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I just flew home from the NAPO Conference in Pittsburgh and boy are my arms tired! But, seriously folks…
Over a week ago, I attended the NAPO 2017 Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Over 500+ Professional Organizers descended upon ‘The Steel City’ to learn, network, and talk organizing. I had a fabulous time doing all three.
The conference was held at the Westin Pittsburgh which is attached to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center–the two buildings are attached by a short sky bridge. Even though I sat for the workshops, I got a lot of exercise going back and forth between the two buildings (happy Fitbit). And apparently, the Heinz Corporation is headquartered close by. Look at what the NAPO-Pittsburgh chapter gave out to us–itty bitty ketchup and pickle pins. They will definitely be a part of my wardrobe during BBQ season!
After attending the Opening Keynote, I went to the first workshop which this year centered around three TED Talks. I attended the session based on Amy Cuddy’s popular TED talk: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are and learned all about the idea of ‘Power Poses.’ Next, the EXPO–where organizing-related businesses/organizations showcase their products and services to the attendees of the conference. It’s the perfect place to find out about the newest innovations our industry partners have to offer.
This year, I had two EXPO favorites:
OXO. I Love this company. They are experts at combining good design with functionality. I’ve owned and currently use some of their kitchen products since receiving them at my bridal shower sixteen years ago. On display were two of my personal favorites: OXO POP Containers and their Expandable Drawer Organizer. But, two products that were new to me were their OXO Good Grips Over-the-Door Fold Away Valet and their Large Expandable Utensil Organizer. I love the idea of the retractable valet–great for putting together outfits or for hanging the dry cleaning before it goes back on good hangers in a closet (that’s a not-so-subtle reminder that you need to give those wire hangers back to your dry cleaner…). And, when OXO says ‘large’ they mean LARGE. The utensil organizer is one of the largest I’ve seen.
Rubbermaid. My favorite company for bins/totes. They are some of the sturdiest ones you can buy. On display this year were items from their ‘Auto Collection.’ I was oohing and aaaahing over some of the pieces. They had a small trash receptacle and a ‘wedge’ to place between seats for pens, paper and other slim items that might otherwise fall through the crack between the seats. Then I saw what I needed for my car–the Single Headrest hook. I’ll be looking into buying those for my kids so they have a place to hang their baseball hats, knapsacks, and neck pillows in the car.
The conference is more than the EXPO–there’s learnin’ to be done! Workshops I learned a lot from:
How to Prioritize When Everything is Important
I wasn’t going to take this workshop because I thought I had some pretty decent prioritizing skills. And I do. But, I learned how I can prioritize my work and life EVEN BETTER. I had seen this speaker (NAPO member, Mridu Parikh) at a conference a few years ago and greatly enjoyed her workshop then and now. So glad I decided to make learning about priorities, a priority!
Workshop Tip: If you need help focusing on your work, try using a Pomodoro app.
How to Succeed at Speaking for Fees
After having my second child, I took a break from public speaking. It’s been seven years, and I just jumped back into giving presentations. I was thrilled to leave this session with many helpful take-aways that will enable me to grow the public speaking part of my business.
Workshop Tip: Create a title for your presentation that is engaging, clear or intriguing, and shows a benefit to the audience.
How to Get and Keep Media Attention
Most of my media exposure has been in print and online. But, on the off chance I break out of my comfort zone and try to get on TV or Radio, I’ll be prepared thanks to this workshop. Lots of talk about the media and how to pitch them stories–my pen worked overtime taking notes in this session!
Workshop Tip: If you want to get on TV, start getting comfortable on video with You Tube.
If you thought all Professional Organizers like to do is sort and measure things, you’d be incorrect. We like to party! Good food, good music, and a little Cha Cha Slide makes for happy organizers. I danced half the night away and got over 14,000 steps on my Fitbit (really happy Fitbit!). Here’s many of my NAPO-NNJ colleagues before we hit the dance floor–lookin’ great in NAPO blue and white!
I have to give a shout-out to the peeps of Pittsburgh because everyone I encountered–the staff at the Westin, the airport, the SuperShuttle, and restaurants, were SO NICE! Across the board–helpful, courteous, and pleasant. And boy, do they love their sports–Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers. Lots of people walking around dressed in yellow and black and it’s not because they love bumblebees…
A big thank you goes to my hubby for holding down the kid/homework/baseball/meals fort while I was in Pittsburgh. I could not succeed in my business without his support!
At our last lunch of the conference, 2018’s conference location was revealed. Next year, something new–a corporate retreat in Chicago. Did they say RETREAT? I’m all over THAT in a big way. I’m starting to relax just THINKING about it. Pardon me while I go register for the retreat…um, I mean conference. Then it’s off to do laundry and get back to organizing!
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When I started my business twelve years ago, I designed my own logo. I have a BA in Art/Graphic design so I knew I could put typography together and not offend anyone. I didn’t have the proper computer programs to create it so I took advantage of the computers at Kinko’s and created my logo there.
