Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Setting up a Gift Zone

Quite a few times I have worked with a client organizing an area and we will come across a gift they had purchased and never sent. I'm all for buying gifts ahead of time. Sometimes you are out shopping and you see just the perfect gift for your brother but his birthday is past and it's a long time until the holidays. Go ahead and buy the gift but then what do you do with it when you get home?

I recommend designating one or two places in your home to stash these gifts. If you have children you may need to get a bit creative to hide their gifts. I like to tag the items with the name of the person I had in mind when I made the purchase. I tend not to buy large items so I use a drawer in my guest bedroom for my gift zone. I have seen clients use a shelf in their basement, an under the bed storage container, or an area in a closet. These spaces do not have to have super easy access because you will not go there often. However, they should be easy enough to get to that you are not tempted to just lay the gift down "just for now".

Another advantage of having a gift storage area is that when you do buy something and go to put it away, you can see what you already have. This keeps you from buying five things for your sister because she is so easy to shop for and only one item for your brother (another book?). It also keeps you aware if you are overbuying. It is great to have a couple of hostess gifts tucked away so that you can shop that gift zone before heading out to the store.

If you do not already have a zone for gifts, take a walk through your home now and see what place or places might work for you.

Happy shopping!



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tips on Organizing Your Attic or Basement Zone



November is a great time to organize and clean out your attic or basement zone. It is not as hot or yet too cold for comfort. it is also a zone where many of us store our holiday decorations.

As you prepare to work in this zone, make a list of all the items you store there. The list might include:
  • Seasonal decorations
  • Seasonal house items like fans or heaters
  • Extra household items you are not currently using but want to keep
  • Toys or items to pass on to family or friends
  • Out of season clothing or sports equipment
  • Suitcases
  • Archival papers
Plan where each category will be housed. Items you do not plan to use in the next year are best stored furthest from the entry. This might include the extra items you are not now using and some of the  archival papers.

Attack the attic or basement zone by zone. Remove everything from the one zone you are working on and sweep down the area and look for any structural damage or infestations. As you place items back into their area, if you come across broken, 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 much lighter when they are gone. You will have more room to move around and when this zone rolls around again next year, it will be a much easier task.

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

Label all containers. Use large labels that you can see from some distance. Even if a container is clear, it is hard to see what is inside if the lighting is dim.

It helps to locate different holiday items if you use colored or themed containers to store your decorations. Still label the containers with primary items. This keeps you from having to dig through multiple boxes to find the advent wreath or crèche you want to use early in the season. Your organized attic or basement will make decorating and in-decorating a much easier chore.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Gratitude



This past weekend we had a mini-family reunion at my sister's home to celebrate my son's 50th birthday. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my family.

My sister, Ann, opened up her home for this event and her son, Tod, and his partner, Richard, also opened up their home for overnight guests. Ann, Tod and Richard also spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing food. Husband, Rob, also spent time in the kitchen cleaning up.

My son, Ben, came to this event even though his lovely wife, Kellie, was not able to make the trip. He flew in and met up with my brother, Jim, and his wife, Mindy, at the airport late Friday night and left again on Sunday evening. Jim and Mindy were on about the same schedule and were still fighting jet lag from a trip abroad. Even the family that were local had to really work their schedules to carve out this special time. I really appreciate that effort.

We spent a lot of time catching up, telling stories, and laughing. These times with family are the best vacations ever. I am forever grateful for my family.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Free Holiday Cards, Gift Wrap, Calendars and More!

This time of year junk mail really revs up. I really hate it  when charities I give to send me free holiday cards, gift wrap, and/or free calendars. All of these items either end up in my recycling bin or are given to an older friend who does enjoy them. I hate that the money I donate is being spent on sending me items that I do not want.

Unwanted catalogs, credit card offers, and donation requests swamp us at this time of year and if you are not vigilant they can really clutter up homes and offices. Yesterday alone 6 catalogs, 3 donations requests, and a set of free holiday cards came into my home. Some of the catalogs and donation requests came from groups that I have never used. Many companies send this mail because they have bought our information from a data broker.

More than 100 billion pieces of junk mail are mailed to U.S. households each year, including 12 billion catalogs! That's a lot of trees! Over 100 million trees are cut down each year to produce our junk mail and 44% of junk mail is thrown away unopened and only half that much junk mail (22%) is recycled.

So, what to do? I always recycle but that is not enough. There are several sites to help you stop your junk mail. Catalog Choice helps stop catalogs. You have to set up an account and it is easy to use but takes a bit of time to find your catalog in their long lists.

Another option is to call the number on the back of the catalog and ask them to remove you from the list. By law, they must honor this. It would not take too long if you did each one when it comes through.

Charites are more difficult. It helps to donate to charities with a demonstrated commitment to donor privacy. Find charities that make a promise not to share, sell, or trade your personal information. Also look for charities that are financially efficient. If you support a charity that sends out too many mailings, call that charity and tell them how often you want to be contacted. Audubon now only sends me a donation form annually. I have another charity that automatically gets a monthly payment.

It is a good idea to pick a few favorites and give more heavily to them and refuse the others. I love to support wildlife and nature organizations. Consequently, I give to way too many. Now is a good time to really study each of those groups and decide which one or two I want to support.

It can seem overwhelming but even if we just take action to eliminate some of them the world would be a better place.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Health Hazards of Living and Working in Clutter




Recently I have had several of my clients cancel sessions because of respiratory problems and, yes, this may be an allergy but it could also be due to dust, dander, and even mold in stacks of papers and items throughout the house. I recently had some respiratory difficulties after working over five hours in a home with papers that had been scraped off the floor in another room. I could see hair, dust, and some trash mixed in with the papers. It is my own fault that I did not stop then to get out my gloves and mask.

Unless you clean your home on a regular basis, the clutter gathers dust. When you have piles of "stuff" you are not likely to move them in order to clean. This accumulated dust can cause lung irritation and allergy flair ups. Stacks of boxes that block vents also cause poor air circulation and lack of filtering the air.

I've also unpacked boxes of papers that have been stored so long there was evidence of black mold on the papers or books. You certainly don't want to breathe in mold and sometimes the papers are important ones that need to be kept.

Another health hazard I have come across is animal feces. If it is difficult for animals to get out the door or get to a cat box they are more likely to use the floor or go on the items stacked on the floor. Once an area is marked, animals will continue to use this space as their latrine.

Bugs and even rodents also love clutter. Mounds of material and paper make great nests. Bugs love paper boxes that have been stored on the floor for long periods of time. The presence of bugs and rodents is not a good combination for good health.

Tripping accidents and fire are also hazards I have observed. It's hard to navigate around piles of clutter and I had a client narrowly escape a fire in her home because of the clutter. Trying to navigate your way out of a smoke filled home with only pathways to walk is a very scary experience.

And while this is not as obvious, stress of living with clutter can affect health.

The bottom line here is that even if you are not close to staring in a hoarding episode, clutter can eventually harm your health. It's amazing how much better you will feel once you have your clutter under control.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Let's Throw a Party!

During the holidays chances are that you are either throwing a party or are a part of setting up a party. It might be a large Thanksgiving gathering, a choir or work party, a cookie exchange, or a gala New Year Eve party.

Since I love to give parties, over the years I have developed a plan that lets me enjoy my own parties. The plan involves backwards planning and looks like this:
  • Start with your vision. What is the purpose of this party? Where is it held? How will it look and feel if it turns out perfectly? Look over each component of the party and see it clearly - the local, the food, the people, the ambiance.
  • Choose a date for this event. Then at least six weeks out develop your guest list and send a save the date email followed by the actual invitation.
  • Take each component and decide what needs to happen for the vision to come true. For example, if the party is held in your home and it is a Christmas party, you see your home decorated and set up for the party. Make a list of every detail that needs attention between now and the party. If there is a decorated Christmas tree in your party space you will list decorating the tree, bringing out your decorations, putting up the tree, buying the tree - probably on four different days.
  • Develop your timeline. Put all the tasks on your calendar. Now follow your plan.
If you follow your plan you never have to worry about if you have time to get ready. If you are interested in the timeline I have developed for my Holiday 2017 party just contact me at jonda@timespaceorg.com and request it. You can see how I blocked out times for baking and most of one weekend before the party to prepare the house. This is what it takes to make my vision come true.
Enjoy!



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Organizing Your Kitchen

Every October I declutter and reorganize my kitchen. I know that the next few months will involve a lot of holiday cooking and I want my kitchen to be at its best. There are a lot of food drives around this time of year and it gives me a chance to clear out any foods that I have overstocked or bought on a whim and not used. This opens up space for holiday supplies.

I like to work in my kitchen so I want it to be an inviting place that is uncluttered. I want open countertops that are ready for food prep or rolling out cookies or pie dough. I want all my basic stored foods and spices organized and fresh so that I can easily put my hand on what I want without missing a beat. I want to be happy in this warm space.

I look at my kitchen as it is now and see what I can streamline to open up more space. I only want on my counter tops the items I use daily and even some of them can be tucked away under the counter. For example, I use my coffee grinder once a day but it is light and easy to shift off the counter for more space.

Next I go to my cabinets. Am I really using all of the pots and pans stored there? Are some taking up space just because I once used them? And then all of those food storage containers - do they have matching lids? I like to use the glass containers but will put to the back of the cabinet some plastic ones that I can pull out to send home food with visitors. I will keep to the front the ones I use weekly.

In my food pantry I organize my foods by type. I have all my canned vegetables in one row, my soups in another, any canned meats or fruits in their rows. One shelf is for snack food and I like to put some of those in open containers that can be pulled out and then replaced. I also sore most of the cat food on a different shelf in the pantry along with some staples. As I am organizing I  am pulling out what to toss or donate.

I review my serving pieces to see if I am still using all of them. As I work I wipe out each shelf before putting back items.

During this month I also clean out my refrigerator/freezer, my oven, my stove, and my microwave. I make a list of all the tasks to complete for me to call the kitchen zone "done". Then I divide the list into four weeks and post it on my fridge. I put times on my calendar to work on each task and then cross them off when they are complete.

By the end of the month my kitchen is ready for anything I want to tackle over the holidays and I'll even have some room for a few holiday decorations.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Keep Your Desk from Becoming One Big Inbox


I had a client once tell me that his desk was one big inbox and that he really didn't have an outbox. Looking over his desk, he was pretty much right. Unless I was sitting there and sorting papers with him and having him trash, shred, and file, things just accumulated in piles.

Now I understand that people with ADHD characteristics panic when paper is filed or placed where they don't see it. But the truth is that some of that paper has been there so long it has stuck to the desk or fallen behind the desk or is so buried that unless there is some trigger to dig for it, it is forgotten.

Every person has a different comfort zone for clutter and for filing but here are some suggestions:
  • When paper comes into the office, do a quick triage. What is obviously trash or needs shredding? What needs an action soon? What do you want to read and ponder? What ads do you wish to consider?
  • Take care of the trash and shredding right then.
  • Have a landing pad for items needing an action soon.
  • Have a basket for magazines or articles you want to read and ponder. When that basket gets full, acknowledge that you have more than you can handle and either set aside some time to read or dispose of some of the material.
  • Have a folder for ads or upcoming workshops or events that you are considering.
Now this has corralled most of the paper but still very little has really gone away.

Here comes the harder part:
  • Schedule a time to pay bills or check on bill pay. Then immediately file or get rid of paid bills.
  • Weekly, at a scheduled time, take care of any receipts or invoices that need entering or filing. If possible scan these items and get rid of the paper.
  • Take a couple of the items you want to read and ponder and either leaf through them at that time or remove them to another location to read later. After looking through them, dispose of them.
  • Schedule at least monthly a time to leaf through the ads and toss any that you know you don't want or that have expired. Look over any upcoming offerings and see if some no longer appeal to you or have passed their due date and dispose of them.
While you may never get your desk completely clear of paper, do realize that paper has a purpose and when that purpose is complete the paper should go somewhere besides on your desk.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Helping Children Cope with Natural Disasters

All across our country right now it seems like we are having one natural disaster after another. Hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms, fires, and floods abound.

These disasters are overwhelming to all of us but can be even more devastating to children. Without really understanding the whys, children can feel scared and insecure. Even children who do not personally experience the trauma but see the events on TV and hear adults discussing the destruction can feel strong emotions. Try to limit the amount of time watching TV where so many traumas are highlighted. After watching TV together, talk about what is being portrayed.

Exposed children may start demonstrating fear or sadness. They may act out or revert to bedwetting, sleep problems, or separation anxiety. For many children, these reactions may be brief but some children may be at risk for psychological distress. This is especially true if they were directly involved and had to be evacuated, lost a pet, or experienced a real life-fearing ordeal. Children that experienced on-going stress by living for a while in a shelter or somewhere else, loss of friends and social networks, loss of personal items, hearing parents worry over unemployment and costs of recovery may be more at risk.

Children's coping skills are often learned from their parents. They can sense adults' fears and sadness. It is important parents and other adults take steps to manage their own feelings and plans for coping because they are the best source of support for their children. One way is to have children become a part of planning before disaster strikes so they know what to expect and have a sense of control. After a disaster include the children in the family recovery plan.

Don't leave children out of discussions. Encourage the children to share their thoughts and feelings. Clarify any misunderstandings. Listen to what the child is saying. If they have difficulty expressing themselves, ask them to draw a picture. Give out a lot of hugs. Calmly provide factual information and plans for safety. As soon as possible get back to your regular routines.

If your child continues to show stress or his behaviors start to cause him trouble at school or with other children, it might be the time to talk to a professional like the child's doctor or clergy. Look for support networks or start one for yourself.

Looking forward, preparing for disasters as a family helps everyone accept that disasters do happen and gives the family an opportunity to collect the resources needed to meet basic needs during and after a disaster. When families feel prepared, they cope better and this includes the children.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Organizing the Shed and Garage

September's cooler days inspire us to organize our sheds, garages, and any other outside storage areas. It's time to put away our summer equipment and muck out the debris that has been tracked in. Even if you do this zone once a year, it can easily get disorganized and cluttered because it is so easy just to open the door and drop something "just for now".

Before you start your project, take a good look at the way it is now. Notice what is working (don't mess with that area) and what is not working. Envision how you want to use this zone. Your vision might include a place to:
  • Park your car
  • Store trash cans/recycling
  • Store gardening tools and accessories
  • Pot or repot plants
  • Work on projects and store tools
  • Store bikes and other sports equipment/outdoor games/camping gear
  • Store outdoor entertainment supplies
  • Store extra products
Bring everything outside or if this is a large or very filled area, pull stuff out by sections. Sort like with like. Note what is broken or what you have not used in the past year. Get rid of these items or make a note to replace them. Get rid of expired seeds or old chemicals. Give away or sell tools you no longer use. The Tool Bank is a great place to donate tools for community projects. http://toolbank.org

Next decide where to logically place your zones. Items that you use frequently are best stored near entrances. As you group your items in each zone, look for containers to hold small items together. A clear shoebox without the lid can hold gardening gloves. A flat basket can hold gardening tools. Use shelves, pegboards, hooks, and nails to keep items off the floor. Avoid stacking containers because, for sure, you are going to want something that is in the bottom container. Label containers that are not clear.

Knock down cobwebs, sweep the floor, and start putting things away. You'll be amazed at how much room there is now that all the items have been bunched together and stored away.

Now reward yourself! A hot shower and a cool drink might be just the thing.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Kudos to the Decatur Book Festival

I am excited to be a part of the Decatur Book Festival this coming Labor Day weekend!

According to Daren Wang, the executive director, the book festival will include more than 450 authors, 130 exhibitors and sponsors, and 80,000 booklovers. It is also very impressive that there will be more than 900 volunteers working this venue. The book festival is said to be the largest independent book festival in the United States.

Diane Quintana and I will be part of the Sycamore Family Zone (Organizing for Kids - booth 610) and will also have our 15 minutes of fame (1:45 - 2:00) on Saturday on the Sycamore Family Zone Stage.

When you enter the free festival you will want to pick up the AJC guide. In the guide you will find a map showing the location of the booths and the 18 stages. Each stage has a listing of presenters and the times they are on stage. The Decaturbookfestival.com site has a wealth of additional information.

Show up early so that you can join Bookzilla to kick off the fun each day with the Children's Parade!



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Dealing with Clutter Overload

You're never quite sure how it happened but over time clutter completely took over an area in your home. At first it was just grandma's china that was put into the room "just for now". Later you had to quickly clear up the other guest bedroom for company and you just scooted some of the projects you were working on into this area. Then it was already a bit of a mess so anytime you didn't know where to put something - in it went.

Now, you want to reclaim the room. You'd like a craft room or a place to keep and sell items on eBay. But the mess is huge. You can hardly open the door. You don't even have a goat path clear across the room. You are overwhelmed and don't know where to start.

When I work with clients I like to use a variation of the Mount Vernon Method. This method involves starting at the door and moving clockwise around the room completely cleaning one area at a time. I use a similar method but do it in two or three sweeps around the room.

On the first sweep around the room we only deal with items that are on the floor. Each item is identified and placed where it belongs. To keep from running all over the house, we set up zones outside of the room. One zone is "belongs in the house but not here". Another zone or stack is "will go back into this room". Then there are the trash, recycle, shred, and donate piles. Sometimes we also have a "leaving the house but going to someone specific" stack. The client is strongly discouraged from going to another area in the room and is always refocused back to the area at hand. The idea is just to keep on moving around the room one step at a time. Depending on how much stuff we have in the piles, about 30 minutes to an hour before quitting time we go to the stacks in the hall and deal with them. Hopefully by this time we have some clear space in the room to stack the items that will eventually live in this room. Items going somewhere else in the home are now taken to that spot. If there is no place to put them at this time, we just put them as close to where they are supposed to go as possible. Trash is taken out right away. Donate and shred piles can either be dealt with right away or held until more of the room is completed.

After we have cleared the floor, we go back around the room and deal with the surfaces of any furniture. We use the same technique. Then we look at what is stored out of sight in the furniture.

The client has a vision of how she wants this room to look and what function the room will have before we even begin. So the last step is placing everything back into the room that supports that vision.

I love the way this works with clients and they can really see their progress after each session.

If you have one of these "rooms of shame" you can get help to keep you focused or you can try this method on your own. A big part of making this work is to break the project down into manageable tasks and sticking to a timeline. Always allow time at the end of each session to clear up the stacks you have placed in the hallway.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, August 17, 2017

How do you want that? Fast, budget friendly, or perfect?


Sometimes I receive a phone call from someone needing an organizing job done and it needs to be done before the end of the month - usually for a move. Great! I'll put together a team......."but I can't afford a team".......Then, we'll do what we can with a rough sort, getting rid of what is obviously trash and then just boxing up the rest by categories.... "but I don't want to move what I don't need and some of this paper I'll need at my fingertips during this process."

Sigh! I am not the organization fairy who can wave a magic wand and make all of this happen. Here are some pointers on what to expect on your project:
  • Fast - You will need a team or just have me move in with you. Teams are usually not more expensive in the overall  picture, in fact, they can really cost you less, but you do need the money now, not spread out over a year.

  • Budget Friendly - This works best when you have a lot of time and can do work by yourself in between each visit. The benefit of this plan is that you learn more organizing techniques and are more in control of the process.

  • Perfect - This plan works for the person who wants a project done that looks like a magazine shoot when we finish. You will want a team with organizer that specialize in skills like redesign, placing art, and closet design. This will be more expensive than the usual team that only has one or two experienced organizers and the remaining organizers that are newer to the profession but great at following directions. This plan will need almost all seasoned organizers and will probably also use some of our organization's associate members.
When you contact a professional organizer to work with you on a project, know what is important to you and communicate that with the organizer during the intake process. That will make the project more successful and more pleasant for everyone involved.

Happy organizing!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Organizing the Garage

Now that the weather is cooling down a bit, it's a great time to organize your garage.

Before pulling out all that stuff onto the driveway, take a good look at what is in your garage now. Why is it there? How did it get there? Do you still need it?

Decide on the functions of your garage. Is one of the functions to park your cars? 82% of homes have two-car garages or larger, but only 15% use them to park the car inside.

Do you keep your lawnmower and gardening supplies in the garage? What about bikes and sports equipment? Do you have a workshop area with tools? Do you keep your recycling bins here? What about a shelf or tow that stores all those extra packages of paper towels or packages of soft drinks? Do you still have boxes of stuff from your last move that have never been unpacked because you have no room in the house?

Once you have decided how you plan on using your garage, divide it into zones. Items that you frequently use outside like yard and garden tools are best stored near the garage door. Items used frequently like recycling bins or overflow storage of house supplies should be stored near the door to the house.

Decide on how much space you can devote to each zone and still have plenty of room to navigate and use each zone. Now you are ready to start pulling things out.

Pick one zone area. Pull everything out of that area and sweep it out. Put back what belongs in that zone and leave anything else on the driveway (or if you are only doing one zone at a time, put the rest near the zone area planned for it). As you put items back, make sure you still need them. Do you really need two hedge clippers? Why are you still holding on to that broken weed eater?

Continue going from zone to zone. Look at the shelving and storage options you have at hand. Is there a better way to store items in the zone? Shelving makes it a lot easier to get to boxes and containers. Using clear containers to keep like items together makes finding them, using them, and putting them away much easier. If it is difficult to get  to an item that you need, the likelihood of getting it put back away is slim to none. If you can't easily see what is in containers, label them.

Once you have completed this task, hopefully you will have room to park at least one car. Your future you (the one coming out to the car on an icy morning) will thank you for taking the time to do this chore now.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Organize Your Laundry Zone

Once a year I really spend time organizing and decluttering my laundry zone. In the past I have found that in August many people return from vacations and the laundry zone gets out of control with backed up piles of laundry. Kids are getting ready to start back to school and have school and sports clothing that need washing. Now is the time to make the laundry zone orderly and efficient.

Laundry zones can be large (a big area in the basement) or small (fold-out doors covering a washer/dryer combo in a closet size area) or somewhere in-between. Depending on the size of the laundry zone this area may have other functions besides doing the wash. If there is room, it makes sense to store ironing supplies in this location. My area is large enough to store pet supplies, recycling bins, cleaning supplies, and some over sized or underused party supplies. All that works for me.

The first step in organizing this zone is to develop your vision. How do you want to use this area? How do you want it to look? How do you want to feel when you are in this zone? Get rid of anything that is now in that zone that does not support the vision. Because my zone is roomy and near the back entry, it is easy to just drop something in there "just for now" because I don't want to take time to put the item where it really belongs. Now is the time to gather up all those items and get them out of this zone.

Cleaning and laundry products can multiply in this space. Products that sounded so promising (will get rid of any stain) or "green" (got rid of no stains) or products that just have a nasty chemical smell or items that got shoved way in the back of the shelf or cupboard that you for got about and then bought another bottle of the little used product are now all taking up precious space and adding to the clutter. Get rid of all of these items and take the ones that are left and group them according to function.

One of my goals in the laundry zone is to keep the laundry moving. I don't want to walk over mounds of laundry. Only bring to the zone the laundry you intend to wash that day. The rest stays in the dirty clothes hampers until you plan on washing them. Get the clothes from the washer to dryer or drying rack as quickly as possible. As soon as clothes are dry, get them back to their "home". Having a different colored basket for each member of the family is helpful. As you pull clothes out of the dryer, put them into the correct basket and take them to the proper room. Have family members put the items away. If an item needs repair or ironing, have a designated place to store those items and then schedule a time to do that task. You should not have your Christmas table cloth in the ironing bin in August.

Keeping up with the laundry is less of a chore with a well organized space and a plan for keeping on top of the mountain of laundry. It helps to have designated times schedule to do laundry instead of waiting until an item is needed (Mom, where are my soccer shorts?). An added bonus is that having a well organized laundry space makes it easier for family members to participate in doing laundry.

See picture of one of my family helping out.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Back to School Basics









It just doesn't seem possible that the new school year is already here. However, like it or not, school is about to begin again. Everyone wants this new year to be as good of an experience as possible.

Here are some tips to make this vision happen:
  1. Set the stage for a great experience.
  • Watch your attitude. As parents you have a strong influence on how your child views the upcoming year. Don't express doubts or worries you might have (I know that 3rd grade is tough.) but instead play up the positives (I understand there is a unit on dinosaurs this year.).
  • Take away the fear of the unknown. Visit the school together before school starts, talk about the schedule and the teacher in positive terms.
  • Provide a good example. Let your student see you enjoy reading or studying. Take trips together to a museum or science center.
  • Allow time for morning routines. Give extra time in the mornings to get ready. This is easier if bedtime is also earlier.
  • Teach your child to be self-sufficient. Have him do chores at home, develop checklists, have him lay out clothes and pack up for school the night before.
2. Develop good study habits.
  • Know peak work times and use them when scheduling homework.
  • Set up a calendar showing the study schedule.
  • Chunk up big projects so that the projects are not so overwhelming and so that your student can say "done" more often.
  • Use the calendar to show all commitments so you child is aware when he has after school activities, doctor appointments, music lessons and can then plan his studies and projects without setbacks.
3. Organize school materials.
  • Obtain and use a planner.  The planner should be checked every morning and evening.
  • Synch the planner with the calendar.
  • Organize notebooks, folders, and binders so that they are easy to use and find. Color coding for different subjects helps.
  • Organize and minimize study supplies so that they are easy to carry to school and to use at home. Check with the school supply list. Avoid buying "fun" items that are a distraction to learning.
  • Choose the best backpack for you child. Check to see if the school has any restrictions before purchasing.
  • Set up a file at home for all returned and graded school papers. Keep all papers until grades come out. If the grade lines up with what you have, then purge most of them only keeping the ones that show growth and creativity.
5. Individualize study to suit your child.
  • Know your child's learning style. Is he a visual, auditory, tactile, or kinesthetic learner? Use his strengths to  help him learn new material.
  • Make learning real. Use new skills in real life settings. Use math to shop or cook. Use reading to follow directions or enjoy a funny story. Use writing to make lists or write a letter.
  • Set up the best study environment for your child. Discover if he works best alone and with quiet or in the hubbub of the kitchen area where others are present.
For fun, start a "back to school" family tradition. Have a cookout before the first day of school or take a trip to a favorite place to eat where the children can order what they want. Talk about the joys and excitement of the upcoming school year. Have a surprise wrapped up for the children to open when they come home from school after the first day.

Let this be the best year ever!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Backward Planning for Stress Free Projects

I frequently use and recommend backward planning as a time management tool when working on any project. Backward planning works equally well on smaller projects like planning a party or preparing a presentation, or on larger projects like moving or house renovation. Once you have developed your plan, you just follow the plan and relax knowing that everything is covered.

It works like this:
  • Start with the end in mind. What does the end product look like and how are you going to feel? Using a party as an example, I would envision that my home is filled with friends, there is an abundance of good food, and that I am enjoying this party as well as my guests.
  • Plan an end date. When does all this have to come together? When is the party? When is the move?
  • Do a brain dump of all the things that must happen in order for your vision of a perfect project to come true. For the party some items on my list are: make up a guest list, decide on a theme, send out save the date emails, choose invitations to mail, plan a menu, schedule extra yard maintenance, schedule extra house cleaning, decide what foods I am going to order and what ones I plan on preparing, make shopping lists, prepare the food, and set up seating areas.
  • Put your "do" list in a sequential order. For the party I started with who I was going to invite and ended with lighting candles and making cozy seating areas.
  • Give each item on the list a "do it" date. Several items can be done on one day but make sure each item has a time attached to it. Allow some wiggle room. Sometimes things happen so you can't do an item on your intended date so have a fall back time available. Also, start early. For a party I start the process two months out.
  • Now, just follow your plan.
The real advantage of using this system is that you won't have all these thoughts about the project squirreling around in your head and you won't worry about how you will get this accomplished. You just make your plan and then work your plan.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Open Your Mail!

Seriously, open your mail daily or at least weekly. Unless the envelope reads "to current resident" or it is very obviously an ad or plea for money, just open the envelope and see what is inside.

As a professional organizer I often help people sort paper and old mail. Here are some of the things I have come across.
  • Old checks made out to the recipient - sometimes 10 years old
  • A final notice that since the speeding ticket had not been paid (notices in other envelopes not yet opened) the drivers license was being revoked - right before a big road trip for this lady
  • Gift cards
  • Thanks for donations form letters - that should have gone into the tax folder
  • The car title of a car that the owner now wants to sell but she had not opened this envelope and gone to DMV to get the title in her name
  • Credit cards and debit cards that have not been activated - sometime duplicates sent at different times
  • Invitations to parties or weddings long past
  • Recall notices on items purchased
  • Warnings that utilities will be turned off if the bill is not paid because old bill were not opened and paid
Have a landing pad for all incoming mail. Immediately discard ads, catalogs, and any other obvious trash. Then open that mail daily or weekly and put the items in action folders or baskets so that all bills are in one place, all items to file are in one place, and any mail that requires an other action is in one place. Schedule a time at least once a week to deal with it. Then the mail never becomes overwhelming or fearful.




Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fear of Filing

I had a client this week meet me at the door with Judith Kolberg's book ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life and the words, "I want to find out why I have a fear of filing".

I knew from working with this client before in other areas of her home that she definitely suffers from the "out of sight, out of mind" syndrome. She is afraid that if she puts something away in a file, she might as well just trash it because she will never think of it again. So she has stacks of papers on the coffee table, on her desk, on her office table, and randomly elsewhere. The clutter bothers her and the fact that when she finds something (ex. papers about her father's health plan) it is usually just a part of what she needs to start her research and make calls so she just postpones the task. This worries her as some of the tasks are time sensitive.

Sooo....What to do?
  1. First we gathered all of her papers and put them in one spot.
  2. Then we used the "verb" system to do a rough sort. I would ask her, "What is the first thing you need to do with this information? Is there an action required or do you just need this paper for reference?" While going through all of the papers she found a significant amount that she could now just let go to the recycle bin. She had a reason in the past to  keep them but not so much now. The categories she came up with for her stacks were:
  • Do this task this week
  • Do it when I can
  • Wait for the right time or someone else's response
  • Read
  • File
  • Ask my husband about these papers
3. We then looked at what papers did not really fit into any of those categories and we found:
  • Coupons
  • Current information about her clean streams work
  • A project she was working on for her dad
  • Memorabilia
  • Directions and warranties for items in the house
4. We found homes for all of these categories. Normally when I make desktop or action folders I like  to use a cascading vertical file holder. We had tried this system earlier in her office downstairs. It obviously was not working.  She had recently purchased an attractive file folder with a lid that clasped and had a handle. This has a much better chance of working because it can stay by the coffee table in her living room and this is where she sorts her mail and does many of her projects. The handle allows her to lift it up on the coffee table or couch when she is working. We relabeled the tabs with all her "verb" categories and the one on streams. Coupons were housed in the kitchen. Memorabilia was put into a memorabilia box. A project box was found for her dad's project. Warranties and directions already had a file elsewhere but she put the directions for the TV in the cabinet below the screen and the directions for her heart monitor in the box it came in as she accesses these frequently.

5. Since we had a lot to file, we used her existing systems to file those items now. Moving forward she can put items in her file section of her folder until it gets too bulky.

