Sixteen years ago this month, I started my business. I was an actress tired of bar tending and looking for something to keep my sanity while I waited for my big break. I decided to start a business doing the stuff no one else wants to do except me- like sort through boxes of papers and organize a garage. I found the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) in the back of the one organizing book I had. Here I thought I was coming up with a new business- but there was already a national organization for people just like me! Back then, there were about 1,200 NAPO Members. If you told someone you were a Professional Organizer- they would be confused and not know what you meant. I had people think I sold Tupperware or organized people to fight for social causes.
Now things are so different. There are almost 4,000 members of NAPO. Professional Organizers are on all kinds of TV shows. Magazines constantly quote organizers and feature organizing tips. There are tons of books, programs, blogs, YouTube Channels, and articles on organizing. There are Certified Professional Organizers and Chronic Disorganization CPOs. Now when I say I am a Professional Organizer- the response is usually, “Oh- I really need you!”
I was very involved in NAPO for many years. I was on the NAPO-Los Angeles Board of Directors for 4 years and served as President. I think I held almost every volunteer job there was- often many simultaneously. I learned so much through volunteering and it boosted my confidence and my business. We even had award shows for organizers- complete with red carpets! Now that I have small kids, I can’t help but get involved in their schools by streamlining volunteer procedures, creating new forms, and helping organize events, classrooms , lounges, or storage areas. Organizing skills sure do come in handy!
It has been a great ride. Sixteen years later, I still love what I do. I still love reading about organizing theories and challenges as well as finding new products and gadgets. I love the people I get to work with. I love the challenge of a new project and the blessing of being able to make a difference and change someone’s life for the better. I’ve learned so much from the great organizers and dear clients who have crossed my path and shaped who I am today. I’m so glad that 16 years ago, I started Organizing Wonders!