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How it all began…

January is the annual  Get Organized (GO) Month sponsored by the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (formerly called the National Association of Professional Organizers—NAPO.net). This special event is dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of hiring a professional organizer and getting organized.

It all began back in 1988 when Paulette Ensign first proposed the idea for an annual NAPO sponsored holiday. As often happens with trailblazing ideas, the thought was acknowledged but not acted upon immediately. Three years later, Susan Lannis, unaware of Paulette’s idea, became interested in the use of holidays as a public relation tool after coming across an article about Clean Off Your Desk Day (first Monday in January). She rallied NAPO-Oregon to comb through Chase’s Annual Events looking for days appropriate for marketing campaigns.

Not long after, Rick Allen, a Connecticut organizer serving on NAPO Board of Directors in charge of chapter development, sent out a questionnaire asking chapters for any suggestions they would like him to present to the Board. Susan put in a proposal to create Get Organized Week. It was approved and adopted by NAPO in December 1991.

NAPO headquarters developed materials to assist members with the promotion of the first GO Week held in October 1992. Nancy Black, a Massachusetts organizer, completed an application to have the week listed in Chase’s Annual Events beginning the following year.

Manufacturers and retailers became interested and joined forces with NAPO to sponsor this event. Companies such as Hallmark Cards and DayTimer featured GO Week prominently in their press releases and on their promotional material. Interest continued to expand exponentially from major corporations, with GO Week featured on the cover of a 20th Century Plastics catalog and in a national promotional campaign launched by Microsoft.

Activities for this national event continued and was made possible through the dedicated efforts of NAPO members, media and a multitude of large companies, such as Avery, Esselte, Rubbermaid, and Lillian Vernon. It was the combined effort that ensured that GO Week gained international prominence. By 2004, the event had swelled beyond the October week, prompting NAPO to switch gears and proclaim January as Get Organized (GO) Month. The campaign that started many years ago, continues to heighten public awareness of the profession.

Every year, nearly all chapters with the generous assistance of corporate sponsors and the hard work of NAPO members, showcase events that continue to promote the organizing industry and the importance of getting organized.

NAPO members should consider the boost in your own business as you establish this event within your marketing materials and PR efforts. Getting organized is one of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions made by Americans year after year. Join forces with colleagues and ride the wave!

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