Friday, August 27, 2010

Enjoy what you do

Life is too short to be unhappy. We all have down times and sad things happen, but life overall should be enjoyable.
I love my job and the people I work with. Because of my profession, I have met some of the most fantastic people and been in some of the most unusual homes. I have been able to exchange ideas with my peers and clients and come away with new insights and a stronger realization that all people are fascinating.
I belong to a goals group that really keeps me grounded. Once a month we meet and discuss the wins we have had in the past month. We talk about our goals for the upcoming month and ask for ideas to help us meet our goals. In the two years this group has been together, we have all done some fantastic things.
One of the fun things I have done this week is to make a video (http://www.youtube.com/user/danynieves) with Dany Nieves (pgarts@mindspring.com) of 307 Idea Factory. I had so much fun doing it and I am really enjoying people's comments about the video. I look forward to doing even more with Dany.
I am looking forward to the Decatur Book Festival, where I will be in the Get Organized! booth. The past years there I have met many fun, wonderful people. I am also looking forward to the workshop Diane Quintana and I are preparing for Sept. 11, 18, and 25 where people can come and get guidance on their own organizational projects.
I guess looking forward is the key to happiness.
What is making you happy?
Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Saturated Home

This month I have been working on my laundry/china storage zone. As I emptied shelves, purged some items, and put things back, I noted that while there was now a specific space to put things - THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR GROWTH.
I had noticed this same phenomenon in my closets, and in my spare bedroom, and in my kitchen and .......
My home has become saturated. There is a place for everything but unless it is smaller than a matchbox, there is not room to add ANYTHING! My home has become saturated.
What to do?
My home is workable in that if anything does come in and something equal goes out, I am OK. So if a friend gives me a gift, I have to decide if I should let the gift come in my home, because if I do something I have already consciously decided to keep the last time I worked in that zone will have to go.
Another plan would be to be even more ruthless the next time I go through each zone. I have already decided this time through that I probably don't need to keep my good china. I would have to add a few more pieces of my everyday IKEA ware but not nearly as much I would be getting rid of.
I have already shifted small zones in my home because of lack of space. The zone to keep items to give to charity has moved from the bottom of my guest closet (needed the room for books and mailers) to the hall closet. My pictures and memorabilia have moved from a coffee table storage (because the table is now gone) to the top of a closet in the guest bedroom. The pillows that were stored in the top of the closet in the guest bedroom are now stored tightly on top of the linens in the hall closet (closet is now completely saturated).

I would love to have some feedback on how you would tackle this situation.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Project Time-line

Imagine you have a big project coming up. Clean out the garage? Plan a party? Prepare for a presentation? Complete a doctoral dissertation?
Big or small, all projects will be less stressful if you develop a time-line.
Start with the end in mind. How do you want the final project to look and feel? At what date do you have/want to complete this project?
What do you have to do to arrive at that final place? Brainstorm every little thing you have to do.
Look over the brainstorm list. Maybe some items on that list might be broken down into even smaller steps.
Now write all of the items from your list on index cards or in a word document.
Arrange the items in a logical, sequential order.
Determine how long each item on the list will take to complete.
On your calendar, first write the final due date of the completed project.
Next, write the intended completion date beside each item on your list. These are your "do" dates.
Does the list look doable? Allow some "wiggle" room. Life happens and you will probably not get everything done right on schedule.
Now, transfer these dates to your calendar (and don't forget to look at that calendar).
The joy of having this time-line is that you won't have this big "worry cloud" hanging over your head. You have a plan and you are following your plan.
You can also see, by tracking the tasks, how much work must be done and that procrastination of the tasks will either cause stress or keep the project from being it's best.
If you have your vision and follow your plan, victory will surely follow.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Laundry Zone

August is a good month to tackle the laundry area. Children are going back to school and team practices are picking up. Student's clothes are being evaluated for the coming school year- still use, toss, keep for others in family, pass on to others. Laundry may be backed up from vacation. Piles of clothes are probably higher than usual. The dirty and clean clothes may have even migrated from the laundry area into other rooms.
Doing the laundry becomes less of a chore with a well-designed space.
Keep stain removers, sponges, scrubbing brushes on a shelf or cabinet near your washing machine. If you buy your detergents in large containers, transfer some into smaller containers that are easier to handle and less likely to cause spills. Post a stain-removal chart on the wall or inside a cabinet.
Counter-space can be very helpful for laying out items to treat or a place to fold clean clothes. If you don't have any counter space, consider buying a small table for the area.
A drying rack hung on the wall is handy for drying items you don't want to toss in the dryer.
If you don't have a sink, keep a large bowl nearby for soaking items. Have a basket or bowl for tossing in the items found in pockets, the dryer, or loose buttons.
Have designated labeled baskets for dark, light, and dry-cleaning items.
If possible, keep your ironing board, iron, and spray bottles in this location.
A stack of colored laundry baskets can also be handy. Designate a color for each person in the family. When laundry is taken out of the dryer and folded, immediately put it in the correct basket. Each family member can pick up their baskets, put their clothes away, and return the basket.
It helps to have designated times for laundry chores instead of waiting until an item is needed.

I would love to have you share some of your laundry time saving tips as well.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer