Organizing Awards? This must be L.A.!

by Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company

On Friday, February 1, it was my honor to be among the presenters at the Third Annual Los Angeles Organizing Awards, hosted by the L. A. chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers.

Sherri Shepherd of ABC’s “The View” kicked off the evening with revelations both funny and touching about her work with her beloved organizer, Jodie Watson. Professional organizers are familiar with that “blankie” that many of our clients have — the object, collection or habit from which they must not be parted. For Sherri, she confided, it’s her large collection of wigs. When Jodie wondered aloud whether Sherrie really wears all the wigs she has, Sherrie recalled shouting down Jodie: “I’ve GOT to have my HAIR!!” Now her collection is safely organized, labeled, and in containers: curly, straight, fun, short, long. Sherri got to keep “her hair” and find it, too.

The celebrity line-up of presenters continued with NAPO founders Ann Gambrell and Beverly Clower, authors and “Oprah” guests Julie Morgenstern and Peter Walsh, NSGCD president Lynne Johnson, organizing coach Dorothy Breininger, NAPO president Standolyn Robertson, and others.

Many of those who took to the podium had stories to tell, and film clips to share, of lives changed by organizing work. One powerful moment included Peter Walsh pushing for a clear commitment to boundaries on the much-talked-about “Oprah” episode “Inside the Lives of Hoarders” featuring his client with a serious hoarding problem. Another organizer’s clip showed a client overcome with emotion when the final work in his home office was revealed. What touched him so deeply? Not just relief at being rid of the mess, the visible signs of disorganization. No, it was the wonderful way the organizers had displayed his collection of baseball cards, honoring what really mattered to him and allowing him to enjoy it more fully. Moments like these reminded everyone present why professional organizing matters — because it allows people to do more of what they value most, and do it with more ease.

With two colleagues from San Francisco, I presented The Green Award for the most eco-friendly organizing product of service. Finalists included 1-800-GOT-JUNK and Hecht of an Organizer, with this year’s award going to Hecht of an Organizer.

I hope that the LA Organizing Awards will encourage more companies to partner with professional organizers to design and market innovative products and services that provide a dramatic benefit in the lives of clients.

Do you know of any organizing products or services that you feel should be nominated for the 2009 Organizing Awards? Please take a moment to post your favorites here.


4 comments so far

  1. John Trosko on

    Hi Margaret!

    It was our pleasure to see you over the weekend… you too added something really special to the evening! I am glad you mentioned the wigs. I had forgotten about that. Thank you for taking the trip down to Los Angeles and for involving yourself. We’re off and running!

    – John

  2. New Leaf News on

    Thanks, John, for your great hospitality! You did an awesome job of recruiting and leading your team to produce the awards program. NAPO-LA is lucky to have you as president, and LA is lucky to have you as an organizer!


  3. writetools on

    Awe, a favorite topic of mine… now I wish that they would do some shows on the mildly organized, tried many different systems and none really work, not a hoarder really…but would like their lives to be less cluttered family… that I would be interested in. The best organizer I met was a great lady at the container store who told me two great things…you can only be as organized as your house will allow, and don’t try implimenting systems that will never work with your nature. I love that girl. I do lov this cell phone ledge that loops over the plugged in phone cord. It is a simple little idea that works great.

  4. New Leaf News on

    Your Container Store lady sounds like a wise one! It’s true, if our organizing systems argue with our nature, our organizing systems always lose. For any system to work, we have to be able to use it.

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