Conversations to have with your partner for an organised home.
Decluttering and organising a home is usually led or at least started by one person, and then that person is left to get everyone on board. This can be tricky to balance while you may already have decided that things are an issue, your partner, kids or housemates might not entirely be in the same headspace. It can be very frustrating when you are working so hard to get control of your space and create a calm and organised home only to have other people create chaos again close after. You may feel frustrated, upset or even disrespected by their actions, but rarely are their actions that considered or designed to cause distress.
I find that there are two main ways to get people on board:
1. Helping them to see how it benefits them.
Most of us like to come from a place of knowledge, as it provides both confidence and motivation. In addition to this, how many of us really like change and when we don’t perceive that change to bring any benefit we will fight it even more. Some examples of benefits could be…
We would get more time together if we had less stuff to manage.
We would have more space to play with the kids and build forts.
We would have fewer items getting damaged.
We would save time looking for things.
We could move to a smaller home and save on rent and heat!
2. Helping them to understand how you feel about it.
Helping the other person see the situation how you do and what that makes you feel is very important. We all view our things differently and they may just not have realised the impact it was having on you. I’m autistic and need things in a particular way but until I explained this to my other-half there was a whole lot of friction and occasionally resentment about it. Now he understands how it makes me feel both emotionally and physically he understands the importance. This can be very similar with any type of neurodiversity, but it can just be two different humans with two different viewpoints.
Here is a list of questions and conversation suggestions to have with your partner:
Explain how your shared spaces and organisation of shared areas of life currently make you feel.
Explain what you would like to feel, why you want it and what benefits having it this way will have.
Explain how it would benefit them and any other family members.
Ask how they currently feel about the shared space and organisation of shared areas of life.
Ask how they would like to feel within your shared space and organisation of shared areas of life.
Ask if any of your behaviours or habits negatively impact your shared spaces and organisation of shared areas of life.
Explain any of their behaviours or habits that negatively impact your shared spaces and organisation of shared areas of life.
Create your joint goals for your shared spaces and organisation of shared areas of life and set your next steps to move in this direction.
Two other things you will find helpful are getting them involved in setting up the new organisation and systems so they know they have ownership in how you are moving forward with everything and secondly making everything as simple and easy to maintain as possible so they don’t see this new way as more work. Think about what systems you already have that you both get on well with and consider if you are macro (board categories) or micro (narrow categories) organisers. It’s also useful to work out if you prefer things visual or hidden. For example, open shelves or a closed cupboard.
I’ve worked with several clients over the years, where a couples counsellor was nearly called, but a little communication goes a long way. Too often w are so busy trying to live, that we won’t discuss what we actually want from and in life. Whether you are decluttering or not these conversations are a must for a happy life.
To get more help, support and resources to help you declutter, get organised and feel happier, why not join A Happy Lifestyle Club for just £12 a month with no contract!