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A Pleasant Solution: An Organizer’s Perspective

A Pleasant Solution: An Organizer’s Perspective
Can you tell us about your business A Pleasant Solution?

I approach home and lifestyle organization from the inside out. As a Certified Life Coach, Professional Organizer, and Fair Play Facilitator I help clients who are frazzled, busy, and overworked uncover the root cause of the clutter in their lives. Through weekly conversations clients explore their inner obstacles such as getting started, procrastination, lack of confidence or skills, over-scheduling, boundaries, people-pleasing, or feeling the pressure to always be available and put others' needs above their own. The goal is to heal the negative self-talk or judgment and empower clients to see how they’re the central figure in their own home and life.


How long ago did you start your business and what does the name A Pleasant Solution signify to you?

Pleasant is actually my maiden name! I wanted a name that was broad enough to encompass any services I would offer: from in-home organizing to moving services to caregiving support, and now coaching. A Pleasant Solution was launched in October 2019.  I had spent the year prior downsizing and moving my mother, who’s living with dementia and slowly shifting from being a stay-at-home mother to a solopreneur. I joined the National Association of Productivity + Organizing Professionals (NAPO). I took classes on best practices within the industry and on business ethics. I also worked part-time for The Container Store. I enjoy customer service and one-to-one conversations, so this allowed me to better understand what struggles customers had and what products best suited their space. I learned to design and install closets and practice the tear-out and installation in my own home. I began as an in-home organizer but quickly realized how much I loved listening and exploring clients’ stories.

Amelia Pleasant Kennedy of A Pleasant Solution

How did you get into this line of work? Have you always been an organized person?

Yes, I’ve always been organized. However, I believe that organization can be a bottomless pit that leads to perfectionism and overworking. (I’m a recovering perfectionist!) Our thoughts about our homes can push us towards never feeling like we’re doing “enough.” While working with in-home clients, I discovered the layers of self-judgment, pressure, and negative self-talk women were having around what it means to be “organized,” what it means to be “good” at keeping house, and what it means to be a “good” partner or parent. I became a Certified Life Coach to help folks get curious about this social and internal pressure so they can break free of old habits and beliefs and shift to thinking more intentionally about what an organized life and home looks like for their current season of life.


We were just featured on your podcast! Can you tell us a bit more about how you decided to start a podcast?

It was lovely to speak with you both, as I love how you’re creating products with clients’ needs front and center. Before I began podcasting, I wrote a blog called Embracing an Organized Life for two years. I learned that I enjoyed telling stories, sharing my perspective, and how little we discuss the mindset behind living an organized life. Podcasting was a natural transition from blogging and allows me to reach more people. I had no idea that people would follow, share, and become dedicated listeners in the way that they have. I’m grateful for every person who’s joined my community.


Amelia Pleasant Kennedy of A Pleasant Solution


What listeners can expect from your podcast episodes?

A Pleasant Solution: Embracing an Organized Life is all about why mindset is essential to an aligned and sustainable lifestyle. Each episode is about 20 minutes, and I cover lots of different topics related to home organization and home management. My philosophy begins with the belief that you’re more organized than you think, and encourages listeners to lean into self-compassion and give themselves credit for each and every step. I discuss the mental and emotional load of being raised as a woman, and invite listeners to use curiosity to better understand themselves and how they view organized living?


What would you say your coaching ethos is? What sets you apart from others in this line of work?

My coaching ethos is that there’s always a solution. Clutter is a symptom and a distraction. It can show up as physical clutter (too many unwanted objects), as mental clutter (too much to do, spinning in circles), or as scheduling clutter (too many unwanted commitments). My role is to act as a non-judgmental mirror. I ask questions and offer alternative points of view so that clients decide what objects, beliefs, and commitments they want to keep versus let go of. I teach and transfer skills where needed so that folks feel more empowered and in control of their spaces and time. What sets me apart is my ability to listen for what goes unsaid. Once you identify the strategy or solution that feels most aligned for you, executing the desired change is all about practice and accountability.


Amelia Pleasant Kennedy of A Pleasant Solution


You are a certified Fair Play Facilitator. If anyone reading has not heard of Fair Play, can you tell us more about what that is?

