Category Archives: Seminars and Workshops

The Cost of Clutter
Clutter Awareness Week 2017

Every year at this time Clutter Awareness Week reminds us that life can be better.  Better without all the things in our way.  Better without things holding us back.  Better without CLUTTER!

But what are all these unused, not needed, piles costing us.  There is the emotional weight of not finding what’s important because of the indecision of letting go.  Also, it is important to consider the monetary expense we have in keeping clutter our homes.  

By dividing the cost of your home by the square footage, we come up with a cost per foot of space in the home.  Should that be $95 per sq foot and the garage is full, hundreds of dollars are wasted in the home.

Procrastination and clutter often go together.  This week is the time to get  a jump on “Spring Cleaning/Organizing” and start attacking that clutter.  Stop paying for keeping the unwanted past and make room for your desired future.

Making Room for 2017

Every year we make resolutions to make more time for family, business, and ourselves.  Each year we promise we will get more organized in the new year.  This is why January is National Get Organized Month.

Happily, I am ahead of the game.  For the first time, I took all Christmas decorations down within days of Christmas.  Yesterday, I created my 2017 file folders.  That never takes too long, but in the past I have always procrastinated until well after first of the year.

It is amazing how much better I feel; prepared for a successful 2017!  It really is true, getting rid of excess makes room for future.  Not just in physical space, but in your mind as well.  The tree is down, and makes my home seem bigger.  Files for 2016 are boxed and ready for storage and new files ready for action.  

Next week is busy with clients, but I am ready for busy year and look forward to more time for myself. If you are ready for a change in 2017, don’t wait.  Start meeting your goals today.


Knoxville’s Professional Organizer
for Your Well-Kept Spaces

Well-Kept Spaces comes to Knoxville with 15 years experience organizing homes and being a leader in the professional organizing industry.  While in Los Angeles Chris McKenry was president of the LA chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). During that time he created the Los Angeles Organizing Awards and served on the national board of NAPO.Featured imageNow we are thrilled to return to Knoxville with a new name and a new sister business, Closets by McKenry – for custom closet & garage design.  Recently we work with a client of Interior Designer Todd Richesin.  The beautiful new home was nearing completion and Todd turned to Well-Kept Spaces to unpack and organize the new home for the family.  We even helped plan this beautiful play area for the kids.  Notice the cut-out containers in the desk top for crayons and even the seats are storage bins.




Professional organizers never forget labels.  When using beautiful baskets, gift tags can help identify contents in the gift wrap closet.

To see our “brag book”, as one client called it, click here.  It might give you an idea for your Well-Kept Spaces.

The Leader Unrealized – Chris McKenry’s Presentation to NAPO-LA

Last Monday, the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers welcomed me as speaker for their annual Leadership Forum.  The presentation drew on my personal experiences of the past president of NAPO-LA, the creator of the Los Angeles Organizing Awards and past board member of the NAPO National board of directors.

I felt it important to show that anyone could and should be a leader.  My organizing business has grown since it’s inception because of my involvement in NAPO, the local chamber of commerce, and community in general.

The second portion of the program highlighted 6 leaders that have inspired or been in my life.  From my Dad and brother (Joe and Jody McKenry) to others from my hometown of Knoxville to national business leaders.  And the fact that my Mother served her fried chicken when Colonel Sanders came to dinner was one of the highlight’s of the evening.

Then the program wrapped up with a look at the book You Don’t Need a TITLE to be a Leader by Mark Sanborn and interactive excercises.

What was said about the night?

“Excellent – entertaining and inspiring.”
“Great topic & very engaging delivery, I feel much smarter.  Very easy for “just a mom” to feel invisible.  Much better to be a leader!”
“Chris brings humor and heartfelt inspiration to get hi pint across”
“Excellent, best program of the year.”

And I would like to add, thank you NAPO-LA for being a fantastic audience.  There is a leader in you, now make a difference today.

