Inside the mind of a professional organizer: Holiday entertaining and New Year’s resolutions

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Jessi Bushman. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

Out with the old and in with the new.

I love this outlook for basically everything.

As a new year approaches, we inspire to improve, one way or another. Organization and time management will help you achieve your goals.

This brings me to the power of creating a list. I love lists. It’s not just an idea once you’ve written it down. You have visual proof of something you want to accomplish.

Daily lists identify short- and long-term goals. This gives your mind the opportunity to review everything in a consolidated format. Once you have identified your tasks, you can determine what you can complete based on your timeline. This is the start of improving your time management skills.

I’ll use my household chore list as an example. I prefer to clean the house in one shot vs. small tasks throughout the week (excluding laundry). I’ve come to this conclusion based on task completion.

Either Saturday or Sunday morning, I start by washing bed sheets. This takes roughly one hour, so I tackle small jobs during that time. I begin with the bathrooms — all four of them. Cleaning spray, Windex and rags are located in each bathroom. Having the products where I need them is a huge time-saver. Each bathroom takes less than five minutes to wipe down.

Next, I run or empty the dishwasher. Having an organized kitchen makes putting away things like Tupperware simple. By now, the sheets are ready to dry, and I acknowledge how much I’ve already accomplished by checking things off my list.

I know I’m approaching the finish line as I zip around with my XL Swiffer and Shark Vacuum. These lightweight, effective tools make floor cleaning easy.

Having my tasks written down visually proves that I can accomplish my list in less than two hours.

Lists can help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions. What would like to do? Where would you like to go? Who do you want to connect with? What other goals do you have?

Now that you’ve started your list, you can start planning. Do you need to save money? Are there people you need to communicate with? What additional steps do you need to make?

If you want to join a gym, do the research to see what facility best suits your needs and budget. Schedule a tour to get a vibe of where you will stick to your commitment.

If you desire a different job, update your resume and make a list of the responsibilities you like and don’t like. Get a clear picture of why you want to make a change. What is the true root of your dissatisfaction?

Making a list for the holiday’s is beneficial, too.

Who are you entertaining? Who are you traveling to see? Anytime you have an overnight stay, writing out your essentials can make packing quicker and easier. If you are hosting, a food or gift list is something to share with others. Potlucks are my favorite. Knowing what family and friends are sharing enhances my excitement to try something new or have a repeat favorite.

As you prepare for 2022 and all the wonderful experiences coming your way, incorporate writing lists into your daily routine. Your tasks, personally and professionally, will become less overwhelming. Work towards meal planning, and writing out a grocery list. Designate specific days and identify who is “in charge” for that evening. Plan meals around what items you already have and reimagine recipes.

Lastly, write out a heartfelt note to a family member or loved one, reminding them of how important they are.

Jessi Bushman is a professional organizer and owner of Organizer Jessi in Dubuque. Visit her at or on Facebook at OrganizerJessi. You also can email her at

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