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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2010
At first glance, one might guess that 'The Other Side of Organized' would read more like a text book with instruction on how to stack your closet or find that perfect storage container... but don't let the title fool you. This little book, which can be read in just a few sittings, is a rare gem in an ocean of organizational guides. It's filled, not only with constructive ideas, but extremely eye-opening glimpses into the ways we sabotage ourselves with clutter, all with the goal of finding some real balance in this messy situation we've found ourselves in.

If you are slightly organizationally challenged, or even frozen in time by the chaos around you, this book just might inspire and ease your pain. Written with empathy coupled with pure resourcefulness, this author looks at the art of organization from a whole different vantage point, and what the reader takes away are workable solutions to break free. There is something for everyone here, with simple, yet powerful insight in every chapter and genuine pearls to be found on nearly every page.

If you are looking to let go of, or just tidy up your stuff... take a look at what's offered here. You just might find an answer you've been looking for, and walk away with a plan and a sense of calmness you haven't felt in a long time. I did.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 19, 2010
With gentle suggestions for finding balance through the chaos, you'll become organized "enough" after reading this gem of a book that isn't preachy or obsessive.

There are so many tips and tricks that help create a calmness around you, The Other Side of Organized just begs you to start fixing the little messes that surround you. Just this past weekend, I cleaned out a corner of my office, and even though it was just ONE little corner, it had caused so much angst in my every day. And that tiny bit of organizing led me to a larger project -- the garage! It snowballed and now my garage is immaculate! I just want to go out there and SIT and look at the beautiful place I created, and what's a garage?? A gross place for men!!

Linda's book offers helpful, easy ways to get back on track to organized so you can start focusing on the important aspects of life. Seriously, this is the organizational must-have book for everyone!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2010
With its short, easy to read chapters and its no-nonsense approach, The Other Side of Organized is a wonderful get-off-your-tush-and-get-moving book. Rather than being a how-to, it keys into many of the philosophical and psychological reasons we procrastinate our organizing tasks or simply can't let go of our "stuff" and gives us the positive reinforcement, the gentle nudge, that we all need to get it done in manageable chunks, without feeling overwhelmed by the desire to accomplish everything at once.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 8, 2010
"The Other Side of Organized: Finding Balance Between Chaos and Perfection" by Linda Samuels may be only 148 pages, but there's plenty to digest. Digest, easily, that is. Linda organizes her closets in the same manner she organizers her book. Bravo! She divides the book into four seasons, three chapters in each section, which, of course, equals a total of 12 chapters from "Fresh Start" to "Life Balance"; no Alka-Seltzer break here; actually, you may be motivated enough to take a reading break and organize a sock drawer.

Sometimes just the thought of organization can be stressful. However, the book's layout and the easy-to-read graphics take the pinch out of the topic at hand. The whimsical cartoons inspired by the author's beloved Black Labrador Retriever, Norton, add a flavor of charm. The real allure comes from Linda's charisma that shines through on every page. The strategies and formulas that she cites will not clobber you on the head. Instead, the author weaves her own personal trials and tribulations into the book. Not only does she get her super doable organizational tips and approaches across, she brings them home with ease. By the time I was halfway through the book, I felt that Linda was a wise friend or motivational coach, who after each encounter, says, "Okay, now you're as perfect as your humanness will get...will you go out and play, laugh and live joy for a while."

That's the best thing about "The Other Side of Organized: Finding Balance Between Chaos and Perfection," it probes, instructs, motivates, but never forgets to give you breathing room.

Stacy Lytwyn Maxwell, Author/Book Reviewer/Teacher
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2010
I have to admit I'm addicted to articles on organization and living the clutter-free life. I also love the organization departments of big box or office supply stores. You know, where you can find all those boxes, baskets, containers and cubbies to organize your life. Unfortunately, I always seem to end up with the wrong kind that don't fit the stuff I need to file away. And then I run out of steam and revert to my old ways, which in turn leads to clutter-chaos and that drives my anxiety levels `way up. I want it all perfect, right now, and of course, that's impossible. For example, I've tried to re-organize my linen closet four times this year, but it never looks as good as the pictures in the magazines.

