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August 2016

From the President


As summer comes to an end, I am looking forward to the fall and all of our upcoming programs, especially the October 26 mini-workshop.

We will be asking for your participation in two initiatives this fall. The first initiative will be a membership survey that will be distributed in September. The second initiative is our nominating committee. This committee will be headed by our volunteer coordinator, Sharon Lowenheim, and it will start the process for filling the next NAPO-NY board earlier than usual, as we expect a lot of turnover this year. I ask that you consider volunteering for NAPO-NY if you are not currently volunteering, or stepping up into a larger role if you are currently volunteering.

And on a real feel-good note, don't miss this month's story about the awesome collaboration between our Corporate Associate Member, Garde Robe, and Dayna Brandoff of Chaos Theory Inc., at the end of this newsletter. All I can say is, sometimes we do really cool projects with our clients!

See you in September!

Collette Shine, NAPO-NY President

First Step Volunteer Recap

Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, we are well on our way to meeting our 2016 goal of helping more than 100 women in the First Step Job Training Program. So far this year, we have helped approximately 75 women learn general organizing, paper management and time management skills to help prepare them to succeed at work and in life.

On August 11, we conducted our fourth workshop with an eager and involved audience. Attendees were absolutely thrilled to gain insight into these organizational tools that are so second nature to us! Warm thanks to NAPO-NY members Lisa Engstrom, Meret Oppenheim, Sharon Lowenheim and Dorothy McNeill for speaking at this workshop.  

Click here to learn more about the First Step program.

Our next workshop will be in mid-November. To be eligible to speak at a workshop, NAPO members need to have observed one workshop session, so if you’re interested in speaking at a future workshop, you should plan to attend this upcoming workshop! Contact Dorothy McNeil, our First Step Liaison, to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Meetings and Events

September Chapter Meeting: Panel Discussion on Mold
Monday, September 12, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Cicatelli Associates, 505 Eighth Avenue, between 35th and 36th Streets, 20th floor

Join NAPO-NY for an informative panel with Corey and Steven Levy, FEMA representatives and mold experts.

ICD 2016 Conference
September 22 – 24
Portland, Oregon

Save the date! More information will be available soon on the Institute for Challenging Disorganization’s website.

Book Club Meeting: “White Walls”
Thursday, October 20, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Cafe, 33 East 17th Street, north side of Union Square

This quarter, the NAPO-NY Book Club will be reading “White Walls: A Memoir About Motherhood, Daughterhood, and the Mess In Between” by Judy Battalion. Read the book, then join us for a fun, informal discussion! For more information, contact Mary Reed.

Mini-Workshop: Small Business, Big Online Presence
Wednesday, October 26, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
WeWork, 205 East 42nd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues
Cost: $28.00

Join NAPO-NY for a unique evening of online marketing tips, tricks and strategies every small business should focus on to attract new customers and increase revenue. Speakers include Michael McKay, digital entrepreneur; Susanne Schropp, owner of Diva Design; Paige Wilhide, owner of Paige Media; and Mona Sharaf, personal shopper and image consultant.

This event is open to the public and space is limited. All attendees MUST pre-register online no later than Friday, October 21.

August Meeting Recap: Digital Image Library Organizing Tips and Tricks
This month’s program was presented by JP Pullos & Lydia Billings of JP Teaches Photo. The presentation included tips for organizing photos, software recommendations, and answers to member questions. The full meeting minutes can be found in the Document Library, accessed from the Members Only menu on the NAPO-NY website. You must be logged in for Members Only access.

Welcome New Members

Angela Allmond
Michael Ferrante
Carl Dawson

Member Media Mentions

Deborah Gussoff was featured in The Carpet Girl’s August newsletter.

Leslie Josel wrote “End Homework Battles” in the September issue of Family Circle. Leslie’s Order Out of Chaos Academic Planners were featured in New York Newsday’s Back-to-School Guide.

Junkluggers was featured in “Junkluggers Lugs Away Your Unwanted Junk” on Talent Refresh.

Katie McCann was featured in “Home Staging Ideas to Brighten Your Bathroom” and “Home Staging Ideas for the Kitchen to Make Buyers Bite” on and wrote “Overcoming the Effects of Consumerism in 2016” on Everyday Power.

Sue Rae was featured in “5 Quick Ways You Can Organize Your Closet Right Now” on

Linda Samuels was featured in “10 Questions” on Smart Happy Organized.

Volunteer Opportunities

Do you sometimes wish that NAPO-NY would let the public know about our industry, and how our brilliant and skilled chapter members can help them? 
Well, we do! You might be surprised to know that NAPO-NY issues a press release every month. But we need help getting those press releases out there and making sure that the media is paying attention to them.
This month, we’re highlighting two positions: the Media Liaison and the Press Release Distributor.

  • The Media Liaison establishes relationships with media contacts so that NAPO-NY can pitch stories to them. The Media Liaison also follows up with media contacts after press releases have been sent out to make sure that they’ve been seen. 
  • The Press Release Distributor sends out the press releases every month and posts them to free media sites.

 If you’d like to help NAPO-NY get the word out, and would also like to become more familiar with the media, then one of these positions might be for you. Skills like communicating with the media and writing press releases are great to learn for use in your own business as well.

To learn more about these positions, and to inquire about other open positions, please contact NAPO-NY’s Volunteer Coordinator, Sharon Lowenheim.

Collaboration Spotlight: Garde Robe and Dayna Brandoff

Corporate Associate Members offer NAPO-NY members the opportunity to provide above-and-beyond services for their clients. This month, Dayna Brandoff of Chaos Theory Inc. shares her experience working with Garde Robe.

Sarah Lincoln, senior account specialist and VIP liaison, describes Garde Robe as a luxury wardrobe storage and valet service for people with expensive designer clothes and not enough closet space! They offer a “bespoke” storage experience, including purified air, humidity control, and overall museum-quality conditions. All items stored with Garde Robe are cataloged and clients can access their wardrobe details through their own personal “cyber closet.”

NAPO-NY member Dayna Brandoff had the opportunity to work closely with Garde Robe on “a very special project for a very special client,” as she says, in 2012. While working with the client to clean out her closets, Dayna found countless designer gems from the 1960s and 70s. The client was ready to let the pieces go, but Dayna pointed out the stories they held, and the client agreed that she’d like to work with an archivist to document her collection.

“At first we sent the clothes to Garde Robe just for the photography,” said Dayna. “We weren’t planning to store them. Then we got them back in the beautiful Garde Robe garment bags. Each had a hangtag with the size, a photo of the garment, the designer, and other details listed. Once my client saw the quality and level of detail, she wanted to store with them.” Dayna shared this example of a garment description: “Oscar de la Renta (Vintage). Size 10. Marigold & multicolor floral silk jacquard coat/skirt ensemble. Includes snap gold button decorate coat with fur collar and darted sheath skirt.”

However, the project didn’t stop at just storing and preserving the garments. Dayna and her client took advantage of Garde Robe’s capacity to create separate cyber closet log-ins for multiple people. They created a log-in for the client’s daughter, who doesn’t live in New York, but can use the service to request items from Garde Robe. Sarah says that cyber closet log-ins can be created with different restrictions, such as view-only or granting the ability to request items. Garde Robe can deliver items anywhere in the world; for example, you can request to have items delivered to your hotel if you’re going to be traveling.

In addition to giving the client’s daughter access to the garments, Dayna says, “We created a really remarkable book and website for her children to enjoy. It’s a one-of-a-kind, museum-quality book. Each page had a picture of the garment and a picture of the client wearing it, if available, and each garment had a number, like in a museum. We embedded an iPod in the book, so you could punch the number and hear the story.” Overall, Garde Robe photographed and stored 448 of the client’s items, including handbags, gowns, suits, and shoes. Sarah notes that for every 50 pieces a client stores, they get free storage space for 10 pairs of shoes and 10 accessories, such as scarves or handbags.

Sarah says that Dayna’s client isn’t the only one to use Garde Robe to create an archive. “Some people catalog for insurance purposes, others for sentimental reasons,” she says. “We do have some catalog-only jobs. Some clients also request printed versions, if they’re not tech-savvy. We give them the flexibility to view their wardrobes however they like.”

However, the majority of clients use Garde Robe for seasonal storage. Sarah says their busy seasons are from mid-September to December, and from March or April to June. “It keeps their home organized – we come, remove pieces such as their bulky winter coats, and give them more flexibility,” she says. “We store some wedding dresses, but typically clients must commit to at least one rack, which is 50 pieces.”

Garde Robe also works with major fashion designers to store their archives. “We have Carolina Herrera, we have Oscar de la Renta – everything since the beginning of his career. Several houses use us as an active catalog. They can view the pieces in their cyber closet just like everyone else, and request pieces for delivery to their showrooms or photo shoots.”

Garde Robe also works with professional organizers, referring clients to organizers that they’ve worked with previously, including Dayna. Dayna says, “They’ve sent me clients of theirs who needed my help – they take care of the contents of the closets and they recommend me for other areas of the house. We built a good relationship and level of trust with the first project.”

Sarah adds, “Clients ask us for recommendations for organizers. Whether the organizer finds us, or we find them, we allow the organizer to be the facilitator, the point of contact for the client. We work with the organizer to make their job easier – we bring the pieces in and out. We’re very cautious and respectful of the trust built up between organizer and their clients. We’ll work with either the client or the organizer, based on their preferences.”

And Garde Robe’s attention to detail is greatly appreciated. “Everyone is beyond pleased,” Dayna asserts. “I think there’s a reason they work with some of the best designers in the business. Your stuff comes back in better condition. It reminds me of the closet in Clueless – it’s the dream! I think Garde Robe does that in a sense, in a more high-level, sophisticated way.”