Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Time Management and Health


This morning another client wanted to change his appointment for an organizing session. This happens fairly frequently with clients and often the reason is illness, exhaustion, or overwhelm. I'd like to explore how not just reducing clutter and organizing your space but also developing some good time management techniques could actually improve your health.

Here are some practices that help a person stay healthy.
  •  Healthy eating
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • Keeping mentally active
  • Maintaining strong relationships
  • Taking vacations
All of the above practices take time and at best should become routine. If we push ourselves all day long at work and then squander what free time we have on social media or grabbing a snack, we will deplete ourselves and illness, exhaustion, and overwhelm will become a mainstay in our lives.

To allow time to develop these health practices we need to:
  • Develop schedules that are realistic - block off times for self as well as for work and then honor those times.
  • Prioritize - choose the 3 most important things you want to accomplish in a day and start your day with exercise and a good breakfast. Then end your day in time to get enough sleep.
  • Stop multitasking - do one thing and do it well. Aim to complete a task before moving on to another. When you take breaks from a task, make it a meaningful break not just a scroll through twitter or facebook. Instead, read an article or work on a puzzle or take a walk.
  • Schedule times to do things with friends and family. Schedule lunch dates. Schedule vacations. People who take annual vacations are less likely to die from heart disease. They are also less likely to suffer from stress and depression.
I struggle with some of this misuse of time myself and I know lifestyle shifts are not easy but our future selves will surely thank us if we start working on a couple of these practices.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Organizing Space With a Small Child



That new bundle of joy comes into your home and suddenly your home explodes with baby clothes, furniture, baby accessories, toys, books, feeding apparatus, and more. How did this happen and what to do now?


  1. Utilize the container system. I feel that as long as you can contain items in an orderly fashion, you can have as much "stuff" as gives you pleasure. A container can be the shelf for the books, the drawer for the sleepers, the hammock for the stuffed animals, the room for toys, and even consider your house as a container. When a container is full, no more items can come in unless some go away first.
  2. Set ground rules for gifts. When a baby first arrives or even before, there are parties and gifts start arriving. It helps everyone if there is a gift register and there is no sin in taking back to the store duplicates or items that just won't work in your space. After that first influx, let it be known that gifts should just appear on birthdays and special holidays - not every time someone is out shopping and sees something cute. Let gift givers know your boundaries - like no gifts with batteries or a gazillion small pieces or items bigger than a breadbox. If a grandparent or favorite uncle brings in a large or loud gift, thank them and tell them that they should keep that toy at their home for baby to play with when they visit.
  3. Set limits on books. Children have favorites that they love to hear over and over again but I have seen bookcases overflowing with books - for children not even in kindergarten. Cull books regularly. Locate independent book stores that will accept used books for credit. Remember the library? What fun to go once a month or every two weeks and pick out some books to enjoy!
  4. Rotate toys and books. If there are too many books and toys around, the children tend to play with one of them a few minutes and then drop it and go to another one, etc. They get bored easily and can't focus on any one thing. I have been in playrooms where you can't even see the floor. Decide on a good number and variety of toys depending on your child's attention span and age and then store the remainder of toys. In a few months, put away some of the less played with toys (or give them away if all interest is gone or they have aged out of it) and then bring out some of the stashed toys.
  5. Arrange the storage of items that are out so the toys, books, puzzles, etc. can easily be put away. Have items at eye level for the child. Have bins labeled with words and pictures and do not put lids on the bins. Make it easy for small children to scoop up their blocks and dump them into the appropriate bin or container. Teach children at a young age to put their toys away at night.
There is no right way to all of this. Find what works for you and your family. Remember that the house belongs to the adults - not the children. Find your happy place and then enjoy it together.

For more ideas see the following: both books are available on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel.





Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Organizing the Bathroom Zone

If you are following my zone plan, this month is the month to work on organizing your bathrooms. If you have a linen closet, include it in this zone.

Your bathroom is one of the smaller rooms in your home but it is also one that holds many items. A bathroom can get disorganized and cluttered quickly, so it is important to have a vision and a plan for how you want to use this space. Keep clutter to a minimum.

Look at the storage space you have available. Do you have room to store your medicines and first aid material here? Do you have room to house any cleaning materials? To keep your bathroom uncluttered, some of what you store here can go somewhere else.

Use the medicine cabinet, drawers, or space under your sink to store items that you need and use regularly. Store your daily grooming supplies here. Use a bin, small basket, or drawer for cosmetics you use almost daily. A medicine cabinet can store toothpaste, dental floss, deodorant, q tips, and cotton balls. Hair dryers, curling irons, gels, sprays, and all items for your hair might be stored in a container under the sink. If your space is limited, you might also have a hanging bag on the back of your bathroom door for storage. An extra roll of toilet paper and personal hygiene items could also fit under the sink.

If you have drawers, designate each drawer as a container for like items. One drawer might hold everyday makeup, another might hold eye products, and a third hair products, etc.

As you are sorting your like items together, consolidate partial bottles and get rid of any items you are no longer using or items past their expiration date.

Shampoo, body wash, soap, and a wash cloth may be stored inside your shower or tub. There are shower caddies that fit over the door of your shower or over the shower head. Another option is to use a shower dispenser to hold shampoo or body wash.

