Lighten Up for Spring


Spring is around the corner! This is the time we want our home to feel fresh and ready to let the sun light shine in. The living room is usually the first thing you see when you walk into your home. That is why I chose the living room to organize and clean during the month of March in my Zone Plan program.

My first step in working with this zone is to review my vision for the living room. I like to 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 the news on TV. Together we often connect in this room and plan our day, week, and the future. For entertainment we work on the daily jumble and crossword puzzle. On a more passive note, we often listen to music or perhaps watch a DVD or television. if we are having a light meal, we may eat here. We entertain family and guests in our living room and welcome people from our front door. I want to feel relaxed in this room and ready for guests at any time.

Papers, books, brochures, and magazines can accumulate here as we relax and read/discuss the literature. It is a central gathering place for family and friends. Look around your area. What has accumulated? Make a plan for that paper that is going to end up here. My rule for newspapers is when a new one comes in the old one leaves. Magazines have a basket to hold them – but again, every month a new one comes in so keep those magazines circulating. When a new one comes in, out with the old. If you have an article that you have not yet read but want to read, leave this one magazine out on the coffee table and read it in the next few days. Have a landing place for that one book you are now reading in the living room and a tray or landing pad for any brochures you are checking out. When finished with book or brochure, recycle or put them away.

Multimedia like DVDs and CDs are usually found in the living room. Take time to sort the entire collections. Cull out the ones you are ready to donate or pass along to a friend. I use the container system for our DVDs and CDs. I have allotted containers that fit into our entertainment center. We can keep as many as will easily fit into those containers. As I usually only do this task once a year, it is important to leave a little extra room for new ones coming in or make it a rule that when a new one does come in, an old one goes.

This month I change out accessories to match the season. Gone is the nut bowl, the poinsettia, and the winter candle. In their place I have fresh spring flowers and a pastel candle. I clean and polish as I declutter each area.

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

Organizing the Living Room for Spring

I follow a zone plan for my home. My home is divided into 10 zones and every month (except July and December) I tackle one of these zones.

March is the month that I organize my living room zone. Spring is around the corner and I want my living room fresh and ready.

The first step in organizing the room is to review my vision for this zone. As this is a shared room it also needs to have a shared vision with my husband, Rob. At times we both use this room singly. I start my day here with coffee and the paper. Later when I am in my office, Rob often sits in his chair with coffee and paper. Together we often connect in this room. We plan our day, week, and future here. For entertainment we work on the daily jumble and crossword puzzle. On a more passive note we often listen to music or perhaps watch a DVD or television. If we are having a light meal, we will often eat here. We entertain family and guests in our living room. We welcome people from our front door.

We want this room to be welcoming and warm. We want this room to be relaxing but yet have positive energy. We want to feel comfortable, secure, and happy in this room. We want our friends to feel comfortable enough to kick off their shoes and stay awhile.

After revising my vision, I scan the room to see if the space is living up to that vision. We have soft comfortable seating and warm accents. Are there things in the room we no longer need or love? This past year we obtained some new CDs and DVDs We need to pare down our collection and pass on those that we have enjoyed but will not likely play often. This makes space for new opportunities. I will make certain that our magazine basket only holds current issues. The accessories and candles will reflect the season. Gone is the nut bowl and poinsettia plant and out are the pastel candles and spring flowers. We will also purge the clothes closet of any extra outerwear or anything we no longer enjoy.

As I go through every zone, I clean and polish as well. By the end of the month, the room will look and feel bright and ready for spring. I will celebrate with fresh flowers, a lit candle, and a nice glass of wine with Rob.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Organizing the Breakfast Room Using the Zone Plan

It’s finally spring! Many people like to do their “spring cleaning” at this time of year. I prefer to do a “zone plan” and do my deep cleaning/purging/organizing all year round. I divide my home into 10 zones and work on one zone a month – skipping the months of July and December. By the end of the year, I have touched everything in my home and rearranged items to fit my currrent vision.
This month I focus on my breakfast room. It is located at my back entrance so for you this might be your mud room or another small room in your home. I use this room for overflow for parties, storage for rarely used cooking wares, party supplies, food storage containers, china, and crystal. I also have a closed top shelf that holds suitcases and baskets. I like this room to be open, inviting, and light.
 
This year, as I go through my storage closet, I will pack up my good china and silver. I no longer use these items when entertaining. I have a son and daughter-in-law who will be glad to inherit these items now. I may also have food containers that have lost their lids or party decorations that no longer fit my style. All of these items will go. I am sure I have a suitcase or two that I have not used in the past couple of years. These will be donated. My goal is to eliminate items in every area. New things come in during the year so some items must be discarded each year or my space will become crowded and disorganised. As I clear the shelves, I deep clean.
 
At the end of the month, I will put fresh flowers on the table and look forward to throwing a party soon.
 
For more help on organizing your space, order my workbook From Vision to Victory: A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home. http://timespaceorg.com/order_book.php
 
 

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Safety First on Home Projects

Has your spring cleaning/organizing session brought up plans to install a new closet system, add shelves, install a new light fixture or fan, paint, or even fix that leaky faucet in the bathroom?

Before you take on any of these projects, take a few moments to analyze what will be involved.

Does your project involve drilling into a wall? Make certain you know what is behind that surface. Hitting pipes or electrical wires could not only lead to a possible injury but for sure would involve extra time and expense.

If you need a hammer, saw, or a screwdriver – make certain before you begin that you have the right tools in your tool kit. Don’t try to substitute with the wrong tool.

If you are working on any project that involves electricity or water, shut off the electricity and close off the nearest water valve. Also make sure that anyone else in the house knows you have shut off the system and why. You don’t want any surprises by a spouse turning the power back on before you are finished.

Know where your emergency equipment is located. Know where your fire extinguisher, buckets, mops, rags, and first aid kit are located in case something goes wrong. Have your phone with you or even better have an “assistant” standing by. I no longer climb around on tall ladders without a friend nearby.

Know and own up to the fact that there are times this is not a DIY project. If you get into a fix, don’t be shy about asking for help. If a project is too big or overwhelming, bring in an expert. It will probably be cheaper in the long haul.

Don’t take your safety for granted. Be extra vigilant. Tackle your projects safely or hire them out. Either way, you’ll enjoy the new look or results when done.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

The Zone Plan – The Breakfast Room

This is the time of year that people traditionally do their spring cleaning. Instead of setting days aside now to spring clean, I use a zone plan. I divide my home into 10 zones and tackle one a month – skipping the months of July and December. Each zone is visited once a year. This allows me to touch everything in my home once a year and make certain that my vision for these areas is still true.

If you check back in my blogs, you will note that January I did my office. February I did the spare bedroom. In April I worked in the living room. This month I focus on my breakfast room. It is located at the back entrance to my home so for you it might be a mud room or any other small room in your house.

The activities that happen in this room are; overflow for parties, storage for some large cooking wares, all party supplies, food containers, china, silver, crystal, and on the top shelf behind sliding doors I store my suitcases. The cat box also lives in this room.

My goal is to clean and organize every thing in this room during the month of April. I will touch everything, clean much of it, and decide if it goes back where it came form or is given away. If I have food containers that have lost their lids – out they go. Party decorations that no longer move me are gone. If I have a suitcase I have not used in years – I donate it. My goal in every zone is to eliminate some of the items in the space. Usually through the year some new things have come in and I don’t want my areas to be crowded or overfull.

At the end of the month I will put some fresh flowers on the table, breathe deeply, and move on to the next zone.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer