What impedes progress more...physical clutter or emotional clutter? Or is the answer “C, all of the above?” Tony interviews Anna, a professional home organizer and the owner of NEAT Method in Boise, ID. They talk about how organization can be one of the best remedies for your mental health, as well as a smart personal investment to raise your emotional baseline. You can learn more about NEAT Method at http://neathmethod.com and follow Anna on Instagram @boiseneat https://www.instagram.com/boiseneat/Head to http://tonyoverbay.com/magnetic and get on the waitlist today to be the first to know when the next Magnetic Marriage Cohort begins!Please subscribe to The Virtual Couch YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/TheVirtualCouchPodcast/ and follow The Virtual Couch on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/virtualcouch/
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Ep252 Organization PreAuphonic.mp3
[00:00:00] So clutter, I think it's pretty safe to say that most of us have a little bit of it here, a little bit of it there, and in fact, many of us have more than just a little. In a survey conducted by the National Association for Professional Organizers, they discovered that over a third of all readers were overwhelmed by their clutter and don't even know where to begin cleaning. And less than 10 percent say their homes are clutter free. And we're talking physical clutter. We're not even addressing mental clutter because trust me, there definitely is a correlation. So clutter can be a complete energy vampire can suck the life out of us, but can also drain us of our time. How often do people spend more time than they like trying to find something, their keys, their wallet? And this is an absolutely true story. This morning I wanted to wear a new shirt that I had bought and I couldn't find it amidst the clutter of clothes that I need to get rid of in my closet. And I'm sure it was only a few minutes spent trying to find it. But during those few minutes, I could feel my stress level rising because I needed to get to my office and record this very podcast.
[00:01:01] And as I near my drop dead time of needing to get this episode recorded before my first client arrives, I find myself wondering if I did in fact have an organizational system in my closet, would have been able to find my shirt a little bit quicker when my stress level will be a tiny bit lower. But I've made it to my office a little bit sooner. And what I've been able to spend a little more time on this intro making the entire podcast episode just a little bit better. So coming up on today's episode of The Virtual Couch, we're going to talk with Anna. She is a professional organizer. And while I absolutely love love recording this podcast, learning and sharing about all things mental health related, I think you're about to hear me get all up in my insecure feelings during this episode as clutter definitely affects me. And and I if it affects you, too, or if it affects anybody that, you know, it's time to get real, time to take a little bit of accountability to your own relationship with physical and mental clutter. So prepare to spend a little time feeling a bit uncomfortable. But you're going to learn a ton on today's episode of.
[00:02:11] So two hundred and fifty two of the virtual couch, I'm your host, Tony Over became a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified mine blabbered coach, writer, speaker, husband, father for ultramarathon runner and creator of the Path Back and online pornography recovery program that is helping people reclaim their lives from harmful effects of turning to pornography as a coping mechanism. If you or anyone that you know is trying to put pornography behind you once and for all, and trust me, it can be done in a strength based home. The shame become the person you always wanted to be way. Then head over to Pathbackrecovery.com. And there you'll find a short ebook that describes five myths that people often succumb to turn to when trying to put pornography behind them once and for all.
[00:02:46] And we have a weekly group call. So please, if you are interested, contact me at Contact@tonyoverbay.com and you can find out more about participating in a group called to get a feel for what the whole path back community or Path Back Forum is like. And please follow me on Instagram, a virtual couch or on Facebook at 20 Overbay Licensed Marriage and family therapist and go sign up for my magnetic marriage course that I'm doing along with Preston Buckmeier. Once again, I record this podcast on Tuesday mornings. On Monday nights we have a group call and the next cohort of the magnetic marriage course is coming soon. So get on that wait list. Go to Tony Overbay Dotcom right there on the front page. You'll find a way to sign up and find out more information. Get on the wait list. It's been incredible. I'll just leave it at that. It has truly been incredible. So today, I want to get right to the episode. I gave a little bit of the intro about where we're talking clutter. We're talking organization. We have a professional organizer on the podcast today, and her name is Anna and she is a professional home organizer and owner of the Neat Method in Boise, Idaho. And Neat Method was founded in 2010 in San Francisco. And it's the largest luxury home organizing company with over 70 franchises of professional organizers across the US and Canada. And the Neat Method provides organization systems to create smart appointed and joy field living spaces. And they also have some products that they've launched recently.
[00:04:06] But Anna lives in Boise. She's the mother to an amazing crew of kids for in fact. And Anna says they keep her busy and laughing, slightly high strung and also happy. But she truly does. And you're going to you're going to feel this with Anna. This is Anna's jam, her vibe. You can tell that she's good at what she does. She's passionate about it, but she believes that organization is truly one of the best remedies for your mental health and it is truly a smart personal investment. And when she was sending over some answers to some questions, bless her heart, she said second only to working with me, if someone has the opportunity to or listening to the podcast. So thank you, Anna. So we're going to talk a lot about emotional clutter. We're going to talk about physical clutter. And I have an aha moment and epiphany. About halfway through that, I'll kind of leave leave you to find and you can find her. The website is Neat Method Dotcom and her Instagram is at Boysie Neat. Voysey and her even her Instagram account is very, very organized and we even talk about that as well. So I feel like you're going to learn a lot today. And there is a video of today's episode up on the virtual couch YouTube channel. And so if you're interested, you can go check it out there. So without any further ado, let's get to today's episode with Anna, professional organizer. We're going to talk about mental and physical clutter.
[00:05:40] Come on, take a seat, Carl.
[00:05:46] So admittedly, Anna, you were I didn't even think about my background.
[00:05:50] Is that a little bit distracting for, you know, what would you do, though? What would you do different right now?
[00:05:56] Ok, so you have clients coming in, right? You want to keep you want to keep some of that going on. But that bookshelf really needs a little straightening up over that.
[00:06:04] Ok, I know it's funny. When you just started saying that, I felt my anxiety rise because I felt like all I mean, jumping right in to thank you for joining me on the virtual couch.
[00:06:16] And you are a professional organizer, which is why I am finding my anxiety rise because I am not a very organized person. And I said no, I want to ask you tell me about your background and that sort of thing. But do most of the people you meet with, are they pretty uncomfortable to have someone come in and organize them?
[00:06:34] It's really vulnerable to say, hey, come in and look at this map of an area in my life that I can't seem to manage and similar to the work that you do, although I get to see it out in the open, people are really nervous about sharing those pieces. But it's funny because when I walk in, I don't see it as a mess. I see it as a problem to work through and be solved. So I come at it with different eyes than what they're stuck seeing when they're in their space.
[00:07:04] Ok, I love that. And it's the first time I've spoken with a professional organizer, so I'm very excited to hear that because I feel like, yeah, there's going to be some similarities there with your what I do when people say, I know you're going to think this is weird or you're going to be disappointed in me, I just feel like that isn't the way it works. So I love hearing that. That's how you come into a situation.
[00:07:22] Yeah, they in fact, it's a really hard thing for clients to make that initial contact to say, hey, I need some help. And it's usually my clients are usually high functioning people who are really capable of a lot of things. It just have an area that causes stress or chaos or is confusing or clutter ridden, and they just need someone else to come in and help them get a handle on it. Sometimes just setting the appointment gets them the motivation to get going. And I love it when a client only needs me once when I only have to carry one space. It's great because then that means it's gotten them to a place where they can manage the other spaces in their life a little bit better.
[00:07:58] Ok, so what's really funny, as I was about to make this comment of man, we are so similar and I didn't even know it. So a lot of times there's some cool data that says when people set up an appointment with a therapist, oftentimes they do feel a little bit better because they're taking action. But then unfortunately, I can't do it in one time. I was with you there for a minute.
[00:08:15] Yeah. Where we can come in and line up out of the space in one session. Yeah, OK.
[00:08:21] I am so not going as probably a good interviewer would, but now I just have all these questions. So do you. How often do you go and help someone organize a space and then I don't know, a year or two years later are back in the same spot. Is that very often?
[00:08:34] Not very often. So we do lectures about six months or a year after. But typically what we're doing is we're going to the next space in their house to organize that space because we set up a system that that works. It's not just rearranging the clutter, it's clearing out stuff. It's putting in systems. And that helps people maintain the order and then they want to do it to the whole house.
[00:08:57] Ok, I realize now how little I know. And I was so excited. I think I reached out through Instagram. You got an amazing Instagram account, which and it's so organized, which is ironic now that I'm figuring that part out. But I didn't even know what I didn't know. So I didn't even think about in terms of systems and that sort of thing. So I'm getting so far ahead of myself. And tell me how you got into this, the work of professional organizing.
[00:09:19] So it started with a friend of mine. She was actually remodeling her kitchen and we were like, let's just container store the heck out of this space and just make it beautiful. And so we were working on that space and then we just started following accounts that we liked and just were fascinated. So after we did her kitchen space, we showed all of our friends and they wanted us to come do some of their spaces. They're like, I have a linen closet you can use or why don't you come work on my basement? So it just started as like a side hustle project. I remember taking my little my youngest daughter to some of my projects, and they would she would play with my friends kids while we organize their spaces. But then I started getting clients that were friends of friends of friends that I actually didn't have a connection to. And so I started building that way. And I had my own home organizing company for about two years. It was home aligned and I just got neat method market in Boise, Idaho. So now I'm part of that franchise in that brand.
[00:10:21] Wow. OK, so is it something then? Do you feel like it's a special person or type of person that enjoys organizing? Is that something you've always enjoyed?
[00:10:30] Yes, yes, for sure. I've always loved to organize and been an organized person and people ask me that all the time. They say you must be really organized. That's just what I'm used to, so I don't know the comparison of force on operating organized, but it is a skill. It is a skill and I've refined mine as I've worked like we have experiences. But some people it it's really tied to anxiety and stress. And it just is a really hard hurdle to get over, which is why I love I love doing what I do. I have a job because it can help people who can't do it themselves.
[00:11:05] I love that. And I am a big fan of acceptance. And I was just done an interview a couple of days ago and I was expressing that. I tried to do my own books for a while and I even went to a quick books conference in San Francisco that I paid for. And I was about an hour into it and I realized this is I will never do this. This is this isn't a strength. And I remember I called my wife and I think she came down to the city and we had a fun weekend. But I remember at that moment feeling like it's OK to accept that there are certain things that I will not be good at. I hadn't thought about this. I will stop saying I haven't thought about this because I really didn't realize all the things I didn't know about clutter and a professional organizer. But so if somebody is hearing this and they they just can't wrap their head around organizing and declaring, that's OK, that might not be their jam or that might not be something that speaks to them.
[00:11:50] Is that true?
[00:11:53] I feel like a lot of the people that I work with are really high functioning people, they excel at lots of things in their life. And so some of it is a matter of time. Some of it is a matter of not knowing where to start. I specialize in this, so I've seen hundreds of pantries. I know what works really well and a pantry to get it organized and they're just starting from scratch or ideas. And to be honest, when we organize a space, it takes us a handful of hours. Sometimes people want and hour quick fix to get it all organized and look good. And I'm like, no, we go in, we clear out the whole thing, wipe it all down, set it all up, and then put all your food or your clothes back in the space with a system. And that's a lot more investment than just an hour of your time.
[00:12:37] So do you find that there are times where people just don't necessarily value what you do so they want you to come in, but then if you're going to say this is going to take a few hours, it might cost some money where they feel like we'll know, take an hour and straighten up. Do you ever get that?
[00:12:50] Yes. If you're asking do people say no when they see how much it's going to cost? Yeah, that entails. And that's part of the process where we understand where people are at the work that we do. Really, it's a physical transformation of a space. But to be honest, so many of the women that I work with and occasionally the men, it's an emotional, joyful gift when they have a space that's organized and provides function that the way that they want it to. And it's funny because you can't put price tags on those types of things. I get clients who text me months later and they're like, I just love my pantry or my closet still in great shape. And it we carry a lot of baggage emotionally with our stuff anyways, that having someone come in and help you work through that or clear it out and put things together, it's really emotional work just as much as it is physical work for what we do know.
[00:13:44] And so I love that and no one will know when I recorded this. So I will say that I maybe had someone earlier today and this was literally what we were talking about is they've been hanging on to a an emotionally abusive exes or soon to be exes stuff in their home for a long time. I try to come up with every way I can to say, what would that look like to have this out? What would it take to get you to move these things? And so do you. I think what you find yourself in those kind of situations where it's maybe someone that's really this is a it's a really major event for them to get rid of some of these things.
[00:14:14] Yeah, we have we have lots of clients who go through a lot of things. Divorce, deaths, even moves can be really emotional, letting go of pieces or memories or when your kids grow up of things that you just you're attached to things in lots more ways than we know. And it means something different to them than it does to me. And I am fine to let them hold on to things that they want to. But when I know it's impeding their ability to succeed, I do my best to try and help them get to that place. Some clients are ready and some aren't.
[00:14:47] So OK, can you what do you think of any examples or what might that look like? I'm really fascinated by that because I feel like anybody that's listening to my podcast doesn't know a lot of the the things I talk about. But I work with a lot of people that are in relationships with narcissistic people or emotionally abusive people. And so I often find that they just hang on to things for so long. And whether it's having real difficulty of saying that that represents the relationship being over or that they are now going to move on, or I think you're right, there's so many different things that that those things mean. Yeah. What does that look like or what's an example?
[00:15:21] You can think of where you've had to process that. So when we get like in the kitchen, if we get expired goods and it's someone who's holding on to it because they're like, well, what if covid-19 happens and we have to keep all this food that we've had for 20 years and we just have to we just have to either make the cut with them or we just clear out that stuff and show them the pile of things that are expired and say, guess what, this is all the stuff you're holding on to that actually isn't going to serve a purpose for you. And look at how much more cleaner and organized and and easy it is to use the space when it's organized and that clutter is not left. And you don't get to do that emotionally quite as much. Right, because you don't get to pull out all the stuff and say, look at this weight that you're holding on to and carrying and shuffling around day after day to get to the stuff that you actually want to use and the things you actually want to do in your life. And then they start to realize that they don't need it and they can move on from it. And sometimes it takes someone like us getting in there to clear it out for them to help them on that step. It can be hard.
[00:16:28] Are you are you met with a fair amount of resistance at times or by the time people bring you in, or do you feel like they're more ready than not that they're more than usually with a little bit more ready by the time they get a phone call and reach out to us, they're like, OK, can you be here tomorrow and let's get started, OK?
[00:16:44] Do people cancel? Do you feel like people get anxious or nervous and cancel last minute? Do you run into that very often?
[00:16:48] Everybody always says, I'm so embarrassed and I'm really sorry. When I'm coming to their space, because they're nervous to show it to me and I'm like on my Instagram feed, you'll see beautiful pictures of beautiful spaces. But we also make sure you realize that we live in the spaces that we organize too. And it's fine if it doesn't look like that all the time. That's a set up system, but that's not how it's going to be maintained all the time. But people are always like, I'm embarrassed or I'm nervous or don't judge me because it's really vulnerable. They're like, hey, here's the worst part of my life that I can't manage, that I don't want anyone else to see.
[00:17:28] Yeah, OK. I appreciate that. And quick side note question. Do you find that people do try to clean, though, before you come? I feel like I hear that always.
[00:17:37] I in fact, I have a one liner that says don't be the people who clean before the cleaners come, because we want to see we want to see the mess in in its real state of existence, because if it's a really far extreme mess, then we need to know that. So we need to know at what level we can push your standard to keep it organized for you.
[00:17:56] I love that. I do. I feel like that's the equivalent of somebody they're just going to floss right before they go to the dentist.
[00:18:01] Right? Right. Like I'm good now.
[00:18:04] Yeah. So you can see through that to on the record and a professional organizer can see through that. You know, somebody is doing a little a little bit of moving things around.
[00:18:11] So talk about the talk about emotional clutter and we're talking a little bit about that or talking around it. But what really is it? I don't know. I didn't even know the right questions to ask. And I'm so just fascinated by this process now. And I almost feel like this needs to be as a therapist and especially working with somebody who has anxiety or depression or working through a divorce or relationship
[00:18:29] Issues that almost like this needs to be a checklist item because it can be I feel like we accumulate a lot, and especially in today's day and age where you can get anything Amazon Prime to you within two days, we just accumulate. And it's very rare, unless it's something like a big life event that you actually have to process through your physical things in your home. So we're talking like when you're moving or if there's a big transition, a new baby or someone leaving, then that's a time when you're actually processing through the things in your life. But we get so weighed down by stuff and we're bringing new stuff in all the time and then not processing or getting rid of the old stuff. And we carry a lot of baggage with that. It's it can be emotionally taxing to have a house full of stuff that is disorganized. You your cortisol levels go higher, you feel it, you in your home, your kids respond to it as so many other effects than just cleaning it out. And it's not just necessarily a clean space, it's an actual organized space that's useful and put a pin in that.
[00:19:38] I want to talk about the maybe the difference of clean versus organized. That one just hit me and then maybe right before that to so many therapy concepts that are coming out that I wasn't aware of. So I find that a lot of people will turn to buying, especially with how easy it is with an Amazon to get literally that little bump of dopamine or excitement of when they make the purchase and then when the thing arrives and this is going to make them happy and then that's that temporary happiness. But I hadn't thought about that then. That must also feel like there's more things now. There's more things in the pile or in the home, which so it almost might have this net effect of being negative.
[00:20:11] Yeah, it can just be like a drug where it's like you get that high, but then when you're shuffling through it to move it somewhere else in your house, it goes back down. Yeah.
[00:20:20] Wow. OK, that that one is deep, but there's a book, Atomic Habits. It talks about the dopamine spike is in the anticipation. So I feel like that is the shopping, that is the anticipation of the person bringing the the boxes. And then once we open them, I wonder and feel like a lot of people often say, OK, now I need something else or what's next or. Yeah. So is there a difference, would you say, between cleaning and organizing or was that the question I ask now?
[00:20:44] Ok, yeah, there is. And I think people can maintain a clean home, but it might not be an organized space. And I also equate organization to usefulness of the things that you have. Oftentimes when people are passing away or having to go through their parents stuff after a death in the family, you just have all this stuff, years of accumulation of stuff. And they might have lived in a clean home, but it wasn't organized in that they were using the things that they had. It brought them enjoyment. It was useful in their life on a regular basis or on occasion. But otherwise you just accumulate and accumulate and then it it's not organized in the way that you use it or and it's not organized in the way that it's placed in your home. So it can just be chaotic.
[00:21:29] Ok, no, I appreciate that. And I find myself it's funny. I want to ask for tips or tricks or suggestions that you might have. And then I really invited myself in the moment thinking, well, wait, and I just want to give away all of our secrets. But do you have and I even have a speed round in my head now of different rooms or things that you would suggest, or do you have recommendations that you give people just in general on ways to organize or to to get rid of the emotional clutter or.
[00:21:53] Physical clutter. Yeah, there are lots of cysts, there are lots of systems that you can do seasonally, making sure you go through things is a good way. People are always excited about the beginning of the new year and spring cleaning kind of cleansing. But the problem is they do that and then they bring in a whole bunch more stuff because then they think that they have less things. And we already live in big homes and have big spaces and there's no need for us to fill them all in every nook and cranny. I'm actually a lot more minimalistic than people might think, but it's because I've seen the weight that things have on people and it can be a huge burden. For sure, making sure you do a cleaning out of your things. You've had a sweater for 20 years and you've let it sit there for 19. It's probably OK if you say goodbye to that sweater and just allow actually the negative space to be there. You don't have to refill it with something else. You can allow that space just to be opened up.
[00:22:53] Ok, no, I love that. I heard I've heard things in the past about where. Yeah. If you turn a hanger one way and it's been a year later and it's still that way, are those things valid or is it one of these if it works for you, great situation.
[00:23:05] It's one of those things that I say to people who you walk by the grocery store aisle and you see the workout magazines and it's do this and for twenty five days and lose twenty five pounds. And they come out with some new thing every single month to put on that magazine, to advertise to you, to try and entice you. And it comes down to things like your own habits and commitment to establishing that. One thing that's good about a home organizer when they come into a space is they set up the whole system for you for that space. So then you can just start living and operating in it, which is a really good way to to set a clear slate of that space. But it's it takes a lot of work. We come in. I have a whole career based off of organizing people's faces because because.
[00:23:51] Oh, I know this is a little bit dirty pool, but before you find out what I was going to say next, a quick word from our sponsor. OK, so I'll make this very quick. This is a very true story. So the good news is that people are starting to talk more about their mental health. And I feel like the stigma around going to see a counselor, a therapist is starting to disappear more than ever. So there's the good news. The bad news is that it can be really hard to find a counselor. I have an intern starting soon, and I already worry that I'm going to have his schedule filled. And there are people that I give referrals to because I get a lot of referrals during the week and now even they are full. So if you are trying to find a good therapist, a good counselor right now, I know it can be hard. And that is why I do recommend turning to the world of online counseling, and that is betterhelp.com. And if you go to Betterhelp.com/virtual couch, you're going to get 10 percent off your first month's charges fees. And with Betterhelp.com you can find a therapist. They will match you up with a licensed therapist, a licensed counselor in your area, in your state.
[00:24:53] And you can find somebody that specializes in anxiety or depression or working through family issues. You can get male, you can get female. And there's a very, very streamlined assessment process to get you in touch with somebody. You can be talking to somebody and as little as 48 hours. So go do what almost a million people have done now over the United States and abroad and turn to Betterhelp.com/virtual couch and find somebody that can help you. They have sliding scales. They have some scholarship opportunities available. The bottom line is there is a way to find help. Even if you feel like you don't know where to turn, go to Betterhelp.com/virtual couch, find a therapist, get help today because it's been a crazy year. I mean, that goes without saying 2020, twenty twenty one. We're we're kind of starting off with that. There's a lot of unknown there as well. So you owe it to yourself, your family, everyone to work on you, to get yourself in a good place. Raise that emotional baseline, turn to Betterhelp.com virtual couch. Ten percent off your first month's expenses cost. What are you waiting for? Go do it today. OK, let's get back to my interview with Anna.
[00:25:58] But it's it takes a lot of work. We come in. I have a whole career based off of organizing people's spaces because they do it all the time and it's not maintainable for them or they fall short. Oh yeah. The clutter comes back. And so we implement things that are really helpful to make sure that you can stay organized and you can live the life you want to and not be bogged down by searching for things or clearing out the clutter to get to do the things you really want to do.
[00:26:25] I love it.
[00:26:25] I feel like I can say this and I can I don't know, maybe you would not, because I'm going to say it and it's going to maybe sound a little bit judging, which I try not to be. But I love that because I feel like when people will argue with me, but when I'm trying to teach a communication method or a parenting model, but they're here to see me because they're struggling in their communication or their parenting. That's where I want to say that there's a system, there's a framework, there's a plan, and you can argue with me. And that's where. How adorable. Or bless your heart, I'll still take the money that you're willing to give me to then argue with me, if you would like, but I know that the system works. I really do. I know this framework works.
