Book Review: The Other Side of Organized

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The Other Side of Organized - Linda Samuels

I often say there are two types of professional organizers: those for whom organizing comes naturally, and those who teach others the skills they’ve acquired to overcome their own struggles with organization. The Other Side of Organized is an excellent resource, no matter which group you fit into.

There are lots of excellent organizing books that describe strategies to use in different situations, but in her book, Linda Samuels guides us through the other side of organizing, particularly the emotional issues associated with life changes.

If you are a natural organizer, you excel at planning and implementing systems for your clients. Your easiest client is likely someone who is naturally organized as well, but needs you to set up a system which he or she can maintain. Although clients requiring more support are more challenging for you,  you can work with them successfully if you are able to demonstrate empathy.

Empathy… means feeling yourself into, or participating in, the inner world of another while remaining yourself.

~ Alfred Benjamin, from The Helping Interview

The Other Side of Organized can help you to achieve empathy by describing the personal challenges your clients may be facing so you can better understand them. It also contains many motivational strategies to apply that may not always come to you naturally.

Even if it’s easy for you to empathize with your clients, you’re sure to find Linda’s advice inspiring, whether for your own benefit or that of your clients. Her description of the five stages of change as they relate to the organizing process is especially valuable. She also shares some of the practices she’s developed in her own organizing business and her definition of the role of the professional organizer.

The main thing that distinguishes The Other Side of Organized from other organizing books is the emphasis on each person finding the right balance between being organized and having time for what’s most important to them. As Linda says,

I was privileged to receive a copy of the book from one of my clients, who told me that she regularly gives copies to her clients. I think that is a great token of appreciation for their business, as well as a valuable resource to help them stay on track after her work with them has been completed!

I recommend...

A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on October 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you, Janet for the thoughtful review of my book, The Other Side of Organized. I love your blog, the Organizers Blog Carnival monthly feature and all the great information you share about business, organizing and social media. You do a fabulous job of building an online community.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on October 19, 2011 at 6:35 am

      Linda, thank you so much for your kind words, and for being a valued member of my community!

  2. Lucy Kelly Lucy Kelly on April 26, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Yay, Linda, love your gentle book! Thanks for sharing this with us, Janet.

  3. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on April 26, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    Linda is great! She has wonderful blog posts that inspire me to improve. Thank you for featuring her. She definitely deserves the attention.

  4. Avatar Seana Turner on April 26, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    So nice seeing my friend Linda’s book discussed here. Linda has such a gift for helping process the emotional component of organizing. Her love of people comes through everything she writes. I think a lot of people worry that organizers will pressure them to just get rid of everything. That isn’t the truth at all, and I think Linda’s book would put any fears on this topic to rest.

  5. Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on April 26, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    What a lovely surprise to see you repost and share this one, Janet. I am deeply appreciative of all of the warm comments and words of support from your wonderful community of readers, bloggers, and colleagues.

  6. Avatar Janet Barclay on April 27, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    I realized how long ago I wrote this, and that many readers won’t have seen it, so I thought I’d showcase it again. What’s really funny is how well Linda and I know each other now, and I don’t think I knew who she was before I read her book. She first joined the Blog Carnival in January 2011.

  7. Avatar Phaedra Studt on May 3, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Sounds like an excellent book to put on my “to be read” list.

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