This year marks the 35th anniversary of The National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO). NAPO’s mission is to be the leading source for Organizing and Productivity Professionals by providing exceptional education, enhancing business connections, advancing industry research, and increasing public awareness.
Without NAPO, Declare Order Professional Organizing would not exist. When I first researched the industry, I searched “professional organizer near me.” The first business owner I contacted, Beth Fuchs of Organized to Perfection, happened to be the president of the Chicago Chapter of NAPO at the time. She met me for coffee and encouraged me to join and come to a meeting – so I did!
Initially, I appreciated the opportunity to network and establish relationships with local area professional organizers and productivity specialists. Chapter meetings and volunteer opportunities led me to subcontracting opportunities that functioned as mini paid internships. Launching a small business was challenging coming from an educational background, so it was amazing to have a built in support group.
Once I got rolling, I started paying attention to NAPO’s on-line community. I felt connected to members across the United States (and beyond) through a variety of daily digest “chat” forums. NAPO offers education, platforms to seek and share advice, opportunities to access recordings from their annual national conferences, a professional directory, and daily interaction on social media. Perfect for a new entrepreneur!
Over time, I came to appreciate the most important aspect of belonging to NAPO – the code of ethics.
The NAPO Code of Ethics is a set of principles that guides our professional conduct with our clients and colleagues.
Members of NAPO pledge to exercise judgment, self-restraint, and conscience in their conduct in order to establish and maintain public confidence in the integrity of NAPO members and to preserve and encourage fair and equitable practices among all who are engaged in our profession.
Working, networking, volunteering, and corresponding with other professionals who have agreed to adhere to these guidelines elevated the game for me.
Nine years in, I find myself at the front of a trend. According to the Forbes article, 14 Coaching Pros Predict the Hottest Career Paths of 2020 (that came to my attention through Ellen Delap, the Texas Organizer and the current Past President of NAPO), “Relationship-based, Helping Jobs” are on the rise. What all started with a gathering of home organizers in living room in Los Angeles, is now a part of a hot business trend. Love it!