If you have an interest in the field of professional organizing, you won’t want to miss the Baltimore chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizer’s (NAPO) next meeting on Tuesday, January 26th. Certified Professional Organizer, Standolyn Robertson, who is the Immediate Past President of NAPO national, and also an expert on the popular A&E TV show, Hoarders, will be the guest speaker.
I was fortunate to have an opportunity to interview Standolyn last week as she prepared for her visit to Baltimore.
Organized Families: “The Baltimore chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO Baltimore) is excited to have you talk about how professional organizers can be successful through self-care. With the recent downturn in the economy, do you believe that this is still a good time to start an organizing business or get a job as a professional organizer?”
Robertson: “A lot of Professional Organizers under-capitalize and don’t treat their businesses like a real business. A Professional Organizing business should be treated like any other business. Professional Organizing business owners need to have business savvy and be willing to invest in their businesses, just like any other.”
Organized Families: “Sometimes new professional organizers are reluctant to join NAPO because of the membership fee, plus the additional cost of their local chapter’s member fee. What would you say to them? “
Robertson: “To join NAPO national and the NAPO Baltimore chapter it will cost you about $300. This works out to only about $25/month or about $6/week. Many professional organizers can make this money back in a day, and the networking and educational opportunities you receive from NAPO, including the NAPO chat, are unbelievable! Not to mention all of the NAPO affiliate discounts members receive. In addition, like any other non-profit association, you get out what you put in. It takes a group to make things happen.”
Organized Families: “Last May at the NAPO national conference in Orlando, Florida, you were ending your term as NAPO President and are now the Immediate Past President. How does your role differ from before and do you think that being on the board of directors has changed your business and career?”
Robertson: “As Immediate Past President I can bring the wisdom of having been a president and I am now able to participate more in discussions, rather than facilitating the meetings. In my personal business, being president of NAPO has made me think much bigger. When you’re around big-thinkers and go-getters, it helps you to think bigger, which in turn, makes you more successful in your personal business. Also, an important part of my business is to show up at the annual national conferences.”
Organized Families: “What do you see changing in the organizing industry in the next few years? Do you see it growing exponentially, steadying or declining?”
Robertson: “I think there are going to be less generalists and more organizers niching in their specialty. Right now we have a lot of jack of all trades. Organizers will find out what their specialties are. For example, they may decide to work only with hoarders, businesses, the chronically disorganized, ADD or residential clients.
With the downturn in the economy, my business has actually grown. People have decided, “I can’t move. It’s the wrong time to sell, so I have to make this house work.” Business people are saying, “I’ve got to be productive at work. I can’t get caught not being able to find anything. I’ll be laid off.”
Plus people can no longer afford to have late fees and want to be organized now more than ever. “
Organized Families: “For anyone reading this who may have an interest in becoming a professional organizer, what would you tell them to do first? “
Robertson: “From the beginning, take it as a serious business. Once you get started don’t invest in a bunch of brochures yet. If you’re going to invest in something, invest in a website or blog. Also, don’t under capitalize. For me I paid myself from day one. That meant that I had to work really hard. So again, treat it like a real business.”
One final thing that Standolyn would like people to know is “Everyone thinks that if you’re an organizer, you’ re perfect and you’re not. I am always humbled by just being a regular person, just like everyone else, just trying to do the best I can.”
Standolyn Robertson, CPO(R) is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Things in Place, a Massachusetts based organizing firm. She is also a Certified Relocation and Transition Specialist (CRTS) and member of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization. Standolyn is celebrating her 10th year as a professional organizer and will be appearing at the NAPO Baltimore Chapter meeting on Tuesday, January 26th at 6:30PM. Non-members and the general public are welcome to attend. No registration is required. You can learn more about this event by visiting the NAPO Baltimore chapter website at www.NAPOBaltimore.org.
For more info:
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Find an organizer in the Baltimore area
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