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Blog: Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles
Paper Doll Shot A Man In Reno Just To Watch Him Declutter...

Did you miss me?

Due to the wonders of technology, I'll bet you didn't even know Paper Doll was gone. But I, and many of my blogging colleagues here at www.OnlineOrganizing.com's Blog Central and elsewhere around the blogverse, spent most of last week in Reno, Nevada at the National Association of Professional Organizers annual conference.

Most of the time, Paper Doll shares little of her own life (deeply held affection for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and George Clooney, notwithstanding), in lieu of sharing ideas for what you should (or should not) do with the paper and clutter in your life. However, with close to a thousand of my fellow NAPO members all in one place, there were too many tidbits to that I wanted to share. Next week, we'll get back to my motherly dispensing of advice and counsel, but for now, let's dish…

First, the airline experience last week was as bad as you've heard. Ramona Creel, www.OnlineOrganizing.com's founder, was one of several hundred NAPO-ites left stranded. Despite Herculean efforts, Ramona and others never got to Reno, thanks to American Airlines' grounding of thousands of flights for maintenance and inspection issues. But dangerous weather in the Midwest, the FAA scandals in general, and a sad goodbye to three airlines last week--ATA, Skybus and Aloha (pun intended?)--on top of the usual security nightmares made all of us who did make to the conference all the most excited to be there.

Paper Doll, herself, survived six flights (three each way), lost luggage (in both directions, including to Salt Lake City, a city through which I wasn't even traveling!), one expedited landing due to a medical emergency on board, and five flights delayed by an hour or more, including one in 100+ degree heat due to a failed piece of equipment called "Smart Cart". (Paper Doll imagines that anything leaving shrieking babies and sleep-deprived professional organizers in a sauna for 90 minutes is an unlikely item to be deemed "smart".)

Was this a star-studded event, you might wonder? Well, our keynotes, panels and exciting closed-door meetings were graced by the presence of professional organizer, speaker, author, celebrity, friend-of-Oprah and hunk (did I just type that out loud?) Peter Walsh of Clean Sweep fame. Maybe it's the straight-shooting approach, the chiseled features, the gift for humor or the amazing Aussie accent, but a room full of professional organizers sat in rapt attention to drink in every word Peter spoke, the upshot of which was that we, as professional organizers, do (or strive to do) much more than clear clutter. He said, as all professional organizers try to convey, that "organization is a path to incredible freedom".

Walsh also encouraged us to CHANGE THE WORLD, something echoed throughout the beliefs of many cultures, from Judaism's philosophy of Tikkun Olam to Mahatma Gandhi's reflection that "We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

Next, the blogging community of professional organizers loves you...and we giddily love one another! On the first full day of the NAPO conference, three fearless industry leaders—magnificent-even-on-crutches John Trosko (of the Organizing LA blog), NAPO Founders' Award-winning Monica Ricci (of Your Life. Organized) and the just-stepped-out-of-a-magazine, fashion plate organizer Lorie Marrero (of The Clutter Diet Blog) hosted a get together of blogging professional organizers.

Readers, I must tell you, it was an honor to be in such stellar company, and amusing to see how we're all secret (or not-so-secret) fans of one another's work. I finally got to meet the indefatigable Katherine Macey who blogs Traveling With Kids and lets a singleton (to Paper Doll's mother's chagrin) vicariously experience the family travel scenario. Fellow Blog Central blogger Joan Kosmachuk proved to be a wealth of information, and Brandie Kajino (who also blogs here and here) may be one of coolest people you might ever hope to meet in the blogverse or the 3D world. There were famous bloggers, like Jeri Dansky of the eponymous Organizing & Decluttering News and there was an intriguingly high representation of Australian and New Zealand professional organizer bloggers, including Wendy Davie and Lissanne Oliver. International bloggers, masters and mistresses of both organizing and magic links, and fascinating individuals, one and all.

Over the last three weeks, we've been talking about organizing books and your personal libraries. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a few of the new books my colleagues have written. In particular, I'm all ready for dynamo Valentina Sgro's Patience and the Porsche, a novel with a professional organizer as protagonist (hmmmm) and one has to admit that Peter Walsh's Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? definitely has the most marketable title!

We took classes to make ourselves better educated and better skilled professional organizers to bring our clients (and our readers) the wise and the cutting edge, the fun and the fabulous. We'll all strive to be careful that our notes are sourced, sorted, filed or tossed with precision to reduce clutter. And because professional organizers are human, many of us ate too much, slept too little, Purell®ed elevator buttons within an inch of their plastic lives and reveled in the community of all of us who hope to spread the blessing (and wackiness) of living a more organized life.

Next week, Paper Doll will highlight some of the nifty products and services presented at the NAPO conference and expo. Until then (OK, until my luggage with all my notes on the products and services presented at the conference arrives), your jet-lagged blogger wishes you an organized and productive week.

posted on: 4/15/2008 10:30:00 AM by Julie Bestry
category: Paper

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Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles

by Julie Bestry

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Julie Bestry, President of Best Results Organizing in Chattanooga, TN, is a Certified Professional Organizer®, speaker and author. Julie helps overwhelmed individuals and businesses save time and money, reduce stress and increase productivity through new organizational skills and systems.

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