6. Last we did the most important task to make this work. She scheduled on her calendar times to look in this folder. I encouraged her to make it the same day every week so that it would eventually become a habit. Ideally this would be every week but some weeks she is gone so we just skipped those weeks and scheduled the next good time after she returned home.

As we finished up our session, she was really pleased with the results. But she held one small set of papers in her hand. "I really need to do this today," she said. "Do I need to put it into this file?" That's when we talked about Judith's "Hot Spot". She designated a place on her coffee table for any paper task that needed to happen immediately.

I think her fear of filing might be gone!


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Time Management and Health


This morning another client wanted to change his appointment for an organizing session. This happens fairly frequently with clients and often the reason is illness, exhaustion, or overwhelm. I'd like to explore how not just reducing clutter and organizing your space but also developing some good time management techniques could actually improve your health.

Here are some practices that help a person stay healthy.
  •  Healthy eating
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • Keeping mentally active
  • Maintaining strong relationships
  • Taking vacations
All of the above practices take time and at best should become routine. If we push ourselves all day long at work and then squander what free time we have on social media or grabbing a snack, we will deplete ourselves and illness, exhaustion, and overwhelm will become a mainstay in our lives.

To allow time to develop these health practices we need to:
  • Develop schedules that are realistic - block off times for self as well as for work and then honor those times.
  • Prioritize - choose the 3 most important things you want to accomplish in a day and start your day with exercise and a good breakfast. Then end your day in time to get enough sleep.
  • Stop multitasking - do one thing and do it well. Aim to complete a task before moving on to another. When you take breaks from a task, make it a meaningful break not just a scroll through twitter or facebook. Instead, read an article or work on a puzzle or take a walk.
  • Schedule times to do things with friends and family. Schedule lunch dates. Schedule vacations. People who take annual vacations are less likely to die from heart disease. They are also less likely to suffer from stress and depression.
I struggle with some of this misuse of time myself and I know lifestyle shifts are not easy but our future selves will surely thank us if we start working on a couple of these practices.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Organizing Space With a Small Child



That new bundle of joy comes into your home and suddenly your home explodes with baby clothes, furniture, baby accessories, toys, books, feeding apparatus, and more. How did this happen and what to do now?


  1. Utilize the container system. I feel that as long as you can contain items in an orderly fashion, you can have as much "stuff" as gives you pleasure. A container can be the shelf for the books, the drawer for the sleepers, the hammock for the stuffed animals, the room for toys, and even consider your house as a container. When a container is full, no more items can come in unless some go away first.
  2. Set ground rules for gifts. When a baby first arrives or even before, there are parties and gifts start arriving. It helps everyone if there is a gift register and there is no sin in taking back to the store duplicates or items that just won't work in your space. After that first influx, let it be known that gifts should just appear on birthdays and special holidays - not every time someone is out shopping and sees something cute. Let gift givers know your boundaries - like no gifts with batteries or a gazillion small pieces or items bigger than a breadbox. If a grandparent or favorite uncle brings in a large or loud gift, thank them and tell them that they should keep that toy at their home for baby to play with when they visit.
  3. Set limits on books. Children have favorites that they love to hear over and over again but I have seen bookcases overflowing with books - for children not even in kindergarten. Cull books regularly. Locate independent book stores that will accept used books for credit. Remember the library? What fun to go once a month or every two weeks and pick out some books to enjoy!
  4. Rotate toys and books. If there are too many books and toys around, the children tend to play with one of them a few minutes and then drop it and go to another one, etc. They get bored easily and can't focus on any one thing. I have been in playrooms where you can't even see the floor. Decide on a good number and variety of toys depending on your child's attention span and age and then store the remainder of toys. In a few months, put away some of the less played with toys (or give them away if all interest is gone or they have aged out of it) and then bring out some of the stashed toys.
  5. Arrange the storage of items that are out so the toys, books, puzzles, etc. can easily be put away. Have items at eye level for the child. Have bins labeled with words and pictures and do not put lids on the bins. Make it easy for small children to scoop up their blocks and dump them into the appropriate bin or container. Teach children at a young age to put their toys away at night.
There is no right way to all of this. Find what works for you and your family. Remember that the house belongs to the adults - not the children. Find your happy place and then enjoy it together.

For more ideas see the following: both books are available on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel.





Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Organizing the Bathroom Zone

If you are following my zone plan, this month is the month to work on organizing your bathrooms. If you have a linen closet, include it in this zone.

Your bathroom is one of the smaller rooms in your home but it is also one that holds many items. A bathroom can get disorganized and cluttered quickly, so it is important to have a vision and a plan for how you want to use this space. Keep clutter to a minimum.

Look at the storage space you have available. Do you have room to store your medicines and first aid material here? Do you have room to house any cleaning materials? To keep your bathroom uncluttered, some of what you store here can go somewhere else.

Use the medicine cabinet, drawers, or space under your sink to store items that you need and use regularly. Store your daily grooming supplies here. Use a bin, small basket, or drawer for cosmetics you use almost daily. A medicine cabinet can store toothpaste, dental floss, deodorant, q tips, and cotton balls. Hair dryers, curling irons, gels, sprays, and all items for your hair might be stored in a container under the sink. If your space is limited, you might also have a hanging bag on the back of your bathroom door for storage. An extra roll of toilet paper and personal hygiene items could also fit under the sink.

If you have drawers, designate each drawer as a container for like items. One drawer might hold everyday makeup, another might hold eye products, and a third hair products, etc.

As you are sorting your like items together, consolidate partial bottles and get rid of any items you are no longer using or items past their expiration date.

Shampoo, body wash, soap, and a wash cloth may be stored inside your shower or tub. There are shower caddies that fit over the door of your shower or over the shower head. Another option is to use a shower dispenser to hold shampoo or body wash.

Medicines can go in bins on a shelf in the linen closet or in the kitchen. Both spaces are better than the actual bathroom as moisture and heat can ruin some meds. Consider sorting your  medicines by type and placing them in separate bins. One bin might hold outdoor items like sunscreen, bug spray, or Benadryl. Another might hold Tylenol, aspirin, and cold/allergy medicines. Still another might hold harger items like hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, and mouthwash. Get rid of expired items while sorting. Not only do some medicines lose their effectiveness over time but they can actually become harmful. Dispose of these items safely. Do not toss medicines in the trash and never flush them into our water system. The DEA offers a Prescriptions Drug Take Back Day which occurs in October this year. Check http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html for more information.

