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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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5 Powerful Ways That Will Prep You for Organizing Success & More

One of the things I love about living in the northeast is experiencing the change of the four distinct seasons. Every three months, nature’s cues offer us an opportunity to rethink, reset, and regroup. With the arrival of September and fall quickly approaching, this is an ideal time of year to prepare for successful organizing outcomes and other significant goals. Combining specific actions with mindfulness perspectives can enhance your success. While there are many ways to gear up for success, I’ve compiled a short list of five useful ideas for you to experiment with. I’m excited for you and all of the success that you are about to experience. Which of these concepts will help you in the next few months?


5 Powerful Ways That Will Prep You for Organizing Success & More . . .


1. Do one thing. 

When we’re in pursuit of a goal, we can quickly become overwhelmed by the enormity of what we want to accomplish. The end isn’t visible. And guess what? When overwhelm takes hold, it can stop us from moving forward. Instead, we feel stuck. We procrastinate. It’s like being immobile at the intersection, continually waiting for that red light to turn green. What’s helpful in these situations is to do one tiny, small action that will move us toward our organizing or other goals. Take your foot off of the break, go through one pile of papers, drop off the no longer needed bag of clothing at the donation center, or set-up an appointment with your professional organizer. Use that one small success to get you going and encourage more. Build from there.



2. Open up thinking.

So often when we’re in the midst of change, we desire something different, but we don't know what that will look or feel like. So instead of being open to the new, we dig in and hold on to what we know. While I understand this and believe me, I’ve had my share of digging in, being open to possibilities will lead to successful outcomes. Mindful awareness comes first. Pay attention to when you are gripping tightly to the known. Notice when you are dismissive of a new opportunity, possibility, or idea. Stop. Slow yourself down. Take a few deep breaths. As you exhale, notice your body relaxing and letting go. With each out-breath, imagine your hold loosening. Remind yourself that success often involves doing or thinking about things differently. In this more relaxed state, you will be poised and ready to consider a new perspective that will lead to unimagined success.



3. Say “yes” to now.

One of the conflicts that my organizing clients frequently encounter is the pull between the past and the present. They are deeply connected to the emotions and physical possessions from the past. At the same time, they feel burdened and weighed down by all of their stuff. They are in conflict between holding on and letting go. It can be an internal tug of war, and a painful one at that. One of the ways to ease this challenge is by focusing on the present. Use the “you are here” locator icon to decide which of your belongings support who you are and what you are doing today. Everyone has a past. While the past has created who we are, not all accouterments from previous times need to remain with us in the present. Saying, “yes” to now can encourage more successful decision-making as we organize and create the life we truly want.



4. Embrace “niksen.”

Many of you are probably familiar with the popularized Danish word, hygeewhich is a mood of coziness, contentment, and well-being created by enjoying the simple things in life. There is also, lagom, the Swedish concept of approaching life with an “everything in moderation” mindset. Now there is a Dutch idea that is trending. Niksen is the act of doing nothing or being idle as a way of managing stress and burnout. It encourages an antidote to busyness. You dial things down by just hanging out, looking at your environment, or listening to music without multitasking. The idea is doing something without a purpose. So how does this relate to success?  Sometimes in the quest for our goal, we become hyper-focused at the exclusion of everything and everyone else. Our disconnectedness can lead to exhaustion, frustration, and discouragement. Adding niksen or doing nothing into the mix can rejuvenate us. After a break, we can return to goal chasing with renewed clarity and energy.



5. Acknowledge uncertainty.

When we are chasing a goal, whether that is how we edit and organize our stuff or how we select the priorities included in each day, we are shifting the status quo. While we might be uncomfortable, which is why we are pursuing something new, our shift in habits and patterns along the way, can be unsettling. We can feel unprotected like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. What will happen? Will we land in one piece? The simple acknowledgment that you are doing something unfamiliar, scary, and different is essential. It doesn’t diminish the anxiety you might feel. And I’m not suggesting that you actually jump without a chute. But acknowledgment of your circumstance can ease some of your stress. Recognize that uncertainty is key to growth and change. It’s ok to be uncomfortable. It’s ok to be unsure. In the pursuit of a fresh challenge, you can experience the confidence and satisfaction that comes with successfully reaching a goal.

Whether you take action, a break from it, open the mind to new ideas, or simply recognize the uncertainty that comes with change, you have the opportunity to prepare yourself for organizing success and more. Which ideas resonate with you? What has helped you with reaching goals? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I invite you to join the conversation.





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Reader Comments (8)

I would definitely like to learn more about niksen and how to practice it.

September 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

I like the idea of using the change of seasons to do something new, create a new habit, get a project done, etc. I think a season is a short enough window to create urgency and a long enough window to solidify a new habit.

September 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Schiesl

Ah yes, we are on the same page this week! It must be the crisp touch in the air that gets us thinking about what is next, right? As I ponder #2 I am thinking about a phrase I saw: "Imagine what could go right." So often I am focused on thinking ahead to problems and how to be prepared for them that I can miss the joy of envisioning all the good things that might happen. It is a small phrase, but I have found myself saying it often now.

September 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

@Janet B.- Isn't it fascinating how a single concept or word can catch our attention? In these days of rushing, busyness, and 24/7, the idea of intentionally setting aside time to "do nothing" is so appealing. Growing up, I remember there was a lot of downtime. Time to wander. Time to explore. Time to play. Time to be without an agenda.

September 3, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Janet S.- One of the things I love most about living in the northeast is the opportunity the change of seasons offers. Your clarification about a season is right on: "...a short enough window to create urgency and a long enough window to solidify a new habit." Love that!

September 3, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Seana- Nice being on the same page with you this week. Mind meld. Thank you for offering up that powerful phrase, "Imagine what could go right." While I understand what you say about often being in the proactive, solution-oriented, planning for the "what ifs" mode, this can sometimes have us live in a negative realm. But turning the what-ifs 180 degrees allows us to frame the possibilities in a more positive light. Terrific!

You also remind me of something else with your phrase. When I'm working with a client, even though they've hired me to help with what isn't working, I'm always on the look for what IS working...or what is going right. Not only do I use those to help build a client's confidence, but also to find clues for how we can build off those systems or concepts to help in the more challenging areas.

September 3, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Even when I have no agenda, I find it difficult to just do nothing. I always want to be reading, or doing a crossword puzzle, or whatever I can find to occupy myself. I should make a point of trying it once in a while - I'm sure it will be worthwhile!

September 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet B.- I completely understand what you're mean. The art of just being and NOT doing takes some practice. I don't think the point of niksen is to have some "idle" moments. They aren't empty of nothingness, but they are moments without a specific goal. So listening to music would count if you only did that (no crossword puzzling or texting simultaneously.) Or, sitting and just noticing the sounds around you. Those are both doing something, but not the typical goal-oriented activities that we often engage.

For me, daily meditation is one way I engage in just being. I suppose in one sense it might be a contradiction. My goal is to meditate daily. But while I'm doing that, I practice being present. I guess all of this is to say that it does take practice, especially if we tend to be goal-focused or used to always being in motion.

September 3, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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