Barbara Hemphill

Organizational Expert, Productivity Consultant, and Author of the Taming the Paper Tiger Series

In-Person Fee Range
$5,000 to $10,000
(Inquire for virtual fee)

Travels From
North Carolina, United States

Organizational Expert, Productivity Consultant, and Author of the Taming the Paper Tiger Series

Barbara Hemphill started her business in 1978 with a $7 in a New York City newspaper. For 20 years, she focused on paper and physical clutter.  With the dawning of the internet, she began applying her principles to digital clutter, but in recent years has concluded that the true clutter that prevents people from accomplishing their work and enjoying their life is emotional and spiritual. 

Productive Environment Institute

As founder of Productive Environment Institute, Barbara’s goal is to offer an attractive career to individuals who have made family life a priority. To this end, her company provides comprehensive training to become a Certified Productive Environment Specialist (CPES).  Her specialists provide customized services, strategies and systems for individuals and organizations to enable their clients to accomplish their work and enjoy their lives. Their ultimate aim is to help people increase profit, productivity, and peace of mind.

Paper Tiger Lady

Frequently referred to as the “Paper Tiger Lady,” Barbara started her business is 1978 with a $7 ad in a New York City newspaper.  She is the author of Taming the Paper Tiger at Work, Love It or Lose It: Living Clutter-Free Forever, Organizing Paper @Home: What to Toss and How to Find the Rest! and Less Clutter More Life.


Spanning a 35-year career on the cutting edge of what USA Today called a billion dollar industry, Barbara has appeared on the Today Show and Good Morning America.  She was recently featured on the cover of Today’s Business Woman and in Fast Company. She is past president of the Washington DC chapter of National Speakers Association, and president of National Association of Professional Organizers, where she was a winner of the Founder’s Award, and a two-time winner of the President’s Award.


Initially trained in music education, Barbara organized an international choir in Grenada, West Indies, and New Delhi, India, and can frequently be found in the choir or at the piano at her church.  As a follower of Jesus, Barbara’s mission is to express His love through her work and her life so that other people will feel this love whether or not they share her beliefs.

An adventurer as well as an innovator, Barbara has lived in the West Indies, India, New York City, and Washington, DC. While living in India in the 1970’s, she adopted three children. In addition, her family includes two stepchildren, four grandchildren, and her beloved one-of-a-kind husband Alfred Taylor, with whom she shares their own Productive Environment™ near Raleigh, NC.

5 Power Strategies for Less Clutter More Life

Does your daily life reflect the quality of life you really want? If not, you CAN change it! A rewarding and productive life is dependent on controlling the things you can control, so you can cope with the things you can’t. Every day is filled with decisions large and small. Clutter is postponed decisions®. Eliminating physical, digital, emotional, and spiritual clutter is essential to accomplishing your work and enjoying your life. This presentation will offer a proven 5-Step Productive Environment Process™ you can begin using immediately to make the decisions -- big and small -- that will result in the life you deserve!

Taming the Digital Tiger: Creating a Productive Environment in the Cloud

An international survey of 5000 office professionals found that 61% (69% in US) would change jobs solely for the sake of dramatically less paperwork. Eighty percent of organizations failed to develop paper filing systems that could be shared. Then came Bill Gates, and companies stopped paying ANY attention to paper files because of the “paperless promise.” Unfortunately, in many organizations the person who should be the champion of Almost Paperless™ is over 40 years old and struggles with the transition themselves. Therefore leading an entire organization to paperless is not happening. Unless organizations address The Seven Information Managements Questions to develop systems for storing, sharing, and purging paper and electronic information, we are headed for the biggest information disaster in history.

Sometimes It Takes An Expert To Take Out the Trash: What To Toss and How To Find the Rest!

Research shows that 80% of what we keep we never use, but determining what 20% to keep, and how to find it when you need it, proves challenging for most people -- at work and at home. A study by Brother International indicates collective messy desks and time spent looking for misplaced items costs corporate America $177 billion annually. An OfficeMax study found 87% of workers admit that when their space is cluttered they "feel less productive" and one in five employees admit having trouble prioritizing what they should throw away. This presentation offers time-tested Productive Environment™ principles and practices developed by Barbara Hemphill's work of over 30 years and implemented by thousands of clients in offices around the world.

Organizing Your Life to Answer God’s Call

For over three decades, Barbara Hemphill has based her organizing business on four words: Clutter is postponed decisions®. Hear her story as it was featured on the cover of Guildeposts magazine, learn specific strategies to get your own life in order, and influence others to make the most important decision in their life.

All Barbara Hemphill Books

Organizing Paper @ Home: What to Toss and How to Find the Rest
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Bushido Business! The Fine Art of the Modern Professional
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Taming the Paper Tiger at Work
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Barbara Hemphill spoke at our annual convention. Our members are still taking about the presentation and many of them have put the techniques to work and are astounded with the results!

- Nebraska Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association | Tim Keiger, Executive Director

If attendance is a good barometer, the SRO crowd that turned out for Technology Is Not a Substitute forOrganization must mean that your reputation precedes you and that librarians are a very disorganized bunch! Many people who attended the program took the time to tell me how helpful they are finding some of your solutions, and evaluations done the day of your presentation were very favorable.

- Maryland Library Association | Ann T. Gilligan

You helped to make our Conference a great success! Many of the attendees had remarked that you were the highlight of the Conference. You were able to communicate a great deal of practical information that can be applied to our everyday lives. Your presentation was very educational and enjoyed by all those who attended.

- National Association of Tax Practitioners | Mary Jo Delfosse, Director

Your participation as a speaker/workshop presenter made the conference an outstanding success. Overall the participants rated the conference 4.2 on a scale of 1-5.

- NC State University | Alice S. Warren, Division of Continuing Studies

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Recent Books

Organizing Paper @ Home: What to Toss and How to Find the Rest
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Bushido Business! The Fine Art of the Modern Professional
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