NAPO History
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The History of NAPO


1983 - People involved in the profession of organizing begin to meet informally in their Los Angeles homes.


1984 - The small, still informal group names itself the Association of Professional Organizers (APO).


1985 - The association formalizes by electing officers, who later that year would be named the founding members: Beverly Clower, Stephanie Culp, Ann Gambrell, Maxine Ordesky, and Jeanie Shorr.


1986 - APO changes its name to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). NAPO is granted non-profit and tax-exempt status by the state of Texas and the Federal government, respectively.


1987 - The California Yellow Pages agrees to list the category of “professional organizers” in the telephone directory.


NAPO’s first conference is held on September 12 in Los Angeles, California. The theme of the conference is “Success Through Organizing.” A total of 50 members attend.


1988 -The first national Board of Directors is formed in Los Angeles, which becomes the first official NAPO chapter home. NAPO spins off into chapters (NY, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles) with a national governing body.


1990 - NAPO launches the Golden Circle to acknowledge the expertise of members who have been engaged in the business of organizing for at least five years and have been a NAPO member for at least one year.


NAPO establishes the Associate Member category for companies involved in the manufacture, distribution or sale of organizing products and services. Lillian Vernon Corporation is one of the original Associate Members.


1991 - NAPO institutes “Get Organized Week” as an annual event to help individuals, businesses, and schools bring time management, organization, storage solutions, and productivity into their lives.


1998 - The 10th Annual NAPO Conference and Organizing Exposition is held in June, in Portland, Oregon.


2000 - NAPO creates the Quantum Leap® Community Service Program to provide free organization skills training to people in life transitions who critically need professional guidance but cannot afford it.


2003 - NAPO launches an online membership directory.


The tag line “The Organizing Authority” is approved.


The Get Organized WeekSM Community Service Project Program is established. Across the country, members hold community organizing events.


2004 - NAPO creates an online Associate Member directory.


2005 - January is proclaimed Get Organized MonthSM and a national public awareness campaign about organizing and productivity is developed.


2007 - The NAPO certification program for professional organizers is approved for launch.


NAPO becomes a national coalition member in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's annual National Preparedness Month, a nationwide event. NAPO provides information to the public on how organization goes hand-in-hand with emergency preparedness.


2006 - NAPO forms affiliations with National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD) and Professional Organizers in Canada (POC).


2007 - NAPO signs a collaboration agreement creating the International Federation of Professional Organizing Associations (IFPOA) with the Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) and the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD).


NAPO establishes the Board of Certified Professional Organizers® (BCPO®), a voluntary, industry-led certification program benefiting the members of the organizing profession, as well as the general public, by recognizing and raising industry standards, practices, and ethics.


The inaugural exam to certify professional organizers is held on April 25.


NAPO develops the “NAPO in the Schools” program to foster organizing and productivity skills in students.


2009 - NAPO launches Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to focus on specialized services, skills, topic areas, or markets to help professional organizers further develop their knowledge and skills in their areas of expertise.


2010 - NAPO forms affiliation with Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD).


NAPO establishes a presence in social media outlets, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.


Wikipedia entries are created for the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), BCPO, and Certified Professional Organizers.


2011 - NAPO establishes a Virtual Chapter.


2012 - NAPO teams with Soles4Souls® and challenges NAPO members to collect unneeded shoes from clients to donate to third-world countries. Members collect over 160,000 pairs of shoes for donation to people in Haiti.


2013 - NAPO develops the Ethics for Organizing and Productivity Specialists Course.


NAPO launches NAPO News on a video-friendly web platform.


Past President Barry Izsak, CPO, establishes the Barry Izsak/Glorya Schklair Scholarship Fund to assist members who are unable to attend the NAPO Annual Conference.


Attendees at the NAPO Annual Conference enjoy the first mobile conference app.


NAPO initiates Spanish translation and development of the Introduction to Professional Organizing course.


NAPO converts teleclasses into webinars.


NAPO launches NAPO POINT, an online forum for members.


2014 - NAPO launches on-demand education classes.


NAPO launches POINT Marketplace.


NAPO introduces a new quarterly Town Hall Call with NAPO Volunteer Leaders.


2015 - NAPO updates its Mission Statement to: “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 relations.”


To recognize long-term NAPO membership commitment, NAPO implements Golden Circle membership changes and provides web badges honoring each 5 years of membership.


Members enjoy enhanced benefits with orientation webinars, onboarding email series, two complimentary SIG memberships, and Ask the Organizer webinars.


NAPO approves a research initiative, the Information and Research Committee.


To facilitate NAPO-led Community Outreach programs, NAPO creates the NAPOCares committee and initiative.


NAPO develops and implements a new website and member database.


NAPO creates a volunteer engagement strategy and process for cultivating volunteer leaders.


NAPO streamlines the NAPO Board of Directors nominations and election process.


2016 - Additional free educational opportunities are created for members: The Accelerated Learning Series, Building Business Blocks, and open SIG calls.


NAPO creates two Specialist Certificate Programs: Residential Organizing and Workplace Productivity and three education bundles: Going Pro, Passion for Learning, and All Access.


NAPO forms a Productivity Task Force to make recommendations to the Board on the further integration of productivity into NAPO.


NAPO develops a 5-year Productivity Plan and approves the implementation of Year 1 of Productivity Plan.


2017 - NAPO Implements Year 1 and some of Years 2-3 of the 5-Year Productivity Plan:

  • Formation of a DBA task force and approval of a new DBA for NAPO-National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals.
  • Creation of a new NAPO logo and Chapter logos to reflect new DBA.
  • Continued integration of productivity into NAPO operations and programs.


NAPO researches, develops, and implements a Multi-Person Business dues structure.


NAPO merges the Golden Circle Committee into the Membership Committee.


NAPO merges the Publications and Marketing Committees under the umbrella of Marketing & Communications.


Members and followers enjoy a new NAPO blog.


NAPO discontinues Quantum Leap to focus community service efforts toward NAPOCares.


NAPO creates the Business Partner Member Engagement Committee.


NAPO creates and distributes a NAPO Policy Manual.


Engaging with members and followers, NAPO creates the NAPO Stand Out Podcast.


'Get Organized Month' officially changes to ‘Get Organized & Be Productive (GO) Month’.


2018 - NAPO creates the Life Transitions Specialist Certificate Program.


2019 - NAPO creates the Household Management Specialist Certificate Program.


NAPO changes the Accelerated Learning Series to Free Member Webinars.

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