Banner LA Organizer


July/August 2009                                                                                              Volume 16, Issue 5


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Who's Who


Board of Directors


Gail GrayPresident

Chantale Bordonaro, CPO®, CRTS™



Gail Gray

Vice President

Katherine Macey



Gail Gray

Nicole D. Ballard


Gail Gray


Regina Lark


Gail Gray

Director of Administration

Kathryn Masci


Gail GrayDirector of Communications & Technology
Susan Culligan


Director of Membership

Cynthia A. Smith


Gail Gray
Director of Marketing

Heather Furlong



Gail GrayDirector of Professional Development

Leslie Haber



Gail GrayImmediate Past President

John Trosko


Coordinators &
Committee Chairs


Educational Development Committee

Jean Furuya


Golden Circle   


Associate Member Coordinator
Carol Keller

Greeter Coordinator

Christie Gelsomino



Jennifer Birner
Carol Hogg
Donna Rosman
Sasha Escandon


Christie Gelsomino



Cindy Duffy


NAPO in the Schools

Deborah Kawashima

New Member Orientation

Jean Furuya, Ann Gambrell

Sara Getzkin
Donna Rosman

Volunteer Coordinator 

Kathryn Masci

Website Coordinator

Susan Culligan



Heidi Chianta
Susan Eleftherakis
Claire Flannery
Shari Richardson
Kim Rocke

Yahoo Group Moderator
Dara Fiss


Meeting Information


Meeting Attendance


June 2009
42 members, 5 visitors

May 2009

48 members, 7 visitors

Total Membership
Regular members: 134
Associate members: 16


Mini Board Minutes

NSGCD Conference LA 10/1-3. NAPO-LA Board will discuss board/membership involvement.

Erin Haas is the new Online Ambassador (social networking).

The following additions were made to the NAPO-LA Policy and Procedures:
-Active President will receive 1
 Chapter funded admission to
 all chapter-related activities.

-Conflict of Interest Policy and
 Disclosure added. (All board
 members required to sign)

-Record Retention Policy

-Whistleblower Policy added.
-Usage of Disclosure Forms
 Policy added.



Volunteers of the Month



June: Linda
May: Cindy Duffy
March: Katherine Macey

February: Robin Davi



February: Fay Wolf

March: Sara Getzkin

April: Abbey Keusch

July: Neighborhood Groups Committee

 August: Heidi Chianta

September: Gus Gougas

November: Carol Hogg


Volunteers of the Year

 2008: Heidi Chianta

 2007: Cary Brazeman


Associate Members

Custom Closets

310-516-7000 x224


American's Junk Removal Specialists


Office Organization Products
Email Barb Schmit


Versatile Storage Products
Email May Lee   


Custom Garage Systems
Email Jaime Dietenhofer


Go Junk Free America
Go Junk Free America!



Mas Moving Services




 Mold Remediation & Products



Moving & Storage



Custom Garage Systems
Email Gus Gougas

Creative Storage Solutions
Email Bryan Wataru


Photo Scanning Services
Email Anderson Schoenrock


Custom Glide-Out Shelves for Cabinets & Pantries


Onsite or Offsite Storage
Email Peter Given


South Bay Closet Lady
Custom Closet Design


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





NAPO National Membership

Annual Dues:
$200 - Active Member*
$150 - Associate-Branch
$250 - Associate-Local
$550 - Associate-Corporate
  $20 - 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 experiece.

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:
Dues are prorated quarterly by 25%.
$100 - Level 1
Yearly dues and Website Listing in the "Find an Organizer" section of our website.

$165 - Level 2
Yearly dues, all meeting fees (with discount) and Website Listing in the "Find an Organizer" section of our website.
$25 - One-Time Processing Fee
$25 - Lapsed Member Processing Fee

Associate Members:
Dues are prorated quarterly by 25%.
$175 - Branch Associate Member - operates as a local branch or regional office of a Corporate Associate Member
$300 - Local Associate Member - a locally-based, 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.



The Los Angeles Organizer

The Los Angeles Organizer
Newsletter Staff


Editor: Jennifer Birner

Assistant Editor: Beth Zeigler


Sheila McCurdy
Toni Scharff


The Los Angeles Organizer is published bimonthly (January, March, May, July, September, November). The newsletter is e-mailed to NAPO-LA members, NAPO national board members, and 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 15th 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. Photos should be .jpg, 72 dpi, sent with your article. All article topics and content must be approved by our editor. Submit editorial to

Advertising: 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 containing a link to your website, located in the left side column of the newsletter. The ad can be your logo, a photo, or a short message. Format: .jpg, 72 dpi, 125 pixels w x 100 h.
$25 NAPO-LA Members
$35 Non NAPO-LA Members

Full Ad:  This is a large block located at the end of our newsletter. Should provide details about your company or service, along with a logo and/or photo. See current newsletter for examples. Format: Submit ad copy (100 words max) as a Word document or email, and no more than one logo and one photo as .jpg, 72 dpi.

$35 NAPO-LA Members
$45 Non NAPO-LA Members

Submit ads to



12 Hollywood Neighborhood Group 9:00am

     Westsiders Neighborhood Group 1:00pm

15 Los Angeles Organizer Newsletter Published

18 South Bay Neighborhood Group 8:30am

     Golden Circle Meeting 12:00pm

     Ventura County Neighborhood Group 10:00am

19 Pasadena/Glendale/Burbank Neighborhood Grp 10:30am

     Orange County Neighborhood Group 2:00pm

     Waste Management Simi Valley Landfill Tour
27  Board Meeting 2:45pm

     New Member Orientation 3:30pm
     Los Angeles Organizing Awards Update 5:15pm

     Chapter Meeting 6:15pm


24  Board Meeting 2:45pm
     Chapter Meeting 6:15pm


12 Westsiders Neighborhood Group 1:00pm
13 Hollywood Neighborhood Group 9:00am
     Ventura Neighborhood Group 10:00am
15 Los Angeles Organizer Newsletter Published
17 South Bay Neighborhood Group 6:00pm
20 Pasadena/Glendale/Burbank Neighborhood Grp 10:30am
     Orange County Neighborhood Group 2:00pm

21 Board Meeting 2:45pm

     Los Angeles Organizing Expo


1-3 NSGCD Conference


7   NAPO San Francisco Regional Conference


President's Message

Chantale B1
Preparing for Opportunity

By Chantale Bordonaro,

Opportunity: Webster's Dictionary defines this 14th century noun as "a favorable juncture of circumstances." It does not, however, explain how to create the opportunity in the Professional Organizing field, especially in the troubled times we are having right now.

So, what are YOU doing to prepare for opportunity? In slow times, it's your opportunity...

  • To relook at your marketing materials you have not updated in 3 years
  • To refresh your business image
  • To find a targeted market and drop marketing info to it
  • To expand your network
  • To reach out and connect
  • To take classes to improve your skills and knowledge
  • To think outside the box, maybe take a space planning class!
  • To network and volunteer with your NAPO-LA peers - you will learn and build stronger relationships that will make you a better Professional Organizer
  • And most importantly, to take care of yourself - workout, enjoy a good book, or just sleep more. You deserve it.

Inc. Magazine this month says "Tomorrow's success stories.... are the one blessed with today's tough times." And, "no entrepreneur will wait for the dust to settle."

So take the time to prepare yourself now. You know that the phone is about to start ringing (if it has not started yet), and when it does, you can take on the new opportunity!

"If you prepare yourself . . . you will be able to grasp opportunity for broader experience when it appears"    --Eleanor Roosevelt


2010 Los Angeles Organizing Awards

Task Force Update
Get the scoop on the exciting new plans your 2010 Los Angeles Organizing Awards Task Force has in store!

July 27, 5:15 pm
The Olympic Collection
(right before the regular Chapter meeting)

We are full steam ahead for the 2010 Los Angeles Organizing Awards! Everyone (chapter members and guests) are welcome to join us for an update on the Awards, whether you want to get involved, have an idea to share, see how your membership dollars and marketing budgets are being spent, or are just curious as to how the process is going so far.

The meeting will be moderated by our 2010 Co-Chair Linda Levine-Quackenbush and will be joined by many of the 2010 Committee leaders.

For more information, contact Erin Haas,


5th Annual Los Angeles Organizing Expo
Set for September 21!

Mark the Date!

The 5th Annual Los Angeles Organizing Expo is coming! LA's only event devoted exclusively to time-saving products, solutions, tools, and services, is set for Monday September 21, 2009, at the Olympic Collection in West Los Angeles. Exhibitors will set up shop for three hours for this public event. Returning this year is the popular "Organizing Theater," featuring mini-demonstrations by participating vendors.


The Los Angeles Organizing Expo exhibitors will feature dozens of new products, services, books, closet systems and accessories, and technology and office products. All are designed to showcase the benefits of better personal productivity, time-saving techniques, and the advantages of living in a streamlined home and office environment.

The Los Angeles Organizing Expo is produced by the nonprofit National Association of Professional Organizers, Los Angeles Chapter (NAPO-LA) and will offer over 5,000 square feet of exhibit space in The Olympic Collection in West Los Angeles.

Last year's Expo vendors included Blis, Bongo Ties, Closet Factory, Clutter Stop, Delphi Center for Organization, Esselte, EZnet Organizer, Garage Envy, Get it Together LA!, MAS Moving, NorthStar Moving Corporation, OrganizIt!, ScanDigital, Smart Box USA, Smead, South Bay Closet Lady, The Style Huntress, The Mold Guy, TomBoy Tools, and Touch Mobile Massage Co.

The 2009 Los Angeles Organizing Expo will be held one night only: Monday, September 21, 2009, at The Olympic Collection, 11301 West Olympic Boulevard (at Sawtelle) in West Los Angeles. The Expo will be open from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Anyone interesting in volunteering for this important and exciting event please contact Toni Scharf, Vendors interested in exhibiting please contact Barb Schmit,


NSGCD Annual Conference


NSGCD Conference 2009


October 1-3, 2009
Omni Hotel, 251 South Olive Street, Los Angeles CA 90012

Dr. Daniel G. Amen, author of 23 books, including the New York Times best-seller, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, will present this topic at conference. Using the latest brain imaging technology in medicine, Dr. Amen will give give you an intimate look into a "working brain." He'll teach you

  • Brain patterns that correlate with specific feelings and behaviors 
  • What happens when things go wrong, illustrated by many case stories and actual brain images 
  • Specific exercises to balance each part of the brain

Click here for more details


NAPO-LA Chapter Meeting Information

Leslie Haber1By Leslie Haber
Director of Professional Development

Thanks to Angela Small for Her Presentation on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
A very special thanks to Angela Small, who spoke at our last meeting, presenting the science of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in a practical and very useful way for professional organizers to better understand the habits of our clients and ourselves! Angie gave us great information and demystified the psychological jargon by translating the concepts into understandable points we can observe and use in our day-to-day lives. The power of positive thoughts and actions were discussed at length, and we were delighted to have her in Los Angeles for this event. 

Upcoming Chapter Meetings

July Meeting: Monday, July 27, 2009

Get Ready to Learn Archivists' Secrets!

Mary Ann Williams, nicknamed the "Library Warrior Princess," will share insights and information about physical and digital data archiving. She is Disney's Archivist, and she holds multiple undergraduate degrees and a Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan School of Information. She is a skilled researcher with success in individualized instruction. Her company,
School of Moxie, provides unique methods for growing your life and your career.


Silent Auction

July: Deborah Kawashima, CPO, Creative Organizer, NAPO in the Schools National Committee Chair

Deborah KawashimaDeborah Kawashima, CPO, founded her company, Creative Organizer, five years ago after working in the fashion industry as a children's wear designer. Her creative background adds a fresh point of view to being an organizing consultant. Growing up, her parents owned Montessori schools, and this natural sense of order influences her approach to organizing. Deborah specializes in working with parents and their kids, focusing on setting up systems to help parents model organizational skills and time management to their children.

As an active member of NAPO and NAPO-LA, Deborah cofounded and is the National Committee Chair of NAPO in the Schools, a nationwide community outreach program bringing organizers into the schools. In 2006, she won the Volunteer of the Year Award at the first annual Los Angeles Organizing Awards, as well as the NAPO Innovator Award in 2007 at the NAPO National Conference, for her work on NAPO in the Schools.

In addition to working with clients, she is currrently a life skills instructor at UCLA Extension Pathway, a unique program for developmentally challenged college students (autism, Asperger's Disorder, etc.).

Leslie HaberAugust: Leslie Haber, An Organized Life, Director of Professional Development, NAPO-LA

Leslie Haber has been a professional organizer for over fifteen years and an active, exuberant member of NAPO for two years. Starting in 2008, she has served on the Board of Directors of NAPO-LA as the Director of Professional Development, where she creates and produces the chapter's regular meeting programs and works with the NAPO Educational Development Committee on seminars and training events.

Leslie brings her collective capabilities from varied fields to her present position, not the least of which are her stints in event planning, wedding coordination, and hotel catering directorship. Biltmore, Shutters, and Mondrian were a few of the lucky hotels to have contracted her expert skills. From her college days managing a dry cleaning store, to the world of corporate finance in a stocks and bonds brokerage (on Black Monday, no less), then to LA's top catering company, Leslie learned that whatever industry she explored, there was plenty of room for improvement and increased efficiency.

Haber went on to form her own company, An Organized Life, a professional organizing service dedicated not only to the elimination of clutter, but to bringing about organization to all aspects of clients' lives - their homes, work, families, and selves. She works with people who have hoarding problems and/or attention deficit issues, the chronically disorganized, and those that are in need of minimal assistance to help them live more comfortable, safe, balanced, and rewarding lives. She teaches her clients organizational skills to manage their time and to stay organized. She helps clients identify their short- and long-term goals, and then works with them to eliminate obstacles in their paths so they can achieve those goals.


Volunteer Of The Month

May 2009


CindyDuffyCindy Duffy, Chapter Librarian

What is your business name?

The Perfect Spot...designed organization

Where do you do business?

Mostly in the South Bay, but I do have clients in the greater Los Angeles area.


How did you get into

organizing as a profession?
I have a degree in interior design, and I migrated to organizing, which for me is ultimately much more gratifying and rewarding!


How did you come to join NAPO and/or NAPO-LA? 

I joined NAPO-LA in 2005 because Robin Davi and Jean Furuya were so welcoming and nice.


What has been your experience volunteering in NAPO-LA and what do you see as the benefits of volunteering?

I was a shadow in the room until volunteering to be the Chapter Librarian. I'm still in the back of the room, but not so much in the shadows anymore! I definitely have interacted more with all the NAPO-LA members...and I have the HUGE benefit of the library available to me at any time!!

What are your main organizing interests or specialties?

I am contemplating adding redesign to my resume, but in the meantime, I do enjoy home office organizing and small business work. For some reason, I love helping people with paperwork!


June 2009

Linda Levine-QuackenbushLinda Levine-Quackenbush, 2010 Los Angeles Organizing Awards Event Chair

What is your business name?


Where do you do business?
Mostly in the West San Fernando Valley and South Ventura County, but lately in Beverly Hills and Malibu also.

How did you get into organizing as a profession?
I was a commercial producer for many years, which requires a lot of organizing skill. As a result, when I retired from production and was looking for a retirement business, professional organizing was a natural fit for me.

When did you start your business?
In August of 2007

How did you come to join NAPO and/or NAPO-LA?
When I was researching professional organizing, I found the NAPO website and decided to come to a meeting of the LA Chapter. After that meeting I was convinced that joining NAPO and NAPO-LA was the best way to learn about the profession and further my education regarding organizing.

What has been your experience volunteering in NAPO-LA, and what do you see as the benefits of volunteering?
I had an incredible experience volunteering for the 4th Annual LA Organizing Awards and Expo. I think the best benefit was meeting and getting to know all of the talented people who also volunteered for these two events. As a result, I now have the honor of being the Event Chair for the 5th Annual LA Organizing Awards, a real thrill.

What are your main organizing interests or specialties?
I enjoy residential and home office organizing, but also have been doing some work with seniors lately, which has been very rewarding.

