Tuesday, May 23, 2006

NAPO President Visits Michigan

On Sunday, May 21st, the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) President, Barry Izsak (photo center), took time out of his busy schedule to visit the members of the NAPO Southeast Michigan Chapter (Michigan Professional Organizer). I had the honor of planning this event, which was held at Shiro Restaurant in Novi, Michigan. (I am the second blonde from the right in the photo.)

Barry's company, Arranging It All, is based out of Austin, Texas but he spends many days out of the year traveling as the National President of NAPO. At the NAPO Conference that I attended in March 2006 there were nearly 1,000 members in attendance which makes it difficult to speak one on one with Barry.

On Sunday evening, Barry tolerated our endless photos with ease and good humor. He was also able to answer our individual questions. The biggest takeaway from the evening for me was not to underestimate the value of our time and services as professional organizers or organizing consultants. Barry has been an important force in raising the level of professionalism in this industry.

In addition to providing services to clients in their homes or offices, my consulting services are also available for product focus groups.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Travel Tips

I recently wrote some travel tips for the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Southeast Michigan Chapter newsletter. I would like to share them in my blog too.

Having left a corporate career in sales and lived overseas, I have traveled a lot . My last trip as a corporate road warrior had me off to Japan with all of four days notice. When I showed up to the airport my male counterparts were amazed that my only luggage was an 18 inch Travelpro carry-on and a purse large enough to hold my computer.

With a little bit of organization, you too can be jetting off to far flung places at a moment's notice. Here are my tips for packing light and enjoying the ride!

1) Pick your bags---Try to limit yourself to one small sturdy bag per person. This can even save you money with the airlines’ nickeling and diming for overweight charges these days.

2) Pack your bags---Keep small sample sized toiletries in your travel bag at all times. This saves packing time and avoids forgotten items.

3) Start with your itinerary---For business or pleasure, you should have an idea of your daily travel plans. This will help you pick out the necessary clothes and shoes.

4) Get back to the basics---When traveling, stick to easy care mix and match separates or suits in the same color palette. I always try to limit myself to two pairs of shoes of the same color: one casual and one dressy.

5) Use every nook and cranny---Rolling knit items can save space. You can also pack socks and undergarments inside of your extra pair of shoes that are covered with plastic bags. Neatly folding dirty clothes inside of plastic bags saves space on the way home.

6) Relax---Don’t worry if you forget something. Unless you are traveling to a very remote part of the world, you can almost always buy what you need or wash clothes at your destination.

By the way, I challenge my readers to guess where I am in the photo!