NAPO 2017 Conference

NAPO Conference 2017

Well, I just got back from the 2017 National Association for Professional Organizers conference in Pittsburgh.  This is only my second time attending but both times have been a wealth of information and a sea of organizers!  I plan on attending more sooner rather than later.

As organizers, we have the ability to take a variety of classes given over several days as well as take advantage of other useful talks like one on leadership that was a round table discussion with 4 leading individuals (non-organizers).  We were also able to listen to a study done by 4 – Fordham students that used information from clients nationwide to give us more insight on what clients are saying they want and what they are receiving from organizers nationwide as well as the perceived value of these services.  And, then there was the expo hall with some organizing products, systems and solutions.

So, I thought you may find it interesting hearing what classes I took and the key take-aways:

  1. Bridging the ADHD Spousal Communication Gap through Organization:  This was a lot of good information about ADHD in general such as tools and tips to make functioning better – planning at night, staging activities, enlisting fidget tools, setting up times, setting up reminders, and so on.   But it gave great insight on some examples of what the ADHD mind partner “sees” in situations compared to the Non-ADHD partner.  Unfortunately, due to the dis-connects, a lot of marriages end in divorce.  You can for your ADHD partner do the following (or ask your non-ADHD partner to do these):
  • Get their attention when speaking (ask them if you can turn the tv/radio off so they can focus)
  • Make eye contact – state “look at me”
  • Did you hear me – ask “What did I say?”

These 3 things will lead to more effective communication.  If you would like to hear more, schedule time with me to discuss!

  1. What your Clients Wish you Knew: This class first started with the difference of situational disorganization and chronic disorganization.  It also discussed what we, as organizers, should be listening for from clients and how to clue into what clients are feeling.  Enlisting the help of an organizer is a very personal service; we as organizers need to always remember this.   I knew most of the stuff presented but it was a nice recap.  I personally take being invited into homes to help people very seriously; I love what I do.
  2. 9 Tech Tools to Skyrocket Productivity: This was super helpful as I am a paper system person that has very streamlined paper systems but always wonder if I should be using tech to update some of the things I do.  A few programs I plan to invest some time into using are Evernote (have but do not use frequently) because it is super useful across devices and you can keep all sorts of tidbits of info in one spot, organized.  As well as 1Password (or LastPass).  With all the passwords out there, it is impossible to be creative and all remembering of all the passwords needed.  Make one master one to let you into all the others.  Lastly, because I love flow charts and room layouts, LucidChart or io.
  3. Busily Unproductive: The exercises in this class were related to rating how well you think you are in 8 key areas of your life as well as the exercise of a “mind sweep” or brain dump and then bringing each of those down to the level of actual to-do’s. Think in 1 – 7 – 90 ; this is today, this week, this quarter.  Use a story based project sheet to really lay out each large task and then the steps are tasks to keep you going until completion.  I actually do very similar things for myself.  If you would like to hear more, schedule time with me to discuss!
  4. Demystifying the Deaccession and Appraisal of Household Contents: This class was about the value of stuff that you may be letting go of.  The speaker is an appraiser and she had a lot of knowledge of expensive art, clothing, furniture.  Now you may not have those types of items to let go of but you do have stuff.  She said you can sell anything but you may not get nearly what you are thinking you should get, unfortunately!  Brown furniture is out, most want modern; think Crate & Barrel.  Donations to museums sound like a good idea but they are maxed out.  And the IRS is 3 or 4 years behind on assessing those donations, so you could be in for a steep tax bill if the appraisal was really off – a good appraisal is key.  There is a market for high level clothing and shoes!  Very little market for coins, memorabilia (sports – go to Ebay) and stamps – sorry.  I always say, what is better – a room full of clutter and regret or a cleared space.  Cut your losses and move on.

And, a few of the top things I saw in the expo hall:

Samsill – They had beautiful, sturdy archival/file boxes.  They also had a great DUO 2-in1 Organizer – Ring binder + Expanding File (they have tabs to store the whole caddy in a file drawer!)  On Amazon:

Time Timer – I personally have one in my house, timer where you see time in the red disappearing as the countdown continues. These are great for those with ADHD.  My favorite newer item is the one with the dry erase around it so you can list critical tasks to do and then set timer.  Great way to keep focused.

Smead – all things folders/organization!  I loved their new “manilla” folders that you can color in.  Creativity with organization.  They have great stick-on pockets so you can label large bins, just slide an index card in for the content list.  I also liked the Justick products, they are boards that you plug in so there is a “charge” on them so your paper stays put without magnets, push pins, tape.  I liked the mini board that could be placed on your desk or by your computer to hold up what you were working on:

There were a few hanger companies – one with a prototype of expandable hangers to adjust from small to large garments!  I actually didn’t realize the options on hangers!

ScanSnap was there with there with their fabulous scanners – if you want to go paperless, a scanner that is quick and “smart” is the way to go.

Pixologie is a company that you can ship all, I mean all of your photos and they will organize, digitize and send back to you.  Not cheap but if this is something you want done and want someone else to just do it, this may be an option.  There were a few other photo organizing groups there too.

Everything but the House – national estate sales company that comes in, clears out all by either donating or listing online your items to sell and then takes a cut of the sales.

So, a lot of things were presented or shown to me.    If you want more info on any of the above or want to explore one of the products or services I listed, we can do that!  Never struggle with things, if you need it then there is a system out there for you!

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