Honored by NAPO Founders’ Award


At our annual National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) Conference, I was honored with the Founders’ Award.

The Founders’ Award is presented to a NAPO member, or a group of NAPO members acting in concert, for outstanding innovation, inspiration, and creativity both within, and outside of, the field of professional organizing and productivity consulting. The vote of NAPO professional members determines the winner of this prestigious award.

The NAPO Founders’ Award is evidence that your peers admire and respect your professionalism and achievements, and are proud to say that you are a member of our association. What an honor!

What was the first thing that crossed your mind when your name was announced as the winner of The Founders’ Award?

 I have been thinking about our founders this week with the passing of Ann Gambrell. NAPO is a remarkable legacy from our founders. They have been truly instrumental in changing the lives of millions of people with NAPO’s impact.

The announcement of my name was a surprise. I am honored and grateful to be among the 5 women nominated this year, who do remarkable things in our industry. There are so many innovative, inspiring, and creative people in our association, and I love the spirit of our industry.


What does receiving this award mean to you?

 Receiving this award is a pinnacle of success. I am passionate about our industry because we make a difference in others’ lives. This award is for all of us who make a difference, both in our client work and as leaders, and recognizes all the successes we achieve.


What prompted you to start your business?

In 2000, I read an article about NAPO in the Houston Chronicle. I knew in my heart that this is where I belonged. Over the years, I have been a part of my clients’ successes as they struggled with organization and productivity. My work is as much about empowering people as it is about simplifying.

What was your biggest fear of going into business for yourself? And what are you most proud of?

While not necessarily out of fear, but more a sense of overwhelm, I have reached out as needed during a project or building my business, to others in my chapter and our association to work together. I truly consider myself a team player.

I am most proud of building a solid, thriving business over 20 years that gives me multiple opportunities to do what I love, and spend time with those I love.


What has been your most gratifying NAPO experience?

 It has been truly gratifying to have been in every leadership position in my NAPO work. From being Conference Chair, Membership Chair, and Education Advisory Chair, to President, we are building a culture of gratitude, inclusion, ability, and collaboration in all the work we do at NAPO. NAPO is all about connecting and supporting each other in all ways, whether volunteering or running our businesses.



How My Word of the Year Made a Difference 2020 Expand


Every year I focus on my Word of the Year. This year my word is Expand.  I never know what is to come each year as my word of the year guides me. When I feel offtrack, I refer back to my word to guide me and be a point of reference in what I want to accomplish. In 2020 I was thinking about “expand” specifically in my professional niche, that being to serve more of those with adhd and learn more about adhd.

I learned so much more.

You never know where you will expand and what new thoughts, places and people will be a part of this growth.  I am grateful for these ways I have expanded personally and professionally.


  • My time with family expanded more than I could imagine. At the outset of COVID, we created our quaranteam.  We were quarantining as a family to keep safe and support each other.  This expanded to our Walking Club. Each morning family would gather to walk and talk. We processed our thoughts about everything. This cocoon helped us especially in the early months of the pandemic.
  • My focus on health expanded. Health has been a high priority.  With COVID I was able to add time to walk daily.  Its remarkable the mental health benefits as a result. If you want to be a positive person, walk daily. Being in nature helps us set and remember priorities, keeps us keep in mind all the little things around us and brings out the best in us.
  • Being married for 37 years, we have always had date nights. This year confirmed that I am truly married to my best friend. We have spent more time together this year and I am forever grateful.


  • I expanded my virtual organizing and coaching practice in working with clients with adhd throughout the country. I was able to share my love of organizing and productivity with zoom conference presentations. I was a partner and a witness to amazing transformations in family’s homes and lives.
  • Time during quarantine offered me the opportunity to further my education. I virtually attended hundreds of hours of education and earned two specialist certificates.  I listened to countless podcasts to learn from experts as they shared information on adhd, organizing, productivity and leadership.  It has broadened who I am and what I think.
  • My love of connections led to expand into a new mastermind group. These 6 women support each other and those in our industry.  In meeting weekly we have partnered with each other through this uncertain time offering ideas in so many ways.


When I thought of ways to expand as I entered 2020, I thought of diving deeper into my professional niche of working with clients with adhd.  Here is what happened in addition. Joy, love, connection, professional fulfullment, education and a strong sense of being where I belong despite uncertainty.



Celebrating Milestones and Achievements for Professional-Organizer.com

Celebrations are important ways to mark milestones.  It’s important to not only celebrate personal milestones like family celebrations. Business success milestones share how far a business has come as well as high points and achievements. Milestones for business acknowledge core values and successes. It is a thrill to share with you dear blog readers who have followed my path steadily over the years.


Golden Circle

I am celebrating my 20th year in business and my 20th year in the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO). To mark this occasion, I just received designation as a 20 year Golden Circle member. NAPO celebrates the 5, 10, 15, 20 and more years in our industry with a special badge. Professional-Organizer.com and myself as the business owner celebrate the values of consistency, tenacity, communication and dedication with this recognition.



NAPO Specialist Certificates

Education is a powerful part of my background, my life and my values.  I am excited to share that I hold all 5 of NAPO’s specialist certificates. NAPO Specialist Certificates are for NAPO members who are seeking to set themselves apart in one or more specialties. For me it is a way enhance my work with my clients.

NAPO certificates

With the classes in the Household Management certificate, I am helping my clients build structure, processes and routines for their families.

Using the Residential Organizing Certificate, I am helping my clients with paper management, decluttering and space arranging in the residential setting.


With the Team Productivity Certificate, I am assisting clients who work in teams in both their homes and offices by boosting both their organizing and productivity.

The Workplace Productivity Certificate provides me information to help clients build a solid foundation with productivity in their homes and workplaces.

Life Transitions are a part of all of our lives. I am helping clients navigate the challenges of major life transitions, either at home or work.




Professional organizers can be certified through the Board of Certification of Professional Organizers (BCPO).  I am an inaugural Certified Professional Organizer, holding certification since 2007. Since then, I have taken hundreds of hours of classes to maintain my certification. These classes include client interaction classes and specialty certificate classes. Certification also includes adhering to our BCPO Code of Ethics.



What does this all mean to you as my blog reader and for clients?  In all my work, my goal is to provide the expertise that helps you achieve your goals.  Through expert, current and in-depth training, our work together is enriched.  Each of these certificates adds value to our work together as we determine systems and routines that work with your personal style and strengths.



Celebrating of 20 years of Professional Organizing and Productivity

congrats on 20 years


In 2000, I read an article in the Houston Chronicle about the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and professional organizing. The rest is history. It’s Professional-Organizer.com’s platinum anniversary!


Since 2000, the organizing and productivity industry has changed. It’s not only about organizing stuff.  Just a few of the niches I work in with my clients with ADHD range from organizing spaces, to organizing families, to helping those with chronic disorganization, to organizing papers, to coaching about productivity, to coordinating teams and facilitating strategic small business conversations. My work is about simplifying and strategizing, helping my clients reach the goals they have defined.


Let the glass clinking begin with this celebration!

I celebrate the benefits that we together create.  There’s a lot to be worried about in our universe and creating order and simplicity helps you keep calm and carry on.  Each of us us knows that keeping it simple sweetie helps us follow through on our core values.  My clients hold dear family, connections,


I celebrate with my clients on their big and small successes. The size of the success is in the clients’ goals and perspectives.  Success includes keeping the kitchen counter clear of paper to tracking with dates for work life integration.


I celebrate my connections.  It’s all about relationships and support.  Support is an essential element in our lives.  By bringing ongoing support to my clients, they have someone to turn to in overwhelming, difficult, complex situations.


I celebrate my industry.  We are professionals with high standards of ethics, client focus, and education.  My Certified Professional Organizer credential shares that I value this for myself and my clients. Our industry has grown to service so many in so many ways.


Thank you to each of you for our connection and our collaboration!


NAPO and Your Business and Career Success

NAPO and your career and business success


It’s exciting to lead our thriving association and get to know smart, professional colleagues in an expanding industry.  It’s thrilling to be at the front of what is a bustling industry. This has been a fantastic year as President of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) and I want to share my State of NAPO address with you!

NAPO empowers and partners with us in our businesses and careers.

Let me share just one of many NAPO stories with you about our relationships.  It’s a story of us. Amanda Wiss met Eileen Bergman before conference. Many referrals were passed between the two and then there came Urban Clarity’s largest referral amounting to over $50,000.  As a gracious thanks, Amanda gave Eileen tickets to the play Hamilton. And guess the name of that client – Hamilton!

That’s the power of our relationships and our connection to NAPO.

5 Ways NAPO empowers our businesses and careers

That story speaks about one success, however there are many more.  I am speaking today about 5 of these: education, credentials, leadership, financial scaling, and work life integration.

NAPO Education

We’re education junkies and NAPO has the stuff we need.  It’s our certificates, on demand education and bundles. NAPO offers top notch education available affordably and easy access 24/7.  Our NAPO certificates are game changers. I just completed Household Manager Specialist Certificated and loved each class. As Deborah Gussoff, In Place owner says, certificates have given her more education to help her clients. NAPO Education ranks as a top member benefit.


We have the gold standard here at NAPO. It’s our certification program, the Certified Professional Organizer (CPO).  This is about credibility, education and ethics. As my friend Janice Simon, who works at M.D. Anderson says, certification gives her additional credibility inside an institution that values this.  Congrats to our over 350+ CPOs. We’re growing!

NAPO Leadership

There’s a leader in each of us.  We have opportunities to lead that include major opporutnities and micro volunteering. Our industry has passion for making a difference and these opportunities are available to each of us. As my friend and President – Elect Susie Hayman says, NAPO leadership gives her the opportunity to empower others.  Be sure you are signed up to share your strengths and talents.

Financial Success

No matter how big our financial goals are, NAPO is here to support you in meeting these.  NAPO members can scale their businesses to the size that works for them, can be a team member in a larger business, or decide on a career organizing within another arena or company.  We support financial success in supporting each other. As my friend Lisa Mark says, she and a mentee worked together on a project that included over 35 subcontractors of various forms.  Together they earned 5 figures in 6 days. That’s how we can support and work together to earn what we want.

Work Life Integration

NAPO gives us the opportunity to create balance in our work and life. That’s my NAPO success story. Each Friday I close the week off at 12 noon to start Gigi Friday. That’s when I spend the afternoon with my grandkids.  I appreciate the flexibility of my work and the opportunity to spend every Friday afternoon with my grands.

NAPO is thriving because of each of us and our partnership with NAPO.  As we move forward with our work and careers, there is no limit to what we can accomplish together.

As I end my term, I want to thank each of you for the amazing opportunity to lead our association.  It’s beyond my biggest dream to lead the smartest, most innovative, most collaborative members in our bustling association and a growing industry.

Why I never miss a NAPO Conference

NAPO conference


Social media has made it a little too easy to think we are connected. We connect on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram daily.  However, there’s nothing like meeting in real life. Online, there are so many options and places to learn.  In an virtual world, it’s less expensive to learn too.  There’s two big reasons to attend our national association NAPO conference.


Return on Investment with Networking

If you are cautious about money, it’s always a wise investment to network in person. Face to face, we are our most genuine and authentic. There’s no hiding our connection to other with in person networking.  When you attend a conference, you are expanding your connections to potential clients. Networking is when you share your authentic self by sharing what you do, who you are and your brand.  Each time I attend a NAPO conference, I have made more connections than I as an introvert could imagine. There’s connections in sessions, at meals, in the hallway, in the elevator and on the dance floor.  You are immersed in networking.

  • Imagine meeting a colleague who gives you a five digit client later that year
  • Imagine mentoring a new colleague who just started her business
  • Imagine dancing with 400 of your colleagues.
  • Imagine leading a session of your peers to focus on their goals and create a plan to make their goals happen
  • Imagine attending a leadership session where you collaborate on the future of your industry

In each of these ways, I made a lasting connection that I can share or recieve business.


Learning from the best

Attending an in-person conference gives you opportunities that are not available online.  Presentations specifically developed by my peers gives me an edge. They are the experts in our field and they craft their presentations to our specific industry.  As a visual learner, being in a classroom setting offers me the opportunity to immerse myself in the topic.  I see the presentation and process it by sharing ideas with my colleagues also attending. When I attend an in person conference, I love that I have no other distractions in my space and I can fully immerse myself in learning.  It’s a gift to have no distractions and to give full attention to learning.