My old logo:
I liked the openness of the ‘Artistry’ font (Caslon Open Face) and that it contrasted well with the font I selected for ‘Organized.’
The above logo has gotten a ton of compliments over the years which always made me feel happy and that my design skills had not gone to waste. But, after 12 years in business, it was time for a change. I hired the talented Kate McMillan of Outbox Online Design to move my company, brand and logo forward into 2014.
I was nervous–what ideas would Kate come up with? Would I like them? Change isn’t easy–even for Professional organizers!
My new Logo:
I have Logo Love…
Most of all, I love that scribble. When I first saw it, I knew this was the logo for me. To me, the scribble represents chaos–any type of chaos, whether it’s an overcrowded closet or a mile-high stack of papers leading to that state of being ‘Organized.’ It’s ‘Chaos’ turning into ‘Organized Artistry.’
Here’s the vertical design…
Love that one, too. The scribble isn’t attached but it still resonates.
By the way, Kate is also redesigning my website. Wait until you see it…
It’s Spring! And after weeks of Spring Cleaning, de-cluttering and purging, you may be ready to host a yard sale.
When my husband I got married and joined households years ago, we had a yard sale. It was a fun and exhausting 2-day event that took weeks of preparation. We had a lot of stuff! We made enough money to buy a eight-person patio set for our backyard and anything that didn’t sell was donated to the Vietnam Veterans Association.
A few months ago some of my yard sale tips were featured in an article on SheKnows.com called ‘Tips for Holding a Successful Yard Sale.’ The article offers good advice and ideas on how to price, market, display and negotiate. If you’re thinking of hosting a yard sale, I suggest you take a few moments to read it–you just may pick up a few tips to make your yard sale not just successful–but profitable, too.
I have returned from the NAPO 2012 Conference in Baltimore, Maryland!
It was non-stop learning, networking, note-taking–very little rest. Like I said in my pre-conference blog post, ‘this was no vacation.’ But despite the brain overload and the seven hours of driving I did in three days, I am energized and motivated to put in place the wealth of information I learned.
|Our view from the Baltimore Hilton–so close to Camden Yards!
Not only did I learn a ton, I also collected a tote bag full of information (and samples!) from our Product EXPO. Large companies such as Rubbermaid, Smead, 3M and Staples as well as smaller companies such as NACKit! and The Tote Buddy were represented. (I did something with Smead that I’ll be blogging about soon…) Besides collecting information, I saw demos of different products and learned how to install and remove a Command hook without ripping off a layer of paint or wallpaper.
The workshops I took will be instrumental in moving my business forward in the coming year. Besides being good for my business, the ideas of the ‘Clearing Clutter the ‘Fun’ Shui’ Way’ class I took are already being put to work in my own home. Before I started writing this post, I took a block of time and did some de-cluttering in my home office which has become a repository for items having nothing to do with my business. The instructor told us that “Clutter blocks the flow of prosperity.” I’ll be doing some more de-cluttering after lunch…
I’m looking to move forward with the social media part of my business so I took workshops on YouTube and Blogging. I learned how a presentation is like a hamburger in a public speaking workshop and discovered the ‘ABC’s’ of organizing photos.
But the BIG news is about the local NAPO chapter I belong to–NAPO-Northern New Jersey. This year NAPO National partnered with Soles4Souls–an organization that collects new and used shoes to distribute to those in need. They offered all NAPO chapters a challenge–who could collect the most pairs of shoes? Nationwide, over 100,000 pair of shoes were collected by over 30 local chapters. But who won the competition? NAPO-Northern New Jersey–collecting a whopping 24,561 and beating out chapters double in size!
|NAPO-NNJ showing off awards at the NAPO 2012 Conference in Baltimore
Our ‘Queen of Sole,’ Diane Thomson (2nd from left above) collected 10,000 pair of shoes! She collected the most shoes out of any other NAPO member (and there are over 4,000 of us). All of her hard work earned her a trip to Haiti to help distribute shoes. We are so proud of her extraordinary accomplishment!
I could go on and on about this amazing conference–the people I met, the fun I had, but it’s time to go back to de-cluttering my home office the ‘Fun Shui’ way. Gotta let that prosperity flow…
This Sunday I’ll be speaking at the second annual Queen Esther Tea at the YM-TWHA of Union County, NJ, hosted by the Women’s Campaign of the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey. The topic is: ‘Organize Your Space…Organize Your Life.’
I was pleased to be approached by a writer from New Jersey Jewish News who was covering the event. She gave Organized Artistry some great publicity (Thanks, Elaine!) and gave the paper’s readership a good bit of knowledge on getting ready for the upcoming Passover holiday and the topic of disorganization.
To read the article and see a picture of me with my trusty labelmaker (still working after eight years in the biz!) click on: