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

NAPO Annual Conference – 2012

Next week I will be attending the NAPO conference in Baltimore. This will be my 6th conference. I am really getting excited about it!
I always like to set some goals for myself before I head off. I want to get as much as possible from this glorious experience.

This year I want to learn about some of the latest trends, resources, and products in the organizing industry. I want to sit at the feet of some of the great experts in our field and use their knowledge to improve my services. I will listen to presenters not only for their information but for tips on how to improve my presenting skills. I will have a meeting with other organizer/presenters as well. I plan to meet and network with organizers from all over – some of which I chat regularity with on Facebook. I look forward to rooming with Jeri Dansky, an organizer from the San Francisco area.

I also plan to have some fun. I know I will have some social time with organizers from my own chapter – I believe more than 20 are attending and several are presenting. I also hope to have a chance to see some of Baltimore.

When I return, I will develop an action plan from this wonderful experience.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer


One of the presentations I attended at the NAPO conference was Boost Your Resilience by Dean M. Becker. I like to share the great ideas from conference with others.
Our constantly changing environment, demands of our jobs, and the tough economy cause stress and anxiety. So what skills do we need to do better and feel better in this environment? Dean’s statement “More than education, more than experience, more than training, it’s resilience that determines who succeeds and who fails.”
He pointed out what resilience is not-(see picture). Doing the same things over and over again and expecting something different is not being resilient. Trying to solve the unsolvable is not resilience. Giving up too soon is not resilience.
He goes on to say that “The scientific research also shows that more than genetics, more than intelligence, more than any other factor, it is the Thinking Style that determines who is resilient and who is not.”
One of the big take aways from all this is that events do not directly impact what we do. It is our thoughts after an event that influence what we do. Your thoughts impact how you feel and react.
My challenge to you is to be aware of your thoughts when you encounter stress. I would love to hear your experiences on this topic.

Jonda S. BeattieProfessional Organizer

Time Management Presentation

Today I gave a presentation called I Don’t Have Time for Time Management to members of the Society for Design Administration. What a wonderful group! So much energy in that room. We covered topics like the Myths of Time, Why are we Time Disorganized, and Rules for Conquering Time. We did a couple of exercises, one of which invoved making decisions quickly as to where things that come to your desk or desktop should go. The group participated and a lot of fun was had. I enjoy giving these presentations and if you know of a group who meets monthly or quarterly and is looking for presentations have them contact me.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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I was blessed to give 2 presentations this week. They were both on the same topic but still very different presentations. Both presentations were on the steps to follow when doing an organizational project and were based on my book From Vision To Victory.
The first presentation was given at the Southeastern Flower Show. The audience was there because of the flowers but as I pointed out, the steps in the book can be used to organize anything- even your garden. The audience tended to come and go during the presentation but I enjoyed it and the book signing afterward.
The second presentation was to the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Support Group. This group was great at participating and giving feedback. They came up with their own unique situations and I really just facilitated while the also came up with some of the answers.
I love to give presentations to groups of all types and sizes but I do think my favorites are the smaller sizes that will respond, take notes, and participate.
If you are interested in an organizational presentation, please contact me.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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Book Launch

My Book Launch for From Vision to Victory A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home, at Eagle Eye Book Shop was quite a success. I really appreciate all of you who came out in the cold, icy weather to attend. I enjoyed giving the presentation and answering the questions. I loved that so many of you bought books and had them signed. It was a really special day for me that culminated a lot of time and effort. It was great that so many of the people who contributed to the book were there. My Goals Group was there, some of my BNI (Business Networking International) group, as well as my graphic designer-Brenda Sanders, my media organizer-GiGi Miller, my proof reader-Sue Clements, and my business coach-Wendy Watkins. Judith Kolberg, my writing coach, could not attend as she was in New Orleans, but she sent a card. My son, Darin, attended as did many of my friends. It was a real celebration for me. I am now enjoying selling my book on my website. At some point running to the post office to mail off ordered books may become tiring-but not yet!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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Freelance Forum Presentation

I had a great time this evening giving a presentation to the Freelance Forum on Time Management. They were a very attentive and interesting group. I always love to read the evaluations when I get home and see what impressed the group the most. It is interesting that sometimes what you throw in almost as an afterthought comes across as the most important to a portion of the audience. This evening, while talking about perfectionism and how it can get in your way and cause procrastination, I reminded the group that when God created the earth that on the last day he looked at it and proclaimed,”It is good.” He never said it was perfect.
Several people noted this as something important in the presentation.
It just hit the right note at the right time.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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I gave a presentation today at the Decatur Public Library on Downsizing- a topic near and dear to my heart. Part of the presentation was on the reasons for downsizing. We came up with:
Money, Honey
We’re Not Getting Any Younger
I’d rather be knitting ( or something else besides maintenance work)
I’m tired of all this stuff
I think we need to keep in mind that downsizing is a continual process. It lets us get rid of old, past life items so that we can make room for new things to come into our life.
One idea that really struck a chord with this group was the “marinating” box idea (not my idea and I cannot quote whose original idea it is). The group liked the idea of being able to box up items they were not certain they were ready to part with and label the box and stash it away. If after a year or so they did not miss any of the items, it was safe to get rid of the items in the box. It was a really great group to present to- a lot of participation. I would be interested if anyone else has ideas on good reasons for downsizing.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer


Organizational Magic

At our last GA-NAPO meeting we had a fantastic presentation by Joe Turner of Turner Magic Entertainment.
He shared with us ways to organize and recall information. He made me realize what the mind could do if it stayed focused on the task at hand. As a presenter, he showed how to generate attention while giving presentations. As organizers we are used to organizing space and time but to get some thoughts on how to organize the mind as well is a new thought. When working with clients and helping them find new places for their possessions, giving them memory cues to help them (and ourselves) remember where the items were put is a good plan.
Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

GA-NAPO conference

The GA-NAPO conference last Friday at the Loudermilk Conference Center was awesome. It made me proud to be part of such a fantastic, hard-working organization. Top-notch presenters and panels were enthusiastic, helpful, and entertaining. I had the privilege of introducing one of my favorite presentors, Judith Kolberg, who spoke on the “Super Powers of Disorganized People”. I am back at the home office now working on that follow up action plan.