Preparing for a Disaster

September is National Preparedness Month. Emergencies can happen with little warning. You may only have minutes to evacuate. To improve your chances for survival, you should be informed, have a plan, and have an emergency kit.

For information on preparedness check out:

Develop an emergency plan with your family. Then practice that plan. If everyone is at home, assign each person a job. Decide who will be responsible for corralling pets and putting them in carriers. Who will pull out the sleeping bags or bedding? Who grabs the emergency kit? Who will load the car? If the family is not together, have a plan on how you will communicate and where you will connect.

Always have your car on the ready. Keep your car well maintained and with at least a half tank of gas. Make sure the spare tire is usable and jumper cables are easy to access.

Put together a “grab and go” bag and/or clear bins already prepared to put into your car. Some items in the bag will have to do with safety and communication. Have a radio, flashlight with extra batteries, and a first aid kit with your medications and prescriptions. Have your wallet or purse in a consistent place with your cell phone, charge cards, and your driver’s license. It is a good idea to have an extra phone charger in that kit. Have emergency apps already downloaded on your phone. Check out http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps

Put together some items that will allow you to survive outside for a while. Have food, water, a can opener, matches, blankets, plastic bags, a plastic drop sheet, a Dopp kit, tissue, and a pen knife in your kit. Also have a change of clothes, extra glasses, extra keys, and pen and paper.

Have a prepared folder with all your essential documents, information, and cash. Have names/phone numbers/email addresses/account numbers as well as contact numbers for insurance, utilities, banks, etc.

If you have a pet, also include vet/shot information as well as extra collars and leads, pet food, a dish, blanket, and a toy.

It takes a lot of time to put this all together but if you break it down into small sections and work on it a bit each week, it is doable. Then update it every September.

It gives great comfort to know that you are ready should the unexpected happen.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Zone Plan Coaching Program

In May I started The Zone Plan: A Method for Organizing Your Home. This coaching program is about setting your vision, developing a plan, and implementing that plan so that your home truly becomes a place you love.

The coaching program explores 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 From Vision To Victory: A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home, and a secret Facebook page. All of this is designed to set you on your path of living in the home you envision.

The inaugural group has been great! I love their sharing and their enthusiasm. We have worked through 2 zones so far. We took off the month of July ( and will take off the month of December).  You can join this group at any time. Each month I will suggest a zone but the beauty of this program is that the concepts will fit any zone or project that you want to tackle.

The program is powerful, yet affordable. Look at all that you will receive for the investment of only $450 (yes, that is for the year – not for a month). There is even a 2-pay option if you need to spread payments out.

If you want results and are ready to make your home the one of your vision, then join us.
Call Time Space Organization – 404-299-5111 or email jonda@timespaceorg.com  to save your place.

Starting now will help set your home up for the holidays and the new year!

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Organizing Storage Containers

Grouping like items together in containers makes an area look so much neater, not to mention that it makes it a lot easier to locate items. For example, pulling down a labeled container of spices is so much easier than pulling out the individual containers of spices until you find the one you need. Pulling out a labeled container of office supplies is much easier than having a bunch of loose items on a shelf. You get my drift.

Now, let’s discuss these containers. When clients want to organize, one of the first things they want to do is run to the store and to buy pretty containers. Do. Not. Do. This.

First decide what is going to be grouped in the container. Cull out any duplicates or unneeded items. Now you can see the quantity and size. Next, decide where this container will live. Measure the space. Now you know the maximum dimension of that container. You may need two smaller ones instead of one large one.

Decide if you want the container to be attractive or does it just have to be utilitarian. Now, you are ready to shop.

Don’t get into the mindset that items stored in the bathroom have to be stored in “bathroom” containers or items in the office need to be stored in “office” containers. Shop around in all sections.

I have seen Lego containers that cost four times as much as kitchen containers of the same size. I have seen office containers that are perfect for storing short sharp knives. And don’t forget to shop from your home first. That bread basket might be just the thing to hold some rarely used kitchen gadgets. The plastic shoe box is very versatile. Inexpensive leftover food containers make great containers.

I would love to hear about some of your favorite container ideas.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Summer Fun – Throw a Party

I love to throw a party every July for my friends. Summer is a more laid back time of year and a great time to come together and socialize.

The very idea of giving a party can be overwhelming to people. Like any project that seems overwhelming, it’s not so daunting if you break it down into smaller, manageable tasks and you don’t strive for perfection.

I start with my vision in mind. How do I want this party to look and feel? I usually have a theme but the theme could be as simple as “catch up and have fun.” This year, because I just build a new shed house and deck, my theme is “get decked out and shed your cares.” I want people to have fun, relax, reconnect, and have dialogue. I want the atmosphere to be comfortable, casual, and connected.

Next I brainstorm what has to happen to make this vision work. I start with my guest list. Then I plan my invitations. I also look at what I want to serve and my party location. My list might look like this:

  • make invitation list
  • send out a save the date email
  • design invites
  • print invites
  • address and mail invites
  • plan the menu
  • prepare the yard
  • clean deck furniture
  • prepare/order food and beverages
  • clean house
  • decorate
  • stray yard for mosquitoes
  • put out food/beverage stations

When looked at all at once, it seems overwhelming, but I break it down and do it over a month’s time. I will either hire out some help or ask for some help or usually both. One day I just concentrate on my invitation list, another day I design the invites, another day I print them off, and still another day I mail them. Now my intention is set and the party is on!

The other items on the list are mostly done on weekends and are broken up so that no one day is consumed just by these tasks. By the day of the party there is little to do but finish decorating, some last minute food preparation, preparing the food/beverage stations, and spraying the yard for bugs.

When the guests come, I am ready to party with them. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Who’s Your DE?


Judith Kolbeg, Fileheads and the Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), gave a great teleclass last week on Information Afterlife and Digital Estate Planning. We all have digital assets that will continue to have an existence after we die. What is going to happen to all this data?

The first step for all of us is to make a list of what we have. Email accounts, social media accounts, and picture files come first to mind. But what about our web sites, our domain names, our blog sites, or our online financial accounts and memberships? The list can get rather lengthy. Where are these assets? how are they accessed?

Next, develop a digital estate plan. This will detail your wishes concerning all of your digital assets. What do you want done with them after you die? It is a good idea to then review your plan with your accountant, lawyer, and anyone else involved in the disposition of your “regular” estate.

Now, enlist a digital executor (DE). This person will work with your executor or could even be the same person. It is important that your DE is digitally knowledgeable and knows what they are taking on. This can be a pretty time intensive job. Your DE will need access to your passwords, user codes, and security questions in order to get into your accounts. They will need to get into all accounts with automatic deposits, withdrawals, transfers, or debits. If you own a business, they will need to access your lists of clients, vendors, and financials. They will need the contact information of your accountant if you use one.

Putting together this plan can look overwhelming. I would consider chunking it into smaller tasks and putting some dates on your calendar to get started on it. We never know when we will need to have this in place.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Summer Freedom


Summer is usually a time when our schedules shift. Sometimes this leaves us feeling like we have more time than we really do. Our expectations change. I love to have the freedom to be spontaneous but I also need to have routines to ground me.

Routines block out my times so that I can see when I can have the luxury of unscheduled fun. Leaving some empty blocks on my calendar can be very exciting. I keep in mind my personal energy levels and try to schedule difficult tasks when I am at my peak. Some afternoons and evenings are better times to leave open while it is usually work as usual in the mornings.

I have a bucket list of some things I would like to accomplish during the summer. I love to give a summer party. I like to have some times to have lunch dates with friends. Usually during the rest of the year, our work schedules prevent this. I like to take in some outdoor concerts. I enjoy going to the Botanical Gardens. I love just sitting on the deck with my sweetie. I enjoy a mini vacation or two. But I do still have to plan and schedule in order to feel great about doing these fun activities. Life and work does go on in the summer even if it is at a slightly different level.

I am looking forward to a wonderful summer with all the extra freedoms that some good planning allows. Pardon me while I go pack.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer