Welcome JALO

In February, I attended my monthly NAPOLA meeting discussing plans for the upcoming NAPO Organizing Conference being held in Los Angeles this year. The professional organizing industry all started here in LA, by a small group of amazing women who founded NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers). Since the conference was being held in it’s founding city and because LA is such a tourist destination, we new attendance would be abundant and organizers would attend from all over the world. During announcements we were told that 12 professional organizers were traveling all the way from Japan to attend conference and they had requested to visit the home of a local professional organizer. They asked for a volunteer or two to open their home to the Japanese group JALO and the room went quiet… Not one raised hand in a group of about 45-50 organizers. Something in my gut sparked, my soul soared and I said, ‘I’ll do it’! How often do I get the chance to make 12 new friends from another country, show off some of the organizing practices that I’ve implemented in my own home and get on my Soap Box about the environment and my Eco Practices to minds across the globe? And to show off my newly organized workshop where I make unique organizing art out of salvaged items headed to a landfill (See my Go Green video or check out my Eco Art for some of the ideas I shared)!

I got home that night and told my husband excitedly about my new commitment. He shook his head and said, “We’re going to have 14 strangers (12 organizers, the host & interpreter) walking through our house looking in all of our cupboards and closets? Can you get out of it? What have you gotten us into?”

I have to admit a bit of panic set in at that point, what had I done? My home is organized but it’s not perfect. I had projects here and there that needed finishing, cupboards that needed straightening and clothing that needed to be refolded. But making that commitment was the fire I needed to finish my own organizing projects and boy did I get to work.

I finally called my handyman to hang that coat rack that had been sitting in my coat closet for two years because I didn’t have the proper tools (cement drill). Sometimes all it takes to complete a project is to delegate to an expert. What project have you put off for years? Be honest, time passes really quickly and before you know it something you’ve been meaning to do just gets away from you…perhaps it’s just a matter of calling in a professional organizer to help you tackle that organizing project you’ve been putting off!

Well for 2 months, every ‘day off’ I tackled one project at time on my very ambitious list, from re-organizing my coat closet (thanks to my handyman) to consolidating my keepsakes to one cupboard and weeding out the childhood items that no longer meant something to me. I recommend going through your keepsakes on a regular basis and weeding out the excess. Something you found precious 5 years ago may no longer seem important to you now.

Well the day arrived quicker than the blink of an eye and I got most of the items checked off my list. I still haven’t finished my keepsake cupboard, but I consolidated them all to one place and paired down the items that I no longer find dear to my heart. The organizers arrived and the tour was a great success. They were charming, gracious and seemed impressed and excited about some of my unique organizing hacks I had created. Not only was it a fulfilling experience for me, but my husband enjoyed meeting and speaking with them as well. He even took some great photos of the event.

While it was a scary thing to commit to, I jumped full force into the unknown because my heart and soul told me to. Sometimes just stepping outside of your comfort zone is a way to spark new opportunities, find meaning in your life and meet new people. It’s also never too late to tackle a project you’ve been putting off!