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Macaroon's Top Ten Tips for a Perfectly Planned 2012

Organising is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” A. A. Milne 

As Oprah says, “Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right”! January is renowned as a month of resolutions and new beginnings – top of our lists often being to plan our year and get organised. At the start of a new year, the idea of purging the old and starting anew is always enticing. Organisation comes right behind purging and allows you to start your year off with a clean slate – in your home, your office, and in your mind. At Macaroon, planning and organising is central to our business and one of our greatest passions – and we hope our top ten tips for an organised 2012 inspire you to take the time this January to start the year with an organised mind and an organised life.  

1. Clean, organise and purge your desk. Update and label your files for the New Year. Make a plan for organising last year's bills and papers, and purge what is not needed. Invest in an electronic labelling machine and make sure your documents are easy to find and to file this year. Use glass jars and desk organisers to sort your desk - the less clutter there is in your office, the more happiness there'll be in your life.

2. Lists. Lists. And More Lists. Make a daily list – there is nothing more satisfying than checking things off your "to do" list! Make a list every night of all the things you need to accomplish the next day. Do this each night, including the weekends, so you get in the habit of relying on your to-do list to help you get things done. Macaroon’s Daily Planner will ensure you always have a stylish list at your fingertips.

3. Use only one calendar. Choose the one that works best for you – whether on your computer, blackberry, iphone or a traditional paper diary. Then get rid of all your other calendars and use just the one to keep track of everything. Make notes in your diary or daily planner, one week ahead of any event, about what you need to do for that event. Do you need to buy wine for a dinner party? Or send flowers for a celebration? Whatever it may be, make notes in advance so that you can stay on top of your tasks.

4. Plan your family’s week. Organise your life with Macaroon's marvelous weekly family planner. This 50 page A3-sized pad allows you to personalise each family member's column with their photograph. Plan the week ahead at a glance - then tear off that week's page and pin in on your kitchen notice-board or fridge for the week; while the pad remains on your desk to plan ahead for future weeks.

5. Organise your point of entry into the house. Depending on how your home is set up, you may come in the front door, a side door, or even the garage to enter your home on a regular basis. This area is the point of entry and it gets most of the kid’s shoes, backpacks, and the adults work bags and gym bags. Use shelves, cubbie holes, baskets and hooks to organize this space. And make sure you have a designated spot – whether a bowl or hooks – for keys and remotes to avoid frantic key searches when rushing out.  

6. Plan your meals, shopping and kitchen space. Avoid unnecessary trips to the shops by using Macaroon’s marvelous menu and shopping planner - ideal for planning your meals for the week ahead. With one side to prompt your meal plan and the opposite your shopping list, you'll discover far less waste at the end of the week in your fridge and far fewer unnecessary trips to the shops. While you’re at it, give your pantry a 2011 overhaul and throw out old food and space clutterers. Clean out your fridge and freezer and clear the majority of small appliances off your counters – give yourself space to create.

7. Organise your entertaining spaces.  In this new year, take the time to clean out old magazines, organise bookshelves, and tidy up entertainment centers with baskets, bins or storage cubes.

8. Help your kids get organised. Use the new year to assess what your kids have grown out of, what toys can be donated to charity and what can be thrown away. Use bookshelves, under bed storage bins, baskets, and clear bins from plastic stores to sort what is left so that playtime is targeted to a specific activity each time.  

9. Start planning now for the next tax year. Label a box "Next Year's Taxes," and put it in your office. This box will hold all your tax-related documents throughout the year: bank statements, receipts for business expenses, online statements indicating what bills you paid and charity receipts. At the end of the year, remove the contents from the box and make two piles - business and personal - for your accountant (or for yourself, if you do your own taxes). The box will be the one place you put everything that has anything to do with your taxes. It definitely beats searching for the paperwork at the end of the year.

10. Start a Recycling Center. Separate your paper, plastic and waste this year and buy yourself a worm farm if you don’t already have one. Make sure your bins are clearly labelled and if you have the space, designate a recycling area in your kitchen. 

From the Macaroon Team, wishing you an organised and clutter free 2012!

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