Does your organization need a speaker?  Let me know…
call 323/571-2134



When Industries Gather

Productivity and Organizing Professionals to Meet in San Diego 

The interior design industry has Westweek at the Pacific Design Center and the food industry meets each May in Chicago at the National Restaurant Association Show.  Next week business productivity professionals and organizing experts for people, residences, and chronic organizing challenges are heading to San Diego for the 23rd Annual NAPO Annual Conference and Organizing Exposition April 6 – 9.

Reshaping our Future

This year’s theme, Reshaping our Future, Riding the Waves of Change will be highlighted by keynote speakers Julie Morgenstern, Colette Carlson, and Lee Silber.  Over 30 workshops will cover such topics as hoarding, senior moves, tools for business, working with media, client expectations, scrapbooking and so much more.

showcase the latest in products

In the Organizing Exposition over 30 companies will showcase the latest in products and services for organizing homes and offices.   The NAPO Organizing Expo is open to the public for the first time on Thursday, April 7th, from 8 am – 11 am.  For only$25, you will experience some of the best tools available to organize your home and office, all at San Diego’s Town and Country Resort.

Visit for online registration

It’s not too late to attend the 2011 NAPO Organizing Conference if you are a professional organizer.  Visit for online registration.  Day passes are also available if attendance for all three days is not possible.

Tips for a Successful Business Conference:

1.  Have a good supply of business cards, but remember you make more of an impression by asking for other’s cards and then follow-up with a note or email.

2.  Let colleagues know your cell number before you arrive, it will make connecting much easier.

3.  Plan ahead and research area sites of interest to visit during down time.

4.  Keep your eye on name tags, best way to find information on areas of the industry you want to learn more about.

5.  When in a session, take notes and ask for contact info from others in the class.  Take notes on the back of business cards.  By knowing the session you met, and other pertinent information, future follow-up will be easy.

6.  Check friends travel schedules before leaving.  Money could be saved by sharing rides from airports and train stations.

Successful and dedicated entrepreneurs take advantage of business associations and the benefits they provide.  The National Association of Professional Organizers motivates members to achieve goals, provides training for the latest client solutions, and creates opportunities to network with peers from around the world.

Some businesses only look for referrals, but when industries gather it shows businesses are concerned with professional development – seeking to be the best they can be for their clients.  Whatever your industry, get involved and ride the waves of change to reshape your future.

Get It Together LA! will be in San Diego from April 4th – 10th for the NAPO Organizing Conference.  Phone and email messages will be returned within 24 hours during the NAPO Conference.

Photos by Dan Slutsky for the 2010 NAPO Conference

Organizing Tools and Answers All in a Day

Chris Mckenry at the Los Angeles Organizing Expo

Chris Mckenry at the Los Angeles Organizing Expo

The Los Angeles Organizing Expo is the only expo in Los Angeles dedicated to the productivity industry happens this Monday, September 21.  The fifth annual NAPO-LA event will showcase time saving products, organizing solutions, tools and services held at the Olympic Collection in West Los Angeles from 5:30-8:30 pm.

We invite you to come and visit our booth at the expo which will showcase our closet, office and garage design services.  We will also share information on our Residential Inventory and Home Procedures Manual, Clutter Control and Relocation Services.

Before the Expo at 4 pm…
Organziing secrets will be revealed at the annual “Ask the Organizer” Panel, which will precede The Organizing Expo.  The 90 minute interactive discussion is open tot the public and will feature accomplished professional organizers from NAPO-LA’s Golden Circle.  These are experts in the field of personal productivity, office systems, relocations, storage design, special needs training, media and coaching.

This year’s panel will feature Chris McKenry of Get It Together LA!, Dolores Kaytes, of Highly Organized, Donna McMillan of McMillan & Company, and Barbara Ricketts , aka The Mess Doctor.  The Panel will be facilitated by Lynne Gilberg of Lynne Gilberg Organizing.

For Ask the Organizer Panel and Los Angeles Organizing Expo ticket information visit

Remember, stop by the Get It Together LA! booth and say “Bye to Clutter”!

Chamber Organizing Event a Success


Thank you Blount County Chamber for the warm welcome at last month’s seminar “Organizing Secrets Revealed for the Home and Office”.  The 40 plus who attended enthusiastically participated in the program.  The facility was first class, the professional staff and members showed true southern hospitality.

The program revealed seven secrets to getting organized.  The citizens of Blount County asked provolking questions and give their insite throughout the 90 minte program.

I support chamber’s of commerce for they work provide in nurturing the local business community.  The West Hollywood Chamber is my hometown business community.  If you are looking for foundation for your business, check out your local chamber.

Would your chamber like a program to inspire its members to be more productive and organized in their business?  Contact us for more information.

Business Dreams Revealed at Conference

The National Associationof Professional Organizers (NAPO)  just completed their 21st annual conference and it was rejuvenating, inspiring, and motivating.  The theme was “Making Business Dreams Come True” and Orlando was the setting.

Lorie Marreo of The Clutter Diet and me at the NAPO Conference

Lorie Marreo of The Clutter Diet and me at the NAPO Conference

The education was only equalled by the networking with my peers.  Time spent in the hallways, at the lounge, or around a restaurant table was as beneficial as learning a new technology.



The keynote by Scott McKain focused on the importance of making your business stand out from the competition.  He shared the principles outlined in his book Collapse of Distinction.  He encouraged us to live in the moment and not wait to enjoy the simple things in life; the ocean view, a mountain breeze or even just a clear sunset.  How fitting we stayed a extra day for down time and visit EPCOT.

If you have never attended a conference or convention for your business or industry I suggest you plan to check one out this year.  The investment just might help set you apart from others not sharing your dedication to professional excellence.  And take time to enjoy the journey.


Blount County Chamber Recognizes National Organize Your Files Week


Organize your files

Tax day is over and it is time to celebrate!  The third week of April is National Organize Your Files Week.  If you are in the Knoxville/Blount County area Wednesday, April 22, 2009, join the Blount County Chamber of Commerce for a workshop sure to be fun while demystifying the steps to organization.

Organizing Secrets Revealed for Your Home and Office

April 22 – 9:00 – 10:30 am
Blount County Chamber office


Chris Mckenry

Los Angeles organizing expert Chris McKenry will be in Tennessee on his way to the NAPO National Conference in Orlando.  During his stop over he will be addressing chamber members in an interactive setting sharing information and answering questions to make you more organized and clutter-free.  Besides recognizing the Organize Your Files celebration the seminar will look at ways to be more organized in the garage, kitchen, closets, office and with your time.

Click here for more information and to save your spot.

West Week Shares Business Principles for All Industries

The interior design industry desended upon the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood last week for West Week – an annual gathering to examine the latest products, styles, and trends for home decor.  Kicking off West Week was an elite panel of experts discussing The Business of Design, sponsored by Architectural Digest.

Donna LivingstonMartyn Lawrence-BullardMimi London, and Stephen Shadley shared their beginnings in the design industry and answered questions on how to succeed during the current economic conditions.  All are at the top of their field and recognized as Architectural Digest’s AD100 list.

When asked how to thrive during this economy, all emphasized that they are focused on the future.  All but one offers product lines.  Stephen Shadley principal works out of a live/work space in New York where he enjoys working late if necessary.  Martyn Lawrence-Bullard stressed his products are highest in style and quality but price for a broader market.  Commenting on his new candle line he shared “you may not spend thousands on furnishings, but almost everyone can afford a $30 candle”.

Donna Livingston shared “difficult times define who we are.”  She went on to emphasis the importance of on-line networking and the power of blogs.  Ms. Livingston’s portfolio has appeared in numerous international publications.  Though she does not advertise she likes to feature “rooms of the month” for direct marketing pieces to clients.

Mimi London, like the rest of the panel emphasized the importance of  learning the “business” in design.  It’s not enough to be creative, you have to invoice, market, and make your business work.  Those new to the industry were encouraged to began their careers working and learning in established firms before branching out on their own.

The organizing industry shares the same business principles as the design industry.  Both industries work to make homes a place for enjoyment.  The ability to work closely with clients and understand how they live is something both groups share.

The entire panel was optimistic for the coming year.  While spending may not be as it was a year ago we all agree having a beautiful and organized space gives comfort and enriches everyones life.