About Hazel

Hazel Thornton is an author, genealogist, and retired professional organizer who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She loves helping others to discover and tell the stories of their photos, families, and things.

During her organizing career, she decluttered homes and offices and created organizing systems and ideal schedules. But it was photo organizing that rekindled her love of genealogy research.

She also became interested in end-of-life matters, which include downsizing and making decisions now, so your loved ones won’t have to later.

All of these experiences and interests dovetailed in the form of her book, What’s a Photo Without the Story? How to Create Your Family Legacy. And now she’s published a workbook called Go With the Flow: The Clutter-Clearing Tool Kit for an Organized Life, featuring her original Clutter Flow Charts.

Hazel’s qualifications include three decades of genealogy research experience; 17 years of organizing clients’ stuff, space, and time (in person and virtually); formal education in mechanical engineering, drafting, and fine arts; and more than 20 years as a technology planner at a large telecommunications company.


Let me know how I can help you by contacting me via email or scheduling a free 20-minute call.

Stay in touch by connecting with me on social media, subscribing to my monthly newsletter and subscribing to my blog.


More Background

Born to Organize*


The egret represents freedom from clutter


Organized for Life….and beyond?!

15 year logo

Org4life: The First 15 Years

Accomplishments, Honors, and Awards

Professional Organizations

  • National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) 2004-present (Emeritus, Golden Circle, Authorship and Publishing SIG, POINT Committee, Education Committee, 2017 President”s Award recipient)
  • NAPO Virtual Chapter  2013-2020 (Secretary 2013-2014)
  • Professional Organizers of New Mexico (PONM) 2005-present (Founding Member)
  • The Photo Managers (APPO) 2015-present
  • Former member of the former Interior Redesign Industry Specialists (IRIS)

Professional Education

  • Ongoing Organizing and Genealogy Classes, Webinars, and Conferences
  • TPM Certified Personal Photo Organizer
  • NAPO Specialist Certificates: Workplace Productivity, Residential Organizing, Household Management, Life Transitions
  • IRIS Certified Interior Redesigner and Real Estate Stager



  • Click here to see PONM group volunteer organizing project photo stories!
  • Friends of the Public Library Volunteer (2005 – 2020) and Board Member (2007-2009)
  • Women Make a Difference Advisory Council and Photographer (2011-2018)
  • Volunteer Team Leader on a local NM episode of A&E Hoarders (2011)
  • Albuquerque Shred-A-Thon (2009)
  • Albuquerque Recycle-A-Thon (2008)
  • Recording for the Blind (1990’s)
  • Girl Scout Camp Counselor (1970’s)

Formal Education

  • BSME (Mechanical Engineering), San Diego State University
  • AS (Drafting), AA (Fine Arts), MiraCosta College
  • Various classes, Boise State University

Previous Career

  • 21-1/2 years in the Network Engineering & Planning Department of a large Telecommunications Company


  • Current: Genealogy, Backyard Birding, Book Club, TV
  • Back-burner: Piano, Photography, Travel, French

Social Networking


About the Egret Logo

In the spring of 2007 I attended the NAPO conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Can you imagine 800 professional organizers in one room?! Need I add that the event was very organized? Afterwards, while touring the backroads of Minnesota in my rental car, I observed an egret taking flight. I thought, That’s it! The feeling of getting organized! Of freedom from clutter. Of being able to relax, exhale, appreciate life, enjoy one’s space, and reach one’s goals. Thus I was inspired to create the egret logo. My business cards became less corporate-looking and more personal. And my new tag line is: Less clutter. More life.

You can read more in this blog post: The egret represents freedom from clutter

Meanwhile, as my business grew and changed, the egret took on additional meanings: Organized for Life….and beyond?!