Archive for November, 2011

A Message From Our President: Create Your Own Support Network

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Did people think you were crazy when you started your own professional organizing business? It was a huge risk and most people are not risk takers. It takes guts and there is not an easy path. I still run into challenges that I could not have anticipated. These are some of the many reasons why I believe that it is important to set yourself up for success. One thing you can do is get a support team that can help you navigate your way through business building.

It’s inevitable that, at times, you will get in your own way. Move out of the way! There will be enough obstacles, don’t be one of them. My support team has helped me work through my obstacles. Build a network that works for you. It doesn’t have to be made up of organizers, just people who can learn and grow together.

We are told “build your business around what you are really good at and hire out the rest.” Easy to say, but what do you do when money is tight? This is when you turn to your support network for ideas. There’s always some one else who has been there, done that. Learn from them as I did and still do.

Building a business can be all-absorbing. Sometimes my to-do list is a mile long and there is no time clock to punch. I still use examples of my chapter members to teach me how to step away from my desk and enjoy life.

As for me, I built my support network within NAPO-WDC. Soon after joining the chapter, I volunteered for a position I was comfortable with. It allowed me to fit in, contribute, and meet people. I soon created a bond with many chapter members who offered a pat-on-the-back or some words of encouragement when needed.

I have worked with and for chapter members, attended meetings, shared meals, drank coffee, discussed a book, attended conferences, went to a movie, took classes, had a drink, sat in the sun, flew on a airplane, visited homes, and volunteered with fellow NAPO-WDC members. All of this has benefited me greatly.

My support team was small at the beginning. When I found more success, I moved to paying it forward. I learn from new organizers all the time. One thing that is so great about this organization is how we are all so different. Each of us has unique experiences and perspectives to share with others. We learn and grow together and as individuals.

All of us at NAPO-WDC have similar business challenges. Together, we can encourage each other through our different phases of business building. Put together your own support network. Build your way to success!

If you’d like to contact our President, you can email her at

December 2011 Meeting!

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Kena Shriners

9001 Arlington Boulevard

Fairfax, VA 22031

Social Media Marketing: Driving Business Value  

With 69% of the US population using Facebook, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, and watching online videos, social media is a wonderful way to connect with your target market, generate more leads, and increase your revenue. Have you jumped in? Are you still waiting by the shore? Either way, it’s important to understand how to use social media to drive business value.

Join us as we welcome longtime veteran and early adopter of social technologies, Terri Holley, as she speaks about interactive marketing, emerging technology and how both can be used to drive business value. Ms. Holley will speak about her successes with social media, lessons she has learned along the way, and pitfalls you can avoid after you jump in. Topics will include:

  • Must-do tasks before you begin marketing your business on the social web
  • How you can tweak an existing social media strategy to achieve better results
  • Best practices for reaching your target market, generating leads, and converting leads into sales
  • The importance of measuring ROI and how you can do this easily
  • How to maximize the use of social technologies so it saves you time and money

A tech-savvy, insightful, and highly creative new media “maverick” who is always operating outside the box, Terri Holley understands the nuances of interactive marketing, emerging technology and how both are used to build deeper relationships with prospects and customers. Along with serving as CEO of Holley Creative, Terri has been a contributor to Women Grow Business and recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the best marketing and social media blogs written by women. She is known for skillfully taking on emerging technology skeptics and enjoys sharing the story about her 80-something mother learning how to text. Literally walking her talk, Terri is an active user of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. She also authors two popular blogs and is the producer and host of Social Media Voices, a podcast that features small business social media success stories.

December Tips: Working From Home

Monday, November 21st, 2011

If you are a home-based business owner, count your blessings. You are providing opportunities for yourself and your family that are unavailable to 9 to 5ers. Research also indicates that productivity rises 15% to 25% when work is done at home vs. the office, and self-employed people are more productive than others. (Working from Home, by Paul & Sarah Edwards)

Here are five suggestions for boosting productivity if you work from home.

1. You can’t multitask between work and kids. Set office hours for yourself and arrange for assistance with your children during those hours.

2. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Outsource tasks you don’t have time for or don’t have desire to do. This is the key to success. Assign housework to family members or outside vendors. Hire professionals like a virtual assistant to support your business.

3. Hire your older children to work with you. You can supervise their work. They will learn more about what you do for a living and be a part of it.

4. Structure your day. You will need self-discipline to focus on only things that contribute to your business during office hours.

5. Take advantage of the flexibility that a home office provides. Set hours that are convenient for you and your family.

Basic Organization was started in 2005 by Janet Schiesl to provide professional organizing services to busy families, home-based business owners, down-sizing seniors and the chronically disorganized in the Washington DC Metro area. She helps people gain the skills to get organized and live a more simplified life. Janet provides her clients with ideas, information, structure and solutions to help them gain control of their most important space, their home. Visit her web site

November 2011 Meeting Summary

Monday, November 21st, 2011

The November NAPO-WDC chapter meeting was held on Monday, November 7, 2011 at Rock Creek Mansion in Bethesda.  There were 35 members in attendance and two guests.

Alisa Levy welcomed everyone.  Janet is on vacation. Maria White introduced a new member and our guests.

There was no “Ask the Expert” table tonight but there was a great deal of interest and activity around the Corporate Partners’ Expo.  Terri Fischer introduced the following CPs who participated in the Expo:

Ron Goodes and Joan Clark:  ReSale Solutions

Zach Johnson:  123 Junk

Helen Long:  Partners Estate Sales

Linden Coyne:  Junk in the Trunk

Denny Stotlemyer:  Closet Factory

And our newest Premium Partner:  IKEA, represented by Wendy Rogers

Pierrette introduced Naomi Abrams.  “How to Organize Without Breaking Your Back, Not to Mention Your Client’s.”  She showed us things that we experience that hurt us without us even knowing it.  Her objectives for us:  1.  Understand the fundamentals of ergonomics that you can apply with any client.  2.  Create the initial muscle memory to understand ergonomic principles.  3.  Relate ergonomics to the profession of organizing.

Ergonomics:  Science of work or activity.  How the work/tasks and tools fit together with the person and their environment and/or context.  A disconnect between these three things causes injury as well as loss of efficiency and productivity.

Principals of Ergonomics to create muscle memory:

Up (stand up, then stand up)

Square Up (try to square hips and shoulders to the task)

Search for Support (the more body parts that are supported, the less the rest of the body has to work)

Reach Envelope (most efficient reach is right in front of your body, your back doesn’t have to do any work)

Horizontal Reach (heavy, frequently used items should be forward)

Vertical Lift (safest reach area is between knees and shoulders)

Push v. Pull (pushing is safer than pulling)

Use v. Organized (think about weight, horizontal reach, vertical lift, frequency of use and physiology of user when planning)

Grab or Pinch (containers, tools, knobs, files)

Vision (light, distance, shape/font, contrast)

Multitasking = Distractions


Client Evaluation:

Overall context

Look, listen, feel


Frequency, force, repetition

Task requirement



Actual and optional


Currently used and available

Ergonomics is simply working smarter not harder!

Alisa introduced co-chairs of GO Month, Leslie Nathan and Penny Catterall.  We will be spending the day with A Wider Circle on January 28.  We will be volunteering with a variety of tasks.  Tiffany Mensing will help with social media for GO Month.

Cris, our 2011 MARCPO Chair, announced that conference session recordings are available from VW Tapes.  Link is on our website.

Alisa reviewed the calendar for the upcoming month.

Door prize winners included Alisa Levy (Container Store fabric sorter) and Helen Montfort (Naomi Abram’s book).

The meeting closed after a lively networking session.

The next meeting will be held at Kena Shriners in Fairfax, Virginia on Monday, December 5.

Welcome To Our Newest Corporate Partner: IKEA!

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Please welcome our newest Premium Corporate Partner; Wendy Rogers of IKEA in Woodbridge!  Many in the chapter know Wendy through our GO month project last year.

IKEA strives to be ‘The Life Improvement Store,’ and since its 1943 founding in Sweden, has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 320 IKEA stores in 39 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings company, incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, go to  Welcome, Wendy!

ICD Now Has Teleclasses Available for the Public

Monday, November 7th, 2011

As part of their commitment to providing information, organizing techniques and solutions to the public, the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) is proud to announce that four teleclasses for the public are now available!

ICD’s award-winning teleclasses have historically been available to subscribers only. But now, four teleclasses have been rerecorded specifically for the general public and are available for only $10 per class.

The new teleclasses for the public include:

  • Understanding Chronic Disorganization presented by Lynne Johnson, CPO-CD®
  • Introduction to ADD presented by Denslow Brown, CPO-CD®
  • Introduction to ADD and Procrastination presented by Tiffany deSilva, CPO-CD®
  • Introduction to Hoarding presented by Geralin Thomas, CPO-CD®

To sign up for a public teleclass, go to the public teleclasses page of ICD’s website and pay the $10 teleclass fee. Within 48 hours of sign up, you will receive an email with instructions to access the recording. You will have a two-week window to listen to the class from the time you receive the access instructions. At the end of each class we will ask you to take a brief survey. Your feedback will help us continue to provide these teleclasses as a resource to the public.

If you are already an ICD subscriber, please let your clients and others know about this new resource.

They are very excited to be taking this important step in helping CD-affected individuals learn more about the issues which challenge disorganization.

Institute for Challenging Disorganization
1693 S. Hanley Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63144
Phone: (314) 416-2236