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  • Writer's pictureJonda Beattie

Using the Zone Plan – Home Office

It’s a new year! Time to get organized! I love for my home to be organized and clean. It would be lovely to wave a magic wand and on Jan. 1 my home would be perfectly organized to start the new year. However, that isn’t going to happen and I refuse to knock myself out to even try and attempt it. What I do instead is make a plan for the year using my zone plan. I divide my home into 10 zones and then tackle one zone every month – giving myself July and December off.

January is my office zone. By the end of the year, my office tends to feel crowded. Files are busting at the seams. New organizational books clog my bookcase. Project bins are overflowing.

Now is the logical time to organize and clear out the files, drawers, bookshelves, and project bins to allow for breathing space and new growth. I will take the entire month to work on the office zone. I divide my office up into four parts and tackle one area a week. My desk and file cabinet are the most time consuming, so I usually do this the first week when I feel highly motivated and usually have less client hands on time scheduled.

Some papers are moved to archival storage, some are tossed or shredded, and some are set aside for tax preparation. The remainder of the papers returns to their files. I also go through my desk drawers and toss supplies that no longer serve me. My bookcase and credenza will follow in the next week. Anything that I don’t use on a regular basis will either be tossed or moved off site. I have one shelf in the laundry room that holds some binders and crates. I count this shelf as office and will work on it next. My office also has a meeting room area and that will be my last section.

As I work through these areas I hold to my vision of how I want this zone to look and feel. I want my office to be attractive and welcoming both to me and to those who visit. I have recently bought a new vibrant piece of art that reinforces my vision for this area.

By the end of the month, I will call whatever has been accomplished, “Good enough” and move on to the next zone. The office is now ready for just regular maintenance until the next year. I always celebrate by buying fresh flowers for my desk.

Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer

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