NAPO Los Angeles
Mission Statement: NAPO-LA is an organization
dedicated to bringing Southern California area organizers together
through networking, education, professional growth, industry
updates, support and public awareness.
PMB 134, 10573 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
of Communications & Technology:
of Professional Development:
Associate Member Coordinator:
Jodi McDaniel EDT
Jean FuruyaGolden Circle
Carlene FaerberMeeting Assistant:
ScharffNAPO in the Schools:
KawashimaNew Member Orientation:
Assistant: Silent Auction:
The Los Angeles Organizer
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One-Time Processing Fee
NAPO National membership required.
Membership includes electronic newsletter.
Annual Dues (Oct. to
Organizing Awards were very successful.
NAPO Conference April 26-28.
MET Training classes March 24; next training session scheduled
Elections are online only March 10-24; 2007-08 Board of
Directors to be announced at March chapter
$100 - Level 1 - Basic
Member w/website listing
$150 - Level 2 - Basic Member w/website
listing and paid meeting fees (Available only with annual renewal in
$150 - Associate Member/Branch
$250 - Associate
$25 - New/Lapsed Member Processing Fee
$25 - Visitor Meeting
Membership ReportMarch Chapter Meeting
47 Total Attendance
Mini Board MinutesFebruary 2007
The name of the MET committee has been changed to Educational
New Board turnover meeting on April 16.
Looking for chairperson for LA's largest mixer on July 26.
Call for Board Nominations will be at February
~Submitted by Carol Hogg
Assistant's List is available as a resource connecting those
available to serve as assistants to organizers who need them. To be
included on the Assistant's List, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include
your name, phone number and email address. The list is only for
members of NAPO-LA and does not guarantee work. The Assistant's List
is found here in the newsletter and also under the "Members Only"
section of the chapter's website.
professional organizer enhances the lives of clients by
designing systems and processes using organizing principles and
through transferring organizing skills. A professional organizer
also educates the public on organizing solutions and the resulting
benefit.For more information on becoming a NAPO
member, click here.
From the National Associaton of Professional
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NAPO-LA is
not responsible for the products and/or services advertised.
The Los Angeles
Organizer is published bimonthly. Look for "Announcements
from the Board" in between issues. Deadline for submissions
for the July/August newsletter is June 25.
*National Moving Month
*13 Mother's Day
20 NAPO-LA Newsletter is
21 NAPO-LA Board Meeting - 2:30 pm
Chapter Meeting (change of date to 3rd Monday) - 6:15
*28 Memorial Day Observed
*1st Week of June is Small
*17 Father's Day
25 NAPO-LA Board Meeting
- 2:30 pm
25 NAPO-LA Chapter Meeting - 6:15 pm
Deadline for submissions for July/August NAPO-LA
*1 National Financial Freedom
*4 Independence Day
10 EDT Class with Esther Simon -
10 CD Clients - Support Group - 6-8:30
14 Golden Circle Quarterly Meeting
Newsletter is emailed
23 NAPO-LA Board Meeting - 2:30
23 NAPO-LA Chapter Meeting - 6:15 pm
Largest Mixer IX
25 Deadline for submissions for
September/October NAPO-LA newsletter
27 NAPO-LA Board
Meeting - 2:30 pm
27 NAPO-LA Chapter Meeting - 6:15
|President's Message |
The Future is Bright
By John Trosko
Energized, motivated, honored, eager.
On behalf of the incoming NAPO-LA Board of Directors,
I welcome you back from National Conference as well as
to the new 2007-08 term.
For the next 12 months, I will proudly serve as your
fearless leader and will help to guide our chapter to
even greater accomplishments. Planning and tough
decisions will help us realize our goal. I join our
exemplary volunteer board in moving our chapter forward
in the areas of publicity, membership, skill-building,
administration, networking and vendor partnerships.
Our board will soon convene for a retreat to
strategize for the coming year. We will get together for
a little bit of forming, storming, norming and
performing! All programs are up for grabs! I want our
chapter to inspire, excite and continue to develop,
which means taking a look at the past, the present and
the future, as well as our contributions to a greater
good. As NAPO's founding chapter, NAPO-LA must continue
to adhere to high standards and cutting-edge events and
achievements. Our good work cannot, however, be complete
without your participation and support. I ask for it in
advance and thank you very much for your contributions.
The future is bright for NAPO-LA. Conference may be
over, but we took away new skills, new relationships and
new friends. Participate in your chapter. Volunteer your
passion. Rediscover the value we offer. We will all reap
|NAPO-LA Chapter Meeting Information
By Dolores Kaytes
NAPO-LA Director of
Most meeting evaluations ask that there be more
networking time so we are responding to your requests.
At the May meeting you will be invited to participate in
extended networking. Learn more about your fellow
chapter members. Let then know your areas of expertise.
The more we know about each other the better referral
sources we can be.
We will open the meeting by introducing your new
Board of Directors. Also, Conference attendees will
report on their conference events and
Speaker not yet confirmed.
Our thanks to Cynthia Sliwa for the information
on networking and a how-to on developing and maintaining
a better business image. We will have a chance to use
what we learned from Cynthia in March at our May
|Immediate Past President's Message
Thanks for Contining to
By Chris McKenry
Get It Together
and NAPO-LA Immediate Past President
Two years? Impossible! What a difference 24
months can make. It continues to be a privilege to be
associated with the best group of professionals
I want to thank the members of NAPO-LA for their time
and efforts in filming television organizing segments
for ABC-7, KCAL 9, and CBS 2 during the
past year. Not only our chapter, but also several of our
members, have been featured in The Orange County
Register, Los Angeles Times, Daily Breeze, and other
valley newspapers. In July, L.A.'s Largest Mixer offered
another opportunity for the business community to learn
about our services.
NAPO in the Schools, which teaches organizing
principles to our children, is now a national program.
The EDT Committee (formerly the MET Committee) has
continued to evolve and offer educational programs. In
October, the first EDT workshop was held at the
Professional Resources and Networking Expo and was
completely sold out.
The Los Angeles Organizing Awards continues to
grow and gain both regional and national attention for
our members. Industry leaders from around the country
attended this year, including NAPO National President
YOU made this year's "Get Organized Month" the
best ever by taking part in the one-day American
Cinematic organizing project. And this was only two days
after 40+ chapter members attended our first Leadership
Forum - a four-hour training session NAPO-LA hosted as a
Over 110 members and associate members of our chapter
have been led this year by a dedicated, hard-working
Board of Directors. It has been an enriching experience
for me to be your President over the last two years and
I thank you all for the opportunity. I am confident our
chapter will continue to lead and grow our industry, and
I look forward to John Trosko's vision and
|Upcoming EDT Training Class |
Learn Hands-On Organizing with Veteran
"Cupboards, Closets, and
The Educational Development Committee (EDT) is
pleased to announce that another training session is
scheduled for Tuesday, July 10.
When: Tuesday, July 10, 2:30-5:30
Where: Westside Pavilion, corner of Pico
(Limited to 20! Please check in with Esther by 2
pm. Optional group dinner afterward to avoid
Go to the NAPO-LA
web site for more details and to register.
|NAPO National Conference Report
National Conference Recharges
By Claire Flannery
and Newsletter Editor
This year's National Conference was dynamite! The
speakers were inspiring; the break-out sessions,
thought-provoking; the networking, more fun than ever.
The NAPO-LA contingent (shown in above photo)
included: Chantale Bordonaro, Dorothy Breininger, Robin
Davi, Dina Durrer, Claire Flannery, Jean Furuya, Ann
Gambrell, Lynne Gilberg, Debbie Gilster, John Harris,
Carol Hogg, Cindy Kamm, Deborah Kawashima, Donna
McMillan, Sheila McCurdy, Marcy Melton, Tom Nevermann,
Barbara Ricketts, Diane Ridley, Glorya Schklair, Barb
Schmit, Toni Scharff, Joanna Sletten John Trosko,
Mishele Vieira, Jodie Watson and Tanya Whitford.
