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. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLQN3ls1BcU&hl=en]
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.