Medicines can go in bins on a shelf in the linen closet or in the kitchen. Both spaces are better than the actual bathroom as moisture and heat can ruin some meds. Consider sorting your  medicines by type and placing them in separate bins. One bin might hold outdoor items like sunscreen, bug spray, or Benadryl. Another might hold Tylenol, aspirin, and cold/allergy medicines. Still another might hold harger items like hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, and mouthwash. Get rid of expired items while sorting. Not only do some medicines lose their effectiveness over time but they can actually become harmful. Dispose of these items safely. Do not toss medicines in the trash and never flush them into our water system. The DEA offers a Prescriptions Drug Take Back Day which occurs in October this year. Check http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html for more information.

If you have a linen closet, keep extra towels, cosmetics, and cleaning supplies there. The linen closet is also a good place to store any duplicate items. But as you organize, be ruthless about throwing out items. You don't need 5 partial bottles of shampoo, 6 sample soaps, or that free sample in foil of a shampoo/conditioner that came in the mail.

If you don't have a linen closet you may use towel hooks, over the toilet shelving, or baskets to store your extra towels, wash cloths, and toilet paper.

When you have your bathroom organized and decluttered, then work on a maintenance schedule to keep it under control. Next year, when you revisit this zone, it will be an easier process.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ready to Go

Sometimes we have prior warning that it is our "time to go." Sometimes there is no warning at all. I keep reminding people that we never know when we will turn up our toes on 285 or some other unexpected catastrophe. So, we should always be in a state of readiness.

I think we all know about the importance of the will, the power of attorney, and the living trust, but what about some of the other paper work? I have heard of estates being held up for over a year because a car title couldn't be found, or a husband who couldn't get into his deceased wife's accounts because he did not have the password.

Does your executor know where your important papers are located? Some examples might be account statements, insurance policies, beneficiary designations, deeds, car and boat titles, stock and bond certificates, business paperwork, and tax returns.

But let's go beyond that. I was blessed in the fact that the death of my mother and my husband were expected. We had a chance to discuss burial plans, what circumstances were to be considered if we had to make a decision to "pull the plug", where important papers were located, what items were to go to special people. While neither of my family were high tech, it is still important to know such things as the IPhone lock code, passwords, account numbers, etc.

The greatest gift you can give your family is to set up files with all the vital information in one place and to have "the talk" with family on what your final wishes are on your funeral, your possessions, and anything else you can think of. The planning in advance will never be regretted and it will free up your loved ones to focus on their emotional needs and your specialness in their lives.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

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

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Zone Plan: A Method for Organizing Your Home

My coaching program, The Zone Plan: A Method for Organizing Your Home, is now starting year 3! This program helps you set a vision, develop a plan, and implement the plan so that your home truly becomes a place you love.

Every month, except for July and December, we concentrate on a project. Because I have a smallish home and have done this on my own for years, by the end of each year I have touched everything in my home.

This month I am working on my entry area, a storage wall in my laundry area, and finally just cleaning a back hallway. My vision for the back entry area is to create a space where incoming and outgoing items are held. My husband hangs a couple of pieces of his seasonal outerwear on hooks and I hang a favorite hat. Cloth grocery bags are temporarily hung on the doorknob as soon as groceries are unpacked so the next person going to the car carries them out. Outgoing mail is laid on the bench until the next trip to the mailbox. I smile when I enter my home by this door as I have hung and placed some whimsical art here. The entry way is right outside my office, so the bench holds some of my office supplies.

The storage wall in my laundry room has many purposes. Here I have recycling bins, a cat box, extra cat supplies, bird seed, a tool kit, cleaning supplies, and some large serving pieces I use for parties. It is quite a mix but works well. As I organize this area, I mainly look for items that I no longer use or have expired and for items that have gotten dropped into this space but really need to go to the outside storage zone.

While I have personally used this zone plan for years, I am truly excited when others join me in this program.

If you would like to try it, join me for the 10 month Zone Plan Group Coaching program. We will benefit from exploring 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, and a closed secret Facebook group. All of this is designed to set you on your path of living in the home you envision so that you can control your space.

Each month we concentrate on one zone of your home or a project of your choice. I suggest a zone and model it but the beauty of this program is the concepts will fit any zone or project you want to tackle.

This program is powerful, yet affordable. The yearly rate is only $450. There is even a 2-pay option if you need to spread out payments.

If you want results and are ready to make your hoe the one of your vision, then join us! Contact me at jonda@timespaceorg.com.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

NAPO Conference 2017


Tomorrow I head off to my 10th NAPO conference. This year it is held in Pittsburgh.

As I think about our conferences, I always look forward to learning about the latest trends, resources, and products in the organizing industry. I get excited thinking about sitting in on workshops and presentations given by some of the great experts in our field.

During the conference I always receive information and inspiration that improve my services to my clients. I enjoy meeting face to face organizers I have only chatted with via Facebook, reconnecting with organizers that I only see at conference, and meeting organizers from all over the globe.

I also look forward to a social evening with other organizers from our Georgia Chapter as we go out to dinner one evening and catch up with each other.

When I return from conference, I always develop an action plan to fully benefit from my conference experience.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer