Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just Trash It

Every now and then you have an organizing or clean up job that has a lot of clutter that needs to be hauled off. Old storage areas, barns, basements filled with many years of "stuff" come to mind. Sometimes it is material that has been left in an area that has become damp or too dry and the items are no longer useful.
This is where my friends at Just Trash It come into play. I have used this company more than once and the gentleman who come out to do the job are respectful, professional, fast, efficient, and strong. It is absolutely amazing to me the amount of material they can get into that truck and in such a short amount of time. I also like the fact that they can schedule fairly quickly.
It is also nice to know that when possible they will recycle material so that not all of it is going into the landfill. They will also drop off items to Goodwill or other charities.
If you find yourself in a position that their services might be helpful, call 770-399-5116.
Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ho, Ho, No! Seasonal Chaos!

It's that time of year again. Pumpkins, Turkeys, Menorahs, Santa Clause, Baby New Year are showing up everywhere. I always am taken aback when I read in the newspaper that the Santa reservations (at $15 a pop) are sold out by Oct. 15 at Phipps Plaza.
How do we deal with all this seasonal clutter? Like any clutter, it can cause you stress.
Right now is the time to sit down, breathe, and write down your vision of how you want the holidays to look and feel. What is important to you in each season? Has this changed over time? Are you on autopilot doing what you have always done plus the new items you have added in recent years?
I used to really go all out for Halloween when my children were little. I decorated. I helped them make costumes. It was a big deal. Now that my children are in their forties, not so much. I may put out a pumpkin and buy some candy- done. My vision of this season is simply to enjoy the neighborhood children and their costumes.
My vision for each holiday has changed as my life has changed. Do you allow changes in your expectations?
Develop a list of the most important things you want to do and experience in each holiday. If you live with others, check with them about what their most important items are. Now go to your calendar and start to log in when you are going to do tasks such as parties, shopping, baking, cooking, decorating, un-decorating, etc. Remember to build in time to just relax and enjoy your decorations and your holidays.
I would love to hear how you handle your holiday stress.
Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Priorities - Taking time for self

Although I love my profession and my clients, it is sometimes the best thing for me to take a break. I love mini-vacations and take them when there is an opportunity. This past week my niece, Lis, and her husband, Jason, were going to Florida for a wedding. They were staying a few days at my sister's house before the wedding. My sister invited me to also come and visit. I jumped at the chance.
For four days I just relaxed and did not think of work (except for reading an organizing book in the car on the way down and back while Len drove). We had a low country boil the first evening when we arrived. We went out on the pontoon boat and saw a manatee calf and some dolphins. I went canoeing and saw fish, crabs, and lots of unusual birds. I enjoyed reconnecting with my family, especially with my niece, who I rarely get to see.
The picture is of Monkey Island in the Homosassa River. We had a lunch at the Yardarm Restaurant the day we went canoeing and I took the picture then.
I am back into full swing again and already thinking ahead of my time with my family at Christmas. I like to know another mini-vacation is on the horizon.
How do you break to take care of your need to relax?
Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kitchen Zone

If you are following the zone plan, this is the best month for the kitchen. If you organize your kitchen now, it will be ready for the heavier holiday use.
Divide your kitchen into 4 zones and tackle just one zone a week. This way the job will not feel so overwhelming.

Week one - work on the Cooking Zone. This would involve cleaning the stove, oven, and microwave as well as organizing pots, pans, cooking utensils, and bake-ware. If your space is crowded, consider giving away pots that are rarely used. If you have special cookware that is used only for a specific holiday, consider storing that item with the holiday decorations instead of taking up space in your kitchen all year long.

Week two - work on the Food Preparation Zone. This would include cleaning out the refrigerator as well as organizing cutting boards, knives, mixing bowls, spices, mixers, blenders, measuring cups and spoons. After emptying out and cleaning the refrigerator, return items to specific zones in your fridge. There might be a dairy zone, a snack zone, a leftovers zone, a fresh produce zone.
Check your cutting boards. Are they still usable? Keep only the best ones. Check your spices. Get rid of the ones that are past their prime and see what might be needed for the holiday cooking.

Week three- work on your Dishes Zone. This will include your sink and dishwasher. Organize your dishes, bowls, mugs, glasses, and flatware. Again, purge any items you do not need.

Week four- work on your Food Serving Zone and your Food Storage Zone. Look over placemats, napkins, trivets, large serving pieces and any groups of items you have not already organized. When you go through your pantry, pull out any cans that you have been holding on to and are reaching expiration or you do not expect to use soon. Donate these to a food pantry. When you replace your food in the pantry, group the foods by type - all soups together, all vegetables, all pasta, etc.

Any cleaning/organization areas that were missed like cleaning windows, light fixtures, or the floor can be added to any week that you have enough time.
Now step back and enjoy your fresh kitchen. You are ready for the holidays!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer