Oct. 14, 2021

Part 1: 5 Types of Clutter You Can Get Organized Now with Linda Samuels

Part 1: 5 Types of Clutter You Can Get Organized Now with Linda Samuels

Having organizing systems in place can be so helpful as we go through life and as we handle life’s transitions.  When clutter of different varieties interrupts our ability to concentrate and to grow and change to our full potential, it often is a great idea to call in professional help.

My guest in this episode, Linda Samuels, has been in the organizing field for 30 years, and she is someone who is “born organized.”  Linda discusses how she has helped clients move through different phases of life.  She also demonstrates how she works with a deep sensitivity to what each client needs in their life and wishes from their stuff and their space.  

I learned so much from Linda in this episode, and I’m so grateful to be able to share her work with you now.  I am looking forward to also sharing the results I get from working with Linda, as I’ve hired her to work with me for three virtual organizing sessions.  You’ll hear all about that decluttering journey in Episode 45!

Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®, CVPO™, is a compassionate, enthusiastic Professional Organizer and Coach, founder of Oh, So Organized!, Professional Organizer Advisor for Executive Mom Nest, and blogger on organizing and life balance. In addition to offering virtual organizing to clients worldwide, Linda presents workshops, writes, and mentors other Professional Organizers. Media features include WNYC's All of It, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, Westchester Magazine, and Entrepreneur.com. Linda lives with her husband between two rivers 30 miles north of New York City, in a small, colorful home with a purple front door. They are empty-nesters as their children are in the world living their adult lives.

Timestamps: 

  • [3:49] Linda’s passion for working to help those who struggle with organizing
  • [7:04] How Linda created her business as a professional organizer
  • [11:13] The ways our attachment to our stuff is an emotional matter
  • [15:45] Linda’s philosophy of creating the right space for her clients
  • [26:05] What to know when you’re starting to declutter
  • [34:39] The 5 most common areas of clutter

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For more information on the Make Time for Success podcast, visit:

https://www.maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com

Connect with Us!

Dr. Christine Li -

Website: https://www.procrastinationcoach.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/procrastinationcoach

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/procrastinationcoach/

Linda Samuels -

Website: https://www.ohsoorganized.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lindasamuels/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ohsoorganizedlindasamuels/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ohsoorganized/

Note: To get access to the free workbook Cut the Clutter based on the work I did in my sessions with Linda Samuels, go to https://www.maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com/clutter

Transcript

Christine Li:

Welcome back to The make time for success Podcast. I am Dr. Christine Li your host, and this is episode 44. Sometimes you have to take dramatic action to get the changes you really want in your life. For me, clutter has been the biggest seeable blocker for me for some time. And I wanted to finally become the boss of my clutter, instead of always having to tolerate it being around me. And what I decided to do to address this issue was to invite my special guest, Linda Samuels to the podcast for a double header. That's right Episode 44 this episode, and 45 the next episode is a comm bination of my conversation with Linda about all things clutter, and the review of my work with her. What I did was after recording Episode 44 with Linda, I hired her for three virtual organizing sessions to address the clutter issues that were real. In my real home. You're going to hear all about the results and my experience and the lessons that she had to teach me inside Episode 45. So Linda Samuels is a compassionate, enthusiastic, professional organizer and coach. She's the founder of Oso organized and she blogs on topics like organizing and life balance. In addition to offering virtual organizing to clients worldwide. Linda presents workshops, she writes and she mentors other professional organizers. I loved every minute of speaking with Linda receiving her kind help and making these episodes for you. I hope you enjoy listening to what we've been up to. And I think we should just go listen to Part one where Linda shares her experience as a professional organizer, and her best tips for living peacefully with our stuff. Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they can begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn about powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together so that you can focus on what's really important and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the make time for success podcast. Hi, everyone. I have the pleasure of welcoming Linda Samuels to the show. She is a friend of mine from the clear blue sky. I want to say I read about her in a Westchester newspaper several years ago. And I reached out to her soon after that we connected by phone, and we have never met. But I am so glad that we've stayed in touch. And I'm glad that she's offered to come on to the show today to share her wisdom about all things organizing with us today. Welcome to the show.

Linda Samuels:

Thank you so much for having me here. Christine. It's it's just great to be here.

