If you’ve ever lived with another human you may have noticed they can have very different ideas about tidiness and clutter than you do! So, who’s right? There’s no perfect answer. Ultimately it’s about finding a solution that lets everyone spend their time and energy on activities that are more joyful than figuring out who dropped the sock in the hallway…. and left it there for 6 days!!
This is where Professional Organisers can be a dream come true. Decluttering and Organising creates a home for everything and a system that, once in place, is usually easier for everyone to follow... even those champions of chaos!
If you do decide to DIY and want to help other people declutter, whether it’s in the home you share or their own, read on for some tips.
Make Sure They Are Willing To Accept Help
If it’s a member of your own household a kind conversation about how clutter affects you can be helpful. Saying something like “It makes me feel really uncomfortable and exhausted that our house is getting cluttered. Would you be willing to go through these things together and see what we can let go of?” is likely to be much more productive than “You need to get rid of your 'stuff' or I will!”. Few people respond positively to ultimatums.
If it’s a friend or family member you don’t live with, letting them know you’re happy to share the task and keep them company can be a weight off their mind. Decluttering usually feels less daunting when someone is there to help.
Make A Plan
Before starting, discuss who will do which tasks. This will help reassure the person who is making decisions that they’re still in control of their space and what they items want to move on.
Manage Your Expectations
It’s important to understand there’s no one right way. An item that might seem worthless to you may be a sentimental treasure to someone else.
It’s important to be non-judgemental and understand letting go can be hard. Don’t try to rush someone’s decisions, force them to let go when they’re not ready, or try to make decisions for them.
Instead, try kindly and calmly helping them step through the decision making process by asking questions like:
Do you still use this?
Does it still work?
Do you have something similar that does the same job?
Does keeping this still make sense?
Does having this still make you feel good?
Would someone else be able to use this?
Set A Time Limit or An Area To Declutter
Decluttering a whole house, or even one very cluttered room can feel overwhelming, so small doses can help. Setting a timer and spending 30 minutes, or doing one drawer per day can feel manageable.
If everyone is keen to dig in a little more, discuss what time you’d both like to finish and how they’d like it to look when you’re done.
Other Things You Can Do To Help
- Put on some music. You know that housework playlist? It works here too!
- Offer to take items to a donation or recycling centre.
- Clear rubbish away quickly.
- Offer to help clean.
- Help organise and pack away items that are staying.
- Volunteer to monitor the time so the job gets finished and the space is left tidy.
The bottom line is to remember we often process things differently to our loved ones. Be kind, and if all feels like too much, call in a Professional Organiser. We’d love to help you get sorted!