Interview Series: Hoarding Experts – Judith Kolberg

Over
the next few months, we will be interviewing professionals who work with the
hoarding population.  We are asking them
to share their insight on people who hoard and people who think they have the
hoarding disorder.


Our
first interview was with Judith Kolberg who has been a professional organizer
for over 30 years. In 1989, Judith founded the National Study Group on Chronic
Disorganization, which would later become
The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD).
Besides being an experienced organizer Judith is also an Organizing Industry
Thought Leader, Squall Press Publisher and book coach.


Questions
and Responses:

1.     What training
have you taken?

I have taken
quite a few classes on hoarding and chronic disorganization and have taught a
few as well. I feel that education is very important if you are working with
people with chronic disorganization or possible hoarding disorder. 


2.     What
percentage of your clients do you suspect have hoarding tendencies?

I am
deliberately working with less of this population but in the past, I would say
25% to 30%. 


3.     Have you ever
worked with clients who have had a hoarding diagnosis by a psychiatrist?

Yes, a couple
of times. There was never a referral from the psychiatrist, but the diagnosis
had been made.


4.     As you start
working with clients, are there times you discover this is something other than
hoarding disorder?

Never. The
amount of clutter may be overestimated or underestimated and very often there
may be other things going on along with the hoarding disorder but when I am
called in to assist on a potential hoarding job, there has always been that
tendency present.


5.     Do you
usually work alone or with a team?

I always
start off alone. I take time to acquaint the client with the process we will
follow and to build trust with the client. I let the client know from the
beginning though, that there will be a team working on the project when the
time is right. The members of the team are flexible as the need arises. 


6.     Have you ever
walked away from a project?

Yes, I will
not take on a project if the client can’t agree to the system or the parameters
that are needed to move the project forward.


7.     Do you have a
shareable list of resources for families or other people working with hoarding
disorders?

I have had
great success with
Steri-Clean – and
locally in Georgia with Rhonda Chance of Atlanta Forensic Cleaning.


8.     Do you have
any books or articles that you have written that you would like to share?

In What Every Professional Organizer Needs to
Know About Hoarding
there are some very practical forms. The book also
gives help with understanding processing issues. And because the digital world
can become overwhelmed with clutter, Getting
Organized in the Era of Endless
is a useful resource.

Diane
N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer, Certified Professional
Organizer in Chronic Disorganization, ICD Master Trainer and owner of DNQ
Solutions, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane teaches busy people how to
become organized and provides them with strategies and solutions for
maintaining order in their lives. She specialized in residential and
home-office organizing and in working with people challenged by ADD, Hoarding,
and Chronic Disorganization.


Jonda
S. Beattie is a Professional Organizer and owner of Time Space Organization
based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, author of three books 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, virtual organizing, and moderates a
Zone Plan Teleclass for those who prefer to work on their own with organizational
coaching.


Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

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

NAPO 2016 Conference


Today I head off to my 9th NAPO conference. This year it is held in Atlanta. Even though it is near my home in Tucker, GA, I am staying at the hotel so that I can maximize my time.

I look forward to learning about the latest trends, resources, and products in the organizing industry. I am exciting about sitting in on workshops and presentations given by some of the great experts in our field.

During the conference I look forward to receiving information and inspiration that will improve my services to my clients. I enjoy meeting face to face organizers that 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. We plan to go out for dinner one evening and catch up with each other.

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

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Overdue book


They say it takes as long to birth a book as a baby. Well, I’m about 4 months overdue and feeling the pressure. This baby.. er book has got to be delivered this month. With any luck it will be at the printers by next week. I’m excited about the prospect but nervous as well. I’ll want to look it over carefully to see that all the parts are there and that nothing is wrong. I dream that it will grow up to be useful to a lot of people. I want to watch over it but let it stand on its own as well.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it certainly has taken a village to get this book up and running. My goals group has been with me and encouraging me from the beginning – helping me make decisions about the cover and letting me bounce content ideas off of them. Judith Kolberg has been coaching and teaching me almost from gestation. Sue Clements has been proofing the progress. Brenda Sanders (my graphic designer) has been there for the last months before delivery. Eagle Eye Bookstore is going to give it it’s Christening Party…
I hope all of my friends will welcome it into their homes!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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Getting Help

I am a great believer in knowing your strengths and weaknesses and using your strengths to your advantage and getting help with those weaknesses. I am also a great believer in having a team of people who will help you be the best you can be for your clients. You see a picture of my tech helper, Nate Tate. He was here this evening and is scheduled to show up once or twice a month to help me with tasks on my computer that would either frustrate me, take waaay to much of my time, or that I just plain don’t know how to do. Tonight he put a link on Facebook so that people could sign up for my newsletter (full of tips and ideas). He also read the directions I received on a possible recall for my battery (could overheat and pose a fire and burn hazard- yuck!). He never knows when he shows up what tasks I have for him but he always comes up with answers.
I also use a graphic designer, Brenda Sanders of Sanders Designs, for logo help, ads, and now graphics for my book.
Then I also have a web master, Kelley Barbar of WebWeavers and I have used Jackie Goldstein of Creative Direction for branding, Brian Hilliard of Agito Consulting for marketing, and Wendy Watkins of Passion Fruit for business coaching. I use Judith Kolberg for a book coach and Sue Clements for proofing. I also have a Goals Group that meets once a month to support each other on our projects and goals. I love all the great ideas and support I get from this team and it frees me up to work more with clients.
I feel that we should all look for that help we need so that we can use our talents to help others.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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Feng Shui Session

Last Friday I had a session with Jenna Boyd, my Feng Shui consultant, of Elements of Harmony. I discovered that I had lost a lot of the metal element over the last year. This is not a good thing for me as metal is the element that contains, makes sense of things, and keeps things organized. I have recently felt fragmented so this was not a surprise to me. Jenna has put together a plan for me to make changes in my home to help me get back in balance and truly with the few steps I have already implemented, I feel much more in control again. It is great to have experts that I can turn to when I need help. Jenna has been an inspiration to me and has helped me balance my home and home office for years. Like with organizing, you don’t do it and then you are done. Things change. Times change. You change. Maintenance and awareness are part of the process of keeping balanced as well as keeping your home organized and clutter free.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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NAPO 2009 Annual Conference

This coming week I will be attending the 2009 NAPO Annual Conference. This will be my third conference and I am very excited about it. At our conferences we learn about the latest trends and resources in our industry. We get to network with organizers from all over the country. We discover new organizing systems and resource to share with our clients. We learn new business and marketing skills. Other organizers share what has worked well for them. Scott McKain will be our Opening Keynote speaker and Michael Port will be our Closing Keynote speaker. In between there will be days of workshops and visits to the expo hall. After a week off, I will be ready to share a lot of great new ideas!

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Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer