4-5: If You're An Organizer, You Have Chronically Disorganized Clients
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4-5: If You're An Organizer, You Have Chronically Disorganized Clients: Tips & Techniques for Working with People with ADHD, Mental Health Issues, and Disabilities 

Gayle Gruenburg & Panel 
Challenging Needs

Brief description:  If you’re a professional organizer, chances are excellent that you will at some point work with clients who are chronically disorganized.  They may have a brain-based challenge, like ADHD, a mental health issue, like bipolar disorder, or a disability, like a traumatic brain injury or autism.  This panel discussion will present client challenge examples, concrete solutions used, and the results of those techniques.

Session objectives:  After this session, participants should be able to
1. Understand what chronic disorganization is
2. Identify the characteristics of a chronically disorganized client and what challenges s/he may be facing
3. Begin to explore using unique and out-of-the-box organizing techniques when working with CD clients
4. Identify ways to support clients in trusting their own resourcefulness and resilience
5. Turn to resources on chronic disorganization for further learning



Gayle Gruenburg

Gayle Gruenberg is the owner of Let's Get Organized, LLC, based in Westwood, NJ, since 2003, after 8 years as a CPA.  She is the creator of the Make Space for Blessings system and is working on a book of the same name.  Gayle is a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization, an active subscriber of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (including 2016 Conference Chair), a trained organizer coach through The Coach Approach for Organizers, a NAPO Golden Circle Member, and the founding and 3-term president of NAPO-Northern New Jersey.  Gayle appears monthly as an expert on the radio show Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life on New York's WOR 710AM and publishes an article on organizing for challenging clients in its monthly magazine.  When Gayle isn't running LGO, she is the lucky single mom of two teens.  She loves to read a good story by the pool and is learning how to swing dance, especially the Lindy Hop.


Blog: www.LGOrganized.com/blog/  


Alison Lush

Alison Lush has been a professional organizer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada since 2010.  She is the current president of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), the first Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization in Quebec and the sixth in Canada, and a Silver Leaf Member of Professional Organizers of Canada.  Alison has appeared numerous times as an organizing expert on the popular Quebec TV show, Trucs et Cie. Alison is bilingual, and serves her clients in French and English. Alison has developed an understanding that people have a relationship with things, and that by becoming more aware of it, are empowered to make better choices. When not organizing, Alison is married to her best friend for 30 years, is the mom of two amazing grown daughters. Alison became a beekeeper in 2017, and enjoys following the bees’ progress in their hive on her balcony. 



Vickie Dellaquila

Vickie Dellaquila is the owner of Organization Rules in Pittsburgh, PA.  A former Licensed Practical Nurse, Vickie started her organizing career over 15 years ago.  She is a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization, the first in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, and a member of the 2007 inaugural class of Certified Professional Organizers.  Vickie is the author of Don’t Toss My Memories in the Trash: a Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Seniors Downsize, Organize, and Move, and The Moving Workbook, has contributed to The ICD Guide to Challenging Disorganization for Professional Organizers and Seventy Things to Do When You Turn 70.  She is a frequent presenter for NAPO, the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, and the National Association of Senior Move Managers, and has traveled to Japan to present at the Japanese Association of Life Organizers in Yokohama. Vickie has a very special travel companion, Ophelia, who happily adds her organizing opinion and an extra dose of fun to Vickie’s adventures. Vickie is married, has 3 grown daughters, and is Gigi to 4 grandchildren (and counting)! 


Blog: opheliasorganizingopinions.com 


Carrie Cooper

Carrie Cooper’s passion is to use her organizing skills to not only transform spaces, but to transform lives.  Since starting her NJ-based company, Organize a Difference, LLC, in 2013, Carrie has worked tirelessly to inspire her clients to simplify their lives and live more healthfully, and coaches them to embrace change with the phrase “little by little.”  Carrie brings very diverse life experiences to her organizing business. She holds a B.S. degree in Health Education, has worked with refugees while living in the Middle East, and has cared for her elderly father, who suffered from Dementia/Alzheimer’s for many years.  Carrie is a NAPO Golden Circle member, an active subscriber of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, a trained organizer coach through The Coach Approach for Organizers, a member of Faithful Organizers, and is pursuing credentialing as a Certified Professional Life Coach. In her “spare” time, Carrie is married, is Mom to 6 very bright and active young adults, and loves to walk in the woods or read the Bible by the lake down the street from her home.  


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Diane Thomson

As a Certified Organizer Coach, Diane Thomson incorporates coaching to help her clients adjust to the internal changes required to maintain the organized and productive lifestyle they seek. In addition, Diane assists students of all ages be organized, to improve their school success. She is an active member of NAPO as a Golden Circle member, has served at the national level as Chair of the Conference Scholarship Fund Committee and is in her sixth year serving on the board of NAPO-Northern NJ. Diane tirelessly spearheaded the chapter’s winning NAPO/Soles4Souls campaign in 2011 and flew to Haiti with her son to personally distribute shoes. Diane holds an M.S. degree in Dance/Movement Therapy.  Prior to becoming a professional organizer in 2002, Diane worked in mental health and substance abuse programs in New York City, leading psychotherapeutic groups, using both movement and verbal techniques. Currently Diane is working towards an advanced coaching credential, Certified ADHD Organizer Coach. Diane enjoys trips to Maryland visiting her son in college, hiking, biking and never passes up an opportunity to dance. Diane is active in her community, engaging in activities that promote racial integration and social equality.






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