The time change: a good time to get your house in order

Use the twice-a-year time change as a reminder to get certain things done that we often put off doing.

Adèle Manseau | Desjardins Group

The twice-a-year time change can throw us off a bit. Let's make it work in our favour this year and use it as a reminder to get certain things done that we often put off doing.

Get organized with the following "time change guide."

1. Your home
  • Check that your smoke detector is working and change the batteries if necessary.
  • Now's a good time to pack up your summer stuff and prepare for winter. Take a look around your home and see if there's any work that needs to be done or advise your landlord, if you rent.
  • Make a property inventory or update it, along with your tenant or home insurance. 
  • Inspect windows, doors, roof, eavestroughs and foundation to save energy, prevent water damage and keep any unwanted pests from getting in. 
  • Store patio or balcony furniture and take advantage of this time to clean up your storage space or shed. Don't throw away what you don't use anymore; donate or recycle it. You'll be surprised at how much room you'll free up.   

2. Your car, motorcycle, bike, kayak...
It's a good time to give them all some special treatment:
  • Change the tires on your vehicle (if you haven't already done so).
  • Establish a solid routine, including a winter tune-up (fluids, ignition and cooling systems, heating and so on) or a complete inspection of the mechanics, parts, overall functioning and structure, as the case may be.
  • Put together an emergency car kit that will come in handy if your car breaks down.
  • Polish and store summer sports equipment, dust off your winter equipment and get rid of anything that's showing signs of wear. Go easy on your wallet by handing off your old stuff and getting some new equipment from a used sporting equipment store.
  • Shop around before signing up for or renewing your sports memberships.
  • Take advantage of the change of seasons to update your insurance (purchase, sale, storage, etc.).
3. Your health
How are you doing? No need to wait until January 1 to make health resolutions, especially with the reduced sunlight that can lead to depression at this time of year.
  • Get a check-up.
  • Move more--it doesn't matter whether it's light, moderate or intense, or done out of obligation or pleasure; exercise is important.
  • Have fun.
  • Eat healthy. Have you hung on to all those guilty little pleasures from the summer or do you tend to enjoy them sparingly? Maybe you're one of those people who work out a lot just so you can indulge more often...
  • Use these tips to counter the disruptive effect the time change can have on your sleep.
4. Your finances
How are they? Just as the "eyes are the windows to the soul," when it comes to money, your financial profile reflects your financial health. 
  • Do a financial check-up. Just as with your physical health, going over your finances with your advisor will give you a sense of how things are going overall. It will also help you identify any areas of imbalance and determine what approach you need to take to stay in, or regain, financial health. Take advantage of year-end to review your tax-planning.
  • Consider this process a good short-, medium- and long-term investment. You'll be the first one to reap the benefits.
  • Repeat as needed throughout the year.
  • Put this ritual in your calendar so it becomes part of your routine, especially if you suffer from financial procrastination.
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