The Other Side of Organized: a review and giveaway

3 February 2010

My friend and fellow organizer, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®, has just published a fabulous new book called The Other Side of Organized: Finding Balance Between Chaos and Perfection. She sent me a copy for review and at the end of this post I’ll tell you how you can enter to receive a copy too.

I love this book. I’ll start by telling you what it’s not: It’s not a how-to. It’s not full of tips on getting organized. It’s not written for any special population. There are lots of great books out there like that.

The Other Side of Organized is different. It’s a slender, nicely designed volume full of short essays on getting and being organized and on balancing your life. As I read it, the word “gentle” kept coming to mind. Linda, a veteran organizer, is very gentle to her reader. She’s not telling you what to do. She’s suggesting ways of thinking and doing.

The book is very nicely written and full of insights. Linda’s writing tone is gentle, kind and patient. I think one of the reasons I like it so much is that Linda and I share a lot of the same ideas and attitudes about organizing.

Here are some of my favorite passages:

Why is it so hard to let go? We hold on to our possessions, our busy schedules, and our familiar routines. Do we think that if we let go, we will lose a part of who we are? We can potentially hold on so tightly that we deny ourselves the joy felt from releasing, making space for something wonderful, and experiencing tremendous growth.

I’ve been surprised more than once to discover that one person’s organizing starting point is an other person’s end goal.

Be kind to yourself. If you can’t decide between organizing or going for a walk, take the walk, clear your head and then come back and reset your timer for a 15-minute organizing session.

In discussing tackling projects, Linda advises the reader to break it down into small parts, then:

Stay with the project from start to finish, understanding that there will be distractions and life challenges along the way that can pull you off course. Just recognize that challenges are an integral, normal part of the process. The key is coming back even after you’ve been sidetracked.

Would you like to win a free autographed copy of The Other Side of Organized: Finding Balance Between Chaos and Perfection? To enter, just leave a comment below. For an extra entry, tweet about the giveaway on Twitter (in addition to your comment). Please be sure to put @janinea in the tweet so I’ll see it. The winner will be selected at random on Saturday afternoon (February 6, 2010).

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Wow – would LOVE this book! NEED this book! “Why is it so hard to let go?” really resonates with me. Thanks!

Nicole 02/03/2010 10:38 AM

It will be great to read what someone has to say about the very topic that I think us Organizers are skipping over ~ the mental part of organizing. Often people can’t just “get organized.” They need to change their mindset. Can’t wait to read this one.

Debbie 02/03/2010 10:38 AM

Oh, this sounds perfect for me – the balance between absolute organization and, well, my everyday is such a constant struggle.

Heather 02/03/2010 10:43 AM

Wow, sounds great! I sure could use this book!

Sally 02/03/2010 08:11 PM

Oh, I can’t wait to read it. As you say, it sounds “gentle”. Great to hear about a book which acknowledges there is more than one way to be organised.

Angela Esnouf 02/04/2010 05:09 AM

This sounds like a wonderful book. Sometimes people need to be encouraged, rather than instructed.

Janet Barclay 02/04/2010 08:55 AM

Would LOVE to win this! It sounds like a wonderful book!

Katie 02/04/2010 09:02 AM

This is especially interesting to me, because recently my greatest progress in my decades-long struggle to get organized has been not in my actual level of organization, but in my comfort with my current balance between organization and chaos. I still want to get more organized, but the goal is shifting to something that seems more attainable.

Jennifer 02/04/2010 11:49 AM

I would love to win this book and then I would blog a review.

Diane 02/04/2010 04:18 PM

This sounds like a great book! Pick me! Pick me! :)


Aby 02/05/2010 07:21 AM

Sounds like a wonderful read – I’d love a chance to win it :) Thanks!

Jess 02/05/2010 07:29 AM

I’d love to win this book and be able to share some if its good ideas with all of us out there who need to be better organized!

Christine Simiriglia 02/05/2010 08:41 AM

Would love to check out this book and share it with my web visitors.

Terry Matlen, ACSW 02/05/2010 09:26 AM

Janine, I’m really eager to read Linda’s new book. As a CPO-CD, her insights should be especially helpful, and it sounds like our professional philosophies dovetail. (Don’t you hate when you’re reading a book and get so annoyed at the author, you want to shout back your own debate? Just me, then?) I hadn’t even heard of it until I read your post the other day, but now word is buzzing everywhere.

Julie Bestry 02/05/2010 12:02 PM

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About Janine

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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Recommended *

  • Getting to Good Enough podcast

  • NAPO Golden Circle