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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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10 Ways to Let Go & Move On

Our “stuff” can clutter our spaces, schedules, and minds. This can result in overwhelm or procrastination. Sometimes we need a boost to activate our letting go rhythm. Are you curious about how to feel less encumbered? I’ve put together a few ideas and resources to help you let go and move on.


Ways to Let Go

When we let go, we gain space, peace of mind, and focus. We also receive that feel good lift, when we donate, give, or recycle things that provide a benefit to others.

1. Clothing - Do you own any clothes that are too small, too big, or too unflattering? Do they include purchasing mistakes, items you’ve outgrown, or gifts received that don’t match your style? You won’t wear or use them, but someone else might. Get the donation bags ready.

2. Paper - Are your old telephone, utility bills, and other non-tax deductible receipts occupying valuable filing cabinet or surface space? Do you have scraps of paper with illegible notes written on them? Those papers can go. Shred ones that include your name, address, or account information. Check your county’s schedule for free shredding and recycling days.

3. Distractions - Are the dings and pop-ups on your digital devices and computers making it difficult to focus and be productive? Are you ready to let go of these hard to resist alerts? Consider using one of the many apps or programs that help control “ding management.”

4. Electronics - With changing technology and shorter product lifespans, you probably have a growing collection of outdated cell phones, chargers, TVs, computers, digital cameras, and other electronic gadgets. They’re occupying space, not being used, and collecting dust. Activate your recycling options.

5. Photos - I love photos as much as the next person. What about the images (digital or paper) you have that are duplicates, out of focus, or not meaningful? Make room for what’s significant, organize the keepers, and let go of the rest.


Ways to Move On

Once you’ve activated your decision-making skills and opted to let go, don’t stop there. Use these resources to complete the process and help you and your things move on.

6. Vietnam Veterans of America - Free pick up is available for donating clothing, toys, shoes, books, electronics, household & more.

7. Concentrate - This Mac App eliminates distractions and improves focus.

8. Earth911 - The site has resources searchable by location for recycling electronics such as game consoles, MP3players, computer peripherals, and digital cameras.

9. Best Buy - They offer both trade-ins and recycling for computers, peripherals, cell phones, digital cameras, TVs and more.

10. MyPublisher - This is an easy to use website helps you create high quality photo albums from your digital photos.

What letting go challenges or successes have you encountered? Do you have favorite “moving on” resources? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!

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Reader Comments (16)

Thanks for posting these resources. By having deadlines like drop off dates it will activate you to let go and move forward. On April 26 there is a National Take Back Drug Initiative so that you can return unused drugs (easy to find by googling.) Call for pick up and set a date for a philanthropy to come to your home. When you establish a time for items to be released it makes releasing these much easier.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Ellen- It's so true that having a deadline with drop off or pick-up dates helps with motivation for letting go and moving on. Thanks for sharing this wonderful resource for donating unused medicine. What a unique service.

April 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

About clothing, there is this Project 333, consist in being minimalist with clothing, you need to pick 33 garments and manage to live just with those garments 33 days, pairing pieces, accessories, etc. I use it as a guide but not as a rule, and downsize my wardrobe from like 100 pieces to barely 50. That doesn't include undergarments or specific pieces like exercise garments or so, but that and having an precise clothes storage space, like in my case 36" rod length for tops (shirts and jackets) 18" for jeans and slacks and 3 drawers (underwear, t-shirts, other) help me to keep control on the amount of clothes I own, so if I buy one thing one thing must go out.
And for get rid of stuff that are susceptible of recycling or up-cycling, I found a couple of girls who make furniture, lamps and decoration objects from everything you don't need and they sell those up-cycle products, so I call them and they take my stuff and make beautiful things from it. It's a way to help others and others help you and the environment giving things a new purpose.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

We have a wonderful program in our area that collects books and sends them to military bases overseas. Knowing that something you are letting go can help others is very helpful in the process I think.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

thanks linda. this is an awesome post. I love the suggestions. I am always talking about mental clutter -- time robbers, emotional baggage, media distractions, etc. sometimes that is even worse then the physical clutter! love that you gave tips for that too.!

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie Josel

I usually go through my clothes every fall and spring. This weekend, I'm going to my sister's and we'll go through hers. Usually I end up bringing home some of her discards. Then the following week, she'll come here and we'll go through mine. She'll probably take something home with her too. I'll post whatever is left after all that on the Hamilton Mountain Recycle Kindness group on Facebook so someone else can make use of what we no longer want or need.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

I love that you included photos in that list Linda. I am working with a client who has every school photo in every size of her 4 children. My advice was to only keep the large one, put them in acid free clear pockets and give each child a school binder. This includes their school reports and school photos all in one place, and each child has their own special place to put these things.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

What wonderful additions to the conversation! You guys are amazing.

@Nacho- I've heard of Project 333, but hadn't investigated it fully. I appreciated reading how you implemented it in your own life. Very cool to realize how little we really need and how to more effectively manage what we do have. Also love your description of up-cycling or repurposing….another great venue for the things we're ready to let go of.

@Seana- What a wonderful thing to do with books that you're ready to let go of. I don't know if this is the group you're referring to, but here's a link for those that are interested in donating books for soldiers:

@Leslie- Oh, yes…mind clutter. It can be just as problematic as physical clutter. I wrote a post several years ago about some strategies for organizing the internal clutter. Here's a link to "Release Mind Clutter:"

@Janet- I love the social aspect you've discovered about letting go. It helps not only to have people and places to give to, but it also helps to have company during the letting go process. It's lovely how you and your sister support one another. It's a beautiful thing.

@Jill- Photos can overwhelm us, can't they? If you're client is ready to pair down her photo collection, you've given her a wonderful strategy for doing that, beginning with the school photos. I remember when we used to get the photo package options for our daughters and I'd always order the minimum amount so that I'd have just enough and no more.

April 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Spring as we know is a natural motivator to lighten our loads and refresh. Time to release our coats, and let go of the burdened weight from our shoulders (both literally and metaphorically).

I generally take this time to re-organize my coat closet and prepare for an exit strategy for those tired unworn ones and clean the active ones prior to storing. But because Spring has retreated and colder weather has returned, I have not committed to this process yet. Ugh, I'm still wearing coats and sweaters!

My best tip for "letting go" and ensuring that things actually exit the home is 'scheduling' the donation pick-up. Just like a deadline, this works perfectly for my clients who are inclined to procrastinate. Each session, I schedule a future pick-up date so they are motivated to set their unwantables aside because it is already scheduled to happen. It's a gentle push. Easy peasy.

April 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Borg

Nancy- Going through the coats this time of year makes so much sense. Spring just calls us to lighten up and let go, doesn't it? Love your pick-up date strategy that you use with your clients. They are lucky to have you in their corner. Go Nancy!

April 17, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Nancy, I like the "scheduling" for donation pick up. I always tell my clients once your donation box is full, put it in your car and take it straight to the Charity shop of your choice, this way it stops them going back through the box as well.

April 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

Jill- The tag team between scheduling for donation pick-ups, having the donation box ready, and taking the items out right away have everything to do with the "moving on" portion of the equation. The letting go decisions have been made. Thanks for the reminder to keep things flowing out.

April 19, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Getting organized always helps me focus and let go of things that are a distraction. Great article. Thanks.

August 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Michelle- So glad you joined us and found the post useful. Minimizing distractions to increase our focus comes in many forms, and getting organized and releasing the extraneous are effective ways of doing that. Happy that works for you.

August 5, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Going to bookmark this page as I have many things I have to let go and hoarding can be an issue but when you know what you can do to fix the issue it greatly helps. Thanks for the read.

August 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Hi Michelle- Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I'm so happy that you're bookmarking this post. There are good questions and resources here to help with letting go. I'd love to know which ones you find most useful.

August 23, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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