I want to become clutter free and organized but _________ doesn’t. What do I do?
We get this question quite frequently, and when we do it’s typically regarding a spouse or parent.
So what do you do in this case?
Fortunately, we have an answer!
So many of our callers with inquiries in this regard mean well and truly want to see their loved ones change for the better, but what will truly make a difference has to do with the “readiness” of the person receiving the organizational help. We always ask first, “How does (he or she) feel about getting organized?” Unfortunately, if the person receiving the help is not ready for it, then the process won’t really work. We can declutter the space but chances are it will go right back to the way it was. It’s like the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.”
Don’t lose hope though, there are some things you can do to help get them ready.
If you are looking to clear the clutter and get organized but are struggling with getting others in your home to do the same we encourage you to talk about what life would be like without the clutter. How your home would look? How your day would be? How your relationships would be? Focusing on the outcome instead of the actual problem allows you and your family to dream.
Once you all have dreamed about the space and how life would be then you can focus on your own problems and the things that you can change. Do not focus on the other persons’ problems. Once you have identified your struggles then you can start working on changing your habits. By you focusing on your own clutter and your own organizing issues, your actions speak louder than words. Your family members will notice the changes you are making and some may even find your clear and organized spaces to be more appealing than theirs and then start making their own changes.
Once you start making changes in your own life and others see the changes then you can try talking about some of the common areas that need to be addressed. When the time comes for this discussion, remember to focus on organizing those spaces and not throwing things out. Remember the goal is to keep it neat and organized. More than likely the other members will be excited to help contribute to that area – especially when the focus is on organizing instead of tossing things.
Most importantly, patience is KEY. There could be many reasons why your loved ones have a hard time with clutter and getting organized. Some of those reasons could be insecurities and others could be more of a medical disorder. In any case, it’s important to take your time and not push them. Your patience and excitement over your own organized areas may provide them with the support they need to begin their own organizing journey, and eventually they may even reach out for you to help them with theirs as well.
Photo Credit Julie Doran Photography