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 90064
Director of Administration:
Director of Communications & Technology:
Director of Membership:
Director of Professional Development:
Immediate Past President:
NAPO in the Schools:
New Member Orientation:
Public Relations & Media:
2008 Volunteers of the
2007: Cary Brazeman
Past Volunteers of the
Kristine Oller and Claire Flannery
2005: Deborah Kawashima
Dee Saar and Laurie Clark
Los Angeles Organizer
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$200 - Individual
$150 - Associate-Branch
$250 - Associate-Local
$550 - Associate-Corporate
$20 - New Member One-Time Processing Fee
February Chapter Meeting
69 Total (Record Breaking) Attendance
Marketing video from LA Organizing Awards posted on
Task Force for 2009 LA Organizing Awards
to be in place by April.
Membership Survey ready soon.
List is available as a
resource connecting those available to work as assistants to the
organizers who need them.
To be included on the Assistant List, simply
log on to the NAPO-LA website under the Member's Only
Abbey Claire Keusch
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
For more information on
becoming a NAPO member, click here.
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The Los Angeles Organizer is published
bimonthly. Look for "Announcements from the Board" in between issues.
Deadline for submissions for the May/June newsletter is April 25.
24 - NAPO-LA Board Meeting - 2:45 PM
24 - NAPO-LA Chapter Meeting - 6:15 PM
25 - NAPO in the Schools Elementary Training -
6 - Golden Circle Quarterly Meeting - Noon
9-12 - NAPO National Conference in Reno, NV
19 - South Bay Networking Group - 8:30 AM
21 - Board Turnover Meeting - 10 AM
25 - Submission deadline for May/June
28 - NAPO-LA Board Meeting - 2:45 PM
28 - NAPO-LA Chapter Meeting - 6:15 PM
3 - Westsiders Networking Group - 1 PM
11 - Hollywood Networking Group - 9 AM
13 - CD Support Group - 8:30 PM
15 - New NAPO-LA Board takes office
20 - May/June Newsletter is emailed
26 - Memorial Day - NO NAPO-LA Chapter Meeting!
31 - EDC Training Class - 9:30 AM
23 - Board Meeting - 2:45 pm
23 - New Member Orientation - 4 PM
23 - NAPO-LA Chapter Meeting - 6:15 PM
25 - Submission deadline for July/August
and Why Should Organizing Entrepreneurs Build Their Teams?
By John Trosko
and NAPO-LA President
an owner of a professional organizing business, do you sometimes feel
as if you are the only person on the planet?
Do you feel isolated with no one to talk to about your business
problems; no one to help you learn that one special technique to tackle
client "X" or hunt down a colleague to work side-by-side in
accomplishing that big job?
Have you found someone to share in your success, a colleague who
Organizing can be a lonely occupation. It can seem as though you are
alone when it comes to wrestling with the worries, fears, and
uncertainties that are a normal part of owning your own business. As
the President of NAPO-LA and owner of my own company, I know how hard
it is to be that owner and manage all the struggles. My secrets for
success? Build a business network within your chapter. What are the
novices and experts make up the diversity in your chapter. If you build
your network today, tomorrow you will have people to talk to and help
you obtain the key ingredients it takes to be successful. Call it your
own peer advisory group.
- seek advice easily and freely
- become a mentor to someone with
- challenge a colleague who is losing focus
- prepare yourself for any personal or
- turn up the volume and make more money
with the power of a team
So how do you do it?
challenge you: do this, and you will be successful. For some, these
tips may be basic. For others building their businesses, you now have
the key to building a successful advisory group.
- Attend your monthly chapter meetings;
show up early and network;
- Check out the website calendar and
participate in additional networking and educational events;
- Carry the NAPO-LA membership directory
and use it;
- Consistently forward the business cards
of your five Associate (Business) Members to prospective clients. Call
the Associate Members to tell them you have done so;
- Locate your mentors and volunteer
- Enter key contacts into your mobile phone
so you can exit out of sticky situations or locate a crew of organizing
Remember, as a professional organizer, you are an entrepreneur. And as
with all entrepreneurs, you should be surrounded by a team of
supporting players. Let your colleagues in. Let's all grow together.
Chapter Meeting Information
from your colleagues. Share your knowledge and experience. Everyone
wins at the NAPO-LA
Round Tables. Your table topic suggestions are most welcome. Please
send them along with your
email@example.com. We want to be
sure to have adequate space at this popular,
from the knees when lifting heavy
objects. Be sure your workstation is ergonomically set
up. These issues and many others will be addressed at
the April meeting by a panel of experts speaking about personal safety.
65 people attended the February meeting
to hear Karron Maidment speak about the compulsive hoarder. Chapter
members took copious notes to capture the invaluable information she
us about how best to help our OCD and hoarding
clients. Our thanks to Karron for her return visit and yet
another remarkable presentation.
What a Team!
thanks, once again, to all of the volunteers who helped in whatever way
they could to make this year's L.A. Organizing Awards such a
many, many thanks to Sara Getzkin, as always, for not only taking
photos on the night of the Awards, but for taking this group photo as
well. Sara, you're the best!
NAPO-LA Board Elected
Results Are In
2008-09 NAPO-LA Board of Directors
Josef Csongei Organizing
Director of Administration
Get Organized - Be Harmonized
Director of Communication
Got 2 Get Organized
Director of Marketing
Director of Membership
Chantale Bordonaro, CPO
Director of Professional Development
An Organized Life
Director of Finance
The new term begins May 15, 2008
Up Online for the Assistant List
As an Assistant and
You Learn from the Pros
Got to Get Organized
and NAPO-LA Director of Communications and Technology
is the NAPO-LA Assistant List?
It's a place for you to post your contact
information, work preferences/specialties, along with your
time and location restrictions.
Who uses the NAPO-LA Assistant List?
Organizers who need to hire assistants.
Why would I want to be someone else's
Being hired by a veteran organizer as an
Assistant is a terrific way to learn from a pro, gain great
experience, and make new organizing friends.
If you would like to take advantage of this
great opportunity to work alongside your NAPO-LA colleagues, you are
encouraged to sign up online.
To access the form, click here www.napola.org.
Log in and go to the Members Only section. Then select Assistant
List Request Form.
Everyone currently on the list is asked to submit this
The new format is now live, so please take a
look, submit your form, and if you like, send a photo to
NOTE: The Assistant List is
printed in the newsletter as well as online.
Associate Member, Esselte
clear acrylic tray is a great solution
to help organize the top of a desk. There are six
heavy-duty colored dividers which makes it simple to
identify and separate various projects. Each has a tab on two sides to
make organizing easier.
The tray is slanted back in order to keep
papers in the tray and not all over your desk. Not only are
the papers organized, but they look good, too!
These trays do not stack. Stacked trays lead to unorganized piles that
accumulate junk. This
tray is meant to keep your desk organized and looking professional.
A warm welcome to Cindy Dolinac, another
Esselte sales rep. Barb introduced Cindy at our February meeting and we
are glad to have both
her and Barb in NAPO-LA!
Heights for Garage Floors
Associate Member, OrganizIT!
decades the garage has been a dumping ground for many American
The garage floor is often an unsightly mess
hidden under piles of boxes, holiday decorations,
gardening equipment, etc., and covered with stains from
your cars, pets, paints and various chemicals.
So what is a home owner to do? Install
free interlocking floor tiles, that's what!
The garage is long overdue for an overhaul and interlocking floor tiles
are the newest,
greatest thing for the garage floor. Think Legos meet linoleum. Instead
of trying to fix it up, simply cover
The tiles come in a variety of styles, colors
and sizes and are made from a material that can withstand extreme
temperature and heavy weight. Unlike
paints or epoxy products, there is no prep time, no
cracks to fill, no grinding of surfaces, no toxic
chemicals and no mess. And you won't have to be without your
garage for days on end. A standard two-car garage
can be installed in hours not days. You simply snap
them together and lay them down. Attractive designs, including
checkerboards, individual car
stalls and even hopscotch for the kids can be created. The minute it's
finished, you can drive on it.
You can even take them with you when you move. But here's
the best part: the surface is oil and paint
So when you are ready to clean up your
garage, don't stop at just your walls and cabinets,
consider doing the floors as well. Install Interlocking
Thirteen Blunders You Won't
By Lynne Gilberg
Lynne Gilberg Organizing
and a Golden Circle Member
makes mistakes-even professional organizers (gasp)! Here are a few I
have witnessed, heard about, or just dreaded in my imagination.
- Never walk around your client's home
with food or drink; although you have never spilled anything before,
this will be the first time.
- If you ask incessant questions, you may
be distracting your client. Limit questions to those necessary to
complete the task at hand. In time and with trust, the client will
reveal all that you need to know. You are the consultant, so you should
be able to formulate most of your questions up front. This, too, will
become easier in time.
