Want your husband to declutter?
Want that streamlined, Scandinavian home, but your husband has too much stuff?
You’re not the only one. This is the question I get asked the most!
A recent study found that clutter causes tension in about 50% of households and approximately 30% of participants reported that someone in their household complains about clutter in the home weekly, or even daily. *
- Start with your own stuff. It’s simple but effective.
When I started decluttering our home, my husband hated it. He was brought up in a household where everything was saved ‘just in case’. He still dislikes my decluttering habits but has slowly discovered the benefits. He recently asked for my help in finding a document. I told him exactly where it was and it took him ten seconds to locate it. He came downstairs grinning from ear to ear and I think he even kissed me! A task he thought would take him half an hour, was done in seconds.
Let your partner see the difference that decluttering makes to you and your household every day. Less stress getting ready in the morning, less time spent rummaging for things, less cleaning and more time for living. The results will speak for themselves.
- Tell him how you feel.
The aim of the game here is a more peaceful home for all. Don’t start the conversation by telling them how horrific their clutter and mess is, this will only result in strife and defensiveness. One evening when there are no distractions, talk to him about how you feel living in a home that is cluttered. Don’t mention that it is now only his clutter! It’s very hard for someone to argue with how you feel. Talk about how the clutter adds to your stress or anxiety levels, or how you find it hard to relax at the end of the day with mess and clutter surrounding you. Leave it there and don’t pressure your spouse into a response or solution. Hopefully, they will be considerate about your feelings and be prompted to make some changes. Be thankful for any change they are willing to make and take the small wins.
When my husband and I were newlyweds we had different standards of household cleanliness, (we still do). My husband argued that why should he rise to my standards, rather than me drop to his. He made a good case. Marriage is all about compromise, as my Mum says. Hopefully in yours you can find a happy medium with the household clutter.
It may be that your spouse never changes their cluttering habits. In which case remember there are so many things you love about them and this is one of their foibles. Just as you know there are a plethora of habits which frustrate your partner about you! If this is your situation it may be you have to bear more of the tidying and organising burden and accept it as part of the compromise of marriage.
A word of encouragement; after five years of my decluttering, my husband asked me to declutter and sort his clothes!?! I pointed out that I couldn’t do that for him, but I would be happy to do it together. It is possible!
As ever send me your comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*CoreData Happy Home Survey (2017)