Subject: NAPO-LA September/October 2008 Los Angeles Organizer Newsletter
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September/October 2008                                                                                             Volume 15, Issue 6
In This Issue
President's Message
Los Angeles Organizing Expo
NAPO-LA Chapter Meeting Information
Volunteer of the Month
Membership Renewal
NAPO-LA Members
Los Angeles Organizing Awards
Special Member Announcements
Website and Technology Updates
Online Communities
Golden Circle
NAPO-LA Board and You
CD Support Group
Educational Development Committee
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Quick Links
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.
NAPO-Los Angeles
PMB 134, 10573 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Phone 213-486-4477

Who's Who

Board of Directors
John Trosko

Vice President
Jodie Watson

Josef Csongei

Rosalind Lakomy

Kathryn MasciDirector of Administration
Kathryn Masci

Director of Communications & Technology
Susan Culligan

Director of Membership
Chantale Bordonaro

HeatherFurlong Director of Marketing
Heather Furlong

Leslie Haber1Director of Professional Development
Leslie Haber

Immediate Past President
Chris McKenry


Mini Board Minutes

  • Board members passed a motion to have two rate levels for all chapter events. There will be a special rate for NAPO-LA members, while all others will pay full price.
  • The 2008 Organizing Expo will be held at the Olympic Collection with a panel discussion before the event.
  • NAPO-LA has 137 members and 8 Associate members as of July 2008.
  • Motion passed to keep regular member dues the same, but to raise both levels of Associate Memberships by $25.
  • Marketing plan for the Los Angeles Organizing Expo in full swing.
  • Membership renewals begin September 1st and continue through September 30th.

Coordinators &
Committee Chairs
Associate Members
Barb Schmit
Heidi Chianta
Educational Development Committee
Golden Circle   
Greeter Coordinator
Christie Gelsomino
Jennifer Birner, Carol Hogg,
Elizabeth Butler, Donna Rosman
Christie Gelsomino
Cindy Duffy
Meeting Assistant
Beth Flarida

NAPO in the Schools
Deborah Kawashima

New Member Orientation
Jean Furuya, Ann Gambrell

Sara Getzkin

Volunteer Coordinator
Abbey Keusch

Website Coordinator
Susan Culligan
Heidi Chianta, Claire Flannery, Carol Hogg, Katherine Macey, Kathryn Masci

Volunteers of the Month

February: Fay Wolf

March: Sara Getzkin

April: Abbey Keusch

July - Committee of the Month: Neighborhood Groups

August: Heidi Chianta

Volunteers of the Year

2007 Volunteer:
Cary Brazeman
2006 Co-Volunteers:
Kristine Oller and Claire Flannery
2005 Volunteer:
Deborah Kawashima
2004 Co-Volunteers:
Dee Saar and Laurie Clark

Chapter Meeting Attendance
 Members: 44
 Visitors: 15
 Total: 59

 Members: 38
 Visitors: 10
 Total: 48 
NAPO National Membership
Annual Dues:
$200 - Active Member*
$150 - Associate-Branch
$250 - Associate-Local
$550 - Associate-Corporate
$20 - New Member One-Time Processing Fee

*Provisional member dues are $180 plus a one-time $20 processing fee. You are an active member* if you have completed your provisional membership year, or are a new NAPO member with more than one year of professional organizing experience.

NAPO National dues can be paid online.
Proof of paid dues is required at time of joining NAPO-LA. NAPO National submits its renewal notices directly to members on their anniversary dates. NAPO-LA annual membership dues are renewed each September. You can also join NAPO-LA online.

NAPO-LA Chapter Membership
Regular Members:
$100: Level 1
Yearly dues and listing in the "Find an Organizer" section of our website. $10 chapter meeting fee.

$165: Level 2
Yearly dues, listing in the "Find an Organizer" section of our website and chapter meeting fees. 
(This Membership option is only available in Septmeber)

$25 -
One-Time New Member Processing Fee
$25 - Lapsed Member Processing Fee
Dues are prorated quarterly.

Associate Members:
$175: Branch Associate Member- Operates as a local branch or regional office of a Corporate Associate Member
$300: Local Associate Member -Local, self-operating retailer, supplier, designer, or independent sales representative engaged primarily in the manufacture, distribution and/or sales of organizational equipment, supplies or organizing-industry related services.

NOTE: All members are required to sign a Code of Ethics as part of their membership.

For more information on becoming a NAPO-LA member, click here.

For the NAPO Code of Ethics, click here.
Associate Members

Custom Closet Systems
Email Barbara Howell

Custom Closet Systems & RotaBob
Email Fred Gallegos

Office Organization Products
Email Barb Schmit


Custom Garage Systems
Email Cary Brazeman

Furniture Assembly
Email Heather Ross

Custom Garage Systems
Email Gus Gougas

Photo Scanning Services
Email Anderson Schoenrock

Onsite or Offsite Storage
Email Peter Given


Extreme Cleaning Services
Division of Crime Scene
Ster-Clean LLC
Email Tammy Chalmers


The Los Angeles Organizer

The Los Angeles Organizer

Newsletter Staff

Editor: Jennifer Birner

Assistant Editor: Beth Zeigler

Publisher: Fay Wolf,

Claire Flannery
Sheila McCurdy
Toni Scharff
The Los Angeles Organizer is published bi-monthly (January, March, May, July, September, November). The newsletter is e-mailed to NAPO-LA members, NAPO national board members, NAPO chapter presidents, and is available to the public on our website.  All contents are copyrighted. All rights reserved.

Submission Guidelines

NAPO-LA members are encouraged to contribute to this newsletter.  Articles are not to exceed 500 words in length.  Submissions must be received by our editor no later than the 20th of the month preceding the month of publication.  You may send your article as a Microsoft Word file attachment or directly in the body of the e-mail.  If you would like to include a photo, this may be sent as a .jpg attachment, 72 dpi, with your article.  All article topics and content must be approved by our editor. 

Editor: Jennifer Birner -

Advertising: If you are interested in advertising with The Los Angeles Organizer, please contact our assistant editor.  All ads must be received by the 20th of the month preceding the month of publication.  There are two types of ads available.

  • Web site Link: This is a small ad, located in the left side column of the newsletter.  The ad can be your logo, a photo, or a small message.  The ad contains a link to your web site.  (When someone clicks on it, they will be taken to your site.)  Please submit in .jpg format, 72 dpi, 125 pixels w x 100 h.
Price: $25 NAPO-LA Members, $35 Non NAPO-LA Members

  • Full Ad:  This is a large block located at the end of our newsletter.  This ad can provide details about your company or service, along with a logo and/or photo.  See current newsletter for examples.  Please submit ad copy (100 words max) in a Word document or body of an email, and no more than one logo and one photo in .jpg format, 72 dpi.
Price: $35 NAPO-LA Members, $45 Non NAPO-LA Members

Assistant Editor: Beth Zeigler -

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NAPO-LA is not responsible for the products and/or services advertised.

Visit our Advertisers by clicking on their links below:

Trosko Logo


22 "Ask the Organizer" Panel, 4-5:30pm
22 4th Annual Organizing Expo, 5:30-8:30pm
25-27 NSGCD Annual Conference

1   Start NAPO-LA Fiscal Year
11 South Bay Neighborhood Group, 8:30am 
19 Golden Circle Meeting, 11am 
27 Board Meeting, 2:45pm
27 Chapter Meeting, 6:15pm

2   Westside Neighborhood Group, Santa Monica
2   Ventura County Neighborhood Group
3   Upland Neighborhood Group
8   EDC Workshop (details below), 9am
9   Hollywood Neighborhood Group
24 Board Meeting, 2:45pm
24 Chapter Meeting, 6:15pm
No NAPO-LA Meeting
January 2009
19 Leadership Forum
30 Los Angeles Organizing Awards 
President's Message

johntroskoA Blockbuster Fall Begins with Membership Renewals

By John Trosko
President, NAPO-LA

As your President, I keep ranting and raving about how well our chapter membership works together, networks, builds our individual businesses, and contributes to the burgeoning professional organizing industry. The message is the same now as it has always been: The NAPO-LA Chapter is the place to be if you are an organizing professional in the Los Angeles area. Our membership is at its highest ever (20% higher in fact); chapter meeting visitors are up almost 200%, and total meeting attendance is up 23% over last year. However, with all this growth comes opportunity and need. To meet the demand, our skilled Board of Directors has introduced programs such as the neighborhood groups, added new training classes, developed an expanded Organizing Expo with a new "Ask the Organizer" Panel, beefed up marketing efforts with more press releases, and opened up our newsletter subscriptions to the general public.
The fact is, the Chapter is doing great. This month marks the beginning of our busiest time of the term, with membership renewals at the helm. Allow me to quickly review all the great programs we're planning for the next few months:

September 22nd - We welcome our new "Ask the Organizer" Panel to the 4th Annual Los Angeles Organizing Expo, which will feature dozens of new products and services, closet systems and accessories, technology and office products, books and authors. The public is invited and this is a fundraiser for our Chapter. Last year, over 150 guests attended and dozens of vendors participated. We also welcomed a first-time corporate sponsorship and received a special commendation from California State Senator Tom McClintock's Office.

September 30th - Marks the final day of our annual membership renewal drive.  If you want to continue to enhance your business and grow the organizing industry, you have found the right organization.

November 8th - Industry-veteran Michelle Quintana returns for her second successful Education Development Workshop. In "Double Your Appointment Making and Closing Rate," Quintana will teach professional organizers exactly what to say and how to say it as they turn prospects into clients and clients into repeat business.

January 19th, 2009 - Our Immediate Past President Chris McKenry will welcome you to the 3rd Annual NAPO-LA Leadership Forum, designed to show you how to be a better leader not only in NAPO-LA but in your communities and businesses as well. The Nominations Committee will begin taking applications that evening for the 2009-10 term Board of Directors.

On January 30th, 2009 - The World descends into Tinseltown to help the organizing industry celebrate The 4th Annual Los Angeles Organizing Awards. We are in negotiations with a secret celebrity host and also in the process of securing sponsorships and finalizing an elegant location.
So with all this activity, I ask you:  Are all these groundbreaking events and opportunities enough to encourage you to renew your NAPO-LA membership this month? I certainly hope so. Join your colleagues and me as we embark on a Blockbuster Fall. Please renew your Chapter membership before September 30th, and let's conquer these new challenges together.
John & Rhonda

P.S. -
On August 9th, during a visit to Wilmington, Delaware, NAPO-LA President John Trosko visited Rhonda Erickson Sinor, President of the NAPO-Greater Philadelphia Chapter.

Los Angeles Organizing Expo
NAPO-LA is pleased to present our 4th Annual Organizing Expo, which willExpo 2008 3 be held on Monday, September 22nd, at the Olympic Collection, 11301 West Olympic Boulevard in West LA. The Expo will be open for three hours, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.

Expo exhibitors will feature dozens of new products, services, books, closet systems, technology and office products, all designed to showcase the benefits of better personal productivity, timesaving techniques and the advantages of living in a streamlined home and office environment. Returning this year is the popular Organizing Theater, where vendors offer mini-presentations. These information-packed presentations will occur throughout the evening.

expo panelNew for 2008 is the "Ask the Organizer" Panel, which will precede the Expo, from 4:00pm to 5:30pm. The Panel will feature accomplished professional organizers from NAPO-LA's "Golden Circle," experts in their fields of personal productivity, training, and media. Scheduled to participate in the 90-minute panel discussion are Lynne Gilberg, CPO®, CPO-CD® ("Lynne Gilberg Organizing"), Carol Keller ("Organizing Experts(TM)"), Marcy Melton, CPO® ("Bullseye Organizing Solutions") and Tanya Whitford, CPO® ("Organizing Wonders"). The Panel will be facilitated by Claire Flannery ("Simplify").

If you haven't already purchased your tickets visit our website now! Expo Tickets

Expo Admission:

NAPO-LA members
Free (Level 2 membership)
$15 (Level 1 membership)

General Public
$25 (in advance) $30 (at the door)

"Ask the Organizer" Panel Discussion:

NAPO-LA members/Golden Circle members (regardless of Chapter membership)
General Public

Expo admission includes appetizers and a gift bag.  No-host beverages will be available for purchase.

NAPO-LA Meeting Information
Leslie Haber1 
By Leslie Haber
Director of Professional 
Kudos from Past Meetings

July 28th
Thank you to our own Gus Gougas of OrganizIT! who ROCKED the house at our July meeting with his sage marketing advice - it was simple, effective, practical, affordable and smart. The excitement was palpable when Gus discussed SEO (search engine optimization). As noted below, he will be back in October to discuss this important aspect of marketing more fully.
Thanks, too, to Steve Lewandowski of Bradford Tax Company. He provided useful tax hints and gave us all cause to contact our CPAs.
August 25th
Thank you to the following chapter members for contributing their time, efforts and experience to our Code of Ethics Round Table in August: Claire Flannery, Sara Getzkin, Lynne Gilberg, Cindy Kamm, Chris McKenry, Sheila McCurdy, and Fay Wolf. We had great feedback from this meeting and members had a chance to share ideas, experiences and valued opinions with their peers.
If you would like to become involved as a volunteer assistant for the chapter meetings, please contact Leslie at:
Upcoming Chapter Meetings
September 22nd
The Organizing Expo and "Ask the Organizer" Panel
           October 27th
          "Search Engine Optimization & Internet Marketing    

We once again welcome our own Associate Member, Gus Gougas ofOrganizIT!, who will continue his successful marketing presentation with the heavily requested topic: Search Engine Optimization & Internet Marketing. We can no longer ignore the power and necessity of the Internet as it pertains to our businesses and the ability to brand ourselves in a competitive marketplace. While marketing is imperative for our businesses, it remains one of the most challenging and fastest changing dynamics of business ownership. As technology progresses at breakneck speed and we are exposed to more tools at our fingertips, it is important to learn as much as possible about the strategies we can employ to increase exposure for our companies and to grow our businesses.   

Mark your calendars and be sure not to miss this dynamic presentation!

Silent Auction Volunteer

Gus Garage ManOctober
Gus Gougas, OrganizIT!
Gus is the owner and president of OrganizIT!, a Chatsworth-based business that provides products and services in the garage remodeling and organization industry. He has been featured on television programs about garage organization on NBC, KCAL-9 and HGTV. OrganizIT! will also be featured in the upcoming book "Glamorous Garages." Gus has authored several articles on garage organization for, and the NAPO newsletter. He is also an active Associate Member of NAPO-LA.
In addition to being a garage makeover guru, Gus is a sales and marketing maven. At our July meeting, Gus provided a terrific educational program on sales and marketing, which highlighted tips on how to use search engine optimization to drive traffic to your company's website.
Prior to launching OrganizIT!, Gus worked for 20+ years in outside enterprise sales, marketing and management for companies like Symantec, Unisys, Logica and Lanier, where he was responsible for sales quotas upwards of $20 million a year. The extent and breadth of Gus's education in the sales arena is impressive and includes the following professional training programs: Solution Selling, Strategic Selling, Synergistic Selling, AMA, LAMP, Leadership 2000, Selection Interviewing, Stephen Covey, Jack Carew, Fortune Group, Zenger Miller, Thomas Peters, Zig Ziglar, and Harris/Lanier Advanced Sales Training.
A native of Los Angeles, Gus, his wife and two children reside in the San Fernando Valley. He is active in numerous organizations. 
Volunteer of the Month
July 2008:
Neighborhood Groups Committee
Committee Chair: Kathryn Masci (pictured)

By Beth Zeigler, Assistant Editor, The Los Angeles Organizer

KathrynMasciFor the month of July, the Volunteer/Committee of the Month award went to the leaders of the Neighborhood Groups. These groups are becoming a wonderful accompaniment to our monthly chapter meetings. The neighborhood groups give organizers a chance to talk about their businesses in a casual atmosphere. I can speak from experience that my group -- the Hollywood neighborhood group led by John Trosko -- is invaluable. Having new members and veterans together provides for a great learning atmosphere on both sides of the table. Plus, where else are you going to be able to gather a table full of individuals that are actually excited to talk about organizing for hours?
I checked in with the group leaders to get the scoop on the groups. Each 
chooses its own meeting dates and times, with weekends being the most popular choice. The choice for locations is divided between restaurant get-togethers and members hosting at a volunteer's home. Gatherings occur every other month and attendance hovers around 15 members. Some hot topics being discussed are "Why is your business not growing?" to "client issues" and even "hot products."  If you are interested in attending a neighborhood group, contact the group leader in your area (below).

Neighborhood Group Leaders:
Ventura: Kathryn Masci  -
Hollywood: John Trosko -
South Bay:  Ann Gambrell -
LA Westsiders: Claire Flannery -
Upland: Sheila McCurdy -

Pictured L-R above are Sheila McCurdy, Jean Furuya (accepting for Ann Gambrell), Claire Flannery, John Trosko and Kathryn Masci.
HeidiChiantaAugust 2008:
Heidi Chianta

What is your business name?
Your Project Manager, Inc.

Where do you do business?
Based in Redondo Beach, our primary service area is the South Bay.

How did you get into organizing as a profession?
I launched Your Project Manager in 2005 after spending over 15 years in project management for advertising and promotion agencies and CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies. From pulling together regional events to launching national brands, organization has always been the cornerstone of my success. Transferring my skills to residential and small-business owners was a natural. I had already developed the other three core service areas of my business plan - 1) errands and household projects 2) event planning and 3) pet services - before stumbling on the profession of organizing. I immediately added the fourth service area, which represents almost 40% of Your Project Manager billings today.
When did you start your business?
In 2005 - I had no work/life balance myself and was determined to help others get out from under.  It's no surprise that "Getting it Started. Getting it Done." is the unwavering mantra of my company!

How did you come to join NAPO and/or NAPO-LA?
An online search helped me locate NAPO. I waited another year before joining NAPO-LA. Now, I can't imagine NOT being a part of the local scene!

What has been your experience volunteering in NAPO-LA and what do you see as the benefits
of volunteering?
After joining NAPO-LA, I attended meetings to increase my personal knowledge. I laid low and did not get involved right away. Last year, Dolores Kaytes encouraged me to help with the Special Events Task Force and later Susan Culligan convinced me to help with the website. The benefits have been tremendous! Volunteering gives you the opportunity to share, learn and grow with the amazing individuals who make up our NAPO-LA chapter.

What are your main organizing interests or specialties?
I love collaborating. Bringing in a team to transform a garage over a weekend or involving multiple vendors to organize an entire home top to bottom over time - it's extremely rewarding to help clients gain momentum and finish projects!
There is nothing more satisfying to me than being part of the transformation. Sure, physical space changes without clutter, but watching a client open up and shift the rest of his or her life is truly magical!

Anything else we should know about you?
Life is too short to just plod along...don't be afraid to make a change. "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." -Gandhi

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.
Membership Renewal Time
Chantale B1
By Chantale Bordonaro
NAPO-LA Director of Membership
An amazing year is in the works for 2008-09, with lots of exciting events and opportunities. I invite you to be a part of it! Yes, it's time to renew your NAPO-LA dues. And you can do that during the month of September by once again going online to our chapter website at
Annual dues for individual membersTo renew your Regular Membership, click here.

Level 1 - $100 : Reduced annual dues, $10 chapter meeting fee, listing in the "Find an Organizer" section of the NAPO-LA website. Additional benefits are listed below.
Level 2 - $165 : All benefits of Level 1, plus all chapter meeting fees, and one admission to The 2009 Los Angeles Organizing Expo. (Level 2 is only available in September.)
Annual dues for associate members - To renew your Associate Membership, click here.

Local Associate Member - $300 : Local, self-operating retailer, supplier, designer, or independent sales representative primarily in the manufacturing, distribution and/or sales of organizing equipment/supplies or organizing industry services.

Branch Associate Member - $175 : Operates as a local branch or regional office of a Corporate Associate Member.      
  • Current NAPO National membership is required for membership in NAPO-LA. Lapsed National membership will result in forfeiting your chapter membership.
  • No refunds or credits will be issued for unused membership benefits.
  • In order to avoid a $25 late fee, chapter dues must be postmarked or received online by September 30, 2008.
  • Names of individual members and Associate Members who do not renew by September 30 will not be listed on the NAPO-LA chapter roster and website.
  • Membership in NAPO-LA cannot be deducted as a charitable contribution but may be deductible as an ordinary business expense for federal tax purposes.
Thank you so much for continuing to support the founding chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers. Ahead of us is another banner year and I bet that you will not want to miss one single minute! As a member of NAPO-LA, you will have numerous opportunities to build your business and take your company to the next level. Whatever your interest - continuing education, publicity, leadership training, support, professional credibility, or simply meeting new friends - you'll find it all at NAPO-LA.
NAPO-LA Membership Benefits
  • Online Referral Directory Listing:  Members are listed on our website in the "Find an Organizer" section, which is open to members of the general public interested in hiring a professional organizer.
  • Monthly Meetings:  Ten chapter meetings are held annually in West Los Angeles where members benefit from educational speakers, problem-solving discussions, product demonstrations by Associate Members and sponsors, business networking, and networking tables (to showcase your fliers, brochures, etc.).  Depending on level of membership, additional meeting fees may apply.
  • Members-Only Discounts:  Offered on educational courses, as well as on NAPO-LA special events, including the Los Angeles Organizing Expo, the Los Angeles Organizing Awards and the Annual Leadership Forum.
  • New Member Orientation Program:  New members are required to participate in an orientation program about NAPO National and NAPO-LA.
  • The Los Angeles Organizer:  Automatic subscription to The Los Angeles Organizer, our bi-monthly E-newsletter, which contains informative articles, upcoming events, local industry and association news, features, advice, profiles of professional organizers, and advertising opportunities.
  • Announcements from the Board:  Bi-monthly mini E-newsletters featuring up-to-the-minute news and tips from the NAPO-LA Board of Directors.
  • Members-Only Section of NAPO-LA Website:  Includes access to NAPO-LA membership directory, chapter forms and documents, the chapter's annual budget, and advertising opportunities.
  • Yahoo Group:  Membership in our exclusive online chat group where you can exchange resources, ask questions, and get feedback helpful to your business.
  • Assistant List:  New members especially benefit from being on the Assistant List, which is where veteran organizers look to hire help with large projects.
  • Business Associate Members:  Connection to Los Angeles-area business industry partners who can help with organizing solutions and products. Some Associate Members offer special discounts and promotions exclusively to NAPO-LA members.
  • Educational Development Committee:  Offers interactive training sessions, resources and encouragement to chapter members, as well as the Directory of Coaches for Professional Organizers, which is a listing of veterans available for one-on-one coaching.
  • Cooperative Marketing Efforts:  To build awareness of the organizing industry in all areas.
  • NAPO-LA Chapter Logo:  Adding professional credibility, the NAPO-LA logo is available to members for use on their marketing materials, letterheads, and business cards.
  • Leadership Forum: An annual, interactive workshop designed to help you discover your hidden potential. You will learn skills to help you be more comfortable volunteering not only in NAPO-LA, but on other levels as well. 
  • Leadership Opportunities:  Gain experience, exposure, and the opportunity to affect the future of the organizing industry on both the local and national levels.
  • Participation in Regional and National Organizing Events:  Includes The Los Angeles Organizing Expo, The Los Angeles Organizing Awards, and Get Organized Month.
  • NAPO-in-the-Schools: The chance to participate in our national community outreach program to bring basic organizing principles to students in all grade levels.
  • Neighborhood Groups: Informal bi-monthly meetings held throughout the Los Angeles area, these offshoots of NAPO-LA offer education, networking and business tips.
  • Chronic Disorganization Support Group:  Bi-monthly discussion group on pertinent subjects.
  • Chapter Library:  CDs and DVDs from NAPO-LA and NAPO National's annual conferences are available to chapter members through our lending library.  

NAPO LA Members

Members in the News 

NAPO-LA Member to Appear on New TV Show as Organizing Expert!

JodieWatson2008TLC Network and Real Simple Magazine have teamed up to produce a new 360-degree lifestyle makeover show for women entitled "REAL SIMPLE. REAL LIFE."  Using the best-in-class experts in a variety of areas, the show will help women identify their day-to-day challenges and willl offer realistic solutions and personalized tips that will save time, clear the chaos, and leave more time to do things to help them live an even better life.
Jodie Watson, NAPO-LA chapter member and current Vice President, was selected to be the Organizing Expert on the show and has been busy taping episodes for the upcoming series. She will appear in the show's premiere episode on Friday, October 17th, 2008 @ 8 pm, and will be featured in the October issue of Real Simple Magazine (on newsstands in mid-September). Also check her out on the show's new website, also due to be launched in mid-September.
We caught up with Jodie who said, "I'm pretty sure that being a NAPO member and active in the NAPO-LA chapter helped play a part in my being chosen as the Organizing Expert for REAL SIMPLE. REAL LIFE.  I love being involved in our chapter and am so excited to be a part of this show and to bring continued attention to the organizing industry at large."

Sheila McCurdySheila G. McCurdy CPO® Releases 2nd Edition of her award-winning book, The Floor is not an Option!

Sheila is the owner of clutter STOP and a NAPO-LA, Golden Circle and NSGCD member. She is also a certified coach and popular speaker. Sheila will be launching her new book on September 22nd at the Los Angeles Organizing Expo, where she will be available to sign her book. The Floor is not an Option! will also be available online at In addition, she will be holding another book signing and seminar at Border's Bookstore in St. Louis, Missouri during the NSGCD Conference.

Welcome Our Newest Members


Gail Gray
A Fresh Start Professional Organizing
Costa Mesa, CA, 92626


Stacy Kaplan
Clutter Away by Stacy K.
Newport Coast, CA, 92657


Melissa Kurtz
Sherman Oaks, CA, 91413


Alecia Menzano
NeatNicks Organizing and Planning
Valencia, CA, 91355

Carmen Miller (not pictured)
Los Angeles, CA, 90068


Marisa Nakhi
Inspiring Transformation
Los Angeles, CA, 90066

Los Angeles Organizing Awards
          The 4th Annual LA Organizing Awards are set for January 30th!
Organizing Awards Year in Review Video
Calling all organizers near and far! All NAPO members are invited to submit video footage to be considered for the 2008 Year-in-Review Video to be shown at the 2009 Awards ceremony! Any organizing-related footage is welcomed, so get creative! The submission guidelines will soon be posted on the NAPO-LA website and the deadline for entering is November 15, 2008. For questions, please contact Fay Wolf, Media Coordinator, at

Home Hosts Needed for Organizing Awards Weekend
We are looking for anyone who may be interested in hosting out-of-town guests over the 2009 LA Organizing Awards weekend (January 30 - February 1, 2009). This was a successful program last year and helps visiting organizers lessen the cost of traveling to the Awards. Plus, you can get to know P.O.s from other parts of the country and the world!  If you are interested and would like more information, please email Abbey Keusch, Special Events Task Force Volunteer & Travel Coordinator, at
Special Announcements

Attend NAPO-San Francisco's 20th Anniversary Party
Join Los Angeles chapter President John Trosko as he attends the 20th Anniversary of NAPO San Francisco Bay Area!  Our sister chapter
is hosting an outdoor social event at the Wildwood Acres Resort in Lafayette, Northern CNAPO-SFBA logoalifornia. Wildwood Acres Resort is located near Walnut Creek and is 45 minutes from the Oakland Airport. You can view the online invitation, purchase tickets, and get additional information through the link below.
NAPO-San Francisco is the nation's largest chapter with over 215 members. We in NAPO-LA are honored to be able to participate and wish our northern colleagues a memorable celebration!
Event Brite link:

NAPO-in-the-Schools is a community outreach program that brings professional organizers into the classroom to conduct a 40-minute interactive presentation. Training is required of all NAPO members wanting to become trained providers for the elementary program.
The NAPO-in-the-Schools elementary program was launched nationwide this fall and NAPO-LA is where it all began! NAPO-in-the-Schools is an excellent opportunity to volunteer, get involved with your chapter and connect with your local community.
For questions and to sign-up for the NAPO-LA training session contact Deborah Kawashima: or call 323-656-9665.

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Website and Technology Updates
Susan CulliganAccessing the Current Online Membership Directory

By Susan Culligan
NAPO-LA Director of Communications and Technology

Many members have used the Printable Directory, which was only updated every few months, to find other organizers' contact information. To obtain the most recently updated information, please use the following easy steps. [NOTE: New members who haven't attended New Member Orientation will not be visible on this list.]

1. Login to the website ( using your Contact Name and password. (If you've forgotten your contact name or password, there's a link on the login page to remind you.)

2. Select Member Search and Directory from the Members Only page.

3. Select Advanced Search.

4. On the next screen, open the selection Use Customized Display Option. Next to "View Template," select Membership Directory (see below).

Advanced Search Screenshot

5. Click Search to view a full list of current member names, addresses, and contact information.

You can access this at any time online, and it's always updated with the latest information.

Introducing Powerful Online Communities
By Beth Flarida, Get It Together
Over the past six months, NAPO-LA has been quietly forming an online presence to reach out and join the social media revolution. These virtual communities are used through the Internet where subscribers or readers share interests and activities, carry on discussions, post news, pictures, videos, blog articles and have the ability to connect in person. The following are brief descriptions of the networks in which we participate. You can access all of our pages through our new website hub.
MySpace - This is a popular social networking website offering an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music and videos worldwide. MySpace is based right here in Beverly Hills.

YouTube - The leader in online video. YouTube allows anyone to upload and share video clips that are watchable on mobile devices, blogs and websites. The Chapter already has posted nine videos on YouTube.

Delicious - This is an Internet bookmarks manager. Using "bookmarklets," subscribers can add bookmarks to personal lists, categorize them and then share them with friends.

Facebook - The social utility that connects people with friends/acquaintances who work, study and live around them.  Facebook users can choose to join one or more networks, which can be organized by city, workplace, school, or region.  Facebook is based in Palo Alto.

RSS - This digital format has been set up so Internet visitors can subscribe to all past and future Chapter press releases through a "web feed," also known as "RSS."

Constant Contact - The Los Angeles Organizer is now available for general public subscription. Previously only available to chapter members, our newsletter has become a marketing device to inspire and inform readers.  Subscriptions are delivered through traditional e-mail and readers can sign up for the categories that interest them and their organizing needs.
All NAPO-LA online communities are open to the general public as well as worldwide organizing professionals. Overseen by the Director of Marketing, the Chapter has set up a hub (click here), where you can access and subscribe to any of the sites we're involved in.  We encourage all members to join in on the conversation and build the industry.

For more information on our social media groups, contact me, Beth Flarida, the new Online Ambassador.

