Since I hit the second trimester of my pregnancy many weeks ago, I've been in a cleaning and organizing frenzy! And when my cleaning and organizing overhaul is complete, no drawer, shelf or corner shall have gone untouched. Because, for me, organizing is like getting a massage, pedicure and facial all in one. It puts me in a state of calm. How long that calm will last? Well no one knows. But it feels good nonetheless! I love having the peace of mind that comes with knowing where everything is- from that cord I use to upload pictures from my camera to that paper that has the WEP password for our wireless router written on it! (C'mon, you all know what I'm talking about!) 






The description of the The Other Side Of Organized reads as follows: Organizing is about more than just finding a place for everything. It's about finding a level of order that's comfortable for you, discovering places and people that renew your energy, and being organized enough to feel balanced. Linda Samuels will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life's details and make time to embrace your passions.


Linda was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about her book.


Lisa Steinke: What was your inspiration to write your book?


Linda Samuels: : There are many fabulous “how-to” organizing books available, but none that address the philosophical issues about organizing, life balance and how to focus on what is truly important. I wanted to share a gentler, hopeful message for all those that struggle with disorganization, know someone that struggles or is a helper to those that are organizationally challenged.


LS: If you had to pick your biggest organizing challenge, what would it be? 


LS: My biggest organizing challenge is balancing my ambitious "to do" list with having enough time to relax and rejuvenate. It's an ever-shifting dance to finding the right balance between doing and not doing. 

LS: What's one tip you would give to people who are trying to be organized?


LS: Be patient. Achieving the amount of organization that is right for you is possible, but it takes time.


 I couldn't agree more! And I encourage all of you to snap up a copy of Linda Samuel's book ASAP! And you should also check out her website, where she's featuring a fabulous giveaway from now until November 11th where you can win a prize pack worth over $250, including everything from a $50 gift card to The Container Store to Being Perfect by Anna Quindlen.


I'd like to give a big thanks to Linda Samuels for participating in the Q&A and for helping us all find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection!


What books about organizing do you love?



by WriterCrys on ‎11-08-2010 03:11 PM

I love this post - it's always so hard to work your way through all the hundreds of books about getting uber-organized. I like this one, it sounds perfect for me and what a great contest too!!

by Blogger LisaSteinke on ‎11-08-2010 03:19 PM

WirterCrys- I so agree! I'm glad I could find a great one to recommend!

by JillG on ‎11-09-2010 10:29 AM

Oh thank you, Lisa!  This is just what I needed to see/hear this morning as I walked around the house thinking...ugh....pile here, pile there...where to start.....I really need to get organized.  Then I sat down at the computer and saw your post and the guilt and stress melted away!  It's more about living life, than organizing it...just needed a reminder!  Thanks!

by placidtwilight on ‎11-09-2010 10:55 AM

I just love organization books in general.  They're my inspirational reading.

by Blogger LisaSteinke on ‎11-09-2010 11:58 AM

JillG- I'm so happy you are going to read this book! It will help!

by Blogger LisaSteinke on ‎11-09-2010 11:59 AM

placidtwilight- I couldn't agree more!

by lt60 on ‎11-19-2010 09:38 PM

When I read this topic, I was intrigued again by the idea of how- to books about being organized, especially one that addresses the "philosophical issues of organizing." It took me a long time to realize there was a philosophical side,but I think I have learned what it means.


Many years ago, as a young wife and new housekeeper, I read an article about how to quickly make the house appear neat and clean, i.e. little things you can do to make things look better and the occupants feel better. I was surprised to find I already did them. Hmmm.....I felt silly in a way, for thinking that people needed to be taught things like that.


Years later, as children came along and the necessary and now missed chaos of living with them and their stuff, I knew that while people sometimes advised letting some clutter go and just trying to live with it, I would never be able to do that. I was not one that sterilized toys each night, but you can bet I put them away in an at least semi neat pile.


Small houses present challenges of their own as a family grows. I continually improvised ways to keep books, toys, games, etc. in some kind of order which allowed us to walk through the house and at the same time, allowed the kids to enjoy their toys (okay, I admit on my grouchy days, I just wanted things neat - period).


The children got older, their "stuff" was more under their control and I discovered I had a neatnik and a total opposite (slob seems a harsh word). I had a very difficult time accepting this mess, even though an older and wiser mom who raised six kids advised me to just close the door. I tried.


One snowy horrible night as I worried my husband home through is 50+ mile trip from work, I found myself cleaning and straightening the contents of any drawer that was downstairs. I put things in order, stacked, filed, rubber banded, boxed, - you name it, I found a way to do it.


Maybe I am not as bright as I thought I was when I read that first article on keeping things neat. The organizing activities I often engaged in were a therapy to stay calm and control something when life is out of control. Husband making a dangerous ride home ? Time to get to the drawers. Children worrying you about something? Why not go to the attic and tear things apart and put them together in a new and better way? Someone you love sick? Time to put all the Christmas ornaments in plastic storage boxes (I actually did all the holiday decorations that way and people hate me; too bad!).


At the tender age of early senior citizenship, I recognize now what organizing, reorganizing, checking the reorganizing can do.  A measure of control, a stress reliever, an activity that gives immediate sense of accomplishment.


At work, I have been told that I could be an organizer for a living. A relative likes it when I fix her cabinet contents for her. Stores love it when I walk through because I neaten as I go.


So I will have to read Linda Samuels book and see what she has to say. And, hey, maybe we can share some tips.

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