As an 18 year veteran, I have much to learn! I love new perspectives, new technology, new concepts and new skills.  Classes include working on my business and working with clients. I also confirm and consolidate existing skills in these sessions.

  • How to set goals for business and self
  • How to help my clients set goals and achieve goals
  • New skills, tips and tech for clients
  • How to be proactive for my business and my clients’ businesses
  • How to be a leader

I am proud to be a prolific learner and share all that I learn with my clients.


Yes, attending an in person conference takes time away from your family and business. It’s an investment in yourself, your work and your learning to take the leap to attend an annual conference. Take the leap each year and attend our NAPO National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals Conference.

NAPO by the Numbers NAPO2018

napo by the numbers


As the NAPO President, I have the honor of sharing the “State of NAPO” address during our Member Meeting.  This year #TeamNAPO has reached and exceeded many milestones. Together we have accomplished so much!



Media coverage by eight (8) of the most respected National media leaders

There is especially powerful media interest in NAPO this year.  Requests have flooded the HQ office from CBS Sunday Morning, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other highly respected media leaders.  CBS Sunday morning will feature NAPO and NAPO members in the near future (exact air date to be announced).

Here’s just a sample of where NAPO is mentioned this year:

  • Wall Street Journal
  • CBS Sunday Morning (with support from our Member Survey and Stats Database)
  • Huffington Post
  • New York Times
  • Prevention Magazine
  • House Beautiful
  • Boston Globe
  • NBC News


5 Golden Circle Masterminds and 30 monthly Toot Your Horn posts

In the Golden Circle POINT community, we’ve learned so much from each other and celebrated each success!



30 Acceleration Learning Series Classes with more than 400 members taking these classes.

Our free classes by members for members starts this year as a download and podcast.  Thank you to our NAPO Membership Committee for keeping our classes engaging and informative!



24 Stand Out Podcasts with 5251 downloads so far for our 6 current podcasts

By the end of this year, our amazing Stand Out podcast will have 24 podcasts available to help you build and grow your business. Thank you to Sarah Karakaian and our NAPO Marketing Committee for getting our podcast  up and running.



6 membership categories in our streamlined Bylaws

This year we streamlined our NAPO Bylaws to reflect the dynamic changes going on in our industry.  Our membership includes these statistics.

  • 646 New members in past 12 months
  • 54% of membership belongs to Chapters
  • 47% of membership are Golden Circle
  • 68% of our membership are Professional Members
  • 11% of our membership are CPOs




1 fabulous new NAPO logo

Thank you to our Logo Task Force in creating a dynamic new image that represents NAPO.




26 Business Partners, including our visionary business partner members Smead and Brother

Thank you to our business partners Smead and Brother for your attendance and sponsorship at NAPO2018.  



3 specialist certificates available for our members now

Our members are prolific learners!  Here’s how many certificates we have! There are 240 members with the Residential Organizing certificate, 159 members with Workplace Productivity certificate, 12 members in just one month with the Life Transitions certificate.  And 129 members have 2 certificates and 7 have 3 certificates.



38 on demand classes and 98 Conference Recordings available on  NAPO U with 11,420 classes taken and 354 bundles sold to members

Our educational offerings are growing and growing each year, meeting the needs of our every expanding specialties and expanding our business growth.



11 Chapter Visits

Last year NAPO Board initiated a 3 year rotation for board visits. Each year board members visit 1/3 of our chapters sharing our presentation, Leveraging Your NAPO Membership. Sharing all the updates from NAPO, meeting our chapter leaders and getting to know our members is a joy for each of us.



8 Scholarship Recipients

Thank you to our scholarship committee for supporting the Barry Iszak/Glorya Schklair Scholarship.



5 Independent Research Projects

Advancing industry research is one of the four pillars of NAPO.  This year one of the five projects is the Dark Horse Project, a Harvard Graduate School of Education study, chronicling the journey people take to gain expertise in emerging professions.




365 days of  NAPOCares

NAPOCares is now an on-going, year-long initiative with no end in sight! The goal is to let the world know that NAPO Cares and to show how NAPO members give back to communities each and every day by sharing time, talents or treasures.



Over 41,000 POINT posts and 14000 new discussion threads with 1000 member to member referrals

If your not on POINT, it’s the place to be!  There have been over 1000 member to member referrals on POINT in Member Connect and Chapter Member Connect.



15 Monthly POINT posts for Product Push and Service Splash

We’re started a new way for our members and business partners to share their products and services. Check out these posts on the first Wednesday of the month.



2  consecutive years of balanced budgets

One of our most important values is to be fiscally responsible and sound.  In FY2015-2016 and FY2016-2017, we ended our fiscal year in the black. This year FY2017-2018 is looking good!




Let’s get social

NAPO uses 3 primary social media connections. There’s powerin connecting all year long! Please share, tweet, and like each and every day. Check out NAPO’s Get Organized and Be Productive Blog.  NAPO is providing content that engage everyone for public awareness and what professional organizer and productivity consultants do. This benefits you and your clients, who also get this quality content to share.  Remember to follow and share from your business accounts. For me its a way to be connected all year long and carries forward the contacts I make at our NAPO retreat and conference.



350 + Volunteers Collaborating

This is the most significant number to me! Volunteer leaders are a driving force in our industry. Our passion, commitment and expertise drive our association and fuel our leadership.  Thank you to all our member who are a part of TeamNAPO.


Learn more at www.napo.net





The holiday season begins with a festival of gratitude. Thanksgiving officially began in 1863 in the midst of the Civil War.  President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.  While this has been a more difficult year than most, Thanksgiving brings families together for food, fun and thoughtful reflection. What are you #grateful for this year?


What’s your perspective on gratitude?

In the most troubling of times, it’s good to know your motivations. Knowing what’s at your core and what makes you do what you do,  that’s why you are grateful.  What’s your why, by Simon Sinek, is a strategy to drill down on why, how and what compelling reasons come together to drive your passion and lead others. This is especially important for your family. When you understand what’s most important to you and how it’s a part of your every day life, gratitude jumps out!  See if you can drill down to know these passions in what you do and why you do it.

The Values in Action (VIA) assessment is another tool to find your core.  The VIA assesses values, like honesty, loyal, appreciation of beauty.  To me, these values are essential in shaping our daily life. Our values are put into place in how we work with others, enjoy your physical space and connect with our spirituality.

Why you do what you do, what your values are and how you put these strengths into action is the basis for gratitude. It’s the lense and perspective that you view life.


How do you share how #Grateful you are?

There’s so many simple ways to express gratitude. It’s when a car in a fast food line pays it forward for the car behind.  A simple handwritten note expressing gratitude after a loss or because of a gift.  A gratitude journal or morning prayer bring you daily thoughtful thankfulness. Use your strengths to include habits daily that help you  experience the joy of gratitude.

Circling back to your “why”, your family, colleagues and community are places to be a #grateful leader.  Gratitude multiplies when it is shared.  This year I have the privilege and honor of leading my association.  I am grateful for collaboration, connection and communication with my friends and colleagues.  Where can you take the lead for those around you to share gratitude?  Are you ready for your family to experience more gratitude by helping at a community philanthropy?  Is your work ready to share it’s blessings with a community food drive or shared work day? Look around you and find a way to share gratitude with your community.


“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”



How Leadership Empowers Change

leadership inspires change


Mothers Against Cancer (MAC), a grass roots effort to raise funds for children’s cancer research, hosts an annual fundraising luncheon each year.  The event includes an amazing raffle, silent auction and live auction as part of it’s event.  In an effort to raise the bar, this year our event took a bold step.  We entered the 21st century of fundraising by using Greater Giving with online access to bid.  Leading the charge is our executive director, our communications director. and our board.  Our leadership empowers change with this step into technology.

Why change?

MAC has hosted this event for almost 30 years.  We have had the same process which our attendees love with a cash, check and credit card payment system.   It’s working so why change?  We learned that other associations income was increasing with greater use of credit cards.  We wanted to implement a system where bidding on silent auction items was easier and more profitable.  We wanted our attendees email addresses so we can stay in touch all year.