Anything else we should know about you?
Just that I don't think I could have anticipated a better choice (organizing) when I decided to retire from production.

KathrynMasciHave 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 our Volunteer Coordinator, Kathryn


NAPO LA Members


Welcome Our Newest Members

Amanda Hughes

Amanda Hughes

Simplify Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90064  

 Robyn Reynolds
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Welcome Our Newest Associate Member


Evan BergerGo Junk Free America     
Evan Berger
Go Junk Free America! Inc.
Los Angeles, CA 90015


Our New Yahoo! Group Moderator

Please Welcome Dara Fiss

By Susan Culligan
Director of Communications and Technology

We are pleased to introduct Dara Michelle Fiss, who kindly took over as Moderator of our NAPO-LA Yahoo! Group when Katherine Macey stepped into her new position as Vice President.

Dara was a busy professional whose experience as a social worker, teacher, and business manager has given her the skills that have helped so many people feel organized, confident, and free to do the things they need to do. As a social worker, Dara specialized in working with seniors and psychiatric patients in helping them live more independent lives. This involved looking at all aspects of their lives and helping them become more organized, including their physical space.

Dara often helped patients/clients organize and declutter their homes and worked with them in a supportive manner to develop systems to help them maintain independent lifestyles. Dara also trained a department of 30 social workers to work with this population. This was in addition to creating a Social Services and Nursing Management integrated software for a major healthcare company. Streamlining both departments was essential for the continued success and integration of member information in order to ensure members' needs were met.

As a teacher, Dara found that it was necessary to teach organizational practices to her students in order to help them become more successful and ready to learn.

In addition to business and residential organization services, Dara also offers estate organizing to assist individuals and families in the delicate process of sorting out critical details following the death of a loved one and for individuals who want to put their own affairs in order in the event of death. Estate organizing offers a professional and expedient manner in which to provide peace of mind.

Dara is a proud member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization. She serves the San Fernando Valley, the surrounding Los Angeles areas, and eastern Ventura county.

[You may reach Dara at if you have questions about joining or contributing to our Yahoo! Group.]


NAPO in the Schools

Deborah preferred
By Deborah Kawashima
National NAPO-in-the-Schools Liaison

In March the NAPO in the Schools Network Group met and put together their kits for the Elementary Program. Thank you Cindy Duffy for graciously opening your home in Redondo Beach for the meeting!

We all had fun and out of that we created a kit for our chapter's library, so that all Trained Providers in the NAPO-LA chapter can check it out when needed to do a presentation. It will be checked out on a monthly basis only, as we have only one set to share amongst us! Future meetings are open to Trained Providers and those interested in getting involved with NAPO in the Schools.

All NAPO-LA members interested in attending one of the meetings (Trained Providers and those interested in getting involved with NAPO in the Schools) please contact Christie Gelsomino

A note about NAPO in the Schools: training is required of all NAPO members wanting to become NAPO in the Schools Trained Providers and is available as a benefit of your NAPO membership. The prerecorded national training calls are posted on the NAPO website along with the training call schedule. Currently there is training for the elementary program. In fall 2009, training will be available for the middle school program. The high school program is scheduled for fall 2010. Please contact Deborah Kawashima with any questions:

NAPO in the Schools is a nationwide community outreach awareness program bringing professional organizers into the classroom to do an interactive presentation that gives students an awareness that being organized is important and really does make a difference in their lives.


CD Support Group

By Jean Furuya
Educational Development Committee Coordinator

If you are working consistently and on an ongoing basis with chronically disorganized clients, you are invited to participate in an informal support group.


Next Meeting

Tuesday, September 15, 6:00 - 8:30 pm

Limited to 12 attendees. A simple pot luck is planned.


Topic for discussion: CD Clients and Family Relationships

We will spend time discussion our individual issues and experiences with our clients and how their disorganization and progress affect their families.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Jean Furuya.

Phone: (310) 316-1753


Golden Circle


AnnGambrellNewHow Clients Find Us

By Ann Gambrell
Golden Circle Coordinator

Clients look for us when they are uncomfortable in their environment, or have a deadline or ultimatum pending. Here are some ways clients have found me over the past two decades.

1. They read about me in the media: newspapers and magazines.

  • Twice I was featured in a huge newspaper article regarding my unique H.O.W...Home Organizing Workshop. I received over 50 calls each time. Many became clients. I made a connection through a newspaper friend. Yes! Another way to find me.
  • Or...they read my bimonthly column in our local newspaper, which I wrote for 4˝ years. It was called "Getting Organized"  and the tag line gave contact details. Many did! Yes! Another way to find me.
  • Or...they read my organizing tips column in a local periodical. I have written for "What's Up For Kids" for almost 8 years. I have received many calls and emails from readers for my classes and Clutter Support Groups. Yes! Another way to find me.
  • Or...they read an article in a national magazine. Personal contact information is not always listed in these articles, but readers can Google me or locate me through the NAPO websites, national and chapter. Yes! Another way to find me.
  • Or...they read about my classes in a local adult school course schedule (community and college) mailed to thousands of homes. I have taught in the adult school systems for 24 years. Yes! Another way to find me.

2. They were referred to me.

  • Some people become clients through referrals from fellow organizers, friends, or family. As we all know, personal referrals are the best. Stay connected, network, and create alliances. Yes! Another way to find me.
  • A referral may be the result of a visit to the NAPO website, where they read an article where I was quoted or had contributed to the article. They can also access the online calendar of events regarding my events. Yes! Another way to find me.
  • A referral may come from being a member of a networking group (Leads Club, BNI, etc.). Group members get to know you and your business and referrals grow. This is how I originally started my business. Yes! Another way to find me.
  • A referral may be from a psychotherapist with clients needing organizing help along with their therapy. The therapist helps the client in dealing with the underlying issues and the organizer assists with the hands-on dilemma. A very productive alliance indeed! Yes! Another way to find me.

3. They received my information.

  • Monthly, I email my Tips, Inc. e-zine, Tips, In The Name Of Clutter. Most receivers either attended my classes, workshops, presentations, or else were referred to my e-zine by friends or family. Yes! Another way to find me.

As you can see, there are many ways for clients to find us. We just need to be available in as many places and situations as possible so they CAN find us. Get out there and let them know where to find you! YES!

© Ann Gambrell 6/09

Tips from the Pros

By every telephone, keep a notebook with a pen and a list of friends, family, and emergency phone numbers taped to the inside front cover (make it a Word document so you can keep it updated).

Karen Fulks, Organizer Extraordinaire/OE

. Store insurance policies together in your file cabinet for easy accessibility. Color-code the labels with the same color for quick visual recognition. Print the folder labels using a consistent format and description: for instance, Auto - Ford, Auto - Mazda, Health - Jane, Health - Robert, Life - Jane, Life - Robert.

Donna D. McMillan, McMillan & Company Professional Organizing

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 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 page.
Email your TIPS to:


Ventura Neighborhood Group Goes to the Dump!

And loves it!!

By Beth Zeigler and Susan Culligan

On June 19, several members of the NAPO-LA Ventura County Neighborhood Group took an all-expenses paid (that is, free) tour of the Waste Management Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center. On the tour were Heather Furlong, Fay Wolf, Beth Zeigler, Abbey Keusch, Regina Lark with her guest Pat Mathews, and Susan Culligan.

Beth's report: When Fay Wolf of New Order Organizing asked me if I'd like to take a field trip to the Simi Valley Landfill--I have to admit, I was a little skeptical. How close would we be to piles and piles of trash? My imagination of what a landfill would be like was squashed the minute we drove up to Simi Valley's large operation.

Waste Management Simi Landfill

First of all, it's located in a beautiful area (think rolling valleys and clean air). And to my pleasant surprise, we were going to be given a tour on a comfy van--no wading in trash necessary!

Our tour guide was a lovely woman named Lisa Hemenway, who gave us tons of helpful information, such as

  • The facility reuses the landfill gas (which is a natural byproduct of decomposing waste).
  • That gas provides electricity to 2,500 homes each day!
  • The landfill also utilizes 11 million gallons of reclaimed water for irrigation and dust control on the premises--which in turn saves enough drinking water for over 100 homes.
  • Simi Valley Waste Management is also required to recycle 60% of their waste (otherwise they will be fined).

In addition to hearing more about recycling and the life cycle of our trash, we had the opportunity to meet a trained falconer! Because swarms of seagulls spread trash around the area and pollute the waters around their nests with the waste, Falcon Master Joe Suffredini uses these birds to keep local seagulls from taking up residence at the landfill. When a group of offending birds start to circle above the trash, the Joe lets his falcon loose (his return is assured with bait of quail eggs).

Falcon Master Joe Suffredini & Falcon

Future plans for Waste Management involve creating an open space and wildlife habitat of 516 acres and expanding their green energy program.

Susan's Report: In addition to all the great info on how our trash is treated, we also saw some products made from some of the things we throw away, such as these really pretty baskets:

Recycled Basket          Recycled Basket

As part of their technology to capture the energy from the trash decomposition, you can see below the gas lines that snake around the whole facility, transferring greenhouse gasses into processing areas for use as fuel for the facility as well as for homes in the surrounding area.

Simi Landfill Gas Lines

Waste Management has a number of wildlife habitat protection projects in the works, and Lisa showed us a little protected area in the parking lot that employees roped off so the killdeer could nest in the gravel in peace! See more about their environmental stewardship in the
Environmental Review.

Anyone interested in getting a tour of the facility should contact Lisa Hemenway at

For more information on how Waste Management incorporates environmental stewardship with managing our trash and recycling, check out these links on their website:

Waste Management's ThinkGreen website
What is a bioreactive landfill?
Environmental Educational Resources


Double or Even Triple Your Appointments with New Clients

Michelle and SadieSaturday, July 25; 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Instructor: Michelle Quintana

Does this sound familiar?

  • You get a call from a VERY interested prospect, explain your services, your fees, and answer all the questions, but ... YOU DON'T BOOK THE APPOINTMENT!
  • You continually get objections about your fees and don't really know how to effectively handle them, and ... YOU DON'T BOOK THE APPOINTMENT!
  • Or the prospect says, "OK, I need to check with my husband, and I'll get back with you," and ... YOU DON'T BOOK THE APPOINTMENT!
  • Your prospect is worried about spending money on your services during a down economy, and ... YOU DON'T BOOK THE APPOINTMENT!

What is this costing you in real lost revenue? Afraid of sounding sales-hypey on the phone and have no clue how to effortlessly "close" the appointment?

If you're ready to get outside your comfort zone and begin booking appointments, then this training session is for you. Just one or two tips will pay off for the rest of your organizing career. You'll learn exactly how to master ...

  • The three most common objections, how to stop them dead in their tracks, and what NEVER to say to a prospect.
  • Sounding professional without the sales-hype -- having them begging to work with you.
  • Role playing with colleagues to break the comfort zone keeping your income in the tank.

Here's what past attendees said about Michelle's session:

"I received a phone call from a CPA who received a flier of mine. He asked about my fees, and with that first question I became Michelle's clone! I qualified him, felt his pain, praised him, told him about my four-hour minimum and hourly fee. We booked the first appointment to reorganize his home office. That one phone call more than paid for the workshop!" --Regina Lark, A Clear Path

"Michelle's workshop was simply great. She's an energetic, highly knowledgeable, humorous, and motivating speaker, and she got us very charged up about how to engage first-time callers in order to get to that first step, which is booking an appointment. Role-play was really fun (and very revealing!). Anyone who's interested in generating more business needs to take this workshop."  --Susan Culligan, Got to Get Organized

Make more money and book your calendar with clients who WANT to work with you!

Michelle Quintana spent 12 years as a NAPO-LA member and full-time organizer. Now owner of Bulldog Creative Copywriting, she traded in the clutter for the keyboard, using what she learned in building a six-figure organizing business and turning that passion into a career as a professional freelance copywriter.

Date: Saturday, July 25, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. Class will be limited to 20 participants, so register early!
Cost:  Early registration: NAPO-LA Members: $99; Public: $119
          After July 19, add $15
Location: Circle of Care Leeza's Place, 5000 Van Nuys Blvd, Sherman Oaks CA 91403

For more information contact




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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


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