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Learn how to be more organized and productive by implementing these 9 things to do at the beginning of every month .
Beginning of the month is always like a fresh start and it’s a perfect time to do all those things that need to be done every once in a while, but you never remember if you did them.
I created a list of 9 things to do at the beginning of every month that’ll help you plan ahead, stay organized and feel good each and every month. And this post comes with a pretty printable that you can use through out the year as a checklist. It’s a perfect addition to your planner or you can use it as is.
I hope you like the post and the free printable!
9 THINGS TO DO AT THE BEGINNING OF EVERY MONTH (+FREE PRINTABLE)
What are these 9 things to do at the beginning of every month
The 9 things to do at the beginning of every month are:
- Planning ahead
- Setting goals
- Budgeting and reflecting
- Purging photos
- Achieving inbox zero
- Cleaning and organizing
- Scheduling some me-time and planning the me-gift purchases
- Scheduling self-care / beauty routines
- Choosing a book to read or a course to take
How to use the 9 things to do at the beginning of every month -checklist
Here are the step-by-step instructions and tips to use the 9 things to do at the beginning of every month check list.
1. Plan ahead!
The first thing do when you start going through the things to do at the beginning of every month is planning.
Go through and skim over your calendar week by week and see what has already been scheduled like what appointments are there, which events are coming up, vacations, birthdays and other important things.
Update your calendar with the meetings and appointments that you might have forgotten to add to your calendar.
Schedule date nights, family days and even a girls night out.
If some weeks or weekends seem too packed or too empty reschedule some of the appointments.
Then make some plans with your friends and family.
You can also plan ahead and schedule in your calendar your exercising routine, courses you might be taking and other past times.
Remember to also have some free time and most importantly some me-time, so you’ll have time to recover from the day-to-day activities and you’ll have enough energy to have a stress-free life.
Printables to help you with planning ahead:
- Have an overview on your calendar
- Update your calendar
- Schedule date nights and family days
- Reschedule appointments to even out the weeks
- Make other plans with friends
- Don’t forget to also have some free days or evenings with no plans
2. Set goals
After planning the second thing to do when you go through the things to do at the beginning of every month is goal setting.
Reflect on the past month: what went well, what needs more of your attention, what would you like to accomplish, what you need to let go.
Then set goals for the month. Choose 1-3 goals and remember that too many goals will scatter your focus.
Write down your goals and create easy achievable action steps for each goal.
Printables to help you with goal setting:
There’s also a great 10 step method to achieve your goals if the goal is more complex and needs more thought.
- Reflect the past month goals
- Set 1-3 goals for the month
- Write your goals down
- Create small achievable action steps to each goal
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3. Budget and reflect
Third thing of the important things to do at the beginning of every month is budgeting and reflecting.
Go through and reflect on the previous month and check if you stayed in the set budget. Was there some unexpected purchases? Were you able to put some money into savings? Were you able to pay off some debt? Do you need to adjust your budget for the month?
Set the budgeting goals for the month. How much can/will you put into savings? Will you be investing some money? Can you pay off some debt? In which things could you spend less money on? Is there some upcoming events, birthdays and big purchases that might effect the budget?
Then create your budget.
If you’d just like to have an overall vision of the budget then keep the budget simple and stick with these categories and the 50-30-20 rule:
- 50 % to necessities like housing, car and bills
- 20% to financial goals like savings, paying off debt and investments
- 30% to everything else
If you’re into budgeting then you can have more detailed categories that you follow.
Write a list of things that you could let go of like subscriptions or some habits that take too much of your budget. Add to the list of the things you could try to change to save some money like providers. And brainstorm of ideas to make some extra income.
Then create small achievable action steps to reach your budget. Write them down and tackle all the steps one-by-one on your action list.
- Reflect the past month’s budget
- Set the budgeting goals: savings/investments, paying off debt, what to spend less money on
- Remember to add the upcoming events and big purchases to your budget
- Create a budget for the month (use the 50-30-20 rule or create more detailed budget)
- Write a list of the things that you could let go of, that you could try to change or you could add to your budget like subscriptions, providers, extra income.
- Create small achievable action steps to reach your budget, write them down and tackle your action list.
4. Purge photos
After the planning, goal setting and budgeting is time to move to decluttering and organizing, so that you’ll have clarity, you’re more organized and you’ll free up some energy.
One important thing to do at the beginning of every month (that at least I always forget to do) is to purge the photos on your phone.
If you like to take pictures but never go through them, there will come a time when going through the photos is just too overwhelming.
So purging photos every month is a good way to keep your photos organized and to prevent the moment of overwhelm.
Purging photos is easy, when you do it each month.
Go through the photos and delete the duplicates and the ones you don’t want to keep.
If your phone allows then favorite the ones you’d like to use on social media or send to someone, or the ones that you’d just like to keep on your phone.
Transfer the photos on your computer and to an external hard drive.
Organize the photos into folders by date or by the subject like photos of the kids, family, pets, friends, fun events, food, work etc.
- Go through your photos on your phone.
- Delete the duplicates and the ones you don’t want to keep
- Favorite the ones you’d like to use on social media or you want to keep on your phone
- Transfer the photos on your computer and to an external hard drive
- Organize the photos into folders by date or by the subject
5. Achieve inbox zero
Another decluttering and organizing topic of the 9 important things to do at the beginning of every month is achieving inbox zero. This is a long text, but bear with me. I promise it’s worth it.
I don’t know how many emails you get, but I get a LOT. And it’s overwhelming to keep the inbox organized.
If you don’t do the email organizing each week then the beginning of the month is the perfect time to go through your inbox and do some adjustments.
So first take a look at your emails and write down how many emails you have in your inbox (both read and/or unread). Measuring things is both important and satisfying so I recommend to to do this.
There are 4 categories that you can use when trying to achieve inbox zero:
- urgent & important
- urgent & not important
- not urgent & important
- not urgent & not important
Start with the NOT important ones (both urgent and not urgent).
Delete the emails you know you’re never going to read like ads and promotions. Delete ruthlessly the ones that are not important. It doesn’t matter if they’re urgent or not urgent, if they’re not important they have to go.
Note! When you delete an email, consider unsubscribing from the email list if possible. You’ll thank yourself the next time you’re decluttering your emails and trying to achieve inbox zero.
Then move to the ones that are some what important to you but are NOT urgent.
Create a folder (f.ex. “reading list” or “read when you have time”). Move the emails to that folder. Then create a filter that drives the future emails like that automatically to the “reading list” folder.
After you’ve decluttered and organized most of your emails you have the urgent and important ones left.
Most likely you’ve already answered most of the urgent and important ones already.
So before you read any unread emails delete, archive and/or organize to folders the important emails you’ve already read.
Of course the best would be that at the time when you’re reading an email the email would be either deleted or archived immediately, but sometimes it’s not possible when you’re busy or on the road.
With the ones that are left in the inbox do the following:
- If reading (and answering) takes more than 2 minutes write it down on your action list/to do list.
- Then put those emails into a folder called “action needed”. These emails are mostly the not urgent & important ones, because most likely you’ve already answered the urgent & important ones.
- Then schedule time in your calendar to go through the “action needed” emails in bulk.
And tadaa! Inbox zero achieved! Good job!
- Write down how many emails you have in your inbox (read and/or unread)
- Use the 4 categories: urgent & important, urgent & not important, not urgent & important, not urgent & not important
- Delete the emails you know you’re never going to read like ads and promotions. (not important ones that are both urgent or not urgent).
- When you delete an email, consider unsubscribing from the email list if possible
- Create a “reading list” folder for those emails you’d like to keep but that are not urgent nor super important. Move the emails to the folder. Then creat a filter that drives the future emails like that automatically to the reading list -folder.
- Delete, archive and/or organize to folders the important emails that you’ve already read and answered
- With the ones that are left do the following:
- If reading (and answering) the email takes more than 2 minutes write it down on your action list/to do list
- put those emails into a folder called “action needed”. (These are mostly the not urgent&important ones, because you’ve already answered the urgent & important ones)
- Schedule a time in your calendar to go through the “action needed” emails in bulk
6. Clean & organize
The third decluttering and organizing part of the 9 important things to do at the beginning of every month is to do some general cleaning, decluttering and organizing.
But don’t go too deep into this, because there are other things to do too. Use the 80-20 rule when doing this part each month.
The 80-20 rule means that 20% of the effort will give you 80% of the results. For example spend only 10 minutes on each task and do only the most important things that show most results and be ok with less perfect. Because less perfect is still pretty good and you’ll have time to do other things too.
Use a timer or the pomodoro method so you won’t be spending too much time on each part.
So the here are some of the things to clean and organize at the beginning of every month:
1. REFRIGERATOR AND FREEZER
Clean the refrigerator and toss the expired items. Of course this would be good to do weekly, but check also those items have longer shelf-life like sauces.
Go through your freezer too, so you’ll know what’s in it and purge what is needed.
Clean the trash out of the car. Declutter the things from your car that don’t belong there. Remove, shake and clean the car mats. Take your car to a quick car wash and get rid of the obvious stains or dirt inside the car.
3. HANDBAG & PURSE
Go through your purse and handbag. Empty them, toss or archive the receipts, toss the trash, toss or put in the right place the un-needed items. And put back the things you want to keep in your purse and handbag.
Organize your wardrobe and declutter some items if possible (like the broken ones or something you know you’re not going to wear).
Hang the clothes, check that your socks and underwear are in the right place, put aside the items that need to be ironed or fixed.
Check your shoes if they need to be polished.
Move your favorite clothes in the best place of your closet and move the seasonal clothes in the back of the closet or on the top or bottom shelves.
5. BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Then go through your beauty products and toss the expired ones, clean the brushes if you’ve forgotten to do that and organize what is needed.
6. THINGS TO BUY
While you’re going through your personal items make a list of things that you might be needing now or soon like mascara, shampoo, new jeans, a perfume, a new purse etc.
Consider upgrading your wardrobe and beauty products by buying less but better quality.
7. CHANGE THE SHEETS
If you don’t change your sheets every 2 to 3 weeks then the beginning of the monthis the perfect time to do that
8. WORKSPACE AND PAPERS
Organize your workspace and archive into folders all the papers, notes and bills you’ve collected and want to keep. Toss the ones that you don’t need to save.
9. UPDATE YOUR PLANNER
If you keep a planner then go through your monthly planning things, add new pages to your planner and get rid of the old ones that you no longer need.
Use the 80-20 rule and spend only 10 or 15 minutes on each task. Use a timer or the pomodoro method.
- Clean the refrigerator and go through the freezer too.
- Clean and declutter your car
- Go through your purse and handbag
- Organize your wardrobe
- Go through, clean and organize your beauty products
- Make a list of things you’d might be needing now or soon. Consider upgrading by buying less but better quality.
- Change the sheets if you’ve forgotten to do that
- Organize your workspace and archive your papers
- If you keep a planner then go through your monthly planning things, add new pages to your planner and get rid of the old ones that are no longer needed
7. Schedule some me-time and plan your me-gift purchases
After planning, goal setting, budgeting, decluttering and organizing comes the part where you need to take care of you!
Go through your calendar again and schedule some me-time when you can go for a walk, read a book or watch your favorite tv-show. You don’t have to decide what you’re going to do on your me-time, just block 30-45 minutes or an hour from your calendar for you and call it me-time and when the time comes you can do whatever you want to, or even do absolutely nothing if you feel like it! Yay!
Remember to prioritize me-time so you’ll always have enough energy for the activities you need to do and that you’re stress-free when you have we-time with your family, friends and significant other.
When you were going through your wardrobe, beauty products and workspace you might have come up with some things and ideas you’d like to buy.
I like to call the things I buy for myself me-gifts.
What are me-gifts and Saturday gifts?
And because I don’t want to buy things too often, I always choose quality over quantity and I want to only buy things that I really REALLY need, want and like, I like to buy my me-gifts on Saturdays and so I call those purchases Saturday gifts.
And I don’t like to buy anything that I wouldn’t give as a gift to someone else, so like in gift-giving I have a budget for my Saturday gifts, I really think carefully what I might like, there’s a time and place for each purchase and I try to make it special, so I wrap my Saturday gifts in paper or I put a little ribbon on it and every time I get something for myself I feel very special and grateful.
And if I see something I really like or want I might buy it and put it aside and when Saturday comes I’ll gift it to myself. Changing my shopping habits from just buying stuff randomly to me-gifting changed my whole life (and that’s were the name to this blog also comes).
How to buy me-gifts and Saturday gifts?
- So plan and schedule the purchases you’d like to buy for yourself.
- Make every purchase special, because you are special.
- Don’t buy whenever but wait for it. The right time is not always now.
- Think of each thing you buy as a gift to the most important person in your life. Yourself.
- Have a budget and stick to it.
- Choose quality over quantity (this helps for the clutter too!).
- Upgrade when possible.
And remember that the road to wealth (or to debt free life) has to be fun too.
- Prioritize and time-block some me-time in your calendar.
- Write a list of things you’d like or need to buy for yourself
- Stop buying stuff randomly and start me-gifting instead.
- Plan, schedule, budget and choose quality over quantity. Upgrade when possible.
Remember that the road to wealth (or to debt free life) has to be fun too!
8. Schedule your self-care and beauty routines
You need to take good care of yourself so that you can be the best possible version to your loved ones. So the next one of the important things to do at the beginning of every month is to plan and schedule your self-care and beauty routines.
Write down in your calendar when you’ll do or have:
- other beauty appointments
Write down in your calendar also when would you do or have:
- Face mask
- Hair mask
- Long relaxing bubble bath
- Other self-care or beauty routines
Write down and schedule time for some courses, events, hobbies or past times you’d like to have or do.
And this is the perfect time to reflect on and update your habit tracker.
Printables to help you with self-care routines:
If you don’t have a habit tracker set up yet, you can find a great habit tracker here with 40+ ideas that you can track with your habit tracker.
Write down in your calendar when you’ll do or have:
- Other beauty appointments
- Face mask
- Hair mask
- Long relaxing bubble bath
- Other self-care or beauty routines
- Courses, events, hobbies, past times
- And reflect and update your habit tracker
9. Choose a book to read and/or a course to take
The last one of the 9 things to do at the beginning of every month is to choose a book to read and/or a course to take.
Reading books, learning something new and developing yourself is important for your mind (like exercising is important for your body), so choose
- one fun or thrilling book you’d like to read and would excite you
- one new thing you’d like to learn in a form of a course, book or some other way
If you like to read and study a lot, you can of course read and study more in a month. But try to choose one book, course or subject at the time. Keep focused.
And if you have more books you’d like to read or more things you’d like to learn, then write all of them down, prioritize and choose one at a time.
- Choose a fun or thrilling book to read
- Choose one new thing you’d like to learn in a form of a course or a book or some other way
So that’s all the 9 things to do at the beginning of every month.
I know it’s a lot, but if you just keep doing them, over time they’ll take less and less time each month and you’ll be so much more organized and productive if you take the time to do those things.
And don’t forget to download the checklists.
You can download the 9 things to do at the beginning of every month -printable at the end of this post.
You might also like these pretty & practical printables:
- Habit tracker printable
- Monthly Goals Planner sheet
- Weekly List Planner sheet
- Reflect on your year printable
- Elegant 2019 printable calendar
Download the 9 Things To Do At The Beginning Of Every Month planner sheet
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