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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's Are Today's Interesting Finds? - v23

The newest installment (v23) of the “What’s Interesting?” feature is here with my recent discoveries that inform, educate, and relate to organizing and life balance. I’ve included unique and inspiring clutter-related finds, which reflect this month’s blog theme. You are such a wonderfully, engaged group. I am grateful for your presence and wisdom.

I look forward to your participation and additions to the collection I’ve sourced. What do you find interesting?


What’s Interesting? . . .


1. Interesting Read – Clutter Release

If your home is overrun with stuff and you’re ready to declutter and simplify, Who Am I Now? – Realign Your Home and Lifeby author, professional organizer, and coach, Kate Varness, CPO-CD®, COC®, MA is an excellent guidebook for you. Kate says, “Your life is a hero’s journey…It will require you to wake up and step bravely into the unknown.”  Her book comes with a free downloadable, printable companion workbook to use with it. This book is especially helpful for people experiencing a life transition, feeling overwhelmed, are unsure of how to start, or what to let go. Kate uses stories and a step-by-step process to help you realign your home to match your current needs. Encouraging you at every turn, she says, “Step bravely away from the clutter and the pain of what’s not working into new possibilities.” 



2. Interesting Perspective – Clutter Tolerance

While many believe that there is a “right” way or “one” way to be organized, it just isn’t so. We are different with diverse needs and preferences. For organizing strategies to be effective, they have to reflect your uniqueness. So while I might prefer to have my clothes hanging in my closet, facing the same direction on matching hangers, by clothing type and in color order, you might prefer piling your clothes on the floor. For me, that would feel like too much clutter, but for you, it might not. If “floordrobe” works for you, go for it! Being organized and clutter tolerance looks and feels different for each of us. Do you consider yourself clutter sensitive or clutter blind?



3. Interesting Article  – Clutter Overload

In the Intellectual Takeout article by Daniel Lattier, 15 Stats That Show Americans Are Drowning in ‘Stuff,’ he writes about how much time we spend accumulating and organizing our belongings. Lattier’s insight, which is confirmed by interesting stats collected by minimalist and author, Joshua Becker, says, “Americans simply own too much stuff.” If you want less clutter, own fewer things. Below are several of the stats:


  • “There are 300,000 items in the average American home.”  – LA Times
  • “British research found that the average 10-year old owns 238 toys, but plays with just 12 daily.”   – The Telegraph
  • “Some reports indicate we consume twice as many material goods today as we did 50 years ago.”  – The Story of Stuff
  • “Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually on nonessential goods – in other words, items they do not need.”  – The Wall Street Journal



4. Interesting Trend – Clutter Transaction

One way to reduce clutter is to stop purchasing things. Several years ago, two friends from Washington, Rebecca Rockefeller and Liesl Clark decided to do just that. They began The Buy Nothing Project, which has become a worldwide social movement. Their concept was to create an “experimental hyper-local gift economy.” People join to reduce clutter or to save money by getting things for free. They use Facebook groups as their communication platform. These are their rules: “Post anything you’d like to give away, lend, or share amongst neighbors. Ask for anything you’d like to receive for free or borrow. Keep it legal. Keep it civil. No buying or selling, no trades or bartering, we’re strictly a gift economy.” 



5. Interesting Thought – Clutter Call

This reminds me of The Beatles song, All You Need Is Love. Substitute the four-letter L-word, “love” for “less.” If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the clutter in your life, this may be the inspiration (and song) that you need to let go and experience how it feels to live with less. Sing along with The Beatles and me, “All you need is less, daah-dah daah-dah dah . . .”




What are your exciting finds? Which of these resonate with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Join the conversation!





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Reader Comments (16)

Aw, I love all of these! Now I will be singing in my head all day:) I love the idea of providing a workbook to go along with the theory. Good for Kate Varness providing such a practical tool. It can feel overwhelming. The key to me in the various organizing styles is to help clients understand what they really want. I have definitely learned to follow a client's lead, as he or she is the one who actually lives there. It is silly to set things up in a way that works for me if it doesn't work for the client. For example, I see lots of beauty shots of pantries with clear containers. Yes, those are wonderful if you enjoy taking the time to transfer food out of the original packaging and into the clear containers. But, if that feels like a waste of time, you might just end up crowding the pantry with empty clear containers (that you never refilled), jammed in the back behind the original packaging which works perfectly well. It's all about finding your personal sweet spot!

May 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

@Seana- I appreciate your enthusiasm and am so glad that you enjoyed all of the finds. Nice to know that we'll be singing along together too :) Kate is an insightful organizer, coach, and guide. She provided a workbook for those that didn't want to write directly in the book. Smart. I agree with you that our clients know best. As organizers, we can help ask questions to draw out what they already know, but might not be as aware their strengths. You're so right about the pretty pantry shots. I enjoy seeing them too. And even though they look beautiful, they might not be practical for everyone.

May 25, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

The Buy Nothing Project fascinates me. I am already a member of a similar group, but it's mainly about sharing physical goods rather than services or some of the other things mentioned. It's become part of my way of life!

May 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Interesting finds Linda. I have never heard to FLOORDROBE (like it!) and I'll read CLUTTER OVERLOAD now. I have thought of starting a BUY NOTHING group through Nextdoor. My immediate neighbors and I share some things already. It's wonderful to be able to borrow something you use once a year (like a tall ladder) knowing that you'll be able to share your large coffee maker at another time.

May 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Schiesl

Great word, "Floordrobe." My daughter tends to be OK with clutter around her room while my son doesn't want it to be on the floor, limiting his space to walk around his room. I prefer to have nothing on the floor that doesn't belong there. But, recently I am also transitioning to fewer items on surfaces as my kids get older.

My recent revelation is I get a higher level of satisfaction when I repurpose items than just purchased or purging items. I guess it is because I don't want to contribute to the clutter in the world by just giving it away nor do I want to spend more money on items. I call this process "Creative repurposing."

May 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina Quairoli

I love these finds. Kate's book is fabulous. I agree with the above comments on organizing for our clients - learning how they want to retrieve their things, where they typically look for items - even if it is unconventional - and creating an organizational system that will work for them. I will be singing along with you and Seana. I love the idea of all you need is less! Thank you for that. I'm going to teach my clients to sing it also!

May 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

@Janet B.- That is so cool that you are part of a sharing group and how much you've integrated into your life. One of the points mentioned in the description of the Buy Nothing Project was just that- how it becomes a way of life. Does your group run itself using Facebook too, or does it use another mode of communication?

May 27, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Janet S.- Many thanks. If floordrobe is new, have you ever heard of chairdrobe? Several years ago, I wrote about that in another "What's Interesting?" feature. It's another fun definition. How great that you already do some sharing with your neighbors. I'd love to hear more about it if you end up starting a Buy Nothing group. Keep me posted.

May 27, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Sabrina- I love your description about the clutter preferences you and your kids have. It's important to recognize and honor those differences. It's the differences that can cause the most conflict in households but establishing "private" and "communal" areas can help with those types of challenges. For the private spaces, each person creates their space (or level of clutter) they prefer. In the communal areas, you set up respect rules and get agreement on them. Kudos to you for your "creative repurposing" efforts.

May 27, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Diane- I'm happy you loved the finds. It's always so much fun to discover different ways to look at organizing and life balance. I'm in total agreement with you about Kate's book. She's a rock star!

I look forward to hearing you sing along from afar. Sometimes those sing-songy messages provide us with enough lightness and humor to tackle our challenges. I wish you and your clients all the best as they test out the tune.

May 27, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

For many years BUY NOTHING has intrigued me. It's about buying just what is essential. I am looking forward to looking into this more. As I reviewed the website, I love the community that is being built!

May 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

@Ellen- It is an interesting project and way of life. The emphasis seems to be on buying nothing, although I suspect that's not 100% possible. Perhaps groceries aren't part of this. But in general, there are so many other opportunities for purchasing less, saving money, and building community. The community aspect seems to be one of the hidden perks of living this type of lifestyle.

May 28, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

The group I belong to is on Facebook, and it's a secret group, i.e. invitation only. The person who runs it created it because the group she (and I) belonged to previously had too much drama in it, so that's something to watch out for and nip in the bud if necessary.

May 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet B.- That sounds so mysterious. Drama is a challenge to manage when it comes to groups, but it also is such a common thing. What a good workaround you did by starting a "secret" group.

May 28, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I can't take any credit - I'm just a group member. I honestly don't know how the leader has time to run the group on top of her job and family responsibilities!

May 31, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- Sounds like a great group with a terrific leader!

June 1, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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