[00:26:59] So, I mean, this again, is it a similar situation where if somebody is hiring you, you know what you're doing, you can deliver results.
[00:27:05] And so it's a little bit of hey, why don't you let me let me do what you're paying me for when I've had plenty of type A clients you follow behind me and they're rearranging the stuff as I'm going through. And it's fine. It's their space and they're going to live in it. But I really like setting up the framework and showing them that it's not just the way that it looks in a picture for my job. It's actually a system that's in place that will give you all of these amazing payoffs. And I try and guide them along with clients that you work with, too. There's some that I go back every two months and we're doing a new space or we're kind of refreshing it again. And there's some I see one time and then all of a sudden it sets them on a path that they feel capable of organizing other areas of their life there.
[00:27:52] That really is. There are a lot of parallels because there are people that I will introduce a framework or a book or a concept.
[00:27:57] And yeah, then they go and they just they digest it, they live it and it changes their life. And others, I feel like, yeah, it's going to be a little bit slow of a process.
[00:28:05] Ok, this is a selfish question, but I will my wife, if she's not around because she doesn't enjoy this, but I will watch Hoarders on TV. I am fascinated by that show. Do you ever run into that kind of a client?
[00:28:18] You would be fascinated with that because there's definitely a psychological. Yes, that and people think that all the time going in with hoarders. And I'm not specialized to work with hoarders. I do work with people who have a lot of clutter on occasion. But like I said, most of my clientele are people who just are regular functioning people and they just want to have less stress and less stuff occupying their mind and their homes. And so we're organizing them. But hoarders is a whole other dynamic. But some of the things are the same along the lines of the psychology behind it, of why they're buying things, why they're holding on to it. And you have to explore all those options before you just start dumping things because it's an emotional attachment. It just really is, man.
[00:29:08] All right. I feel like we should collab right, as the kids say. OK, now I just have some just again, random questions, if that's OK. OK, I find that in our own home, let's say hypothetically and then what people will tell me often is let's take teenagers, for example, where a parent will do all they can to clean and organize the kids space in hopes that then now that they will see this clean, nice space and it will make them feel better and then they will keep it clean and organized. And I find it that typically isn't the case with teenagers. But is that in theory, first of all, you have kids. Do you have that same kind of a thing happening?
[00:29:41] In fact, I probably would not want to go show you my daughter's room right now. Here's the thing. People are people, right? We can't have an expectation that a child that's 3 years old or a teenager that's 13 is going to keep their room Pinterest worthy 24/7. And that's not even the purpose of organization. It's not so that it looks pristine and not lived in. It's so that it functions better and doesn't cause you stress. That's the purpose of it. And it's funny to me that people are thinking then, OK, then your house has to look pristine all the time. That's not the point. And with kids, it's setting up a system for them to learn how to care for things. And so if they're not using things, then it's just junk in their room. Then it's time to let go of it and to move on. And if it is stuff that they like and they value, they need to take care of it and they need to figure out a system that works for them. We're still trying to figure out the whole laundry thing with my two teenage boys. How do you know?
[00:30:40] It's funny, I, I just look at the clock, so I'm like, OK, it only took thirty minutes till it just clicked that now I feel like I just I heard the concept of system versus Pinterest worthy clean. So that is that the part that is people don't necessarily understand. So the system is OK, talk about system.
[00:30:57] I think we just have this expectation that we get something to a state of arrival and then it's going to stay there forever and it it won't. The purpose of having an organization is so that when you're using it, it's doing the function that it needs to. So your closet is housing your clothes. That's what it's supposed to do. It's not supposed to look pristine all the time, but it is supposed to house your clothes. And if you have a spot where you put all of your shoes, then it's easier to put them back in the spot where all your shoes are versus just tossing them anywhere. If there's no purpose to where you're putting things, then there's no order when you need to figure out where they are. But when you put purpose or and systems in place, it streamlines everything. It's the same reason that anybody who does computer programing puts all those systems in place so that there's smooth sailing through it. It's the same sort of thing.
[00:31:48] Ok, I may edit that part out because my wife does listen to my podcast. I'm. A little bit afraid of, because that does sound like what she says about my closet and shoes and all that stuff, I can find them if I need to in the pile they are in. And you run into that and people that, I guess, is that the people are those people even going to call you if they're saying, no, I like the way it is and and I know where everything is and I can find it eventually, I guess those people aren't necessarily going to call you.
[00:32:11] Sometimes their spouse calls me. Oh, OK. That might be you're talking about collaboration. I might be referral. Exactly. My clients to you after I come in and do their closets. I cannot tell you how many times I've had discussions with wives about their husbands not wanting to change their hangers. OK, so there's these new hangers out. You wouldn't know because it's not your their velvet hangers and they're all the rage. So women want them on their so that their shirts and sweaters don't slip off and so they hold well and everything, but men hate them because they just want to yank their shirts. Oh yes. That was my first thought. It was, that would be a pain. Totally. So I go into a closets and I organize the women's side all the way down and we just leave the husbands side all right there. All the time because they're like, no, you're not touching my clothes. Do not switch hangers. I don't know why it needs to look pretty. I just need it to hold my shirt. So it's hilarious because I had that conversation consistently with my clients.
[00:33:14] I love that. I love everything about that. I even remember. So I get some things dry cleaned, shirts for work. And then at one point I thought, man, isn't it cool how many wire hangers I have? Almost like it was a collection. And my my wife said, why don't you throw them away? And I don't even know you could or recycle them or whatever.
[00:33:30] And I just thought it was pretty cool. And I did find myself thinking and what am I going to do? And I have just tons of these.
[00:33:34] So what can I make with this or something that I'm not I would just love to get in that closet.
[00:33:38] I know, you know, I've got all kinds of things going through my head that I would be very embarrassed about, so I'd have to clean it first Anna, that's what I have to do. Is there is there any room that you feel like is harder to than organize? I love the fact that the system thing just made sense, because now I feel like that doesn't even that question is invalid because you could put a system in place in a garage or a bathroom or pantry or laundry, anything.
[00:34:01] Yeah, you can play rooms can be kind of hard because toys are transitioning. Kids are interested in different things. So sometimes that's one that's a little bit hard because you have to continue adjusting things as kids get older and bigger and garages are really big projects. But man, they're really fun to do because a nice organized garage just sets the tone when you pull in your house and you're just like, man, I love this garage. It's just it sets the tone for sure.
[00:34:28] Ok, I just I'm going to say this out loud and everything else, but my wonderful helper, Crystal, when she hears this podcast, please do a pull quote from Anna about the garage being, like, so fun or amazing or whatever, because I feel like, again, I have marriage therapy sessions about garages. So that might be a unique industry for you, Playrooms. So now I feel like we should do a part B where we just talk about differences and men and women, the hangers or this is where I find that a lot of guys feel like, well, the house is going to get messed up the next day anyway, so why clean it at night, and I had a very, very wonderful conversation with my wife twenty years ago where she let me know that at the end of the day, if the house is neat and tidy, then she feels like she can.
[00:35:10] I know she feels like the day is done and she can go to bed. Do you run into that very often?
[00:35:15] Yeah. It's interesting. Women have a different tie to their homes, OK? Men tend to have and it is connected to their ability to function and think and be intimate and take care of their kids and feel successful. And so when they feel like they can't get ahead of it or on top of it or get it under control, it occupies so much of their mental space and emotional abilities. And so there's a huge difference between how a space even feels to a man versus a woman. They can be sitting in the exact same on the exact same couch. Yeah, she will be looking around at all the things that she needs to do. And he's just watching the show because he's going to sit down and watch the show. And it's it's not anything that's better or worse. It's just differences. But there is definitely an emotional tie to the space that we have. And I'm sure so many of us have learned that with covid and being in our homes a lot more, that we are affected by our space and whether or not we feel peace in it or comfort in it or enjoyment that that has an effect on if we're able to accomplish the things that we want to do.
[00:36:25] I love it. I do. And man, I feel like now I could go into my four pillars of a connected conversation or I remember having the conversation with my wife and I wanted to say that, but that's ridiculous. It's a long time ago. Or just to say you shouldn't worry about that, or don't you realize that tomorrow the kids are going to mess it up anyway instead of hearing and I love what you just said. Hey, what's that like for you or what is what does this represent to you? Because I realized after that conversation then I really just didn't have I didn't really have a strong opinion, so why would I try to insert my my my opinion into this thing that means a lot more to my wife than than it means to me? I love that. Yeah. OK, do we do anything that that we miss? I was going to be OK with this. I want to read a couple of things from your Instagram account, because your Instagram account is pretty amazing, OK?
[00:37:09] And because there's there's some things that are just very deep here.
[00:37:14] Ok, there's one that I thought was really interesting. It's I should have had these already up and I can edit some of this out as well. OK, you've got we've talked a little about this, but being organized will increase your ability to be productive. Do you think that the Emotional Clutter Piece. Organization is a practice, not a project.
[00:37:29] I feel like there's some depth there. What does that mean?
[00:37:31] There is so I think people say this word, I'm getting organized as I started this project, like I'm going to do this thing. But there are so many more ties to being organized and you practice this level of organization of putting things in its place. There's an attachment to our things that we should have. And in today's day and age where we can get whatever we want and discard whatever we want on whatever whim, we don't tend to have any sort of reverence or care for things unless they really mean a lot to us. And so I think that sometimes people just get distracted by their stuff and they don't realize that how you take care of your things is actually a practice of who you are and what you value and that those things are important. You can't just go to yoga once and expect to be able to to master it. And that's the same thing with organization. You we come in and organize a space, but you're going to be the one who has to practice that organization over and over. And you don't just come to a space and then you're done. You still have to maintain all of the fundamentals that you need to of cleaning things up the night before and of putting things back where they belong. There's a lot of steps that that keep you on that on that path.
[00:38:55] I really again, I appreciate that. And I'm having a bit of the ha moment where my wife will say that often of when something is clean and organized, then let's keep it that way and a little bit every day and all those things. And I hear them, but I don't think I've ever viewed it as a practice to do. I do meditation practice. I do. I practice with exercise, I practice with whatever. But yeah, not making that a priority. OK, there's a concept of you say edit it down, it's code word for a house diet.
[00:39:19] I've never heard of the concept of the house diet like that because people don't ever clear out their house thinking that maybe their house doesn't want to hold all this stuff that no one cares about and the same sort of thing. Any time someone's trying to increase their physical capacities, you start to realize how much more capable you are, the stronger that you get and whether that's losing weight or building muscles or just for your mental health. Whenever you're exercising those things, you start feeling better, you start having more energy, you start having better mental capacity. The same thing happens in your house when you get rid of that clutter, that's just weighing it down. The stuff that's just sitting around, you start to feel better, too, and it functions better. So it's, hey, give your house a break and let it have a cleansing.
[00:40:09] That's very funny. That really is a nice detox for the home. And I think that speaks right to there's another one that you have on there. That is when you're in the mess, it's hard to see outside of it. I feel like there's so many that's a therapeutic principle as well.
[00:40:21] So is. And like I said, when I come into a space, I do not see what my client is seeing. I don't see the overwhelm and the complications and the chaos. I see a space that needs to be cleaned out and organized, and that's what I do. And so I feel capable of being able to do that for them. But when they're in it, it just feels overwhelming. And like most things, when you're in it, in the thick of it, you can't you can't see outside of it. And here's a little plug for some mental health, too. Sometimes people will be like, oh, my friend will just come over and help me and I can get it organized or oh, I'll just take a few minutes. But like I say, it's a practice because it it actually is an investment. And some people might shy away from the price of home organizing or the amount of product that we would want to buy. But it's an investment that actually has a payoff that's emotional for you and elevates your life, and I think that people who want to have that in their life are willing to pay a price for it, that that they find actually the payoff is bigger than what the the dollar amount is.
[00:41:32] Maybe you have time for one more. OK, this one that I'd never thought of this before. Picture your dream home. I bet it's not filled with clutter. Never thought no one. I think we all like to daydream or think of what things could be like. But it's not. It's not filled with clutter. I don't know.
[00:41:45] Thoughts know and sometimes people just fill their house, just has things in it that they just don't even want or need. And that's another example of of male versus female. Sometimes if the husbands in their perching things, he's just throw it away or get rid of it. Or maybe it's the wife who's just throw it away or get rid of it, clear it all out. And it it can just be consuming to have so much stuff in your life. And that's why I say the things that you want and the things you want to achieve. You don't throw all the extra bucks and all the extra paperwork and all that stuff's not laying around. It's all put away nice and organized. And so to be able to have that, you've got to work for it.
[00:42:26] Ok, I love it. I said one more. But then as I continue to scroll through, there's there's one that's once you need less, you'll have more. There's you have a lot of good stuff on here. Don't confuse busy with being productive. I had someone yesterday talking about they just feel like they can just make their day busy. A lot of busy work, but it isn't very productive, which I feel like speaks back to the system. Anna this was there was a lot more I got. I knew I was going to get a lot out of this because I really do believe that mental health is just what accelerated when there is less clutter. I know that is the case. And but I realize all of the kind of the tie ins here of you are a home therapist of sorts or a purging therapist or that sort of thing.
[00:43:02] Yeah, it does feel like it. It does feel like it. That's why I say a lot of what we do is a physical outcome, but it's emotional work.
[00:43:11] Yeah, I love it. OK, where can people find you. I've talked about your Instagram account a bunch. I'll have that in the show notes but yeah.
[00:43:17] Where do people find you so neatmethod.com and then our Instagram is BOISE neat and we love to post inspiring words and pictures just to inspire people to elevate their living spaces and their frame of reference.
[00:43:32] Perfect. Hey, I appreciate you taking the time and I feel like there will probably be a part too, because in my mind is still racing.
[00:43:40] Thanks so much, Anna. Thank you.