January 2015 Meeting Summary

January 12th, 2015

The January NAPO-WDC chapter meeting was held in Bethesda, MD. There were 34 members and 5 guests in attendance.

The meeting started with active networking. Members visited the Corporate Partner Meet and Greet tables hosted by More Space Place – Robert Myers and Junk in the Trunk – Linden Coyne and the Ask the Experts table.

Eileen LaGreca welcomed everyone.

Linda Pray introduced our guests.

Lori Krause introduced our Corporate Partners in attendance:



Lori Krause

Building Bridges Partners

Alonso Zamora


Linden Coyne

Junk In The Trunk

Juli Monroe

1 to 1 Discovery

Robert Myers

More Space Place

Guests: Ben Knowlton, Olympia Movers

Lori spoke to the group about getting to know the Corporate Partners. She challenged everyone to have at least 2 one to one meetings with a Corporate Partner and get know how they can help each other. She has offered a $25 gift card to the member who has the most one to one sessions by the February meeting.

Educational Program

Janice Rasmussen introduced the educational program: Round Table Discussions.

Each member will be able to choose 3 discussions and will have 15 minutes to attend each session.

Table 1 – “How to Avoid the Pitfalls in Working with Chronically Disorganized Clients” –

Cris Sgrott Wheedleton

Table 2 – “Using Evernote to Create and Simplify Workflows for Small Businesses” -

Pierrette Ashcroft

Table 3 – “Seven Counter-intuitive Things About Selling”- Jane Campbell

Table 4 – “Green Organizing: Why it’s Too Good to Waste”-

Terri Fischer & Alonso Zamora

Table 5 – “Using Scanning Technology to Store and Organize Your Electronic

Files”- Penny Catterall

Table 6 – “Photo Organizing: Tips to Help Clients So it Doesn’t Have To Be Scary.”

Jody Al-Saigh

Chapter Business Meeting

GO Month/Community Partner – Stephen Bok and Max Levitt with Leveling the Playing Field

The new warehouse is ready to be organized this Saturday January 10. Max thanked everyone who has volunteered to help out.


JAN. 10 – GO Month Volunteer Activity

JAN. 15 – Rt. 66 Neighborhood Group Meeting

JAN. 20 – Maryland Book Club Meeting

JAN. 21 – Arlington /Alexandria Neighborhood Group Meeting

JAN. 25 – Golden Circle Meeting

JAN. 26 – Rockville Pike Neighborhood Group Meeting

FEB. 2 – NAPO-WDC Chapter Meeting in Fairfax, VA

FEB. 12 – Virginia Book Club Meeting

Door Prize Drawing – Cara Bretl

Our door prize winner was Janice Rasmussen.  

The next meeting will take place on February 2, 2015 in Fairfax, VA.

Time to Join NAPO-WDC Leadership Team?

December 29th, 2014
Eileen LaGreca, NAPO-WDC Board President

Eileen LaGreca, NAPO-WDC Board President

Every January NAPO-WDC begins the New Year with its board election process.

Just as many of us make yearly goals for our businesses, it’s time to consider how we can each contribute to our local chapter. There are many ways to volunteer throughout the year, but being part of the leadership team helps us maintain our excellence and grow our chapter.

There are many reasons members decide to take on leadership roles. We want to provide direction for the group. We want to be part of a team that respects each other and takes pride in the work we do. We realize that our chapter needs to change and adapt as our industry does, and we want to be part of it.

While volunteering can be demanding at times, the benefits far outweigh the effort. Leadership team members learn new skills in a trusting environment. We learn to communicate better and become more tech savvy. We use our talents to improve our professional association. We make new friends and expand our network.

Last but not least, we have fun!

Is this the year you’d like to run for a position on the leadership team? If so, applications are available on the Members-only section of the NAPO-WDC website now to February 21. 2015. You can also request an application from Janet Schiesl

Happy New Year!


2 Low-Tech, High Productivity Task Pads

December 22nd, 2014

At the most recent NAPO-WDC meeting, some of the chapter members presented their favorite organizing products. Here are two of the low-tech, productivity-yielding products that stood out. They are task pads for keeping track of your action items, but they are a little different than the usual to-do lists. Check them out!

keyboard weekly planner notepad

Susan Kousek told us about The Stripe Weekly Keyboard Notepad.

