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Past NAPO-LA and POLA Classes

The Wide, Wide World of Aging Services

Presenter Mary Kay Buysse

This lively, interactive session explores many aspects of the wide spectrum of senior services. We journey through some of the most frequently asked questions about working specifically with senior clients. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover the rapidly growing field of aging services as a business-booster!
  • Learn some of the key “lingo” used by senior living professionals and your potential referral sources.
  • Hear how to successfully connect with key referral sources.
  • Understand the scope of “The Aging Network,” and why you need to be “in it to win it.”
  • Find answers to your most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about working in aging services.

Mary Kay Buysse has been the Executive Director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) since 2006. Before joining NASMM, Mary Kay was the Director of Program Development for Leading Age Illinois, the Illinois state affiliate of national Leading Age (formerly known as the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging). At Leading Age Illinois, Mary Kay directed programs and education for all levels of staff in senior living communities, assisted living, nursing homes, and home and community based services. Mary Kay began her career in aging services as an Area Agency on Aging Case Manager in suburban Chicago, where she administered Federal and State programs for older adults. Mary Kay holds a Master of Science degree in Gerontology.

[Recording of this teleclass available for purchase]


How to Set Up the Almost Perfect Team Business Model

Learn from Chantale Bordonaro, a leader in team project management 

In this info-packed class you will learn the essential elements of project management and team leadership in one course.

  • Estimating & Scheduling
  • Profit & loss strategies while improving productivity
  • Establishing timeline & targets for successful end results
  • Team management best practices; tools and techniques for developing & strengthening high-performance teams and team members 
  • How to set up policies & procedures
  • Best communication skills

Chantale Bordonaro is a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®), a Certified Relocation and Transition Specialist (CRTS), speaker, mentor, and the founder of Simplicity Source, Inc. She sees herself as an agent of change as she follows her passion of changing’s people’s life day by day, project by project.

Her company philosophy is simple: Moving and organizing can be fun. The goal is to create customized, streamlined spaces and functional systems that will deliver lasting results to save time and money and promote piece of mind.

For the past 11 years, Chantale and the Simplicity Source, Inc. team have shared their attention to detail and creative vision with each client to ensure a stress-free, smooth transition every time. Many clients refer to them as "Lifesavers" after practicing the transferable skills encouraged by the Simplicity Source team.

Breaking Down the Brain—
The Mental Side of Professional Organizing

Presented by Ramona Creel

At least 50% of creating and maintaining order is mental—but do you actually know how your clients' minds work? The way each person thinks (how they make decisions, choose priorities, and process information) is directly related to how that individual's brain is physiologically and chemically structured.

We're all a little bit different in this regard; unfortunately, there are some flawed theories floating around our industry that try to label and pigeonhole clients based on scientifically unsupported (and in many cases disproven) models of the brain. A lot of organizers base their entire practice on pseudoscience, then get frustrated when their clients don't make progress, not realizing that they're trying to force that person's mind to do something is was never built to do!

Ramona Creel is a 15+-year veteran professional organizer and NAPO Golden Circle Member who has earned numerous industry awards for her innovative approach to managing time, clutter, and paper. Ramona has always enjoyed helping people find solutions to improve their quality of life, describing her role as “resource-finder and problem-solver extraordinaire.” She’s worked with hundreds of clients and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized, achieving financial freedom, and embracing voluntary simplicity.

[Recording of this teleclass available for purchase]

What Every Organizer Should Know About 
The Organizer's Toolbox – Products & Work Kits 

Presented by Tanya Whitford

Sometimes the right product can make all the difference when organizing a client. This 2-hour interactive workshop will give organizers an increased knowledge of products that will make them even more valuable to their clients. [See the rave review of Tanya's 2009 class: Secrets of the Organizer's Toolbox]

  • 25 products that have stood the test of time in Tanya’s fifteen years as a Professional Organizer.
  • Products that seemed like a good idea but didn’t catch on.
  • Take a look at what makes it into various tool kits for different kinds of organizing jobs.
  • Three lucky attendees will be invited to bring in one of their favorite products for the exciting “Show & Tell” portion of the workshop! 


Tanya Whitford, CPO® started her company, Organizing Wonders, in 1999 and focuses on residential organizing. She is a Past-President of NAPO-LA and has been an active member of NAPO for the last 15 years. In addition to being an inaugural Certified Professional Organizer, she is a member of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization where she is a Specialist in ADD, chronic disorganization, and hoarding. Her passion for products, gadgets, and resources has made her a tremendous asset to her clients. She has received rave reviews for her product workshops in the past.


What Every Organizer Should Know About 
Email Management

Presented by Star Hansen

  • Are you constantly buried in email overwhelm no matter how many times you clear out your inbox?
  • Want to learn the skills to take charge of your email once and for all?
  • Inspired to teach clients how to have an organized email system in place, but not sure where to start?
Productivity Specialist Star Hansen will teach you the skills and daily routines necessary to achieve email mastery. You will learn how to make technology a powerful tool instead of a draining time-sucker, while decreasing your stress and increasing your focus. Acquire productivity skills you can use to help your clients be more organized. This class will cover the three most important email topics:
  • Managing your current email overload (how get out of email overwhelm and give yourself a fresh start today).
  • Establishing a daily email routine that will make you an email master, regardless of your technical know-how.
  • Handling the hidden email saboteur that is unknowingly keeping you bottlenecked in your inbox.
Whether you are tech savvy or need low-tech solutions, everyone will get something out of this email class, so get ready to take charge of your email and be more productive than ever!



Star Hansen is a SF Bay area professional organizer and productivity specialist. Star helps businesses and individuals take charge of their technology in a simple, down-to-earth manner, using concepts that are easy to grasp and share with others. Using strategies that rapidly achieve major results, Star helps email and technology become the simplicity tools they were meant to be. Star has been in business for over 9 years, and her unique approach has been featured on TLC, HGTV, Style, A&E, the Tyra Banks Show, and her current show, Home Made Simple, on OWN. 

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What Every Organizer Should Know About
Emergency Preparedness


“Don’t Be Scared … Be Prepared!”

Presented by Sara Getzkin

The Ultimate Class in Emergency Preparedness

Be Prepared! Everyone says it, but how many of us are truly prepared for the next fire or earthquake? There are so many things to consider when preparing ourselves for “The Big One,” and everyone seems to have their own ideas as to what to do. In this class, Sara Getzkin will take the guesswork out of preparing and organizing for any emergency.

You will learn:
  • What it takes to make a great Emergency Kit
  • How to make an emergency plan
  • How to stay informed in the event of an emergency
  • How to prepare for the elderly, those with special needs, and pets during an emergency
  • How to implement these ideas with your clients




Sara Getzkin is the owner of Hands On Organizing Services, in business since 2003. Sara was born and raised in Los Angeles and has survived countless earthquakes, after-shocks, and wildfires, which sparked her interest in emergency preparedness. Sara is a Golden Circle member of NAPO, serves as the NAPO-LA chapter photographer, and is a contributing columnist to the chapter newsletter, The Los Angeles Organizer. Her organizing tips have appeared in The Los Angeles Daily News, USA Today Weekend, and Senior Planet. In 2010, she received the Green Award at the Los Angeles Organizing Awards for the most ecofriendly organizing service. Sara has filmed several episodes of TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive, where she has helped extreme hoarders clear their clutter and go on to lead better lives. Her primary focus is residential organizing, with an emphasis on hoarding, relocation services, financial organizing, and the organization of small, home-based businesses.

What Every Organizer Should Know About
Creating and Changing Habits

Presented by Deborah Kawashima


Habits—those little routines that we do over & over without even thinking about them. Everybody has them! Some we love and some we could do without. Understanding how habits work can help us learn how to make changes in our own habits and how to coach clients to make changes in theirs. In this class, Deborah Kawashima will give you hands-on exercises and strategies to use with your clients for:
  • The Habit Loop and the Golden Rule of Habits
  • Awareness training and the 4 steps to change any habit
  • Have a plan: Create a better routine—step by step ways to help your client change a habit
  • Keystone habits & small wins: strategies for discovering what drives your behavior and question models for digging deeper
  • The habit of willpower and the power of community
  • And more!
You will leave the class with the confidence that you can walk your clients through the Habit Loop and help them change old habits and create new ones, promoting a positive lifestyle. Class hand-outs will include habit worksheets designed by Deborah to help walk anyone through changing a habit. Lesson material is adapted from the book: The Power of Habit: Why we do What we do, In Life & Business, by Charles Duhigg. Deborah has previously given this class to her NAPO student SIG group with rave reviews.



Deborah Kawashima
, CPO®, mom and certified professional organizer, started Creative Organizer in 2004 to empower parents and their kids to become more in control of their lives and create harmony in their homes. She specializes in setting up homes for families to role model good habits. An active NAPO member, Deborah cofounded and was national committee chair (2005-2010) for NAPO in the Schools, won the 2006 Volunteer of the Year Award at the Los Angeles Organizing Awards and the 2007 NAPO Innovator Award at NAPO Conference. She speaks at conferences and schools and has taught at UCLA extension Pathway. She is currently a member of NAPO, NAPO-Virtual Chapter, and ICD. Deborah is writing her first young adult novel. Getting herself into the writing habit was the inspiration for this class!

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What Every Organizer Should Know About
Filing Essentials

Presented by Dolores Kaytes


Corporate offices, home offices, even manager moms need to deal with documents and records. A good filing system is the backbone of all offices. In this popular class, Dolores will
  • Exhibit the variety of supplies used to create custom filing systems for any filing project and demonstrate how to use them.
  • Cover record retention.
  • Discuss what to keep and what to toss, as it is always the dilemma that keeps filing cabinets overfilled.
You will leave the class with the confidence that you can provide your clients with a well-thought-out, lean and mean filing system, including paperless storage for short- or long-term document management.





Dolores Kaytes, President of Highly Organized for the past 15 years, is an educator, a professional speaker, an entrepreneur. Custom filing systems and QuickBooks training are her specialties. Past President of NAPO-LA, Dolores was the recipient of the prestigious NAPO-LA Leading Edge Award in 2007. Dolores speaks at conferences, seminars, and corporate meetings, where she teaches how to “heal the clutter.” Dolores is a filing guru and her class is not to be missed!

What Every Organizer Should Know About
Photo Organizing: Preserving Your Client's Memories

Presented by Christie Gelsomino


In this 2-hour session, you will learn the basics of organizing both physical and digital photos. You can use these tips for your client’s photos as well as for your own collections.

Learn the steps to organizing physical photos, including large projects, proper handling and care of photos, what to do with the photos you find in your client’s homes, and scanning and back-up options. For digital photos, you will learn back-up, storage, and sharing tips on both Mac and PC. And finally, we will share photo product knowledge and additional photo organizing secrets that are so useful when sorting through MOUNDS of photos.


Christie Gelsomino is the owner and operator of Vision to be Organized (since 2006) and Scrapbook Designer (since 2003). She is a professional organizer, a Certified Personal Photo Organizer, and a personal scrapbook designer. Christie is a member of NAPO National, NAPO-LA, and NAPO Virtual Chapter. Christie serves currently as the Marketing Director for the NAPO-LA Chapter, has been the Chapter Historian for the NAPO-LA Chapter since 2007, and has been on the Professional Development Committee for the NAPO Virtual Chapter since 2012. She is a NAPO Golden Circle member and a member of the NAPO Technology SIG. Christie is a member of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) as a Certified Personal Photo Organizer. Christie has assisted as a Professional Organizer on the A&E show Hoarders. Christie focuses her organizing business on residential organizing while specializing in photo organizing. She loves to see the smiles on her client's faces when they look through their own photo books, photo albums, and digital files of their organized photos and memories.

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What Every Organizer Should Know About
Time Management

Presented by Christine Reiter


The more things change, the more they stay the same. This old adage even applies to time management. The world is going electronic, and these advances are supposed to make our lives easier—but is life any less complicated? Is it possible that paper is still a better option for managing one’s day?

So many people bemoan not having enough hours in the day. Some clients expect professional organizers to be miracle workers who will magically make more time appear. The reality is that there are only 24 hours in a day, and technology can make managing these hours more complicated. This class will explore the options organizers have to help clients make better use of their time. From technology to paper, habits to attitudes, we will discuss tools, techniques, and options we can use to help our clients.



Christine Reiter is an organizer of time. She and her company, aptly named Time Strategies, work with her clients’ time management issues. Christine works with business clients—from small home businesses to large-scale corporate clients—and their paper and productivity challenges. Her business grew from a corporate background of conducting productivity and workflow studies, interfacing between end users and programmers, and implementing installations of equipment and software for her customers. Christine has been an active member of the Professional Coaches and Mentors Association, the American Society of Trainers and Developers, and NAPO-LA, where she has served as President in the early years, when meetings were still held in a community room in a local mall.

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What Every Organizer Should Know About
Social Media

Presented by Alaia Williams


By now most every business person knows that social media is an important part of a company's marketing efforts. How can you use social media to grow your business? How can you stay on top of social media without letting it consume you? During this 4-hour workshop, we will cover:
  • How to set yourself apart and position yourself as an expert
  • How to grow an on-line community
  • Social media best practices (e.g. how to make friends, not enemies, on-line) and how they vary from site to site
  • Tools to help you manage your efforts
We will also cover the latest trends and most popular networks so that you are up to speed and can zero in to find your tribe.



Alaia Williams works with business owners and professionals who are ready to grow their businesses and enhance their careers. Since she was a teenager, Alaia has had a passion for improving herself and the world around her. Blending that passion with her enthusiasm for technology and her experience with small business systems and processes, she focuses on helping clients get things done so they can get their work out into the world. Since 2008, Alaia has helped small businesses with social media through workshops, classes, strategy, and social media management. In addition to her consulting work, Alaia also founded and currently runs The Entrepreneur Connection, a networking group for entrepreneurs and small business owners, and At the Helm: Women in Biz, a women's business conference.

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What Every Organizer Should Know About
Moves and Relocation Projects

Presented by Chantale Bordonaro


In this 2-hour session, you will acquire the knowledge to help reduce stress and alleviate concerns for both you and your clients during a move. From setting up logistics and a timeline to working with a team and dealing with legalities, we will cover it all. You will learn hands-on packing techniques and how to avoid personal injury. You will hear about effective coordination and negotiation with movers, designers, contractors, and cleaning crews from small-scale projects to 2500 square foot mansions. This jam-packed session will give you the pros and cons of working in this high demand field and how to effectively market yourself.




Chantale Bordonaro is a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®), a Certified Relocation and Transition Specialist (CRTS), a speaker, a mentor, and the founder of Simplicity Source, Inc. operating in San Francisco and Los Angeles. As a relocation specialist and professional organizer, Chantale follows her passion—changing people’s lives. With the help of her teams, independent contractors, and vendors, Simplicity Source, Inc. has helped over 300 clients through this life-changing experience. Chantale was the National Chair for the NAPO 2014 Conference in Phoenix and volunteers for the Board of Certification of Professional Organizers (BCPO). She is a Past President of NAPO-Los Angeles and also served as Membership Director.

What Every Organizer Should Know About
Organizing Apps

Presented by Katherine Macey


In this 2-hour session, Katherine Macey will teach you how to use (and teach your clients how to use) apps to manage your calendar, your task list, your electronic statements, and your contact relationship manager (CRM). You will learn how to manage life in the cloud, using apps that are cross-platform (i.e., they work on both Mac and PC) and cross-device (i.e., they work on your mobile device as well as your desktop or laptop). You’ll get an overview of the apps most loved by organizers and their clients, an understanding of which features to consider when evaluating apps, and step-by-step instructions on how to use a few of Katherine's favorites.




Katherine Macey, PhD, is the founder of Organize to Excel. She’s a geek when it’s practical and can’t be bothered when it’s not. She doesn’t know how to play the video games her kids play, but she does know how to change the power supply in her computer. Katherine earned her PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She combines her technical background with her love of organizing, providing solutions that inspire excellence. Katherine and her team at Organize to Excel specialize in organizing for busy moms and productivity and efficiency consulting for service professionals. Katherine served on the NAPO-LA Board as President and Vice President, and as Director of Communications & Technology.

Bold Business Moves:
Moving Your Business in the Right Direction

Presented by Lisa Montanaro


This workshop focuses on two main areas: 

Creating multiple streams of income 

If you are a small business owner, and you wish you could make more money, but you can’t be in more than one place at one time or clone yourself—what to do? Create multiple streams of income! Multiple streams of income help to build a business with less work by offering multiple ways for clients to access you, your company, and your services & offerings. Learn how to leverage and repurpose your content, expand your delivery methods, offer options at multiple price points, and give clients a menu or suite of services.

Don’t Go It Alone: It Takes a Village to Run a Successful Business
Are you a solopreneur and often find it lonely? Maybe you are a small business owner with employees or subcontractors, but you find yourself wanting to brainstorm with those outside your business. You can! Imagine a group of people that are available to bounce business ideas off, help you make pivotal business decisions, and serve as a sounding board. Set your business up for success by enlisting the help of others. Options are plentiful—from using virtual assistants, independent contractors, and employees, to brainstorming with business colleagues, setting up a formal Board of Advisors, participating in a mastermind group, or hiring a business coach. Determine which accountability tools are the best match for your business and how to implement them. Hear about what other like-minded entrepreneurs are doing. Walk away with a plan to enlist the help of others in your business in a way that makes the most sense for your business model, stage, and needs.





Lisa Montanaro is a sought-after business expert thanks to her background as an attorney, mediator, and trainer of entrepreneurs. She is the owner of Lisa Montanaro Global Enterprises, which is the umbrella organization under which she offers productivity consulting, success coaching, business strategizing, and speaking to individuals and organizations globally. Lisa’s presentations focus on productivity, entrepreneurship, and life–work balance issues. Lisa’s workshops are informative, interactive, and despite the sometimes weighty subject involved, entertaining!

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What Every Organizer Should Know About
Organizing Cupboards, Closets and Cubbyholes

Presented by Esther Simon


In this 2-hour session, you will learn different ways to use space and systems to organize every room in your client's home. Esther Simon will reveal the top secrets, tools, systems, and techniques to create more space and efficiency in a kitchen, pantry, and storage area. She will give you ideas on how to arrange toys, art supplies, memorabilia, and photos in a way that is both practical and visually appealing. We will have a firsthand look at different organizing supplies from The Container Store and how to decide which system is best for the individual client. You will see some of Esther’s work in before-and-after pictures along with a guided description of how the process is initiated. This class is a nice opportunity for new and also seasoned home organizers to learn a different approach from an expert in how to organize large families.




Esther Simon, MSW is a mother of seven and a member of NAPO-LA. Esther has a Master’s degree from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work in New York City. By helping people organize their lives, she‘s become known as the “The Traditional Home Organizer,” specializing in time management and home organizing. “My specialty is the home,” says the former social worker, “and dealing with children’s clutter. When you run a home office and a family, time management is critical.” Esther gives lectures and workshops on all aspects of the home, such as budgeting, organizing the kitchen, housework, closets, day planners, etc. She also helps people devise plans to accommodate elderly and/or sick relatives in their homes, which Esther did for six years.

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What Every Organizer Should Know About 
Organizing Finances

Presented by Marcy Melton

In this 2-hour session, you will learn the best methods for organizing your clients’ financial records:
  • What files are important to set up to best maintain the records of business and residential clients and allow for easy retrieval.
  • Record retention, including guidelines for the appropriate documents clients must retain in order to keep them out of trouble and in the best financial shape.
  • How to save your clients’ money and be a hero in their eyes, as well as enable them to better afford your services!
We will also cover the lucrative aspects of bookkeeping and tax preparation, which can give you a whole new income source.








Marcy Melton is enjoying her 16th year as a Professional Organizer and was among the inaugural group of Certified Professional Organizers. Her business, Bullseye Organizing Solutions, specializes in bookkeeping and financial management, tax preparation, filing systems, and paper management. The majority of her regular clients have been with her for well over a decade. Marcy is an active NAPO and NAPO-LA member, currently serving NAPO National as the Financial SIG Leader, and she was formerly the Treasurer for NAPO-LA.

What Every Organizer Should Know About 

Organizing Kids & Teens

Presented by Deborah Kawashima

In this 2-hour session you will learn the nuances of working with different age ranges from toddlers through teens, and the how-to’s for organizing their spaces, sharing strategies on how to engage them to break down everything into a four-step process; from organizing, to setting up routines, checklists, small tasks, goal setting, and strategies that work for managing homework. Deborah Kawashima is passionate about providing the best tools and solutions for working with kids and teens so you can help them be better prepared for today’s lifestyle.



Deborah Kawashima, CPO®, mom and certified professional organizer, started Creative Organizer in 2004 to empower parents and their kids to become more in control of their lives and create harmony in their homes. She specializes in setting up homes for families to role model good habits. An active NAPO member, Deborah cofounded and was national committee chair (2005-2010) for NAPO in the Schools, won the 2006 Volunteer of the Year Award at the Los Angeles Organizing Awards and the 2007 NAPO Innovator Award at NAPO Conference. She speaks at conferences and schools and has taught at UCLA extension Pathway. She is currently a member of NAPO, NAPO-Virtual Chapter, and ICD. Deborah is writing her first young adult novel. Getting herself into the writing habit was the inspiration for this class!

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Session 1: Filing Is Easy When You Know How


Instructor: Dolores Kaytes of Highly-Organized

A good filing system is the backbone of all offices. Corporate offices, home offices, even manager moms need to deal with lots of documents and records. In this popular class, you will learn the myriad components used in creating filing systems. Supplies will be provided for hands-on exercises in which you will create both a business office system and a home filing system. Bring your laptop to practice creating file folder labels in Word using Avery templates.


Session 2: Take the Paperless Plunge


Instructor: Lelah Baker-Rabe, Paperless Organization Expert

Paperless organizing is one of the fastest growing segments of the organizing industry. This class will explain step by step how to take the paperless plunge in your own life as well as how to teach your clients to take the plunge! For both residential and business organizers who want to make more money by offering clients expertise in digital organizing, this session will include Q&A, live demos, and exciting giveaways, including a Fujitsu ScanSnap and a prize from DocumentSnap!

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The National Association of Professional Organizers, Los Angeles Chapter, is a legal entity separate and distinct from NAPO, Inc.
(the National Association of Professional Organizers) and is not entitled to act on behalf of or to bind NAPO, contractually or otherwise.


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