January – Back 2 Business Workshop

January – Back 2 Business Workshop

NAPO Houston holds its monthly meeting on the first Thursday of every month (except July) from 6:00 – 8:30 pm.  We currently meet at the United Way of Greater Houston’s Community Resource Center, located at 50 Waugh Drive, Houston, TX 77007. The meeting no longer includes dinner but attendees are welcome to bring their own snacks or dinner.

At a typical monthly membership meeting you can look forward to:

Time to network with your peers

Table talk discussions around relevant organizing topics

Chapters news, volunteer opportunities and member spotlights

Guest speakers sharing resources for running your business and improving your skills as an organizer or productivity consultant

As a guest or new member, you are welcome to join the Ask the Organizer table discussion. This is an opportunity for you to ask one of our board members questions about becoming a professional organizer or productivity consultant, business essentials, and our national and local associations.

You can attend three meetings as a guest. After the third meeting, you will not be able to attend additional meetings unless you become a NAPO Houston member.

If you are interested in attending an upcoming meeting, check out our Event Calendar.

If you don’t see the information you are looking for, please contact our Professional Development Director at meetings@napohouston.com.

December Chapter Meeting

December Chapter Meeting

NAPO Houston holds its monthly meeting on the first Thursday of every month (except July) from 6:00 – 8:30 pm.  We currently meet at the United Way of Greater Houston’s Community Resource Center, located at 50 Waugh Drive, Houston, TX 77007. The meeting no longer includes dinner but attendees are welcome to bring their own snacks or dinner.

At a typical monthly membership meeting you can look forward to:

Time to network with your peers

Table talk discussions around relevant organizing topics

Chapters news, volunteer opportunities and member spotlights

Guest speakers sharing resources for running your business and improving your skills as an organizer or productivity consultant

As a guest or new member, you are welcome to join the Ask the Organizer table discussion. This is an opportunity for you to ask one of our board members questions about becoming a professional organizer or productivity consultant, business essentials, and our national and local associations.

You can attend three meetings as a guest. After the third meeting, you will not be able to attend additional meetings unless you become a NAPO Houston member.

If you are interested in attending an upcoming meeting, check out our Event Calendar.

If you don’t see the information you are looking for, please contact our Professional Development Director at meetings@napohouston.com.

Woodlands Neighborhood Group

Woodlands Neighborhood Group

Join your local neighborhood organizers in a more intimate setting! This laid-back get-together is a condensed version of our monthly meetings where you can learn more about being an organizer and gain insights about being a business owner from your colleagues. Develop friendships, grow as a professional, and have some fun – that’s what Neighborhood Groups are all about!

These events are MEMBERS ONLY. If you’re interested in becoming a member, you’re welcome to join us at an upcoming Coffee & Convo.

How To Simplify Your Paper Files

Simplify Paper Files | NAPO Houston

Organizing your files today? Or would you rather watch paint dry on a wall?  It seems that this is not the most exciting topic however it can be one of the most necessary in everyday life and in emergencies.  Simplifying your filing and paper files includes knowing what’s holding you back as well as knowing what to keep.  Build your simple filing system with your strengths in mind.  Here’s how to simplify your paper files.

Assess what’s holding you back

What is filing for?  Here’s the first step to get clear. Files are your reference section to keep information to be used in the next year or so.  It’s not necessary to keep every piece of paper that comes into your home or business, especially if it’s not useful for you.  Be ruthless when it comes to keeping what you need now, knowing you can use the internet, friends’ references, or other ways to get information instead of keeping extra paper.

What do you need to keep and how long?  On Oprah.com, Julie Morgenstern has an extensive list.  Print this to keep as a reference while filing.  However, that’s not generally what’s causing a filing problem.  Instead, it’s the articles on parenting, decorating, landscaping or other hobbies that keep holding us back.  Remember, that’s what the internet, Pinterest, blogs, podcasts, and Google are for when we are ready to get started on a project.

Simplifying your system

What’s the best system?  The best system for you is the simplest way to move paper into a system. It’s also the best system for you to know where to retrieve the paper.  Categories are often the context that’s easiest to use in creating files. Whether there are for file folders, hanging files, notebooks or digital notebooks, using general, broad categories helps us file and retrieve.

For homes, these are the general categories I suggest:

  1. House and Auto
  2. Auto purchase
  3. Home Major Purchases
  4. Home Repair/Maintenance
  5. House inventory
  6. Insurance
  7. Financial (anything to do with money)
  8. Banking
  9. Credit Cards
  10. Investment
  11. Retirement
  12. Property Taxes
  13. Life Insurance
  14. Mortgage
  15. Personal (anything to do with people or pets)
  16. Medical Benefits
  17. Medical History
  18. Medical Explanation of Benefits
  19. Medical Paid bills
  20. School/University
  21. (Interests such as parenting, decorating, guns, etc.)
  22. Work
  23. Work history
  24. CV or resume

For office files, here are categories I include:

  1. Clients
  2. Resources
  3. Vendors
  4. Projects
  5. HR or Employees
  6. Financials 20XX
  7. Expenses

Use hanging files for the broad categories and file folders for the subcategories. Use naming conventions, where the file names are created in a parallel way, in order to stay consistent and find documents.

Archive annually

Tax records for each year, legal documents such as purchase or sale of property, and final loan payments are should be kept permanently. While you only need to keep tax preparation documents for seven years, please consult your own lawyer or accountant to be sure.  It’s best to annually when you are preparing for tax time in the spring.

What’s left?

  • I typically keep mementos and keepsakes in a box, one box per person, in the closet of that person. A one box per person system also helps you limit keepsakes.
  • Important documents are generally kept in a safe or safe deposit box.  Here’s a list of important documents. It’s critical to keep these up to date each year. While you are archiving during tax time, update your important documents too.

Paper can be overwhelming and it’s always coming in. Always keep in mind the document’s value in terms of “shelf life.”  How long will this information be “good” is a relative value and you may be able to find information more easily on the internet or elsewhere.


About Ellen Delap of Professional-Organizer.com

Certified Professional Organizer Ellen Delap launched Professional-Organizer.com in 2000 in Houston, Texas. Ellen works one on one with clients, streamlining their environment, creating effective strategies for an organized lifestyle and helping clients realize their organization and productivity goals. She holds specialist certificates in ADD, Chronic Disorganization, Life Transitions and Work Place Productivity and completed the Coach Approach curriculum.  Ellen works primarily with ADHD individuals in Houston and virtually throughout the United States. She is President of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO).

Certified Professional Organizer Ellen Delap
Professional-Organizer.com
edelap@professional-organizer.com
www.professional-organizer.com
281.360.3928

Summer Social

Summer Social

NAPO Houston Members and Business Partners are invited to attend a summer social on Thursday, July 11 at 5:00 pm. Casual settings are the perfect time to get to know other members, ask questions, learn about the industry, and unwind “out of the office”.

If you know any potential Business Partners or future members, please invite them to join (guests are allowed but it counts as one of their 3 free meetings before they have to officially join NAPO Houston).

Hope to see you there!