The last bits of turkey have finally been eaten, the leftover Christmas pudding is down to its last slice and reality is slowly returning.
Before everything gets back to normal, here are 10 things you can do to get ahead on 2013…
1. School dates
Now is a really good time to go through the school calendar and write in all the term dates, parents’ evenings etc on your 2013 calendar and/or your diaries. Most schools have next term’s calendar on their website if you don’t have a hard copy.
2. School bags
Go through school bags (with their owner’s permission of course) to check for notes, reports etc. Term finished so close to Christmas this year that I simply didn’t get round to it before. Also check through emails from school for any notes as well – it’s so easy to miss important stuff when you are in manic Christmas mode.
3. School uniform
Check any school uniform and games kit that needs cleaning and get it done as soon as possible. Also check that all items, including shoes and trainers still fit and are wearable. My daughter has had a huge growth spurt and is getting through footwear at a ferocious rate and the upper shoe and sole of my son’s school shoes have come irretrievably apart (not that he told us of course…)
4. Dry cleaning
And while we are on the subject of clothes, this is the time to get work clothes as well as sixth form suits dry cleaned ready for the big back to it all after New Year.
If you had guests over Christmas and they have left, wash their bedding and towels now rather than putting it off – it really does help to get it all done. It is so easy to forget the time-short, harried you in the bliss of long school-run free days!
6. Make a to-do list for 2013
I am already thinking of all the stuff coming up in January and beyond. Get a notebook and start writing it all down as it occurs to you – from paying tax to sorting out my daughter’s 10th birthday party.
7. Paper pile (er, mountain…)
In those last manic weeks before Christmas, paperwork piled up on my desk and has to be tackled. If you’re like me, then don’t leave it too much longer – start working through it 30 minutes or an hour at a time or as much time as you can take. Prioritise paying bills and any other urgent stuff so that you reduce your mental worry list. Then categorise and work through the rest of it as and when you can. Add anything that will take longer than a few minutes to your to-do list (see 6 above!). Another tip is to do first the thing you least want to do – then it’s done and out of your head.
8. Christmas presents
Start finding a home for all those Christmas presents. I have spent about half an hour this morning picking up and putting away the strays from Christmas Day that have never made it into a bedroom or other home. I have also gathered up discarded instructions to put into my instructions folders. They do occasionally come in useful!
9. Christmas food – time to say goodbye
Take 10 minutes to clear out your fridge. It is now 5 days after Xmas – are you really going to use up that homemade cranberry sauce (boo hoo) or make a stock out of the turkey carcase? I hate food waste but there does come a time when you have to admit that it is better to discard leftovers than poison the family! Our local council have a food recycling scheme which makes me feel slightly better about throwing away our unused food.
10. Christmas tree
Check where and when you can recycle Christmas trees locally, then decide when you are going to take it and book the date in your diary. You don’t want your tree hanging around the garden until the Spring or, in the case, of a friend of mine, being blown down the road in a high wind some months after Christmas…
Happy New Year to all!!!!!