NAPO Certification Exam
Quite a few NAPO-LA members sat for the inaugural
NAPO Certification Exam. The buzz afterward was that it
was not so bad, but bad enough! Those who were in study
groups prior to the exam were very glad they were. The
candidates for NAPO certification were sworn to secrecy
and instructed not to discuss the details of the exam,
so we will just have to take it ourselves to find out
what it was all about.
Take Home the
What an awards ceremony it was! NAPO annually
bestows prestigious awards on those people who have done
something special for our organization. This year four
NAPO-LA members took home the gold.
Glorya Schklair of The
Practical Organizer (Retired) and Debbie
Gilster of the Center for Growth &
Productivity (photo at right) shared in
receiving the President's Award for their part in
helping to bring certification to the professional
organizing industry. In his recognition speech,
President Barry Izsak honored Glorya and Debbie who
"have been primary torch bearers--the volunteers through
thick and thin--kept that torch lit and brought us to
what I'm sure history will prove as a pivotal moment in
the evolution of this industry." Glorya started the ball
rolling on the concept of NAPO certification in 1996 and
laid the foundation for the entire program. In 2001-04,
Debbie's role was to resurrect the original plan and get
it to a point where the NAPO Board approved moving
forward again with development activities.
Add to that excitement, President Izsak instituted a
new award this year, the Innovator's Award, which
was won by our very own Deborah Kawashima of
creativeOrganizer and our formerly
very-own (now of Fort Collins, Colorado), Laurie
Clarke of LIfe Simplified.
Together, Deborah and Laurie started the NAPO in the
Schools program. Initially, it ran in the Los Angeles
area only, but as word spread about the benefits of
getting kids organized at an early age, interest grew
and chapters in various parts of the country inquired
how they, too, could initiate this program. The rest, as
they say, is history. Deborah is now the Chairperson of
NAPO in the Schools and Laurie is involved with the
program at the college level.
And last, but not least, Barb Schmit, of
Esselte, an Associate Member of NAPO-LA,
took away the vendor-coveted Organizers' Choice Award
for Best Business Organizing Product. Barb wowed us
at an early morning seminar showcasing Pendaflex
products and created such a buzz that all of the
organizers present must have rushed straight to the
ballot box to vote for Barb!
Amazing stories! Amazing people! Amazing chapter!
- Golden Circle Interview Series
- Notes from a Conference First-Timer
- NAPO in the Schools
|Golden Circle Interview Series
Golden Circle Members Interviewed at
For Golden Circle members, Conference is a time
to recharge and reconnect with other professional
organizers. This article is a compilation of the
thoughts and reflections from some of NAPO-LA's veteran
Golden Circle members who were interviewed while in
Lynne Gilberg felt that this year proved to be
"better than ever!" Robin Davi agreed, commenting that,
as always, "It was an amazing event that enlightened,
motivated and offered the chance to renew wonderful
Ann Gambrell's words of wisdom on how to get the most
out of Conference were to "mix and mingle."
For Glorya Schklair, who shared in the winning of
this year's prestigious President's Award, "Coming to
conference energizes us so when we get back home, we do
better and we do more."
Toni Scharff thought keynote speaker Jack Canfield,
author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series,
was "really inspiring. He reminded us how positive
thoughts can affect both physical and mental behavior."
Embracing Canfield's message, "If you can dream it,
you can do it!" from his book, The Success
Principles, Donna McMillan walked away with,
"Nothing great happens unless we make it happen. We are
responsible for our own success."
Sessions this year explored the future of organizing
and offered many how-to's on expanding our businesses to
the next level. "The sessions educated and inspired,"
said Jean Furuya, "I learned new information and felt
the entire experience confirmed that together we are
better." In-between sessions, Jean added that, "I was
re-energized through networking."
