10 Things To Do At The End Of The Year To Simplify Next Year


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Let’s get the new year off to a great start, by doing some key tasks now that will help put this current year to bed and prepare you really well for the coming year. Here are my top 10 things to do at the end of the year to help next year be your best yet!

10 things to do at the end of the year to make next year easier

How do you feel at the end of most years?

It’s probably one of these two: –

FEELING #1 – You look back over the year and are happy and content with what you’ve achieved. You’ve got loads done, and most of what you planned has come true. You are looking forward to another productive year this year, and are happily anticipating it.

FEELING #2 – You look back over the year and wonder where time went. You haven’t got everything done that you wanted to, the months have flown by, and you’re probably less organised than ever. BUT you’re sure that this year will be different….

I would say that for most people, the feeling is very definitely #2 – but you want to feel #1 if at all possible.

And that’s where this post comes in!

It’s hard to know what to do at the end of the year to make next year go more smoothly – but if you follow these 10 steps, it can happen for you too!

It really is worth spending time to get these done, because you’ll feel much more confident going into the new year. I’d suggest adding some time into your diary NOW so that they get done. Some are quicker than others, but they will all make a difference in their own way.

Things To Do At The End Of The Year

There are 4 main areas to look at when we talk about end of year tasks.

  1. Memories
  2. Taking Stock and Making Plans
  3. Your Diary
  4. Updates to existing things

As you can see – they work from looking back, to looking forward – and then updating based on what you’ve planned.

This is most definitely the best way to do things – because it’s a way of remembering the past year, reminiscing a little, and then it sets the tone for the coming year because you can learn from what you’ve already done (always a good thing to do!).

Let’s get started then, shall we….


#1 – Create A Photo Book Of The Past Year

This is a BIG TASK. No doubt about it. But even though it’s huge, I’ve NEVER REGRETTED DOING IT.

I get all our digital photos together, scan any greetings cards / artwork / letters etc… that we want to keep and have been given over the year – and then collate the very best memories into a gorgeous photo book to remember the year at a glance.

Related: How To Create a Photo Book, and Everything You Need To Know About Photo Books

Every year we keep the previous years year book on our coffee table (the rest are in our bookcase) – and I lose count of the times I sit and flip through the pages.

It’s such a fantastic way of remembering things, and is our families most treasured keepsake.

The other bonus is that it doesn’t take up much room at all in terms of storage – so it works on every level of being organised!

#2 – Set Up A System For Collecting Memories For The Coming Year

Whether you have a photo book or not – you’ll no doubt want to collect things over the year that will be memories for you.

I do this in a few ways – the system I use is as follows: –

  • DIGITAL PHOTOS – Create a folder for the year on your computer. Have sub folders for each month. Then when you get to the end of each month, you can simply move all the photos you’ve taken into the right folder, and you’ll be organised before you know it!
  • PAPERWORK – Cards, Letters, Artwork etc… can all be saved once they have been used/displayed. There are 2 ways to save them. #1 – Scan/Photograph them and keep with your digital photos, OR keep the actual items in a folder/box/binder. I do both! I have a simple A4 ring binder with plastic pouches for each month of the year. Then at the end of each month I put anything in the pouch that I want to keep. At the end of the year I scan what I want to put into the photo book, and then shred the original – and for the select few originals I keep – I put them in my memory box. Works really well, keeps everything in one place, and minimises what I keep.

Related: How to Organise a Memory Box

Taking Stock And Making Plans

#3 – Think About What You’ve Done This Year And Learn From It

So – you’ve now gone over last year in terms of memories, and are probably full of thoughts about how the year went (to create a photo book you will have thought about each and every event/month etc… of the year).

As such, you’re in the perfect frame of mind to review the year and how it went for you.

Sit for an hour or so and really think about the year.

You’ll learn a lot of lessons – good and bad – from what has happened – and it will help you to create an even better year next year.

Questions worth asking yourself: –

  • What worked well?
  • What didn’t work well?
  • How have you felt this year?
  • What’s made you happy?
  • What’s drained you?

These can be from all aspects of your life, including Social / at Home / Family / Work / Fitness / Hobbies etc….. – they all add up to your unique life and have to be thought of as a whole.

#4 – Set Your Goals For The Next Year

Based on your thoughts from what the previous year has shown you – you can start to look ahead now and plan out what you want from the new year.

I usually look at my 5 year plan first, and check that it’s still accurate for where I am now.

Then I work out what I need to focus on in the coming year to get to where I want to get – and then I split everything up into mini goals that I can do each season or each month.

NOTE: I used to never bother with this – as I thought goals weren’t worth bothering about – but I was SO WRONG! Having goals means you can see where you’re heading. It doesn’t matter what your goal is – how big or small – but you’ll never know if you’ve got there if you don’t try! They can also help you to see the bigger picture so you don’t end up with that awful feeling that you’re not happy with life as it is at the moment.


Another great idea in this section is to look at any resolutions you are keen to try out.

It works great to use a habit tracker to track your progress because you’re so much more likely to stick to it when you can track it.

Well done – you’ve actually done the hard work now, and the rest of the tasks in this list are making sure the day to day will work properly for you….

Your Diary

#5 – Set Up Your New Diary / Planner

To ensure you’re organised, you need to have a diary or planner of some sort.

Whether you choose to have yours as digital or paper, a huge thick journal style book, a bullet journal, or a small pocket notebook – it really doesn’t matter. As long as it works for you, and you can see what you have to do each day easily.

Get your chosen diary / planner set up and ready for the new year.

White paper on clipboard with hot chocolate and marshmallows in a mug next door

#6 – Fill Out Important Dates For the Year

This is crucial.

A diary only works if it actually has everything in it that you need to know.

I tend to keep a master copy of everyones Birthdays and Anniversaries in my Home File (Friends & Family section), and spend 15 minutes adding each one into my new diary for the year.

Simple – but really makes all the difference to the year when I get started on it!

#7 – Add In Any Plans that You Already Know About

This step means that you can add in anything that you have already booked for the upcoming year.

I have a page in my current diary at the end of it that I can add in anything for the next diary – so I use this to add everything quickly to the new diary.

Things that you may want to add are: –

  • Doctors / Dentist appointments
  • School term dates
  • Holidays already booked
  • Car servicing date
  • Home Maintenance dates that you’ve booked (chimney sweep, boiler service etc…)

#8 – Plan Holidays And Time Off

Last thing in your diary is to use it to see the year at a glance and work out when you may want to take your holidays over the year.

Doing it at this stage means that you can clearly see when you’re free, when your kids are off school, and how much time may be between each holiday (whether you are away or at home for that holiday).

It’s always nice to spread your holiday time over the year so it’s never too long to go between breaks, and now is a great time to book any holidays you are taking away from home so that you have them all sorted in plenty of time.


Last but not least are the quick updates that you need to check on with the things you use on a day to day basis. For me this is my schedule (the usual weekly layout I have), and my Home File (the other item is my Diary, but this had a section of it’s own!).

#9 – Update Your Schedules If Necessary

Check over your weekly schedule – and the schedules of your kids – and see whether anything needs changing.

Do you need to cancel hobbies / classes because they have been too much for you this year? Or perhaps you are starting something new that needs adding in.

Keeping your schedules up to date makes sure that you stay in control of your time, rather than your time being spread too thin.

Whatever is happening – make sure that your schedules are as balanced as possible, that they leave you a little time to spare, and that they reflect your goals and priorities as closely as possible.

This will help to make the year really good for you.

Related: How to Live A Balanced Life – Even When You’re Busy!

#10 – Update Your Home File If Required

The very last thing is to have a quick check of everything in your Home Management File (I call this my Home File) and make sure it’s all up to date.

In here are things like Cleaning Schedules, Address book, Birthday Tracking, Meal Planning, Budget, Trade Contact Details, Home Maintenance Schedule etc… – and they can all change over time – so checking in at least once a year means it stays useful to you on a daily basis.

10 things to do at the end of the year to make next year easier

And there you have it – 10 things to do at the end of the year that really help to keep you organised year-round!

I hope they’ve helped, and have given you food for thought at this time of year.

I know that when I get it all done, the following year really does go more smoothly, and I feel so much more in control and organised, which can only be a good thing, right!?

P.S If you want to get sorted all year, then why not join in with the OMH community and become a VIP? You can get loads of free printables as a thank you for joining – learn more HERE

This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...