Christine Li:

Beautiful to have you here. Can you start us off by telling us some more details about who you are, how you got here, what you love to do?

Linda Samuels:

Sure. So I am Linda Samuels, and I'm a professional organizer. I've been organizing for almost 30 years, which is hard to believe. And I specialize in working with clients that really struggle with the organizing piece in their life. I have multiple certifications. And I've had a lot of education and training in that although when I first started, there was no training. So I'm sort of one I'm not the first but early in the industry. But I love helping people with the parts of their lives that they're really struggling with. So that organizing piece feeling stuck feeling overwhelmed, feeling like their spaces, their homes just don't support who they are and who they want to be. And so I work with clients that are interested in making changes and it's it's just an honor and a privilege to be part of their lives and be part to help facilitate the change in their lives that they want. What's interesting Is that, you know, we had a pandemic this past year, right? Sort of still going on. And in that process, my business changed. And I think a lot of people's businesses changed. So I went from working in person with clients in their homes, in their offices and spaces, to working virtually, I thought it was going to be a temporary pivot. But it turned out that I loved it so much, they loved it so much, that it has become a permanent pivot. So I'm now also certified as a certified virtual Professional Organizer. And that is all that I do. So it's also changed, who I can help. Because now it's global, as opposed to local to the New York area. And the nature of the work is is different. It's exciting, you know, to be in this industry that long, and to have made that kind of pivot and find sort of a new way of helping people. A lot of the things that I do are similar, but there's also a lot of differences. So

Christine Li:

that is beautiful. There's a reason why I was reading that article. So long ago, I am interested in Linda's work because I do suffer from a clutter problem. And in full transparency, I will insert here that I have hired Linda, to coach me to work with me virtually. In the next few months, I've hired her for three virtual organizing sessions. And my plan is to share the process and the outcome and the joy of working with Linda, with all of you on the podcast. So look out for those episodes coming up. So thank you, Linda, for doing that with me. Linda, may I ask what was the original spark that made you think, okay, organizing is my area, or this is the thing that really makes sense for me.

Linda Samuels:

I love that question. Thank you. And also, I just I have to say before I answer the question, I can't wait to work with you. It's going to be so exciting. So thank you. So 30 years ago, I was working in the computer graphics industry. I had two babies, I had sort of known pretty much my whole life up until that point, that I always wanted my own business. And I realized that the business that I was working in, in computer graphics, it was deadline oriented, it really was not conducive to raising a family. And I was working really hard. I always worked really hard. And I'd rather work hard for building something of our own. So I started to think about what skills did I have? What could this business be? The logical thing would have been to open up a design studio. That was what I was doing. The problem was was time intensive, capital intensive, the technology was going to constantly be changing, and it wouldn't be different than what I was doing. So I started to think about skills. And the one thing that hit me was, I realized that in my life, people always said about me, oh, Linda, you're so organized, which is how I got the name of my company also organized. And I realized that while you know, in the organizing industry, we usually talk about organizers coming from two different camps. There's the organizers that consider themselves born organized. And those that have really struggled with organizing, and they've learned how to help others. So I was in that born organized camp. But I realized that it was a skill that while it was innate To me, it was a teachable skill. And at the same time, I was also recognizing that, you know, in most of like my growing up and in different jobs I had people noticed that about me that I was organized, it was an asset. But as a young parent with two kids, other moms were saying me, how are you managing all this? I kept thinking, How am I managing this? And I realized it was the organizational skills that I had that enabled me to do the things that I was doing. It didn't mean I didn't have any. I had some stress, let me I'm here, right? But I realized at that point, aha, this is a way I could help other parents with young kids. And so that was the idea was like, how can I take these skills and help other parents so once I had the idea, very quickly, within a few months, I set up my company like I got so excited. And what I learned was that the market and the client was way beyond just parents with young kids. Those were my initial types of clients and where I always marketed to, and then it shifted. So in 30 years, almost 30 years, I've had the privilege of working with people of all ages and stages of life and It's incredible to watch that arc of how people grow and change. And because of the nature of what I do the work, I have clients I've been working with for almost 30 years. And that used to be something I used to think I must be a terrible organizer. I've been working with that long. But I realized, it's partly the nature of the type of clients I work with. And also that when something happens in life, when there's a significant life transition, your organizing systems can go out of whack, and you need some help, reframing and thinking about those. So

Christine Li:

I am chuckling even though I'm not making audible noises about what you just said, and what a beautiful story, and I'm so glad to hear that your journey has been an organic and smooth one. And that is not always the case with my podcast guests. But that's a beautiful story of entrepreneurship, of having your work life makes sense with your personal life's needs, and that you get to be of service to so many people over such a long time. Could you tell me what your thoughts are about the crossover between doing psychotherapy type of work, and the personal work and the organizing work? what you've learned over the years,

Linda Samuels:

so I'm not a therapist. But the work that I do, there's a lot of emotion in there. So I read a lot. I've studied a lot about what makes people tick. But I'm definitely not a therapist. So for example, many of my clients have therapists, and depending on what's happening, when I'm initially called, and what they're telling me about, if it seems like the help they need is not an organizer, I will suggest that they reach out for the other type of professional help. Because I also believe that I'm here to help and not do damage. And so I don't want to step into an arena. That's not my expertise. I don't know if that answered your question. But

Christine Li:

I think that that answer was just reaffirming how much of a professional you are. I think what my question really was was, what have you learned about the emotional involvement in clutter? And in recovering from being a cluttered person?

Linda Samuels:

Ah, okay. Definitely a different question, or I heard it differently. Thank you. Appreciate the clarification.

Christine Li:

No problem.

Linda Samuels:

So in my world, and the world that I work with, with most of my clients, emotion, and the stuff of life is tied together. It's interwoven. And the struggle with clutter with letting go with what do we keep, what do we save what's meaningful or not, has to do with that attachment that people have to their stuff, and what that might represent in terms of their life. So for instance, I do work with people that are in transition. That's that's a frequent thing. And that could mean the birth of a baby divorce, loss of a loved one, a move, downsizing, you name it, there's an array of what a life transition might look like. But what that also means is that someone is going from defining themselves in a certain way, to changing and with that definition of who they were, there are things that are involved physical objects, that they may not be ready to let go of, because they feel like if they let go of something, they're letting go of a piece of who they are. So what I can say is that the process is nothing that I ever force. It involves a lot of questions, being gentle with someone really listening to what they're saying, and trying to help them tease through what is happening, what's important, and what's meaningful to be in their life now.

Christine Li:

Beautiful, so you need to be very patient. It sounds like

Linda Samuels:

very patient. I am a patient person. I'm only not patient with I think there's one area where I'm really not patient with and it has nothing to do with clients. I don't like being on the phone and being pulled up. I get really annoyed but but mostly everything else. I'm pretty patient in life.

Christine Li:

Can you tell me as a naturally organized person? How do you feel that piece of who you are helps with how you make decisions. How you get through your day. Just I guess this is not that clear question. It's kind of, because I'm not a born organized person. So I'm just kind of wanting to know what it's like to have that kind of clarity of this goes here, oh, this does not fit here. This is safe, I feel safe on a consistent basis. And I'm imagining that's what you allow your clients to embrace once you help them clear and organize their belongings?

Linda Samuels:

Yeah, so it's a very interesting question that you ask, and I'm gonna answer it, but with something with it, which is that organized feels and looks different for every person. So what feels and looks organized to me, and what's comfortable in my life, is going to look really different in a client's life. So I don't try to hold up what it is that I do. For someone else, I try to approach where they are, and try to find out what we're gonna feels like for them. So I say that only because I think that in the media, both in terms of different programs that are on in terms of what we see in magazines, what we read, there's this kind of look of what we should be, and I hate the should word, but what we should be, what organized should look like. And I actually reject that. Okay, so I want to say that because I can absolutely share with you the things that worked for me in my life and what that feels like. But that doesn't mean it's the way it just means it's what works for me. So is that fair,

Christine Li:

that is totally fair, I'm still going to ask what works for you.

Linda Samuels:

So what works for me is, I have places for things. So if I need a pair of scissors, I know where to go. If I need the pair of glasses, I know where to go, I actually have multiple glasses in multiple places so that I don't have to move them around. I have enough of what I need, but not more than I need. Which you know, I mean, I still always feel like, there's lots I could let go of, but I don't feel overwhelmed by the physical stuff in my office in my house and things like that. I have confidence in how my routines go and how I track my information. So if I want to find something, I can easily retrieve it and put it back. I also part of organizing to me isn't just the physical stuff. But it's also how we manage our time and how we move through our days and do our priorities in life match the activities that we're doing, do our priorities in life match where we're spending our buckets of time. So in my calendar, for example, there you'll I it's color, okay, I admit it's color coded, right, but and so, if you were to look at like, I know, I know, I'm gonna fess up here. But if you were to look at my calendar, you'd see blocks of color that represent, you know, it's actually there's only maybe there's like four different categories, but four or five, but um, you're also going to see whitespace and to me that whitespace is just as important as the colored blocks. And so I'm always very aware of that, that I give myself time for transitions, I don't set appointments, you know, but it up so there's no time to breathe and to, you know, take a bio break and stretch in between. So it's it's not just the physical, but it's also time. And I pay attention to making sure that I also have time for not just working, but for playing for relaxing for being with friends and family and things like that.

Christine Li:

Beautiful. I should note here that Linda has a beautiful blog that she posts and authors and Linda will share with us at the end of the episode how to connect with that blog, but I highly suggest that everyone listening, sign up for it because Linda is just as you can hear already a beautiful observer of life and an enjoyer of life. And I really enjoy having her letter in my inbox when I get it. Thank you. You're very welcome. So let's shift a little bit and talk about about the topic of clutter, if you don't mind. And if you could just give us a sense of how to begin to tackle that issue and what your understanding of it is.

Linda Samuels:

Sure. So, um, sometimes people talk about clutter as postpone decisions. That's a very common definition in our industry. And maybe there's some accuracy to that. But the one thing that I think about clutter is that to get a handle on it, which means to create spaces that feel right. And again, we all have different levels, I call it clutter tolerance of what clutter feels like. So for one person, a few pieces of paper on their desk feels like clutter. And for another room that you can't walk in, because it's piled, you know, floor to ceiling, that's clutter, and then there's everything in between. But to get from what your your own personal feeling of clutter or overwhelm is to the other side of it. It hinges on the quality of the questions that you ask. And so one of the things that I do when I'm working with people is that I listen. And I ask a lot of questions. And the questions aren't pointed. It's not like, why are you done? But it's there open ended questions, which help the person think about what they're struggling with the object or things in a different way? Hopefully, because when they finally answer themselves, then the solution usually is close to follow. If I tell them what it is, that doesn't empower them, to apply what we're doing in other aspects of their life. So that's kind of an over view, idea about it. But specifically, if someone is feeling overwhelmed by clutter, sure, it's great to know well ask good questions. But that doesn't really help. So what I would say is, overwhelm usually comes from when, whatever you're looking at, feels too much too big. It's almost like it's a blur, you can't distinguish where to begin, because it's just emotion that you're feeling, you're, you're paralyzed. So the best thing you can do is one to know that it doesn't matter where you start at all. Even though again, if a client's struggling, there are a series of questions we'll go through to figure out where a good place to start might be. But if you're just trying to do this on your own, you can start anywhere. The second thing is, start small. So the smaller you can make the step, the better you are. And by that it might mean, let's just say your desk is the area of contention, okay. And it's it's just piled high. There's things everywhere, you may or may not know where stuff is, but it's just overwhelming, and you don't need stuff you haven't been looking at for a long time. So maybe in this case, you set a timer for 10 minutes. And you say, I'm only going to focus on this one corner of the desk. And whatever I can do in 10 minutes. That's all I'm going to do. And then I'm going to stop and I'm going to leave the room. I'm going to take a breath. And I'm going to check in with myself and see how I feel. And if I feel like I could do another 10 minutes, I'm going back in setting the timer and doing another 10 on that pile. But the idea is make it really small. Because what happens is it helps you to get unstuck to the point where you can then continue when you're in the overwhelm paralyzed stage, you're not going to do anything. And if the 10 minutes seems too overwhelming, or the pile of paper seem too overwhelming, pick something else. Pick something else that would be less challenging. Let's say it's a kitchen that stuff everywhere. Take 10 minutes, take five minutes, go around with the garbage cans throw out just whatever can go you know just you want to make the step as small as possible so that you can do it again at another time.

Christine Li:

Hey, thank you for that beautiful description of how we can all get to that point of saying I can do a piece, I don't have to stay in overwhelm. That is my specialty with working with people who procrastinate, it's the overwhelm, it's not actually the work. It's the feeling syndrome. It's that Cyclone of nasty, negative, self critical stuff that we get stuck in. And I can already hear the supportiveness in your voice when you're describing here, the first baby steps that we should take together. So thank you for that. Can you talk to us about that attachment piece that we are attached to our stuff, sometimes in a very small way? Or like, Oh, I paid $5 for that kind of attached? But what do you say to people when they're just sitting there, and you can feel the charge that the item or the old jacket of the deceased parent has on the person?

Linda Samuels:

Sure. So first of all, that attachment is real, it's not like a made up thing. It's visceral. Okay. So there's, there's a couple things. Number one, the first thing, of course, is I don't ever force anyone, and I wouldn't want to, to get rid of something just for the sake of it. Because the reality is, there are certain things we're attached to, and that's fine. And as long as we have space for them in our lives, that's, that's great. I mean, I will describe myself as being sentimental. So I have objects that you know, are of my parents, my grandparents, my kids, you know, like that, that's important to me. However, as we know, sometimes that can be too much stuff that we're keeping. So one very practical experiment that you can try is, when we physically touch something, we actually increase our attachment to it. So one thing you can do is if you are trying to tease out what to keep what to let go of, have some there someone there with you, that is holding the objects for you. And so you're not physically touching them. And they're asking you the questions about it. That will help the person that's deciding, they're going to feel less attached now, they may still decide they want to keep it. But it's not the same as if they're touching it. That process is called kinesthetic sympathy. So if I'm working with a client, well, it is very different now because it's virtual, but when I was working in person, if it seemed like everything we were working with, they were so attached, and they couldn't let go, I would suggest let's try this if you're okay with it, you know, are you okay with me holding it up while you decide. And sometimes that can be just what's needed to let things go. But the other thing is, you can insert into that conversation things like boundaries and parameters. So if you have the space to keep all this stuff and it's not in the way and it's adding to your life as opposed to detracting then fine, keep it but if it's causing you pain, difficulty challenges in your relationship with your family, because there's too much stuff well then let's look at how can we set a boundary around what we're keeping and what we can let go of. And that might be volume based it might be bin or box size based, things like that. Maybe we display something and then the rest we can let go again, there isn't a one size fits all and you have to really take into account that individual's experience of what's going on so for example, someone that's recently lost a parent is going to possibly have a lot more difficulty letting go of things than someone that whose parent has passed away you know, it's been 10 years for a spouse or loved one.

Christine Li:

Okay, thank you. For me it seems like clutter has no time.

Linda Samuels:

I love that Wait, I have to ask you about that clutter has no time Tell me what I have the SP What do you mean by that?

Christine Li:

Cuz I think the idea of the clutter as just deferred decisions of that I am someone who could defer decisions for years. You could say okay, we need to do this within five months, but for me, what's five months that's, that's a kind of a fluid. That's somebody's idea of time. But I have, I guess some sort of innate capacity to tolerate a lot of That undefined stress, tolerate with a with quotes around it because actually I am feeling upset inside about the things that I'm deferring or keeping too long or not deciding on. So for me, it just seems like I could look at the same pile of clutter for years. And it could have the same effects emotionally on me. But for some reason, I don't set that timer and I don't make that time. And I don't get out of that little bit of overwhelmed because I feel Oh, I tolerate little bits of overwhelm really well. Yeah, that's what I mean by that.

Linda Samuels:

So that's really interesting, because I think, you know, with that, you brought up an excellent point. And as a procrastination coach, and psychologist, I think you appreciate this too, which is that people aren't going to make a change until they're ready to make a change. And so even if they're in pain, they may be able to be okay with that pain, because making a change requires some work. And we may not be willing to do the work. So your pain for you, it might be, it hurts, but it doesn't hurt enough. And I'm not suggesting that we make it hurt. I'm just saying that. In working with clients, usually there's something that is driving and motivating them to want to change at that point. It could be years of tolerating, and now they're just sick of it, it could be that a spouse is sick of it. And it's now really creeping into the relationship. It could be that something huge has happened in their life. And now they're just seeing things differently, and boom, they're ready to go. And again, in working with clients, so long, like over an extended period, I see that where you're working towards letting go letting go, and they're doing it, and then something dramatic will happen in their life. And all of a sudden, they are ready. And so again, I don't believe in forcing people into it. I have a more gentle approach. But I do believe that when you start to help people with those areas that are bothering them, and they see the change, it's pretty exciting to see what can happen. And it happens at different rates. But it is, you know, for any of us like I mean, clutter is not something I struggle with. But there are other things, let's say that I have issues with and when I finally address them, it's like deep sigh because so much of it, we just hold within us like it's in our bodies, it's in our, our brains, our emotions, and it's just there with us. And we it's sometimes just like a low level of annoyance. But when we finally deal with it, it's pretty incredible to see how that feels.

Christine Li:

Yes, I agree. I absolutely agree. And I liked the word that you use a couple minutes ago, we use the word visceral. And it really is it's processed physically. And we're not doing ourselves any favors by keeping extra weights and loadings and jackets. Yeah, in our energetic system. So thank you and I will share with you Linda, when we talk privately about why I've chosen this moment to start really digging into my clutter. But I have been struggling with this issue for far too long. And I want to be free, honestly. So I'll tell you more when we talk. But I do want to share with my listeners here that if you've got something like this in your own heart, that it's okay to poke around, find an expert, find someone who could journey with you so that you don't have to feel that particular piece of heaviness anymore, now might be the perfect time. Maybe it's not an accident that you happen upon this particular episode. So I invite you to explore that within yourself, too. So Linda, do you have any other clutter tips?

Linda Samuels:

So I have quite a few. So you let me know what direction you want to go with this. Do you want to just some quick kinds of things or so

Christine Li:

why don't we do the quick ones, the quick ones.

Linda Samuels:

So there's some common areas let's say that people have collect clutter and so I have a few of those I can share a few quick tips about how you might address those areas. So probably I would say one of the number one areas of clutter although I believe over time it's going to shift as the younger generation that Doesn't have paper comes up. But paper is still a huge issue for many paper clutter. So I would just say be honest about the papers. Ask yourself, you know, do you have to be the one that keeps all the papers? And if you release them, could you replace them if you needed to, because frankly, there's that 8020 rule, you know, the perito principle. So probably 20% of the papers, we file we look at again, which means 80% we never look at. And I'm not talking about the kinds of papers we might need to keep that would be of a financial nature, you know, tax returns, and things like that. But there's an awful lot of other stuff. And so, again, what can be released, you know, the other area, I would say, is clothing. There's a lot of people that have closets drawers that are just bursting with clothes. And if that feels like it might be you then put on what I would call your ruthless hat. And start asking some other questions like, does it fit? Do I feel fabulous when I'm wearing this thing? Does it even look good on me? Or does it make me feel bad even when I look at it? In other words, I am no longer that size. But every time I look at it, I feel bad. Because I'm not that size. When was the last time I wore it? And could instead of it taking up mental space and energy in my closet and head? Could I donate it to someone that might be able to use it or consign it or give it to someone that I know that would enjoy it. So clothing is a big issue for a lot of people, then there's general what I would call space clutter. So for that, I would say you know, reclaim your space. And clutter can cause stress. And I think you alluded to that not even alluded you set it out right before. And it's just Why be in a place where you're you have to hunt for things, you're you might be tripping over things, you have to negotiate just basic things in life because there's so much cluttering your space. So I talked about this little before, but just pick one area, it doesn't matter what area you pick, but just pick one area, and decide that you're going to just do a general declutter, which would be you start by rerouting items, because often what happens is, things sort of migrate from one space to another. So return the items that don't belong, just get them out of that space. And then with what remains be really specific about things that you just aren't useful anymore, that you might be able to release things. One of the things I like to say ask is, has it overstayed its welcome. So something might have been useful for years, but it just isn't any longer. And is it time to let it go. Another area is not physical, but what I call mind clutter, okay. And so just like our spaces can feel filled up, so can our minds with all the thoughts that we have going on, and what happens when there's too much activity going on upstairs, we really lose our focus, and we feel frazzled, and it's it's hard to even make a decision. So there are different strategies for that. I'm a meditator. And that really helps for that kind of thing. And in meditation, I think one of the misconceptions is that the idea is that you clear your mind of all thoughts. But that really is not the case. Meditation just provides you a chance to kind of calm your system. And that really does help with some of the mind clutter. Another thing that is really great for mind, clutter is just getting outside taking a walk in nature, if you can in nature, that's even better, you know, being around trees and water and things like that. And then another thing that's helpful is doing what I call a brain download. So that's where you take all the thoughts that are racing around your head, and you put them down either on paper, write them on a computer, put them you know, use a voice recorder, if that's more your speed, or frankly, talk with a friend. It's just getting them out of your head, and all those things can help with mind clutter. Organizing those thoughts is another step. But I think the first step is just helping them to release out of what's going on. And the last one, although we can do more if you feel we have time, but the last one I'm going to call is someday clutter. So don't postpone those things that you might need some day. You know, clutter accumulates, because we often keep these things that we think we might need, but we actually never use and so you If when you're looking at your belongings, and you're finding yourself either in your head or out loud saying, Well, yeah, I have to keep this because you know, I might need it someday. That's when it's worth asking the question. Is this thing, taking up too much space? is it taking up too much mental energy? Is it likely that I'm gonna need it or use it? And they find keeping all these things that are focused on Sunday? Is it preventing me from fully enjoying and living the life that I have now?

Christine Li:

That's beautiful. Thank you for sharing all of that there are so many nuggets of wisdom in that series of five areas just to review we have paper clutter, clothing, clutter, space, clutter, mind clutter, which is basically my favorite area of, of interest, I think, and five, some day clutter. Where I love that last comment that you had about Sunday clutter that are we preventing ourselves from having the best life in the current moment, with all the things that we're surrounding ourselves with, because that is a little worrisome. So thank you so much for sharing these wonderful tips. I am going to say, I know you have much more to teach, I think let's save those for the follow up episode or episodes that I'm planning for my work with Linda Linda Samuels, thank you so much for sharing all these beautiful stories and ideas and your wisdom with us today. Could you let us know how our listeners can stay in touch with you as to work with you and learn from you more?

Linda Samuels:

Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for having me. I love talking with you, and I can't wait to work with you. Thank you, it's gonna be great. So the best way to reach me is through my website, which is also organized calm. There are links to all my social media. So I'm pretty active on social media, you can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all of those Pinterest, and I, I write a blog, there's a free monthly newsletter signup, if you want that. And if you sign up, you'll get some bonus organizing tips. I've written a book. So that's all on the website to the other side of organized calm. I'm not that calm, sorry, don't have that website anymore. The book is called the other side of organized. And stop by the blog if you just feel like having a conversation because there's always I posts usually weekly, but the conversations are what I enjoy the most. So there's a lot of really interesting comments that people make. And if you have a question, you can email me call me or make a comment on the blog. And I'd love to learn more about what's going on with you. So thank you.

Christine Li:

Thank you. I'm just going to give you the opportunity to share one last thought about how can people make more time for success make that time for success?

Linda Samuels:

Hmm, I think the you know, when I think about success, I think about the fact that, again, like organizing success, looks and feels differently for each person. So I would say the first thing I would do is to ask yourself, what would success look and feel like for you? And then the follow up to that would be? Am I doing those things that support that success? And if I'm doing things that don't, how can I change that?

Christine Li:

I love it. I can't wait to change my patterns through working with you. And thank you so much for sharing this time with us today.

Linda Samuels:

Well, thanks for having me, Christine. Bye. Bye. Bye.

Christine Li:

Thank you for listening to this episode of The make time for success podcast. If you enjoyed what you heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website make time for success podcast.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach, send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. I'll talk to you soon

Linda Samuels

CEO / Professional Organizer / Mentor / Blogger

Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®, CVPO™, is a compassionate, enthusiastic Professional Organizer and Coach, founder of Oh, So Organized!, Professional Organizer Advisor for Executive Mom Nest, and blogger on organizing and life balance. In addition to offering virtual organizing to clients worldwide, Linda presents workshops, writes, and mentors other Professional Organizers. Media features include WNYC's All of It, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, Westchester Magazine, and Entrepreneur.com. Linda lives with her husband between two rivers 30 miles north of New York City, in a small, colorful home with a purple front door. They are empty-nesters as their children are in the world living their adult lives.