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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Organizing and Cleaning the Living Room for Spring

Spring is in the air! I love this time of year. In spring I want my home to feel fresh and sparkly. I want the sunlight to stream in. The living room is the first thing you see when you enter my home.  For that reason, I choose this area to organize in the month of March in my Zone Plan program.

The first step is to review your vision for the living room. I start my day here with coffee and the newspaper. Later in the day, my husband sits in his chair with coffee and the paper and maybe watches some news on TV. Together we often connect in this room to plan our day, the week, and the future. For entertainment we work on the daily jumble and crossword puzzle together. Sometimes we watch TV or a movie. We often eat our supper in the living room. We entertain family and friends here and welcome people from out front door. Therefore, I want this room to feel welcoming and nurturing. I want everyone who comes into this area to feel like they can exhale and enjoy their time here.

Papers, books, brochures, and magazines can accumulate as we relax and read/discuss the literature. It is a gathering place. To keep the area feeling uncluttered, I have a plan for that paper. Every morning before I sit down I make a sweep and put away any papers that we left out the night before. My rule for newspapers and magazines is when a new one comes in, the old one goes out. We get quite a few magazines so I have a basket to hold them. If there is an article that I want to read when the new magazine comes in, I'll leave that magazine out on the coffee table and read it within the next few days. We also have a tray for a landing pad for that one book we might be reading there or any brochures we are studying.

Multimedia like DVDs and CDs are usually found in the living room. During this month I sort the entire collection. We cull out the ones we are ready to donate or pass on to a friend. I use a container system to manage our supply. We keep as many DVDs or CDs as will easily fit into our containers. If they don't all fit in with some room to spare, then some must find new homes elsewhere.

While I am organizing this space I give it a good deep clean and change out accessories to match the season. Gone is the nut bowl and winter candle. In their place I have fresh spring flowers and a pastel candle.

When the zone is complete, I celebrate by having a nice glass of wine, a lit candle, and some down time with my hubby.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Keep That Paper Movin, Movin Right Along


I had one client tell me his office was one big inbox with no outbox in sight. What can we do to keep that paper moving right along off our desk and out of our office?

Try this:
  • Immediately trash/recycle/put in the shred box what you don't need. Be ruthless here. If you don't need more clothes why keep the clothes catalogue at all? If a fancy vacation is not possible now, let the travel ads go. More will come later.
  • Put all magazines and catalogues you are keeping in a basket near where you read. Each month clear out the old editions.
  • All papers you are now keeping need an action. Look at the papers (and yes, that does mean opening the mail) and decide what the first action you must take with this paper. Paper piles build up because you defer making those decisions on the spot.
  • Have action or desktop files ready. This is where those papers will go. You might label your files "read", "pay", "file", "pending", or "contact". What labels you use will depend on what actions are needed for your kept paper.
  • Know that the action referred to in "action files" is not the action of putting the paper into the files. You must schedule a time to pay bills, make contacts, and follow up on pending items. Schedule times on your calendar to do the actions that the folders demand. Don't let papers live there forever.
  • Set up idea folders for those papers you keep that are not immediate actions. These folders might include vacation ideas, landscaping ideas, party or home decorating ideas. At least yearly, clear out what no longer interests you. These folders can live in a file drawer or in a bookcase.
  • Use project bins. These bins are for ongoing projects. Designate a bin for each big project (daughter's wedding, book you're writing, etc.). Some smaller projects can go into folders within a bin. I use folders for business ideas or organizations I attend. With project bins, you pull out what you need to work on and as soon as you are finished or out of time, you sweep it all back into the bin.
  • Keep regular files (insurance, car, medical) updated and cleared out.
Following these habits will help you maintain a clear desk, office, and a clearer mind. Getting rid of the piles of paper that scream "Look at me!" when you are working on something else keeps you from getting distracted.

Let's keep that paper movin' right along and to its final destination. No more paper pile ups!




Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Bargain or a Hook?





Everyone loves a bargain! A word of caution, many bargains are not really bargains but just clever advertising. Some examples:
  • "Buy this and receive a gift!" Cosmetic companies are really good at this one. "Purchase $55 or more on cosmetics and receive a free gift bag." You really like their foundation for $39.50 and you find yourself looking for something else you might use just to get that cute gift.

  • "It pays to stock up! Earn a $10 gift card every time you buy $50 in participating stocking spree items." Example items - 12 mega or 24 double rolls package of paper towels, buy 2 family size cookies, buy 2 bottle of dressing etc. But wait, I've only spent $23. What else can I buy? You end up buying items you don't really need and don't have adequate space to store just for a $10 gift card.

  • "Free shipping when you buy $75 or more!" You love that blue blouse. It costs about $49. Standard shipping/processing charges will add $11.99. You find yourself leafing through the catalogue looking for something $26 or more. You end up ordering some socks or underwear that you really don't need to save on the shipping.

  • "Everything a dollar!" What a deal! Or is it? Many times big-box retailers can actually be a better buy in quality and price.

  • "Winter sale! Everything 50% off!" A couple of things here. Those same items were probably marked up for the holidays and 50% off of something you don't need or love is not $75 dollars saved but $75 spent for something that will just sit on your shelf or hang in your closet.
Am I telling you to never grab that bargain? Of course not. You should shop a bargain when it is something you really need, love, and have a place to put it away. Just know what you are doing and why.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Teach Young Children Organizational Skills


As parents we sometimes assume that some life skills are absorbed just because we model them and the children are living in the home. And sometimes that worked but not as well as if we actually taught them these skills. After all, we taught them how to brush their teeth and wash their hands. We didn't expect them to know how to do this just because they observed us.

So what are some of the organizational skills you can teach young children?
  • Break large projects down into smaller easier parts. Don't tell children, "Clean your room." Instead tell them, "Pick up your dirty clothes and put them in the hamper." Then when that task is complete, "Put away your clean clothes." And then, "Put your books on the shelf."
  • Sorting. Younger children will do a broader sort than older children. A sort category for younger children might be putting all the legos into one tub. Older children will probably sort their legos into finer categories. Younger children might sort all dirty clothes into one hamper while older children might separate whites from colored clothes or heavy duty wear from delicates.
  • Culling. When a toy has become broken or is no longer used or loved, teach the children that it is time to let that item go. Don't do it without the children being part of the process. Explain that they are no longer using something so it should either be thrown away if no one else would want it or given away if another child will enjoy it. The same goes for clothes,  books, or any other item the child owns. Do be sensitive though that some items may have sentimental value. If that is the case, start a memory box with them.
  • Everything has a place. Every item the child owns should have a place for it to go when it is not being used. Because you want the child to put his own things away, make the designated places easy to access. Keeping fewer items makes it easier to put things away.
  • Reward yourself for a completed project. These rewards do not have to be big. It could be a story read to them or some phone time (to brag) with Grandma. It could be a sticker on a chart. Just do some little thing to show completion and satisfaction of a job well done.
Let me end with some words of caution. You are teaching these skills. It is an ongoing lesson. Do not expect perfection. If the child puts his clothes in the bin and some hang out a bit, praise him for putting the clothes away. Do not tuck that article of clothing back in the bin. If the bed is made but not straight, do not straighten the covers. If the box of legos is put on the shelf crooked, do not straighten the box. If you correct what he has done while he is learning these skills, he will feel that his efforts have not been good enough.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Organizing the Spare Bedroom of Bonus Room

Most of us are lucky enough to have that extra room dubbed as the Spare Bedroom, Guest Bedroom or Bonus Room. Often these rooms have multiple purposes. I have seen them used as offices, craft rooms, play rooms, exercise rooms, storage rooms, and even as dedicated guest bedrooms.

In February I work on my "Spare Bedroom" zone. I choose this month because last month I organized my office and a lot of stuff purged from my office landed on the bed, floor, and dresser of the spare bedroom. Now it is a disaster.

My spare bedroom has multiple functions. It has a closet that is used for offsite office storage (and it is packed full). There is a dresser that holds off season clothing, gifts, holiday cards, and some memorabilia. This room also holds a secondary cat box as well as a cat condo and a cat bed. When overnight guests arrive, this is their room (and the cat stuff is temporarily put into my office).

I want this room to have an open and inviting space for guests. I want all items stored in this zone to be out of sight but easily accessible. I want to feel drawn to this room and feel calm and happy when I enter.

To make this vision come true, during this month I will clean out and reorganize the closet. Files will be updated and some truly archival files will head for the attic. I will toss out or donate items that I have saved but now no longer need or love. Since I have a lot of pictures and memorabilia in the closet, I will open each box and scrapbook, have a remembrance time, toss some items, label some more items, and return the rest to the containers. I feel if I want to keep this memorabilia, I ought to honor it and look at it at least once a year.

I will clean out every drawer in the dresser and designate zones within the drawers. I will probably decide that 3 heavy sweaters stored there are about 2 too many and that some holiday clothing is no longer loved. This will open up space for any new item.

By the end of the month, I will have this guest bedroom matching my vision for the upcoming year. I will celebrate by putting fresh flowers on the dresser.

For help in setting up your zones, sign up for my Zone Plan Coaching Teleclass (jonda@timespaceorg.com) or purchase my workbook - From Vision to Victory: A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home (available on my website www.timespaceorg.com).


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

February is Time Management Month

Good time management is really good choice management. We can't save time. We can't speed up or slow down time. We all have the same 24 hours or 1,440 minutes a day. It's up to us to spend it wisely.

Easy to say - harder to do.

Below are 9 tips to help you stay in control of your day:
  1. Know how you are using your time now. Track how you are using your time for a couple of weeks. The first week you might track Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The second week you might track Tuesday and Thursday. Add in weekend days if that is also an issue. Use a timer and every 1/2 hour make a quick note of what you are working on. No cheating! (Wow, the timer is about to go off, I'd better log off Facebook and pay some bills!)
  2. Notice what interrupts your time and pulls you off task. Do you answer every phone call? Do you really need to? Do you have an audible alert when emails come in? Do you check them when they come in? Do friends or colleagues feel they can drop in at any time? Anytime you are pulled away from a task, make a written note of what you were doing just before answering the phone or talking to the person in your doorway. That simple task locks in the importance of your task and makes it easier to return to it.
  3. Never multitask. Having said that, you can fold laundry and talk to your husband. You can go for a walk and mentally put together a plan for tomorrow. What you can't do is write a report and talk on the phone or pay your bills while checking emails. Neither task will get your full attention. It is exhausting for your brain to keep switching back and forth. The adrenaline rush will hurt your concentration. There is no way you can get into the zone where work flows easily. Do one thing and do it well.
  4. Know your priorities. What is important to you today? What 3 big tasks need to be worked on or completed? Are you keeping in mind other priorities besides work? Is exercise and a time to eat a healthy meal a priority? Is family time a priority? Keep in mind that some priorities are not urgent things to do today but tasks that will help you down the road.
  5. Use your calendar. The calendar is your friend. I like calendars where I can see the whole month. Every appointment, every obligation, every birthday/anniversary is seen at a glance. As soon as I have a known date for a commitment I put it into my calendar. Long term projects are put on the notes side of the calendar of the months that I intend to devote the time on.
  6. Use a daily schedule. My calendar holds the big things, but my daily schedule has the details. This is where I not only have down what I plan to do for the day but also when I plan to do it and how long I have allowed for the task. I work in transition times between tasks. When life happens - and it does - and I know I will not get through everything on my schedule, I pause and do triage. I pick out what must get done and move the rest to later in the week.
  7. Know your peak production times. These are the times you schedule the tasks that are more difficult and require concentration. For me, I kick in about 9:00 am and need to stop the morning by about 11:30. In the afternoon I can get into heavy lifting around 1:00 and am getting weary by 5:00. Anything I do after that is mostly automatic non-thinking tasks.
  8. Delegate. Some tasks I know I do not have expertise. Some tasks I can do very well but I choose to use my time on another task. So I pay for others to do these tasks. I also am lucky in that my husband is willing to run errands for me like taking items to Goodwill or going to the post office. I have clients who can delegate some tasks to their children like taking on the shredding. Don't try to do it all.
  9. Come to each day rested and spend some of the day on you. If you are not rested, well nourished, and centered you will not concentrate on tasks at hand. On your daily schedule allow time for breaks, meals, whatever centering practices that you use, and a decent bed time.
Look over the above list and choose a couple to concentrate on for February. I would love to hear some of your wins.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Seize the Day

"Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of." ~ Charles Richards

Every now and then we get a much needed reminder about how important this is.

Yesterday morning I had a job that ended at 2:00. At that time I checked my phone for messages. I had one from my husband telling me that he had to check into the emergency room of the hospital that afternoon and that probably he would have an operation tomorrow - maybe to remove a kidney. I was at least 35 - 40 minutes from home. I called him back to say I was on my way. On the drive home, I called (hands free device) a person that I was to have a coaching call with that evening. I made lists in my head of who I had to contact to shut down my business for at least this week and to give a "heads up" to the person I was giving a presentation with this Saturday.

I arrived home. My husband had his bag packed. He expected me to drive him to the emergency room and come home. Was he crazy? I immediately packed a tote bag with paperwork, a book, my calendar, chargers, my iPad, a bottle of water, and a sandwich. I knew my way around that hospital and the emergency room pretty well as I had spent a lot of time there with my previous husband before he died. I was scared but at the same time trying very hard to put positive spins on the situation. I did not want to attract bad karma.

After many hours, more tests, and phone calls to the doctor who wanted him admitted and the surgeon on duty, it was decided that this was not an emergency nor was an operation necessary. Instead of looking at a kidney, they were looking at appendicitis and the medicines the doctor had already prescribed when he thought he was probably treating diverticulitis was doing the job on the appendix. That evening we were released to come home.

The evening sky was lovely, the house was warm and inviting, the cats were waiting , and we were very happy. Today, since my clients were already cancelled, I took the time to do some extra coaching calls, set back up the rest of my week, and really savor the joy of sleeping in late with my husband and going about a more leisurely and reflective day.

We never know what the future holds, so let us all remember to love and savor the now.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Reduce Tax Stress - Maintain a Yearlong Tax File



Don't lose your dining room table for a month while working on taxes. One of the files you should have near your desk is your tax folder. I like mine a bright red and it sits behind all of my standard desk files in my file drawer.

All through the year, anything that comes in that is related to taxes should be dropped into this file. Don't take time at this point to sort them. It is more efficient to sort them when you seriously start to work on your taxes. Acknowledgements of contributions, real property tax statement, monthly mortgage payments, medical expenses, motor vehicle registration, etc. are examples of what you put into your folder. If you have a business, you will need your business receipts. Have an envelope for each month and after you enter the amount into your budget or QuickBooks, just drop the receipt into the envelope.

About this time of year forms begin to come in. Look for W-2 forms, 1099 forms, SSA-1099 for Social Security, investment interest expenses, Roth account statements, IRA forms, your end of year tax stub, and more.  Watch for the forms that you expect and drop them into this folder.

I keep in the same drawer my tax papers from last year. I use this document as a template to make certain all forms are in. Your CPA may also have sent you a checklist. When I pull out last years tax paperwork and look it over, that's when I remember to get my mileage log out of the car for my business deduction or call any group that have not yet sent me a needed form.

Call your CPA and set an appointment as soon as you feel everything is in or if you do your own taxes, set aside on your calendar a couple of large blocks of time to organize the paperwork and put it on the correct forms.

Doing the tax preparation is never fun but it is a lot easier if you have kept everything in one place.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Plan Your Transition Times














Managing how we use our time is always a challenge. There is so much to do and we want to do it all. We try to prioritize but we almost always over-schedule. I see this over and over again and struggle with it myself.

One of the big problems is not scheduling transition times.

For example, you have a meeting with a teacher at the school or a networking meeting at a coffee shop. The meeting is scheduled for 3:00 and will last 30 minutes to an hour. Block out the hour. Then realize that you must gather items to take to the meeting and that you must get yourself out the door and into the car (one more trip to the loo and then pouring coffee into your go cup does take time) so add 15 to 30 more minutes. You have to drive to this meeting so add on that time remembering that the meeting is to start at 3:00 so by 3:00 you should be in the meeting place sitting down and saying "hello" - not pulling into the parking lot. You have the meeting. It is now 4:00. You have to drive home - in rush hour traffic. Allow time for that. You arrive home. Now you need to schedule any action that came out of that meeting (set up study times with your child, reread and file away notes from the meeting, write a follow up email, schedule the follow up meeting) and clear your desk of anything you took to or brought back from the meeting. In reality, your one hour meeting needs about a 3 1/2 block of time.

The same can be said for working at home on a project. When you work on a project you usually have to get things out to use. For example, if you are working on your taxes you need to assemble all the required paperwork. If you are working on cleaning out a closet you want to assemble all the cleaning items, donation boxes, trash bags, etc. Then you do the project. Now you have a natural disaster of papers to file away or clothes to return to the closet, trash to take out, and donations to go to a donation site. You must allow time to clean up after any project so that you are ready to work on the next item on your list. We tend to forget how long all of this takes and then get discouraged that we don't complete all of the items on our "do" list for the day.

My challenge to you is to pull out your daily calendar and look at what is scheduled for the week. Have you allowed enough time for each required item? Make adjustments as needed. Now, breathe. You can do anything just not everything.







Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Organizing the Office Zone


For years I have been maintaining my home using a Zone Plan. This plan has me touching everything in my home at least once a year. When I work in my designated zone each month, I declutter and get rid of anything I no longer need or love.

The first zone I work on each year is my office. After a year, files are way too stuffed. Project bins are still hanging around even if the project has been completed. Some new items have been added and not enough stuff has gone away. So now is the time to look open-eyed at the office and work my plan.

  1. What is bothering me in this zone?
  • Clutter
  • Too much on the desk top
  • Files too full
  • Too much  paper lying around screaming  "do me"
     2. How do I want my office to look and feel?
  • Uncluttered
  • Clean
  • Welcoming
  • I want to feel productive and happy
  • I want empty space to allow for growth
     3. What do I need to do to meet this vision?
  • Clear our all desk drawers and the desk top
  • Purge files and remove what is now archival to another place
  • Clean out bins of completed projects and ready the bins for new material
  • Clear all surfaces - leave out only what I need and love
  • Declutter and organize bookshelves and the storage credenza
  • Deep clean room
      4. Schedule times to do each task.
  • Pull out calendar and see what times are available to work on zone
  • Write on calendar what tasks I plan to do on available dates - not only date but also time of day
By the end of the month, I will say "good enough". Daily and weekly maintenance are scheduled but I won't have to visit this zone again until next January. I reward myself with fresh flowers on my desk and make my plan for the next month in a new zone!



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer