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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