5 Powerful Tips for Dealing With Clutter That is Not Yours
There are few people out there lucky enough to have a ready-made family that makes no messes. Those lucky few are not who I am here to help. No, I am speaking to the masses….those everyday folks like me that have to deal with clutter and messes in unique and creative ways. Perhaps you have a husband that loves to leave his dirty clothes in the living room floor. Maybe a roommate is not being fair about cleaning up their part of the kitchen. If you are not the source of your clutter problem, this article is for you.
Note: Some sources of clutter and hoarding is deeply rooted and requires a professional. That said, most of us are simply dealing with a spouse or roommate that is not wanting to clean up after themselves. (Kids are a whole other category) Identify which category you are dealing with first and get help for those that need a professional. Those folks are not the ones I am speaking about in this article.
Here are five powerful ways to deal with your very own clutter bug once and for all:
Let them feel the full consequences
Say your precious husband likes to leave his underwear in the middle of the living room floor. No matter what you do, he won’t pick them up and put them in the dirty hamper. Have you actually waited to see how long he will go? Have you “gone on strike” so that he knows what it feels like when his underwear is sitting there in the floor when his mother in law shows up for dinner? If not, then perhaps a little tough love is in order. Let them feel the repercussions of their actions. A day or two of having to go “carefree” because of no clean underwear should help swing him around to your way of thinking as well.
Take the time to explain the logic
Logic goes a very long way with some folks and you have to at least give them a chance. Speak to your little clutter bug at length about the messes being left behind and explain that you need some help. Sometimes that is good enough if you take the time to explain what the problem really is for you.
Organize a plan they can follow
Some people want to help but they are simply in horrible habit patterns. Create a scenario that makes it easy for them to succeed and you will be shocked at how much most people will jump in to help. If you can, make things as simple as possible and remind them for a short time until the habits begin to change. Your gentle direction is far more powerful than screaming or yelling. Well….in theory at least.
There are some people that simply like to have things messy. It is rare, but they do exist. If you have someone that simply won’t change… or can’t change…consider compromising on the major points. Perhaps they will work with you to keep the public areas of the home clean and you will be less frustrated with the bedrooms. Talk it through with them and explain that you want to be fair. Most people will come around to that type of reasoning.
Hire a third party
This is particularly helpful with a roommate that won’t be reasonable. Bring in an outsider to work with you on getting the place organized. This extra set of eyes can often elicit a response from someone more effectively. They may feel threatened by your “authority” in trying to get them to change and coming from a professional or stranger will be easier. It is certainly a worthwhile thing to try.
Dealing with clutter is only as good as every member of the house is willing to let it be. If you are having this type of problem, give these five tips a shot and see what happens! You might be surprised at the results.
If you are in need of better organization skills in general, then we have some things here that will be sure yo help you out! Check out our guide to Getting Organized! If you find that you are still having organization problems, then you might want to try this book on organizing inside and out!