March 27, 2012

I'm Back from the NAPO 2012 Conference!

I have returned from the NAPO 2012 Conference in Baltimore, Maryland!

It was non-stop learning, networking, note-taking--very little rest. Like I said in my pre-conference blog post, 'this was no vacation.'  But despite the brain overload and the seven hours of driving I did in three days, I am energized and motivated to put in place the wealth of information I learned.

Our view from the Baltimore Hilton--so close to Camden Yards!
Not only did I learn a ton, I also collected a tote bag full of information (and samples!) from our Product EXPO.  Large companies such as Rubbermaid, Smead, 3M and Staples as well as smaller companies such as NACKit! and The Tote Buddy were represented. (I did something with Smead that I'll be blogging about soon...) Besides collecting information, I saw demos of different products and learned how to install and remove a Command hook without ripping off a layer of paint or wallpaper.

The workshops I took will be instrumental in moving my business forward in the coming year. Besides being good for my business, the ideas of the 'Clearing Clutter the 'Fun' Shui' Way' class I took are already being put to work in my own home. Before I started writing this post, I took a block of time and did some de-cluttering in my home office which has become a repository for items having nothing to do with my business.  The instructor told us that "Clutter blocks the flow of prosperity." I'll be doing some more de-cluttering after lunch...

I'm looking to move forward with the social media part of my business so I took workshops on YouTube and Blogging. I learned how a presentation is like a hamburger in a public speaking workshop and discovered the 'ABC's' of organizing photos.

But the BIG news is about the local NAPO chapter I belong to--NAPO-Northern New Jersey. This year NAPO National partnered with Soles4Souls--an organization that collects new and used shoes to distribute to those in need. They offered all NAPO chapters a challenge--who could collect the most pairs of shoes? Nationwide, over 100,000 pair of shoes were collected by over 30 local chapters. But who won the competition? NAPO-Northern New Jersey--collecting a whopping 24,561 and beating out chapters double in size!

NAPO-NNJ showing off awards at the NAPO 2012 Conference in Baltimore
Our 'Queen of Sole,' Diane Thomson (2nd from left above) collected 10,000 pair of shoes! She collected the most shoes out of any other NAPO member (and there are over 4,000 of us). All of her hard work earned her a trip to Haiti to help distribute shoes. We are so proud of her extraordinary accomplishment!

I could go on and on about this amazing conference--the people I met, the fun I had, but it's time to go back to de-cluttering my home office the 'Fun Shui' way. Gotta let that prosperity flow...

March 20, 2012

Recycle and Spring Clean with Best Buy

For most of us, recycling is part of our everyday lives. We gather paper, plastic and glass and reap the health, environmental and economic benefits to recycling.

But, recycling isn't just about putting your newspapers and tin cans at the curb. You can recycle much more than that--just walk into your local Best Buy.

I wandered in to Best Buy one day to buy a gift card for my nephew and upon entering the store, I saw this...

I couldn't believe all of the items they took for recycling!

-Plastic Bags
-Wires, Cables and Cords
-Gift Cards
-CD's, DVD's and their Cases
-Ink and Toner Cartridges
-Rechargeable Batteries

I started thinking about all of the items in my home I could place in this recycle bin. I took the above photo as a reminder (and for this blog post), looked through my home and came upon a few items I could 'donate' to the recycle bin. I placed the bag of items in my car and a few days later they were living in my local Best Buy's recycling bin.

I later learned that Best Buy recycles more than just what you can put in the bin. They take back TVs, mobile phones, video games and other electronics. To read more about other items Best Buy recycles, go to their e-cycle page. You'll be shocked at the variety of items you'll be able to recycle at their store. There are many good resources for recycling on that page, too.

Time to look through your attic, basement, closets and garage--bring your unwanted electronics to Best Buy for a little e-Spring Cleaning!

March 16, 2012

I'm Going to the NAPO 2012 Conference in Baltimore!

I've very excited! Next week I'll be attending the National Association of Professional Organizers 2012 Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

I have attended three other NAPO Conferences in the past and let me tell you, this is no vacation. My experience attending the Conference can only be described as a brain-blowing, intense, and jam-packed with organizing and entreprenurial education and networking.

The workshops I've signed up for are on the topic of:
Public Speaking
You Tube
Photo Organizing
Feng Shui
Bringing Your Organizing Product to Market

There are 'Ask the Organizer' Panels and Pre-Conference workshops, too. I'm also going to an informal gathering for people who use Evernote (where I dump and store the thousands of ideas I have swimming in my brain). Our Keynote address is being presented by Bill Rancic--the man who was the first winner of The Apprentice!

I'm looking forward to meeting new organizers, spending more time with my NAPO-NNJ and NAPO-NY colleagues and those I don't know very well. I'm also excited to visit the Conference EXPO hall which is always chock full of booths from companies that support the organizing profession.

My Conference materials have been downloaded, I've made my packing list, and mapped out the almost 4-hr drive to Baltimore. I'll let you know all about it when I get back!

March 8, 2012

Organized Artistry is on Pinterest!

Do you love social media? Are you also a visual person? Then unless you've been living under a rock, you know about Pinterest.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Pinterest (according to their website) "is a 'virtual pinboard.' Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web."

I first noticed it when a few of my organizing colleagues began posting their Pinterest boards on their Facebook Pages. It looked interesting so I checked it out and was immediately hooked (it can be very addictive)! I'm a visual person with an art background--I find it to be a great way to collect and share ideas with others.

You have to request an invite to 'join' (which could take a few days or a few weeks) or ask someone already on Pinterest to give you an invite (that's what I did). Once you're 'in' you can start creating boards of topics that interest you and 'pinning photos and videos to them.

Tip: Load the 'Pin it' bookmarklet to your browser--it allows you to 'pin' any photo/video from the web to your Pinterest boards.

I have a bunch of boards on the topic of organizing and I've created a few on the topic of weddings related to my book and the manuscript I'm working on. If you look in the right column of this blog you'll see a button that says 'Follow me on Pinterest.' Click to follow me but if you'd like, first take a quick glance at my boards...

Organized Artistry's Organizing Boards
Organizing Product I've Blogged About
Helpful Organizing Books
My Favorite Organizing Products
Organizing on the Cheap
Kitchen Organizing
Quick Organizing Tips
Get Ready for Spring Cleaning!
YOUR Favorite Organizing Products

Organized Artistry's Wedding Boards
Organize for WeddingPlanning
Stylish Wedding Thank You Notes

Then there's my board called 'OMG--So Cute!' There's a lot of cute stuff on Pinterest--can't be about business ALL the time, ya know...

To learn more about Pinterest, here are a few articles that will be helpful to beginners:

Beginner's Guide to Pinterest Basics

Pinterest: A Beginner's Guide to the Hot New Social Network

Pinterest Tips--A Tutorial Guide for Beginners

Happy pinning! Anyone need an invite?

March 2, 2012

Dress for Success + Dressbarn = S.O.S. Send One Suit Weekend

Maybe you used to work in an office and had tons of professional clothing. Then, you had a baby and decided to leave your job. Or, you lost a few pounds and some items no longer fit you. Maybe your style has changes or your office dress code has been done away with.

Regardless of the reason, today is the perfect day to purge your closet of any professional clothes that you no longer want or need.

Why? Well, it's for a good cause.

Dress for Success is an organization that encourages the self-sufficiency of women and helps them enter the work force and take charge of their lives. They are partnering this weekend with Dressbarn to collect new and gently used professional clothing for women.

So, I am asking you to go into your closets and look for blazers, skirts, dress pants, suits--anything a woman could wear to an office. This is the perfect time of year (being so close to Spring Cleaning time) and the perfect cause to 'let go.'

The Send One Suit drive began yesterday and continues through Sunday, March 4th. Besides a tax deduction receipt, I hear you get a 15% off coupon from Dressbarn when you donate. Don't usually shop at Dressbarn? Offer that coupon to a woman looking for a job. Chances are she'll be looking for a way to save money on her interview clothes. That's two good deeds in one day--hurray for you, early Spring Cleaning, Dressbarn and Dress for Success!