Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Priorities - Taking Care of Self

I love my profession and I love my clients, but......... sometimes, I just need a break. I love taking mini-vacations and grab them when there is an opportunity. This coming weekend, Rob and I have been offered some days at a friend's home on Jekyll Island. We will head down on Saturday and return on Wednesday. I am looking forward to some days of no alarms, quality time with Rob, waling on the beach, bike riding, reading, and just restoring my being.

While on my mini-vacation, I will check emails and respond to clients. I do have 2 coaching classes I will attend via phone connection and will do the work that goes along with the class material. This will not take a lot of time and I will still feel in vacation mode.

When I return, I will be rejuvenated and ready to get back into the full swing of things at work and for holiday preparations. I hope all of you find some time to take care of your needs to rest and relax this fall.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Organzing Your Kitchen

I like to use a zone plan to organize my home. Each month I tackle a different area. October is a prime month for the kitchen. The holidays are right around the corner and the kitchen will become a very busy place. Seasons have changed so you are ready to put away the ice cream maker and pull out the crock pot. This is also the time of year that food drives kick into high gear. Take this time to clear out the food that has accumulated because of impulse buying or overbuying.

Before starting, take a long look at your current kitchen set up. What is bothering you? Are your counters crowded? Are your spices a jumble? Are some often used items hard to reach? Create a vision of how you would like your kitchen to look and feel by the end of this month. Make a brainstorm list of all that needs to happen to make this vision come true.

Some items on your list might include:
  • Declutter your surfaces - what items are not used daily?
  • Purge your cabinets - how many plastic containers or saucepans do you need?
  • Organize for convenience - are your often used items easy to reach?
  • Set up zones - do you have a clear food preparation zone, cooking zone, dish zone, storage zone and serving zone?
Now tackle the project. Divide your kitchen into 4 zones and tackle just one zone a week. This will keep the job from being overwhelming.
  • Week 1 - Cooking Zone - Clean the stove, oven, and microwave. Organize pots, pans, cooking utensils, and bake-ware. If your space is crowded, consider giving away pots that are rarely used. If you have special cookware that is used only for a specific holiday, store that ware with the holiday decorations.
  • Week 2 - Food Preparation Zone - Clean out the refrigerator as well as organize cutting boards, knives, mixing bowls, spices, mixers, blenders, measuring cups and spoons. Get rid of duplicates. Toss foods and spices that are past their prime.
  • Week 3 - Dish Zone - Clean your sink area and dishwasher. Organize your dishware, mugs, glasses, and flatware. Discard items you don't need or those that are broken.
  • Week 4 - Food Serving Zone and Food Storage Zone - Look over placemats, napkins, trivets, large serving pieces, and any groups of items you have not already organized. When you go through your pantry, pull out any cans that you have been holding on to and are reaching expiration. Donate these to a food pantry. When you replace the food in your pantry, group the foods by type - all soups together, all pasta, all fruits, etc.
By the end of the month you will love your organized kitchen space. You are ready for the holiday cooking!

For more details on organizing your kitchen visit my website www.timespaceorg.com and purchase my book From Vision to Victory: A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Taming the Closet Clutter

If you want an organized closet, you have to tame the clutter that seems to accumulate over the year.

First decide how you plan to use your closet. Is it only for your clothing or do you also use it as storage? Do you store all of your clothes in this closet or do some of your clothes (like off season or special use) go into another closet? Do you store some of your clothes in dressers?

Now, pull out everything and separate into four piles: keep, toss, donate, and goes somewhere else.

Next, sort the clothing that is to go back into the closet. How you make your sort is up to you but some options are: long sleeve tops, short sleeve tops, pants, jeans, jackets, skirts, dresses. You might prefer to sort your clothes by outfits or usage (work, work out, casual, dressy). This same sort goes for shoes and accessories that are stored in the closet. The sort is helpful for a couple of reasons. First, it shows you how much you have of each category (and maybe helps you add some of those 15 pair of jeans to the donate pile). It also makes it easier to retrieve your clothes and put together outfits.

Hang up what goes on hangers. It is a good plan to hang up all of your hangers backwards at this point and then the first time you wear the item, hang it correctly. This way, at the end of the season, you can see what has been worn.

If you have shelves in your closet, use boxes that fill up the shelves. Designate each box for the type of clothing: workout clothes, short sleeve T-shirts, long sleeve T-shirts, etc. Label the boxes. Use open boxes for items that you use frequently. The boxes keep like items corralled and leave no space on the shelves for clutter to accumulate.

Keep loose items off the closet floor. Use that space for your laundry basket or shoe corral.

If shoes are stored on shelves, use plastic, clear shoe boxes. They are smaller than the cardboard boxes that shoes come in and the plastic boxes will stack neatly.

The top shelf of your closet can be used to store suitcases or large, light items that you don't often use. It might be helpful to store a small, folding step stool in your closet.

Once everything is in order, label the shelves to help you keep your closet in order.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer