pink background with two smiling professional women and text overlay, "53 | Streamlining Your Workspace: Expert Tips from Amelia Pleasant Kennedy" from the Organized Coach Podcast with Tracy Hoth

Do you…

  • Struggle to organize your workspace? And then keep it organized?
  • Have a cluttered office or home?
  • Find it hard to let go of your possessions?
  • Want to learn more about what it takes to create an organized workspace, home, and life?

Today, we are digging deep into these topics with a very special guest expert.

Amelia Pleasant Kennedy is a Certified Life Coach, Professional Organizer, Fair Play Facilitator, and the CEO of A Pleasant Solution.

As a Clutter Coach, speaker, and top-rated podcast host, she helps folks who are frazzled, busy, and overworked uncover the root cause of the clutter in their lives. With a keen ability to listen for what goes unsaid, Amelia coaches from a space of total curiosity and non-judgment so that clients build a deep sense of self-trust.

Amelia is a caregiver for her mother, who’s living with dementia, a mother of 3 (including an elite athlete), and a lover of visual art, nature, books, and meaningful conversations. She’s currently in Round 3 of long-distance parenting + marriage with her husband and has managed multiple households since 2019.

She will give us a peek into her life’s organizing journey, including downsizing, running multiple households, and organizing nuggets that might just blow your mind. They did for me, and I’ve been organizing professionally for over 15 years.

What Amelia shares will help you in more areas than just organizing your home or business. She gives insights and solutions about…

  • Questioning if the item is “paying rent”
  • Believing we will have more time in the future
  • Taking care of yourself after you make decisions
  • Trusting yourself – what that really means
  • Aligning the friction between what you ultimately want in your intuition/heart vs what your brain tells you it wants.

Your Organizing Cheerleader,

Tracy Hoth's Signature

orange background with white text overlay,

Connect with Amelia Pleasant Kennedy:

Website: A Pleasant Solution
Free offer: Get her “Organized Thoughts”
Podcast: A Pleasant Solution
Facebook: @aPleasantSolution
Instagram: @aPleasantSolution
LinkedIn: @ameliapleasantkennedy

Resources Mentioned:

Scanner (this is the newer version of what Amelia uses)
Scanner App
Fair Play Method

Join Organized Life Academy (where Amelia gave an excellent presentation on “Letting go”)
Organized Coach Academy 
FREE Workshop: 3 Secrets to Organize Your Digital Files

Idea Tracker
Client Tracker
FREE File Naming Formula Cheatsheet

Connect with me:


Subscribe and Listen:

If you love what you’re learning on this podcast every week – the strategies, how-tos, and time-saving ideas to set up your organized and systemized business so you can work less and scale – please follow, rate, and review by heading to Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Transcript with time stamps:

[00:00:00] Tracy Hoth: Today I have Amelia Pleasant Kennedy on the podcast and we are having such a good conversation and there’s so many things that I think you’re really going to enjoy. We talk about organizing your office. She shares a little bit of her system for organizing paper and maintaining paper organization. We talk about what’s your end goal with paper.

[00:00:23] I love how she says, “books equal time”. Books, workbooks, things you’re keeping like that in your office equal time. Her way of thinking about that, I thought was really helpful. Another thing she said is “does this earn its keep?” How is the value, what value does it pay for rent for you? The most beautiful thing that just gave me chills toward the end when she talks about trusting yourself or taking care of yourself after you make decisions.

[00:00:57] What exactly that looks like and what it means. She says it in a way I’ve never really heard before. It was so soothing. It gave me a new understanding of what that could look like, not only about organizing our stuff, but about all parts of our business our home, our life, our time, all of it. Then the battle, the friction, and how we align what our intuition, our gut, or our heart are telling us and they’re desiring for our space.

[00:01:32] How do we align that with our brain and how our brain might be resisting, it might want to stay in its old patterns and be safe and be comfortable. How do we align the two? So much good information. I hope you enjoy this episode. If you want additional help getting organized, join us in Organized Coach Academy where we specifically focus on organizing our business, our time, our digital files, our assets, our processes.

[00:02:00]  If you’re not quite ready for that, you can listen to my free workshop and I’ll put the link to all of those in the show notes. If you want to declutter your home and really declutter your mindset and create a new identity around being organized, Amelia can help you do that as well.

[00:02:27] Are you ready to work less? Feel more organized and productive, streamline repetitive tasks, and implement systems that allow your coaching business to run smoothly, even without you. If so, you’re in the right place. Welcome to the Organized Coach Podcast, your go to source for practical tips and solutions.

[00:02:47] I’m your host, Tracy Hoth. Professional organizer, certified life coach, simplifying expert, and most of all, down to earth fellow coach just like you. No matter if you think you’re missing the organizing gene, have ADHD, or just love anything organizing, I’m here to help you become an organized coach with a business that works for you.

[00:03:08] Pull up a seat and let’s get started. I’m so excited. I had Amelia in Organized Life Academy sharing about the topic of letting go. I wanted to bring her on the podcast as well. We’re going to specifically, I was thinking, what do I want to have her talk about? I’m so intrigued by parts of her lifestyle.

[00:03:31] I thought about all the clients that I have who are in Organized Coach Academy who talk about like organizing their digital side of their business, but they say, Tracy, my office isn’t organized either. I just need to organize all this stuff that I have. That’s what we’re going to kind of talk specifically about, but have a conversation in general about organization and letting go.

[00:03:56]  Amelia, let me stop and just have you introduce yourself. Welcome to the podcast.

[00:04:01] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: Thank you so much for having me. I am so happy to be here because you and I met a couple of years ago in person and it was so lovely to connect and so, yes. I’m Amelia. I am a clutter coach. I’m an organizing expert and a fair play facilitator, and I help folks who are frazzled, busy, overworked.

[00:04:28] Stop gripping so tightly to the standards and expectations that we set for ourselves, specifically around home schedule and the chore load, which is how we balance tasks and responsibilities with our partners and the folks that we live with at home. I came to this work because I live in a very interesting dynamic myself.

[00:04:56] My husband and I have an intentionally split household. He and my girls live in Detroit, Michigan, and myself and my son live in Columbus, Ohio, because he’s an elite soccer player. I’m also a caregiver for my mother who is living with dementia. So lots of households, lots of moving parts.

[00:05:20] Organization, simplification, communication, these are all essential elements. It’s to my lifestyle and I would offer many folks, many coaches as well.

[00:05:32] Tracy Hoth:  The first question then that comes to my mind is how do you do it? Switching between households, like when you think about your business and it could be your office in general, but your business, what do you do?

[00:05:44] Do you have things in both places? Do you bring, do you have a list of things you bring back and forth? How do you have everything you need?

[00:05:51] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: I love this question because it is one that I really thought through in the beginning. I first want to point out that this is My third round of long distance parenting and marriage and I’ve been doing this for a while. First it was between Florida and Detroit the last couple of years and now between Ohio and Detroit. The process has evolved over time.

[00:06:19] First and foremost, I just simply trust myself. I trust that I will have everything that I need and be able to find everything that I need in the place that I am. In our apartment in Detroit, I have an office set up. I have an office set up in our apartment in Ohio. Then I also actually have a co working office that’s near my children’s school.

[00:06:46] The essential things that I take with me, my computer, charging cords, microphone earbuds, and then I use a time timer to keep me on track when I’m in meetings and my journal and sometimes a tripod if I have an Instagram live or something like that, but really just the basic elements are moving with me in terms of my work life and then everything else that might be on a desk. I feel like I can find wherever I might be going.

[00:07:25] Tracy Hoth: One thing you didn’t say is lighting. Do you take lighting or do you just have a window?

[00:07:32] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: I do not take lighting. I think that is a really good point. But honestly with wearing glasses, I have never found that quite the right angle with a ring light.  I typically position or set myself up in a way that the lighting works. If it doesn’t, I just give myself grace.

[00:07:59] Tracy Hoth: Yeah. Well, I love now being in front of a window because the lighting’s even and you don’t have that ring light hurting your eyes the whole time. But so I love it. Okay. So one of the things you said in there was you trust yourself. You don’t know this yet, but I want to share this.

[00:08:16] You spoke in our Organized Life Academy about letting go. You talked about how we hold onto things because a lot of times, because we have a story about that item. In our VIP call it the last call of the month, we do some sort of exercise based on our mindset focus for the month. And so we chose.

[00:08:37] I led the women through choosing an item. Then we set our timer for three minutes and we wrote about that item. It blew my mind just for myself, what I learned in that three minutes. It was so interesting when I was writing. The word trust myself that came up that feeling inside of me as I wrote about these teacups that I had first.

[00:09:04] I realized I didn’t even know for sure where I got them. I thought they were my grandmothers, but then I was like, wait a minute. Do I even know? I never remember seeing her. We don’t even have a tradition of drinking tea together. I mean, why? Why am I even keeping them? But then at the end, I started thinking about who might want to use those and how beautiful of a story it would be if I let someone find them, not even worrying about if they’re worth something.

[00:09:30] I mean, I could. But the story evolved. I just felt this really big piece come over me and trusting myself to do it. It was so profound. I can’t even tell you and other women in the group had the same experience. I’m thinking that took three minutes. Yes.

[00:09:51] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: I absolutely adore that because what I hear is.

[00:09:58] Not the three minutes that it took to do the process of sharing the story, but the days, the minutes, the weeks, the months beforehand, even years that we hold on to items because of Story because of emotion, because of worrying what will happen if we let it go. But the moment you sat down and went through this dedicated process for one particular item, the lightness sort of came over you.

[00:10:36] Yeah. That is, is so amazing because we just, we do, right? It is. It exemplifies the weight that we are carrying when we hold on to things just because. We may use them someday, one day, or whatever it might be. But this beauty of seeing the story in front of you, getting it out of your head, out of your body, onto paper, letting yourself kind of move through the story as well, because it sounds like you started one place and expected yourself to end up another place, but through the process of writing really kind of saw your own story evolve.

[00:11:23] Tracy Hoth: Yeah, I don’t even think of myself as someone who holds on to stuff. You know, that’s what was crazy is I was like, Oh, this should be easy. Like, I don’t know. It was such a beautiful exercise and you shared to just how you’ve done that because of your households, you’ve, and caregiving for your mom, just how you’ve had to reduce things in your home.

[00:11:44] You really, some very precious memories and keepsakes that were handed down from generation. Yeah. And.

[00:11:52] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: Yes. So as a family, we rented for a majority of the 20 years that my husband and I have been together for six of those years, we actually owned a house. And so we had a place to display and show the family heirlooms that had stories upon stories with them.

[00:12:17] They’d come over with my mother’s family when they immigrated to the United States and had been living in kind of barns in the country and like these different elements of. Items that I grew up with that were that I was attached to and had the stories passed down to me around, including one of a giant spinning wheel.

[00:12:41] If you like, think of fairy tales, right? A spinning wheel. And. It was in my home when I was younger, and then I had it in this house that we owned together. And then when we decided to follow the adventure for my son’s soccer journey, we actually downsized 60 percent of our belongings and sold our house to split into two apartments.

[00:13:09] Something as massive as this. A spinning wheel could not come with us, and it was this moment where I realized that I was actually the only person out of the five of us who were attached to these belongings. I mean, yes, my kids had grown up around them, but the weight of those generational stories really was with me.

[00:13:35] I had to do what you described with the teacup. You know, it wasn’t something that everyone else had to let go of, but it became my personal work to decide. And make peace and separate from those items and be happy with the destination where they were headed afterwards.

[00:13:55] Tracy Hoth: Yeah, that comes to mind. Like, how did you decide?

[00:13:59] Because I think you could get so caught up, especially with heirlooms, that they’re worth something or they’re like, what’s your process for deciding what to do with things?

[00:14:09] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: So I think it’s really important to put the time and energy behind whatever it is, the reason why you think you should keep something.

[00:14:20] For example, these family heirlooms, sentimental value versus financial value. I had to go and check whether there truly was financial value in these items. So I hired an appraiser to give me an assessment. So the same with China, silver, anything that you might have from that of jewelry that’s been passed on to you, right?

[00:14:46] You need to do the back end work to separate that story from the truth of whether it is truly a financial value, like, for example, you might have a collection of, I don’t know, baseball cards or toy collectibles from the 80s or whatever.

[00:15:09] Tracy Hoth: Or Precious Moments, that comes to mind too.

[00:15:12] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: Figurines. Right.

[00:15:13] Right. But to give yourself permission to do that back end work of finding out whether there really is a resale market, because then you can decide based on the financial value or absence of, or your sentimental value, which might lead to different decision making.

[00:15:35] Tracy Hoth: Yeah. Because I think that thought it might be worth something just keeps you stuck.

[00:15:39] Like you said, I hired an appraiser. Okay. That, that could be so simple. Look it up, have someone come, have the items laid out. It would take literally an hour for you to get that set up and have it done. Yes.

