• February 01, 2018 5:39 PM | Terri Phillips (Administrator)

    By Heather Cocozza, PMP, CPO | Productivity and Organizing Consultant, Cocozza Organizing & Design, LLC | National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) - Washington, DC Chapter, President

    You have more time than you think! Really! Read Laura Vanderkam’s book 168 Hours and you will be inspired to tackle the priority activity that you want to do but don’t seem to have time to do. We all have 168 hours in a week, and how we spend it is important. This book provides technical ideas of to get it done and the inspiration to motivate you. You can increase your personal productivity!


    168 Hours appeals strongly to my demographic: entrepreneurial moms. While running our businesses, we strive to find time in the day to spend with the kids, volunteer and still exercise! The book also resonates because it is based on many of the core principles of time management guru, Julie Morgenstern. In her book Time Management from the Inside Out, Morgenstern pioneered the use of a Time Map as a tool to make time tangible, to make it visible and to design the life of your dreams.

    In recognition of Get Organized (GO) Month to increase our personal productivity, here are five take-aways from 168 Hours that we can do in February and throughout 2018:

    1. Create a block schedule of 168 hours and block out dedicated time on a weekly basis for working, spending time with you kids and/or spouse, exercising and anything else important to you, which should occur weekly.

    2. Focus on what you do best and what brings you the most satisfaction, and you will find space in your 168 hours a week.

    3. A key to productivity is addressing non-core competency work and activities. Vanderkam suggests to either Ignore It, Minimize It or Outsource It.

    4. Consciously organize your space, like Vanderkam, to save time in cleaning and finding items. Dedicate time in your 168 weekly hours for organizing. The time saved by being organized is greater than the time spent organizing.

    5. Be careful of your TV time or using your computer like a TV. Vanderkam states, “While TV is pleasant, it does not make us feel particularly happy or rejuvenated the way true recreation should.” Fill your leisure time with more meaningful activities.

    As an entrepreneur, my favorite section of the book is Part 2: @ Work, where Vanderkam explains finding your flow in work. She goes on to educate and encourage you to slightly change any job you have today to find your flow of working on difficult but doable tasks.

    Need help in developing a weekly time map or organizing your space to save time? Find a productivity or organizing professional in your area at DCorganizers.org.


  • January 28, 2018 9:49 PM | Terri Phillips (Administrator)

    By Kaveri MaratheFounder and CEO of Texiles, a clothing recycling startup based in Washington, DC.

    Clothing waste has become a serious environmental problem for the United States. Americans throw out 80 pounds of clothing per person every year on average. All this adds up to 13 million tons per year, or 6% of landfill space. Yet, surprisingly, most of the textile material that ends up in the trash, in fact, can be recycled. Old clothing that is no longer considered wearable, such as garments with stains or holes, can be shredded down and converted into useful inputs for the housing and automotive industries, like insulation, carpet underlay, protective padding, and stuffing for cushions. Most consumers, however, feel they lack an alternative to throwing out garments in poor condition, because they feel uncomfortable donating these items to secondhand clothing charities. Consumers should know that they can, and should, include such items with their wearable clothing donations because most clothing charities work with a recycling partner that will responsibly dispose of worn-out garments.

    Ultimately, to tackle the root of our problem of trashing clothing, we will have to address Americans’ rising consumption of clothing. Today we purchase 400% more clothing than we did just 20 years ago, largely due to the rise of “fast fashion” – the trendy, yet cheap clothing that has flooded retail stores, like H&M, Zara and the Gap, in recent years. Curbing clothing waste will only subside when we return to a more quality-over-quantity-based shopping ethic.

    - - - - -

    Author Kaveri Marathe is the Founder and CEO of Texiles, a clothing recycling startup based in Washington, DC. She is originally from Florida but moved to DC in 2011 to pursue her Master's in International Relations at Georgetown University where she focused on energy and environmental policy. Following that, she spent 2 years in Oslo, Norway working as a sustainability consultant and returned to DC in 2016 to launch her own business. For more information, you can visit her website at www.texiles.com.


  • January 21, 2018 10:15 PM | Terri Phillips (Administrator)

    By C.Lee Cawley, Certified Professional Organizer and Founder of Simplify You, Inc.

    Hangers! Something we use every day but don’t think much about. It is worth investing in the right ones for your unique clothing needs.

    STYLE: Always buy hangers that have a bottom cross bar also known as a “suit hanger." This enables you to easily hang a scarf with a blouse that matches it. Or, you can fold a pair of pants over the cross bar. The crossbar also makes the hanger stronger and more durable.

    COLOR: For a unified and coordinated look I like everything on BLACK hangers, that way the hangers will always match when you buy new ones. (The white plastic ones tend to yellow.)

    FLOCKED: My favorites are the thin flocked hangers also known as “huggable."  They are widely available but Costco wins for bargain prices: 35 for $9.99 (45.5 cm wide).

    PLASTIC: The black plastic classic tubular hanger from the Container Store is the best. At 41 cm wide the style will always be consistent and the quality is excellent. Buy them by the case for a price of 27 cents each.

    WIRE:  “NO wire hangers ever!” Actually, I am not as militant as Joan Crawford and will allow blouses and shirts that are back from the cleaners to stay on wire (that way you know they have been cleaned). But jackets must be switched ASAP! That bit of cardboard shaped like a wedge will not support a shoulder for very long.

    BOTTOMS: The Holding Hanger, created in Europe will soon be available in the US. This hanger uniquely holds garments from INSIDE the waistband.

    MEN: Classic wooden hangers with a shoulder width of at least 1” are essential for hanging your suit jackets so that they retain their shape.

    SLENDER SHOULDERS: Petite women will love the Okla Hangers from Container Store. These hangers are only 42 centimeters across and won’t stretch or pull the fabric the way a wider hanger can. They are not cheap at 3 for $3.99, but your expensive sweaters and work wear will thank you!

    BACKWARD: When re-doing your closet or when your seasonal switch is over there is one last step! Go through and put all the hangers on the rail “backward” so that the tip is facing out. As you wear and wash your clothes then return garments “normally” to the rail. This simple cost-free idea makes it effortless for you to see what you have REALLY been wearing at the end of a season.



  • January 12, 2018 12:18 PM | Terri Phillips (Administrator)

    By Heather Cocozza, PMP, CPO

    If your New Year’s Resolution is to “Get Organized,” I applaud you and support you!

    There is a word of caution, for some the goal to Get Organized is not enough. Think of the 3-year old always asking WHY? WHY do you want to get organized? WHAT’s the payoff? WHAT’s the driver?  For example, is the reason:

    To Make More Money? – You want to be more efficient at work.  You want to spend less time looking for things and less time on administrative tasks, so you can focus on the core revenue stream of your business and make more money,

    To Be in Control? – Do you sometimes feel a loss of control over your office environment where you are in a reactive mode instead of a proactive mode?  Do you yearn for a greater sense of control where you know where everything is when you need it?  Do you crave order, but you’re working in chaos?

    To Save Money? – How much did you rack up in finance charge and late fees this year? Are you trying to tighten your budget?  Do you find yourself buying duplicate items because you can’t find the original one?

    Understanding the driver behind your goal will help you get through the tough spots and provide that extra boost of motivation to see the goal through to the end!




  • January 07, 2018 1:12 PM | Terri Phillips (Administrator)

    Happy 2018!

    We are the Washington DC Metro chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) comprising more than 60 members located throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC.

    We are fortunate to be a part of this talented group of professionals with many different specialties, each of us coming from unique professional backgrounds that lead us to this meaningful profession; all of us dedicated to helping others get organized to achieve a greater sense of well-being. It’s true, we get what we give. And that’s been apparent to us all year long, with the gifts we receive through shared stories, shared problem-solving, and never-ending support of each other.

    As we reflect on 2017, we pondered on the infinite march of natural disasters that occurred throughout the past year (the continual onslaught of catastrophic hurricanes along the south and east coasts and relentless devastating fires up and down the west coast). These sudden scenarios force you to contemplate long and hard about what’s important. -- If you had only moments to collect your most valuable items (think photos, important documents, family heirlooms, or anything else that’s significant to you), would you know where to find them? This is where we come in!

    Which brings us to… January is Get Organized (GO) Month!

    For many of us whose family and friends were impacted by the devastation and destruction, it’s a constant reminder that there is no better time than now to get organized and liberate yourself of unnecessary stuff, so you too, can be prepared in the event of an emergency. For certain, it brings a sense of calm when you know exactly where your most treasured and important items are, at home and at work.

    With the fresh slate that January brings and the cold of winter keeping us indoors, we’re here to share our top tips on getting and staying organized, share ways to increase productivity (you have more time than you think!) and connect you with the proper resources available to you to achieve a more calm and peaceful life.

    Here’s to an organized 2018!


NAPO - Washington DC Metro  Chapter |  PO Box 7301, Arlington, VA 22207  |  info@dcorganizers.org  |  (240) 883-6434

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