NAPO Michigan Blog / Media Center

The Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers invites you to explore this blog so you can be informed of the latest news, events and trends in the organizing industry.

March 23, 2014

Smartphone alarms + thematic music = Less Nagging

Do you look up at the clock in the morning and realize that, yes, your family is behind schedule, again?

Do you have a hard time remembering to stop to eat lunch, leave for the day, or floss your teeth?
Consider enlisting your smartphone for help! Set thematic songs as alarm ringtones for critical or forgettable parts of your routines.

Songs catch our attention more than clocks or even timers, and are easily recognized by kids too young to read a clock.
Start by picking one or two trouble spots. These might be transitions, like waking or leaving for school, or good habits you want to cultivate, like consistently eating lunch or cleaning your desk before stopping for the day.

This playlist can get you started: 
Add more songs as necessary to support your family’s daily routine. With small kids, songs every 5-10 minutes throughout morning routine and bedtime routine makes it easier to be firm and consistent, improves everyone’s ability to estimate time, and replaces nagging with dancing!

It might take some experimenting to find out which times work best for each step, and which steps need to be added. Ask the kids which songs would keep them on track, and what they want a reminder about! Challenge the kids to “beat the pajama song.”
Every few months, delete any alarms that you regularly ignore, adjust the times of others if needed, and add new songs to keep things fresh and relevant.

And be sure to listen to Kate Carpenter’s song “Orderly and Organized.” If professional organizers had a theme song, this might be it!  The link is:

Organizing your routines is easier than you think!  For more organizing tips, visit 

Article written by Melanie Sobocinski, of Prof Organizer LLC, NAPO Chapter Member.

March 22, 2014

Michigan Organizers Don't Fool Around!

Members of the Michigan Chapter of National Association of Professional Organizers will give back to their community by volunteering to organize the offices and storage areas of a local non-profit organization.  Habitat for Humanity Detroit helps build affordable homes for working families and eliminates poverty housing.  The Habitat staff does a tremendous job serving their community which leaves them very little time to organize their working environment.
On April 1st, there will be “No Fooling Around” as members of NAPO-MI will step up to organize their space by decluttering work areas including desktops, desk drawers, and file cabinets.  Storage areas for several areas will also be revamped, if time permits.  Members of NAPO-MI are donating their services and supplies for the event which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Habitat Offices located at 14325 Jane Street in Detroit.


March 19, 2014


As a caregiver, it is a constant challenge to keep balanced and organized.  Of course, the best way to get organized is to have a plan of action BEFORE a crisis occurs.

However, if you become a caregiver unexpectedly, these lists and tips from the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers will help your family prioritize what needs to be done.  

In either situation, involve your loved one as much as possible, carefully considering his or her input.

Access to Documents: 

·        Medical: medical directives, DNRs, Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Wills, disability/health/dental/long term care/life insurance, contact information for all doctors, detailed information regarding prescriptions.  

·        Personal:  will, birth/marriage/divorce certificates, driver’s license, organ donation, military record, passport/visa, Durable Power of Attorney.

·        Financial: banking, deeds, loans and bills, investments.

·        Final wishes regarding funeral arrangements/wake, music, passages to be read, officiate. 

Family Meetings/Updates:

·        Share this opportunity with others to give back. Family members, friends, church family, etc. can do something to help Grandpa, or you (prepare a meal, laundry, errands.)  Say “yes please!” to assistance – everyone will benefit.  

·        Identify action items, and assign each task a level of importance.  Set priorities first, taking care of less important details later.

·        Discuss what needs to be done, by whom, how often and for how long, how it will be paid for, and at what location.

·        Embrace the theme of simplification regarding physical space, schedules, obligations and responsibilities to make way for new and evolving circumstances. 


·       Remember your personal needs.  You will need to refuel, gain perspective, and work through any number of frustrations.  Know your limits and respect them.

·       Lean on the healing power of relationships and emotional support.  Family nights, outings, visits from friends, activities, phone calls, or conversation can take both your minds off illness temporarily.

·       Utilize online tools: from caregiver calendars, lists and charts to support groups.

·       Give everyone a generous learning curve, including you and the patient.  Work hard to let go of perfection and hyper-vigilance in things that don’t really matter.  What really matters in this chapter of your life, and perhaps the last chapter of your loved one, is love.

Written by Jennifer Asselin, Professional Organizer with Living Arrangements Professional Organizing.

For additional information on getting organized, please visit