I attended my first NAPO conference in May 2003, and there I discovered the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD), now Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), and Judith Kolberg. I picked up Judith’s book ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life, and I could not put it down. I read the entire book on my flight home and realized I didn’t have a clue about ADD or how to help my clients who have ADD. I knew I needed to join NSGCD and get educated!
I devoured ICD teleclasses because I was hungry to learn as much as I could due to my increased number of chronically disorganized clients with ADD. I took the CD exam at NAPO’s 2006 conference. I was so nervous since it was the first exam I had taken in many years. I passed and earned the CD Specialist Level II Certificate! The more education I attained, the more my confidence grew to work with specialized client populations.
Late 2006, NAPO announced its Certified Professional Organizer designation and the requirements to earn it from the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers, known as BCPO. I was excited to discover I had achieved the application requirements. However, another requirement is passing an exam of 125 questions with a score of 70 percent or better. The BCPO provided the examination outline and a list of books the test questions were derived from. I had less than six months to study and prepare for the inaugural exam in May at NAPO’s conference. Again, I was nervous and excited to be a part of this significant industry event and to take another exam!
As a warm-up to the CPO exam, the day before, I took the ICD ADD Specialist Level II exam!
A few weeks later, I was relieved and thrilled to learn I passed both.
During the same time I was studying for the CPO exam; I was also participating in the Coach Approach for Organizers™️ training from Denslow Brown to expand my tools for working with clients. From this training program, I learned that the significance of coaching is to allow space for the client to discover what approach to organizing will work for them. Instead of telling the client what to do, ask powerful questions and listen to what the client is telling you works for them. Coaching speaks to our clients’ openness for change by clarifying values, motivation, and what matters most. Coaching became my fourth stream of revenue.
If you have not already, join ICD and obtain at least their Level I certificates. If you discover you want to work with chronically disorganized clients or clients with brain-based challenges, continue your education in those specific subjects and learn as much as you can to assist you in helping them with their organizing challenges.