Does your family disagree on how much clutter is too much? Do you have a hard time organizing the clutter in your home so it works for everyone?
Your family is dynamic and different from every other family. The various strengths, challenges, and personalities within your family make it unique. You are a family unit and yet at the same time you are different from each other.
Those differences bring a diversity of perspectives into your home and can make organizing your clutter a challenge.
It may be that you and your family don’t agree on how clutter should be organized. I get it. My family and I don’t always agree either, although I’m usually the one who’s right. I am the Professional Organizer after all, right?! Ugh wrong.
We each have various needs and different ideas about how much clutter is acceptable and what we are comfortable with.
You may like things tucked away out of sight while your kids need clear, open bins to see where everything goes. Your spouse might like to display his prized beer mug collection and you, well, not so much.
We all land somewhere on the clutter scale. Being at one end or the other or somewhere in between isn't right or wrong, it just is what it is.
Another factor that can play into disagreements around how to organize your families clutter stems from the fact that we all learn differently.
There are kinaesthetic, tactile, visual, and auditory learners.
When putting an organizational system in place, take these learning styles into account so that the end result works for everyone.
The same organizing system may work quite well for each family member but different cues are needed to make it effective for each person.
For example, the visual learner needs to see a bill to be reminded to pay it and does well with charts. A person who learns best by hearing may need a calendar ding or a voice recording reminder.
Understand yourself and who you are living with.
What type of learner are you? How about your kids or spouse?
Find creative ways to compromise with each other when setting up organizational systems.
You will actually be less frustrated because your family will embrace the new system if their needs are respected as well as your own.
A win/win is always better than a win/loss and your clutter gets organized!
Get everyone involved. This is critical.
Agree together what your greatest areas of concern are when it comes to how your home functions and talk about what each family members priorities are.
When your family discusses and plans your organizing projects together, you will have more buy-in and help to get it done.
Establish a plan with a budget in mind and schedule the time to work on organizing projects together.
It is always better to encourage "skin in the game" than forcing your ideas, or doing it all by yourself, and then getting frustrated when clutter returns and things don’t stay organized.
Don’t be too quick to say no to an idea.
If one of your family has what they think is a great idea and they are excited to implement it, why not try it?
Be sensitive to the needs of others. The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t work well and you have to tweak it later. The best thing that can happen is that it might be really awesome!
Let go of perfect or “it’s not good enough”.
Trust me, very few homes or organizing systems are perfect. You don’t live in an Ikea catalog and neither do your neighbors!
Comparison and perfectionism are real joy killers.
Surround yourself with colors, accessories, and stuff that you LOVE. It doesn’t have to match or go perfectly together. It doesn’t have to be the latest organizing product from Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Repurpose and use what you already have on hand as long as you need it, use it, love it and it does the job for your family.
For instance, one of my all-time favorite desk drawer organizers is the white box that your iPhone comes in. Really, try it and you'll see what I mean.
Keep your organizing strategies simple and functional. Don’t over complicate your organizing efforts.
The simpler your family systems are, the more likely you will all stick with it over the long haul and stay organized over time.
Overcomplicating the end result will only lead to frustration and disorganization.
Organizing clutter with each of your families diverse needs in mind will bring mental and emotional well being to you and your family, not to mention a better functioning home so you can have more fun and downtime together.
If the clutter in your home is leaning more towards a chronically disorganized state, it might be best to work with a professional organizer who can help with understanding why you accumulate stuff, provide you with effective strategies for letting go and teach you how to stay organized.
If you have a question, fill out the comment box below and I will get back to you within 48 hours.
You may find this blog post about organizing your families paper clutter helpful as paper is one of the biggest challenges we see families deal with.
Another post that will help you conquer your clutter is our 7 tips to conquer your clutter.
Take good care and if you need us, we are here to help.
Find your freedom.
Live your life.