The Zone Plan – Organizing the Master Bedroom

Once a month I choose a zone in my home to organize, declutter, and deep clean. During one of the spring months I choose to work in our master bedroom. It’s a wonderful time to review the winter wardrobe and clean or repair any favorites before I store them away and to discard anything that I no longer want to wear. It’s also a time when I like to clean the windows and let the sun shine in.

When I start to work in any zone in my home, I start with a vision. Because I share this room with my husband, it needs to be a shared vision. We want this room to have a welcoming presence. We want a calming, relaxing feel and a place to feel happy. We like soft light but still have enough light available to read. My husband meditates here so the room should have an uncluttered, peaceful feel.

I use the whole month to work on this zone and I divide the tasks into four sections. I schedule time on my calendar to complete each task.

One week I organize the closet. Rob stores his hanging clothes in his office closet, so this is a job I do alone. I pull out all m clothes, shoes, and accessories and sort them. I get rid of the ones that no longer fit or that I no longer want to wear. I wash the interior of the closet and then replace all items.

Another week, Rob and I clean out our dressers. We take out every article and toss anything that is damaged and put into a donate box anything sill in good shape, but we don’t want. Winter items go into the lower drawers and summer items come up to the top drawers. Meanwhile, the dresser is washed and waxed.

Still another week we work on the wall where the bed and end tables live. I strip the bed down to the frame and wash everything. The duvet goes to the cleaners and then is stored in the closet until it gets cold again. All extra reading material is removed from the end tables, so we only have what we are currently reading. The end tables are also washed and waxed.

The last week I finish up anything that might not have gotten done. It might be the windows or the overhead fan. It might be dusting down the walls and ceiling or cleaning the throw rugs.

By the end of the month, the room will be sparkly clean and welcoming. I will put out fresh flowers and admire our work. I feel we will sleep even better in the clear, clean bedroom.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Clutter Awareness

Clutter Awareness week is the last week in March. Since procrastination and clutter go hand in hand, I am giving you a “heads up” so that you can schedule time to develop a plan to reduce any clutter that has accumulated in your space.

Often, we don’t even see the clutter around us. We get used to it being part of our daily environment. Take a walk through your house.  Pretend you are showing it to sell. Notice surfaces that have piles of paper or other items. Are there objects stacked on the floor? Another technique is to take pictures of your rooms. It is amazing what you see in a picture that you didn’t notice otherwise. The picture may show you that end table stacked with things to read and other bits and pieces. It may show you the kitchen counter so crammed you have to move things in order to prep food.

Clutter can impact your daily living. It can eat up your time as you look for needed items. Clutter can affect your health as it holds dust, dander, and even hides mold. You are less likely to cook healthy meals if your kitchen is cluttered. Clutter can also become a trip hazard. Clutter can cost you money due to overdue payments on bills you have misplaced or buying items you already have but can’t find. Clutter can affect your social life as well. You may find yourself embarrassed to have people come into your home.

Now is the time to plan. Grab your calendar and choose one area of your home to declutter. Make a list of all the tasks you want to accomplish in that area and schedule a time now to complete the tasks. By the end of March, have that one area clutter free!

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

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

NAPO 2016 Conference

Today I head off to my 9th NAPO conference. This year it is held in Atlanta. Even though it is near my home in Tucker, GA, I am staying at the hotel so that I can maximize my time.

I look forward to learning about the latest trends, resources, and products in the organizing industry. I am exciting about sitting in on workshops and presentations given by some of the great experts in our field.

During the conference I look forward to receiving information and inspiration that will improve my services to my clients. I enjoy meeting face to face organizers that 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. We plan to go out for dinner one evening and catch up with each other.

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

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Organizing Closets

Closets are a fairly new addition to our homes. When I lived in Germany, I found that closets were few and usually free standing wardrobes or armoires. I was told that closets were considered a room and increased the tax on the home.

According to Wikipedia, a closet is an enclosed space used for general storage or storing clothes. It wasn’t until post WWII that larger closets were introduced into housing to attract wealthy buyers. Today we totally expect closets of all types throughout our homes.

I have found that closets become a great place in many homes to hide stuff we don’t want sitting around in our living space. I find items that have been bought and not yet found a home or that need to be returned. I find boxes of mail that have been swept off tables and counters before company comes and never seem to come back out to be sorted and filed. I find broken items waiting for repair. The list goes on. The bottom line is that many closets hide chaos. This is not a happy situation, so what should we do?

  1. Determine the main purpose of each closet. Is it a clothes closet, coat closet, linen closet, utility closet, or an off season clothing closet?
  2. List all other purposes for each closet. Does the closet also hold gift wrap, gifts, suitcases, medicines, back up cosmetics, or paper products?
  3. Develop a vision of how you want the closet to look and how you want to feel when you access the closet. (i.e. I want all items organized and either in labeled bins or aligned so that I can see each item. I want my closet fully utilized but with some space for new items. I want to feel confident when I look into the closet that I can easily find the item I am looking for.)
  4. Develop a brainstorm list of what you need to do to make this vision come true. (i.e. I will sort all like items. I will remove items that don’t fit my vision of this closet. I will add shelves. I will purchase bins. I will label shelves and bins.) Your list will match your needs and your vision.
  5. Plan a time for completing your tasks. Write the “do” dates on your calendar.
  6. Actually do the tasks.
  7. Develop a maintenance plan. Some closets only need a real redo every year. The clothes closet might need serious maintenance each season.

Work on one closet at a time until your whole closet system gives you pleasure just to open the door and find what you want.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Organizing Space for a Guest

Now that school is out, more people are traveling. Than means that we are more likely to have guests, either just for an overnight stay on their way to another destination or just to hang out for a few days to visit. Sometimes I know way in advance that guests are coming and sometimes I have very little prior notice. Either way, I love having family and friends come to stay.

It helps to have a plan in place for guests. I am lucky in that I have a spare bedroom (even though it also stores extra office supplies and some off season clothes. Determine now what areas of your guest room/area need the most work and then tweak it from there.

  1. Keep this area decluttered. If you store items in this room, keep the items stored out of sight – in the closet, in the dresser drawers, or if necessary under the bed.
  2. Make this area inviting for your guests. Have a place for them to hang up an outfit. Designate a place they can place their suitcase to unpack. Clean bed linens, extra pillows, and blankets are important. Have items on hand so that you can assemble a guest basket for the room. I always have a washcloth and towel (in a distinctly different color than family), a pain killer, some lotion, and some water and a glass. I add other items depending on the guest. I like to have something on the night stand to read as well.
  3. Add finishing touches that say “welcome.” I like to add fresh flowers and perhaps a snack in case they get the munchies in the middle of the night.

The goal is to make the guest feel comfortable and welcome in your home. If you have your plan in place, then you can relax and enjoy their company to the fullest.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Master Bedroom Zone

If you are following along with the zone plan, this is a good month to organize and clean the master bedroom. As you work in this area, moving into the summer season, you can really evaluate all of your clothes to see if they still are what you love and what you need.
Start with your vision for this room. How do you want the room to look and how do you want to feel when you are in this area? I want my room to have a soothing, calming look. I like soft light yet enough light to read by. I want my clothes all to have designated places where I can get dressed easily in the morning but I don’t see them.
I am allowing myself 3 weeks to organize this room. Recently I had some redecorating done to make the room feel more peaceful and intimate. Now it is my turn to get into the room with an action plan and make it work.
This week I will work on the wall with the closet and long dresser. I will empty them and sort all of my clothes. I will purge anything that no longer fits me, anything that is torn or stained, and anything I no longer love or need. I will take all off season clothes and move them to another location and pull in any summer clothes I have stored elsewhere. While the closet and dresser are empty, I will give them a good cleaning.
Next week I will work on the wall with the bed, window, two small tables as well as the wall to the left of the bed that has no furniture. I will also clean the fan that hangs above the bed. During this week I will evaluate all reading materials that have stacked up on the tables. If they have hung out there for a while and not been read, it is time to move them on out. I will also clean all the bed linens including the duvet cover and mattress pad.
The last week I will do the wall with the tall dresser and some art work. I will pull all the clothes out of that dresser and see what stays and what goes.
For my reward for finishing this project, I will go shopping with a friend to replace some of those tired items that I threw away. I will buy fresh flowers and just stand back and admire my peaceful, well-organized room.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Organizing the Creative Mind

It is so much fun to be creative. We can come up with all of these wonderful ideas – how we cant redecorate our office, how we can streamline our time management system, how we can dig a pit and have a luau party. But often creative ideas just shrivel up due to lack of nourishment.
One of the NAPO conference sessions I attended was “20 Best Practices of Organizing the Creative Mind” by Scot Belsky. One of his premise was that impacts from creativity are a product – as in an equation.
Creativity X Organization = Impact
Impact is a product – not a sum.
100 great creative ideas times no organization = 0 impact
50 great creative ideas times 2 parts organization = impact of 100
Ideas don’t just happen just because they are great. There are other forces at play (hint: I’m a professional organizer).
Good ideas should be shared. This helps build in accountability. You have a good idea. Put together an execution plan. Write up action steps. These steps can be delegated or sometimes immediately taken. If you are meeting with a group, capture your action steps at the end of the meeting. Look for other resources to help you along. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Build a village around you to help you see your ideas to fruition. You may need doers and even some naysayers or realists in your group.
I am a part of a goals group. We meet monthly and we share our wins from the past month and our goals for the upcoming month. This is my accountability. This is a trusted arena where I can take my creative dreams, sound them out, and put the dreams to action.
Scott is the author of Making Ideas Happen and the founder of the Behance Network and the Action Method. Check him out for more great ideas.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

NAPO conference

Next week I will be attending the NAPO conference in San Diego. This will be my 5th conference. Before I head off to the conference I set goals for myself.
I want to learn about the latest trends and resources in the organizing industry. I plan to glean information from experts in the field that I can use to improve my services. I want to see the newest products and services offered in the industry. I hope to network with other organizers in different parts of the country. This will give me a chance to meet face to face with some organizers I have just chatted with or shared information with on Facebook. I will also have some social time with organizers from my own chapter.
I also plan to have some fun. I have never been to San Diego so I am going one day early in order to see the city. I hope to take a tour and learn more about the area.
When I return I will develop an action plan from this wonderful experience.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer