developing good financial habit.
This blog post is getting messy: too many topics from organizing to frugality; from singing to dancing. Oh well, I must say I still have an extra enthusiasm days after cleaning up my hideout.
How about you? How do you plan to end or start the year: cluttered or uncluttered?
Share your plans and actions. You can also rant about procrastination but I hope it will have a happy ending.