Everyone felt like a kid in a candy store at this
year's Expo, ohhing and ahhing over all
the exciting new organizing products. "Expo was bigger
than ever with lots of electronic products, and Barb
Schmit was an amazing wonder," exclaimed Toni Scharff,
"with all of her colorful Pendaflex organizing
According to Sheila McCurdy, Mark LeBlanc, the
closing keynote speaker, "was truly inspiring." Sheila
loved Mark's remark that he will look forward to
returning to a NAPO National Conference as a speaker
with 800+ Golden Circle members in the room. Sheila also
commented, "Many sessions were just great and I'm sorry
I couldn't get to all of them at once!"
Each year, conference becomes more of an important
event to attend. "You always come away inspired!"
quipped Tom Nevermann.
NOTE: This article is one in an on-going
series of interviews with Golden Circle members.
|Notes from a Conference First-Timer
I Went to Conference and All I Got Was
15 lbs. of Materials!
By Joanna Sletten
After more than a year in NAPO-LA, I was
determined to make it to my first ever NAPO National
Conference. I knew it would be educational and
inspiring, but there was something else I am only now
realizing that I wanted from it: To feel part of the
national community of organizers. I knew I would get
that feeling from Conference, and I did.
My initial experience in Minneapolis was the NSGCD
conference, held just before the NAPO Conference. The
first person I saw there was Jean Furuya. This would
become a recurring theme at both conferences: NAPO-LA
members were out in force, and it was so nice to see
many familiar faces.
The NSGCD group was quite large, but I was assured
that "this will seem downright intimate once the big
group gets here." The highlight for me was the feature
presentation by Kara Swanson, entitled "O.K., Who Put
the Ketchup in the Linen Closet Again?" She was a
fabulous speaker, not to mention hilarious!
After NSGCD, my roommates arrived. I was so excited
to have not one - but two - partners in crime and I was
grateful to the chapter for connecting me to these
Once the NAPO conference began, I was blown away by
all the people. There were lines at the front desk,
lines for coffee, and lines for the bathroom. There was
lots of hugging and catching up. Organizers who had
become friends at past conferences grabbed at each other
like school children fully enjoying this annual reunion.
The EXPO had scores of vendors displaying their
wares. Although I am not a huge product enthusiast, I
enjoyed browsing and collecting materials. Between
vendor brochures and program directories, I lugged home
more than 15 lbs. of paper!
My favorite presentations were Jack Canfield's
opening keynote and K.J. McCorry's break-out session on
getting your clients to change. Both were insightful and
Throughout the week, I realized that I was picking
out bits of advice that would be important to me for
where I am in my business, i.e., transferring skills and
marketing. Other topics (e.g., the session on
alternative business models) will no doubt percolate
until I'm ready for them.
Conference was an energizing experience. Interacting
with so many different organizers reinforced the fact
that there is no right way to approach your business;
rather, it's best to tailor it to suit you. Confernce is
the perfect place to collect ideas for that purpose.
I absolutely recommend attending Conference to anyone
who has the chance. For me, I know it will be helpful to
periodically step back from day-to-day activities,
assess where I am, and consider making changes. I left
Conference with a new focus, a few key things to work
on, and an idea or two to try.
Until next year!
|Golden Circle Column |
Ethics and the Professional
By Ann Thurley
and Golden Circle
As a new professional organizer, you may want to
think about working as an assistant to a seasoned
organizer. Assistants are often hired to work on larger
projects when the job is too big for one person alone.
This is a great opportunity to learn and to gain
experience along side a veteran.
Here are some guidelines to consider before taking
the plunge into working as an assistant:
- Ask how you are expected to dress for the job and
follow the organizer's directions; e.g.,
- Be clear about the time commitment of the project
and be sure you will be available for that time
period. Be responsible to see the project through to
- Discuss what your remuneration will be for your
work. To gain experience, you may take a lower pay or
even work gratis.
- Be clear with the hiring organizer as to what is
expected of you regarding the work as well as any
communication with the client. There are some
questions or situations the organizer may wish to deal
with personally. When you are talking directly to the
client, always maintain your professionalism. Share
all client discussion, related to the project, with
- Be aware that on occasion there can be awkward
situations. The client may share with you and you must
report to the organizer such things as:
- The client is not happy with the organizer.
- The client believes that you do a better job than
- The client asks for your business card and wants
to hire you.
If the client knows that you are also a
professional organizer and asks for your card, how much
you are being paid, etc., you must politely explain that
any such questions are to be directed to the organizer.
Always be professional as you represent both the
organizer and the profession.
No matter what the circumstance, it is never ethical
to try to acquire the client where you are working as an
assistant. If the organizer chooses to ask you to work
individually with the client at a later time for
maintenance, etc., you may consider doing so.
If you are contemplating working as an assistant, you
need to enter the experience with the idea of being a
strong part of the team. You will benefit immensely,
learn a lot and, if other people are working on the
project, have fun as well.
I have used many assistants in the 15 years that I
have specialized in working with clients who are moving
from one home to the next. Our goal as organizers is for
our clients to have as stress-free an experience as
possible. We love to hear "I couldn't have done it
without you!" at the end of the day. You can be a member
of the team creating that successful experience.
|Golden Circle Update |
A Golden Garden Party
by Ann Gambrell
Golden Circle Liaison
Eighteen members of the Los Angeles area Golden
Circle met in April for a garden party luncheon at the
Downey home of Sally Hulem. Donna McMillan was the
Two new members were welcomed: Carol Keller, who has
recently relocated here from Oregon, and long-time
NAPO-LA member, Lynne Gilberg.
After some discussion, the group decided to assemble
a resource directory to use with and for clients.
Marilyn Crouch volunteered to collect the information
from members to create the roster.
Jane Reifer offered to research disability insurance
available to organizers and to report on it at the next
meeting. Bonding and liability insurance were also
topics of discussion.
Jean Furuya reported on the upcoming training
sessions offered through the Educational Development
Committee (formerly the MET committee). Golden Circle
members Dolores Kaytes and Esther Simon will present
workshops which will be open to all organizers.
Those attending were very generous with organizing
tips for the Golden Circle Tips Project. In all, 16 tips
The next Golden Circle meeting will be held on July
14 and will be hosted by Jean Furuya and Ann
For more information on Golden Circle,
contact Ann Gambrell
|Tips Program |
Follow the Leader
If you are struggling with how to categorize a
room, closet or cabinet, follow the lead of major
retailers. Pay attention to how stores are organized and
mimic them as much as possible. This works for types of
clothing in a closet, types of products in a bathroom,
or types of tools or food in a kitchen. Labeling takes
this to the next level and an added bonus is that
shopping becomes less time-consuming and frustrating
because you can find things more easily.
Submitted by Jodi McDaniel
Gift Wrap Central
When rolls of gift wrap don't fit anywhere, put
them into an attractive shopping bag, throw in a
zip-type bag of ribbons, and hang the bag on a coat
hanger in the corner of a closet.
Submitted by Beverly Clower
About the TIPS Program:
Program is managed by the chapter's Golden Circle
members. Ann Gambrell is the chair and invites all
chapter members to submit their organizing tips via
email or on index cards that will be available at the
monthly chapter meetings for deposit into the
"Organizing Tips" box.
TIPS are requested in two categories:
"Tips from Pros" are organzing tips for clients/the
"Tips of the Trade" are tips for organizers to use
in their businesses.
When submitting TIPS, you are invited (optional)
to include your name, business name and contact
information. This will serve to promote you when the
client/public TIPS are posted on the NAPO-LA website's
Email your TIPS to: email@example.com
|NAPO in the Schools |
First-Ever NAPO Innovator Award!
The turn-out at the 2007 NAPO Conference went far
beyond expectations as NAPO in the Schools held
its first committee meeting. The room was packed with
more than 10% of this year's total conference attendees
(about 85 organizers) all excited and eager to hear
about the new program. The Task Force members shared
some of the program being developed for elementary,
middle school and high school.
NAPO in the Schools is committed to bringing
professional organizers into the schools to teach
students the benefits and strategies of getting
organized at an early age. The elementary school program
focuses on helping kids to manage their things. Middle
school's emphasis is on paper management and keeping
track of individual assignments. For high school, it's
time management and being responsible for their own
The reception at Conference was phenomenal with
everyone buzzing about bringing NAPO in the Schools
to their chapters and presenting this program in
their local schools when it rolls out this fall.
As Chairperson for NAPO in the Schools, I was
honored to have Donna Goldberg of NAPO-NY, author of
The Organized Student, attend the meeting and
share her enthusiasm and commitment to help make this
program really work.
Laurie Clarke (formerly of NAPO-LA, now of NAPO-CO )
was there to give her continued support and talk about
the College Task Force Program she currently chairs.
Laurie and I were surprised and honored to receive
the first-ever NAPO Innovator Award for our
efforts in bringing organizing into the schools. None of
this could have happened without Barry Izsak's vision
for this program as well as his understanding of its
possibilities. Barry took a stand for us to make this
happen and I am pleased and privileged to be expanding
this program on the national level.
On the local front, NAPO in the Schools is
looking for additional members to join us. This is an
excellent opportunity to volunteer and get involved with
our chapter. We are building our committee now. NAPO-LA
members interested either in volunteering or in
recommending a school or teacher who would benefit from
having NAPO in the Schools come to their
classroom, please contact me.
|New NAPO-LA Members |
A Warm Welcome to
An Organized Life
Squared Away Organizational
NOTE: "Warm Welcome" is a new feature
of The Los Angeles Organizer. If you just joined
NAPO-LA, be sure to get your photo taken at the next
chapter meeting! Or email your photo to the Editor along
with your name, your business name, where you live, and
the date you joined.Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
|CD Clients -Support Group |
Time Management and CD
By Jean Furuya
If you are a member of NAPO-LA working
consistently and on an ongoing basis with chronically
disorganized clients, you are invited to participate in
an informal support group. Our topic of discussion will
be "Backsliding and Maintenance Strategies."
This meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 12, from 6
- 8:30 pm.
A simple potluck is planned.
To RSVP or for more information, contact Jean
|Product Spotlight |
Look Up in Your Garage
By Gus Gougas
Did you know that garage organization has become
the fastest growing segment in the multi-billion dollar
home improvement industry? And what's the hottest
garage-organizing product on the market? Overhead
For those organizers who work with residential
clients in need of more storage but who don't want the
hassle of a major remodel, OrganizIT! offers the
perfect solution: overhead storage racks!
Almost every homeowner has wasted space in the garage
that is not being utilized. Garage overhead storage
racks take advantage of this wasted space to make it
The racks are perfect to store holiday decorations,
legal boxes, suitcases and bulky items that won't fit in
cabinets. Made of high-quality industrial steel, the
racks come in a variety of sizes to meet your client's
needs. The largest units measure 8' x 4' and can hold
upwards of 600 lbs of weight. They have a wire-grid deck
to help locate items from below; add-on accessories are
available to hang items from underneath; e.g., a ladder,
folding tables, bikes and skis.
So the next time you have a client who is in need of
more storage, just walk out into the garage, look up,
and think "overhead storage racks!"
|Members in the News |
John Trosko of OrganizingLA
was named a "feature contributor" in the March
issue of Instinct Magazine, the largest monthly
American magazine geared towards gay men. Trosko offered
up tips on getting organized and merging the households
of same-sex couples. Trosko also created an online bonus
piece with his favorite organizing products. In
addition, Trosko recorded a February podcast for the
"Smart Answers" segment at BusinessWeek.com. In
January, Trosko's OrganizingLA Blog received a
prestigious mention from Steve Rubel, an influential PR
strategist and blogger. Delight.com also featured
Trosko's Blog in its February newsletter mailed to over
|NAPO-LA EDC Program |
Mentors and Coaches
The Educational Development Committee (formerly
the Mentoring, Education and Training Committee) has
provided a listing of organizing consultants in NAPO-LA
who are available to provide guidance, advice and
support to potential, new, and existing professional
If you are interested, contact the consultants
directly for information and fees. NAPO-LA provides the
listings only and has no involvement with the consultant
and/or the organizer or client. Click below for