Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I hope your New Year will be all that you want it to be. The best way for that to happen is for you first to have a clear vision of what you want from this next year. How will the year play out? How will you feel? How will you look? Are you happy? relaxed? in control? Once you have your vision in mind, make a plan so that the vision will come true. Make specific goals. Break down the goals into measurable tasks. Put the tasks on your calendar and then just follow your plan! Let your year be just the way you envision it!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Memories

Every family has their traditions - the things you do year after year that flavor the holiday - the things you look forward to and look back and remember. One of the traditions that stands out for me are Christmas stockings. Our stockings held some of our most remembered gifts. I remember a ring when I was a preteen. I remember some fishing lures the year I received my own fishing pole. Our stockings were put out in different locations depending on what house we were in. I remember them by the heating stove. I remember them on the mantel. I remember them going up the stairs - one on each step. Christmas morning, the stockings were placed on each person's lap. Adults had them too. We would delve in and you could hear the comments and laughter as items were fished out of the stockings. At first I am sure it was my mother who was responsible for the stockings when we were little, but as we girls grew older, we each contributed as well. At this point in our lives, we women go into a bedroom on the eve after any little ones are in bed and lay out all the stockings of everyone in the house. Sometimes it can be close to 20. We pull out our bags of goodies that we have been accumulating. Some items are for very specific people and if it is for one of us, we tuck it in when the recipient isn't looking. Some gifts are more generic - socks, pens, candles, candy, lotions and they go into stockings that look like they are needing a little bit more. But the next morning-- oh, the fun of it. We often know who put what in our stockings and smile our thanks to that person.
I have my bags of goodies ready to take to Florida and tomorrow night I will help with being one of Santa's elves. Such fun!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Where does it go?

Gifts and purchases - This time of year we buy gifts for others and receive gifts. We might even be out there buying items for our own house. When we look at the potential purchases we tend to think of how they will make us or others happier. When contemplating an exercise device we think -the back will feel better. When contemplating the newest coffee maker -everyone in the house can have the type of coffee they like. When contemplating the bread making machine - it will be such a treat to make our own bread. When contemplating the drink machine- this will be so much fun at the next party.
Great thoughts but....... before you purchase something for yourself or others also think, where will it be housed or placed? Where do you or others have space to store it? If it is stored there will it get pulled out and used? What will have to leave the house to make room for this new purchase?
Do not let new purchases or gifts become clutter. If you receive something that you cannot use or have space to keep, consider passing it on to someone who can use it or has space for it. Try to give gifts of the non-cluttering type!
Enjoy your holidays!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas strategy

Christmas is coming closer. We look at the calendar with a mixture of anticipation and fear. We look forward to seeing our grown children return home or visiting our family. We look forward to the favorite holiday rituals.
We panic over the things that have not yet happened. The cards to family are not yet mailed. When is the last date I can safely mail these packages? The gifts I ordered to be shipped overseas had to be back ordered and now I get an email that one of the items has been discontinued. When am I going to get the cookie baking done that I had scheduled for last week but couldn't get to?
Breathe.
Remember your vision for the perfect holiday. Close your eyes and visualize what it will look and feel like. Now, come up with a plan for the setbacks. Put the cards not yet finished in a cloth bag, carry them with you, and work on them today and this weekend when waiting or when there is a few free moments. Set aside time on Sunday for wrapping those gifts that you have and prepare them to mail Monday.
Breathe.
Look at the calendar again and find another time to bake. Follow up on the unarrived gifts and send an email to Scotland explaining the problem. After all, your gift is not their only Christmas. The children will have lots of gifts and yours coming later will just be fine.
Breathe.
Take the time to see your friends and enjoy your mostly decorated home. (Finish decorating Saturday evening and put the boxes away.)
Breathe.
Enjoy your holidays!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Overdue book


They say it takes as long to birth a book as a baby. Well, I'm about 4 months overdue and feeling the pressure. This baby.. er book has got to be delivered this month. With any luck it will be at the printers by next week. I'm excited about the prospect but nervous as well. I'll want to look it over carefully to see that all the parts are there and that nothing is wrong. I dream that it will grow up to be useful to a lot of people. I want to watch over it but let it stand on its own as well.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it certainly has taken a village to get this book up and running. My goals group has been with me and encouraging me from the beginning - helping me make decisions about the cover and letting me bounce content ideas off of them. Judith Kolberg has been coaching and teaching me almost from gestation. Sue Clements has been proofing the progress. Brenda Sanders (my graphic designer) has been there for the last months before delivery. Eagle Eye Bookstore is going to give it it's Christening Party...
I hope all of my friends will welcome it into their homes!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

Today is the day we stop and count up all that we are thankful for. This past year has certainly been a year to allow me to have quite a long list but I am going to reflect on my top three.
My family- You see in the picture my son Darin, my son Ben, and my daughter-in-law Kellie. Ben and Kellie live in Virginia and visited me yesterday. Today they are running the marathon in Atlanta. Darin lives in Tucker and is always handy for cat sitting when I am gone and for going out to dinner or an event. I also have two sisters and a brother that are very special to me. All of them are married to great spouses and my family is extended through them- not to mention all the nieces and nephews. It is a wonderful, comforting thought to always know my family is there for me.
My friends- I have wonderful friends who are always available to give me a hand or to go out and just have fun. They have supported me through some tough times and have been available to celebrate my good events. It is comforting to know that I have that support.
My health-Although a little overweight, my health is good. I am able to be active on my job and able to go on vacations like the canoeing one from which I have just returned.
I don't take these big 3 for granted. I know they are gifts and I also know I need to nurture these gifts.
I would love to hear what your big 3 blessings are. Leave a comment or send me an email.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Busy Women and the Holidaze

I enjoyed giving a presentation Wednesday to a group of professional women at Houston Healthcare in Warner Robins. The presentation dealt with reducing the stress that comes with the holidays.
I asked the group to first identify the triggers that in the past have caused stress. I next asked them to envision what their perfect holiday would look and feel like.
One of the main thrusts of the presentation was time management. While we are all pretty good about putting the major events on the calendar like parties and programs, we usually do not put down the times we plan to do holiday chores and rituals. As we went through the common rituals like shopping, decorating, sending cards and gifts, baking, parties at our home - I put on the calendar all the dates this would take place. By the time that was complete the calendar was pretty full - and the day to day living events like weekly grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, choir, children's activities, paying bills, going to work, etc. was not on this calendar. I believe it was an eye opener.
What could be dropped without losing the Christmas vision? What was on the list that eats a lot of time and causes stress - could it be dropped?
The positive side of having all of these events on the calendar was that you could see how much time was devoted to the tasks and you did not have to worry about when you were ever going to find the time to do a task, because the task was already scheduled. This would allow you to go shopping with your children at the time you scheduled and really be in that moment with them without worrying about what else you should be doing. This allows you to throw a party and enjoy the party stress free because you have planned every task leading up to the party and have written those times on your calendar.
We also covered tips on how to keep the clutter low and use the time wisely when decorating, writing cards, gift wrapping, and baking.
The women were very responsive and I enjoyed the experience.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

November zone- storage

November is a good time to declutter storage areas. Often these areas are in an attic, basement, or garage and the weather in Georgia is not too hot or too cold to tackle these often unheated/not air conditioned areas. Seasonal decorations are often stored here as well and now is the time to sort through these boxes and see what can go.
Often people just "throw" things into their attics, basements, and garages without any sense of order of design. Things pile up and make it difficult to find or get to the items that you are looking for.
When organizing the storage area, first define the purpose of this space. What do you plan to store here and why. Once you have decided that, divide your storage area into zones.
One area could be for Holiday decorations and supplies. Then you would subdivide this area into the different holidays. Each box should be labeled. I have a lot of Christmas boxes, so I label the boxes to readily access what I want to find. The first Sunday of Advent I will really only want my creche and my advent wreath. I don't want to have to pull down a lot of boxes just to locate these items. If the boxes are clearly marked, I just pull those boxes down then and then bring the rest down when I am ready for them.
Spare household supplies might be another area. Extra furniture and accessories that you are not currently using but are in good repair and you think you might use or give away to a family member later would go in this area. Fans, humidifiers, lamps might end up here.
Off season clothing might be an area of your storage. Archival paper, if properly contained, could be in a section. Sports equipment that is rarely used could be housed here.
The main thought is to have a plan for this area and make it usable instead of a dumping area.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Seasonal Chaos

Ready or not- here it comes! Halloween is this weekend. Do you get the impression that it's only a week before Christmas? Look at the ads in the paper, the commercials - walk any mall. Read in the paper in early October that visiting Santa Clause in Phipps Plaza is already sold out (at $15 a pop). Thanksgiving is marketed before Halloween. Christmas ads start in August. New Year's Day champagne/party ads collide with Christmas carols. And Kwanzaa and Chanukah become more commercial every year, wedging their ads in between, over, and under the big 3 - Turkey Day, Santa Clause, and the crashing crystal ball over Times Square. The overlapping of marketing for the holidays would drive anyone mad.
The holidays become a time of long "to do" lists, over commitment, overbuying, overeating, and sleep deprivation.
How do we handle all that stress?
I feel the first and most important step to diminish stress is to develop a vision of what we truly WANT for our holiday. What is your vision for the next few months? Imagine how your perfect season would look and feel. Write down your goals for the season.
Now develop a list of what must happen to make that vision come true. Purge any commitments or rituals that do not support that vision. Then make the calendar your best friend. Write down every party, activity, or ritual on your calendar. Write down when you plan to shop, to decorate, to bake, to party, to send cards. Notice how full your calendar is. Is it doable for you? If not purge some more. Allow some time for unexpected events and some time to sit home and enjoy your decorated space.
If you want even more detailed ideas, I have a presentation on Stress and the Holidays that I would love to present to your group.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

pantry organization

October is a great month to organize your pantry. This is the time to get rid of multiples of items you bought and aren't likely to use before they expire. Also toss the expired items to free up space for what you will be buying for holiday cooking.
I live in a small house and don't have a full sized pantry but I use two kitchen cupboards-one above the counter and one below the counter- for my pantry. On the counter between the pantries,I have glass canisters for open sugar, flour, and rice.
A pantry should be arranged similar to a grocery store with like items with like items. In my situation, I have all canned vegetables on the left top shelf. Snack items next to that and soups to the right. Further back on that shelf are plastic food bags. On the lower shelf I have rice, pasta, and pizza mix with my food processor (which I rarely use) in the back. Kitchen trash bags also fit here. In my top cupboard I have oils, vinegars, cereals, crackers, and baking supplies like baking soda, flour, and sugars.
When you return from grocery shopping, if you have just bought another can of green beans, place it behind the existing cans. If you jam the newest items in front, you will end up with expired cans when you sort through your pantry again next October.
Try to resist buying multiples on sale. If you don't have a definite plan for this food it very well will end up getting thrown out when you clean and purge. This purging time, I ended up throwing out a large can of tomato juice (bought last year with the idea of making chili when family was here), a can of baked beans ( bought multiples and rarely eat them) and some oyster crackers.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Refrigerator Organization

So why would you take the time to organize a refrigerator? Well, to save money, save time, and make the best use of your space.
You save money by not buying multiples. You don't need two large jars of open Mayonnaise. You save money by not letting food languish on the back shelves and go bad instead of using the food in tasty dishes. You save money because it is easy to find food to make breakfast or pack a quick lunch so you don't spend the money at a fast food restaurant. You save electricity because you don't stand in front of the open door for hours trying to figure out what there is to eat.
You save time because you can find items quickly. You can quickly see what you have and don't have so it is faster to put together a shopping list. It is faster to pack a lunch or snack out of that organized refrigerator than it is to make a trip to a restaurant. A system in place makes it faster to put food away after shopping.
Organizing your refrigerator helps you to use the space wisely. No more left over dinner plate half wrapped in plastic wrap teetering on top of a saucepan with 6 left over green beans and a soda can. Adjust shelves so that they fit the type of items you buy.You might notice that I have part of one shelf that has very little height. It is just perfect for my cream cheese, natural peanut butter, and Parmesan cheese from the market. I have a tall shelf for beverages like OJ and jugs of milk as well as the open RC bottle. Things that are going to perish soon are toward the front. That row of yogurt has the oldest containers in the front. The drawers have different functions for me. One drawer is for snack food and cheeses. One drawer is for produce like potatoes, onions, cabbage. Another drawer is for my salad fixings.
It is a good idea to give the refrigerator a quick clean once a week. Toss anything that has gone bad or is iffy (when did you bring home that leftover takeout Chinese?). Give the shelves a quick wipe.
Designate areas in your fridge for certain types of food- like snack food, salad makings, meats. Then educate anyone in your family who opens the fridge where the food belongs. Put leftovers in proper containers. Clear ones are best but if you use others you might want to label what is in it and when it was put in the fridge. Put items you use a lot toward the front- for me that would be jelly and salsa- dried breadcrumbs in the back.
The door, which is warmer, holds items like salad dressing, sauces for cooking, mustard, etc. I also keep some small bottles of water there.
Every six months give that refrigerator the big cleaning. Take everything out of it and freezer. Clean well. Clean under the fridge and behind it so that there is not dust build up which makes the motor work harder. Check for all expiration dates before you put food back away.
Now is a great time to do this task so you have a clean organized refrigerator for the holidays.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Kitchen Zone

This month I will focus on the kitchen for my organizational zone. I like to do the kitchen zone in October because this is a good time to donate food items that I no longer want but are still not expired. I will divide the kitchen into 4 sections and attack one section each week. As I go through each section, I will take items out of the cabinets, refrigerator, or off the stove and clean each area. I will then evaluate each item before it goes back. Is this something I need, use, or love? It looks neat, but when was the last time I used the omlette fork to make an omlette? Not for years- I just grab a big fork out of my utensil drawer instead- so the fork will go. OK- the copper utensils seen in the picture are never used but I bought them in Greece and love them- so they will stay. As I go through the refrigerator and the areas where I store food, I will check each item to see if I really have a plan for it. I will check expiration dates on items. I will throw items out or put in a box to give away as I go. I will evaluate my cooking pots, my dishes, my gadgets, the stuff hanging off my refrigerator. I will declutter and make the kitchen pleasing for me to work in- all in time for holiday cooking.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Organizing the Workshop

This past month one of my organizational zones was my workshop. I give it a good sort/purge/clean once a year. I always kind of dread this area because it seems to look so cluttered and disorganized after a year. First you put an item in there after a project-"just for now." Then you toss in some items that you have been carrying in the trunk of your car because you need the space for a project. Then it is difficult to get the ladder back where it belongs so you just lean it against the wall by the door. I swear to you- clutter breeds in the night.
But, once I get into the project and bring most of the items outside and sort them by type (gardening tools, dirt, potting soil, container mix, planting pots on one side along with house hold repair items like paint and painting tools, caulk, extra tiles nearby and on the other side-carpentry tools and my bike, party supplies like extra chairs and a table in the center) with a heavy duty bag for trash and a box for items to recycle, things start to roll. I knock down the cobwebs, sweep out the floor and start to put things back in. I have a zone in my workshop for each type of activity. I have shelves, pegboard, and hooks and containers. I know where things go. It really only takes a few hours and makes me feel so happy that it's done.
Maintenance is the key and once a year does keep it from being really out of control.
Next month- the kitchen.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lemons to Lemonaide or Pecan Tree to Mulch

This was a sad week for me. The huge pecan tree that has sat in my front yard and partly on my driveway since I bought this home had to be taken down. Due to damage done serveral years ago when another tree fell on it, pulling the power line on it, and causing a fire that burned for hours, a huge part of the tree had rotted away and was now unsafe. This tree made my yard and home cool in the summer. This tree had been home to many birds and squirrels. People stopped to pick up the pecans and chat. At one point in my life I had placed a ceramic wizzard in the tree and the tree had grown around the wizzard. I always smiled to think of my wizzard living in the tree. But, the tree had become unsafe. My home and my neighbor's home could be badly damaged if it fell.
There is a time and season for everything and this was the time to say goodby to my tree.
I had a wonderful arborist helping me. Gerry Korzi of Valley Crest Tree Care Services, gkorzi@valleycrest.com , gave me a lot of advice and support. He went way beyond the top with his service. He found someone in Clarkston who sold firewood and made sure that this person got the wood so that it could be used and not end up in landfill. He asked the crew to chip what wood they could and leave it for me as mulch. The crew cleaned my yard and my neighbors yard. Everyone was so professional and kind.
As many of my clients know- it's hard to let go of things you care about, but sometimes one must just shed a quiet tear and look to the greatest good.
Goodby tree.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gift Cards


You would think that as a Professional Organizer I would like the idea of giving gift cards. After all, they take up very little space and the recipient can buy exactly what they want with the card.
Actually, I am really against them. Time and time and time again while decluttering with a client I come across old gift cards. Sometimes I come across whole stacks of gift cards. They are often years old and no longer good. Someone who cared about this person put out money that was basically just thrown away.
There are many reasons why this happens. One reason is that the person receiving the card is in some type of transition or stressful time and is not 100% there.
I have recently come across bundles of cards from a couple of clients that were married several years ago. Now we are going through the wedding gifts, cards, and pictures and making decisions about them. It's sad to see all of these gift cards that have not been cashed in or used. I have also had some clients who were given the gift cards when they were recovering from a fire, an illness, or a death in the family. These gift cards were lumped in with the greeting cards and put in a box or a drawer. The clients are just now getting the courage to go through these items and make decisions about them. It saddens them again that they did not cash in the cards and lost the gift that was given to them.
At other times, the recipient has ADD and has laid the cards in a stack of papers or on a bookcase "just for now" and forgotten about them. They don't mean to not use them- they just forgot. It makes them feel dumb that they forgot about the cards.
So we now have not only money spent that did not get used but we are in the long run making the recipient feel bad instead of good when they refind them.
If you do give a gift card, please follow up and see what they were used for. Maybe go shopping with the friend and help them get something they need.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, September 10, 2009

NAPO in the Schools


Today I did a presentation at Smoke Rise Elementary School for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade Discovery Classes. It is always so much fun to do these presentations. The children get so involved in the process and I always come away with some new insights. At the end of the presentation there is an evaluation form the students fill in. It is interesting that some students will say a certain part of the presentation (perhaps the discussion of the ways to organize items) was the best part of the presentation while others will say the same part was their least favorite part.
There is a sorting exercise where the students take 10 items and sort them however they deam appropriate. It is fascinating to see the different ways they sort. I always expect sorting by color or by function but sometimes I see sorting by hard and soft items, what I'd keep and what I'd toss, what I can use for a project and what I can't use. It is also a great chance to tell the students that there is no right or wrong way to sort- just what makes sense to them.
Sometimes as I walk around the room I may ask a student, "Why did you put that in this sort pile?". Often they will take the object out of the pile. That's when I can say, "No, tell me why you put it there." and then say "Well, that makes sense." and move on.
I also enjoy the discussions we have about the consequences of being disorganized and the feeling of confidence when you are organized. The children love to share ways that they organize at home as well as at school.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Priorities


My clients,my business, my commitments to organizations I belong to, my book I'm writing- are all very important to me. My family, my friends, my cats - are all very important to me. I also acknowledge that I am important to me, but sometimes that slips off the horizon or is put off because there are tasks which seem more urgent (although not always more important).
The time has come for some "me time." Next week I can combine the priorities of taking care of me and spending time with friends and family. I am taking 6 days to fly to Seattle for a vacation. I intend to geocache, rest, eat some terrific seafood meals, read, perhaps bike ride, and visit with my two sisters and their spouses. I am going to sleep more, breathe more deeply, and come back refreshed and ready to continue my normal routines (with perhaps a closer weekly look at those priority balances).
Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Many Thanks to IKEA

Kudos to IKEA for several reasons. IKEA is an Associate member of GA-NAPO. Wednesday they set aside a very nice conference room for our GA-NAPO board to use for a meeting. They even set us up so we could do a conference call with one of our members who could not be there in person.
After the meeting I had a little personal shopping I wanted to do :-)
I made my purchases and went back to my car. I carried the receipt in my hand as one of my purchases was just being carried with out a bag and if anyone would ask, I wanted my receipt handy. When I got to my car, I loaded in my items and reached into my purse to retrieve my wallet so that I could put my receipt away.
No wallet! I checked my NAPO bag to see if it had fallen in there. No wallet! Panic! I raced back to where I had checked out. The cashier was very kind but had not seen my wallet. He directed me to the service department. I rushed upstairs and the woman behind the desk asked me for a description- I told her it was black and looked like---THAT! My wallet was sitting in front of her. After checking my picture ID in my wallet, she returned it to me. One of the people at IKEA had seen it on the floor and taken it right up.
I have no idea who it was, but according to the woman behind the desk (whose name I did not get- shame on me), this happens often.
Thanks again for all the wonderful, honest people in the world.
Life is truly good.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Prioritizing

There is always more to do in the day than time to do it all. That's where prioritizing comes in. Most days I try to pick the top three activities that will move my business forward. But even after I have made those choices- things come up and priorities shift. I had planned to work on cleaning up a section of my upcoming book and meet with my book coach. However, a presentation that I had agreed to do, and that was next week, really needed some more work. I had obtained some new information to work into the presentation and it was going to take a chunk of time. Of the top 3 things on my list- writing on the book got dropped for the day. The book project is important and so is the presentation but the presentation fell into the urgent category and the book was not so urgent.
Now what I need to keep in mind is my self-imposed Oct. 1 deadline for the book- so not so urgent today but quickly it will become so if it is continually moved for more daily urgent activities.
So often life is experienced as a series of "nows" instead of keeping our eye on the big picture. Keeping a balance is difficult but so important.
I had also planned on blogging last night but after glazing over at the computer at 10:00 I shifted that task until today. Sleep had become a more urgent priority. Today- another day and another set of priorities. I keep a quote on my fridge that I refer to often-
"finish each day and be done with it. you have done what you could. some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. tomorrow is a new day. you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."-emerson



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Starting with a Vision

When trying to help people organize or declutter an area, I always ask them to start with a vision. I want them to really see in their mind's eye what the end result should look like and feel like. I want them to visualize themselves in that dream room. What are they doing? What are they feeling? Are they enjoying the room? Often it seems that people have not taken this first step and when we do talk about it, it really helps to set the stage for all that follows. Then, we can look at items in the present room and ask, "Does this item fit with your vision?"
If two people are sharing a room I like to talk to both of them as it often turns out, they have slightly different visions. They will both say they want the room organized and decluttered but one may see the room as a work out area and another may see the room as a study. One may want the room decorated with a seascape feel and the other may want to show off souvenirs from travel.
I also like for them to write down all the activities that will happen in that room and then set up zones in the room for those activities. This helps us decide what stays in the room and where it should be stored. If this first step of starting with the vision is done, the end result is wonderful!
This is one idea in my upcoming book, Visions to Victory.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Getting Help

I am a great believer in knowing your strengths and weaknesses and using your strengths to your advantage and getting help with those weaknesses. I am also a great believer in having a team of people who will help you be the best you can be for your clients. You see a picture of my tech helper, Nate Tate. He was here this evening and is scheduled to show up once or twice a month to help me with tasks on my computer that would either frustrate me, take waaay to much of my time, or that I just plain don't know how to do. Tonight he put a link on Facebook so that people could sign up for my newsletter (full of tips and ideas). He also read the directions I received on a possible recall for my battery (could overheat and pose a fire and burn hazard- yuck!). He never knows when he shows up what tasks I have for him but he always comes up with answers.
I also use a graphic designer, Brenda Sanders of Sanders Designs, for logo help, ads, and now graphics for my book.
Then I also have a web master, Kelley Barbar of WebWeavers and I have used Jackie Goldstein of Creative Direction for branding, Brian Hilliard of Agito Consulting for marketing, and Wendy Watkins of Passion Fruit for business coaching. I use Judith Kolberg for a book coach and Sue Clements for proofing. I also have a Goals Group that meets once a month to support each other on our projects and goals. I love all the great ideas and support I get from this team and it frees me up to work more with clients.
I feel that we should all look for that help we need so that we can use our talents to help others.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Freelance Forum Presentation

I had a great time this evening giving a presentation to the Freelance Forum on Time Management. They were a very attentive and interesting group. I always love to read the evaluations when I get home and see what impressed the group the most. It is interesting that sometimes what you throw in almost as an afterthought comes across as the most important to a portion of the audience. This evening, while talking about perfectionism and how it can get in your way and cause procrastination, I reminded the group that when God created the earth that on the last day he looked at it and proclaimed,"It is good." He never said it was perfect.
Several people noted this as something important in the presentation.
It just hit the right note at the right time.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Friday, July 3, 2009

Procrastination = Clutter

Procrastination is one of the biggest causes to desktop clutter.
1) Starting a project and procrastinating the clean up is a big one. You get out all your materials to pay your bills. You pay the bills, but then you walk away leaving out the calculator, the bill inserts, the receipts, the ledger...
You work on a project for work or a volunteer project. You run out of time for the day. You walk off and leave the project spread out on your desk.
You go to a networking event and pick up a bunch of business cards. Instead of responding to the contacts and filing away the cards, you walk off and leave them on your desk.
You bring in your mail. You "cherry pick" a couple of items to look at and leave the stack of bills on your desk.
2) You put off making decisions is another. Papers come across your desk and you don't take the time to make up your mind what to do with them- toss? file? respond? - so you lay them on the desk "just for now."
You shop for extra office supplies but you don't make the decision where to put them so you drop them on your desk "just for now."

Taking the time it takes now to clear up each project so that you are ready to begin a new one and taking the time now to decide how to respond to incoming papers and where to put purchases will save you a lot of time later as you search for items or get distracted in your desk work because of all that clutter.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why are people disorganized?

I specialize in clients who are going through transitions and I find that most, if not all, of my clients have been organized (or at least more organized) at some point in their lives. Some of those organized patterns still are there (one reason I always ask clients, "What's working for you right now?") So, what happened? For most clients there have been "life events." These can be huge like babies, starting new jobs, divorce, major illnesses, deaths of loved ones. They can be a series of smaller events like special projects, inheritances, redecorating, school seasons, holidays. The organizational system they had that worked before the event does not work as well now. Maybe they have less strength or memory. Maybe there are now other people involved. We all move back and forth between being organized and not so organized. The greater the life changes and the longer the problem is not addressed, the harder it is to get organized again. So, what's the answer to this problem? First, taking an analysis of what is causing the mess or disorganization to happen. Then, finding the simplest system that works for the current set of circumstances. Practicing that system and tweaking it to make it work. Remembering to do constant maintenance. Getting help when you need it. :-)

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's easier being the Organizer than the Client

Here is a picture of me making progress on my inbox. Laura Ray (lauraray@bellsouth.net) is great. She is so very patient. I learned a couple of neat tricks that really make me feel better about keeping up with emails that I am saving while getting them out of my inbox. I have doable homework. I have managed to drop about 150 emails out of my inbox. I was supposed to spend an hour on Monday working on my homework. It was 8:00 pm before I could even think about it due to a morning meeting and afternoon client. A half hour was all I could manage. But with some tips she gave me I did manage to drop over a 100 during that time. She also gave me good advice about my bookmarking. She followed up with me today and I had to call her back while in the car on the way to a client and report my minimal progress. Like many of my clients, I want it to be much better much faster. This has been a great experience for me in many ways. It puts me in the shoes of many of my clients and while I felt I was always sympathetic and understanding, now I really feel their pain. However, "Slow and steady wins the race". I do want this done and I know that I can do it. It might take another session with Laura Ray though.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Everyone loves a party!

I love parties! I love to go to parties and I love to give parties. While putting on a party is a lot of fun it does take planning and organization. I have one party that I give every year in July. Each year I have a theme to the party. I start thinking about the party months in advance. I think about different themes that might be fun. Then about a month before the party I put out a timeline for myself so that I am able to relax that all will get done in a timely fashion with no panic. I brainstorm and think of all the things that need doing. I make my list and then I assign dates to do each of the items on the list. Some examples of what might be on my list are: 1) Make a guest list- June 4; 2) Make invitations-design June 5, print June 6. 3) Mail invitations-June 8 (OK now I am committed); 4) Serious yard work- June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 2; 5) Paint lawn furniture and clean teak furniture- June 7 and 14; 6) Put up tent- July 1.
You get the idea- other groups of tasks on the list would include planning, preparing food/beverages, cleaning house, setting up on the day of the party, getting material to go with the party theme and more. This year's theme-"Everyone has a story to tell". I am really looking forward to it!


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Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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