Archive for February, 2012

President’s Message: Selling More “You”

Monday, February 27th, 2012

As a small business owner, “You” are your company. When you meet a prospective client, you need to sell “You” – your skills, your ability, your personality. Being successful at selling yourself is a requisite to building a meaningful organizing business.

It is a basic business principle that people buy from people they like. Having the ability to connect with others will help you build relationships in the beginning and build your business in the end. Sell more “You” and the rest will happen on its own.

Do you look the part? Your appearance should say you are capable, confident and professional. A smile goes a long way. It sends a clear message that you are able to do the job.

Having the ability to really listen and understand someone else shows empathy. People love to talk about themselves and when you reflect genuine interest, it is much more likely they will like you.

Clients are looking for someone who is knowledgeable. Informing them of your experience and education will add to your credibility.

Sharing your unique stories and ideas makes you interesting. Engaging a prospective client will help them picture what working with you will be like.

People like those they can count on. Are you diligent? Be a person who is known to always get things done and keep promises.

You won’t sell much “You” without honesty. It starts here. Be honest, make it count and proceed to win trust. Violating trust with a client is risky and the fastest way to the bottom of the business ladder.

A bit of laughter goes a long way in building a relationship. Our clients can be stressed, anxious and overwhelmed with their situations. Inject a bit of humor. Making them laugh will help them to relax and they will love you for it.

Always show your best “You!”

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

March 2012 Meeting

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Rock Creek Mansion

5417 West Cedar Lane

Bethesda, MD 20814

The Do’s and Don’ts of Donating to Goodwill

Please join us when Catherine Meloy will offer a variety of tips on how and when to donate household goods to Goodwill so that the experience will keep donors coming back time and time again.

Catherine Meloy is the President and CEO of Goodwill of Greater Washington. Her involvement in the greater Washington community is extensive and varied. She has received numerous awards for her service; most recently the BRAVA Women Achievement Business Award in 2011.


Ask the Expert” Focus Group
If you are new to organizing, attend the “Ask the Expert” session. It is an informal gathering where new organizers can receive free advice on owning an organizing business from members of the Golden Circle, a prestigious designation within NAPO for experienced organizers.

March Tips: What Do You Mean You Don’t Have Time?!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Okay, so here’s my story. My name is Cris and I am a workaholic! I get really bored doing nothing, so when I joined NAPO-WDC about 4 years ago, this became my hobby. Yes, some people knit, some people quilt, some people scrapbook. Well, I like to volunteer for NAPO stuff!

Volunteering is a LOT of fun! I’ve done just about everything a chapter member can do, and it has lead me to some really amazing experiences. I got to suggest the idea of a Community Partner. I got to spend an evening teaching homeless clients how to start a filing system. I was able to stand and represent the 2011 MARCPO committee after an amazing conference last year. I have been recognized by my peers as the Volunteer of the Year for 2011. I have received the Key Leader Award by Judy Parkins, our Chapter President, in 2010. I have made amazing friendships. I have made incredible business connections. I have traded profitable business referrals with members and corporate partners. And the list goes on…

People have asked how I do it. One day at a time. I have not missed a chapter meeting in about 3 years. I manage my time really well, although my husband might think otherwise! I encourage people to have fun. We all want to make a difference, and have our opinions count.

I have learned so much from our amazing chapter members, with whom I have had the privilege to work. My business has also benefited immensely from my personal growth. I think it’s like having children; you will never feel fully prepared to take a leadership position, but sometimes you just have to do it! I guarantee you won’t regret it! Yes, we are all trying to run a business, spend time with our families and have a personal life. You don’t have to be a workaholic like me, just start small – one hour a month; it can make a significant difference to our chapter.

Cris Sgrott-Wheedleton, CPO®, CPO-CD® is the owner and founder of Organizing Maniacs®, LLC, a productivity consulting and professional organizing service company located in Ashburn, VA. Organizing Maniacs provides services to those in the Washington, DC Metro area. Cris is a Certified Professional Organizer, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization, productivity consultant, speaker and business success educator dedicated to helping individuals and businesses become productive, organized, and successful.

February 2012 Meeting Summary

Monday, February 20th, 2012

The February NAPO-WDC chapter meeting was held on Monday, February 6, 2012, at Kena Shriners in Fairfax, VA.  There were 31 members in attendance, including 1 new member and 7 guests.

Janet Schiesl welcomed everyone.  Maria White introduced our guests. C. Lee Cawley hosted the “Ask the Expert” table tonight and had 5 visitors.

Terri Fischer introduced Corporate Partnerss in attendance including Helen Long and Matthew Quinn with Partners Estate Sales, Linden Coyne with Junk in the Trunk, Joe Johnson with Shelf Genie, Andy Reiman of Modern Image, Ron Goodes from Resale Solutions and Dr. Dale Keenan from B-Thrifty.

Matthew Quinn of Partners Estate Sales spoke about their estate sale and auction house. Quinn Auction House has been in business for 15 years and has partnered with Helen Long for the past 18 months.  They work with other CPs like B-Thrifty and Resale Solutions.  Their target audience is usually an individual like a neighbor not the professional buyer.

Dr. Dale Keenan of B-Thrifty spoke about their business.  They are looking for a second location.

Educational Portion

Pierrette Ashcroft then introduced the evening’s speaker: Margarita Rozenfeld, CEO of Incite International.  Margarita presented her program “Mastermind Groups:  A Key to Your Success.”

She asked the group, “Why someone would join a mastermind group.  What they would get out of it?”  Answers included support, accountability and feedback.  Someone asked:  What is a mastermind group?  Answers included an “informal advisory board” and “friends who will tell you the truth!”  Margarita added her definition:  Any group of people who come together to support each other in a structured environment.

Margarita discussed the structure and group composition of a Mastermind Group.  It’s important to articulate your mission and your objectives and to make sure that all members have compatible goals, energy and commitment.

Margarita also talked about the importance of formally creating a charter.  The charter contains agreements, structure and commitments like expectation for attendance.  The group honors confidentiality, shares and contributes full out, gives and receives in good will, and asks for and helps others get what they need.

She also reviewed a suggested Mastermind format.

Chapter Business Meeting

Janet announced that plans have been made for a NAPO-WDC chapter group photo at the NAPO conference.  She will also have a Google Doc available for all members who are attending conference to put their contact information so everyone can stay in touch during conference.  She will send out specific information on these topics to the chapter.

Cris introduced Katie Mazzocco who led the discussion for the Leadership Forum’s “Ask the Board” panel. Participating past and current board members Nealey Stapleton, Scott Roewer, Andrea Hancock, Judy Parkins and Heather Cocozza.  Each of them shared some of their experiences and benefits of board leadership with the group.

Cris also announced that volunteers are needed for MARCPO 2012.

Alisa Levy gave a recap of our very successful GO Month activity with A Wider Circle.  Thanks to all the chapter members who volunteered their time and service!

Janet reviewed the calendar for the upcoming month.

Our lucky door prize winner was Susan Perez.

The meeting closed after a busy networking session.

The next meeting will be held in Bethesda, MD, at Rock Creek Mansion on March 5, 2012.

GO Month 2012

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The culmination of NAPO-WDC’s GO Month activities took place on Saturday, January 28th. More than twenty NAPO-WDC members and friends volunteered their time and talents for A Wider Circle’s Neighbor to Neighbor program. Using our distinctive skills as Professional Organizers, NAPO-WDC members focused their efforts in two main areas, AWC’s warehouse and offices. We assisted in a variety of ways including; organizing and sorting huge piles of donated clothes and toys; setting up a new library and children’s area; stacking dozens of donated mattresses; setting up and organizing a new community outreach office; packing and clearing out Christmas decorations and gifts from the “Santa’s Workshop” room. We even organized a birthday gift room for children of the families that AWC serves.  Lucy Yost, AWC’s Community Outreach Coordinator, commented that “she had never seen so much achieved in such a short time by any group of volunteers!”

Our GO Month effort also included the tremendous contributions of several of our Corporate Partners. Junk in the Trunk , 123 Junk  and B-Thrifty hauled away truckloads of unusable, damaged items.  All this helped free up valuable warehouse space needed for the processing of usable donations. As a result, we were able to use this newly available space to set up new organized areas such as the children’s library.

All the volunteers who took part in this great community service project were inspired and fulfilled by the work we did. We were able to accomplish many projects on A Wider Circle’s Wish List. Most importantly, we know our efforts will make a difference in the lives of families in our area.  NAPO-WDC looks forward to continuing our community partnership with A Wider Circle throughout the year.

We Want You!

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Are you ready to make your mark on NAPO-WDC? Do you want to stand out in the crowd?

Each year NAPO-WDC sponsors the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference for Professional Organizers (MARCPO). This fantastic event is the premier organizing event in our region. Although it is nine months away, we have already had many people volunteer for our committees and to be committee chairs. Some of these committees include Speakers, Registration, Program Book and Expo.

What else do we need? NAPO-WDC is looking for a chairperson for the 2012 MARCPO. We need someone to oversee this team of wonderful volunteers. This position involves managing all aspects of this outstanding event, but most work can be done from the comfort of your desk. We also have many past participants and board members who are willing to guide and help.

Do you want our 2012 conference to be awesome? Are you ready to get involved? You can make it happen!

Please step forward and contact Janet Schiesl, to volunteer or ask questions about this position.