Get a Great Start to the New Year with These Five Tasks


The beginning of a new year is prime time to position yourself for success. Accomplishing the following five household tasks in January will set the stage for success in other areas of your life for the rest of the year.

Change Furnace Filters

Begin the year with a breath of cleaner air by changing the filters in your furnace. This will help your heating system work more efficiently, which prolongs the life of the system and saves on energy costs. The cleaner air will also help your respiratory system better fight off seasonal colds. While you're at it, purchase enough filters for the coming quarter or year, and put the dates for changing the filters on a calendar where you will see it.

Use Up Pantry and Refrigerator Items

After the food excesses of the holiday season, give your pantry and refrigerator a good cleaning in January. Plan to use what you can this month, especially items with a shelf life that will expire in the next few months. Throw out anything that is not edible or that might spoil soon. A purged and organized pantry and freezer will help establish good eating habits and wiser grocery shopping in the coming months.

Make Up a New Budget

Budgeting can show you where you may have to cut back, beginning with the simplest fixes such as changing your phone plan or reining in entertainment expenditures. Bigger choices might include downsizing to a more manageable home, looking for a different job, or obtaining new job skills. Include a realistic monthly savings plan in your budget also.

Plot Household Tasks on a Yearly Calendar

Whether it's an electronic or paper calendar, make sure it's one you look at regularly. Begin by making a list of household tasks to include in the areas of personal finance: yard and outdoor tasks, interior cleaning chores done occasionally, monthly or quarterly maintenance tasks, and upgrades or repairs you want to do this year. Spread them out so it will be possible to get everything accomplished without feeling overwhelmed by trying to do too many things in a short time frame.

Take Time to Set Goals for the Coming Year

Thoughtfully reflect on what you'd like to accomplish by this time next year. Think about your list over a workout or brisk walk. Chat with family or close friends for their input. Be bold, be realistic, and be proactive.

WESTconsin Realty, an affiliate of WESTconsin Credit Union, offers a low seller’s commission rate on qualifying properties and no administrative fees. Full-time, full-service real estate agents are located in each WESTconsin office area throughout western Wisconsin. Find more helpful articles at

The material in this article is provided for your informational purpose only and is not intended to substitute professional advice. If your property is currently listed with a Real Estate Broker, this article is not intended as a solicitation. 

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