NAPO San Francisco Regional Conference

Oct 23

My local San Francisco Bay Area NAPO chapter hosted our annual conference on Friday and Saturday. I mean, come on…really? Two days with fellow organization-loving professionals? There are no words.

Ok, ok – of course, I’ll try…because this is a blog afterall. 😉

I’m still coming down from my conference high. There is so much to share about the books, apps, companies, solutions, authors and my fellow NAPO members that there’s not question it must be broken up into a series. So, today I’m sharing the session topics I attended and a little about each of the presenter’s. And I figured this was a good time to talk about my connection to NAPO and why I’m a member…since we are talking NAPO stuff here.

I’m still working out the “and then…”. I’d love to share the info learned during each session, but I’ll need to get the ok from the presenter’s because it’s their content. The ultimate idea is to interview each presenter (and more of my fellow professionals) for a monthly series I’ll coin “from the pro’s”. Give me some ideas you guys! Maybe you aren’t interested at all and would rather see more images of me kicking over a mailbox, shoveling dirt, labeling files or spray painting office supplies. ? 😉

But first, let me quickly drop a few bullet points about the weekend to get my annoying excitement out of the way.

Number one – 2 days in my city?! Where I was born and raised. Heaven. And the weather was spectacular! Check this out…

Yes, that’s a real image. No editing necessary. Snapped it on my cell phone. This bridge. *insert my heart melting* Perfection! It was a picture perfect weekend here in the Bay Area.

Number two – 2 days among fellow organization-loving peeps. Ummm, hello. There’s not much that competes with talking all things organization amongst those that love doing it as much as (if not more than) me, right?

Number three –  The conference information and what I gleaned was incredible! I’m inspired and motivated…and you guys are going to benefit from that, big time. Lucky you?

Number four – I connected with amazing companies that offer various organization solutions….all of which I will happily pass along to you in another post.

Number five – Bouncing off number four, I live in the tech capital of the World. Hello, Apple and it’s million (billion?) apps. While I’ll be sharing the apps I learned about during the conference, I’m excited to share fellow companies located in the Bay Area…because it’s my home and I love giving my hometown people a boost. I’m proud of the genius entrepreneurs living amongst us. Many whom are related to organization!

Now that I was able to vomit out the excitement, thankyouverymuch…Let’s start with why I’m a member of NAPO.

You may have noticed the 2 NAPO logo’s on my sidebar. If you aren’t familiar with the organization, or on the occasion I mention it again and you’re puzzled, NAPO is the National Association of Professional Organizers. NAPO is a group of approximately 4,000 professional organizers dedicated to helping people bring order and efficiency to their lives. Their mission is to have the World recognize the value of organizing and turn to NAPO as the leading organizing authority. As a consumer, you have access to advice, insight and a directory of NAPO professionals in your area.

I love my little blog and have no plans to walk away from it, but I do have bigger plans for my professional self outside of blogland. I want to help people – in real life…in person – work through their messes. It’s my passion to share easy, simple solutions so that people and families can enjoy their spaces. Currently, I’m working on my mission / plans for my little business. I’ve connected with a web developer / designer to get the blog and new site looking more professional (and user friendly!). (Did anyone notice my new domain name?) So, as a business owner, I want some level of credibility behind my name. NAPO gives me that. I have a college degree in Counseling, however since I’ve branched off into professional organization, I recognize there is more I need to do within my profession. Again, NAPO gives me the education and credibility.

As a member of NAPO, I’m not only connecting with my professional network (this alone is invaluable!), I’m also gaining education on various topics, have access to product discounts for clients and more. If I felt like going all crazy-organization (yes, there are ways to take this obsession career over the top, if you wish), one could become a certified professional organizer (CPO). Or gain additional certifications through ICD. Right now, not sure how much certification I’m leaning into. I’m learning the details and connecting with colleagues that are certified to gain answers. At this point, I’m taking it one step at a time…first step – I joined NAPO…second step – I then joined my local San Francisco chapter, which has been absolutely amazing. Arkansas doesn’t have a local chapter, so I couldn’t wait to join the SF chapter after the move. The local chapter offers neighborhood meetings, trainings, an annual conference, and more.

(Disclaimer – I’m not making money by sharing anything in this post…or if you click through any of the links embedded here – with the exception of my Amazon store in the event you want to buy a book I shared below. This is simply my way of sharing info and ideas with you guys, since you come here for organization advice / info. I really didn’t have to do this recap. I was just excited about the info learned at the conference and felt compelled to share!)

The conference started on Friday, which happened to be the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. The quake was in 1989 and it’s shocking to me that I’m of the age to say I experienced it and can look back on it 25 years later. Have to admit, it was also a little bizarre that the quake occurred when the Giants were in the 89 World Series…and here they are in it again. Interesting coincidence. Anyway…

Since the conference began on the quake’s 25th anniversary, what better way to begin than with a session about Emergency Preparedness.

Margaret Lukens, owner and principal of New Leaf Company, gave a wonderful presentation on being prepared for anything and everything…like what to keep in your car, where to store emergency supplies in your home, and how to create a communication plan for your family. I’m hoping to interview Margaret and share it here on the blog. Incredible info that everyone should be thinking about…because no matter where you live, there is the possibility of a natural disaster or non-natural disaster of some kind.

On Friday, we also heard from Andrew at BackBlaze

BackBlaze is an incredible company that offers unlimited online backups for just $5 a month. I hope you’ve never experienced the loss of a hard drive. We heard several stories about the sad reality that most people they hear from are those that have already suffered a hard drive crash. The best bet is to be backed up BEFORE something happens. For $5 a month? Not bad!

One of the statements that stood out to me during Andrew’s presentation was “your data doesn’t exist until it’s stored in 3 places”. You should have your data stored on 2 different storage mediums as well as 1 copy offsite…by companies like BackBlaze.

BackBlaze is also a member of NAPO, which means you know they are reliable / credible! They were recently featured on The Ellen Show too…

Saturday morning started bright and early with our keynote speaker, Judith Kolberg
Judith pioneered the field of organizing. She founded the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization, which is now the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). She specializes in working with chronically disorganized people in the business environment. She has authored 6 books, numerous special reports and received the industry’s highest honors.
Her speech was fun, informative and motivating. She spoke about organizing in the era of endless. We truly are living in the era of endless. So how do you navigate in a World like this? This constant state of “mental triage” we live in?
As with Margaret, I’m hoping to interview Judith for the blog, but in the meantime you can find her book on this topic right here by clicking on the image…
I have this and other books she has written in my Amazon store (on the blog sidebar) if you are interested in reading about them or purchasing.
After a great keynote, we were able to choose from several break-out sessions. I wanted to attend all of them! Too difficult to choose one! In session one, I attended the Chronic-ness of Chronic Disorganization, presented by the amazing Regina Lark…
Regina is the founder and president of A Clear Path, based in Los Angeles. She’s a board certified professional organizer and specializes in working with people with chronic disorganization, ADHD, and hoarding. She spoke about how what we don’t know can hurt them. This was only part 1 of her session, she had a part 2 but I attended a different break-out session (shared below). Awesome information and again, am hoping to interview her for the blog. However in the meantime, if you’re interested in more, there’s an interview right here on her website. Her website is full of incredible information and resources too!
In session two, I attended a great presentation on building a better You Tube channel. Haha! Soooo, if you’ve been reading here a while you’re aware that I started a You Tube channel (of sorts – psht) earlier this year….and now you know why I chose to attend this session instead of finishing Regina’s part 2. Wow, did I learn a ton about making my channel better for you guys. The session was presented by Kacy Paide of The Inspired Office…you must check her out. She’s adorable and has incredible office organization videos!…
Told you – precious!
Thanks to Kacy, you will be enjoying much better videos from me in the future….oh, and much shorter videos 😉
Don’t click away just yet to watch Kacy (I got sucked into her channel too, I know!), because I attended one last session before the conference wrapped up. To finish out the day I learned about effective time management, or as Lisa calls it “energy management”.
Lisa Montanaro squeezed a ton of useful information into her 75-minute presentation. I think she said this was normally a 3-hour presentation…she spoke quickly, was funny and adorable! She was able to squeeze it all in because she also has a ton of energy! Lisa is a productivity consultant, success coach, business strategist, speaker and author. She’s also an attorney and Certified Professional Organizer. You can find out all about her and more here on her website.
Oh, she has a You Tube channel…that is much better than mine, too! Ha!…
Besides the loads of information I gained, I was able to network and hang out with some of the best women in the industry. I’m hoping to feature many of them here in months to come. I know each of you will learn new tips and tricks about getting and staying organized from each of them.Thanks for letting me share! Hope you’ve made some new “friends” and blogs / channels to follow!


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  1. LoriU says:

    This is awesome! And I would love to read interviews you do with these people! The Emergency Preparedness is something my husband and I have been talking about needing to do for awhile!

  2. Tiffany says:

    Love all your posts, but the organizational ones are what first drew me to your blog. I'd love to get more. I've had thoughts of looking into professional organization as a career possibility once my kiddos are a little older, but that's all they are at this point, thoughts. I so would not mind if you do a little homework for me! 🙂

    • Ok, great!! If you are serious about starting, definitely take a look at your local NAPO chapter. Connect with a pro in your area to ask questions and / or find a mentor. It's such a great organization!


  3. OMG now I KNOW where to go for the Organization resources if I ever decide to go that route! You are so talented Samantha!! I can't wait to see what you do with your business outside of your blog. I totally look up to you!

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