Thursday, December 29, 2011

Be Calendar Ready for the New Year

By now you probably already have your calendar purchased for the next year and have started recording meetings and "to dos." But before the new year really gets underway, take some serious time now to set up your calendar for the coming year.

Take your current calendar and go through it month by month. Record all of the birthdays and anniversaries into your new calendar. I like to do this in red so that it really pops out when the calendar page starts to get crowded with other items. If I plan to buy or send a gift or card, I also put in the calendar "buy gift" or "mail gift" a week or two before the actual event.

Now, go through your new calendar and record all standing appointments like that networking meeting you have every Wednesday morning or that Weight Watcher meeting every Thursday.

Take this planning a step further. Put in projects you are planning as well. I mark at the top of each month the zone I will be organizing for that month. I have Office Zone marked for January and Spare Bedroom Zone marked for February. I also list actions that I plan to do during that month. In January I plan to clean out my birdhouses. In February I have a note that the payment for my deposit box at the bank will be deducted from my account. I list when I plan to make doctor appointments and when I plan to renew my passport or driver's license. On the notes part of my calendar I record when I pay for charities or organizations. January shows that I plan to renew the Nature Conservancy and ASPCA. I also have recorded when professional dues need to be paid. I have found in past years that these notes are very helpful. When an agency starts to send me renewal notices (usually many months in advance) I can look at my calendar to determine when I really plan to write that check.

Now you are truly ready for what the new year is going to bring. Just keep that calendar maintained and up to date and don't forget to look at it daily.

Happy New Year!


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice

As we do the last preparations for Christmas day, we may be rushing around quite a bit but let's take a few minutes to recognize the winter solstice. This is the beginning of winter and the return of the sun. The shortest day and the longest night of the year have passed. The days will now gradually begin to lengthen. This is the traditional time to celebrate the most important things in your life - family, friends, your home - and to look forward to a wonderful new year. Take time to light a candle. Have a hot drink and count your blessings. This is a celebration of rebirth as the sun grows stronger in the sky. Be blessed in this day.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Harried Holidays

It's almost Christmas! I look at the calendar and am at the same time excited and frantic. I am so looking forward to having my grown boys and spouse visiting. I am still looking forward to some parties, gatherings, and church events. I am enjoying the holiday foods and music.
But, whoa! A lot of things are still not done. The cards have not yet been mailed. One of the gifts I ordered is back ordered and may not make it on time. I still have more baking to do. The house is still in disarray from some recent events. No gifts have been wrapped.
Breathe.
I must remember my vision for the perfect holiday. How can I still make this happen? How do I deal with my schedule setbacks?
Breathe.
OK. The cards that are not finished can go in a bag with me in the car. When I need to sit and wait for an appointment I'll have them with me. I'll have moments here and there and if I just do a few each time, I'll make it.
Breathe.
The back ordered gift will not make it but I can cut out the picture from the catalog and put it in a card with the promise of the gift when it arrives. After all, it will not be his only gift.
Breathe.
Some baking may not get done and the most important items can be done next week.
Breathe.
The house can be tackled in small increments. It doesn't have to be perfect.
Breathe.
Sunday I 'll put on some music and wrap the gifts. It will be fun.
Breathe.
I plan to take time this weekend to see some friends and go to a church event. The holiday spirit will be there. By the time family arrives, all will be good. It doesn't have to be perfect. No one will care.
Breathe.
Enjoy your holidays!!!




Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Friday, December 2, 2011

3 - 2 - 1 Blastoff! Merry Christmas!



Wow! Christmas is coming up fast. Here are some quick holiday survival tips:


1. Keep your spending in check. Have a list and a budget. Keep tight reins on impulse spending.

2. Do not over commit. Have a family meeting and decide what events are going on the calendar - and be sure to write those events on the calendar.

3. Set priorities. You can't take advantage of all the opportunities for the season. Check in with your vision of a perfect holiday and choose wisely. Save some time just for you.

4. Make a list. Keep a master list of all you want to accomplish. Put holiday chores like baking, sending cards, and shopping on your calendar as well as the events you plan to attend. Don't just write the chore down, but also block out how much time you think the task will take. By looking at all of this on your calendar, it can save you from trying to commit to too much.

5. Combine errands. With your list in hand pre-plan your errands.

6. Delegate. Ask for help from family and friends or hire help for some chores.

7. Streamline and simplify. Eliminate all traditions you don't enjoy. Don't put out every decoration you own (remember they will all have to be packed up and put away later.)

8. Take care of your self. Rest, exercise, eat right, and treat yourself to something you love.

9. Donate. As you bring out holiday items and winter clothes or clean out your pantry, share your excess with a local charity.

10. Breathe. Enough said.

Enjoy this holiday season.





Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer