From Our Blog

Simple Ways to Create a Fresh Start to the New Year

Around this time each year, many begin to crave change. Ready for a fresh start, a change of scenery, a new routine? The great thing about this craving is that it is energizing! Here are some simple ideas for reenergizing your home, your schedule and your life.

Declutter your flat surfaces.

Nothing energizes a space like some quick and simple surface decluttering. Try this fun trick: grab a timer and an empty container. Set your timer for seven minutes and spend the time filling your container with anything you see that doesn’t belong in the room you’re in. When the timer dings, reset it for eight minutes and return the items to the place where they belong. You might be amazed at what you can accomplish in just 15 minutes!

Sign up to receive your bank statements online

We know mail can really add to the clutter. If you haven’t already signed up for online statements, make 2014 the year to do it.  Sit down, log in to online banking (or enroll) and sign up to receive your bank statements and other notices online.  Save paper and your time from needing to declutter in the future! Learn more about online statements.

Declutter your dish towels and pot holders.

This is a simple project that will freshen up your kitchen and create some breathing room in your drawers. Discard any towels that are torn, stained or faded. Replace them with new towels and pot holders in a color or pattern that makes you happy.

Pot some herbs for your kitchen window sill.

Grow some little herb plants in brightly colored pots and place them on a sunny window sill in your kitchen. Not only will your home feel fresh and invigorated, but you will, too, when you enjoy fresh herbs all year long.

Try a new dish.

Are you tired of the same old things for dinner? Spend a few minutes browsing through a favorite cookbook or recipe website picking out a new dish or two to try. Add the needed ingredients to your grocery list and then give yourself permission to enjoy the process of creating and tasting something new to eat.

Get a new calendar.

Gain a fresh view of your appointments and enjoy the freshness of a new, un-scribbled calendar. Need to plan months ahead?

Bank Midwest’s 2014 Year-at-a-Glance Calendar

Create new routines.

Why not decide to intentionally freshen up your daily or weekly routine? What things could you create time for that would keep you energized in the weeks and months ahead? Would you like to schedule in regular exercise, time to make progress on your goals, reading time or time to spend enjoying a long-lost hobby? Use the new year as an opportunity to add something just for you into your new routine.

Incorporate weekly planning into your routine.

Pick one day each week to find a quiet place to escape with your to-do list and calendar, and create a simple plan that prioritizes the items on your to-do list. It’s likely your week won’t go exactly as planned, but with a bit of pre-planning you’ll be sure that your top priority items get their fair share of your time and attention.

Never pay bills late again

If you resolve to get organized for a more efficient 2014, make sure your new routine includes paying bills with online bill pay. Schedule one-time or recurring payments with a few keystrokes.  You can even pay bills from your mobile phone or tablet if you’re on the go. Learn more about online bill pay.

Rearrange the furniture.

It’s a free and simple way to energize your home. And if you find the new arrangement doesn’t work as well as the old one, it’s simple enough to move it back next time you’re ready for a change.

Declutter + rearrange your home accessories.

If you’re not up for rearranging the furniture, a simpler alternative is to change up your home accessories. Pick a room and give each item in that space a second look to make sure you still love it enough to have it out on display. Put any items you no longer want into a donation box and place items you’d like to put away for now in a storage area in your home. Then, sit back and enjoy the fresh new view.

Listen to your own voice.

If you are craving a fresh start, change of scenery or shift in your energy, chances are that deep down you know what you want and need. Listen to that voice. Maybe one of the ideas on the list above resonated with you or maybe you have your own ideas for creating a fresh start. Either way, listen to your voice…and then, go make it happen.