[00:15:57] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: The same with photos, memorabilia, and I ended up doing the same. I had received some jewelry from my mother, and, you know, generations of jewelry are passed down, and it might not be your style or what you might wear, but I actually went to the, through the process of taking it to the jeweler and saying, hey, Hey, What can I turn this into that I would actually wear now?

[00:16:29] There’s a beauty to putting in that work to solve the question that might be spinning around in your head or keeping you stuck about the certain items that you own. And that’s where the trust comes in.

[00:16:43] Tracy Hoth: Yes. I just keep thinking about

[00:16:45] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: organized than they think. Yeah.

[00:16:48] Tracy Hoth: Figure it out. Yeah. I keep thinking about that feeling of self trust.

[00:16:52] I mean, I don’t know that I’d ever felt that, like, not that I don’t have that, but not taking the time to feel what it feels like. To get in that energy when you’re trying to make decisions about stuff would be so powerful.

[00:17:07] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: And to bring it back to the office, right? I think there’s that element that we experience with information.

[00:17:18] With papers with old notebooks or journals that we might have had from courses that we’ve taken. That’s another place where folks can learn to look within and say, right, like, am I ever going to go back and look through this binder this course or my notes. Or can I trust that the information is inside of me or that I’m resourceful enough to go out and find that statistic or quote or answer in the universe

[00:17:56] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: If it comes back around or bubbles to the surface of my mind.

[00:18:00] Tracy Hoth: Yes. Because that I’ve seen in so many people. People that I’ve helped get organized in their home, just those piles of notebooks that they took at meetings from 10 years ago. But they’re like, I just need to go through that. Well, do you really? Okay, so as we think about our office, Do you think yourself, were you ever, you know, so many people say they’re paper people, like I’m just a paper person.

[00:18:26] I want to have paper. I like notebooks. Also, I like writing. I like printing stuff off. Would you say you were ever like that? Are you a digital person or how do you address the paper person?

[00:18:37] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: I am a digital person now. I’ll pause on that topic and talk specifically about paper because I do think it is, you a valid way to understand yourself.

[00:18:51] I would offer first that everyone knows themselves best. The second part of that is that there’s work or maintenance either way. If you’re a digital person, there’s work and maintenance to maintaining your information and your files. If you’re a paper person, there’s also work and maintenance required to keep that information in an accessible way.

[00:19:26] I think the downside of paper is that it’s not searchable in the same way that digital is and it’s important to create a system that you can effectively use, which I know that you are great at helping folks with, but Saying that you’re a peeper person doesn’t absolve you from creating a system that you have to utilize and maintain.

[00:19:57] Tracy Hoth: Yeah. What would you say your system is when it comes to maintaining information? Is that how you would think about it?

[00:20:04] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: I consider it maintaining information. For me, I have shifted mostly to a digital lifestyle. I sort through paper when it comes in, the couple of things that come across my desk that need to take action on, I have a dedicated amount of time to do that, and then I digitize by scanning as much as possible.

[00:20:30] Anything that I think that I need to keep in paper format, I have, have just a couple file boxes. So I put a limit on the amount of space that papers can take up. And then I typically file in broad categories. So I might have a file for health related items, a file for my car, a file for financial only, a file for my house.

[00:21:03] Then each person in my family also gets a file folder.

[00:21:08] Tracy Hoth: Oh, we’re like twins. That’s exactly what I say too. Broad categories.

[00:21:14] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: Yeah. Yeah. I think it’s easiest because that’s what we’re going for. Simple. Right. When you want to retrieve that piece of information, you want to think, okay, am I thinking, is this, is this my car or my house?

[00:21:30] Or is this my daughter or my son? Right. And you’re starting broad and then once you get in that folder, you can find what you need.

[00:21:40] Tracy Hoth: Yeah. Going back to you consider yourself now a digital person, I kind of feel the same way. I mean, I’m not all the way there. I’ve talked to clients who are in that process, like, and I just had to throw away my calendar in order to move to a digital calendar.

[00:21:58] That was several years ago, but now I keep one spot where I take some notes, but then my process is that I put those notes into digital format if needed, or I look at them and decide I’m throwing that away. But it is that process of going through that on every couple of days, daily, weekly, whatever works into my schedule.

