Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Teaching Organizational Skills to Young Children



As a professional organizer, I spend a lot of my time teaching or transferring organizational skills to adults. Many of these adults have children who also need this help.

Diane Quintana (CPO, CPO-CD) and I have been aware of the importance of teaching young children organizational skills. Diane and I met when we were both working with the NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) in the schools program. This was a program that went into schools and introduced elementary children to some of the basic organizational skills. We were sad to see this program fold.

Taking matters into our own hands, we co-authored two books - Suzie's Messy Room & Benji's Messy Room. These books were written for parents and children to share. We took some basic organizational strategies:
  • Break projects down into small manageable steps
  • Sort like with like
  • Cull collections
  • Assign a place or home for belongings
  • Reward for jobs completed
We then applied these strategies to the task of cleaning up a room. These same strategies are applicable to any project the children (or parents) take on.

We have gone on to develop presentations for parents on teaching organizational skills to their children and have developed activities for the children. We feel this is also something that should be taught in the schools as well as at home.

For more information, please contact me - jonda@timespaceorg.com or 404-299-5111.
To order books, check out my web page - http://timespaceorg.com/books/ .

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Michael Phelps and ADHD: A Success Story


Michael Phelps has been outstanding this year at the Rio 2016 Olympics. I believe he is the most decorated Olympian of all time.

What I recently learned is that Michael Phelps has been diagnosed with ADHD since he was 9 years old.

His mother, Debbie, who taught middle school for more than two decades, worked with Michael and his school to get him the extra help and attention he needed. When Michael struggled with behaviors and academics, his mother looked for ways to use his strengths and interests to find solutions. She helped him overcome his hatred of reading by giving him the sports section of the paper and books about sports to read. She got a math tutor that used word problems tailored to Michael's interests. She and Michael developed visual cues and signals to keep Michael aware of consequences of his behavior. When he was 10 she came up with the signal of making a "C" with her hand that stood for "compose yourself." Every time she saw him getting frustrated, she'd give him the sigh. She shared that she realized her really "got it" when he gave her the sign once when she got stressed making dinner!

Many people use physical activity to help control their ADHD. When you are physically active, your brain releases lots of neurotransmitters, which increases the attention system's ability to be regular and consistent by spurring the growth of new receptors in certain areas of the brain. This has many good effects like reducing the need for new stimuli and increasing alertness. (Michael Lara, MD in The Exercise Prescription for ADHD in CHADD's Attention magazine)

Michael Phelps has said that he found that swimming and competition helped him maintain his focus. Michael took something he loved and used it to shape his life. Here is a lesson where we can all benefit.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Would Virtual Organizing Work for You?





One of the services I offer is virtual organizing. Many people are not sure how this works and if it would work for them. Let's explore those topics now.

How does virtual organizing work?

  • First we have a free phone consultation to explore if this would work
  • If we decide it will work, you fill out a questionnaire that helps solidify your intentions and goals for the sessions
  • If appropriate, you send pictures of the areas we target
  • You develop your vision of what the area will look like and how you will feel
  • We brainstorm all that needs to happen to reach your goals
  • We set up a completion date and develop a timeline
  • Each session we refine the plan and you put dates on your calendar to complete the tasks
  • As the organizer, I hold you accountable, help you prioritize, and make suggestions as well as keep you motivated
  • Once the goal is reached, we develop a maintenance routine
Would this work for me? Yes, if:
  • You can work by yourself and are motivated but want/need some guidance and accountability
  • You realize that organizational help is important but you are on a budget
  • You are comfortable communicating via phone, email, skype, and can send emails with photos
  • You are creative and need custom-tailored sessions
  • You are not physically close to professional organizers but still want their help
For more information visit my web site http://timespaceorg.com/services/ or contact me by email (jonda@timespaceorg.com) or phone (404-299-5111).



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

August - Clean Out Your Laundry Room Month

August is the perfect time to tackle your laundry room zone because:
  1. You are coming out of vacation mode and are now washing and putting away those clothes
  2. You are going into a new school year and have school clothes and sports clothing that need washing
  3. You want your laundry zone to be organized and efficient for the upcoming season
Laundry zones can be large or small and located in many places. Some older homes have the laundry zone in the basement. Some are in a hallway or at the top of the stairs behind folding doors. I've seen them right off kitchens or next to the closet of a master bedroom. What you don't want to see are mounds of clothes that start migrating into other areas.

Keeping up with the laundry becomes less of a chore with a well organized space and a plan for keeping on top of the never-ending influx of dirty clothes. The idea is to keep laundry moving. Only bring to the laundry zone the items you intend to wash right now. Leave everything else in the designated dirty clothes hampers. As soon as clothes are dry, get them back to their "home". Delegate putting the items away to the family members who own the items. Even young children can sort and put items away. If an item needs repair or ironing, have a designated place to store those items and then schedule a time to do that task. You should not have your Christmas table cloth in the ironing bin in August.

Depending on the size of your laundry zone, you may also use this zone for purposes other than just doing the laundry. If there is room, it makes sense to store your ironing supplies there. My area is large enough to store pet supplies, recycling bins, cleaning supplies, and some large entertainment pieces. What is important is that you have a vision and a plan for how you intend to use your space. Then zone it out accordingly. What you don't want is something stuck into your laundry zone "just for now".

During this month, look at everything that is stored in this zone. Keep like things stored together. Toss out anything you no longer need, use, or love. If you have ended up with two bottles of Woolite, consolidate them. Now is the time to pull out your washer and dryer and clean behind them. By the end of the month, your laundry room should be clean and well organized.

Having this zone organized may not make you love to do laundry but it will certainly make it less of a chore.

I offer a Zone Plan teleclass that will walk you through organizing a zone in your house ten months of the year (taking July and December off

To learn more about my Zone Plan click on http://timespaceorg.com/services/.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer