Friday, February 25, 2011

I Can't Believe It - What Happened?

Have you ever woken up in the morning and wondered, "What happened?" It seems all of a sudden there is more to do than you can possibly handle. You can't figure out where to even begin. You just want to go back to sleep and forget it all.
You are not alone. This happens at some point to all of us - but what to do now?
First, accept that, yes, you are not going to be able to do it all and a lot of it is important. So, you do a little triage. If I only do 3 things today, what should they be?
Write them down and figure out how much time you will devote to each of those big three. Then look over your list and prioritize the rest of the big items. Are any of the tasks ones you can delegate to someone else, get help on, or hire out? If so, a first priority would be to get someone else to commit to helping or do the tasks for you.
Put the "last possible" or deadline dates by the rest of the big items along with how long you think it will take to accomplish the task. Calendar in hand, mark the due dates for each task. Then go back in and schedule the times you are going to work on the tasks. Remember, we are now in overwhelm mode, so we are not striving for perfectionism. We are just trying to get these tasks off our back.
As you work on the big 3 each day you will have a little time here and there to do minor maintainable tasks- eat, sleep, take care of pets, laundry, etc. Do these tasks when you can. If you work from home, they can become breaks between the BIG projects. If you are in an office environment, many of these tasks can be done at home when you are too tired or your brain is too fried to do the BIG thinking tasks. Don't do the routine, maintenance tasks at your peak working times.
Now, this is not my favorite way to handle time management. I would much prefer to plan waaay ahead and be proactive. But when it comes to overwhelm time, this works best for me.
I would love some input as to how the rest of you handle overwhelm.
Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Home Projects and Safety

If you are working on a home project, like putting in an Elfa closet system or putting tile down in a room, take a few minutes to do an analysis. Check out the safety of the situation, especially if you are working alone. Organize all your needed materials before you begin.
If you are using a ladder, make certain it is steady and in a locked position. Don't stand higher on the step ladder than is safe. Move the ladder when necessary. Don't try to reach beyond a safe area.
Before drilling or screwing into a surface, make sure you know what is behind that surface.
Use the right tools for the job. Don't try to substitute. If you need a certain drill bit, get it. If you need a hammer, get a hammer.
Know where the main shutoffs are in your home, if you should need them.
Know where your emergency materials are located - buckets, towels, first aid kit. Be prepared. Keep your phone on you. If you fall and get hurt, you may not be able to get to that phone.
Know and admit when you need help. Have a friend come over to help, even if it is just to hold the ladder and pass items to you. If the project is beyond you, hire a pro. It will be cheaper in the long run.
Don't take your safety for granted; all it takes is a simple mistake or fall!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Friday, February 11, 2011

Organized for Valentine's Day

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Being organized
is romantic too.

Do you want to set a romantic mood for Valentine's Day? This is pretty hard to do if your home and kitchen is an organizational disaster. If you are planning to entertain your sweetie at your home, take a good look at the living room, dining room, and kitchen areas (we'll stop with just these areas ;-o ).
How do you want to feel when you are in these rooms? How do you feel now? Make a short list of what you need to change for the big day. Then commit to your plan.
If you are in a relationship, flowers and candy make lovely Valentine's gifts but an even more personal gift would be to clear up an area that is bothering your love.
Finding the surface of a desk, clearing the kitchen counter, getting all the clothes put away from the floor of the bedroom could really make the day.
Enjoy the day!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Spare Bedrooom Zone

In February, the zone I tackle is the spare bedroom. I like to do this room the month after the office because one of the uses of this room is off-site storage for my office. At this point in time, there are items jammed into this room that were pulled out of my office. The chaos bothers me, so now I am motivated to work in this zone. I want my spare bedroom to look neat and inviting. I want my guests and myself to be comfortable in this room. I want to be able to put my hands on all items stored here.
Many of us use our spare bedrooms for multiple purposes. Mine serves as a place for guests to stay, a place to store wrapping paper and gifts, a place to store off season or rarely used clothes, a place to store pictures and memorability, and a place to keep items for my office that I don't use on a daily or weekly basis.
When organizing the bedroom, I think of all the different zones in that room (guests, wrapping/gifts, clothes, memorabilia storage, office storage) and then I organize my items in that zone to maximize the space available. As more items come into the area, some items need to be purged.
I have purged more clothes this year and now have room to put in a couple more shelves in the closet pictured. This closet zone will hold my books, mailers, and items I use for presentations. There is still room for some long hanging clothes on the left.
I have not redecorated this room since I moved into this house. I plan to change pictures, the bedspread, and other items with the help of organizer Tami Puckett of Mindful Redesign - http://mindfulredesign.com. I want the room to have a fresh look and reflect my interest in travel.
I want this room done by the end of the month. The first week I will tackle the closet on the wall side shown. Then each week I will attack another wall. By the end of the month I hope to have this zone the way I want it for another year.
What are the purposes of your spare bedroom? How do you make the one room serve multiple purposes and zones?

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer