Organizing Through Transisitions

Transitions change our lives. Birth/death, marriage/divorce, lost job/new job, children move out/aging parent moves in, moving, and downsizing are all transitions that pivot our lives. Our priorities may shift. Our schedules and routines may no longer work well. Adjustments need to be made.

When transitions happen, you have to make some decisions. What are your current goals? What is your vision for this point in time? What schedules and routines still do work and what ones are no longer viable?

Now it is especially important to organize time and space for self care. You may not be able to do as much as before but daily find some time to care for yourself – even if it is no more than walking the dog or taking time for a cup of tea and a magazine. Find small ways to care for yourself and time to work on your vision.

Figure out what is core. What do you love and what do you need in your environment? What do you have that is no longer supporting you and your vision? Let go in order to make room for new ideas and needs.

If you are now living with someone new, decide together what is important to organize and what is good enough for now. Recognize that each of you have come with different standards and routines. Try to develop a system that will work for both of you.

If you have systems in place that are working – at least somewhat – keep those intact. Keep things as simple as possible. Keep on top of the most critical items and let less important tasks slide for a while. No one cares about clearing out that closet now. Ask for help when you need it.

Accept and perhaps embrace change. Organizing your time and space gives you a feeling of having some control during the changing time.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Zone Plan – Breakfast Room/Mud Room

This is the month I focus on my breakfast room. It is the back entrance to my home so for you it might be a mud room or any other small room in your home. I have just recently made some major changes to the look of this room. My motivation for the change was due to a shift in my life that led me to wanting to nourish myself and create more calm areas in my life. My vision was to develop an area in my home that was contemplative and peaceful. I pulled in help for re-purposing this room from Jenna Boyd of Elements of Harmony and my Feng Shui consultant – http://www.elementsofharmony.com; Tami Puckett of Mindful Redesign and my organizer/re-designer – http://mindfulredesign.com.; and Michael Carpenter my artist/carpenter/faux wall designer, etc. – http://mindfulredesign.com. We brainstormed how to make this project come true and then made a plan with a time-line. The implementation is now complete.
Far from my usual zone work, most of this was done by others. One area that is mine alone is the closet where all of my china/crystal/entertainment materials are housed. I will use the remainder of this month to clear out that area and purge all items I no longer need or love. My job will then be to develop the maintenance plan.
Each zone is best revisited once a year and the steps outlined in From Vision to Victory: A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home, followed. One example of how this works is the process I followed for this room. This allows you to touch everything in your home once a year and make certain that you vision for each area is still holding true.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Lemons to Lemonaide or Pecan Tree to Mulch

This was a sad week for me. The huge pecan tree that has sat in my front yard and partly on my driveway since I bought this home had to be taken down. Due to damage done serveral years ago when another tree fell on it, pulling the power line on it, and causing a fire that burned for hours, a huge part of the tree had rotted away and was now unsafe. This tree made my yard and home cool in the summer. This tree had been home to many birds and squirrels. People stopped to pick up the pecans and chat. At one point in my life I had placed a ceramic wizzard in the tree and the tree had grown around the wizzard. I always smiled to think of my wizzard living in the tree. But, the tree had become unsafe. My home and my neighbor’s home could be badly damaged if it fell.
There is a time and season for everything and this was the time to say goodby to my tree.
I had a wonderful arborist helping me. Gerry Korzi of Valley Crest Tree Care Services, gkorzi@valleycrest.com , gave me a lot of advice and support. He went way beyond the top with his service. He found someone in Clarkston who sold firewood and made sure that this person got the wood so that it could be used and not end up in landfill. He asked the crew to chip what wood they could and leave it for me as mulch. The crew cleaned my yard and my neighbors yard. Everyone was so professional and kind.
As many of my clients know- it’s hard to let go of things you care about, but sometimes one must just shed a quiet tear and look to the greatest good.
Goodby tree.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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Why are people disorganized?

I specialize in clients who are going through transitions and I find that most, if not all, of my clients have been organized (or at least more organized) at some point in their lives. Some of those organized patterns still are there (one reason I always ask clients, “What’s working for you right now?”) So, what happened? For most clients there have been “life events.” These can be huge like babies, starting new jobs, divorce, major illnesses, deaths of loved ones. They can be a series of smaller events like special projects, inheritances, redecorating, school seasons, holidays. The organizational system they had that worked before the event does not work as well now. Maybe they have less strength or memory. Maybe there are now other people involved. We all move back and forth between being organized and not so organized. The greater the life changes and the longer the problem is not addressed, the harder it is to get organized again. So, what’s the answer to this problem? First, taking an analysis of what is causing the mess or disorganization to happen. Then, finding the simplest system that works for the current set of circumstances. Practicing that system and tweaking it to make it work. Remembering to do constant maintenance. Getting help when you need it. 🙂

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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Feng Shui Session

Last Friday I had a session with Jenna Boyd, my Feng Shui consultant, of Elements of Harmony. I discovered that I had lost a lot of the metal element over the last year. This is not a good thing for me as metal is the element that contains, makes sense of things, and keeps things organized. I have recently felt fragmented so this was not a surprise to me. Jenna has put together a plan for me to make changes in my home to help me get back in balance and truly with the few steps I have already implemented, I feel much more in control again. It is great to have experts that I can turn to when I need help. Jenna has been an inspiration to me and has helped me balance my home and home office for years. Like with organizing, you don’t do it and then you are done. Things change. Times change. You change. Maintenance and awareness are part of the process of keeping balanced as well as keeping your home organized and clutter free.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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Christmas redo

I’ve been in this house about 15 years and unless I have something new I seem to put the same items in the same place every year. This year I felt it was time for a change. I started by moving the tree to a new location. Then I pretty much put things where they had been but when friends come over I have them move 3 to 5 items to a different location and tell me why they moved them. The place is starting to look different and it is a lot of fun. I’m really seeing my things that I love again and some decorations are simply being “retired”.

mission statements

I developed a mission statement when I began my business and updated it this year. My mission statement simply says that my mission is:
“helping people navigate through life changes by offering a supportive and structures approach to organizing time and space and developing skills to manage the changes in their time and space”
I have not had a lot of experience in developing mission statements and would be interested on comments on my statement or with people sharing their statements.