Interview with an Organizer – Jonda Beattie
October 17, 2016
Organize-It is pleased to welcome Jonda Beattie as our second guest in the Interview with an Organizer blog feature. Jonda is a former teacher with a master’s degree in special education and the owner of Time Space Organization, a consultancy in metro Atlanta. She has have been featured in a Women’s World kitchen organizing article, and has appeared (with an organizational team) on both the Buried Alive and Hoarders television shows. She was also interviewed on the Local Friends and Neighbors Show, Fox 5 – Good Day Atlanta, and on Book Your Success. Her organizing credentials are impressive and include memberships in NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers), ICD (the Institute for Challenging Disorganization), and as CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder).
LH: Can you tell me a little bit about your history? What was your path into professional organizing and how long have you been doing it?
JB: I was a special education teacher for 30 years. The last 3 years I was a Lead Teacher for Special Education. When I received the position of Lead Teacher I intended to do that job until I died. About a year and a half into the job, I figured that would be pretty soon – so I retired and moved on to start my own professional organizing business. I had read about professional organizers in a local magazine and felt the profession would be a perfect fit for my skills and background education. I have been working as a professional organizer for 11 years and am loving every minute of it.
LH: Do you offer one-on-one services, virtual services, or both?
JB: I offer one-on-one services, virtual services, workshops, and an ongoing teleclass.
LH: Do you do both business and personal/individual organizing?
JB: I do small business but mostly personal/individual organizing.
LH: Do you ever have people relapse into former bad habits or “fall off the wagon?” If so, how do you deal with them?
JB: Backsliding is not uncommon. Each situation is dealt with individually as there is not a “one size fits all” answer. Encouragement, normalizing, analyzing the reasons why this happened are key.
LH: I noticed you are also an author. Could you tell us a bit about your books and what inspired you to write them?
JB: My first book, From Vision to Victory: A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home, came out of worksheets I had developed to help my clients on their organizing journey. My Goals Group encouraged me to develop my Zone Plan program and make it into a workbook. This book is the basis of my ongoing teleclass, The Zone Plan.
My last two books, Suzie’s Messy Room and Benji’s Messy Room, were co-authored with Diane Quintana. They are delightful children’s books that show parents through the children’s eyes how to teach the basic organizing principles necessary to complete a project like picking up a room.
We wrote these books because of a dare. Judith Kolberg, Diane, and I have a booth each year at the Decatur Book Festival. Judith noticed all of the children who attend this festival and told us that by next year we should have a children’s organizing book to sell. Diane and I went right to work on the project and while we did not quite have the books ready in less than a year, we did have the prototype by that next festival. Diane and I had a great time with writing these books together. We plan to do more.
LH: A lot of people find the time constraints of modern life at odds with their ability to organize. Do you have suggestions for people who are short on time?
JB: I work a lot with time management issues. The first thing I have people do is to track how they use their time now. This is often an eye opener. I also have them realize that when putting together their calendar, they need to factor in transition times. They also have to get real about how long certain tasks take. We also work a lot with breaking down big projects into small, doable bites and then prioritizing and scheduling the tasks.
LH: What would you suggest to the organizationally-challenged person as a first step towards getting their house/life/everything in order?
JB: First I would have them look deeply into their motivation and creating a vision of what their end product would look like.
Thank you much for sharing your work with us. Please find out more about Jonda and her services at Time Space Organization.