Organizing the Kitchen Zone


October is the perfect time to organize your kitchen. The next few months will involve a lot of holiday cooking. Food drives begin to show up everywhere so it is a great opportunity to donate foods you have overstocked this past year. This opens up space for holiday cooking supplies.

My Kitchen Strategy:

  1. Look at my motivation. Why work on the kitchen now? Are my counter tops cluttered? Do I have trouble finding needed items in my pantry? Do I have items taking up space in my freezer that I can’t even identify? Yep, and I want it fixed before the holidays!
  2. Create my vision. 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 cookie or pie dough. I want all my basic stored foods and spices organized and fresh so I can easily put my hand on what I want without missing a beat. 
  3. Brainstorm. I list all the things I can think of that will make my kitchen match my vision. Some of the tasks are: clearing out items I no longer need or love, looking for new storage ideas, organizing items for more convenience, better defining my kitchen zones (food preparation, cooking, dishes, food storage, and food serving). 
  4. Write our my goals. Writing out my goals helps me focus. I make my goals specific and measurable. I print them out and post them on my refrigerator and cross them off when met.
  5. Develop a timeline. Here is where my calendar becomes my friend.  I look at all the available times I have to work on my goals. To make this doable, I plan for some unexpected things to come up and I break down bigger goals into smaller parts. Instead of booking a day of “organizing kitchen drawers”, I schedule “organizing the knife drawer” on Oct. 4 at 3:00.
  6. Follow the timeline. As best I can, I honor the times I have set aside to do the tasks. If something comes up and I can’t do the work at the scheduled time, I reschedule it. 
  7. Reward myself. When the kitchen zone is complete, I give myself a reward. It might be flowers on the table or a nice candlelit meal.
For more details of following this plan, visit my website www.timespaceorg.com and purchase my book, From Vision to Victory: A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home, or sign up for my Zone Plan Teleclass program where I guide you through a new zone each month.  



Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Accountability Partners

Having trouble keeping a commitment to yourself? Can’t seem to get that project finished? Difficulty staying focused on your goal? These situations are so common and here is where accountability partners can really help.

An accountability partner is like a coach. They help you keep your commitment. They inspire you and keep you motivated. They are great for bouncing around ideas.

Where do you find an accountability partner or partners? For the past 10 years I have been part of a group that I call the goals group or the dream team. We meet once a month and review our wins from the past month and our goals for the upcoming month. We also feel free to call upon each other for advice, feedback, and brainstorming. Within this group some of us have partnered for different periods of time to concentrate on one goal where we felt we needed extra support.

As a professional organizer, I am often an accountability partner for some of my clients. Because we have planned times to work together the client is often motivated to complete a project or part of a project. They want to share their wins. They want inspirations to continue. They want someone they can bounce off ideas and know that their ideas are listened to and respected.

Some of my clients reach out to friends going through the same process and do regularly planned accountability calls. They set up a call and share their intentions for the day and then have a couple of check in calls to share their progress.

If you are looking for an accountability partner, look for someone who will be honest and straightforward with you. You want someone who will challenge you and not condemn or discourage you. You should look for someone who is a great listener and knows how to ask good questions. It also helps if the partner’s strengths and weaknesses are somewhat different from yours.

I would love to have some feedback on how you have used or plan to use an accountability partner.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

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

Reflection


The year is drawing to a close. It is a good time to find some quiet time and reflect on the past year and look forward to the new year. I challenge you to try this exercise.

  • List at least 3 experiences or events that were wonderful this past year. What insights did you receive from these delightful experiences?
  • Think of a couple of things that did not go quite the way you wanted. What did you learn about yourself from this?
  • What is your vision for the upcoming year?
  • Brainstorm a list of what you have to do to make this vision come true?
  • What stumbling blocks might impede you and how will you deal with them?
  • From your brainstorm list, pick one small thing and schedule time to work on it.
In going through this exercise myself, I have found it helpful to also work on a vision board. I also find that sharing my thoughts with others helps me gain clarity. I focus on only those thoughts and actions that come from me and that I can control. Let this time moving forward be our best personal year yet.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Organizing Your Kitchen

October is the perfect time to organize your kitchen. The next few months will involve a lot of holiday cooking. Food drives ramp up so it is a great opportunity for you to donate various foods you have overstocked this past year.

Kitchen Strategy:

  1. Look at your motivation. What is bothering you at this time in your kitchen? Are your counter tops cluttered? Do you have trouble finding needed items in your pantry? Do you have items taking up space in your freezer that  you can’t even identify?
  2. Create your vision. How do you want your kitchen to look and how do you want to feel when you are in your kitchen? Do you want an open light filled space? Do you want space in your kitchen to do larger school or church food projects? Do you want to display some pottery or seasonal items that will make you smile every time you enter your kitchen?
  3. Brainstorm. List all the things you can think of that will make your kitchen match your vision. Some of these tasks might include: Clearing out all items you no longer need or love, looking for new storage ideas, organizing items for more convenience, setting up kitchen zones (food preparation, cooking, dishes,, food storage, and food serving). 
  4. Write out your goals. Writing the goals helps you focus. Your goals should be positive, consistent with your vision, specific and measurable, reasonable yet challenging.
  5. Develop your timeline. Here is where your calendar becomes your best friend. Look at what times you have available to work on this zone. Be reasonable. Plan for some unexpected things to come up. Break projects down into small parts. Instead of booking a day of “organizing kitchen drawers”, schedule “organizing the knife drawer” on Oct. 4 at 3:00.
  6. Now just follow the timeline. Honor the scheduled times you have set aside to do the tasks that are on your calendar. By the end of the month you will love your newly organized space and feel ready for the holidays.
  7. Reward yourself. Buy some flowers. Prepare a special meal. Do something to congratulate yourself on a job well done.
For more details of following this plan, visit my website www.timespaceorg.com and purchase my book, From Vision to Victory: A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home, or sign up for my Zone Plan Teleclass program where I guide you through a new zone each month.
   

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Would Virtual Organizing Work for You?





One of the services I offer is virtual organizing. Many people are not sure how this works and if it would work for them. Let’s explore those topics now.

How does virtual organizing work?

  • First we have a free phone consultation to explore if this would work
  • If we decide it will work, you fill out a questionnaire that helps solidify your intentions and goals for the sessions
  • If appropriate, you send pictures of the areas we target
  • You develop your vision of what the area will look like and how you will feel
  • We brainstorm all that needs to happen to reach your goals
  • We set up a completion date and develop a timeline
  • Each session we refine the plan and you put dates on your calendar to complete the tasks
  • As the organizer, I hold you accountable, help you prioritize, and make suggestions as well as keep you motivated
  • Once the goal is reached, we develop a maintenance routine
Would this work for me? Yes, if:
  • You can work by yourself and are motivated but want/need some guidance and accountability
  • You realize that organizational help is important but you are on a budget
  • You are comfortable communicating via phone, email, skype, and can send emails with photos
  • You are creative and need custom-tailored sessions
  • 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

Tips For Handling Those Tasks You Hate

I think we all have those tasks that languish on our “to do” list waaay too long. One of my procrastination tactics is the old cut and paste this chore until later in the week,  or better yet next Monday when I am fresh and the week is young.

For me, some of these tasks are phone calls I don’t want to make (that client who keeps cancelling – the request to have someone review my book). I dread the possibility of rejection. Then there are  the projects I am working on (my digital estate plan, promoting my virtual organizing). These tasks seem both overwhelming and not as urgent as other tasks.

So, what to do?

  1. Acknowledge that I am doing this.
           Just verbalizing how I feel and why I keep putting off this task gives me some perspective. Instead of just feeling the negative thoughts, I can start to make a plan for action.

     2. Think about how I am going to feel once the task is complete and how I am going to reward myself.

          I know that I will be much lighter without this monkey on my back. I will feel free to do something I really want to do without feeling guilty.
    3. Look at the possible positive outcomes from doing these tasks.
         The client may be just waiting for my call as her nudge to action. People may be very happy to review my book. They just hadn’t thought to do so. My projects are all ones that will give me peace of mind.

    4. Break down large projects into small parts.
         Stop putting on my “to do” list things like “work on visual organizing promotion.”  Instead put down “brainstorm everything you need to do to promote.” This is doable and then I can start to list each little task.
    5. Use if-then planning (got this out of Psychology Today article). 
         If I haven’t finished (put in task) by 3:00 p.m., then I am going to file it away and work on (new task). If the client hasn’t responded to my email by Wednesday evening then I am going to call her at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday. According to the Psychology Today article, by deciding in advance what you are going to do and when and where you are going to do it, there’s no deliberating when the time comes. If-then planning has been shown in over 200 studies to increase rates of goal attainment and productivity by 200-300 percent on average.
OK! I have my plan. Let’s just do it!

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Enjoy Your Own Party


I love to throw a party. Parties are a fun way to visit and catch up with a group of friends. I love the good food, laughter, the smiles, the memories remembered and being made.

Even the very idea of giving a party can be overwhelming. But like any big project, it is not so  daunting if you break it down into small, manageable tasks. I always start my plan with a vision. What do I want this party to look like and how do I want myself and others to feel? I usually develop my party around a theme, but the theme could be as simple as “catch up and have fun.”

What next? Brainstorm and write down all the tasks that have to happen to make the vision come true.

Items on my list:

  • develop a guest list
  • choose a date
  • send out a save the date email
  • design invites
  • print invites
  • address invites
  • mail invites
  • plan menu
  • spruce up the yard
  • clean deck
  • clean outdoor furniture
  • order any prepared foods
  • decorate
  • make a party grocery list
  • shop
  • prepare food
  • clean house
  • set up food/drink stations
  • enjoy party

When this list is looked at in its entirety it seems overwhelming. But when you break it down over a month’s time it’s not so bad. You notice that I didn’t just say “mail invites” because a lot has to be done before the invites are in the mail. By listing every small step, I only have to look at a small task each time. And don’t forget to delegate. I get help with the yard and cleaning. Some of the food on my menu will be ordered (I haven’t made a cake or desert since I found this wonderful bakery).

The next very important step is to take your list and write each task on your calendar. Now you have made a commitment and you don’t have to worry about how you will ever find the time. You have it scheduled. Leave some wiggle room because the unexpected will happen.

By the day of the party there is little to do but some last minute decorating, some food preparation that couldn’t be done earlier, and the laying out of the food and drinks.

When the guests come, you are ready to party!

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

Office Zone

Every year I make a plan for touching everything in my home. This helps me remember what I have and helps  me to purge items I no longer need or love.

I always start the year in my office.

After a year, my office begins to feel overfull and not well organized. Files are stuffed and new things have come into the office by way of gifts or books.

My vision for my office is to have an area where I work that is attractive and welcoming. I want to feel in control and happy when in my office. I want space to work on a project without the distractions of unfinished work yelling at me.

Now is the logical time to organize and clear out files, drawers, bookshelves and project bins to allow for new projects and growth. I will take the entire month of January to get this space back in line with my vision.

I look around and decide what is bugging me. I see things like too much clutter on my desktop and items rather randomly stacked in my credenza. My couch has become an easy place to drop items.

I start with my desktop and the drawers in my desk. Then I move to the file cabinet that abuts my desk. Files are pulled and taken to the closet in the guest bedroom. Tax papers are pulled together.

Next I will work on the bookcase that is right behind me and the credenza where action files and project bins are stored. I know that some projects are completed but paperwork still lingers. I need to empty these bins for new projects I am working on or plan to work. I will then clean the meeting area of my office and find a better routine for items that get dumped there.

Finally I will work on some files and notebooks that are stored in my laundry room but are part of my office management.

By the end of the month, I will call whatever has been accomplished “good enough” and move on to the next zone. I will schedule regular daily maintenance chores (clear the desk and couch) and weekly maintenance (check action folders and clean room). The office will not need a real zone maintenance until next January. I always celebrate by buying fresh flowers for my office.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer