Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ho! Ho! Ho! Tis the Season for Gift Giving

It's fun to receive gifts. I think it is even more fun to give gifts. But, let's give this whole gift giving a bit of thought.

When we decide to give a gift consider:
  • Do they really want it?
  • Will it clutter up their space?
  • Do they have a designated place to put it away when not in use? 
  • Does it require upkeep or maintenance?
  • Will they use it?
Let me explore this from a recipient's point of view. I love to give parties. People know this and it is great that they think enough about me to acknowledge this. But I have received at least 6 sets of decorative cheese spreaders and some novelty items that really don't work for me. I like cats. But I have received boatloads of kitty figurines, picture frames, plaques, etc. Now, I do not have a problem passing these on to a charitable donation site but some people do.

I have worked with clients who have kept things just because they were gifts even though they do not like or use the items. These clients are limited on space and the gifts become clutter.

Consumable items are usually a good choice - but know the recipient's likes and habits. I have one client who gets a case of cherry preserves each year. She lives alone. She rarely uses preserves. Cases have stacked up. She has a limited space. I have finally convinced her to pass these items on before they expire.

Gift cards can be a good choice. But I have come across many gift cards that have not been used. They are years old. Some people don't know how to shop online and use an Amazon gift card or they don't want to bother. Others just forget they have them or don't shop at the places where the cards are intended.

Perhaps the best gift is a gift of your time. Still, know the person and what they would like to do with that time. Time is precious.

As you finish up your shopping this year, just give it some thought.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Feeling Thankful

While gratitude is an ongoing part of my life, it is this time of year that we look back to the big and little things that cause us to be so thankful.

  1. I feel blessed to have a family that is strong and loving. While I wish that I could see them face to face more often, we communicate frequently and I know thy have my back. We come together to celebrate as often as we are able.
  2. My husband and I celebrate our third anniversary tomorrow. I am so thankful he is in my life. Not only do I have the enjoyment of him every day but I have also picked up some more extended family to enjoy.
  3. Friends are the glue that holds everything together. Friends laugh with you and hold you when you cry. They encourage your dreams and celebrate your victories.
  4. I am thankful that I don't live in a place of fear. I feel safe. I feel loved. While I don't like all that goes on around me, I look at what I can do and how I can react to make others feel safe and loved.
  5. I am so blessed to have a profession that can help others find solutions and achieve higher levels of happiness. I love that they can develop a vision and carry it on to victory.

As I move forward in life I hope that I can remain connected to all of the gloriousness of life.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Book Giveaway!

Diane Quintana and I are hosting a competition during the month of November. Just submit a picture of your child's messy room on Facebook or Twitter using #kidmessyroom and give us a strategy you use to get your child to tidy his or her room. We are having a drawing on December 1st. The lucky winners will receive either a copy of Suzie's Messy Room or Benji's Messy Room.

We hope to see a lot of great creative thinking out there. Even if you already have purchased our book, I'm sure you have a friend that would enjoy it as well. It's always fun to receive #giveaway #freestuff.

One of the seasonal great ideas in the books is that when children have too many toys, it is a good idea to let some of the toys go to someone else!

Happy Holidays!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Organizing the Attic/Basement Zone

November is a great time to organize and clean out your attic or basement zone. It is not so hot or yet too cold for comfort. Also, many of us store our seasonal decorations in this zone.

As you prepare to organize this zone, make a list of all items you store here. The list might include:
  • Seasonal decorations
  • Seasonal house items like fans/heaters
  • Extra furniture and household accessories
  • Toys or items to pass on to children or grandchildren
  • Out of season clothing
  • Suitcases
  • Sports equipment
  • Archival paper
Plan where you want each of these categories to live. Items that you do not plan to use in the next year or more should be stored the farthest from the entry. This might include the extra furniture, accessories, toys, and archival papers.

As you place items into their areas, if you come across broken or unloved items or multiple items (how many suitcases do you really use?) that have been hanging around for years, now is the time to let them go. You will feel so much lighter when they are gone and next year, when this zone rolls around again, it will be a much easier task.

Leave space between each zone so that you can safely maneuver to get or store items.

Label all containers. Use large labels that you can see from some distance so that you know what is in each container. Even if a container is clear, it is hard to see what is in it if the lighting is dim. It helps to locate holiday items if you use colored or themed containers to store your decorations, but still label the container with the primary items. This keeps you from having to dig through multiple boxes to find the advent wreath or crèche you want early in the season.

Your organized attic or basement will make decorating and undecorating a much easier chore.

Happy Holidays!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer