Heather Clark understands the mess that life can throw at you, whether physical, emotional or mental etc. She brings things back to the basics and starts with clearing out the physical clutter first in order to gain control of the rest of your life and business. She understands the complete overwhelm clutter can cause and sets-up easy actionable steps to start, identify and clear out the clutter, then organize your space.
You can find Heather at www.homeandofficedetox.com
I’m having video issues! It’s only showing one side of the audio. yikes! working on it so be back here later if you are looking for the video.
Welcome to The Art of Living big. I’m your host, Betsy Pake, and this podcast is designed to share interviews, stories, and new ideas to help you redefine what could be possible for your life. Thanks for listening. Now, let’s go live big. Hey, everybody, today’s podcast is brought to you by audible, you can get a free audiobook download and a 30 day free trial. And the trial is really good because when you have the trial, you can buy additional books on the discount. So you can get that by going to audible trial comm backslash live big, they have over 180,000 different titles to choose from. And you can listen on your phone, your Android, your Kindle, or your mp3 player. Now here’s the show. Hey, everybody, thanks for coming on and listening to another show of the art of living big. I’m here today with my friend Heather Clark. Hey, Heather.
Hey, how are you? Hey, I’m so
excited. You’re here. And I’m excited cuz we’re like videoing. And I thought oh, I feel very advanced. I’m not gonna lie like you can see this now on YouTube. So So tell everybody a little bit about yourself and what you do.
Well, you already introduced me my Heather Clark. I own the home and office detox business. And what we what I basically do is help people declutter, whether it’s your home, your office or your life. And I also own a local cleaning and organizing business, which is how I even started online. Because I wanted to bring something online, I wasn’t sure what it was going to be. And then got into this and it’s just booming from now. So I’m absolutely loving it. I love the people I’ve interacted with and I love the connections I’ve made and the people I’ve been able to help so
so that’s really cool. So you actually do it live for people. And you have the online business. So where do you actually live like if someone lives near you and wants you to come and organize their home? I’m
in Simcoe county basically Simcoe county in Ontario, Canada.
Oh, okay. Okay, you’re Canadian. Yeah, you know, I’m almost Canadian. I grew up like, right on the Canadian border in Vermont, like outside Montreal.
Okay. So I always say, I just got on the other side of like, two minutes
away. I’m almost I feel like I’m an honorary, honorary Canadian,
you can reach out and be.
Right. So okay, so I’m really fascinated with this. Well, from a couple different levels. One is because I think the information you’re going to share today will really help people. But also because I think that if you’re cluttered if you’re unorganized. It clutters up your brain and what you’re able to actually accomplish in areas that are totally unrelated to the clutter. Right.
Literally, like, what I say is that the physical clutter is a consequence of other forms of clutter in your life. Oh,
yes. So it’s just sort of manifesting itself in something we can see. And I know I always feel better. Like at night, when I’m finished working, one of the things I tried to do is like tidy up my desk and like organize stuff and get it ready. So when I come in, in the morning, I don’t feel overwhelmed.
Because the moment you see like, if you come in the morning, you didn’t do that the night before, if you come in the morning, that’s the first thing you see. Because you know, it’s visual is the right there. So if you see that clutter, you’re kind of like, and you get like just everything that comes down, you’re like, ah, but if you come in and it’s nice and neat, tidy, you can go straight to what was on your mind of client work or business or whatever the case would be. So the clutter that you see takes a toll even though you think, Oh no, I can work through it. I can work through it. It still has that mental block, whether you realize it or not. So when you see it, it’s on your mind. But even though you can work through it, there’s something that you’re not being as productive when you see that physical clutter.
And I know some people say well, I know where everything is. It’s organized clutter, but getting
right. I’m sorry that’s such an oxymoron. Oh, my worst my Okay, sorry, but a cluttered desk is not a sign of a genius. It was fine. I say a clutter.
Oh wait, I lost you there for a second.
Okay. Oh, so but a cluttered.
Okay. So say it again. So a cluttered desk is not a sign of a genius a cluttered desk is a sign of
a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind. Hmm,
yeah, yeah. Yeah. Because really it it’s how you’re organizing your outside is it is really like how you’re organizing your inside, right? I always think of my mind is having like these buckets. And sometimes when I learned something new, I almost think like what bucket does that go in? But that’s also because I have literally like buckets in my office, you know, like bins, right? And I have my things in bins. And I think that’s sort of like how I operate. So it was who kind of who comes to you like what kind of person comes to you that needs help?
Well, the so I actually just got asked this yesterday like, So did they come to you for like, you know, the actual decluttering? Because it’s a mental, it’s the emotions, it’s whatever, like, no, they come to me because they want to get rid of their physical clutter. Yeah, they come to me with what they want. They leave with what they need. So it’s not because once you actually, yeah, you’re like, because once you actually start to actually declutter and remove the stuff out of your life, the emotions and the mental part comes through, like it gives it like a floodgate.
Yeah, if you will,
yeah. Where it actually, you know, your starts, and there’s setbacks, there’s when you start to declutter, there’s guaranteed setbacks, because of the fact that you’re removing stuff out of your life. And, you know, allowing things to flow through where it becomes, you know, overwhelming, like people still say, it’s overwhelming. I’m like, Yes, because now you’ve allowed the mental stuff. You’re now thinking about other things that you weren’t thinking about before? Because you’ve cleared out the old Yeah, now these things are coming forward.
Yeah. And so do you find that it’s a certain kind of person that is more cluttered than others? Or is it really just like, could be anybody or
I find people who are going, Okay, so if you’re going through, like a life transition, or business transition, that’s when the clutter shows up the most? Yeah, let’s say, you know, you’re preparing to have a new baby. Well, there’s so many things like, we know how it is to have kids, cuz I know you’ve got your daughter and stuff. But like, yeah, the right before the kid, the kid comes, like, there’s that, you know, rush of trying to do whatever and we call it nesting? Well, that’s because you need to prepare, all like when we nest, it’s you’re preparing for the new to come in. So if you don’t prepare, and you’re just clutter, clutter clutter. Yeah, it’s right before those transitions that are actually happening, that we’re either not allowing the old to leave, like letting go of that old to allow the new one. And that’s where the physical clutter comes in.
Do you think it can work the other way? Like if I want to have a breakthrough in something like I want to have a breakthrough in my business, use that as an example? Yep. And if I, because I do have some bins that are like the bin of death?
You know what I mean?
Is it a junk bin? Yes.
Right, I have to tell you that a couple years ago, I cleaned out my office closet. And I have I mean, my office is pretty big. I mean, it’s probably like a 12 by 14 room, you know, and I unloaded everything in the closet, and I am not kidding you. There was no space on the floor at all. My, my daughter took a picture of me, I’m like in the middle of piles of stuff. And it was really the moment where my business shifted, right where I shifted the focus. So I’m wondering if I want to have a breakthrough, and I haven’t been able to have the breakthrough is instead of continuing to focus on the business, could I shift? And maybe that’s with a relationship or that’s with anything? Could I shift? And like clean out with that? Like,
Yes. And that’s what one of the things is. So I one of my friends had said, like, she’s, uh, she was saying that, you know, she’s did things with, you know, kids, as a psychologist and some of that, and one of the things like if they were just acting out doing whatever, and I do this with my kids who actually and myself, yeah, and it becomes one of those things. It’s like, if I can’t focus, or I can’t do anything, I literally just stop everything. And I declutter, or I clean or organized or whatever the case may be. And same with my kids. Yeah. And this is what she used to do with her kids, like the kids that she, you know, dealt with. And that is she used to tell them go clean your room? Yeah, because it’s that hand motion like hand to mind motion thing that gets you and you’re also especially if you’re decluttering, as you’re trying to get through these breakthroughs for business, you’re actually going to tell yourself, do I really need this for where I want to go? Why am I hanging on to this? Yeah. And you’d let go of it. And that gets the whole mind. And that’s where the whole mindset comes in, as well as it’s, you’re teaching yourself and you’re training yourself and you’re getting into these habits of if it’s not going to bring me where I want to go in my business or in my life or in my relationships. Why is it taking real estate in my house? In my office in my life?
Yeah. Yeah. You know, I like that a lot. A couple years ago, when I did the declutter of my office. With my office closet, I had read that konmari method. Yeah, the, whatever that’s called the art of
tidying up. Yeah, the art of tidying up. Yep. And one
of the things she said in there that I really liked was when you look at something, does it serve a purpose in your life, or does it bring you joy? And I realized at that time, I was hanging on to a lot of things because I thought it’s It’s like a memory. You know, like, I got to hang on to this, because, but really the memory was in my head. And the thank you note or whatever had already served its purpose. Like I received the bank’s, you know what I need? And like,
it was like, why am I?
Yes, like it’s okay to let it go. And that was huge for me because I consider myself pretty tidy. But I had all these weird scraps of paper. And I think that that, I wonder if that is like a different emotional thing than having junk, right, but like scraps of paper, like notes and stuff.
So I call that actually attachment thinking. So what it is it’s, so let’s say I gave you two pieces of paper, they had scribbles on them. One of my left hand one my right hand, and I said, What do these mean to you? And you’d be like, nothing. It looks like you scribbled on a piece of paper. But what if I told you that one was done by my daughter when she was one years old, and the other one was done by my son when he was a year old? So to me, I have an attachment thinking to those pieces of paper where to you, you look at them? And they’re like, they’re just pieces of paper with scribble on them. Right? Yeah. So it’s that attachment thinking we have to do certain things. Or another one is attachment thinking to let’s say, you know, parent has passed or grandparent or somebody in the family’s past, and they handed down something to you. Yeah, that’s thinking. You don’t actually like the the item itself? Yeah. Like, let’s say it’s like an old wall. Somebody had a grandfather clock. They don’t have the room for the grandfather clock. They don’t have like, it doesn’t work with their decor. They were very modern family. But they kept it because it was that attachment thinking it came from the grandparents that came for us it is there a way you can repurpose that though? Is there a way that you could still take what the clock represents? Even just taking the clock itself? Right and into something modern, that fits your, you know, decor? So no,
and it brings you joy? And so, like this? Yeah,
yeah, you’re not keeping that. But you’re also adjusting it to your life, because I’m sorry, but what our grandparents and our parents or whatever had back in their days and stuff doesn’t suit my style. So right.
Yeah, yeah. It’s funny, because this has recently happened to me. My sister lives in Seattle, and I live in Atlanta, so totally opposite sides of the country. And she had a cedar chest, which was like a hope chest that my mother had.
So okay, I remember
being a little kid, and my mom would keep like our brownie uniforms in it. And you know what I mean? Like it had all those special things. And I remember it was sort of a big deal to go up and kneel down next to it, she would open it up, and we would look through all this stuff.
yes, right. And so she died 30 years ago, and my sister just moved into a smaller place. You know, she got all modern and went into downtown Seattle. And she called me and said, I have this cedar chest, like if you want it, I’ll split the cost with you to get it to you. And so I thought about because right off, I was like, Oh, my God, I have to have that we can’t get rid of it. But she was nice enough to give me like, several months to think through it. Because I really didn’t want it. Like I didn’t want the thing. I want to move soon. And I don’t want another thing. But it took me like going like what is the value in it. And the value in it is in the memory, I just told you. And my sisters had it for 25 years. And it didn’t bother me. I had the I had the memory. And so having that moment where I could be like, you know what, I want to give it to Goodwill, and someone else will create the memories because I have them already. It was it was really freeing. It felt like it felt like progress in terms and my mom’s been gone for almost 30 years, you know, but I still have those things where I’m like, Oh, I gotta let that go. You know, I got to like, move on a little bit from things. So having that moment of letting go of that thing. Like, allowed me to feel more in control of my emotions and like, just feel like I had healed, right? So clutter can hold us back from healing to
Absolutely, absolutely. This is where, you know, the emotions come in, in the mental part as you’re decluttering because it’s those things that you’ve held on for so long. And now you’re letting yourself you’re giving yourself permission to actually let go of the thing, which means you’re allowing that emotion and the memories to also let go. Now that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have those memories. Like I still have memories of my grandmother even though I don’t have a teapot, like that’s one of my things that I say is attachment thinking like I had my grandmother’s teapot. I don’t drink tea. I actually just recently started drinking tea, but I still never use the teapot. Right? So I let it go. Yeah, and I let somebody who’s going to use it for its true value. Yeah. Whereas things that you know, we keep, you know, packed away in the closet, the bottom corner, whatever. Yes, everything has a value. But if you’re not using it, does it really actually have that value?
Right? Yes, yes, it has no value, then it’s really a drain it has negative value.
Because now you’re like, every time you open the closet you look at and you’re like, Oh, I should really clean up this closet, or, you know, whatever. So now it’s a drain on you. It’s emotional and a mental drain, as opposed to if you let it go. Not only that, but when you let go of things, whether it’s stuff, you know, the emotions, the mental Gremlins, you’re allowing better things to come into your life,
right? Because the there you the nature abhors a vacuum, right? So if something’s gone, something else better has to come. Yeah, I really like that. So where would somebody start? Like, do you have anything on your website they could go to and like, get information like if my house is cluttered, and my office is cluttered, and my life is cluttered, and my car is cluttered, right, like, how do I even
Okay, so right now, actually, my website is under construction, because I’m going through a bit of a rebrand, I’m letting go of the old and the new. Because that’s the thing, like, even like, so many people even say like, like, oh, but your place must be, you know, immaculate. I was like, you know, I have children, you know, I still go through these transitions. Like, recently, I just with my kids, and I just this past weekend went through like, tons of stuff. I’m like, No, that’s it. We’re going through this, like, I’ve got pictures. It’s going to go on the blog, too. Yeah. But so what I suggest people to do is, first of all start with something neutral. And what I mean by that is something that doesn’t have that attachment thinking, yeah, so let’s say it’s paper. Let’s say it’s clothes, as long as it’s not clothes that were handed down from you from a person, like somebody who’s passed on or whatever. Yeah, start with those. Yeah, then the first step I say is cut it in half. whatever the number is, let’s cut it in half. So let’s say you have 50 shirts. Let’s cut that 50 shirts down to 25. Right? Let’s make it an actual tangible goal. So let’s say you know, you can’t actually, you know, get rid of 25. So let’s say you only get rid of 20. That’s still 20 shirts, you’ve let go in, like out of your life. Yeah, that you realize that. I don’t actually wear this. I don’t remember the last time I did wear this because especially with clothes. One of the things is we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.
Oh, yeah, I totally believe that.
Yeah, like, it’s ridiculous. Because I’m like, yeah, that’s so true. And even for me, it was like, You know what, I’m gonna go get rid of some stuff. Because I did you know, program and stuff of that. And even I was like, Guys, I’m still with this. Like, with you guys doing this?
Yeah, this is
still an ongoing process. It’s not something that just stops one day. And you’re like, yeah, everything’s done. Because I always through these transitions, we’re always going through the up leveling in our business, right? This comes in, and we, you know, what we used to wear. Not only that, but especially with clothes styles change, right?
Well, you know, probably about six months ago, I put a ribbon on my, you know, where my clothes are in my closet. And every time I wore something, I put it in front of the ribbon. And so I tried to only use stuff that was in back of the ribbon, so I could see what I was really wearing. And there was so much stuff I never wore, and what I thought was, well, I might need that. And it was a lot of work clothes. And since now I work for myself, like I just, I mean, literally, I haven’t worn these clothes in five years. And when I had them behind the ribbon, all the sudden, I could see that they were so out of style, like so out of date. And I was like, Oh my god, even if I got like some kind of amazing offer and went back to work somewhere like I wouldn’t wear this. And it was it was amazing to like, take it all and shove it in a bag. And then I put it in my car and drove it around for like six months, you know, and then
I dropped it off, but you know, it wanted a ride.
But that’s the thing. I also suggest people because I know there’s especially around by area, there’s places that actually come to you and pick up that stuff. Yeah, I suggest a whole like checklists like, you know, where you can actually like write down who picks up at what day as well. And so you know, so it also gives that motivation of getting rid of that stuff because you know, they’re coming to pick it up. Right. So yeah, so that’s the idea.
So it takes away the next step, right? Because part of me sometimes I think is like, Okay, well, I don’t know if I’m gonna have time to bring it to Goodwill. So I’ll work on that or I’ll declutter that, when I know I’ll have time to actually bring it right. But if someone’s coming to get it, then you’re like they come on Wednesdays or whatever. Yep,
yeah, they’re like, I get it. And the other thing I suggest, too, is, when you’re wanting to declutter, you have to have to have to put it in your schedule. Because if you’re not going to spend that time to put it in your schedule and actually block out a time, whether it’s half a day, whether it’s two hours, whether it’s even a half an hour every single day, you have to put in your schedule, because what you’re telling yourself when you don’t put in your schedule, that it’s not important that it doesn’t need to be done. Yeah. If you purposely put it in your schedule and say let’s like I said that half hour each day. Say and you know, you have that mindset and becomes like a like, again, it’s that mindset of, nope, I know that this is my time to declutter, whether it’s my clothes, my papers, my whatever. And you get into that habit of doing it so that eventually you can do those things that have that attachment, that it becomes a little easier because you’ve already gone through the motions of doing it. That it’s like, oh, I don’t actually need to keep this right. So yeah, so definitely put it in your schedule, decluttering, organizing anything like that? Because otherwise you’re telling yourself it’s not important to you?
Yes. Yes. It’s not important stuff. That’s important. You put on the schedule, right? Yeah, that’s really good. That’s a good hint. And, and even like, I know, like I did some last weekend. And I just knew Saturday morning, and I kept saying all week, like Saturday morning, I’m cleaning out, you know, so everybody knew, and everybody was aware that they needed to put stuff away if they didn’t want it, like touched. I don’t want to go right. Okay, so that’s a really good question. So I have this question, because I may or may not have a husband who likes to. I call it hoarding. He says it’s collecting, but like, oh, he’ll go to games, like football games, and he’ll come back with like, the plastic cups. And I joke about it, but it’s like, like, we don’t need a plastic cup from like, every, like, it’s not. I don’t even know how to explain the craziness. But like, how do you help? So okay, so I have like a one whole thing in my kitchen where I go, this is the only if when this is full of plastic cups them we don’t like there’s no more that are allowed in the kitchen. Right? And so he brings them into the basement. And he has like a whole room down there with tea like a bunch of TVs and stuff for his games, you know, that now he has them like the TVs are surrounded with like plastic cups. Oh my
god. Okay, which is paradise charm. Right?
But like, choose the cups? I mean, why did he keep the ticket because of lists? You could have put it in like a binder.
But he does have all the tickets to from everything.
So then could he? Like,
is there a way to help? Like?
Like, is that just is it just so personal? You can’t really help somebody to,
to issue why he’s doing the cups? Because if he’s got both the tickets, and the cups, like, what is the reasoning? Like, this is where I would ask like, what is the reasoning for the cups? Because we’re I see cups, first of all, being not only having the local clean organizing business, but that collects a lot of dust. Yeah, don’t collect a lot of stuff. And eventually, that does turns into bacteria and all that stuff. So it’s more of like a health hazard. That’s why when people have all these, like little knickknacks, and this is Yeah, purpose of these. Yeah, that you’re keeping that like, Is there a real reason behind them? Especially your husband, if he’s got the tickets as well? Because I would say I would suggest like, okay, the tickets can put it be put up on like a big huge display, like put him behind a frame. And having like, you know, the little blurbs of what, you know what? Yeah, yeah, they are whatever. Yeah, but the cups is the one where I’m like, What? What is the gap symbolize? Like, is it bringing them back to a childhood memory of something that he did with maybe his parents or whatever, that he always remembers the cup? Like, that’s the part where I’m like, What is yes, that’s a really good.
Yeah, that’s a really good question. Like, that’s something that’s a good question to really find out the meaning. So if you’re trying to help somebody, you have a family member that collects and I part of me is like, you know, that’s his thing. Like, who am I to say, but I am to say, because I’m one that cleans, and he jokes, and he’s like, they’re collector’s items. I’m like, I feel
cups is say, like, UGA.
And he goes to every game, like he has season tickets to everything. And so it’s not like, I won’t went to one game, you know, it’s not like I went to one game. I’ve been to 36 games this season. And every
charm, right? So I joke I joke, but really, I do think there’s something specific with helping somebody if one, if one person in the relationship is more, like I like stuff really organized, you know, I like my house sort of looking like a hotel in a lot of ways. So that can really cause a problem if you’re not like he has a man cave, so he can bring that to the man cave. So it doesn’t really cause a problem, but I could see if I didn’t have that space, you know, where we could each have our own space.
And that’s the thing like that’s where, like I said, especially with the cups, like you got to wonder what is behind what attachment is behind those cups because that’s usually what it is like, you know, people who collect things. There is something there’s a reason why they’re collecting those things. There’s a reason behind it. Whether it’s from their childhood or when they were a teenager or something, or that one memory that they remember, this was the best day of my life like my kids constantly, every day is the best day of their life. But anyways, so I’m like, Oh, God, I hope you don’t like everything. Like, oh my god, I hope you don’t like everything. But that’s the thing like it’s, there’s something like, because again, it’s just an item to us. It’s just a cup, but there’s something for him, that he associates that cup with a memory maybe he doesn’t realize it right away. Maybe he’s not realizing as we’re like, you know, we’re talking about this today. But I see it as there’s something behind that that caused him to have that attachment to a plastic cup, versus just keeping the ticket and displaying the tickets.
So Heather and I were finishing up our conversation, and for some reason, the audio stopped working for me. And so it’s like a lot of quiet space. Will will she’s listening to me, which made me realize how much I talk and then it’s her. So I am going to put a link in the show notes to the video and you can watch the end of the interview on the video but I will tell you that we were really finishing up we say a couple other things. I think I drone on a little bit longer about the Cubs, which I realize nobody’s interested in. But I will tell you her website and that’s really where we finished where I thanked her for coming on. We had a good time. Her website she shares with us his home and office detox.com so check out Heather there. Thank you Heather for being on I’m sorry for the little snafu on the actual podcast. But like I said head to the show notes and you can jump in and you can actually see the video and you don’t even know anything goes wrong when you watch the video. So Alright y’all thanks for listening to another episode of The Art of Living big. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Remember, you can find me inside my facebook group at SS lb community calm. That stands for start small live big community.com. And as always, here’s a little message from my husband.