Become a Professional Organizer
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What is a Professional Organizer?

According to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) a professional organizer enhances the lives of clients by designing systems and processes using organizing principles and by transferring organizing skills. A professional organizer also educates the public on organizing solutions and the resulting benefits. NAPO (pronounced NAY-poh) currently has close to 4,000 members throughout the U.S. and in 8 other countries.
Why do I need to get organized?

Organized people save time and money and reduce stress and frustration levels. There is no one right or wrong way to get organized. The amount of information available to us continues to grow at a rapid pace, as do the number of demands on our time. Organizing systems help you deal with everything from your paper to your professional responsibilitIes and give you parameters on what to keep, what to toss, and what to take action.

What is the best way to get organized?
Experts in the organizing industry agree: there are no “cookie cutter” solutions. There are many different personality types, work styles, and environmental influences, so each person must find the system/s that work best for him or her. The number of organization-related products and services is continually increasing. Determine the areas in which you want to improve, such as filing, clutter control, time management, maximizing storage space, or juggling projects and priorities.

How long does it take to get organized?
Organization is a process, not a state achieved in one day. Think about it as “being organized” or “staying organized,” not “getting organized.” An organizing system can be set up in a few days. After that, the challenge is to continuously maintain it and work on it one day at a time. The good news is, once you learn good systems, habits, and tools, change becomes easier, as does bouncing back from an unexpected detour or period of feeling overwhelmed.

How can I make better use of my time?
Time management is a misleading term, since we cannot manage time. We can only manage ourselves. The best we can do is make decisions about the priorities in our lives, have our own personal and professional goals, and align our activities to reach these goals. Review how you are spending your time and make adjustments according to your goals and priorities.

How can I cut down on paper in my life?
Sincerely question whether you need to keep each piece of paper that comes into your life. Make a habit of tossing unnecessary papers (shredding those that contain personal or financial information); scanning documents and storing them electronically when possible; canceling subscriptions to unread publications; and getting yourself removed from mailing lists. One effective way to reduce paper is to create a records retention schedule that specifies how long documents such as tax forms, bills, and financial statements should be kept.

Will there be a paperless society?
While there have been great strides in the fields of document imaging and electronic data storage, it is generally assumed that the “paperless society” will exist far in the future, if ever. Because some technological devices make it easier than ever to generate paper, however, some speculate that the amount of paper in our lives will continue to increase in the near future.

How do I select a planner?
A planner is a tool for scheduling appointments, tracking action items, and managing contact information. There are many from which to select. The first step is to evaluate your needs and style: do you prefer a paper-based system or an electronic handheld organizer? Do you primarily need to manage a to-do list, or do you prefer the ability to take a lot of notes? How do you prefer to view your calendar: by day, week, or month? Whichever system you select, be sure to customize it.

What are some of the best computer organizing products?
Some of the best computer organizing products are the ones you already have—it’s just that many people don’t know their software programs’ capabilities. Invest a few hours learning some of the shortcuts and customizations available. Also, check out other time-saving devices such as personal information managers, handheld devices, scanning and electronic storage, online communications software, and electronic filing systems and schedulers.

Article Source: National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO)

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