Golden Circle

Eight Golden Tips for an Organized and Functional Kitchen!
By Robin L. Davi, CPO®
of Simply Arranged
Are you an organized cook? Does your kitchen function and flow? If not, then now is the perfect time to clean, purge, sort and organize the most important room in your home. 
1. Pull everything out of the cabinets and go through them. Discard or donate those things that are duplicate items, broken, things you forgot you had, or aren't frequently used. Do this with each cabinet and drawer, setting up separate areas for each group. Most kitchens are short on storage space, so the goal is to only have things you love and use.
2. After your cabinets are all empty, consider what is best for you in terms of how to group items. Sort all your baking items and pile them together. Sort your cooking items and pile them together. Group the dishes you eat from, glassware, holiday or other seasonal items that only get used once or twice a year, as well as those special entertaining or serving pieces that are only used occasionally.
3. Now that you have groups, decide which space makes the most sense for each of them to live. Cooking and baking pieces should be kept close to where you do food preparation. Cooking utensils should be in the drawer nearest to the food preparation area as well. Glassware might be best near the sink or refrigerator. Make a coffee or tea station where you have the coffee and tea, sugar, mugs, and filters, and try to place it near the water source.
4. Containerize inside your cabinets. Group packets of sauce mixes, gravy mixes, hot cereal packets, hot cocoa envelopes, and put them into small plastic containers to avoid them being scattered all over the cabinet. Use clear plastic shoeboxes to store food that is in tiny boxes such as Jell-O or pudding mix.
5. Discard containers without lids and store the remaining plastic containers either with the lids on them, or store the lids in another larger container so they all stay together. Do the same with the lids for your pots and pans. A large clear plastic box will keep them nicely together and on their sides.
6. Use vertical space. Hang adhesive hooks on the inside of cabinet and pantry doors to hold tools such as measuring cups, oven mitts, or other kitchen gadgets. Consider using wall space or a ceiling rack to hang functional items such as pots and pans.
7. Use turntables to hold things such as oils, vinegars, and other cooking ingredients, as well as spices, vitamins or medications. Use them in your refrigerator to hold beverages so nothing ever hides in the back where it can spoil or freeze, and use one on another shelf to keep leftovers or small jars of pickles, olives, or other small food items.
8. Get drawer dividers for your cooking utensil drawers and your "junk drawer." Everyone needs a place to keep those little miscellaneous things. Drawer dividers will allow you to assign a little spot for each thing and you'll be able to find things when you need them.

Meeting Update 

A Golden Summer Luncheon

By Ann Gambrell
Golden Circle LiaisonGC Meeting July 2008
Fifteen L.A. Golden Circle members met on Saturday, July 19th at the home of Beverly Clower, who, with co-host Donna McMillan, provided a lovely summer luncheon of delightful fare and equally delightful conversation. Every dining table teemed with laughing, sharing and networking. The perfect combination for a successful meeting. The photograph below was taken by Steve Skidmore, who is, therefore, unfortunately not in the photo. Sorry Steve!  

Ann Gambrell welcomed new members Cindy Kamm and Rosalind Lakomy, who were very much at home with their veteran member friends. We look forward to seeing them at many future meetings. 

Robin Davi is featured in this issue of The Los Angeles Organizer in the Golden Circle column. She shares valuable information with our new and veteran readers alike. Past 2008 column authors include Beverly Clower, Lynne Gilberg, Claire Flannery and Dolores Kaytes. Thank you all for sharing. 

The 2008 Golden Circle Panel was discussed. While this has been an annual chapter meeting program for the past seven years, this year's panel will take the form of an "Ask the Organizer" Panel at the NAPO-LA 2008 Organizing EXPO on September 22nd. It should prove to be quite successful as Golden Circle members share their experiences and expertise with an audience of NAPO members and the public. This year's panel members are Tanya Whitford, Carol Keller, Lynne Gilberg and Marcy Melton, with Claire Flannery acting as the panel facilitator.

Our next Golden Circle meeting will take place on Sunday, October 19th, with hosts Toni Scharff and Glorya Schklair. See you there.


1. When sorting paperwork and possessions, use cardboard storage boxes with lift-off lids and handles. Label temporarily using self-stick notes and bold marker pen. Print category of "like items" (office supplies, photos, taxes, papers to sort, etc.). Boxes are reusable, stackable and storable.
--Donna McMillan, McMillan & Company Professional Organizing,

2. When using a broom to sweep a wood floor, the dust can scatter and stick to the broom. Instead of a broom, get a wide squeegee, attach it to a broomstick and squeegee the floor. The squeegee can reach in to the edges by the walls, will not scatter the dirt and dust, and makes it very easy to merely sweep up a tidy little pile. You don't need to wet the floor to do this (or you'll get mud). I would imagine you could also go over the floor by spraying small sections and squeeging it dry. Cool!
--Christine DiTullio Reiter, Time Strategies,

About 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 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 organizing tips for clients/the public.
-"Tips of the Trade" are tips for organizers to use in their businesses.
When submitting Tips, you may include your name, business name and contact information. This will serve to promote you when Tips from Prois are posted on the NAPO-LA website.
Email your TIPS to:
NAPO-LA Board and You
Chris McKenryWhere Will You Be Next Year?

By Chris McKenry, Immediate Past President
Your chapter provides opportunities for education, networking with peers, and promotion of the industry, but one of the most valuable opportunities for members is LEADERSHIP. Skills both shared and learned during a Board member's tenure are valuable assets that are transferred to your individual businesses.
Where do you want to be in five years? Maybe you hope to have a large organizing firm employing several organizers or possibly your goal is to be working part-time in organizing. Serving your chapter will mark the road to successfully attaining your target as well as build a stronger organizing profession. What is your passion? Finance, marketing, events, system development, networking, administration and website/IT are all areas in which Board members share their expertise while serving the chapter. These are all skills that are essential to running a thriving business.
This November the nomination process will begin for the 2009-2010 Board of Directors. Elections will be held online in February for the new Board year that begins May 15, 2009. Visit the "members only" section of, review the Procedures Manual for the Board position descriptions and begin thinking about your interests. Ask current and past Board members about their experiences. I can definitely say serving on the NAPO-LA Board was a valuable experience for me both personally and professionally.
Be a part of the award-winning team here at NAPO-LA.  You know where you want your career to be, now let your chapter get you there.

If you are interested in being nominated to be on the February ballot, please contact
CD Client Support Group
November Meeting on Chronic Disorganization
By Jean Furuya

If you are working consistently and on an on-going basis with chronically disorganized clients, you are invited to participate in an informal support group.
Next Meeting
Tuesday, November 11th, from 6-8:30pm. Limited to 12 attendees.
Topic for discussion: Identifying Depression in Our Clients
A simple pot luck is planned.
Time will also be spent sharing our individual issues.

We will continue to work on "Resources: How can we help the indigent hoarders?" Please bring resources to share.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Jean Furuya.
Email:   Phone: (310) 316-1753
Educational Development Committee

Michelle and Sadie
How to Double Your Appointment-Making and Closing Rate
... Skyrocket Your Income with No Sales Hype!

Saturday November 8th, 9am

It's easy to get into a rut and lose clients THAT WANT TO WORK WITH YOU simply because you don't know how to book the appointment the right way!

You are losing thousands of dollars in lost revenue and you don't need to be. I'll teach you how to confidently handle the 3 types of prospect callers and how to book an appointment with them almost every time. Think of what this could do to your monthly income! Learn exactly what to say and how to say it to turn "tire kickers" into repeat business, again and again. 

Get ready to role play and put yourself in the middle of the action with others in the workshop. My #1 goal at the end of the session will be to make sure you've gained new confidence and skills for getting that all-important appointment!

I have used these highly successful techniques to turn a low 5-figure organizing business into a 6-figure one -- and you can too!

What are you going to do with all the extra income you'll be making?

Michelle Quintana of Bulldog Creative Copywriting spent eleven 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 to build a six-figure organizing business and turn that passion into a full-time career as a professional freelance copywriter.

[This workshop may be eligible for CEU credits toward Certification.]

Seating is limited, so click here to register early before the price goes up!

Cost:                              Before 10/22/08            After 10/22/08
NAPO-LA Members                     $99                              $114
NAPO National Members            $109                            $124
Non-members                             $129                            $144

When: Saturday, November 8, 9 a.m.
Where: Westside Pavilion Mall, 10800 W Pico Blvd, Community Room A

Click Here To Register
Community Room A - video directions

Coaching List
Are you ready to create a successful organizing business?

Do you want to learn how to:
  • apply proven business techniques and practices?
  • find your niche and the clients who need you?
  • avoid the frustration and stress of common mistakes?
  • become an expert in this rapidly growing industry?
The Educational Development Committee (formerly the Mentoring, Education and Training Committee)
maintains 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.

Email the Educational Development Committee at with questions.
Custom Cabinets Designed by Chris McKenry
Get It Together LA!
Style and function...quality construction are all included in a Chris McKenry design project.  After years of organizing the finest homes in Los Angeles Get It Together LA! knows how to make spaces work, and make them a room to enjoy.

Laundry Rooms
Closets and Wardrobe Rooms
Silver Closets
Butler Pantries
Visit Get It Together LA! at the Los Angeles Organizing Expo on September 22.

Call 323-525-0678 today and see how we can work together.

Looking for guidance in
your organizing business?  This is the place!


Directory of Coaches for Professional Organizers

Organizers offering their services:
Chantale Bordonaro
Simplicity Source
Jean Furuya
The Office Jeanie
Dolores Kaytes
Carol Keller
Organizing Experts,LLC
Sheila McCurdy
clutter STOP
Jodi McDaniel
CSG by Design, Inc.
Donna McMillan
McMillan & Company

For information about each organizer listed above, click here.

100,000 REA$ON$ to meet Elizabeth Hagen in San Diego!
Are you ready to really grow your business this year?

Then make your plans now to attend the

"Build Your Six-Figure Organizing Business"
workshop presented by Elizabeth Hagen, CPO® and NAPO Golden Circle member, on Wednesday October 8, 2008 at The Fish Market, 640 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach, CA.

Each 3-hour workshop is limited to 7 organizers per session (9:00am - 12:00pm or 1:30pm - 4:30pm) and the fee is only $247 if you register by Tuesday, September 30, 2008.

      You will learn:
  • What you need to know and do to take your organizing business to the next level
  • Strategies to get you known as "The Organizing Expert" in your community
  • Systems to design and give presentations that will get you wonderful clients
  • A plan to go from hourly pricing to wowing your clients with incredible packages
  • Ideas to use your telephone to teach and mentor clients virtually
  • Your own personal vision for your business and a personal 30-day plan

Register today!
For more information and to register, visit
(Free gift just for visiting this site!)  Register by Tuesday, September 30, 2008 and receive a copy of
Elizabeth's book and manual, plus a 2-month membership in the Professional VIP Circle ($144 value).


Growing and Expanding?

Need More Help?

Not ready for employees, but still need to bulld your network?
How about using Independent Contractors?

Save Time, Research, and $$$$$$

Independent Contractor Guidebook and Contract
Customized for the organizing industry.

Complete, legally vetted materials plus a downloadable CD

IC Packet $195 (plus shipping and handling)APlaceForEverythingLogo

RedBenchLadiesReal Results For Your Business

We are bringing in the experts to help you achieve your business goals.

Upcoming Teleclasses include:
Time Management is Broken
Build Your Dream Team
Exceptional Needs Assessment
Working On Your Business, Not In

Creating Balance From the Inside Out

Teleclasses are $19 each or free to club members.  Register at


We'll Save You A Seat On The Red Bench!

     Christa RedBenchAdButtonPatchen Wagner, CPO®
             Angela Ploetz, CPO®


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