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The turkey has been eaten, and the presents unwrapped. In the hangover that is the aftermath of Christmas, it is now time to take stock of the rapidly approaching New Year and prepare for the beginning of 2015.

Some families view the coming New Year as a time to take stock, and take care of some unfinished tasks. If you are one of those people/families, then maybe the following 5 sites will help you carry out those tasks more efficiently and quickly.

Power Up Cleaning The House With Unf*k Your Habitat

The first order of business before you usher in a new year is to get the house cleaned and in spick-span condition. But you look at the place, sigh, and gaze longingly at the couch and the X-Box you got for Christmas. You just can’t summon the energy to get the cleaning started. Meanwhile the leftover Christmas turkey in the kitchen is growing roots, as well as its own special brand of mould.

Despite the unfortunate provocative name, I have found Unf**k Your Habitat (naughty word censored to protect the sensitive) to be excellent for their cleaning checklists, as well as their Mini Challenges, and Full Challenges. The whole point is to give you small things to do first, and then build up to bigger tasks, rather than pile into everything at once and exhaust yourself.

You can download the cleaning checklists as PNG images or as PDF files. They also have a great blog which discusses cleaning issues, with lots of useful information. But some areas of the site use the F word rather liberally, so be warned.

Matt also recently profiled some checklists 10 Spreadsheet Templates To Organize Your Home 10 Spreadsheet Templates To Organize Your Home Do you struggle to keep on top of the cleaning, the shopping or your budget? Read More , some of which are house-cleaning lists.

Get Your Taxes In Order With Various Apps

For a lot of people, including myself, the end of the year is also the end of the current tax year. And that means getting your finances into order 7 IRS Website Tools That Could Save You Time And Money 7 IRS Website Tools That Could Save You Time And Money Here are a few online IRS tools for U.S. citizens diligently slaving away over their taxes. They make your job a lot easier. Don't give up just yet. Read More , before the tax-man comes knocking at the door.

With this one, tax laws vary all over the world, so there isn’t “one size fits all” app or site that can be recommended. But there are some general apps where you can keep your financial information in order. We have previously mentioned Evernote a great deal How To Use Evernote: The Unofficial Manual How To Use Evernote: The Unofficial Manual I see so many advantages to Evernote and we will explore some of them in depth later. But basically it all comes down to this: we are all becoming digital packrats. Read More , where you can keep your tax information, and you can also set up an IFTTT recipe to make sure that everything tagged in Gmail as “taxes” is sent directly to your Evernote account. Slice Slice - The Best iPhone App For Tracking Your Online Purchases & Packages Slice - The Best iPhone App For Tracking Your Online Purchases & Packages Keeping track of our expenses and purchases is easier when we shop online and use debit or credit cards, instead of checks and cash. No matter our best intentions, it's a pain to keep up... Read More also keeps track of your purchases throughout the year, some of which may be tax-deductible.

If you are self-employed, then Invoiceable Meet Invoiceable: A Free Invoicing Solution For Small Businesses Meet Invoiceable: A Free Invoicing Solution For Small Businesses It doesn't get cheaper than free. There are some excellent free invoicing tools out there that your small business can benefit from. Invoiceable is one of them. Read More is a great free site for sending out your invoices, so you can keep a running total of your yearly income, how much you have made so far, and how much you are owed. For your personal spending, some of which may be tax-deductible, Mint is a great app Access Your Personal Financial Account Information With Mint QuickView [Mac] Access Your Personal Financial Account Information With Mint QuickView [Mac] If you're a Mint.com user (if not, you should be), then you will be pleased to know that the personal finance budget and reporting service has produced Mint QuickView, a companion Mac application to the... Read More for keeping track of all those pennies you spent.

Oh and before I forget, remember to send some money to charity 6 Tech-Savvy Charities To Give Back This Holiday Season 6 Tech-Savvy Charities To Give Back This Holiday Season Regardless of religion or belief, the one common theme that runs throughout all of the end-of-the-year celebrations throughout the world is the idea of slowing down a little bit and showing the fellow humans who... Read More before the end of your tax year. The only finger you have to lift is your thumb to send a text message 6 Charities That You Can Just Text To Donate 6 Charities That You Can Just Text To Donate Back in early 2010, when Haiti was devastated by a massive earthquake, text-to-donate campaigns helped raise the amazing amount of $10 million pretty quickly. Though that campaign is no longer active (you can still mail... Read More .

Start Thinking About Next Year’s Vacation With Minube

I don’t know about you, but my wife and I are already discussing our vacation plans for 2015, and this ties in neatly with getting your finances into order for 2015. Because vacations don’t pay for themselves, you know?

Minube is a neat little gem that we have been looking at for some time, thinking about where we could go. 2015 is going to be an economy year for us, so a holiday at home in the country seems practical. So we entered “Germany” and lots of options presented themselves. Then it’s simply a case of clicking on the area you want to go to, then the town, and then the offers start appearing, depending on the dates you entered.

Another good travel website is Trippy, where you can ask questions about your intended destination, and people can reply. Best replies rise to the top.

Think Of New Things To Do & Try

One of the things that excites me about a New Year is the countless possibilities that the coming year will bring. Plus, I like to try and choose a few new things to try that I have never done before.

This site gives some perfect examples. I am definitely planning to volunteer at a homeless shelter (or maybe an animal shelter), learn yoga, and develop the family tree. Already I can’t wait for 2015 to begin. Chiefly because Star Wars is also coming.

You can also meet strangers in the street. Remember, a stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet.

Get Your Year Into Perspective With Gratitude Journal

It’s very easy in the hustle-and-bustle of the days, weeks, and months, to get stressed and down, when things go momentarily wrong. But as I am constantly reminded, you need to keep your eye on the big picture. That everything is not lost, and that you will bounce back from any set-back.

So before you write off 2014 as a “crap year”, sit down for an hour or two and write a gratitude journal. This is just a notebook where you list all the positive things that have happened to you in 2014, no matter how minor. Maybe the boss gave you a compliment or even a small raise? Perhaps you helped a total stranger who was struggling themselves and it made you feel good that you helped? Or it could be something as simple as having the love and support of your family, friends, and colleagues, as well as having a roof over your head.

Tiny Buddha gives you 11 tips, and Wiki-How breaks it down into an illustrated guide. But the above iOS Gratitude Journal for $1.99 is the best. Highly recommended. And don’t forget to keep the habit going for 2015 too.

So what end-of-year tasks do you need to wrap up before we say farewell to 2014 and usher in 2015? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credits: Pulling down 2015 Via Shutterstock

  1. Rob
    December 27, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    I like the idea of gratitude journals, but much prefer 5 Minute Journal than the journal linked to... just sayin'.... otherwise, nice post! :)

    • Mark O'Neill
      December 27, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      well there's lots of different possibilities - gratitude journals, 5 minute journals, even a 1 sentence journal, which I am currently doing. You have to go with what you are most comfortable with, otherwise you will get fed up with it within a few days.

  2. dragonmouth
    December 27, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    If I start checking out these sites, I'll never get anything done! :-)

    • Mark O'Neill
      December 27, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Kind of ironic, don't you think? Sites to help you get stuff done more efficiently, but you spend so long on the sites, you don't have any time left to do what you need to do.

      Who said God doesn't have a sense of humour? :-)

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