Finding the Right Organizing Support: Oh, So Organized!

Over the course of the past couple of weeks, I’ve had fun featuring a number of my colleagues from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) to give you a feel for the wide range of talents ICD organizers possess.  In addition, to showcasing their talents, I asked them to share a little about their organizational challenges and overcoming those challenges, as well a provide some insight about overcoming disorganization.

LindaSamuelsHDLet’s close out this series by introducing the fabulous Linda Samuels owner of Oh, So Organized! located in Croton on Hudson, NY.  Linda has been in business for 21 years and specializes in working with chronically disorganized clients to help them organize their homes and offices. She loves organizing papers, closets, home offices, kitchens, thoughts, and incorporating coaching into her organizing work.

Linda is an ICD Level V-Master Trainer, which means that she has achieved the highest level of certification that ICD offers.  Specifically, in addition, she holds 10 of the 11 Level I Certificates, 2 Level II Certificates in CD and ADD, Level III Certification-CPO-CD, Level IV-Training Program Coach.  Linda is also a graduate of the Coach Approach for Organizers program.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Linda is ICD’s President Elect and will be assuming the role of President on July 1, 2014.  Congratulations, Linda!  Here’s how Linda responded to some of my questions for her:

What do you most appreciate about being an ICD trained organizer? ICD’s educational program is carefully thought out to provide stepped levels of learning to match your interests and learning goals. It’s not a static program, but one that keeps growing. New classes get introduced and presenters share the latest research and ideas about chronic disorganization. So much of what I’ve learned through my ICD training has helped my clients. I’ve used strategies, shared resources, and gained better understanding of their specific challenges. Even with all the training I’ve had, I continue to take ICD classes, learn from my colleagues, read books, and attend conferences. The learning is ongoing.

How does disorganization show up for you and what have you done /do to overcome it? I’m pretty organized in most areas of my life except for meal planning.  I remember even when our daughters were little, and they’d ask me what we were going to have for dinner, I’d say, “I don’t know I’m not in the kitchen yet.” I’ve always been good at creating meals from whatever was around, but not great about pre-planning for the week. My workaround is recognizing that I’m OK with not being organized in every area. I try to have the right food supplies on hand IF I want to cook, but beyond that, I’ve let go of the meal planning dream. What’s fascinating to me is that our oldest daughter happens to be an amazing cook, who is really good about planning. I’ve learned and continue to learn a lot from her.

What do you most want readers to know about overcoming disorganization? Getting organized is a process. It takes time, patience, creativity, flexibility, and maintenance. We think and learn in different ways. There is no one or right way to organize. The key is being willing to invest the time and resources to identify your strengths, create systems based on those, and design environments to support who you are and how you want your spaces to function. It’s not a matter of being perfectly organized, but getting organized enough so that we can focus our energy on the people, places, and activities that are most meaningful.

Click on these links to catch up with Linda at TwitterFacebook or Pinterest.

Thanks for following this series.  I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting these ICD Organizers as much as I’ve enjoyed featuring them.  

9 Responses to “Finding the Right Organizing Support: Oh, So Organized!”

  1. Janet Greene February 4, 2014 10:29 am #

    ” We think and learn in different ways. There is no one or right way to organize. The key is being willing to invest the time and resources to identify your strengths, create systems based on those, and design environments to support who you are and how you want your spaces to function. It’s not a matter of being perfectly organized, but getting organized enough so that we can focus our energy on the people, places, and activities that are most meaningful.” When I read the above sentences, they jumped out at me. Organizing has to be what will work in the long run for a person, or for a family. That sounds simple, but must be very difficult for the organizer.

    • Andrea Sharb February 4, 2014 11:39 am #

      Thanks for commenting! I would say, not so much difficult as challenging at times. More so when a client isn’t yet aware of their strengths or isn’t yet sure of how they want a space or area of their life to function. I look forward to what Linda has to say in response to your post.

      • Linda Samuels February 4, 2014 9:51 pm
        #

        Thank you, Andrea for including me in your wonderful ICD Organizers series. It’s an honor to be here and be part of the ICD community.

        “Difficult” is an interesting word choice, but one I don’t usually associate with organizing (at least from my perspective.) Of course clients might feel otherwise. From that view, perhaps “challenging,” as you offered, better describes their experience.

    • Linda Samuels February 4, 2014 9:48 pm #

      Hi Janet- Getting organized and setting up systems is a process. It doesn’t happen once, but continues over time as our lives and circumstances change. For example, organizing systems that might work for a family with young kids will eventually morph into something else as the kids grow up or leave home.

      Organizing requires patience and commitment from both the organizer and client because it’s a process that includes creativity and tweaking. I’ve never thought of it as “difficult,” but more like a fascinating puzzle.

    • Janet Greene February 5, 2014 12:27 am #

      Thank you, Linda, for your reply. Andrea is my daughter. She has helped me to organize my life in many ways and I am so very proud of her.

      • Linda Samuels February 15, 2014 3:05 pm
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        Wow, Janet! You must be an amazing mom because Andrea is such an incredible person. I’m a HUGE fan of hers and can understand why you’re so proud of her. She’s creative, intelligent, curious, and dedicated. I love how she thinks and the great questions she asks. I feel so fortunate to know her and get to work with her on the ICD Board.

  2. Ellen Delap February 6, 2014 11:46 am #

    I love that Linda shares that nothing is static about organizing, it does takes commitment, and there is no one right way to organize. Focusing on the meaningful nature of organizing is what is most valuable for everyone.

    The ongoing learning that we all love about ICD is valuable for us and our clients. Truly ICD offers so many ways to help us help others.

    Love this series Andrea! Thank you for sharing!

    • Linda Samuels February 6, 2014 7:25 pm #

      Great to “see” you here, Ellen. I completely agree with you about one of the greatest benefits of being an ICD subscriber is the “ongoing learning,” which translates into better organizers and better results for our clients.

      Ditto on the “love the series!” Go Andrea!

      • Andrea Sharb February 7, 2014 3:09 am
        #

        Thanks to you both for participating and sharing so openly with my readers!

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