How to Overcome Disagreements About Organizing at Home

Do you have ongoing disagreements with your partner about the level of organization or lack thereof in your household?  We all have different expectations for how tidy our home should be.  These expectations can often be a result of the environment in which we were raised. Was it cluttered or tidy? If you grew up in a cluttered environment you may feel quite comfortable with a certain amount of untidiness in your home. Or you may abhor clutter and want to achieve just the opposite. Having this discussion can help you both to understand expectations.

Learning how to communicate more effectively with your partner around organizational issues is important. Just because one person is responsible for running the household doesn’t mean he or she is naturally good at it and knows how to keep a house tidy and organized.  The inability to organize a home can be a result of several factors.

  • You find yourself easily distracted. This can cause you take an indirect route to accomplishing a task and therefore it takes longer.
  • You have difficulty planning and poor time management skills which can also make household management tricky.
  • You have difficulty putting things in sequence or simply forget to do things altogether.

If a lack of organizing skills is part of the problem this can cause huge frustration both for the person struggling with keeping the house in order and the partner who thinks it should be better organized.  If you are the one responsible for managing the home, trying harder won’t get you very far. You will need to put systems and processes in place to be successful at getting and keeping your home tidy and organized.  And you will need to support each other as you try to implement changes.

Here are two important strategies for couples.

  1. Have weekly coordination meetings with your partner. Set goals and come to an agreement as to how things will be set up. Work towards creating a balance of power in the relationship rather than accusing whoever oversees the household of doing a bad job.
  2. Take 10 minutes every morning to discuss with your partner what you will both do that day that will help create a more organized home. Developing a positive support system will go a long way to creating a harmonious environment.

If you find that you still can’t come to a solution with these techniques, like any other job, if there is something you are not good at, you need to get help from someone who is.  That may mean you need help from a counsellor or therapist and a professional organizer to work with you. What is it that all the experts say? Realizing you have a problem and need help is one of the first steps to success. Please remember asking for help is not a sign of weakness or inability. It’s just a smart thing to do.


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