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7 Simple And Easy Ways To Have A Good January

Snuggle up with a hot water bottle, be more focused in work meetings, and more!

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Hello, friends! As we kick off the new year, here are a few easy ways to live your cleanest, coziest, most focused life in January.

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1. Fill a salt shaker with baking soda and keep it next to your sink.

Baking soda is really helpful for cleaning pots, pans, and gross dishes, but whenever I poured it straight from the box, I always ended up dumping out way more than I needed. But transferring it to a clean salt shaker (get a set of two on Amazon for $5.09) solved this problem and means I can keep it within arms' reach all the time.
Rachel Miller

Baking soda is really helpful for cleaning pots, pans, and gross dishes, but whenever I poured it straight from the box, I always ended up dumping out way more than I needed. But transferring it to a clean salt shaker (get a set of two on Amazon for $5.09) solved this problem and means I can keep it within arms' reach all the time.

2. Stay warm with the help of a good, old-fashioned hot water bottle.

Rachel Miller

Not only are hot water bottles very soothing and good for sick days and cramps, but they actually keep you warm! My apartment has been frigid, and one recent night was so cold* that I took the hot water bottle to bed with me. I basically just spooned it as I fell asleep and it really helped. It kept me about as warm as letting my dog under the covers does, but the water bottle didn't get restless and wake me up at 3 a.m. It's also a lot cheaper than an electric blanket.

Get one on Amazon for $11.99.

*Bonus tip: Talk to your landlord!!! After freezing my ass off last winter and most of December, I finally mentioned it to my landlord. Turns out, my bedroom was 56 degrees (for a few ~easily solvable~ reasons) and he was (rightfully) appalled that I hadn't said something sooner.

3. Get better at work meetings.

Comedy Central

One of my current goals is to stop bringing my laptop to work meetings — a common (and bad) habit at BuzzFeed. It's super annoying to lead a meeting where everyone is multitasking or on their computer, and being constantly interrupted/distracted during meetings isn't a great feeling. So I've been leaving my laptop at my desk more and more, and I feel so free and present! I've also been preparing more in advance for meetings, especially brainstorms and one-on-ones. Not only does it make you look good, but it shows your coworkers that you respect them and their time.

4. Try one of these tricks for getting yourself to do chores or important tasks after work: Either don't let yourself take off your shoes until you've done the thing, or don't let yourself sit down until it's done.

Twentieth Century Fox

My coworker Terri employs the sitting version. "I don't allow myself to sit down once I enter my apartment at Chore Time," she says. "I tell myself, 'Sitting is for people who've already put in their first load of laundry.'" And my friend Dallas has been keeping her shoes on until she does a couple of tasks and feeds her cats after work, and she says it's been super motivating and helpful.

5. Subscribe to dog poop bag deliveries so you're never stuck without any.

I finally did this after being weirdly intimidated by Amazon's Subscribe & Save feature for, like, three years. But you get to set the delivery terms so you won't be drowning in excess product every month, which was my main concern. Sign up on Amazon — get 600 bags for $11.39 (other quantities available).
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I finally did this after being weirdly intimidated by Amazon's Subscribe & Save feature for, like, three years. But you get to set the delivery terms so you won't be drowning in excess product every month, which was my main concern.

Sign up on Amazon — get 600 bags for $11.39 (other quantities available).

6. Clean your fridge once a week.

This was one of the suggestions from Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, and I initially found it pretty outrageous. Throwing away old food? Fine, I can see that. But cleaning the fridge — like, taking the shelves and drawers out and washing everything with soapy water!!! — once a week sounded like a ridiculous amount of work, and, frankly, the idea of not having any drips or crumbs in my fridge wasn't that compelling. But I told myself that if I did it for four weeks in a row, I could buy myself a clear plastic holder for my eggs, which is a thing I'd been wanting. And I've actually done it for seven weeks in a row! It's kind of a pain, but it's not that bad, and I've found that having clean, sparkling shelves and drawers, and no old leftovers or foodstuffs that are about to go bad, is a lot more satisfying than I realized. (I still need to order the egg holder!)
Brianajackson / Getty Images

This was one of the suggestions from Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, and I initially found it pretty outrageous. Throwing away old food? Fine, I can see that. But cleaning the fridge — like, taking the shelves and drawers out and washing everything with soapy water!!! — once a week sounded like a ridiculous amount of work, and, frankly, the idea of not having any drips or crumbs in my fridge wasn't that compelling.

But I told myself that if I did it for four weeks in a row, I could buy myself a clear plastic holder for my eggs, which is a thing I'd been wanting. And I've actually done it for seven weeks in a row! It's kind of a pain, but it's not that bad, and I've found that having clean, sparkling shelves and drawers, and no old leftovers or foodstuffs that are about to go bad, is a lot more satisfying than I realized. (I still need to order the egg holder!)

7. And, finally, get a planner/to-do list system that you love.

I've spent the past few weeks elbow-deep in different planners. I actually go the DIY route with mine, but if you want something more guided, here are a few of my faves:• Hobonichi Techo Cousin. This one is kind of a cult favorite and I was really, really impressed by it. (There are actually four different models and all are great, but I liked the Cousin the best.) Get one without a cover for $33.64 and get one with a cover for $58+.• The Simple Elephant. This one has 700+ reviews and a 4.5-star rating, is goal oriented without being aggressive, and has an unfussy and clean design. Get it on Amazon for $19.99.• Ink + Volt. This planner is super elegant and very goal oriented; it revolves around weekly pages (as opposed to daily ones). Get it for $40.Whatever system you choose, the most important thing is to actually use it! "It's on my to-do list" isn't just a figure of speech!!!
Rawpixel / Getty Images

I've spent the past few weeks elbow-deep in different planners. I actually go the DIY route with mine, but if you want something more guided, here are a few of my faves:

Hobonichi Techo Cousin. This one is kind of a cult favorite and I was really, really impressed by it. (There are actually four different models and all are great, but I liked the Cousin the best.) Get one without a cover for $33.64 and get one with a cover for $58+.

The Simple Elephant. This one has 700+ reviews and a 4.5-star rating, is goal oriented without being aggressive, and has an unfussy and clean design. Get it on Amazon for $19.99.

Ink + Volt. This planner is super elegant and very goal oriented; it revolves around weekly pages (as opposed to daily ones). Get it for $40.

Whatever system you choose, the most important thing is to actually use it! "It's on my to-do list" isn't just a figure of speech!!!

That's all! Now get out there and make it a great month!

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