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NAPO Conference 2015: Lotsa Learning in Los Angeles

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I just had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Annual Conference in Los Angeles, CA (can you imagine 600+ Professional Organizers in one place at one time?). Since my first conference back in 2004, I’ve stuck to the east coast and midwest locations. Jet lag is not my best friend but this year, I decided to not let that stop me. I heard the whispers…

“Go west, young lady!”

And so I did! Off to the 2015 NAPO Conference in sunny Los Angeles I went. And besides looking forward to learning and networking, I was looking forward to that California sun. The winter here in NJ was long and dreary and I needed some natural Vitamin D to jumpstart my body for Spring. The five hour flight provided me with time to indulge in a novel–what a ‘novel’ idea since most books I have read lately have to do with my business, my kids, or health. If you’d like to read a great book, try Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier.

This year, my Conference experience was a bit different. With two kids at home, it’s not easy to get away for an extended period of time. I usually get to the Conference as soon as it begins and leave as it’s ending. This year, I flew in the afternoon before and stayed an extra day to visit with my cousin. Took the red-eye flight and was home before 8am. Shout-out to my hubby for ‘holding down the fort’ so I could grow in my career and visit with family in L.A..

Also different about this year’s Conference: my book. I belong to a NAPO Special Interest Group (SIG) for people who are or wish to be authors. This year at our EXPO/Marketplace, our SIG had a bookstore and I jumped at the opportunity to sell my book, The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook in the bookstore along with more than twenty of my PO/Author colleagues. Besides having my book on display for purchase, I had a book signing which was a ton of fun. I signed books while wearing a tiara and veil–it definitely drew people to my table!

 

The Organized Bride's Thank You Note Handbook

The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook

NAPO EXPO Authorship & Publishing Bookstore

NAPO EXPO Authorship & Publishing Bookstore

Me and the first person to buy my book--she's just got engaged!

Me (in the tiara and veil) and the first person to buy my book–she’s just got engaged!

The EXPO/Marketplace was abuzz with large and small companies showing off their organizing wares to the attendees. Some of the booths I found to have interesting products were: Forever, Time Timer, and of course–Pendaflex which gave out a bountiful goody bag to everyone who walked by. Who could resist?

Pendaflex swag

 

The NAPO Conference is always chock full of interesting workshops. This year, I took classes in Virtual Organizing, Branding, Digital Photo Organizing, YouTube Video Marketing, and Using Technology to Increase Productivity. Learned a few things I didn’t know in an Evernote workshop, too.  There was an ‘Ask the Business Organizer’ panel and an Opening and Closing Keynote. The Opening Keynote was done by two guys who call themselves ‘The Minimalists.’ If you haven’t read their blog and their back story (which was fascinating) check out The Minimalist’s website.

 

The Minimalists

The Minimalists giving the Opening Keynote address at the 2015 NAPO Conference in Los Angeles

This has very little to do with organizing but I felt the need to snap a picture of this yummy dessert we were served at our last lunch of the Conference.. And yes, it was as good as it looks…

 

Mmmmm....

Mmmmm….

 

After three days of workshops, networking, and noshing it was time to leave the Westin Bonaventure and meet up with my cousin who is a life-long resident of Los Angeles. We had about 24 hours together and I got to see the highlights of L.A. including a quick trip to a beautiful place I must get back to someday–The Getty Museum.

 

Stacey at The Getty Museum

Me visiting The Getty Museum

 

The day I returned from the NAPO Conference, my son was on Spring Break. This week I’ve been catching up with organizing appointments and meeting with prospective clients. Next week, I’ll be focusing on what I learned in the classes I took at the NAPO Conference and bit by bit will be incorporating the knowledge into my business. I’ve already got my sights set on attending the NAPO Conference in Atlanta in 2016. No jet-lag worries! Can’t wait–it should be just peachy…

Cool Product: Nalgene Leakproof Bottles

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Have you ever packed your suitcase and opened it later to find a mess? I’m talking about shampoo spilled all over your clothes. How about a body lotion explosion?

Regardless of what can open, spill or explode, the last thing you want to do when you arrive at your destination or get home from a trip is deal with messy laundry and suitcase cleaning.

If you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile in the near future, you’re going to want to take a close look at these…

Today’s Cool Product is: Nalgene Leakproof Bottles

Cool product: Nalgene Leak Proof Bottles I organizedartistry.com #nalgene #leakproof
Nalgene Round Leakproof Bottles

I first spotted them in the Travel section of the The Container Store. I bought a few to try–filled them with my bath gel, shampoo and moisturizer and took them on a trip. To my surprise, I arrived at my destination with no leaky bottles in my suitcase. Success! I bought more and have relied on them for peace of mind, ‘clean’ and easy travel ever since.

Besides different shaped bottles, Nalgene makes jars, too. I use jars for items with a thicker consistency such as diaper rash cream and my nighttime moisturizer. An example:

Cool product: Nalgene Leak Proof Bottles I organizedartistry.com #nalgene #leakproof
Nalgene Leakproof Jars

The bottles and jars come in different sizes but the 1 oz. and 2 oz sizes work best for airline travel.

I keep a few extra Nalgene bottles and jars in my linen closet for when I need one at the last minute. No more last minute trips to the store before a vacation!

Cool product: Nalgene Leak Proof Bottles I organizedartistry.com #nalgene #leakproof

Now that I have two kids, I don’t go away often. But when I do, I take my  “I’m-ready-to-leave-the-house-at-a-moment’s-notice” bag off the shelf. It has almost everything I need for a quick getaway–most of my toiletries are in Nalgene bottles labeled across the outside.

Which reminds me: Don’t forget to label these bottles once you’ve filled them. You don’t want to accidentally wash your hair with your face moisturizer… Use a label maker or removable labels by Avery. Blue painter’s tape and a Sharpie will work, too if pressed for time. You don’t want to miss your flight!

Cool product: Nalgene Leak Proof Bottles I organizedartistry.com #nalgene #leakproof

If you’re planning to visit family or a far away country, get yourself a few Nalgene Leakproof Bottles and Jars. When you get back from your trip, I want to hear all about your adventures and your clean suitcase!

Organizing for Travel Tips on Facebook

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I just posted the second of my four travel/organizing tips at my Organized Artistry Facebook page.

If you’re going away for more than a night, you’ll appreciate this week’s tip. Hint: it has to do with footwear…

Wishing you safe and organized travel!

What area of YOUR life needs organizing?

Contact Stacey to Get Started!

Professional Affiliations

NAPO NAPO Gold NJAWBO POWR
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