I wonder if this is ever an issue for anyone else? Our house is full of clutter, from top to bottom but mostly it’s my husband’s things. and when it comes up he just gets mad and refuses to get rid of anything. There’s a lot of friction in our house over this and it just feels hopeless. I’m not exactly a neatnick either but I think my things are in pretty good shape.
What can I do? Can you give me some suggestions for how to talk to him?
The “this-clutter-is-not-my-clutter-it’s-yours” syndrome is an issue for at least 80% of my clients. We are all individuals with different desires, fears, and tolerances for pain AND clutter.
You are not alone, Sheryl! The good news is you have some choices, and a chance to make a big difference in your relationship.
**You could NAG, ARGUE, THREATEN, or ISSUE AN ULTIMATUM**
However, this usually just makes the clutter bug dig in and cling more tightly. NEVER get rid of someone else’s stuff; you are just asking for trouble! And the results can be very counter-productive. As you probably already know, it’s nearly impossible to change someone else! In the many years of doing this work with people I have found two ways to effectively deal with other people’s clutter:
#1 Educate! People really have to understand the downside of clutter if they are going to have any incentive to do this kind of work. It’s emotional, and requires a commitment to take action. Drag your loved one to my next event (details coming soon!), or sign them up for the newsletter, or together read: Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston.
#2 Lead by Example! Start with your own stuff, (you said you aren’t exactly a neatnick:)) get really really clear about what is yours to deal with, clean up items that you have total control over and keep going until it feels good. Sometimes it takes 2-3 passes before you get down to the items that you truly love or need to keep.
What happens next is MAGIC:
The energy changes in you and in your home as you let go of items that no longer serve you. A ripple effect occurs and, without saying a word, your husband, kids and, yes, even the neighbors, will begin to notice and (my prediction) JOIN IN because they sense how much better you are all feeling as a result.
Good Luck and let me know what happens, Sheryl! (Or any of you who have someone else in the family with clutter issues!) As always, please send your questions and comments, I love to connect!
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