How did it work?

Our leadership reinforced the positive with this change. It would be different. Our attendees would need to learn our new system but it was easy. Our board knew it was the step we needed to take to and our attendees would be fine after this first year of transition.


Our leadership brought the tools we needed, such as ipads, laptops, and a router!  With change brings new skills, new technology and new connections.  When we set  up and did a run through, it all came together as we each learned the software guided by a on site liaison.  Our leadership not only sat side by side with us as we each learned, they provided tools we needed to insure our success.

It was hard work and a little chaotic at times.

As the event started, we ran into a few glitches.  There were long lines that our attendees were unaccustomed to and there was resistance to sharing personal information.  However our resourceful leaders started serving drinks to those waiting and that smoothed things out.  Those of us at check in heard a lot about what was not working.  However, as the event moved forward,  the virtual bidding on silent auction items was a fun focus for our attendees. How to out bid others at our table took our tallies for research funds higher and higher.  It was easy to purchase raffle tickets just by clicking your credit card access and our total sales of raffle tickets shows how easy and profitable for MAC is it.  Check out at the end of the event was seamless.


As a student of leadership, MAC showed me that it takes many different aspects to make change, and that there will always be something unanticipated that we will learn.

  • Listen to others as new options open up.  Transitions and change only happen if we are open.
  • Add in as much support as possible. Training, onsite support and tech tools make change possible.
  • Communicate change in baby steps.  Our Board shared the change with our members first, then our attendees.  We used email newsletters to let attendees know how to access the new site and add their information.
  • There will be glitches.  Research the obstacles and then review. I know our next year event will benefit from this year’s glitches.
  • Positivity makes the difference.  Our Board stayed positive throughout the process.

MAC made a difference for our attendees, our members and our beneficiary Texas Children’s Hospital this year.  Our funds raised this year totaled $283,000 for children’s cancer research.


More on Mothers Against Cancer here.







Proven Technology Tools for Leaders

proven technology tools for leaders


As leaders, communication and collaboration are essential.  When your team is spread out over the nation, or even in your neighborhood, you want proven technology tools that make these aspects easy to accomplish.  It’s not necessary for you to be high tech to use these 4 technology tools.  As a bonus, these tools are free too!  I am happy to share what I use each week with my colleagues.



Free conference call

Every week I am talking to committee members located throughout the country.   FreeConferenceCall.com offers me free access to a collaborative phone system, including free recording of the call.  It’s so simple to dial in and connect.  If you want to share your meeting, you can record and send the link to those who missed the meeting. Team meetings are more effective, save time, and save email frustration by setting a weekly or monthly call to work on a project.



Collaboration can require more than just words and audio.  Many of us work best collaboratively when we all “see” the same content to discuss it.  Our “view” of the content also gives us the opportunity to brainstorm, make adjustments to a document or create a final version together.  Join.me is an online screen sharing site.  You log into join.me/ and a code number and you can view the screen of the host.  My team has completed projects such as budgets, reviewed courses, and reviewed documents together with Join.me.   It’s an easy way to be more productive as a team.


Google docs

Google has an vast array of ways to work collaboratively.  With Google Docs you can create, edit and store web-based documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. You initiate the document in Google Docs and work on it in this cloud based site.  You can invite others to join you in the work together and work together at the same time.  Documents and spreadsheets can be be imported into Google Docs as well.



One of the most difficult actions is to find a meeting time that works for you and your team.  Simplify the process with this tech tool.  Doodle is a meeting scheduling tool. Choose dates and times that work for you and send an email through Doodle with the choices.  Each member is polled on what times work for them and a final poll can send the date of the meeting.  It can connect to each team member’s calendar too. Save time and frustration easily setting up a time to meet.


There are more uses than only leadership with these proven technology tools.  At work you can set up partnerships to enhance accountability and productivity.  You may find these tools useful for home as well.  Setting up a family time to talk about aging parents or a family vacation are easy with these technology tools. Taking advantage of these proven technology tools for leaders in your work with your team.  You will find collaboration easy and effective.


Have a favorite tech tool you use? Please share it here and share it’s merits.


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