October Women II
Nacho Eguiarte Interviews
Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® – founder of Oh, So Organized!
Author of the Other Side of Organized
I’m just thrilled for having today in October Women an expert in chronic disorganization and a leader in the organizing industry. A bubbly personality and above all, a great capacity to make us involved in her blog posts, with talks and comments that are simply delightful.
About. Who’s Linda Samuels as Professional Organizer?
For over 20 years I’ve been organizing and founded Oh, So Organized! When our daughters were babies. Since then I’ve used my visual arts expertise, business background, love of helping people, and organizing abilities to facilitate change in my clients’ lives through organizing, coaching, writing, and speaking. I’m a strong believer in professional development and being an active participant in our professional industry associations. I’m the President of ICD (Institute for Challenging Disorganization) and Golden Circle member of NAPO (National Association for Professional Organizers).
Blog. What’s behind your blog’s name, The Other Side of Organized?
The Other Side of Organized blog was created in 2010 when I published my book, by the same name. The name means two things. The other side of organized speaks to those that are challenged by disorganization. In addition, the other side offers readers advice and inspiration for creating that sweet spot of harmony we all crave. It’s not about becoming ultra-organized (which can be overwhelming to some.) Rather, the ideas encourage people to get organized enough that they’re able to reduce the stress of life’s details, make time to embrace life’s passions, and reach a level of organization that’s comfortable for them. It’s about the joy of discovering what lies beyond the chaos and perfection.
Clientele. What kind of clients do you work with? What other professions?
For hands-on organizing, I work with individuals in their homes and offices predominantly in the New York metropolitan area. While I work with both male and female clients ages 8 to 85, 90% of my clients are female. They include doctors, lawyers, therapists, architects, artists, executives, entrepreneurs, stay at home parents, students, and retirees. 85% of my clients are chronically disorganized.
Double. Being Professional Organizer is one side of you. Do you double your activities doing some other job in the same industry?
In addition to being a professional organizer, I am also an author, blogger, coach, speaker, master trainer, program coach, and President of ICD.
Expertise. Based on your years of experiences, which symptoms should we be most concerned with? How do we know if we need organizing help?
There are many indicators that might prompt people to reach out for help. They include feeling overwhelmed or stuck, experiencing many unsuccessful organizing self-help attempts, being time poor, having ineffective organizing systems, experiencing life transitions, or having physical or mental health challenges.
Fun. Tell us a fun fact or anecdote while working with a client.
While I love organizing and find it fun to do, many of my clients don’t feel that way. Instead they find it stressful and overwhelming. So integrating ways to create a positive environment for our organizing sessions are essential. For some of my clients, music, singing, and dancing can work well. The client selects their favorite upbeat music, which we play while we organize. This lightens the mood, introduces a positive element, and enhances focus and pacing. Sometimes we sing or hum along (think Broadway show tunes) or break into dance by grooving along to some classic R&B.
Grant. Do you have any advice about organization in general?
Let go of organizing perfection. This ideal is unattainable. Instead, focus on what is most important to you. What do you want your life to be about and be focused on? Use organization as a way of supporting what is most meaningful. Instead of pursuing perfection, shift the organizing perspective to “good enough.”
Home. A house is not always a home; how do you teach people to care about creating a home they love?
If someone wants to create a home they love, I can help them in a variety ways. We work on reducing the clutter, revealing the space, helping them envision the rooms and spaces in new ways, and thinking about how each space supports what they do and reflects who they are. It’s as much about what is included as it is about what is released.
Important. How important is it to build a life with rich experiences instead of things?
For me, it’s the experiences I have and the people I love that are most important. I also derive great pleasure in having my home and workspace include favorite colors, scents, textures, objects, art and photos. They enhance my daily experience. We’re all different. Discovering what you value most and focusing your energy and choices around that is the key to living a life that’s consistent with your beliefs.
Joy. Is your career, as a professional organizer, bringing you joy?
Joy, gratitude, and passion describe how I feel about my career choice. There is great joy in working with others to overcome their overwhelm and achieve their goals. There’s deep gratitude for the trust my clients place in me to be part of their lives. There’s passion about the work I do and for the connection to my wonderful colleagues in the professional organizing industry. I get to meet and know terrific people like you from all over the world. Thank you, Nacho for inviting me to be part of your community.
Linda, I couldn’t be happier having you over the blog, thank you for sharing about your experience, your advises and activities. Thank you again and let us keep moving forward in the professional organizing field.
Linda Samuels’ Bio
Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® is a compassionate, enthusiastic professional organizer and coach, founder of Oh, So Organized! (1993), author of The Other Side of Organized, and blogger on organizing and life balance. Linda is President of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD.) She has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, Everyday with Rachael Ray, and Enterpreneur.com. Connect with Linda on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, blog, or website. Sign up for a free monthly e-newsletter with bonus tips at ohsoorganized.com Phone: 914-271-5673