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Ask The Organizer: Is your family on board?

Many, many of you have written in or commented in the last few months that you are really struggling with home organization. So I’m excited to let you know that I’ve teamed up with Andrea Dekker from Simple Organized Living to bring you a brand-new monthly feature called called “Ask the Organizer“.

Each month, we’ll feature one organizing question and let you weigh in your thoughts, answers, and opinions. Then later in the month, Andrea will pick one or two of the most popular responses and share her tips, ideas, and suggestions for dealing with those issues!

This month’s question is:

Is your family on board with your organizing goals?

If they are, what have you done to get them on board?

If not, what are you biggest struggles/obstacles to getting them on board?

Leave your answers below and then check back in a couple of weeks for Andrea’s expert organizing advice!

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  1. Amanda L says

    I am the type of person who wants things in order and I love purging stuff. My husband is a pack rat! He wants to keep everything…especially old clothing. I can’t get him to part with things no matter if they’re too small, worn out, or have holes! It drives me nuts. He is also much less concerned with how clean and orderly our house is. His mom did everything for him growing up and he doesn’t put it much effort. He acts like organizing is pulling teeth. Any tips on how to get him motivated would be awesome!

    • says

      Are we married to the same guy?!

      My husband is the same way. He finds reasons to keep old t-shirts that he got in college free from applying for credit cards, that have armpit holes bigger than the head hole. He has obsolete engineering textbooks from the late 1990s in our basement where they’ve been for 8 years since we bought our house. Previously they were in a storage unit where they sat for years without being looked at. Meanwhile he complains if the kids’ blocks are on the floor in the way of getting to his dvds.

      I knew my husband was a slob early on in the game, but since we’d both like to put our house on the market, he needs to eliminate his clutter before I even consider calling a real estate agent. Although maybe somebody else telling him to get rid of his junk is the kick in the pants he needs?

    • Emily says

      I’m seeing a trend…if we all got rid of our husbands for a week, we’d have no problem decluttering our homes! :-) I propose we organize some kind of week-long man getaway where they can all be slobs together and do dirty man-type stuff and then we women can do our thing without anyone getting in the way! Who’s with me?! :-)

      • Meredith says

        I agree with Emily about shipping the men off for a week. I think we must all be married to the same type of man. “SIGH” :-)

  2. says

    That is challenging for me since my husband is a big kid and I have 2 little ones. My husband was, well, a slob before we lived together and that didn’t change much. He is getting better because the mess freaks me out. But he is still terrible with putting bottles away or dirty dishes.

    Everyone is better about being clean and organized when everything has a place, or a home. The problem with kids is the accumulation of clutter. I think the clutter reproduces at night. So I tend to purge and reorganize toys and such monthly. Of course I help clean up the stuff on a daily basis, but the toys travel in our house. The stuff that goes in my sons room ends up in my daughters and downstairs, stuff that goes in my daughters ends up in his room or my room, etc. But when everything has a place everyone knows where to put it so when we clean up it is a little easier for the kids to understand where to put it (so it doesn’t end up somewhere odd like the bathroom).

  3. Jen Dattilo says

    This subject is so frustrating for me! I homeschool my kids and my husband is rarely home before everyone is in bed, but when he is the kids know all the rules change! It drives me crazy! He walks over/by stuff, and then so do all the kids!!

  4. Belinda says

    I am not organized at all. I am messy and my house shows it! It is my goal this year to organize the house piece by piece and declutter as I go. I have always been unorganized and messy and have been married for 8 years. It has always drivns my husband nuts, but he just finally gave up and doesn’t pick up anything anymore because I didn’t! He doesn’t believe that I am really going to try be neater and more organized and so he isn’t helping AT ALL! I am going crazy trying to do it myself! I have a 1 year old who leaves trails of everything from laundry, our shoes, pans and his toys all over the house and I am the only one trying to pick up. If I don’t pick up the house before we go to bed, it is the same disaster as it was when my son went to bed!

  5. Meredith says

    My husband is on board with me organizing. However, when I open a box of band trophies from the 90’s, certificates of appreciation in 8th grade science, and his short story from fourth grade, he gets defensive and wants to keep everything. I’ve suggested taking pictures of these things so they could be stored on the computer and not in a closet. I haven’t had any luck. He will go through his clothes, shoes, and help me out in problem areas. When it involves his past, he can’t let go!!!!!

  6. says

    I LOVE organization! My husband and kids love it too. My issue is that they love for ME to do it. We aren’t just talking about organizing the house either. I can’t even count how many times someone in my family asks me where something is or when they’re supposed to be somewhere. It could drive me crazy but it doesn’t. I guess I just keep reminding myself that they are maturing everyday and it keeps getting better. One day they won’t be here and I won’t have anyone’s things or schedules to keep up with.

    My husband travels a lot so he helps when he’s here but, like other commenters, my husband will often just be too tired to pick up stuff or put his things away. The kids do follow suit.

  7. says

    ive always been a pack rat and ive recently tried decluttering(which I THOUGHT hubby wanted) but Ill get rid of stuff that hasnt been used in years, then he’ll ask for it and it’s gone! of course he gets mad…seriously man, you told me to get rid of this stuff….

  8. Martina says

    My Husband is a recovering Pack-Rat, it took us 2 years to get used to the taught that we simply don’t need so much stuff. (Sometimes a Move across 3 States will help). Now hes all about selling stuff, even the stuff i don’t think anybody would buy. I taught after 2 years we would have purged everything we don’t need…well i am still purging lol.. the less i have the less i need

    • Meredith says

      We have moved cross country three times and hey hubby still demands to keep his junk. Maybe we need to contemplate a move to another country.

      • says

        It worked for us…every time we move we purge again. We’ve lived in six places in six years, and we just keep getting rid of stuff. I don’t advocate moving so often, but it does help you to keep getting rid of stuff you don’t want to keep dragging from place to place. :)

  9. Angel says

    My hubby comes from a LONG line of packrats/hoarders…his grandma’s house only has pathways inbetween piles of stuff to get around. His mom & dad’s house isn’t that bad but is cluttered and it’s terrible to say this but my FIL has commented (thinking he was being nice) that my house makes him feel like he’s home. Ouch. It’s been an uphill battle trying to have my husband help out around the house because he works 7 days a week. It’s like pulling teeth when I say let’s organize this place… mainly he justs lets me do it and watches the kids so I can get something done.
    And when I do it by myself the house stays nice for awhile and then it’s cluttered right back up when I get sick or when life gets busier. It’s so frustrating. Right now I just want to get rid of it all but he will (and my oldest) will go through my giveaway piles and take stuff out!
    My oldest is learning our bad habits too (I so need to be better for his sake) because he’s unwilling to let go of school papers or boxes his toys come in…yikes.
    I do say things got better (for at least a little while) when I told my husband how it makes me feel to live in an unorganized, cluttered house…I said it makes my whole mood shift because I’m around it all day, it makes me feel tired because I’m overwhelmed, frustrated because I’m the only one working on it, unhappy because it makes my job that much harder.
    Also I said a random time something that sunk into his giving/loving side…I said that there are SOOO many people that have so much less than we do and are really struggling to afford these things…we don’t even use half of this stuff and someone else who actually NEEDS it could use it more and can afford it because we give it away to goodwill/salvation army. He did let go of more things after I said this to him.
    Basically I need more tips to help my whole family to figure this out so it will stay uncluttered for more than a couple weeks at a time.

  10. says

    Not so much. I saw in our (overstuffed) armoire today a Bill Cosby-esque sweater that I have never ever seen my husband wear, and we’ve known each other 8 years now. I said, “Honey, I’ve never seen you wear that sweater. Are you sure you really need it?” He, apparently pretending that his English skills had deteriorated (he’s French), responded that he DID SO wear it — sometime back in the ’90s. Waste not want not!

    But the real main obstacle is that we have 4 kids under age 6. I try to give them lists and make it fun and reward them for keeping things neat and doing their (pretty minor) little chores, but the attention span is just not really there yet.

  11. Karie says

    I struggle with getting everyone to put their things away, including my husband, and to keep everything in the same place every time. I spend most of my “free” time looking for misplaced items or running around the house putting items back where they go. I then run out of time to actually start cleaning the dirt b/c it takes me so long to remove the clutter. And this is daily. Its very discouraging. I stay at home but I also work from home and any spare time is taken up with either working on a project or removing clutter. I call myself “the stuff shuffler” (I actually have a different word for “stuff” but thought Id keep it clean) b/c all I do every single day is shuffle around stuff!

    • Heather says

      Have you considered cleaning “the dirt” first? I do it all the time. For example, if I waited until I got all of the kids’ toys up to vacuum, I would almost never get to vacuum. So I just shove stuff out of the way as I go. I know that’s unorthodox, but I do at least feel better that the floor is fairly clean underneath the toys. I do have wood floors, so it is easier to shove the toys with my foot . . . .

      • Karie says

        Yes! And Im so glad to hear that someone else does it too – LOL. I have even mopped my wood floors while the kids are eating to at least get the first layer of goo off before they drop the next layer. Otherwise it would never get done. It drives me crazy to do this but I guess you have to do what you have to do. I guess I could stay up all night and do it but we do have to get a couple of hours of sleep to be able to deal the next day!

        • Pamela says

          LOL! I can’t stand cleaning with the clutter out, but since I’m losing that battle with hubby and kids I may have to try your way!!! Thanks for making me laugh! :)

      • Krysten says

        I had a piano teacher once who would realize how messy her living room was when we walked through her door for lessons. She would “clean” her living room (hardwood floor) in about 30 seconds by grabbing the broom and sweeping all of the toys into a big pile in the corner.

  12. Sandy Beutler says

    When the children were younger I purchased the 5 drawer (high) plastic rolling bins, for some of their toys. They were perfect for dolls of all sizes, plus it kept the Barbies and their tiny clothes together and off the floor. Now that the kids are older they use them for their drawing pads, games & treasures etc. I have also use Comand hooks in their rooms since they were little, that way they could hange up their own clothes at 3 & 4 yrs. Just adjust to different heights as they grow. Some are used for pjs, hoodies etc.

  13. Erin says

    It’s just my hubby and me and he has really come around in terms of helping with cleaning and organizing. He now cleans the kitchen every night after dinner and makes the bed every morning. It helps him that it’s something that is routine and he does every day – it’s not an optional/once a week type thing.

    As far as organizing, he has gotten much better. He recently went through his clothes and donated a lot of them – he said it was the first time he has EVER cleaned out his closet! I think a lot of men have a hard time parting with things if their parents never made them as a child. My mom would have garage sales once a year and we would all pass down things to other siblings or friends but if you don’t grow up that way then it’s easy to develop a really deep emotional attachment to things. I try to be sensitive to his feelings and help him to see that if we can give away some things that are still useful then some other person could benefit from them! If it’s something he really feels attached to I let him keep it though, unless it is truly junk like something that is broken (that I know he isn’t going to fix). I think it’s important to celebrate small changes and victories in the battle against clutter with our husbands – they will realize that it feels good to have the extra space and their fear of missing those items will go away after they don’t experience it the first few times :)

    • Angela says

      Ah, you’ve touched on something that reminds me what I need to do to help us all stay organized and not just clean. To me it is almost more important that things are organized than clean-but maybe because we are decent at cleaning; so I don’t think much about it. We have daily routines for clean up, laundry, dishes, sweeping. So it gets done. Now to add daily routines for decluttering and putting everything away! Brilliant!

  14. Sandy Beutler says

    I will say they do make me crazy when they don’t put things away !! I seem to have trouble with papers, I know what to do but thats another story. I get rid of the unwanted mail its just what I keep seems to pile up.

  15. lee says

    My husband is much more of a pack rat than I am, so he has his own zone (his side of the bed and the closet) that he is allowed to keep what ever he wants in that space. I have learned to let go of the urge to go “straighten it up” for him. Although after nearly 10 years he is now seeing how much an organized area helps. We have some rules that we stick to though, if it gets to messy I will mention it and he usually cleans it up pretty quickly, also we have a 1 in 1 out rule. If he needs a new shirt, one shirt has to go…unless he actually needs something that he doesn’t own then we compromise. As for the rest of the house it is my zone for organizing! At first it was a challenge to get him to put things where they were meant (back in the container they came from) but he has gotten better….not perfect but better. Our 3 kids have never really known anything different so they are used to mommy’s rules. Their rooms have all the tools they need to be organized but it doesn’t always stay that way. However I also don’t clean their rooms, they have to clean them. Whenever they make a mess I gently remind them that if they cleaned as they went it would stay clean. So far they get it about half the time 9the oldest is 8!).

  16. Emily says

    I’m seeing a trend…if we all got rid of our husbands for a week, we’d have no problem decluttering our homes! :-) I propose we organize some kind of week-long man getaway where they can all be slobs together and do dirty man-type stuff and then we women can do our thing without anyone getting in the way! Who’s with me?! :-)

  17. Erin says

    I wrote out a really good comment and hit “Submit” and then it got deleted :(

    I think as wives we have to be sensitive to our husbands and their possibly pack-rat ways. My husband has those tendencies but I realize that it comes from his family and the way he was raised. His first time to clean out his closet was only a few months ago! We have to help them celebrate little successes with letting go of things – then when they realize that it didn’t hurt after all and that they aren’t really missing those old clothes/books/whatever they will be more likely to part with them in the future. At least that has been my experience so far with my hubby.

  18. says

    I’m a single mother and one of the ‘gifts’ in that is that I get to frame the stage in our home … so YES, my kiddos are on board with organization. At the end of the day or before we leave the house we pick up, make sure clothes are in hamper, take dishes to sink, etc. Toys, clothes, school work, etc. all have a place and they completely believe me when I say it’s the only way to live!

    I wonder how long this will last?

    • says

      Oh, last weekend I paid them each $1 for each toy they were willing to donate – we got rid of 18 toys~! They are very good about letting go of most things when they see a tangible reward ☺.

    • Krysten says

      As long as you make it a requirement! My mom was always like that too, and my brother and I always had neat rooms all the way through our teenage years. I only wish that I’d inherited a bit more of that for my own house . . . :)

  19. amybee says

    At my house, we are all fairly neat and organized, but I think there’s a difference between having lots of well organized stuff (husband) and a more minimalist, just have what we need approach (me.) I would be interested in Andrea’s thoughts on the matter, specifically in the area of media and books. We are both librarians and big readers. I prefer to borrow from the library or buy for my Kindle. My husband likes to buy books (mainly nonfiction) and keep them as a reference library of sorts at home. Books take up a lot of space, even if they are neatly arranged on bookshelves!

    • Krysten says

      I agree about books – only we both love books, so we have 5 bookcases in our little house, and they sure do take up a lot of space! I’m thinking about trying to get my hubby on board with me in clearing out some of them this summer.

  20. says

    My husband and I recently had a conversation that made us realize that our expectations in this (and many areas) are completely different. This wasn’t a huge shock, but how big that gulf still is (after 14 years of marriage!) was a bit of a shock to both of us.

    I expect a house that is clean, tidy and in good repair. I also expect that our house will “work” for us (no rooms we don’t use, places that end up junk piles, etc.). Notice I didn’t say perfectly decorated, spotlessly clean, etc.

    My husband’s expectation is that we own a house. Period. No expectations in the department of clean, tidy, or repair. No epxectations about having our home really be our “home” and not just the place we live.

    Now he realized how frustrating it is for me! We’re making baby step progress. And it’s good.

    I guess what I’d say to all the women who are so frustrated with their husbands is this: Do you both expect the same thing? Does your spouse notice other people’s homes when he goes into them? Does he have the same expecations for his home or different ones?

    You might just be surprised by the answer!

  21. Erin says

    I am an organizer and my husband is starting to get the hang of it. When we first got married all the clutter and his messy habits annoyed me. I finally decided since I was the only one who really cared enough to put in the work to keep the place clean, we needed to become minimalists for my sanity. Its a lot easier to put things away when you don’t have much. I purged the house, including his stuff, while he was at work {with his blessing}. We both realized it was just easier for me to do it because he had to decide on something, he would get all nostalgic and decide to keep it. Once we had just the bare essentials, it got much easier for me to keep things clean. The habit caught on. My husband LOVED the clean house and started picking up after himself to help keep it that way. In his own words, “I might not be a neat freak, but I am susceptible to behavior modification. ” As for kids stuff, our 2 year old has 1 laundry sized basket of toys and that’s it. I keep the basket out of her reach and she may have one toy out at a time. When she is done, she knows she can come ask for a toy and we’ll pull the basket down, and she can put away her toy and choose another. By doing this, I am hoping to train her early on to be clean and tidy!

  22. Chris says

    My husband and I, and therefore our 2 teenage boys, both have messy tendencies. Over the last few years I feel I’ve improved greatly in that department, but it’s been very difficult to get hubby and the boys on board. I schedule regular pick-ups from Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) which helps a lot. That gives me a specific date so I can tell everyone “okay, I need one box filled from each of you by the 17th for pick up”. For some of my husband’s clothing items that he swears he needs and won’t part with I’ve been trying an experiment. I sneak the item into a bag for a month. If he asks me if I’ve seen his (fill in the blank) during this time I pull it out and give it back. If, after a month, he’s never even noticed it missing I show him where it’s been and ask if I may please add it to the give-away bag since he hasn’t even missed it. So far that’s working pretty well. On a related note, lately when I watch the news and see a family who has lost their entire home to tornado, fire, whatever, but no lives have been lost, I think “hmm, would that really be so bad having the choices made for us by nature and starting over with a clean slate?” When I used to see those news stories and they would interview someone in the family, I would think “my gosh, why does that person not seem completely devastated by what happened!?” Now I’m starting to get it. THINGS are not PEOPLE. Now if I could just gently nudge hubby and the boys toward realizing that! :)

  23. says

    I have started a whole house organization project and I’m only giving myself 100 days to do it in. I am going room by room and have just finished my Master Closet on my way to finishing the Master Bathroom. I have lived here for 6 years with my husband and 5 wonderful (quite often messy) children and just kept accumulating. I am introducing a new system used normally for the workforce, 5s System of Housekeeping, that I am applying to my home. It’s never to late for me to get my house looking the way I have always wanted it to look and share the expectations I have for my home with my family. Come on over to http://www.100dayclutterchallenge.blogspot.com if you want to join me on my journey.

  24. Christine says

    My problems are a lot deeper than just clutter but I am only going to tell you about my clutter/organizational issues! My problem is teenagers. I will declutter and organize and the next day it is like I have never touched it before and it really makes me want to give up.

  25. Abra says

    First of all, I am really excited about this column. I love Andrea’s ideas and look to her blog daily for inspiration!

    We are newleyweds and this has been a problem I did not foresee! I am the organizer and I have also worked at getting routines in my life back when I was single. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed making those decisions on my own.

    Now, I have a husband to consider since he is living in this house as well! One positive thing is that we both had to move to a new place after we were married. So, it’s not like I am trying to re-arrange his stuff. However, I read about organization online, get ideas and am gung-ho to put my ideas into place. I’m learning that my husband does not always share that enthusiasm. He is really supportive and will listen to my ideas, but he doesn’t get as passionate about organizing as I do. I’m not saying he needs to, but how do I share my enthusiasm and get him interested in the idea without going overboard?

    I’m trying to take baby steps and build up routines that he can join in with me if he wants, because I know he sees & appreciates how it helps us maintain order in our home. I’ve found that making a customizable cleaning worksheet (off of the download page on this site) has been a great place to start. That way, he can see what I am trying to accomplish on a daily & weekly basis. Plus, it allows him to join in when he has a chance.

    • Angela says

      It’s a great idea to communicate now and get a plan in motion. You could ask if he likes that you want to organize, and see if he is ok with you being in charge of getting things set up and seeing if he is willing to help keep things that way. If you get that set up now, it will make life a lot simpler! I was trying to do it all myself early on, and when we added more children and I couldn’t keep up, everything went awry because I’d been doing it alone without asking for his help; so he didn’t know what to do because he hadn’t really noticed what I did to keep things running smoothly and because it wasn’t really important to him.

  26. Dawn says

    I would have to say no, my family is not on board. I have 2 children, a 5 yr old and a 10 month old. The 5 yr old is beginning to help me with things, but you know how that goes. The baby just undoes everything I do.
    I could also say the same for my husband. He is like yeh lets get the house organized, but he will not make an effort to help pick anything up much less his own stuff. I can clean an area and if he’s home I can turn right around and it looks like I haven’t touched it in 3 weeks.
    On monday, after his 3 day weekends, it looks like a tornado hit the house and I won’t have a clean dish left.
    If someone knows how to get him to at least pick up after himself, please let me know.

    • Angela says

      The tornado makers are tricky, I know, because you can’t treat them like children. When you have a happy moment that is also quiet, share your heart and let him know how important a neat place is to you. Maybe he has his own ideas of how he can help, and if not, ask if he can help with keeping things clean once you clean up at least. That itself is huge! Be patient, start small, and only ask for the places that really matter to be kept clean for starters at least. It won’t ever be perfect, but it means a lot when he knows how you feel and is willing to make an effort!

  27. says

    Let’s give the husbands a break :) My husband is also not a neat freak and if you see his mother’s house you know why-she is more of a clean it up all at once in a marathon session type of cleaner while I prefer to have just a little to do every day. Yes it’s frustrating but the longer I’m married the more I have realized that where I am weak, my husband is strong. So even though I am strong at organizing and he is not, he is a blessing to me in many other areas and I would be remiss to focus on his one “fault” of being messier than me and forget all the ways he is great!

    That being said, I am very interested in what the article will cover about family members with different expectations and especially helping young children learn to clean on a regular basis. I know I balked at doing chores growing up and I now know how frustrating it must have been for my mother!

    • Meredith says

      I was just thinking how many times the word “husband” came up in these posts. :) I think the reason though that we are unorganized is because we love them. If my husband doesn’t want to get rid of his pep band t-shirt, then I don’t chuck it….because I love him. What would be great advice from the columnist is to share how to let our husbands keep their treasures while satisfying our itch to organize.

    • sarah says

      Hear hear!

      I can commiserate with many of the commentors here, and *almost* considered sending this article to the hubs, just to let him know that i’m not the ONLY woman in the world frustrated by her spouses death-grip on the physical momentos from the past, however, over-all in our marriage it is a pretty trivial thing. He sacrifices for our whole family on a day to day basis, why should i ask that he give up more simply for a clean garage? I’m only out there doing laundry anyway.

  28. Sherylann says

    I had always had a hard time getting my husband to pick up after himself. The Kitchen counter was always one of the worst places for clutter. I think that he thinks that if it is flat, you need to cover it. Last year we lived with a young family who cleaned maybe once a week. Until then they just left whatever wherever it happened to land. Seeing how they lived has helped my husband to realize that the kitchen should be kept tidy. After all, we cook and prepare food in it. However, he still has not gotten rid of some of his questionable possessions from high school. (He graduated in 1978.) They just don’t fit in with our lifestyle anymore.

  29. Penny T. says

    We all have similar husbands! My husband is terrible at organizing. He likes things neat but rarely wants to participate in making things neat. When my children were young, he taught them to clean their rooms by taking everything on the floor and sweeping it under the bed. I had to resort to getting drawers for under the beds in some cases so they would not do that. He will have rare moments when he will explode and decide the garage needs to be organized or the basement needs to be organized… with the unfinished basement, he just took things and boxed them (not like things together either) and didn’t throw away or donate anything (not particularly helpful, in my opinion). He does a bit better with the garage but it’s basically his space and he doesn’t even lay away his own tools! On a positive note, recently I declared we all needed to clean out our bedrooms of excess clothes and he went in and diligently purged his clothes and so did my kids (not everything but a good majority of their items). I think if you declare a day like this say, “let’s all purge some clothes from our rooms, drop them off at Goodwill and then go to a movie” – a dollar one, of course!

  30. Maria says

    My problem is nothing stays organized at my home. I organize pantry, fridge , draws, linen closet, bathrooms ect it only last a few days.

  31. says

    Well, I can’t really answer this with a yes or no. My husband is the one who’s bothered more by clutter. It only bothers me when we’re having people over. I’m bothered by things that get smelly, like the trash or the garbage disposal, though. Neither of us is particularly neat & I’m a pack rat who inherited all the worldly possessions of a bigger pack rat, so we both struggle. I’m a stay-at-home mom now, so I’ve been focusing on conquering the clutter. A few years ago, while I was pregnant, we got our basement finished & I had to sort through most of my dad’s stuff to make room. I felt really good with what I accomplished that year & then I didn’t accomplish much at all the next year (except raising our daughter… no small feat) and I’m struggling to get back on track this year with Project Clean House. I’ve been downloading the free ebooks on organizing & working through some of them. I feel like my hubby expects a lot, but I’m not even living up to my expectations/hopes, and that he’s not helping in the process much. I’ve talked with him about it, but still struggling with a number of things.

  32. Krysten says

    Both my husband and I like a clean house, but it seems like we’re perpetually swamped by stuff. This spring is especially hard because
    1.) I collect things year-round for a garage sale every June, and since June is only a few months away, we have a lot of garage sale boxes sitting around, and
    2.) We’re expecting baby #2 in April, and have been showered with both new and used items from family and friends (we already have a boy and the new baby is a girl). The only problem is that we have no extra space for all of her things right now! My BIL has lived with us this school year, and when he leaves in the middle of May, we will have his bedroom to use for the baby and her things, but until then, I’ve resigned myself to living with a certain amount of clutter.
    My husband, while he likes a clean house, follows the trend of husbands on here and holds onto things that he hasn’t used in years. We’ve been married for almost 5 years, and if I could go through his clothes and shoes right now and pull out everything that he hasn’t worn a single time since we’ve been married, I would probably cut out about 1/3 of his clothes and 1/2 of his shoes. We’re going to work on that this summer. 😉

    • sarah says

      Have you considered simply donating the things you’re saving to sell and taking the tax write off? in ight of the new baby coming, by june you might not even be up for doing a garage sale! (I know i wouldn’t be!) Is the space the stuff is taking up now more valuable than the money the stuff might make a few months from now (after putting in a whole lot of effort setting up the sale)??

  33. says

    I am the organizer in my home. My husband used to hang on to things until he realized that it really felt like a lot of weight lifted off of our shoulders when we donated unused items. He loves to help me declutter these days. I find myself constantly organizing things around my home. By the time one project is finished, I have something else waiting for me that needs to be re-organized! I was very organized before having two children 😉 Now I have learned to get to it when I can!

  34. Deb says

    My family thinks that I am nuts, but we NEVER pay late fees and just applied for a mortgage and were told that we had the most organized paperwork the lender had “ever seen,” so let them mock away, I spend ZERO time searching for things and everything is in it’s place….I can live with the teasing…..

  35. FF says

    My boyfriend nor I are very tidy people. Every once in a while the mess will start driving me crazy and I will clean up – but he refused to let me put away his things! He says that if I move it, he won’t know where to find it, and that he will put it up later…but he never does! Very frustrating :)

  36. Angela says

    My family is on board as far as liking things to be organized, however they don’t usually work to keep it that way. I am guilty of that too often too, but I really need organization to help me get other more important things done and to feel great. I am blessed with a husband who likes that I am organized, yet he doesn’t see everything; so messes don’t affect him the way they affect me. My children are young and like it when mommy organizes and makes all their toys seem new, but they don’t like to put away, and it is probably partly because they have too much. We have too much; so now I’m trying to do something about that.

  37. says

    I decided to not be critical of my husband’s methods OR organize his stuff (so much easier to organize someone’s junk than my own) until I had my own stuff under control. So, several years later…. :)

    We have a tiny house. And 3 smallish kids. And pets. And lots of hobbies that require massive amounts of gear. I’m an organizer. We had a big discussion last week (prompted by helping somone move that was boarderline-hoarder) and decided to go room-by-room. We are starting with the bathroom (because it is already pretty tidy and will give us momentum). Once it is done we will move on. The key is WE. Usually all organizing processes are mama-centric. And mama-maintained. So this is going to be a group effort and, hopefully, group maintained.

    So this is a new approach. Wish me luck.

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