- Never toss anything without client
consent; it will be the one thing they really need or want.
- Don't judge the value of anything in the
client's possession. One of my clients had a category called "crap I
- Don't make the mistake of thinking that
organizing is about making it look good; it's not. It's about making it
function for that specific client.
- No free assessments. If you feel that
you must see the job before taking it, charge a consultation fee. And
keep your thoughts close to the chest. Every one of us has been duped
into giving it away at least once.
- Never take anything from your client's
trash or donation pile: that's stealing. It makes you look like a bag
lady. Most clients are generous, so if they want you to have something,
they will offer it.
- Do not charge clients more because they
have more money. Rather, consider charging less when a client does not
have money. It's good for the soul.
- Do not interrupt clients when they are
speaking, no matter how much this slows the process, frustrates you or
bores you. Some clients just need to tell a story for every object you
touch. In time, this phenomenon will lessen. Meanwhile, zip it.
- Send a client out to buy supplies at
your own peril. Unless you have shown them exactly what you mean, they
will inevitably come home with the wrong thing. (Didn't you find a lot
of ineffective organizing tools when you first got there? Uh huh,
that's what I thought.)
- When working as an assistant for another
organizer, do not contact the client on your own or give the client
your business card or phone number-even if they ask for it. This is
probable cause to have your knee caps broken. Politely make it clear
that you work with the lead organizer. This client may just be trying
to get the service for less.
- Don't charge clients a rate that is
below market price for a NAPO organizer at your stage of experience. If
you're feeling unsure of yourself, take a few jobs as an assistant. I
guarantee this will boost your confidence, not to mention your bank
account. Many long-timers still do it because we just loooooove to
learn from each other. Showing a busier organizer your stuff will
generate future referrals.
- Don't stick with a job that is over your
head. If you sink in the mire, your name will be mud. Either ask a more
experienced organizer to join you on the job, to mentor you through it,
or just refer it out. All three options will bolster your credibility
with clients and other organizers.
This column is an on-going series of articles by Golden Circle members.
It is just one of the many ways veteran members give back to NAPO-LA.
more information on Golden Circle, contact Ann Gambrell
2008 Volunteer of the Month
What is your business name?
When did you start your business?
Where do you do business?
How did you get into organizing as a
As a way of supporting my acting career, I
worked in restaurants for several years. After one of
life's big wake-up calls, I decided to trade in the
waitressing and start my own business. I just didn't
know which one. I experimented with personal assisting
for a friend who wanted me to help him pay his
bills every week. When I first walked in, I couldn't
understand why he didn't have a filing cabinet. Something had to be
done. It all began that day.
How did you come to join NAPO and/or
I didn't know professional organizing existed
before I decided that's what I wanted to do. While
trying to put the pieces together of this new "weird thing"
I thought I might try, I googled a bunch of different
organizing terms. Finally, I was rewarded. Finding the NAPO websites
was like a ton of bricks hitting me
in the face -- in a good way.
What has been your experience volunteering
in NAPO-LA and what do you see as the benefits of volunteering?
Believe the hype: volunteering is the
coolest! After a solid year of NOT volunteering or speaking up
very much, I finally got my bearings enough to
break on through. In the fall of 2007, Claire
Flannery asked me to take over the Newsletter Publisher
position. I was surprised to hear the word "Yes" come out of my mouth,
but I haven't looked back. It's been
absolutely wonderful so far! Then I joined the
Organizing Awards Task Force. Working on the video production
side, I learned a lot about film editing, made great new friends, and
was overwhelmingly impressed with such an awesome event.
What are your main organizing interests or
I work primarily in
residential, where I enjoy getting to know my clients, as
well as their thought processes and the emotions they
have for their stuff. I have surely learned as
much as I've taught. Most of my clients are in the
entertainment industry. As that's a field I also work in,
I'm able to give them added expertise and add a little
left-brain to their right-brain lifestyles that I know so well.
Anything else we should know about you?
New Order would not be where it is
without NAPO-LA. Thanks for welcoming me into the fold.
Have you volunteered yet to help
out NAPO-LA in some way? Then you, too, could be voted "Volunteer of
the Month" or even
"Volunteer of the Year." And when you are, it will be your turn
to share your story, so that all of us in NAPO-LA will
get to know you just a little bit better.
To find out about volunteer opportunities, contact Abbey Keusch
Annual NAPO Conference
You Going to Reno?
NAPO's 20th Annual Conference
& Organizing Exposition
April 9-12, 2008
John Ascuaga's Nugget, Reno, Nevada
Who Should Attend:
Whether you call yourself a professional organizer, a consultant, a
coach, or a lifesaver, if you enhance the lives of
clients by designing systems and processes using organizing principles,
or educate the public on organizing solutions, this conference is for
Organizing industry experts have designed the conference programming to
meet the needs of novices,
veterans, and those in-between. The conference will
address career advancement, business marketing, the
future of the organizing industry, and a wide
variety of professional organizing topics. Sessions are designed to
provide you with the knowledge and support required to enhance your
professional organizing career.
is the latest list of NAPO-LA
members going to Conference:
Zeigler, Dee Saar, Toni Scharff,
Sara Getzkin, Robin Davi,Sheila
McCurdy , Fay Wolf, Christine Reiter, Donna Rosman, Melissa
Montaigne, Marcy Melton, Jean Furuya, Nadine Levy, Ann
Gambrell, Diana Ryan, Chris McKenry, Donna McMillan, Kim
Anker-Paddon, Kim Kabbash, Joanna
Sletten, David Roers, Jennifer Birner, Carol
Keller, Claire Flannery, Barb Schmit, Michelle Cloney,
Katherine Macey, Carolyn Strauss, Lynne
Gilberg, Abbey Keusch, Lori Gersh, Christie Gelsomno, John
Trosko, Robin Valdez, Tom Nevermann, Heather Furlong, Karen
Simon, Deborah Kawashima
your name isn't on the above list and you
are going to Conference, email Jennifer
Birner at firstname.lastname@example.org
to let her know you will be attending.
Include your name, cell #,
email, the dates you will be there and your hotel.
register, click here napo.net.
First Class Postage
class postage is going up to 42 cents
in May. If you buy the 41 cent Liberty Bell "Forever"
stamps available now, you will be able to use them
during all future rate increases. They will not be
available once the 42 cent stamps come out.
Submitted by Toni
The Simplicity Project
working with a stay-at-home Mom, empower her by letting her know she is
Manager." Establish a "Home Management Center" to keep her and her
family running smoothly.
Submitted by Jodie Watson
the TIPS Program:
NAPO-LA's TIPS Program is managed by the chapter's Golden Circle
members. Ann Gambrell is the chair and invites all chapter members to
organizing tips via email or on index cards that will be available at
the monthly chapter meetings for deposit into the "Organizing Tips" box.
are requested in two categories:
"Tips from Pros" are organizing tips for
"Tips of the Trade" are tips for
organizers to use in their businesses.
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 home
your TIPS to:
in the Schools
Elementary Training Call
Scheduled for March 25
By Deborah Kawashima,
and NAPO in the Schools Committee Chair
in the Schools Elementary training call
will take place on Tuesday, March 25 (5 PM to 7 PM Pacific).
After this call, Elementary School training will be on a quarterly
basis only. Space is limited.
everyone is welcome to attend the NAPO in the Schools Committee
Meeting at Conference on Friday, April 11, from 3:30 to 5 PM in the
Fremont Room when the Middle School program will be presented.
NAPO in the Schools is a community
outreach program. It brings professional organizers
into the classroom for an interactive presentation with students. We
hope that by planting these organizing-can-be-fun seeds in student
they will realize being organized really does make a difference.
more information, contact Deborah Kawashima
Phone: (323) 656-9665
in the News
McMillan of McMillan & Company Professional Organizing
and Karen Simon of PC Tech Associates
were the featured contributors in the January
issue of The Honolulu Advertiser's
Homescape Magazine. The article is
Start - 12 Simple Organization Projects You
Can Pledge to Do Throughout The Year."
The collaboration of their expertise through
Organizers spotlights their professional
organizing and computer consulting services.
Both are Past Presidents of NAPO-LA and Karen is the current President
of the Hawaii Association of Professional Organizers
President John Trosko of OrganizingLA is
featured in the March national edition of Better Homes and Gardens,
as well as in Healing Lifestyles and Spas Magazine where he
discussed healthy kitchen tips. John was also quoted on CreditCards.com
in a piece on managing your credit and debit cards and he was mentioned
in an interview for Decor8, a popular interior design blog.
Valdez of Expert Organizers and Chapter President John
Trosko were quoted in the January/February issue of Valley
Magazine. The piece featured advice from professional organizers
and design experts on how to prevent clutter.
New NAPO-LA Members
A Warm Welcome
to one of NAPO-LA's
Simplified Spaces, Inc.
Joined November 2007
NOTE: "Warm Welcome" is a regular
feature of The Los Angeles Organizer. If you
recently joined NAPO-LA, be sure to send your photo to
the Editor, along with your name, your business
name, where you live, and the date you joined to email@example.com
Training Workshop May 31
Presented by the
Educational Development Committee
Michelle Quintana of
Killer Copy to Transform
Your Website Immediately
this training workshop we will work
together so you can learn to make your web words scream,
organizer for me!"
all who read it. This copywriting
interactive is guaranteed to challenge what you are
currently doing with the written word and how it could be
working MUCH better for you.
a small sample of what we'll be
covering to help your website explode.
- The 12-letter word that
your success and how it's NOT used to your
- How and why the power of the written
works, and how even just ONE WORD can be the difference
between a successful marketing
message and one that fails.
- How 8 savvy "outside the box"
techniques, when applied to your website
(with an open mind), will explain why 90% of all service businesses
- The 4 simple proven strategies
that can help your business break through the dead
- How to write fabulous subject
lines that get your email opened and read EVERY time.
- The 10 steps to surefire
marketing success that will help you forget your
- How the Magic of False Logic, when
explored, will help to explain why you may be
losing 75% or more of your potential clients.
- How to reach your potential clients
never before using the BFD formula. What is
BFD? Attend this training session to find out.
Hint: If you are not
using BFD in your copy, you might as
well go out of business!
As a thank-you for signing up
for this copywriting interactive, I will email you a
free report entitled, "99 Easy Ways to Boost Your Direct
Mail Response," written by seven-figure copywriter
Dean Riech. These tips will help you with ALL of your copywriting
efforts and any direct mail
pieces you plan on sending in the future.
why am I calling this an interactive training session?
want everyone attending this seminar to bring "problem pages" from
their website. After learning these copywriting techniques, you
will critique each others' "problem pages" and immediately
apply what you've learned. Are you up for the
Quintana of BulldogCreativeCopywriting.com spent 11
years as a NAPO member and full-time organizer. She has now
traded the clutter for the keyboard. Michelle
decided to take what she learned building a six-figure
organizing business and turn that passion into a
full-time career as a professional freelance copywriter.
"Words That Sell"
May 31, 2008
9:30 AM - 1 PM
Westside Pavillion Mall
10800 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90064
NAPO-LA Members: $99
NAPO National Members: $109
Public (nonmembers): $129
Registration: To register, click here www.napola.org
will be limited to 20 participants,
so register early!
Profile Has New Specialty
"Hoarding" Added to List of
those organizers who work with hoarding clients, you can now select Hoarding
in your profile under Special Clients-Residential.
you are qualified to work with this type of client ( i.e., you have had
training with a veteran organizer, the NSGCD, or another organization
offering training in this type of work), go to the Members Only
section of the NAPO-LA website, click on My Profile and add
this selection to your Special Clients-Residential category.
you have not had this type of training but are interested in learning
it, contact Jean Furuya for guidance. Jean leads the CD (Chronic
Disorganization) Support Group for the NAPO-LA Chapter and is always
glad to help.
Clients Support Group
May 13 Meeting Planned on
By Jean Furuya
The Office Jeanie
you are working consistently and on an ongoing basis with chronically
disorganized clients, you are invited to participate in an informal
support group. Our next topic for discussion will be "CD Clients and
will continue to work on "Resources: How can we help the indigent
hoarders?" Please bring resources to share.
will also be spent sharing our individual issues.
next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 13, from 6 PM to 8:30 PM. Limited
to 10 attendees.
simple pot luck is planned.
RSVP or for more information, contact Jean Furuya
Phone: (310) 316-1753
Educational Development Committee (EDC)
you ready to create a successful organizing business? Do you want to
learn how to:
- apply proven business techniques and
- find your niche and the clients who need
- avoid the frustration and stress of
- become an expert in this rapidly growing
Educational Development Committee (formerly the Mentoring, Education
and Training Committee) provides a Directory of NAPO-LA organizing
consultants available to provide guidance,
advice and support to potential, new and
existing professional organizers. Contact
consultants directly for information and fees. Click on
the link below to be connected to the Directory.
the Educational Development Committee
firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.