This is what she has to say about this task pad:

“Since the entire pad sits in front of your keyboard, you can plan a couple of weeks or more in advance. When I plan my week, I write in each day (using a Sharpie) my client appointments and major projects I’m working on that week. With it always right in front of my keyboard, it’s a constant reminder of all I have to do in that short time period! I love the bright colors and the fact that the squares are large enough to write 2 or 3 things on each day.”

You can get it at The Container Store or My Lulalu.

Jody Al-Saigh told us about the Desktop To-Do Board.

dry erase to do board

This is what she has to say about this task pad:

“I like having the day’s to-do list on hand and being able to be change it quickly. In the past, I had used notepads on my desk and always had to rewrite them as plans shifted. I like the dry erase board, because I can erase tasks that I have completed. It’s the same size as a desktop notepad and stands at an angle so as not to get lost under a pile of papers!”

You can get it at The Container Store.

These are just a few of the favorite things that were presented at the December 2014 NAPO-WDC meeting. We also learned about a new type of hanging file folder, some really useful apps, office storage boxes and more.

Don’t miss out! Be sure to attend the next meeting. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone!

December 2014 Meeting Summary

December 8th, 2014

The NAPO-WDC chapter meeting was held on Monday, December 1, 2014 in Fairfax, VA. There were 37 members and no guests in attendance.

Eileen LaGreca welcomed everyone.  

 Our Corporate Partners in attendance:



Lori Krause

Building Bridges Partners

Alonso Zamora


Dr. Dale Keeton


Erol Unikel

Home Video Contents

Sharon Bliss

Book Bliss Online

Andy Reiman

Modern Image

Guests: Mrs. Erol Unikel

Our December meeting celebrated the upcoming holiday season and the 20th Anniversary of NAPO-WDC! 20 years of learning, sharing and doing – well done all!

Educational Program

Teri Fischer introduced the educational program: “My Favorite Organizing Products” presented by NAPO-WDC organizers.




Where to Purchase

Square Credit Card Reader



Keyboard List Pad


Container Store

Find It Hanging Folders

$12-$21/box of 20

Staples; Office Depot; online

Desktop To-Do Board


Container Store

Wunderlist App


Apple or Android App




Evernote App

Free or $5/mo. upgrade


Really Useful Boxes


Staples; Office Depot

Pouch for Square (protection for Square CC Reader)



Laser Measure (Bosch)


Staples; Office Depot


Free or $12/yr. upgrade


Wise Stamp (electronic signature)

Free or $48/yr. upgrade


30/30 Time app



Chapter Business Meeting

GO Month – The NAPO-WDC GO Month project with Leveling the Playing Field will be held on January 10, 2015. More details and information will be on the website by the middle of December. If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information, please contact Stephen at marketing@dcorganizers.org

Upcoming Events (times and locations can be found on the NAPO-WDC website)

DEC. 4  Virginia Book Club Meeting

DEC 18 Rt. 66 Neighborhood Group Meeting

DEC. 22 Rockville Pike Neighborhood Group Meeting

JAN. 5 NAPO-WDC Chapter Meeting in Bethesda, MD

JAN. 20 Maryland Book Club Meeting

JAN. 21 Arlington /Alexandria Neighborhood Group Meeting

JAN. 25 Golden Circle Meeting

The next meeting will be January 5, 2015 in Bethesda, MD.

The New Mobile Wireless ScanSnap

November 19th, 2014

So I couldn’t imagine what else Fujitsu could come up with to surpass their already amazing line of scanners, when lo and behold, I got an advance sneak peak at their latest product, the iX100 Mobile Wireless Scanner. Yes, mobile AND wireless!

This wonderful little scanner (only about 11 inches long, 1.5 inches tall and 14 oz) combines the portability of the S1100 and the wireless capability of the iX500 in one compact package that I can actually put in my briefcase and use anywhere I feel like scanning, including my local coffee shop.

It works like this. The iX100 has a lithium battery that can power the scanner for up to 260 single sided scans. (You can charge it any time by plugging into a USB port or USB charger.) That means no cords at all except when it’s charging and for the initial set-up. In the set-up, which is made extremely easy for both Mac and PC with the included software, the installer will ask if you want to enable wireless scanning. You definitely want to do this!

One feature that I was very excited about with the introduction of this latest ScanSnap was the new ScanSnap Receipt application that accompanied it. This has been a long time coming for ScanSnap, and is one of the only things its main competitor had that it did not. All the information can be exported into a CSV file which can be very handy at tax time to hand over to your accountant, rather than a shoe box full of illegible receipts!

All in all, I am very excited to introduce this latest scanner to my business-organizing clients who work out of the office and need to scan documents and business expense receipts on the go. The iX100 is a very welcome addition to the ScanSnap family and I am looking forward to putting it through its paces over the next few months.  If you would like to read more about this scanner or any other Fujitsu ScanSnap, you can do so here.

Penny Catterall of Order Your Life, LLC offers in-person professional organizing services for clients in the Washington DC Metro area and virtually, around the world.  She specializes in home office and small business organization and helping her clients go paper-less. 

November 2014 Meeting Summary

November 6th, 2014

The November NAPO-WDC chapter meeting was held on Monday, November 3, 2014 in Bethesda, MD.  There were 34 members and no guests in attendance.  

The meeting started with active networking….Members visited the Corporate Partner Meet and Greet tables hosted by Andy Reiman and Four Sales and the Ask the Experts table.

Eileen LaGreca welcomed everyone.   

Linda Pray introduced our new member.  

Juli Monroe introduced our Corporate Partners in attendance:



Alonso Zamora


Dan Sanders

Four Sales LTD.

Linden Coyne

Junk In The Trunk

Andy Reiman

Modern Image

Juli Monroe

1 to 1 Discovery

Rob Myers

More Space Place

Erol Unikel

Home Contents Video & Video Your Brand

Guests: N/A


Rob Myers spoke about More Space Place. Showroom in Chantilly; website is www.morespaceplace.com and www.Murphybedsandclosets.com In home consultation is available. Will work with organizer and their client to achieve the space desired. Along with storage components they also do room dividers and sliding doors.

Educational Program

Janice Rasmussen introduced the educational program: Chuck Douglas – Business Building & Revenue: Acceleration Techniques www.BusinessSuccessTraining.com

Three ways to increase Revenue

Acquire more qualified prospects

Add value to existing clientele

Increase closing rates

  1. Dramatically improve lead generation through social media monetization: mobilization including LinkedIn and Facebook strategies, as well as video testimonials.
  2. Hold your-self personally accountable and not make excuses which remove comfort zone behavior and facilitates drive and urgency for action taking.
  3. Maximize referrals in a conversational and elegant manner through Incentives, a professional and compelling preface, and elicitation of referrals with appropriate questions.
  4. Connect quickly to gain clients for life through rapport and connection enhancement as well as confidence building skill sets.
  5. Master your time with positive habits so that you “do what you know” right now to gain 2-extra hours each day.

Chapter Business Meeting

GO Month/Community Partner – Stephen Bok introduced Max Levitt from Leveling the Playing Field and he updated the group on his new warehouse location. New 4,000 square foot warehouse at 9370 Brookfield Rd. Silver Spring, MD that is in need of organizing assistance and all assistance is welcome! Alonzo will pick up at meetings; can also be pre-arranged for pick up by LPF.  www.levelingtheplayingfield.org

December Party and activities – Janice Rasmussen

NAPO WDC 20th Anniversary celebration! Dinner will be provided – volunteers will be needed to help with set up, contact Janice if you are interested in helping.  Terri Fischer will be coordinating My Favorite Things.


NOV. 11 Arlington /Alexandria Neighborhood Group Meeting

NOV. 18 Maryland Book Club Meeting

NOV. 20 Rt. 66 Neighborhood Group Meeting

NOV. 24 Rockville Pike Neighborhood Group Meeting

DEC.1    NAPO-WDC Chapter Meeting in Fairfax, VA

DEC. 4 Virginia Book Club Meeting

Our door prize winner was Eileen LaGreca. 

The next meeting will be December 1, 2014 in Fairfax, VA.

What Should I Do Next?

October 27th, 2014
Eileen LaGreca, NAPO-WDC Board President

Eileen LaGreca, NAPO-WDC Board President

This month I’m sharing a blog post written Janet Schiesl, our Immediate Past President. It seems particularly relevant in light of everything we learned at our excellent MARCPO conference. Enjoy!

What should I do next? This question was asked recently in a blog post by Seth Godin, “America’s Greatest Marketer”. I often ask myself this same question. Since I have become an entrepreneur, I have found myself always looking for ways to improve and evolve my business. I look into the future and ask myself how will I get there? Do you do this too, or am I the only one?

It is important to ask yourself what you will do next. What is next for your business, your day or your life? Maybe, this question used to be answered for you by a boss. Then you decided to make the move to become a business owner. Now, you have to answer that question for yourself. It’s a little scary at first – but also empowering! You have total control over your future and you can make a difference! Even though you may not look at it in the same way, this question is asked of you by your clients every day. You need to be confident that your answer is something they and you can achieve.

With so many business opportunities and directions you can take, picking what to do next deserves a great deal of attention. As Seth said, “dance with the opportunity”. Do a little daydreaming. What will your business look like in one year from now? How about five years? What you will do next deserves some consideration. Think about it!

Where are the Boundaries for the Professional Organizer?

October 20th, 2014

Professional organizers often help clients organize and manage personal and financial documentation. Many times the documentation is old, outdated, and no longer needed. The ideal solution would be that the client wants to dispose of these documents. Unfortunately, the reality is, clients will turn to the organizer for guidance and direction.

What are the rules for getting rid of paperwork? Is the organizer putting herself/himself in jeopardy for suggesting what can go and what should stay? What are the legal ramifications and how does an organizer handle purging documents?

In our litigious culture, an organizer is wise to know these answers. I work with professional organizers every day to help determine the answers to these and other questions they have about helping clients purge documents.

So, what are the rules when it comes to purging documents? Well, unfortunately there is no simple answer to that question. I frequently tell organizers that they need to answer that question with “it depends.” It really does depend on what type of document you are looking at.

Some documents you never purge. These documents are considered “official” documents and to replace them takes lots of additional paperwork, contacting government agencies, usually a fee, and a wait time of up to a year in some cases. Examples would be birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, immigration papers, military papers, and the like.

This category will also include documents that need to be updated on a regular basis, but the old documents can be purged out of the current system. This would include financial plans, household inventory, certification paperwork, warranty documents, wills, advanced directives, living wills, and other non-financial documents.

All other paperwork will fall into one of three categories. The first will usually document some sort of asset they own (like checking accounts, boats and cars, or investments). The second will document some sort of liability they owe (like car loans, mortgages, and taxes), and the third type will be insurance documents.

Professional organizers need to be very careful with helping a client purge documents. You never want to be held responsible for actually disposing of the files to be purged. Once your client makes the decision to get rid of old paperwork, involve her/him in the process. Have them sit with you and shred the documents together. Make sure they are aware of what is being shredded.

If the amount is too great to sit and shred by hand, then put it in black plastic bags and take it to someone who will shred it for them. You should not be responsible for transporting the bags to be shredded. Don’t put yourself in the position of having the client come back to you claiming you destroyed something they wanted to keep.

To protect yourself and your business, always consider carrying E&O insurance (errors and omission). Make sure the client knows, via your agreement, what you will, and what you will not do for them.

Linda Donegan began her career as a CPA with Price Waterhouse Coopers and worked on some of the firm’s highly visible clients providing audit and problem solving services. After several life altering events she realized how important personal and financial documentation is, not only for ourselves, but for those that we love. For the past 22 years, Linda has accumulated a vast amount of knowledge regarding personal and financial paperwork. She has worked with individuals and companies to educate and provide resources for managing this critical part of our lives. Linda created The Family DocuMap as a guide to organize, manage and maintain personal paperwork. She resides in Oldsmar, Florida with her husband of 30 years, Dennis.

October 2014 Meeting Summary

October 17th, 2014

The October NAPO-WDC chapter meeting was held on Monday, October 6, 2014 in Fairfax, VA. There were 35 members and 4 guests in attendance.

The meeting started with active networking. Members visited the Corporate Partner Meet and Greet tables hosted by Juli Monroe from 1 to 1 and Sharon Bliss from Bliss Book and the Ask the Experts table.

 Eileen LaGreca welcomed everyone.  

 Linda Pray introduced our 4 guests.

 Lori Krause introduced our Corporate Partners in attendance:



*Errol Unikel

Home Contents Videos

*Joe Johnson

Shelf Genie

*Alonso Zamora


*Dr. Dale Keeton


*Sharon Bliss

Book Bliss Online

*Andy Reiman

Modern Image

*Juli Monroe

1 to 1 Discovery

Guests: Everitt Clark Photography; Barbara Quast of Quast Interiors

Errol Unikel of Home Contents Videos, LLC spoke about Video for Home and Business Content & Show and Tell Your Brand.

Educational Program

Janice Rasmussen introduced the educational program: “Purging Personal and Financial Documentation: What are the Boundaries for Professional Organizers?” by Linda Donegan, CPA.

Linda Donegan has created Family DocuMap to help create a list of all your vital documents so you and your family members know exactly where to find them.

Most people keep paperwork because they are afraid to throw it out and do not understand their options. They need the organizer to support and offer guidance to purge. DO NOT make the decision for them – set aside a pile for them to review if they are uncertain. Once the client has decided to purge, set all documents to be purged in a separate box/area.  For those documents that are to be kept, consider scanning them vs. keeping all of the physical paperwork.

For a complete Personal Record Retention Guide from Linda Donegan, click HERE.

Chapter Business Meeting

GO Month/Community Partner – Stephen Bok/Leveling the Playing Field

One in five households do not have the funds to get their children involved in athletics. Leveling the Playing Field has collected and donated 15,000 pieces of sporting equipment to children Wards 7 & * in Washington DC . They have a new warehouse in Silver Springs that will need organizing! B-Thrifty will pick up sporting equipment from chapter meetings and at MARCPO.

An organizer with warehouse background is needed to get the new warehouse set-up started. Contact Stephen if you would like to help in advance of GO month.

There are a few “Hire a Professional Organizer” license plate holders left! They will be available at MARCPO or you can contact Stephen to reserve yours!

MARCPO update – Suzette Smith                                    

MARCPO is set for October 25th in at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bethesda, MD.

Three things to think about before you go -

  • What do you want to learn about your clients?
  • Think about your business. Learn how to grow and improve your business!
  • Who do you want to meet? There will be lots of networking and teaming opportunities!

 Monthly Meeting News – Eileen LaGreca

The December 1st meeting in Fairfax will be a celebration of NAPO-WDC’s 20th Anniversary! To celebrate there will be a White Elephant Sale and My Favorite Things. Details coming soon. Dinner will be provided.

Oct. 16         Rt. 66 Neighborhood Group Meeting

Oct. 25         MARCPO                              

Oct. 27         Rockville Pike Neighborhood Group Meeting

Nov. 3           NAPO-WDC Chapter Meeting in Bethesda, MD

Nov. 11         Arlington /Alexandria Neighborhood Group Meeting

Nov. 18         Maryland Book Club Meeting

Dec. 4           Virginia Book Club Meeting

The next Chapter meeting will be November 3, 2014 in Bethesda, MD.

Multi-generational Living: The New Trend in Home Building

October 7th, 2014

MultiGenerationalFamilyMulti-generational living is becoming more common as Baby Boomers age and move through retirement.

Data from the 2009 – 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) reported that 4.3 million households were multi-generational. That’s 5.6% of the total of 76.4 million family households with more than one person. While this is a small percentage, it represents a significant increase in the share of multi-generational households. The increase is from 3.7% of total family households in 2000 and 4.0% of total family households in 2010. So not only is the percentage higher, the rate of increase is also growing.

A few new home builders have recognized this trend and are starting to build homes to accommodate multi-generational living. Lennar has the NEXT GEN line of homes while Richmond America and Toll Brothers have optional designs that can be added to existing lines.

 These homes have some common characteristics. Most of them feature a private entry, often covered for the convenience of the added generation. While all of them feature an additional bedroom and living area, most often with a separate bathroom, some of them go so far as to have a full second master bedroom suite and bath. A few even have small kitchen areas for private food preparation and dining.

This style of home makes lots of sense for both adult children and their parents. It avoids the need and expense of assisted living. With the private entrance, hired care givers can visit their clients without disturbing the rest of the family. Grandparents and grandchildren can live close together and interact, creating memories for all the generations in the home.

According to this article, multi-generational homes make financial sense.

“With respect to mortgages … these are single-family homes with one person on the mortgage. In most cases, a senior parent moves into the 2Gen suite. His adult children who need more space occupy the main residence. The senior parent is usually the source of the down payment, and the adult children are responsible for the loan. It’s far more economical than seniors living in nursing homes.”

As we continue to serve the senior population, we’re certain we’re going to be assisting more clients with finding multi-generational homes. What about you? Do you have a parent who might like to live with you? With these floorplans and the Builder Trade In program, we can help!

Floorplan credit: Richmond American Homes