[00:22:19] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: I would say that for me and my particular lifestyle, digital is a necessity. As a professional organizer, I would always suggest starting with your end goal or end result in mind, especially when it comes to paper or digital, because for me, I always, my end goal is being able to access information wherever I am.

[00:22:46] That’s why the digital solution works best for me. But for folks who only need to access things at home, or they prefer the, the printed copy, you know, a filing system in the house might work. But either way, I would recommend to listeners to name and label your files. in the exact same format digitally versus paper.

[00:23:14] Don’t name it one way on your computer and name it differently in your paper filing system. Make sure that they are the same.

[00:23:23] Tracy Hoth: Yes. Cause we’re training our brain to filter the information and the more ways we can train it that way, the better. You had mentioned that you scan things. Is there a favorite scanner that you have?

[00:23:34] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: No, not really. I have just a narrow portable scanner that I can, you know, just attach to my computer and then tuck away. I don’t have to leave it on my desk. And then I also have an app on my phone in case I’m on the go and want to scan something. I can just digitally take a photo of it and it converts it into a PDF or other format and then I can file it right away on my phone.

[00:24:02] Tracy Hoth: Oh my gosh. Okay. Let’s afterwards, I’ll ask specific and link those in the show notes, just the ones that you like. If we’re going to organize our office, where do we start? Yeah. We start with what’s right in front of us.

[00:24:17] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: Ooh, I love that, right? Because we always want to make getting started such a, such a process in of itself.

[00:24:28] I love to offer to people that sometimes. setting up, getting your mind right, getting, making sure you’re hydrated and rested and prepared to organize that that pre work does count as work towards your organizing project. But yes, I mean, I think the key is to create a desktop where you’re utilizing that prime real estate for only the essential items that you need to access on a daily or weekly basis.

[00:25:09] Other than that, we should aim to put things to the side or away. And if you’re listening and you’re someone with ADHD and loves to have everything out and visual, absolutely, that’s fine. That’s acceptable. You should do that, but you just want to limit the number of items and make sure that they’re clearly labeled or you’re using color to make it pop.

[00:25:33] The key is that what’s directly in front of you is the basics of what you’re using on a daily basis.

[00:25:42] Tracy Hoth: Thinking of coaches in their offices, what, I mean, let’s just say, what are we using? I have a cup of pens. I have my normal like clipboard and a little dashboard thing and my computer, my glasses, electronic stuff.

[00:26:01] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: I love it because you’re, what you’re saying is exactly me on the road. Yes. Right. The reason that I can work virtually anywhere is because as coaches, we don’t really need that big of a footprint when we’re running our businesses.

[00:26:22] Tracy Hoth: Yes. Yeah. That’s good to think about. So I’m thinking of things that people would have in their offices that would be hard to let go of.

[00:26:30] What would that be? Like courses they took, binders that they went to. Really, for sure, probably. Journals and notebooks. They took notes in maybe books. What else do you see?

[00:26:45] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: Let’s talk about books for a minute. I think that that’s a great topic because in my mind, books and this would class it like I think you could loop in here any kind of physical copy of a workbook from as well, right?

[00:27:04] In my mind, books equal time. So to read a book, to absorb the information, to work through a workbook, that takes time. So when you’re asking yourself if something earns, its keep right. Does it pay me rent for living in my office? Do I have the time, am I going to actually dedicate the time to reading the book, working through the workbook pages, whatever it might be.

[00:27:40]  I make the association that it takes time. So we need to think about whether we’re, and be honest, be radically honest with yourself. Are you going to set aside time on your calendar to absorb that information? If you’re not, if it’s a book you’ve read, but didn’t finish, don’t think you’re ever going to finish and it’s not paying rent in your office and it needs to live somewhere else.

[00:28:05] Tracy Hoth: Yeah. I’m thinking of books that I have and sometimes I want to be a reader, but I’m not that big of a reader. I’ll hear someone say, this was the best book. It changed my life, so I’ll jump on it and get the book right away so I won’t forget. Now I do have my Idea Tracker. It holds a list of books that I want to read or that someone mentioned that I want to remember.  I can see that list of books pile up that have I purchased, but haven’t went through.

[00:28:35] I’m thinking, ahh, that list doesn’t even excite me anymore.

[00:28:38] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: I think that that is really key because right. You hear about it within the context of a particular podcast or course or recommendation, a story that Someone is sharing with you and you’re like, Ooh, I can see how that would be applicable. Yeah. To me and my life and my business.

[00:28:56] But six months later, when you have the time, quote unquote, to like come back to it, it might not spark that interest in the same way. And that’s okay. But just acknowledging that maybe it should have gone on the idea tracker versus directly in the purchasing cart.

[00:29:17] Tracy Hoth: Yes. Yeah. And then you look at it and you think, well, I’ll get to that.

[00:29:21] I’m sure I will. I want to read it. I bought it because I wanted to read it. And that’s the story, right? Yes.

[00:29:29] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: Because honestly, just as human beings, we believe that we will have more time in the future than we do now. That’s just simply a fallacy. You either have time to pick up the book, the course, the notebook now, which is why I think of books and journals and workbooks as taking time, or you will have to consciously decide to dedicate time in the future, but you’re not going to have more time in the future than you have now.

[00:30:03] Tracy Hoth: Yeah, that is hard. That is so true. We have this fantasy thinking that we’re going to have lots of time for all of our interests. That makes me think of a lady who, this was several years ago, but she, her rule in her office was, if I’m not going to use this idea, which would be something on paper or something she brought in from a conference or whatever in the next, I think hers was like four 48 hours, which I thought was a little tight.

[00:30:28] Then she would get rid of it. And I was like, Oh, that almost made me gasp because I can’t imagine having such a intentional, I guess that would involve self trust, but it would also, it would also keep you focused on what you’re doing.

[00:30:45] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: I think the self trust is a great thing to shine a light on because she knows herself well.

[00:30:54] She knows that if it goes beyond 48 hours, she’s most likely not going to do it. There’s that understanding of, okay, I have 48 hours to either process the information or, perhaps, to be a bit more kind, to put it on my calendar of exactly when I’m going to dedicate time to processing the information, right?

[00:31:26] Rather than leaving it as an open ended someday maybe.

[00:31:30] Tracy Hoth: Yeah. Which now, in my head, I’m thinking, okay, if everyone that’s listening to this, maybe you’ve imagined this too, or maybe it’s too scary. Just letting everything go, feeling that freedom that you would feel, maybe everybody else would feel panic, but I kind of feel this spacious freedom of like, oh, now I don’t have that stuff sitting there.

[00:31:55] Kind of what we call the silent to do list, screaming at you, like, oh, you have this to do. Oh, you should have looked through that. Oh, you have these things to read. But thinking if it was all gone, just how different it would be.

[00:32:08] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: I think what you’re describing there is the messy middle. That we must go through to get to the other side.

[00:32:18] And I love to invite folks to go to the other side. That place where the lightness exists. Whatever that means for you. That can be your journal prompt for the day. Or your mindset work for the week. Because most folks have messy middle of emotions and decision making and we’re like, there’s no way.

[00:32:50] But the beauty of being a brilliant human being is that we can go to the future and imagine what it will look and feel like without even having stepped into the messy middle yet. And I think it’s very helpful to spend some time in the future just thinking and feeling and imagining how life could be different.

[00:33:18] It makes it more concrete and real so that when you decide to take the steps, decide to feel the feelings, decide to make the decisions, you are much more clear about that destination that you’re headed towards and the anchor, the why, is more concrete. Concrete, I’d say in your mind. So I think that’s an exercise you can do even before getting started.

[00:33:46] Tracy Hoth: Yes. Then I come back to the present or I imagine people come back to the present and they’re just like so discouraged because the messy middle is sitting there waiting for them. They have to develop that skill and they have to go through a mess and they have to make 4, 000 decisions and they have to take time to do all of that.

[00:34:10] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: You and I are both examples of how with support folks can easily make it through or or just make it through the messy middle, even if it’s not easy, right? We have worked with enough clients that we know that once the ball gets rolling and starts in motion, that is the beauty of the progress.

[00:34:34] It is sticky at first and then when people begin to understand, understand themselves better, understand their emotions, understand their decision making, understand how they trust themselves, then the pace picks up and the process becomes much more fluid.

[00:34:56] Tracy Hoth: Oh, yeah, that does sound exciting. I do remember working in person with people and we would sort and then it was such a mess because everything was sorted in piles all over.

[00:35:06] I can see the point where the client would just want to quit and just be so overwhelmed by it. Having someone there to walk her through, nope, we can do this. We’re just going to go back to this one pile. We’re just going to look at this one thing, how you could get it. past that and then it starts like, Ooh, yes.

[00:35:25] Oh, that looks so good. Oh, that space is finished. Like it would just be so exciting.

[00:35:30] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: The benefit for listeners really is that once you work alongside of someone who can teach or transfer these skills to you, you know that you can do it again. Right? When we talk about maintaining a space, because inevitably things will get messy again, you know that you can go back to the beginning and follow the process, follow the steps, trust that you can get to the other side, and the more that you repeat the process, the easier it becomes for you.

[00:36:09] Tracy Hoth: Yeah, that is so true. I think just even I was recording a podcast earlier thinking about what we call our secret room where we kind of throw stuff in there to avoid making the decision right now. Anytime I want, I know that I can go in there. I don’t feel disorganized or cluttered because I know I can just go there, follow the steps and get it done.

[00:36:30] Like it’s not a big deal. I think that’s the identity of being someone. Who’s organized.

[00:36:37] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: Yeah. I actually recorded a podcast on adopting the mindset of organization because I think it’s curious. I think as coaches, we could look at the thoughts of someone who believes that they’re organized versus disorganized.

[00:36:52] I wouldn’t say that either are facts. but just the way that we’re thinking about our abilities or skills to conquer the clutter.

[00:37:04] Tracy Hoth: Yes. Yeah, that’s so good. Okay. One other thing I wanted to look at was you talk about, so we trust ourself, but we also, take care of ourself after we make the decision.

[00:37:17] So what does that look like? What do you mean by when you say that?

[00:37:21] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: Yes. When we’re going through the messy middle, we’re feeling our feelings and we’re making powerful decisions. Knowing that there’s not a right or a wrong decision, but simply making one in the first place. Then there’s this idea of taking care of yourself afterwards.

[00:37:47] I think that this relates to if people worry about feeling regret, or that they’ll miss something, or that they’ll, I don’t know, be sorrowful or, or hurt afterwards. It’s going back to those skills of emotional resilience. Setting aside time to feel your feelings, whatever that they may be, because we can’t prevent the feelings from coming once we’ve made the decision, but we can feel them and name them and describe them.

[00:38:24] We can remind ourselves that it’s. It’s okay that we’re in the present, that we can breathe and experience what’s happening. There’s simple things like having some tea or taking a walk and feeling what comes up and allowing it to be there. You can share the story of the object with someone else. You can share how you’re feeling with someone else.

[00:38:56] Because what we want to do is validate the emotional experience and the story, even though the object may be gone, as a way of just making peace with the process. And I think, ultimately, it’s about Reminding yourself that you made the best decision at the time with the information you had and that your feelings are valid and that they can’t hurt you.

[00:39:26] They’re just vibrations in your body that are coming up because you’re thinking about the past and the choice.

[00:39:34] Tracy Hoth: Oh my gosh, that just is so beautiful. I get literally when I listen to you say that, it’s like such a beautiful thing to do for yourself. You know, sometimes I think when we’re making decisions, we’re thinking that we’re making the decision And we won’t have those feelings like we’re going to make the decision and then not have those feelings like that’s the goal.

[00:39:58] But I love how you point out, we’re going to make the decision and then we’re going to experience the emotions that come up after that.

[00:40:07] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: That really is the additional layer or dynamic of self trust. You’re trusting in the present that no matter what decision you make, that in the future, you can feel the feeling and allow yourself to be and care for yourself and treat yourself with love and compassion and kindness.

[00:40:30] That’s the trust in the present and the trust in the future.

[00:40:33] Tracy Hoth: There was one of my clients just this week who said, who has a lot of evidence that she’s kept items from the past and then reused them. She has evidence that it’s dangerous, that it’s served her well to keep things because she ended up reusing them even if it was 20 years later.

[00:40:56] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: I think it really comes down to the client defining what clutter means to them. Perhaps in her case, she’s not classifying these items as clutter, because 20 years later she used them. It’s really getting clear on whether those 20 years, that particular item was earning its keep in her home.

[00:41:24] So was it paying rent, giving her something back through emotional experiences? Because she clearly wasn’t using it. It wasn’t giving paying rent by being useful. So hopefully it was paying rent by giving her some emotional experience in between time.

[00:41:43] Tracy Hoth: But we talked about this when you presented last time. What do you want now (less clutter and simple living) versus what you also want (to keep your stuff), but they’re conflicting. So then deciding which one you want the most. Do you want less stuff in your home or do you want to keep something ‘just in case’ and the battle between those two – choosing which one you want more.

[00:42:12] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: So what you’re speaking to is what.

[00:42:15] I was describing as alignment between what your brain tells you you should do and what your heart, your gut, your intuition is nudging you towards. A lot of folks who have this conflict, this inner friction over getting started, moving through the messy middle, a lot of what is happening is. Their intuition wants them to get to the other side where life is clutter free.

[00:42:50] But the brain is busy doing its job saying, “No, no, stay safe.” You know, stay on the current path. Don’t do the work. That sounds hard. And there’s friction between the two. What we want to do is get to a place where we resolve and align both our heart. Our intuition and our head, we got to get them on the same page.

[00:43:16] Tracy Hoth: Oh, that makes it so clear. Okay. This was so good. And I know we didn’t specifically talk as much as I thought maybe we were about the office, but I think all of this is just like gold to think about and apply it in your home, in your office, in your time and all parts of it. So I love it. Anything else that comes to mind that you want to share?

[00:43:37] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: Yeah, I mean, I think this was a good recap of our conversation and Organized Life Academy and just elements that people can use, whether they’re decluttering and organizing their office. Whether they’re thinking about being a digital nomad or downsizing a loved one or having a conversation with someone in your family that has too many belongings, right?

[00:44:02] We covered so much around the process of letting go and getting to the core, which is, what do I want in my life and in my home?

[00:44:14] Tracy Hoth: Yes, getting to the core. That’s what it’s all about. And what do we want? And apply that to your office as well, but in your business too, in general. So Amelia, this was so helpful.

[00:44:26] How can people learn more from you? It was amazing to talk to you, and I always enjoy it.

[00:44:31] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: Thank you for having me. Folks can find me on the web at A Pleasant Solution. That’s my business name. You can connect with me on Instagram and  Facebook at A Pleasant Solution. I host a podcast called A Pleasant Solution, embracing an organized life.

[00:44:54] I write a blog called All the Things.

[00:44:56] Tracy Hoth: Will you take on one-on-one clients?

[00:45:04] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: Yep. Thanks for asking. Yes, I have one on one program where I work with folks who are interested in decluttering their mindset, their life, their home, or I help partners and individuals around the fair play method, which creates more equity within the home based on tours, tasks and responsibilities.

[00:45:27] The Fair Play Method was developed by Eve Rodsky. It’s a time and anxiety saving approach to what we do in terms of care tasks and responsibilities within the home. I went through a training to become a facilitator for conversations between partners. The key is that oftentimes this is the elephant in the room when it comes to organizing.

[00:45:58] Women in particular feel like we are the default doers and caretakers of our home. To lighten one’s mental load, we want to share the responsibilities with everyone else. So it’s talking a lot about how everyone in your home makes an impact. Therefore, everyone in your home can contribute and the Fair Play Method provides language and a way to distribute tasks more effectively and equitably between everyone get everyone’s buy in.

[00:46:36] Tracy Hoth: That’s so interesting. I bet that would be so valuable for kids whose parents are going through that to see like, this is how a home could work. This is what, how we distribute tasks. Oh, I love it.

[00:46:51] Amelia Pleasant Kennedy: It’s beautiful because really what we’re talking about is a generational shift so that women in particular don’t have to continue being the default house manager, but that we’re raising boys to carry their share of the work as well.

[00:47:10] Tracy Hoth: I love, Amelia, how you go deep. You take a concept and really look into it. That’s what we did on this episode. It’s just so good. Thank you for being here. It’s my pleasure. Wait, if you’re finding this podcast useful, you must check out the Organized Coach Academy. It’s my course where I walk you through every step to get your business organized, to get yourself organized, to stay organized save money and time to prepare to hire someone to do all the things that you want to do in your business with ease.

Check that out at Also, I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but I would love it. It’s my way of knowing podcast. If you leave a written review, I have lots of freebies for you.

[00:48:01] They’re linked in the show notes. You can find him in my bio on Instagram at @TracyHoth and until next week, have a beautiful day.

blue background with two smiling professional women and text overlay, "53 | Streamlining Your Workspace: Expert Tips from Amelia Pleasant Kennedy" from the Organized Coach Podcast with Tracy Hoth

Tracy Hoth