2010 NAPO Conference Goes Green & High Tech

April 28th, 2010

April 22, 2010

My friend and fellow Certified Professional Organizer®, Deb Lee wrote a great post about how the 2010 National Association of Professional Organizers Conference Goes Green & High Tech.

Can you imagine a conference of all Professional Organizers? You can bet that we are studying each others organizational processes and techniques.  Looking at who brought Sharpies®, highlighters, paper clips and mini-stapler.  Who is taking notes in a binder, on a laptop/netbook, an iPod, and who grabs the hotel notepad laying on the table.  Who is using the conference bag and who brought their specialized/personalized conference tote.

If you enjoy teasing me for my anal retentiveness, you will particularly enjoy Deb’s post.  It’s ok, I enjoy laughing at myself too.

BTW- I even brought a 6 foot extension cord with three 3-prong outlets.  And yes, I have already used it twice & it took up virtually no space in my bag.

Enjoy!  Thanks Deb for including me in your post.

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It's here! My eBook 50 Ways to Use Technology to Increase Productivity & Profitability is here! Don't let the name fool you. It actually contains over 80 resources. Check the special pricing for Need Another You readers.

Get prepared for Holiday Season 2009 – Tip 1

November 5th, 2009

Can you believe we have already flipped the calendar to November?  Where did time go?

I am sure many of you will agree,  it seemed a little pre-mature when the stores and malls had all their Christmas decorations up at least two weeks ago.  So you are thinking, I have a month before I can pull my decorations out of the closet/attic/garage, right?.

Well – now is the perfect time to pull out your decorations  and go through them.  Yes, now.  Prior to the seasonal rush is the time to make decisions on which items you no longer like, no longer have meaning or is the lousy gift you received in the office Sneaky Santa exchange last year.   Now is the time to donate or resell these decorations or gifts.

Often we don’t take the time to go through these items and store them year after year. Or we realize that we have just been holding on to something we don’t like, just in case the giver stops over.  You’ve been storing it for six years and the giver hasn’t been over for five.  Before you take it out to display or store it for another year.  Think about who will appreciate it more.  Holiday decorations or ‘seasonal’ gifts  have little value to donation sites and is of no value at a consignment store once the holidays have passed.

So this weekend-

  1. Schedule some time to pull out your boxes of decorations
  2. Separate the items.  Start thinking now about how you want to decorate this year.
  3. Make sure the decorations you want to display are easily accessible, the ones you want to store are packed well and the others are packed to donate or sell.  You might be surprised to find you have forgotten about some of your favorites or may find that family heirloom that was misplaced years ago.
  4. Take to decorations that you no longer want or are just taking up space to a shelter/charity or consignment shop.

A little prep time now will make the holiday decorating a whole lot more enjoyable.

Please let us know what’s the most interesting thing you have found while going through your holiday decorations?  We’d love to hear (we’re just curious).

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Need a contractor? Where to start?

September 11th, 2009

How many of you have relied on AAA (formerly known as the American Automobile Association)?  AAA has become synonymous with the name of the company who bails you out if your car conks out or you get a flat.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Toll Booth
Image by jimmywayne via Flickr

As a child I remember my mom’s old Pontiac overheating while we waited at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge toll plaza.  Somehow (pre cellphone days), we managed to contact AAA. I was terrified, the 3 BIG A’s were going to come.

Nooooooo!  Not the 3 BIG A’s.  While this was a service who was going to help, as a child I pictured 3 BIG A’s.  We were going to get attacked by the alphabet!!!  Needless to say, AAA sent a service individual to come help us and we were sent on our way. As an adult AAA customer, I learned that AAA does not always have it’s own service trucks. Honestly, I don’t know if they have any of their own trucks anymore. Their service and reputation is handled by contractors who they screen to represent them. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had one stop shopping for all things that cause hiccups in our lives? Boy, wouldn’t that simplify your life?

I recently learned friends had launched a AAA-like home repair service called HOCOA – Home Owners Club of America. Like AAA offers pre-screened automobile repair contractors to their members, HOCOA offers pre-screened home repair/maintenance contractors to their members. You make one phone call to HOCOA. They document your problem and set you up with the contractor who can repair your problem. Members pay a minimal fee to have access to their pre-screened contractors saving members time and aggravation.  While there are other home repair companies who sell memberships, there are some definite differences.

I have invited my friends Michelle and Andy Katon, owners of HOCOA Metro DC to guest post about how a home repair network can simplify your life.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could simplify your life when it comes to home repair.  We discovered a home repair network that can do that, HOCOA. We were so impressed, that we choose to purchase a franchise in the Washington, DC Metro area so we could share this benefit with Washingtonians. Here is how it started….

We noticed an odor in the kitchen.  We did not realize that our dishwasher had broke mid-cycle.  The following day, Sunday we discovered the odor was from the dishwasher.  Once we noticed it was a broken dishwasher causing the odor, we did not know who to call.  We did what most people would do: opened the Yellow Pages, and started making calls, more calls and even more calls.  After 11 calls and a lot of frustration, we knew there must be a better way. We did finally get our dishwasher fixed but decided that it was time to find a universal solution to the household headache of home repair.  After a lot of research, we found a home repair network called HOCOA.  HOCOA had a proven track record of making the process of finding a contractor/service provider easier.  Further investigation showed that all HOCOA contractors are licensed, bonded/insured and pre-screened.  Best of all, they do all of the  leg work for you.

Upon moving to the DC area, we discovered there was no HOCOA location in the area.  In an area like DC where people are always on the go, we knew that there was a need for HOCOA.  Most Washingtonians don’t have the time to make all the calls and screen contractors before hiring them.  Yes, you may have your favorite plumber or electrician but who do you call when the roof leaks, the attic fan dies, or you discover mold in the basement.

So we brought the HOCOA Home Repair Network to DC!  Below are success stories from your DC neighbors.

Image via Wikipedia

A family in Rockville was in the middle of a renovation project. They ran into problems with their contractor, who could not finish the job. What should they do? A friend suggested they call HOCOA. Within an hour, we figured out what type of contractors they needed.  By the next morning, they were back in business and work reconvened using HOCOA contractors. HOCOA was not only able to save them the time and energy of re-interviewing contractors after previously being burned, but the project became stress free because of HOCOA.

Another family had a light that was going in and out. They called an electrician on their own. He came, fixed the light and did what appeared to be a good job. A week later, the light was giving them the same problem. They called the electrician again, and again, and again. They never received a return call. So much time was spent trying to resolve this issue. The problem was that their electrician had already done the job and had been paid. They were no longer on his “priority” list.

Through HOCOA, the contractors are held “accountable” because of the way jobs are dispatched. Since the contractors want referrals, they respond almost immediately when called by a HOCOA representative. If the family had called HOCOA for this project, ONE call would have taken care of this problem with NO frustration.

Joining HOCOA is the way to save time and energy and be able to simplify your life when it comes to home repair.  The value of piece of mind is so much greater than the small yearly HOCOA membership fee.   In addition to the home repair contractors participating with HOCOA, your membership also gives you access to additional resources at wholesale prices.

If you know of anyone moving to the DC area, a HOCOA membership is an incredible gift.  Know a good reliable contractor you feel would benefit from being part of the HOCOA Metro DC network, please pass our information along.  Feel free to give us a call or send us an email with any questions.  We look forward to helping you simplify your life.

Michelle and Andy Katon
Owners, HOCOA Metro DC


Michelle and Andy are extending all Need Another You readers a 15% discount on any HOCOA Metro DC membership.  Use code ORGANIZE when purchasing your membership.   Need to simplify your life?   Be prepared, contact Michelle and Andy today.

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It's here! My eBook 50 Ways to Use Technology to Increase Productivity & Profitability is here! Don't let the name fool you. It actually contains over 80 resources. Check the special pricing for Need Another You readers.

What’s New in the Organizing World? – Part II

June 9th, 2009

So I had hoped to post Part II a little sooner but they products and services are still worth mentioning.   Last Monday,  I attended the National Association of Professional Organizers, Washington, DC (NAPO-WDC) meeting.  The meeting topic was “What’s New?”.

The “What’s New?” meeting shared products and services the “show & tell” format.  Manufacturer’s donated samples(s) to share their latest & greatest product or service.  The samples were given away to chapter members as door prizes.

Here is the Part II run-down of the products and services shared.

time-timerTime Timer – Don’t we all wish we could create more time. What if we think about how are we actually spending the 24 hours we have in a day? Like most other things, when you measure time or set limits, you are likely to accomplish more. The Time Timer can help solve time perception problems at all ages and time telling ability levels. The graphic face gives you a visual understanding of time elapsing. Set the timer for the desired amount of time. When the Time Timer‘s colored portion disappears, you are out of time and an audible alarm sounds. (1) 8″ Time Timer and (1) 3″ Time Timer was given away at the meeting = up to $65 value combined.
Time Timer

recipenest2Recipe Relish – The first new thing I have seen in ‘cook books’.  What amateur cook has not pulled a recipe from a magazine or printed one from the internet?  We end up with recipes of all shapes and sizes, some single sided, others two sided.  The Recipe Nest enables you to keep all of those recipes in an organized manner.  It has been designed to not only be a recipe storage device, but it’s built-in easel holds the recipe you are cooking/baking wipes clean.  When you are done, tuck the recipe back inside in the appropriate category and the Recipe Nest neatly stacks on your bookshelf.  The Recipe Nest comes in colors to match any kitchen.   Recipe Relish donated (1) Recipe Nest as a door prize = $38.95 value.

Family Facts- I met Family Facts creator Pam Socolow shortly after starting my organizing business Put It Away!.  Turns out Pam is a cousin of a close friend.  I became aquainted with Family Facts when the product line was just in it’s early stages.  The Family Life Organizer & Planner’s popularity spawned an entire line different organizing binders.  They include Family Facts On The Go, Family Facts Pregnancy Planner and Family Facts Wall Calendar.   The Family Facts line provides tools to help you manage your personal information and achieve harmony and balance.  Pam kindly donated (1) Family Facts Wall Calendar, (1)Family Facts On The Go & (1) Family Facts Peace of Mind Organizer = combined value of close to $48.

Have you had experience with any of these products?  We would love to hear your comments below.

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It's here! My eBook 50 Ways to Use Technology to Increase Productivity & Profitability is here! Don't let the name fool you. It actually contains over 80 resources. Check the special pricing for Need Another You readers.

What's New in the Organizing World – Part I

June 1st, 2009

Tonight I attended the National Association of Professional Organizers, Washington, DC (NAPO-WDC) meeting.  The June meeting has always been very popular.  In the past, the June meeting was titled “My Favorite Things”.  NAPO-WDC Chapter members brought their favorite things and shared them in a “show & tell” format.  This year things were changed up a bit and the meeting was renamed “What’s New?”.

The “What’s New?” meeting shared the “show & tell” format.  What made this meeting different is manufacturer’s could share their latest & greatest product or service.  The manufacturers donated a sample(s) to be given away to chapter members as door prizes.

Here is a run-down of the products and services shared tonight, Part I.

Who doesn’t like roll out shelving?  Shelf Improvement states only four screws are needed to install a Shelf Improvement roll out shelf.    Their roll out shelving comes in various sizes.  The cost is $79 +$10 shipping regardless of the size ordered.  One roll out shelf was given away = $89 value.

ClearlynotedClearly Noted – A new line of greeting cards designed by Pittsburgh Certified Professional Organizer®, Jill Revitsky.  I met Jill in 2005 and was very impressed with her.  That is why I was not surprised by the premier product Jill recently launched, Clearly Noted. Clearly Noted Cards are meant to encourage, motivate and congratulate anyone who is on a journey to a simpler and more organized lifestyle.  Great product for every professional organizer to keep on hand.  Jill donated a six pack of Clearly Noted cards as a door prize = $15.30 value.

OK, admit it.  We all have a shoe box of photos, at least one.  Oh, so yours is in a pretty ‘photo box’.  Most of the boxes sold as ‘photo boxes’ do nothing to preserve the quality of your photos.  Philadelphia based, SaveMyPix.com offers economical, professional digital transfers of your precious memories for easy viewing.  They offer scanning of photos, transfer of slides, negatives and video to DVDs.  Owners Maxx & Monica Messinger donated (2) ScanMyPix.com prepaid boxes = $149 value each.

brother-pt-1230Label makers are an organizers best friend.  Brother is a leader in label makers.  Their newest product is the PT1230.  This label maker uses the familiar TZ tape.  It hooks into your PC’s USB port and operates off of Plug & Label technology.  Uses your PC’s keyboard and monitor.   Unlike other label makers in the PT line, the PT1230 enables you to print True Type font and logos.  There is no software to download to your computer.  When you are done, turn the PT1230 off and there is no software left on your computer.  One lucky NAPO-WDC member won a PT1230 as a door prize = up to $49.99 value.

Check out these products and stay tuned for What’s New in the Organizing World – Part II.

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