Summer Time is Party Time

I love to throw parties and I am doing two parties this summer. One this weekend and one next month. when I tell people that I really enjoy hosting a party I get a variety of responses – everything from “You must be crazy!” to “Me, too!” A lot of people fall into the “Well, I’d like to give a party, but I just don’t have the ______” (fill in the blank with time, money, energy, etc.).

If you think you would like to throw a party but are worried about all that it entails, consider these points:

  • Visualize. What would your ideal party look like and how would you want to feel? Would you be happiest with an impromptu affair that would involve people dropping in and bringing a dish – either at your home or at a park? Are you more comfortable with a planned party where you are in control of the food and you know in advance how many people are coming? Would you like a sit down formal party that you either host in your home or in a restaurant?
  • Choose a date. Unless you are doing the impromptu party and who shows up is not important, you will want to give people enough warning to keep the date open. I usually send out a save the date email about six weeks before a party. I may check with my besties to see what dates would work for them before deciding on the date.
  • Brainstorm what needs to happen to make this party a fun one for you as well as for your guests. Write down everything you can think of. This list can be edited later.
  • Develop a time line. This is what makes giving a party fun for me. I take my list which includes such things as getting my yard up to snuff, having my house clean, as well as a menu and decorations. I may have 20 or more items on this list but if I spread out the tasks, none of them are overwhelming. When I have every task scheduled on my calendar, I can relax knowing everything will be great.
  • Enjoy your party! On the day of the party don’t overdo. Be ready to roll with whatever happens and know that when your friends start to show up it’s time your you to enjoy their company.
If you are interested in having a peek at my party timeline, send me a request via email (jonda@timespaceorg.com) and I will send you a sample.


Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Let’s Throw a Party!

During the holidays chances are that you are either throwing a party or are a part of setting up a party. It might be a large Thanksgiving gathering, a choir or work party, a cookie exchange, or a gala New Year Eve party.

Since I love to give parties, over the years I have developed a plan that lets me enjoy my own parties. The plan involves backwards planning and looks like this:

  • Start with your vision. What is the purpose of this party? Where is it held? How will it look and feel if it turns out perfectly? Look over each component of the party and see it clearly – the local, the food, the people, the ambiance.
  • Choose a date for this event. Then at least six weeks out develop your guest list and send a save the date email followed by the actual invitation.
  • Take each component and decide what needs to happen for the vision to come true. For example, if the party is held in your home and it is a Christmas party, you see your home decorated and set up for the party. Make a list of every detail that needs attention between now and the party. If there is a decorated Christmas tree in your party space you will list decorating the tree, bringing out your decorations, putting up the tree, buying the tree – probably on four different days.
  • Develop your timeline. Put all the tasks on your calendar. Now follow your plan.
If you follow your plan you never have to worry about if you have time to get ready. If you are interested in the timeline I have developed for my Holiday 2017 party just contact me at jonda@timespaceorg.com and request it. You can see how I blocked out times for baking and most of one weekend before the party to prepare the house. This is what it takes to make my vision come true.
Enjoy!

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

Party Perfect Preparation

I love to give parties! It’s important to me to have everything in place by party time so that I can also enjoy the party.

When planning my parties, I first set my date, and then look at the guest list, the theme, the menu, and the location.

Date: I try to find a date that I feel will work for most of my friends. I usually avoid holiday weekends like the 4th of July and any weekends that I already know my best friends are unavailable. I chose the date at least 6 weeks out and send out save the date emails. About a month before the party I send out paper invitations.

Guests: Guests are the most important component of the party. I love to invite a diverse group of people who will enjoy each others’ company. I usually have a core group of long standing friends and then add some new friends that I think everyone will enjoy. For me, the whole idea of the party is to bring people together to visit.

Theme: The theme holds everything together and makes the planning simpler. The theme determines the invitations, the food, the decorations, and any activities. I feel that having different themes keeps the parties fresh.

Menu: The menu usually follows the theme. I also keep in mind my guests’ food preferences and restrictions. I try to see that everyone has at least a couple of items that they can eat and drink. My house is small so I cannot accommodate everyone sitting down to a table to eat. I have a lot of finger foods. I usually have on the menu a mixture of items I prepare and order.

Location: Usually my parties are at my home but I have had some great ones at other locations. When giving a party at my home, I go for “clean enough” so that the board of health won’t be concerned but not so clean that open heart surgery can be performed. Good enough is good enough. People are more interested in each other than my home.

Once I have found my date, I put together a timeline. I list every task that must be done before that first guest knocks on my door. Then I put an intended date by each one of those tasks and enter them into my calendar. The timeline is what keeps me sane. I know that there is a lot to do but I also know when I plan to do it.

When the date and time arrives, I am ready to enjoy my party as much as my guests. I do love to give a party!

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer