Fresh Start: 5 Things You Should Do Every January

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I'm not usually one for New Year's resolutions, but I am always interested in rejuvenating my space, work and life in the New Year. January is a great month for cleaning up problem areas, whether they are physical problem areas in your home, or work and financial issues. Here are a few of our top tips for simple tasks to help get your new year get off to a great start!

1. Declutter your desk or work area and go through important papers. Tax time is coming! Getting all of your important paperwork and documents all sorted and filed is the best way to make this season as painless as possible. Take papers you don't need anymore to get shredded at your local office supply store (or shred at home if you have a portable) to free up even more space.

2. Back up your important computer files and photos. Most of us don't do this enough (myself included). Some experts suggest backing up every week to every month. If you're not caught up with file-saving, load all of your important computer files into the Cloud, an external hard-drive, or even "old-fashioned" CDs. You'll thank yourself later if you ever have an emergency.

3. Throw away old things to make way for new gifts. With the holiday season just finishing up, you probably have some new gifts to make room for in your house. I like to donate or sell things I don't use anymore in January in order to make room for new things in the home — helps to avoid clutter!

4. Check your credit report. This is an important one that we should all be doing every year. With rampant identity theft and the importance placed on the health of your score, it's important to keep track of your credit report. Sign up for a free site like creditkarma.com or freecreditreport.com to check up on your score, or look into year-round credit monitoring.

5. Do a "super-dust," cleaning all blinds, hidden areas, and baseboards behind furniture. In a perfect world, we would have a tiny dusting drone that buzzed around our houses and dusted the areas behind furniture or hidden under tables. Alas, this doesn't exist (at least not yet!), and January is a good month to do a deep clean of areas that probably don't get the best care year-round. Although we'd recommend doing this each quarter, January is a good time to start. Dust and grime builds up in these areas, sometimes complicating cleaning later.

Do you have January tips of your own? Leave them for us in the comment section!

(Image credits: Chris Perez)

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