The Fair Play Method, developed by Eve Rodsky, is a time-saving system for organizing the chores, tasks, and primary responsibilities within the household. It’s a card game where two or more people can discuss who’s doing what, outline and make explicit the minimum steps required to get the work of running a household done. Tasks are then traded to create a more equitable balance of the chore load. Fair Play encourages players to share their stories and why behind tasks, and to make the tasks that are often “invisible” more visible so that they are valued. Every household member is guaranteed to have more free time, time for self-care, and time for adult friendships.


What is the most common misconception about working with a clutter coach?

My work is done entirely in a virtual format. During our sessions we can declutter and organize a space, we can troubleshoot your calendar, or we can better understand what’s holding you back from reaching your goals. It’s a multifaceted approach that mixes together coaching tools, systems, and productivity. A common misconception is that as your coach, I’ll provide you with all the answers. Nope - that’s consulting. You know yourself better than anyone, and clutter coaching redirects you to your own problem solving skills. This is what makes it an effective long-term solution. When you understand how you see a space, what “organized” means to you, and create the steps to manage that space, your obstacles won’t stand a chance.


Amelia Pleasant Kennedy of A Pleasant Solution


You’re a mom. What are some fun ways to teach clutter management to kids?

It’s all about the power of choice and regular practice. Each winter break and summer break, my kids know they’ll be responsible for sitting down and making decisions about what they own. When they were young, I’d break it up into manageable sessions of 30 minutes to an hour. I’d sit with them and bring them back to the task at hand. I’d model what decision making looked like and supported each decision whether or not I agreed with it. They had to participate, however, their power was with each decision. To manage toys, we used large bins with labels, just like SortJoy offers!


If someone is feeling overwhelmed in their space, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give them to help them start?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, sit for a moment and acknowledge what you’re feeling. Allow yourself to recognize that overwhelm often comes from not thinking you have the skills, the tools, the time to do the task at hand. You may be thinking there’s too much. So, before diving in, you’ll want to define the scope of your project and create a plan. This is the essential pre-work that will shift you out of overwhelm before you even declutter a single item. Take some time to decide in advance where items you no longer want are going to go. Create some boundaries and parameters around what pile you’ll start with and how long you’ll work. Remember, you’re more organized than you think.


Amelia Pleasant Kennedy of A Pleasant Solution


What are your best suggestions for maintaining a work-life balance as a working mom?

Work-life balance is best created through giving yourself permission to be fully focused on your current top one or two priorities. Life happens in seasons and our priorities change. Lots of us spend time thinking and planning for home life tasks while at work, and vice versa. It’s important to give yourself permission to be all in while working and park any thoughts or urges that come up with regards to chores and tasks at home. It also helps to increase expectations from your partner or support network. When you’re called away from work to parent, pause to consider all your choices before defaulting into the one who always trades her time. Your time and attention are your most valuable assets, so allow yourself to be fully present when you’re with family by again, noting any work impulses or thoughts for your dedicated working hours.


Tell us about your goals for the future:

Great question! I’ve had several requests to write a book about my family’s adventurous way of living and the journey of raising an elite athlete. I’d love to participate in a TedTalk or speak publicly on larger platforms. Encouraging women to take ownership of what they want and to create more equity in the home so they have space to do that is what I’m building towards.


Amelia Pleasant Kennedy of A Pleasant Solution


What is your favorite thing about being a business owner? What’s the most difficult thing?

My favorite thing about being a business owner is seeing the transformations my clients create. During our time together they uncover their style of organization, their approach to time, energy, and family. They step more fully into their power of speaking up for what they want and embrace their desires to make it happen. The most difficult thing is exactly what I ask my clients to do: to hold the belief in oneself. I know the work I do is important and valuable. Yet, just like my clients, I have to create and practice the belief each day I have the privilege of waking up. 


Who has supported you along the way and who inspires you?

Honestly, my husband has been my biggest support. He doesn’t question my vision and encourages me to take up space and time while living my mission.  I have several close friends and a tight-knit community that have kept me moving forwards each year, as well. There are several industry voices I’m inspired by including Tiffany Dufu, Gemma Hartley, Eve Rodsky, and others in the invisible labor movement. 

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1 comment

  • Dalys

    @sortjoy nicely done! Love this and I totally agree a book is in order Amelia. My fav— giving myself permission to be fully focused on my top one – two priorities… Work-life balance!

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