Book Review: The Other Side of Organized
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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!