If you have a linen closet, keep extra towels, cosmetics, and cleaning supplies there. The linen closet is also a good place to store any duplicate items. But as you organize, be ruthless about throwing out items. You don't need 5 partial bottles of shampoo, 6 sample soaps, or that free sample in foil of a shampoo/conditioner that came in the mail.

If you don't have a linen closet you may use towel hooks, over the toilet shelving, or baskets to store your extra towels, wash cloths, and toilet paper.

When you have your bathroom organized and decluttered, then work on a maintenance schedule to keep it under control. Next year, when you revisit this zone, it will be an easier process.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ready to Go

Sometimes we have prior warning that it is our "time to go." Sometimes there is no warning at all. I keep reminding people that we never know when we will turn up our toes on 285 or some other unexpected catastrophe. So, we should always be in a state of readiness.

I think we all know about the importance of the will, the power of attorney, and the living trust, but what about some of the other paper work? I have heard of estates being held up for over a year because a car title couldn't be found, or a husband who couldn't get into his deceased wife's accounts because he did not have the password.

Does your executor know where your important papers are located? Some examples might be account statements, insurance policies, beneficiary designations, deeds, car and boat titles, stock and bond certificates, business paperwork, and tax returns.

But let's go beyond that. I was blessed in the fact that the death of my mother and my husband were expected. We had a chance to discuss burial plans, what circumstances were to be considered if we had to make a decision to "pull the plug", where important papers were located, what items were to go to special people. While neither of my family were high tech, it is still important to know such things as the IPhone lock code, passwords, account numbers, etc.

The greatest gift you can give your family is to set up files with all the vital information in one place and to have "the talk" with family on what your final wishes are on your funeral, your possessions, and anything else you can think of. The planning in advance will never be regretted and it will free up your loved ones to focus on their emotional needs and your specialness in their lives.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Priorities - Me Time


I love my work and I work hard but that is only one part of my life.

I love my husband and my family as well as a whole set of friends who are almost like family. I love my home but I also love to travel. I know the importance of taking care of myself.

So, for the next 15 days I am going to take care of myself and travel with my husband to Greece. Going back to visit Greece has been on my bucket list for a long, long, time.

For the next 15 days I am going to eat a lot of delicious food, walk a lot, meet new people,  and jut relax. I intend to come home with a whole lot of experiences and memories. I will stay connected to clients, family, and friends while gone but only minimally. I plan to come back invigorated and ready to resume my normal routines.

ασφαλή ταξίδια (safe travels)


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Zone Plan: A Method for Organizing Your Home

My coaching program, The Zone Plan: A Method for Organizing Your Home, is now starting year 3! This program helps you set a vision, develop a plan, and implement the plan so that your home truly becomes a place you love.

Every month, except for July and December, we concentrate on a project. Because I have a smallish home and have done this on my own for years, by the end of each year I have touched everything in my home.

This month I am working on my entry area, a storage wall in my laundry area, and finally just cleaning a back hallway. My vision for the back entry area is to create a space where incoming and outgoing items are held. My husband hangs a couple of pieces of his seasonal outerwear on hooks and I hang a favorite hat. Cloth grocery bags are temporarily hung on the doorknob as soon as groceries are unpacked so the next person going to the car carries them out. Outgoing mail is laid on the bench until the next trip to the mailbox. I smile when I enter my home by this door as I have hung and placed some whimsical art here. The entry way is right outside my office, so the bench holds some of my office supplies.

The storage wall in my laundry room has many purposes. Here I have recycling bins, a cat box, extra cat supplies, bird seed, a tool kit, cleaning supplies, and some large serving pieces I use for parties. It is quite a mix but works well. As I organize this area, I mainly look for items that I no longer use or have expired and for items that have gotten dropped into this space but really need to go to the outside storage zone.

While I have personally used this zone plan for years, I am truly excited when others join me in this program.

If you would like to try it, join me for the 10 month Zone Plan Group Coaching program. We will benefit from exploring 10 months of two open line calls a month (recorded for your convenience), one personal closed call to each member, motivating content and exercises, a pdf copy of my workbook, and a closed secret Facebook group. All of this is designed to set you on your path of living in the home you envision so that you can control your space.

Each month we concentrate on one zone of your home or a project of your choice. I suggest a zone and model it but the beauty of this program is the concepts will fit any zone or project you want to tackle.

This program is powerful, yet affordable. The yearly rate is only $450. There is even a 2-pay option if you need to spread out payments.

If you want results and are ready to make your hoe the one of your vision, then join us! Contact me at jonda@timespaceorg.com.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

NAPO Conference 2017


Tomorrow I head off to my 10th NAPO conference. This year it is held in Pittsburgh.

As I think about our conferences, I always look forward to learning about the latest trends, resources, and products in the organizing industry. I get excited thinking about sitting in on workshops and presentations given by some of the great experts in our field.

During the conference I always receive information and inspiration that improve my services to my clients. I enjoy meeting face to face organizers I have only chatted with via Facebook, reconnecting with organizers that I only see at conference, and meeting organizers from all over the globe.

I also look forward to a social evening with other organizers from our Georgia Chapter as we go out to dinner one evening and catch up with each other.

When I return from conference, I always develop an action plan to fully benefit from my conference experience.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Closet Redo for Spring

I hope warm weather is finally here to stay and that it is safe to swap out winter clothes for spring and summer clothes. If you are lucky, you may have a second closet in a guest room to use for the swap. If you are in a smaller home or your closets are already fully used, then consider under the bed storage containers or plastic bins at the back or top of the closet, or some drawers in a spare bedroom for storing some of the winter items. Then you can reposition your spring/summer clothes for easy access.

As you remove winter items, look carefully at each piece. Is it clean? Is it in good repair? Does it still fit? Do you feel good when you wear it? In fact, did you even wear it last season?

If it is clean and in good repair but no longer fits or you no longer love it, donate it to a charity. If it is torn or stained, throw it away. If it needs a good cleaning or some repair and you still love it, take care of it now before you put it away for the season.

Now, pull out your spring/summer clothes and hang them in the closet front and center. Again, give them a good look over. Is there a spot that won't come out? Is it dated? Was it a bad purchase that you spent a lot of money on but hate to wear? Toss or give away all those items that you don't love to wear.

Seasons go by and we find that certain items of clothing just languish in our closets, neglected and unworn. We may not even be aware of it. We may have 5 black tops but in reality only really wear 3 of them. A trick I have learned is to hang your new season clothes in the closet with the hanger facing the wrong way. The first time you wear the item, turn the hanger around so that it is hanging correctly. At the end of the season, really look at the clothes in the closet that still have the hangers facing the wrong way. Ask yourself why you didn't wear those items. It might be that it is a really special occasion outfit and that occasion didn't happen this past season. But it also might be that you have other items that you prefer to wear. Let go of all items that you do not need or love. Let the remaining ones have room to breathe. You will find it much easier to assemble your outfits if you don't have to dig through all those unloved pieces.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Flexibility and Time Management


Nothing seems to happen exactly as planned. Well, rarely. Life happens.

You just can't control the universe. Bad weather happens. Overpasses collapse. Illness happens. Other people have changes in their schedules that affect your plans. There seems to be daily obstacles to overcome so remaining flexible is key to survival.

Setting up a daily/weekly schedule certainly helps you manage your time. Routines are great! With daily/weekly routines you don't have to think about every single task you do.

Each morning, as you start your day, look at the big 3 things you want to accomplish and any other tasks that are floating around. Then prioritize and pin actual times down to these tasks. This helps you focus on the important and high priority tasks first. This sets your intention for the day.

Keeping a balance between work, home, and personal health and well being is vital. Times for all these facets of your life should be scheduled and honored.

But at any given moment something might happen that throws that plan right out the window. Someone cancels an appointment with you or someone badly needs your help right now! The cat gets sick and needs to go to the vet. The computer crashes. You get the idea.

When these life events happen, step back and evaluate what just happened. Take a few moments to just breathe into this new reality. Don't do an immediate knee jerk reaction. What is your priority now? How can you adjust your schedule? How can you keep a positive attitude? Here is where the ability to be flexible can keep your day or week from crashing down around you.

Take another look at your calendar. What can be dropped or moved to another day? If a cancelled appointment opens up time for you, what upcoming project can you work on now that will save you time and stress down the road? Breathe and move into your new reality for today. It's all going to be OK and another day and opportunity will come tomorrow.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Organizing the Bedroom Zone

Spring is a wonderful time to declutter and organize your bedroom. It's a good time to evaluate your cold weather wardrobe and bring to the front clothes for spring and summer. It's a great time to open up clean spaces and let the sun shine in.

Anytime I start working on a zone in my home, I begin with a vision. And since I share this room with my husband, it needs to be a shared vision. We want this room to have a calming, relaxed feel and be a place that sparks joy and happiness. We like soft light but still desire enough light for reading. My husband meditates here so the room should have an uncluttered, peaceful feel.

Then, I make a brainstorm list of all that we need to do to make this room align with our vision.

This month I will:
  • Declutter my closet: I will discard all clothing I no longer need or love and organize the space so the most often worn items are the easiest to reach.
  • Declutter the dresser drawers: I will discard all that I no longer want and organize the space to make it more efficient. I will move the long sleeve tops to a lower drawer and place the short sleeve tops and shells in a higher drawer.
  • Strip and clean the bed: I will clean the frame and all the linens and store the duvet until it gets cold again.
  • Clean and clear the nightstands: I will remove reading material that we have already read or that has stacked up and empty and clean out the drawers.
  • Evaluate the accessories: I will remove any that we no longer love.
  • Clean windows and blinds: I only wash the inside of the windows at this point in time as at another time I clean all of the windows on the outside.
  • Clean and wax furniture: This is one time where I really clean and then use paste wax on the good furniture.
All of the above tasks are scheduled on the calendar with some "wiggle room" for when unexpected events happen or if tasks take longer than expected.

At the end of the month I reward myself by buying a couple of new items to replace some of the tossed items. Then I put out fresh flowers and enjoy the clean, fresh bedroom.




Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Working on Work-Life Balance

Long, long ago in another universe, boundaries between work and home were clear. Here and now, not so much. This is especially true if you work from home.

I work (funny word usage here) on keeping a balance but it is a constant struggle. Setting limits is the key.

We know that time is the same for all of us so it is up to us to make decisions on how we use it.

Setting Limits:
  • Track how you use your time now. This is always a first step on using your time wisely. It's a lot like planning a budget. You need to know how you use your resources now so you can plan on how you want to move forward.
  • Use your calendar. Know when and where you have obligations that must be kept. Mark out times to do self care routines like taking walks, doing yoga, or meditation. Plan ahead times for days off with family and vacations.
  • Delegate time sucking tasks that others can do better than you or that you hate to do. This allows available time to do the things you do best in your work and leave time for rest and fun.
  • Leave work at work. This is really a hard one. When I walk out of my home office, I try to leave the work behind. I only take work related phone calls after that time, if I suspect it is going to impact tomorrow's schedule. When on vacation, I limit the times I check email, voicemail, and texts. I attend to what I feel is very important and make notes to attend to other tasks when I return home.
  • Learn to say no. Be selective in what volunteer work or extra projects you take on. You do no one a favor if you set yourself up for failure or collapse by taking on too much.
Good luck to us all as we continue on this journey of balance and happiness.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Benefits of Virtual Organizing

Virtual organizing is a service that Time Space Organization offers. It is a great option for some people. The organizer uses her hands-on expertise and knowledge to create an action plan to meet the client's needs.

How does virtual organizing work?
  • First there is a free phone consultation to determine if virtual organizing would work in this given situation
  • Once it is determined that it is a good fit, a questionnaire is filled out to help solidify intentions and goals for the sessions
  • If appropriate, pictures of the target area are sent
  • A  vision of what the area will look like and how you will feel in this area is explored
  • A brainstorm list is put together of all tasks that need completing for the vison to come to fruition
  • Possible organizational roadblocks are studied
  • A completion date and time line are developed
  • During each session, we refine the plan and dates to complete tasks are put on the calendar
  • As the organizer, I hold you accountable, help you prioritize, and make suggestions
  • Once the project is complete, we develop a maintenance program
How do you know if this would work for you? It would work if:

  • You can work on your own and are motivated but you want/need some guidance and accountability
  • You recognize the importance of organizational help but are on a budget
  • You are comfortable communicating by phone, email, skype, and can send emails with photos
  • You are creative and want custom-tailored sessions
  • You would rather work with an organizer in one hour sessions rather than the hands on 3 hours plus sessions and can work on completing projects on your own time
  • You are not physically close to professional organizers but still want their help
For more information visit my web site http://timespaceorg.com/services/ or contact me by email (jonda@timespaceorg.com) or phone 404-299-5111.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer