Decluttering and organization has always been a part of me. I love the sense of calm that I get when I organize a drawer or declutter my desk, but my husband is so not this way.
He could care less about decluttering and organizing. In that respect we are basically complete opposites!
Now, I don’t want to throw him under the bus here. He is organized in his own way, just not necessarily the way I would like him to be. Labels on bins and straightly lined up shoes are not a high priority to him like they are to me.
I’m also a big proponent of getting rid of unused items, he would rather keep things.
He’s super organized with his time and he knows where all his belongings are.
As you can imagine, when we were first married, this caused a little strife. Mostly because I went about getting him organized in MY WAY and in all the wrong ways.
Over the past 12 years, I’ve learned what NOT to do and what to Do when it comes to getting your spouse to declutter all from my personal experience.
Maybe you can relate to me, or maybe you better relate to my husband. In either case, I think you will find this article helpful. If you are the messy one, you can share this with your spouse to help a bit!
What To Do If Your Husband Doesn’t Like to Declutter:
Nags aren’t nice. Nagging doesn’t work.
In fact, nagging actually has the opposite affect. If you constantly nag your husband, he will probably start to resent you and will resist all attempts to get rid of his stuff.
When you feel yourself ready to let loose on all his unorganized messy ways, take a deep breathe and think before you speak.
Maybe something does need to be addressed. if that is the case, think about how you would like him to speak to you about it and treat him with that same respect.
Don’t Organize for Them.
I learned this the hard way.
Early in our marriage I had the day off while my husband was at work, so I decided to tackle his stuff without asking him.
By the end of the day, I had a trash bag full of things to get rid of and a newly organized space. I was super impressed with what I had accomplished!
He however was not impressed and did not like me making the decisions about his things.
If you have ever tried to organize your spouses things, it probably wasn’t met with excitement either. Think about it the other way around.
How would you like it if your husband decided to start getting rid of your things and organize all of your drawers? You wouldn’t like it either.
Also, your spouse thinks differently than you, so just because you organize his space, that doesn’t mean he will keep it that way.
Declutter and Organize Your Own Things.
You probably have enough of your own things that you can go through without messing with your husband’s stuff. So instead of working on him, work on yourself.
Tackle your clothes, shoes, and accessories. Go through your craft supplies and old memorabilia.
In other words control what you can control. Otherwise you’ll go crazy trying to get him to do things that aren’t yours to control.
Before we moved a couple of years ago, I sold a few personal things on Facebook Garage Sale. My husband saw how is it was to do and decided to sell a few things he had sitting around that he never used.
I didn’t ask him to get rid of these items even though I always wished that he had. However, when he saw through my example how easy it was he jumped right in.
Keep the Common Areas Organized.
Everyone thrives in spaces that are neat and free of clutter. So do your best to keep places like the living room, kitchen counter, bathrooms, and table tops free of clutter as much as possible.
Of course, no space is going to be perfect, and there will always be things that will be out that you use on a regular basis. But do your best to stay on top of the daily clutter that tends to build up such as paperwork, laundry, dishes, and toys.
Enlist the kids by having them put away whatever belongs to them -shoes, toys, clothes, ect.
Again, you are controlling what you can. You may need to come to an agreement with your spouse about the common spaces in your home. Kind and direct communication is important.
My husband knows that I like to keep the living room and kitchen surfaces clear, but he does what he wants with places that are strictly his – desk, dresser, nightstand, closet, ect.
Of course those spaces are a lot messier than I would prefer, but I live with them, just like he lives with my tidier areas of the home.
Another thing that helps is encouraging them when they do declutter or organize a space. Often as wives, we point out all the negative and we fail to thank our husbands for what they do.
The next time your husband puts his socks in the laundry, organizes his desk, or declutters his unused shirts let hime know that you noticed and are thankful. Those words of encouragement will go a long way.