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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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« What Can "Blank" Do For You? | How to Get a Fresh Start After Embarrassing Yourself »

How to Use That Energy Boost You Get From a Fresh Start

Have you experienced the surge of energy you feel after you’ve cleared? The cleared I’m referring to comes in many forms from spaces to thoughts to time. There’s a feeling of lightness, as if we've dropped pounds. There’s a lightness of spirit with a dab of euphoria. When we’re weighted down by our “stuff,” our thoughts and being becomes sluggish. Clearing, decluttering, reducing, editing, and lightening, often bring about a positive, happy feeling.

What can you do with that lightness? That feeling can be accompanied by clarity of thought, openness for opportunities, ability to stretch towards new goals, and desire to embrace a fresh start.

I have three simple experiences to share that connect with this idea. I’d love to hear about your experiences too.


Year End Clearing

At the end of each calendar year, I go through our financial files and remove the receipts and bank statements from my filing cabinet, organize them into oversized, labeled envelopes, and put them into a labeled storage box. By the end of the year, these receipts and statements take up a lot of real estate in my file drawer. It always feels great to remove them in order to make room for the current year.

This year, after I ousted the files, I took a few minutes to appreciate and acknowledge the cleared space. My file drawer was no longer crammed and I could easily access the remaining files. I felt freer and both physically and mentally ready to handle the current year.


Card Clearing

In that same drawer was a file that held cards and notes I’d received from family and friends. The easy access file is the temporary holding spot until it becomes too full. When it does, I get out the step ladder and transfer the cards into one of three purple “card” boxes stored in a nearby closet. When I pulled out the boxes, I discovered they were full.

Instead of buying more boxes I decided to keep only as many cards as the boxes would hold. It meant I needed to do some editing, which I did. Then I organized the boxes by category – one for my husband’s cards, one for our daughters, and one from everyone else.

My drawer was lighter, my boxes were clearer, and I felt grateful and happy rereading these beautiful messages from my loved ones.


Mind Clearing

Later this week, I’ll be traveling to St. Louis for an ICD Board meeting. One of my favorite parts of traveling is the airplane time. I’ve written about this often and it’s worth mentioning again. My “air” time is for clearing my thoughts. I think, read, and write without any distractions or interruptions. I’m looking forward to the energy boost and clarity that will result. I’ll go forward with a renewed outlook and openness to ideas and possibilities. It works every time.

What have you cleared? What have you noticed as a result? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation.





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Reader Comments (16)

I couldn't agree more! In fact, I use it in my tagline because clearing is freedom! My husband got the bug over the weekend (which isn't typical for him), and he cleared all of his golf stuff from the garage, the mudroom, and his car. I'm donating a bunch of stuff today, and it feels wonderful.

January 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

@Seana- Ahhh. I see that your tagline says, "Freedom Through Organization!" You're so right. Very cool that your husband was on a mission this weekend with organizing his areas. Was there anything in particular that motivated him to organize? Just curious. How awesome that as a result you can go on a donation run…and that you feel "wonderful!" Nice way to begin the New Year!

January 19, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I absolutely agree. Clearing and culling collections are really freeing! I also empty the files in my drawers in early January and love that I can once again file my invoices and receipts effortlessly. I think I've mentioned this before but walking my dogs in the very early pre-dawn morning helps me to clear my mind and prepare for the day ahead. I love this 30 minute walk. I always come home feeling ready to really start my day.

January 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

Wonderful experiences you had Linda. My clearing was a little more daunting. one week ago I gave my boss my notice, and next Friday I'm leaving my day job for 18 years to pursue my career as full time professional organizer. I booked a client almost two hours by plane away from my city. It's a big job and although I'm scare because I'm on my own I feel lightness in my body which make me go faster, further and full of confidence. I'll use the air time to think about this new path.
Thank you Linda your post is right on time with the things around me.

January 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

I was thinking the other day Linda, it was time to go through paper work ready for tax season, and make a pile for shredding, that always makes me feel lighter. Thank you for the reminder.

January 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

I love all these "lightening-up" stories. Thank you for sharing!

@Diane- Looks like we were file-drawer-emptying-buddies. Feels good, doesn't it? I love your commitment to your pre-dawn morning walk. I love walking too, but admit that the cooler weather is a deterrent for me. I need to get out more. The benefits of walking are undeniable.

@Nacho- WOW! Congratulation on taking this big step…leaving your job of 18 years to pursue your organizing career. I know that you've been working towards this. I remember when I made the leap. I was scared, but it was also exhilarating and one of the best decisions I ever made. I wish you continued success.

@Jill- There's something equally satisfying about shredding. Yes…it's tax time, which is a great time to review and clear papers. Have fun clearing and shredding!

January 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Towards the end of 2015, I went through my task list, moved many of the "someday maybe" items to OneNote, and deleted others. It was liberating!

January 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- That sounds fantastic! Nothing like cleaning up the list. I'm not familiar with OneNote. Can you tell me more about it and how you use it?

January 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

I love the energy that comes from a refreshed space. It's clearing out the stuff but also freshening up your perspective by viewing what's left. I take the opportunity at the new year to make the most of clearing out. It's a real boost when it's dark during the winter season.

January 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

My 'early in the year' clearing comes in the form of an annual weekend away in mid January. It puts some closure on the holiday season and it's a mental or mindset reset for work and personal life. I can calmly move into this year. Really helpful 'reset' time.

January 20, 2016 | Unregistered Commentersue west

Great to have you with us!

@Ellen- You're so right that when we clear our spaces, it's an opportunity for a new perspective or view. With the space clearer, we SEE more clearly things that might have been out of focus. It's also true that with the darker season of winter, clearing our spaces can bring that extra boost and lightness that's much needed.

@Sue- What a great tradition you have of your annual weekend getaway that you use as your year end closure and "reset" time! My year-end patterns have changed over the years since our daughters have left the nest. I miss some of the traditions we had. You've inspired me to think about how to create a new tradition that has the closure and reset elements that you've described. Thank you for that.

January 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Nice one .... For me, this year will give a free and good mindset.. the past year just fall in the Weekend and so this new year already brings some new and good things to me.. I can move this year in complete calm.. Really "Helping Reset Time"

January 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMerin

OneNote is similar to Evernote, but it's a Microsoft product. I have Notebooks for each project, and each one has Sections and Pages. For example, I have a Notebook for my Your Organizing Business blog, and the sections include Plans+Ideas, Guest Bloggers, and POBC. In the Blog Carnival section, I have a page for Topic Ideas, one for this year's schedule, and one for each month.

It integrates with my Outlook email, so if I receive an email from a potential guest blogger, I can just send it to OneNote, file it as a new page in the appropriate section, and get rid of the email.

I haven't been using it regularly for very long, but I sure wish I'd started sooner!

January 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Merin- Great to hear that your year is off to a good, calm beginning!

@Janet- OneNote sounds like a great tool…especially if you use it. I've attended several EverNote seminars. It's enticing, but I haven't yet fully committed to using it. I'd have to abandon my other systems and while EverNote has the promise to make certain things more streamlined, I'm not fully convinced that it will work for me. But after reading your message, it may be time for me to reconsider…again. :)

January 20, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I know what you mean, Linda. There are so many tools out there that promise to make our work and lives so much easier and more efficient, but it takes a certain investment of time just to try them out and it seems like such a waste if it doesn't turn out to be a good fit.

February 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- And to complicate things, new tools and apps arrive daily (or so it seems.) In general, I believe that if something is working, then there's not a good reason to disrupt the systems. However, there are times (life changes and transition times) when the systems we've relied on no longer are effective. And those are the times when it's more than worth investigating other possibilities.

February 7, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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