Three Benefits of Using a Zone Plan to Organize Your Home
What is a Zone Plan?
For a very long time, even before becoming a professional organizer, I have used a Zone Plan in my home. I divide my home into ten zones. Each month except for July and December I do a deep cleaning and reorganization in that one zone.
Why this works for me
1. Breaks a large task into a manageable task
I am completely overwhelmed with the idea of spring cleaning. The house is too big, and I have too much stuff. And the spring is a time I want to get outside more and have fun. By using my zone plan, I only concentrate on one area of my home a month. At the beginning of the month, I set up a schedule by week for that one zone. I feel that by doing this I can really deep clean and reorganize everything that is in that zone. I pull out everything from all the cabinets. I wash the windows. I clean the ceiling fans. If there are rugs or upholstery in that zone they get cleaned. By the end of the month, I have a sparkling clean and organized area and I move on to the next zone.
2. Everything gets touched and reevaluated each year
At the end of the year, everything has been touched, cleaned, and reorganized in my house. Every box has been looked into. Memorabilia has been revisited. Kitchen cookware and gadgets are reevaluated. Holiday ornaments have been culled.
3. If life gets in your way you know that next year it will get revisited
In a perfect year I have completed it all. But there can be months where life gets in the way, and I don’t complete a zone. There may be a family crisis or illness. Or there may be a new grandchild to visit or a lovely trip to take. Usually, these hiccups don’t take up an entire month so some tasks in that zone do get done. But by the end of the month, if the zone is not completed, that’s OK. I just move on to the next zone and know that one year from now I will be doing this zone again.
Why ten zones when there are twelve months in a year?
I like to give myself a couple of months off from the deep cleaning. In July I might do a bit of catch up on a task but more likely I am giving a party or going on a trip, and I want to put my energy and attention on that. In December I want to enjoy the holidays and spend my energy putting up decorations and maybe giving a party.
Of course, there is always the maintenance cleaning and purging that is ongoing all year long. It’s not like you do a zone and then just leave it alone. You still clean and clear up your spaces. But the cleaning and decluttering is not as deep as the work done each month when you concentrate on the one zone.
If you want help in setting up your own zone plan or just some accountability in organizing one space in your home or working any other organizational plan either outside or inside your home, join Diane Quintana and me on our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.