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, 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, 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, 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 also keeps track of your purchases throughout the year, some of which may be tax-deductible.
If you are self-employed, then Invoiceable 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 for keeping track of all those pennies you spent.
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.
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