So when I saw The Other Side of Organized (the subtitle is Finding Balance Between Chaos and Perfection), I plunged into it with hope. What I didn't realize until I read Linda Samuels's book was that I was going at this organizing the wrong way. It's not just about putting things in their places: it's about freeing up your life for the things you really want to do. When that's your goal, cleaning up the extraneous stuff in your life becomes a lot easier. My perfectionist self tells me to get going, stop procrastinating, put all those papers and files and messy closets in neat little organized spaces. But then, I remember what Samuels tells us: "Organizing is just a means to an end. The objective is getting organized enough so that you can still have time for all the other things that are important to you. It's all about find your right balance."

I think maybe I'm ready to tackle that linen closet now.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2010
Linda's book; The Other Side of Organized is a great read for those of us in the profession, the chronically disorganized as well as those who are just wondering why to organize. She writes in a way that we all think and feel with a personal perspective that makes the process real and clear. Loved this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2010
I have read dozens of books about organizing, but never has one touched me on a spiritual level the way Linda Samuel's book has. Linda's book is not as much of a "how to" book, but a "why" book. She writes as if she's having a caring conversation with a close friend and her full disclosure is both soothing and inspiring.
This is a book I will pick up and read parts of over and over again. I plan to pass it on to special people in my life whom I know would benefit from Linda's wisdom and the whimsical way she shares it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 18, 2010
Linda Samuels is one of those lucky people who was "born organized." From an early age, she loved to line up her nail polish according to color, as well as sorting Halloween candy by type, into small bags.

Later, as an adult, she began to realize that the skill that she took for granted, was one that escaped many other people, causing great stress and strife, in life and relationships. She notes that the book was written over many years, as she worked and learned.

Now a professional organizer, Samuels offers practical suggestions for organizing, as well as creating life balance. The book's passages are organized by theme and seasons, and each chapter is introduced with a quote and a cartoon inspired by their black Lab, Norton. These funny cartoons certainly help deflect some of the stress associated with the subject.

An example of some chapter headings:

1) Fresh Start
2) Embrace Change
3) Next Step
4) Too Hard to Let Go
5) Too Much Clutter
6) Too Little Time

Thoughts on clutter (p. 63) Clutter gathers because our possessions accumulate, get relegated to piles, corners, closets or drawers, then get ignored. The editing process has not occurred. Consider the 80/20 rule. We only use 20 percent of the papers we file, clothes we own, or toys our kids have. The remaining percent is never used! That 80 percent is probably the root cause of most of your clutter.

Some important insights on organizing:
1) There are core organizing secrets.
2) You must develop a positive attitude
3) Make room for things you truly want.
4) Discard unwanted and unused belongings.
5) Enlist the help of others, even the children.

Samuels has written a book that is down-to-earth, engaging, and inspiring. She makes you believe you can conquer disorganization and clutter, and live a life of greater ease and clarity.

I was particularly impressed with the format of the book. It is lovely, like a work of art. She makes a difficult subject fun and enjoyable. Very highly recommended reading!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2013
I SO enjoyed reading this book. I love how it's split up into seasons and deals with the emotions one feels before, during, and after getting organized. Besides being an author, Linda is also part cheerleader--giving the reader a written 'cheer' to keep them motivated and believing in their abilities to become and remain organized.

While reading the book, a feeling of calm came over me--I found it to be soothing to read. Readers stressed out from the clutter of their lives will find this book not only incredibly helpful and insightful, but almost like going to a verbal spa...

Dotted with comic strips of her beloved dog and pull-out quotes of important advice to remember, The Other Side of Organized emphasizes that 'being organized enough' can bring balance to one's life. Beautifully designed and beautifully written, inside and out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2010
This is a very quick book to read with just over 100 pages of easily flowing stories and advice.
The book is not about techniques and how-tos, it's more of a motivator to change your life and de-clutter your mind, space and time.
Its conversational style makes it enjoyable to read and it has a distinct personal touch. If you are looking for a manual of practical steps then you won't find them spelt out here, although you will find lots of hidden tools and wisdom in the stories. If you are looking for an easy-going introduction to organizing anything in your life and for inspiration and a drive to start as well as basic ideology on how to get organized, then you'll enjoy this book.
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