Priorities – Me Time

I love my work and I work hard but that is only one part of my life.

I love my husband and my family as well as a whole set of friends who are almost like family. I love my home but I also love to travel. I know the importance of taking care of myself.

So, for the next 15 days I am going to take care of myself and travel with my husband to Greece. Going back to visit Greece has been on my bucket list for a long, long, time.

For the next 15 days I am going to eat a lot of delicious food, walk a lot, meet new people,  and jut relax. I intend to come home with a whole lot of experiences and memories. I will stay connected to clients, family, and friends while gone but only minimally. I plan to come back invigorated and ready to resume my normal routines.

ασφαλή ταξίδια (safe travels)

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Organize That Traveling Suitcase

Weather is getting nicer and many of us are looking forward to some spring or summer travel. I know it is not fun to schlep around multiple or huge suitcases. Here are some tips to make packing for that trip a breeze.

  1. Make a list. I keep a master list that I modify for each trip. This keeps me from forgetting my phone charger or medicated face cream (both in original pack and repack to come home). Then for each trip I list what I am really taking and print it off. This goes in the outside flap of my suitcase.
  2. Start early. I start laying out outfits a couple of days before the trip. I know from past experience that if I wait until the last minute, I am no good at making decisions and pack waaay too much.
  3. Pare down. Take only what you are sure you will need. Plan on wearing some outfits twice. If it is going to be cool, take only one sweater. Plan to layer. I always feel that if I do forget something I absolutely need, it will be an excuse to go shopping (but this has never yet happened).
  4. Plan outfits. Lay out your outfits before packing. How can you mix and match? Only pack jewelry that goes with those outfits.
  5. Clear out clutter. When packing your hygiene/cosmetic care products, only pack what you are sure you need. Clear out the extraneous clutter. I use a soft dopp kit that can be scrunched a bit.
  6. Plan. Pack your bags with a plan in mind. Put your shoes – one or two pairs – at the bottom. Stuff the shoes with socks or underwear. Roll up most of your clothing to save room ( and reduce wrinkles). Place folded items that don’t roll well on top. Last, tuck in smaller items.
  7. Contain dirty clothes. Pack a plastic bag for dirty clothes or designate a space in your suitcase for the dirty clothes. For short trips I use a zippered net section in the lid of my suitcase.
  8. Plan carry on. If you are flying and have a carry on, pack your prescriptions, expensive jewelry (but why take it?), money, camera, tickets, itinerary, keys, and a book or kindle in this bag. If room, carry one change of clothes.
  9. Save space for return. For the return trip, take lots of pictures and keep souvenirs to a minimum. But still, when you pack your bag leave a little room for that special item.
  10. Just for fun – look at the fantastic packing skills in this video.

Bon Voyage!

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Making an Organizational Plan for Your Vacation

School is almost over and vacation time must be coming up soon. I love to travel. Give me an airline ticket and put me on a plane for almost anywhere and I am happy.

However, when traveling with a family, a little more planning and organizing will make the vacation less stressful and a happier experience for everyone.

First the “when” needs to be addressed. Even in the summer children and adults have busy schedules and obligations. So get out the calendar and find a period of time that will work for everyone.

Now “where” should you go? Brainstorm with everyone to find out what people would love to do. Then “get real.” Look at the time allotted and the money available. If everyone is on board and knows the limitations, there will be less chance for disappointment.

Once you settle on when and where, make a checklist of all that needs to be accomplished before liftoff. Make your reservations for airplane, car rental, and hotels. Notify family and friends you might want to visit along the way. Look up attractions and fun restaurants you might want to visit. Contact people to dog sit, water the lawn, mow, pick up your mail, or any other chores you would like done while you are away. Put all travel information into a brightly colored folder. Share your itinerary with someone in case of emergency, including how to contact you.

Prepare a packing list. It is helpful to have a master packing list on your computer that can be adjusted to time of year, area of travel, and type of travel (I might carry a bit more if traveling by car). Lay out outfits according to the weather. Pack clothes that can be layered. Find items that can mix and match and limit color choices. When the final decisions are made, type up the final packing list and put it in the suitcase. This keeps the charger or travel clock from being left behind in the hotel room. If traveling with children, pack some activity bags and snack bags.

Yeah! Let’s go!

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Holiday Travel

Many of us will be traveling over the holidays. Planning for this travel experience can help keep it from being a dreaded time and might even turn it into a part of your overall holiday experience.
If reservations are involved in your travel, designate a folder or better yet a bright colored plastic envelope to hold all reservation information- car reservations, flight, bus, or train reservations, hotel reservations, etc. If you need your passports, slip them in there too. This envelope will travel with you in your car or carry on.
Have a packing list. This will not only make sure you get everything packed but look at it again before coming home to make certain nothing gets left behind. Don’t forget to include items like medicines and books.
If you are traveling by plane and parking your car at the airport, take a picture of the parking location sign with your camera phone or digital camera in case you lose that slip of paper with the location jotted down on it.
Before taking off, check the weather at destinations and check on any new wrinkle in what TSA is requiring.
If you are traveling out of the country, scan your passport, driver’s license, and any other important document and email them to yourself so that if you find yourself in a position where you need a copy, you can simply access your email and print them out.
Always put your flight number and name inside each checked bag in case the bag tag falls off.
If part of your travel involves traveling with young ones, put together a pacifying travel kit – something new for each child like a book or quiet game or a camera or a notebook to draw and write a journal. Also add snacks that travel well as well as sanitizer and wipes.
Don’t push yourself when traveling. Leave extra time. Try to enjoy the trip. Allow lots of time between connections – time to get a meal, stretch your legs, or to read or listen to a book on tape.
My son, Darin, and I will be traveling to Ohio by car. We will rent a car as we both drive “clunkers.” We will pack books and music, food, and extra outerwear, boots, and blankets. It will be a good visit time for us as well.
Stay safe over the holidays!
Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer