Thursday, February 23, 2012

Leap Year Proposal

2012 is a leap year. We have an extra day to use at the end of this month. Let's not think of it as just any other day but do something to make it special.

On the eve of every New Year we make resolutions or affirmations for the upcoming year. What if on the 29th we make Leap Year Resolutions? Think of this as a slightly short five year plan.

Write down where you want to be in four years. What job are you doing? Where are you living? How is your health? Who are your friends? What are your relationships like? Be very specific.

Then write down what you need to do to make these visions come true. Develop a four year timeline and put on your calendar specific times to review your goals and the revisit the timeline to see how your are progressing.

Now share these goals with someone. This will make it real for you.

Happy Leap Year!


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February: Time Management Month

February is Time Management Month. As the name of my company, Time Space Organization, indicates, I feel that time management is a very important part of organization. If your time is not well managed, you will not keep up with organizational projects or maintenance. If you do manage your time, the rest of getting organized is so much simpler.

One way to work on time management is to take note of what is gobbling up your time during the day.


Emails? - Set certain times to check your emails and turn off any alerts.

Procrastinating? - Break projects into small parts and only push yourself to do one piece of the project at a time.

Unwanted calls? - Check out http://www.donotcall.gov/

Work slow down? - Take breaks. Sometimes it feels like you are moving underwater because you have worked on a project until you are cross-eyed.

Too much pencil sharpening? - Each morning set your priorities. Pick out the big 3 you want to accomplish and block out times to work on those 3. Let the other small tasks fit in where they can.

Can't find things? - Whenever you complete a task put items away. If you are working on a project and don't complete it in one session, use project bins so that you can find everything related to that project the next time you work on it. Make certain that everything in your work area has a place where it calls home.

Projects taking too long to complete? - Abandon perfection and embrace effectiveness. Know when to stop.

Above, all know that the calendar is your friend. When you plan any of your activities, write it on the calendar. Not just the time it has to be accomplished, but also block out the prep time or travel time, the time of the activity, and the clean up time. a 30 minute meeting might need a one and a half hour block of time.

Be realistic with your time expectations. And at the end of any big projects or at the end of the day, reward yourself for a job well done.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine Day Clutter

Valentine Day rolls around every February. Cards and gifts are exchanged. Depending where you are in your life, this can be just a few items or a ton.

If you have small children, they will be making you gifts and cards. They also will be receiving many cards and Valentine items from school or interest groups.

A special someone in your life may give you a card and/or a gift.

Nice.

Now, let's look at someone 60+ years of age. What if you kept every card, every remembrance, every dried flower? That could be very overwhelming.

Then what do you do with all of these handmade or carefully chosen cards and gifts?

This is a very personal decision but I am pretty sure you don't want them lying around all over your house.

  1. Box up the best and label them. Then put them away on a shelf and if you wish, once a year, take them out to look at and remember.
  2. Take a picture of a group of cards or items and then let them go.
  3. Make a collage of the best cards and bring it out for decoration each Valentine Day.
  4. Save the best - the ones with meaningful messages written inside or a special poem - and let the rest go. Put the significant items in a special box.
  5. Pass on old cards to schools or nursing homes so that they can re-purpose them into projects.
If this seems like an overwhelming task, break down the project into manageable bits of time and then move on to something else. Get help from someone who will help you talk through why you want to keep certain items and give you permission to let items go. After all, when you toss out a card that your mother gave you 20 years ago, you are not tossing out your mom.

Letting go of some of the memorabilia will clear up space for more happy memories to come your way.

Happy Valentine Day!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spare Bedroom Zone

February is the month I organize and declutter my spare bedroom. This past year I did major redecorating in this room with the assistance of organizer Tami Puckett of Mindful Redesign - http://mindfulredesign.com. She helped make this room reflect my interest in travel while making it inviting to my guests.

Spare bedrooms often have multiple functions. My spare bedroom stores offseason and less frequently used clothes, wrapping paper and gift accessories, memorabilia, household accessories, overflow storage for archival files and office supplies, and is a place for guests to enjoy.

My zones are well defined in that room and everything is behind closed closet doors or in drawers. My challenge for this month is finding a home for all the extra office files that I have dumped into this room while clearing space in my office zone last month. It seems like each year I need a little more closet space for my office overflow and I think that this year I have maxed out that space. That means that I need to look long and hard at what I am already storing and let some of those items go. A serious purge needs to happen. Then I will have room for the more recent overflow from my office.

Throughout this month, I will tackle one wall a week and toss items and reorganize the items that remain so that at the end of the month, my spare room will again look inviting to guests and all storage items will be out of sight behind closed closet doors or drawers.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer