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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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« Ask the Expert: Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. | Do Watching People Make Changes Motivate Us? »

Are You Motivated to Let Go?

What’s preventing you from letting go? Are you encumbered by cluttered thoughts, schedules, and spaces? If you’re struggling with letting go, you’re not alone. While this is a “hot” media topic, it’s also something that my clients frequently experience. If you want be motivated to let go of clutter, perhaps a perspective from one of these articles or interviews will provide the nudge you need. 




The Psychology of Clutter,” in The Wall Street Journal article I was recently interviewed for, talks about the “many powerful emotions that are lurking amid stuff we keep.” Challenges with letting go can cause overwhelm, anxiety, perfectionism, and procrastination. Understanding why it’s so difficult to allow our things to move on and practicing self-compassion can provide motivation to let go. Click here to read the article.



Michael Cohen, radio host at WILS 1320 AM asked me in a recent interview, “How can you to get a grip on clutter?” We talked about setting boundaries and asking questions like:

  • Do I need it?
  • Do I want it?
  • Do I use it?
  • Can someone else use it instead?
  • Is my “stuff” preventing me from living the life that I want?

Asking questions like these can provide not only answers, but the motivation needed to let go. Click here to listen to my interview.



By recognizing the potential harm caused to self or others by not making decisions can be an impetus to let go. This is highlighted in The New York Times article, “Firefighters Have Name for Deathtrap Homes.” While the piece is about an extreme hoarding situation, it underscores the tragic outcome about what can potentially happen if letting go is postponed. Click here to read the article.


By understanding, questioning, and considering more about our clutter, our attachments, and our things, we have the possibility of letting go and moving forward. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation. What motivates you to let go?

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Reader Comments (9)

Thanks for sharing these media pieces. I especially appreciate aspects of the psychology of clutter. It's truly not about the stuff, but what the stuff represents. Looking a little deeper, giving ourselves permission to let go of the guilt, sadness, and other emotions is the first step to letting go of the stuff.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

I so appreciate your series on motivation and this post on the need (and actual power) of letting go. To grow and change we need open arms to receive what may come to us. If our arms are clutching to old items, memories, limiting beliefs, we are not in a position to receive what is 'over the rise'.


July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCameron Gott

Wonderful to have you both here! Thank you for joining the conversation.

@Ellen- You're so right that it's "not about the stuff, but what the stuff represents." And therein lies the rub. Those emotional attachments make decision-making and letting go challenging. However, it's not impossible, especially when we reach out for help from friends, family, and professionals. There's no reason to go it alone.

@Cam- Such descriptive language! I love that image of needing "open arms to receive" growth and change. Gripping tightly to the past and those thoughts that don't serve us handicaps us for as you said what's "over the rise." Lovely thoughts to consider and images to conjure up.

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Last Sunday I read the first New York Times article and was very good.

I love the 5 questions to set stuff boundaries. Those are a good reference to acknowledge if we have a problem with clutter and answering them give us some light about the importance of having things we use, love or really need.

Immediately went to read the second New York Times Article, what a shock. Probably we never think about how can our actions or lack of them, cause such a horrible outcome. From now on safety would be a priority in every actions I make, thinking how some situation can affect me or others. In Spanish there is a saying or proverb "We sin by commission and by omission" (Se peca por acción o por omisión). Something to raise awareness about hoarding situations.

Thank you Linda for your post.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

Nacho- Always great to have you with us for our conversations…this time about motivation, boundaries, clutter, and more. Thank you for being here. Glad you found the five questions useful. The NY Times article definitely brings an awareness of safety issues around extreme clutter. But as you said, it also reminds us that our actions can effect not just us, but others (and not always in a positive way.)

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Congratulations on your recent media coverage, and on the clever way you've incorporated both pieces into the current theme of your blog. You are, as always, Oh, So Inspiring!

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

For me it is all about priorities. I want my space and my schedule to have room for my top priorities. Anything which interferes with where and how I want to live is an encumbrance, so I let it go.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

Seana, what a simple, yet powerful, philosophy - something to keep in mind, for sure.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

So great to "hear" your voices!

@Janet- Thanks so much for your congrats and for your thumbs up from the blogging maven about melding media and theme. Like you, love Seana's "simple, yet powerful, philosophy" about her priorities.

@Seana- Figuring out one's priorities can be tricky. But once those are clear, it can make the other pieces (space, time, thoughts) fall into place more easily. Well…"easily" might not be quite the right word choice. Any of this takes thought, commitment, and flexibility to rework things as life shifts.

July 16, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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