Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Honor Your Done List

We all talk about our "to do" lists. We usually complain that we never get all of the tasks done on that list. Our "to do" lists are often huge. Some of the tasks on the list are open-ended projects. The pressure of that list looming over us saps our energy and motivation. We whittle away at the small, easy tasks on the list but at the end of the day wonder what we have done.

What would it feel like if you kept track of your "done" list? A "done" list can give you a chance to review your day and see what you really did accomplish. It may be a lot more than you think. It gives you more perspective and a chance to celebrate your accomplishments and reward yourself for a job well done. It also gives you a chance to see how many items on your "done" list are moving you toward your goals and how many are really just "pencil sharpening" type tasks.

When writing up your "done" list, give yourself credit for doing increments of large projects. If you are planning a presentation and today you wrote the outline, that's a "done." If you are organizing your closet and today you cleared 2 shelves, that's a "done." 

The "to do" lists are an intention. Putting items that you plan to do on your calendar is a commitment. At the end of the day, looking at your "done" list gives you some validation and helps you evaluate your "to do" list for the next day.

Try working on a "done" list system for a while and see if it doesn't improve your productivity and your sense of accomplishment.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

10 Things to Throw Out Now

Sometimes we just want to declutter or organize our home but just don't know where to start.
What are somethings we have in our home that take up space but are really "no brainers" when it comes to a quick, easy purge?

1. Excess paper- This paper can be computer printouts that you no longer need, copies of paid bills, unnecessary receipts, or even old newspapers and articles. Quickly sort through your mounds of paper stuck here and there and see how much can quickly go into the trash or recycle bin. Keep asking yourself, "Why do I need this?" and "What is the worst thing that can happen if I throw this away?"

2. Extra clothes hangers or speciality hangers you are not using. Open each closet door and look inside. Pull out all those old wire hangers or hangers that you bought for a specific purpose and never use.  Return the wire ones to your dry cleaner and recycle the rest.

3. Ratty bed linens and towels. Think about how many linens and towels you really need. Two sets of bed linens for each bed (you can also count the sofa bed) and 2 sets of towels for each person living in your home plus 2 sets for each guest room are usually plenty. Now take the mismatched and threadbare other linens and donate them to a vet or animal rescue center.

4. Extra vases and flower pots. Save the ones you have used in the past year and let the rest go. It will be great to have that extra shelf space. Florists will be glad to get your donations.

5. VHS tapes, cassette tapes, unused video games, CDs you no longer play. Why are you keeping these? If it is a really special VHS of a family wedding, get it digitized. These items take up a lot of space.

6. Exercise Equipment that you aren't using. More people use a treadmill to hang clothes on that to use as intended. If you haven't used this stuff in the past year, let it go and give someone else a chance using it. This is also true of water bottles. I have seen whole shelves of these bottles picked up at some event and then not used.

7. Make up and hair accessories. Let go of all those samples you got because they came "free" with a purchase. You might let go of those "free" cosmetic bags, too. Women's shelters would love some of this. Curling irons, flat irons, rollers that you no longer use can also be easily given away. You'll love the extra room in your bathroom.

8. Old electronics. Fax machines, printers, phones, cables, chargers, and items you have forgotten what they even are. Let them go. What cables and accessories you keep, put in plastic bags and label them.

9. Kitchen items that only have one use. Cherry pitters, crab mallets, grapefruit spoons, egg cups, or any item that you have not used in the past year. These really mess up your kitchen drawers and shelves.

10. Games, puzzles, old hobbies paraphernalia. If you no longer do puzzles, if you have not played that game in years, if you don't really think you'll use that wooden tennis racket, let it go.  Others may now enjoy what you no longer use. Donate these or give to friends and family.

Now, don't you feel free?

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Project Bins

It seems I am always working on multiple projects. Currently I am working on three presentations, updating my web page, and updating my social media. I also continuously snag ideas for future blogs, future workshops, future newsletters, and future presentations. My business plan is also an ongoing project.

I also belong to several organizations where I am actively working on projects.

A couple of years ago, after continual frustration with the stacks of paper that were sitting around on and beside my desk due to these multiple active projects, I came across the idea of project bins.

I currently have two project bins. One bin is for projects concerning my business, Time Space Organization. The other bin is for any committee work. When I was writing my book, From Vision to Victory, I had a third project bin dedicated just to the writing process.

Each project is in a labeled folder or notebook. When I am working on that project, I grab my bin and pull out what I need. When my project time is finished, I slide everything back into that folder or notebook and drop it back into the bin. The bins sit behind closed doors in the cabinet that faces my desk. I do not have to look at the project material except when I have it out for work. I find that this keeps my mind clear for whatever I am working on currently. These bins have greatly reduced my stress because the projects are not always in my face yelling at me.

This month I am organizing in my office zone and I will review these bins. I will get rid of any material that is no longer relevant and just generally tidy up the folders. I am very pleased with this simple way of organizing all of my projects and keeping them hidden away until I need them.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Office Zone Organization

It's a new year for organizing. I always like to start my home organization projects in my office. This month I will touch everything in my office and make decisions about what stays in this office, what goes away, what stays but is stored elsewhere in  my home.

Over the past year, my office has gotten overcrowded and cluttered. I have materials I have brought in from conferences and workshops, new organizing books, files for new clients and contacts, business receipts, and more. Now is the logical time to organize and clear out areas to make room for new growth and to give me room to breathe and flourish.

First, I check in with my vision of my office. Over this past year, I have lightened up the feeling. My walls are now a pale yellow. A blue Pete the Cat picture hangs on my wall. I want my office to feel light and welcoming.

I look at where papers tend to stack up. My project bins are overflowing. I need to assess what is still valid, let some projects go, file some as complete, and organize what is current. My business paperwork for last year should now get bundled and set aside for tax purposes. My client files are updated, with non-active files put in an archival location. My contact files are also updated.

I update my vision board and clear the clutter from my shelves. If I don't love looking at something, or if I no longer need something - out it goes.

By the end of the month, I will reward myself with fresh flowers on my desk. The office is now ready for just regular maintenance for another year.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer