This is Jen from Grace for Single Parents where your parenting and God’s grace collide. Hi Kim. I’m excited to have you on the podcast today to talk about your five step method to clear clutter from the inside out.
Thank you so much, Jennifer. I’m excited to be here.
New Speaker (00:24):
Would you take a minute to introduce yourself?
Yeah, of course. So I’m Kim Sneath, the Clutter Coach, and in the world I’m located in Moncton, New Brunswick in the East coast of Canada. So for anyone who’s listening in the States that’s just above Maine in case you don’t know. And I’ve been operating my business since 2007, so 13 years in business where I started actually home staging and decorating people’s homes and getting it ready for sale. And then it naturally flowed into organization and I joined the professional organizers in Canada at that time, mentored with a bunch of other organizers. And now that’s what I solely do right now is helping people eliminate the overwhelm that comes with too much stuff and not knowing how to deal with it.
Have you yourself ever dealt with clutter?
I’ve never been affected by physical clutter. Certainly mental clutter can be part of it. You know, your mind has that monkey brain. And so I link it to that. But no physical clutter. I’ve always been organized and grew up in an organized home. Never been really that sentimentally attached to very many things. People, certainly animals moments but not things. So for me it’s easy to help people through that. And I guess I have a lot of empathy for people who, even though I don’t suffer from that, I have a lot of empathy for people who are struggling with it because I can see the space in their home or I can see the person that they’re on the edge of who they could be, but this is holding them back. So it really excites me. It’s like, Oh, let’s, let’s fix this and you’ll be off off to the races. So
What do you see when people are having trouble getting rid of their clutter? Do you think it’s more of a physical thing or is it more of an emotional thing that makes us hold on to all of our stuff?
Oh, that’s a great question. It can be sometimes just the physical clutter often it’s usually connected emotionally. So whether that’s just guilt, regret. So people are hanging on to the past or worried about the future so they’re not in the present. And the present moment is where all the happiness in our home and with their families lives. And so they don’t love their homes. They struggle with that. So, so it’s a little bit of both,
I thought that was interesting your course is titled Space For Grace, what made you come up with that name?
Yeah. Well, so grace is the five and that’s the five steps. Okay. Yeah. So G is going within, and really this is a step that almost everybody skips, especially when they approached their homes. They just think, I just got to dedicate a Saturday or a couple of weekends and I’m done. But the missing piece is setting your goals. What is the bigger picture? Why are you getting organized? It’s the same as getting, you know, losing weight or making more money. You’ve got to have that far reaching big picture goal. Otherwise you’re definitely going to quit. So that first week is your first step is going within. The next one of course is our release, but it’s released without fear. So you have the confidence to not worry about the future, to let things go that just in case clutter or that guilt clutter, we’re going to release it and we’re doing it in a really step-by-step way.
Align a is alignment. So stay aligned with your goals and also when you organize you sort. So that’s also part of alignment. So we’re really getting into the sorting at this point. After doing all of the decluttering and releasing a then C is cultivate new habits and let go of the old. So, so many people, especially a lot of my clients are busy moms or career women and one of their typical habits is doing it all and thinking for their whole family. And so that’s a habit to release and find systems that we can set up to be organized so that you can allow your family to have independence. And you can delegate it work a bit more. You don’t have to do it all. So cultivating, cultivating new habits and then E is embrace and embody this whole new lifestyle and this whole new way of not just having an organized home but being an organized person in your life, in your day to day life.
I like that. I like how you put all that together with that acronym. So at the end after clients have gone through the decluttering, so whether they declutter, I assume that the goal is to clutter a whole home, but can you declutter, you know, like a room at a time or is it really is the goal to declutter everything?
Yeah, that’s a good question. It is. The goal is cause it’s three month program to declutter your whole home, but it’s also your life. Like you’re going to be decluttering your schedule and changing your how you view time and what you do with your time. Because again, what is the point going within to getting your home organized just to have, you know, you can post it on Instagram. No, it’s so you can get back to those hobbies so you can use that back room that became the junk room and and start your, your home business or your Etsy cause you love crafting. You know, like it’s to get back to life. I say the tag to my business is transform your space, transform your life. Because I truly believe one leads to the other.
How does like a mom do that when like your kids aren’t really behind you or you know, you have other people living with you who don’t really care about it. It might be messing up another room at the same time.
Speaker 2 (06:29):
Oh that’s great. Yes. So here’s the thing. Most of my clients who call me are women. Most of them are the ones with the clutter. So I say to them, because you and I are working together, you are going to lead the charge. So it’s going to feel like a lot on your plate right now. But you get to direct it all. You get to set it up the way you want to set it up. And then we’re also going to talk about different learning types and how that affects how you organize. So different physical solutions of organizing don’t fit with everybody. Like there’s filers, there’s pilers. So your kids maybe, I mean they’re not organizing per se, but they look at things in a different way than perhaps you do. Once you know their way and you understand that from me, then you can set up their rooms to their type.
And the same with you. You’re, you’re the commander in chief here, you set up the whole household and then they follow your example. And what I tell busy moms all the time is believe you me. Those teachers that you send your kids to school are not accepting 30 kids or more and allowing them all to throw their books and boots and lunch bags everywhere there is a system and those kids learn it on the first day and then they’re ingrained into that system so kids can learn and adapt very quickly, very quickly. Now with husbands and wives, what I usually see is, well, first of all, men and women look at clutter very, very differently. Women have more of an emotional attachment. Men have more of a pride of ownership. So once they see say if this is a married couple, once the husband sees the wife going through all this stuff and finally getting it organized, usually they just go off in their little area and they, they just follow suit without any prodding or, you know, they’re just really relieved and happy to see that things are changing. Does that make sense?
Yeah, it does. Especially with the kids. It’s very true that, you know, they will follow what the teacher has. Yeah, that’s true. So what do you hope that your clients feel like after they’re done decluttering? I mean, what’s the end goal? Not just a clean room, right?
Speaker 2 (08:49):
Oh, not at all. It’s so much deeper than that. And that’s why when I first started, I called myself a professional organizer. Now I call myself a clutter coach because it’s so much deeper. And so I’ll tell you that before, like the words that my clients use when they email me or we have our first complimentary phone call is I’m drowning. I can’t breathe. I’m like, I’m suffocating. People have used all these types of words and at the end, whether it’s a three hour residential home session or a full on course, it’s, Oh, I feel so much lighter as using that, or I’m so relieved or I’m so proud of myself, or I can’t believe we did this all. It’s just wonderful. It’s the best feeling to work with people and get them there.
Yeah. I mean I had a room in my house that I wouldn’t even go into for three years, just shut the door and now it’s like my favorite room. But I often feel like, I guess it’s, lighter is a good word, but I feel like I can’t relax or breathe, I guess in a room that has too much stuff in it, if that makes sense.
It makes total sense. And can you imagine that through your whole house so you feel defeated from the time you wake up and when you do get back from work, you don’t even want to really come back in the door. So a lot of these people end up eating out. There’s a statistic and a whole book from Peter Walsh who was a professional organizer for years, have been on TV and on Oprah and he wrote a book, I think the title is does this clutter make my butt look fat? And he saw a correlation in the people, his clients that he was working with. And I do as well. Often they are people who struggle with weight and or some health issues. So everything weighs us down. And clutter is a physical manifestation of what isn’t working in our life or what’s blocking us.
Yup. That makes total sense. And ever since I did really try to declutter my house now, I try to really stay on top of it and just not let it get ahead of me.
That’s it. Once you do this, for those who have been struggling for many years, those have never been organized all their life. It feels like a big commitment to do a three month course or to continually work through either virtual coaching or, or didn’t even hire somebody. A lot of people think my God I should be able to do this. And so there’s a lot of shame and embarrassment which stops them from getting the help that they need. And exactly what you said is once it’s set up, once it’s all clear and once it’s the home you love you man you get, you keep that going. You might get a little behind cause you’re sick from a cold or busy over the holidays. But you, you, you love your space so you keep it up.
Yeah I agree. And what do you recommend as far as once you have it set up? Like I try not to bring in like once I try not to bring anything extra and like kids wanted to go to garage sales. I try not to bring any extra junk in. If we do, I make sure that we then take any extra junk out. Do you have any system like that? Any advice once you have your clients set up?
Well that’s, it is, there are hotspots, right? So like the dollar store type places, which usually don’t have the best quality goods and are a lot of plastic. And with our environment nowadays, we want less and less to go to the landfills and with people who have just decluttered, there’s that feeling like, Oh my God, I wasted. So stay out of those places. That’s, the C in the GRACE is cultivate new habits rather than shopping. Replace it with walking, you know, get out nature. Bring home the something from nature and enjoy that if you, if you need to have the thing to remember the moment and just do other activities, exercise, cooking, get back to those hobbies that you did save from the declutter that are important to you.
Yeah. That’s like learning a new lifestyle then at that point, right?
Yeah, that’s it. So really I break down what I offer. If you looked at it in sort of three big buckets, it’s inner transformation, outer transformation cause you got to fix the inner first. I shouldn’t say fix. You’ve got to develop and work on the inner to affect and be able to feel like you can affect the outer which then completely transformed your life too.
Okay, so let’s say that we’re just starting or realizing that we need to declutter. What would be like your first tips for someone who’s listening and just isn’t sure where to start?
Okay, well you and you brought it up like a moment ago asking, and I didn’t answer this about, do you go room by room? So my first tip is no you don’t do that. I have a like a three myth Buster and I really do follow that is the Marie Kondo method for those who are listening who don’t know her, she’s the one that had the life changing art of tidying up book. And then she had a Netflix show, which was all the rage last January. I have been organizing for many, many years. So I already followed this. It’s like you can’t make decisions on the stuff if you’re only doing the room because if the category of clothes is in three different spots in your house, how are you going to decide on this item in front of you when you’re, it’s kind of, it’s not right there in front of you. So bring out the winter clothes, if it’s summer, bring it like look at it all and do it category by category. And do you know the reason why we start with clothes? It’s the first category. It’s because we’ve been decluttering it all our lives. Right? We can’t possibly fit into the clothes we were wearing when we were 10 and so those go right.
And then styles and fashions. I don’t like that anymore. We let that go. So it, we’re already kind of in the practice of doing it. It’s usually not the most, it’s usually the easiest thing for people to do, to deal with.
Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. Where can listeners find you?
Well, you can go right to my website, which is www.kimsneath.com. So yeah, my website is a great place to start. You can look at my before and afters and testimonials. Also, if you’re a Facebook fan, I’m on Facebook. I have a business page, so it’s under my name, so you can like and follow that page and you can also go to my group, which is called Clutter Busters. Now there’s a couple of clutter busters out there, so just make sure my name is in that and you’ll find me. There’s about, I don’t know, 750 mostly women from all over the globe and about nine different countries.
Okay, great. Thank you so much.