Thursday, May 31, 2012

Flying Solo - The First Home Away From Home

Are you a parent who is concerned about your child successfully setting up his first home away from home?

This is the time of graduating students, many of whom are setting off to start living on their own for the first time. They may be setting up a dorm room, sharing an apartment, or getting married and setting up their first home. They may have received very good training at home, but this is different. There is so much to keep in mind while setting up this home - as well as starting college, a new job, or a new life.

This blog cannot possibly cover all the information about managing your move and dealing with landlords and housemates. There is not enough space to cover setting up a budget, keeping up with paperwork, stocking the kitchen, or managing time. What I am going to do in this blog is make a recommendation that you take these actions.
  1. If you are in the Metro-Atlanta area, come to Diane Quintana and my workshop - Flying Solo, July 20 at 10:00-11:00. We will hold this workshop at SpaceMakers of America (11415 Old Roswell Rd. Ste. 300, Alpharetta, GA.) The $25 investment will allow you and your young adult to attend.
  2. If you are not able to come to the workshop, purchase Diane Quintana's book, Flying Solo: A Guide To Organizing Your Home When You Leave Your Parents' Nest. Her book can be purchased through her website or through Amazon.
There is something magical about flying solo, so give your child the best liftoff possible and something to hold onto when turbulence occurs.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Making a Schedule That Works For You

It's the end of the day. You look back at your schedule. So much has not been accomplished. You feel discouraged and wonder what is wrong with you.

Sound familiar?

How can you put together a schedule that works for you? One that gives you a satisfied feeling at the end of the day? 
  1. Be realistic. Don't schedule everything in the world that you want to do. Put in the big 3 items that you want to do in the day that will move you toward your goals. Be realistic about how long each task will take. If it is a huge time consuming task, consider blocking off only so much time to work on it today and plan another day to continue it. 
  2. Plan for transition times. Allow time between tasks to put items away and prepare your space and mind for the next task on hand. If  you need to travel somewhere for that task, allow aplenty of time for that travel and set up when you get there. 
  3. Plan at least one task that is important but not yet urgent. This will keep you from always working "under the gun." If you ignore important but not yet urgent tasks, soon those tasks will also become urgent and you will feel more stressed and out of control.
  4. When working on the tasks, quit when the task is good enough. Don't try to get perfectionism. Don't put more time into the task than it is worth. 
  5. Set up some accountability plan. This might be checking in with an accountability partner or keeping the goal in front of you by checking in several times a day with the questions, "Am I on task? Am I doing the best possible thing to move me toward my goal?"
  6. Reward yourself when you complete each of the big 3. Take a break. Give yourself some treat - maybe a short walk or a special coffee.
Still some days you don't get it all done? Don't beat yourself up. Learn from mistakes and know that tomorrow is another day.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Priorities - My Family

My son, Ben, successfully defended his dissertation this week. His dissertation has the catchy title of Using a Proxy-Oriented Genetic Algorithm to Find a Millisecond Scale Model of the Hippocampus. He is going to "walk the walk" May 20 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

This means a lot to me. I plan to go for the ceremony which will involve changing some things on my calendar, trying to get someone to cover for me on a Saturday obligation, getting my son Darin to cat sit, and then driving up on a Saturday and back on Monday.

When some great event like this happens, priorities quickly shift. Somehow this is all going to work and I will be there for the hooding ceremony. I am so looking forward to it!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Organize the Master Bedroom Zone

If you are following my zone plan, this is the month I organize and clean my master bedroom. I always start with my vision. I want this room to have a soothing, calming feel. I want this area to always remain uncluttered. This is the area where I want total relaxation and happiness.

Last year I did quite a bit of redecorating in this room. This year, the only change is in some art work - moving out the whimsical cats and birds to my office and putting in a piece of sculpture in its place.

The bedroom zone can be done in three weeks.
  • Week One: I start on the wall with my closet and a dresser. With the summer season fast approaching, this is the perfect time to evaluate the clothes in this space and see what needs to go, what needs some care, and to switch out winter clothes and put in summer clothes. This closet holds what I wear 80% of the time in any given season. I also evaluate the clothes being stored in the dresser. I do not want any of the areas that hold clothes to be overfull. I want to find things easily and I don't want items scrunched together. 
  • Week Two: I work on the wall with the tall dresser and follow the same pattern. This is an easy week so I plan it on a week that is rather busy.
  • Week Three: I work on the wall with the bed, window, two small tables, and the wall to the left of the bed that has no furniture. I take this opportunity to clean all of the bed linens. I also clean the fan above the bed and the air vent. The window and blinds get the accumulate dirt and dust removed as well. During this week I will clear off my night stands. I tend to collect books I would like to read and they often end up here. After a year I have quite a stack of unread books. It is time for some of these books to go and some to be stored elsewhere. Too many books stacked up looks stressful instead of inviting to me. A few books offer promise but too many begins to look like a chore.
As a reward for finishing my bedroom, I buy fresh flowers and admire my fresh, peaceful, well organized bedroom. I know I'll sleep well in here. 

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer