Got a juicy, hot topic question on tap today!
Don’t miss the answer to this common challenge amongst family members & their things!!!
I live in a house with three boys that can’t seem to part with books. My husband is simply the worst! He doesn’t respond well to my ‘help’ in that department so I have to bite my tongue a lot. Do you have any advice living with someone who is more of a hoarder than you?
This question came in response to this blog post I wrote on getting rid of books.
My Answer (okay, I really wrote A BOOK in response to this HOT question!):
It can be very difficult & disheartening when a spouse or family member doesn’t share the same inspiration to “get rid of some stuff!” as you do.
Trust me, when I find the cure for getting others in the house to move forward and let go, then I am going to shout it to the world.
The best advice I can give you based on my personal experience, clients’ experiences, and other studies I’ve done, is to be a role model first.
Second, explain to your husband and children all the different ways you’ve noticed that having less is so much better & easier.
- Less dusting
- faster tidying up
- saving money by not purchasing more bookshelves or containers
- saving money by reducing housekeeper’s time (and quiet possibly prevent high turnover because your house is his/her FAVORITE house to clean – because it’s so dang easy!)
- And most importantly, it’s quicker to find the best of the best when they aren’t mixed in or hidden by the rest. (I know, I’m a poet!)
Unfortunately, you can’t just change them. They have to make the connection on their own.
But don’t give up hope.
You could possibly have a “family meeting” and paint a picture of your house filling up with stuff because everyone is holding on to things. Then offer a solution of setting boundaries.
They can help set the boundaries of how much to keep of different categories of items by declaring drawers, containers, furniture, shelves, etc as the limit. Once the boundary of items is full, then clean it out so you’ll free up room for the newer things they love. Actually let them clean it out.
An example of how to get them IN ACTION is below!
By the way, this is a very hot topic! You are not alone.
It may feel like your words of encouragement fall on deaf ears, but let me assure you that your children (and husband) are hearing you, even if it is subconsciously.
At night when they are sleeping…whisper in their ears! Hehehe! I haven’t tried this suggestion, but it sounds like a great “B” plan to me!
MY HOTTEST TIP TO GET THEM IN ACTION:
I personally pull out all my husband’s books, clothing, fishing gear, or whatever! and line ‘em up on the floor, table, bed, etc and literally hand him a few items at a time as he tosses into piles of KEEP or DONATE. If he hesitates, then I grab it and throw it in the keep pile. It’s a rare occasion that a bag of items (at a minimum) do not get donated.
Same thing with my clients.
I lied. I don’t grab things out of my clients hands! I say, “Keep it and let’s move on” as I hand them the next stack.
The reason I pull it all out is because sometimes the challenge isn’t the actual decision making, it’s the dread of having to go through the messy process. Isn’t it nice to have some help while you call the shots?
Another reason I pull it all out is because a visual picture of how much they really have can be shocking to them. Understanding that it’s just too much dawns faster than trying to explain with words.
Here’s the catch if you choose to use my action tip:
You may get resistance, like, “Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. I don’t feel like doing that today.” So, say something like “that’s fine, we can do it tomorrow. I’ll help you & then get it all put back up nicely, if you’d like.” You can come up with your own words.
Personally, my favorite line is “We can do it the hard way or the easy way. The hard way is to drag this out. The easy way is to just get it done and out of the way. Which one do you prefer? When do you want to get it done?”
The real catch is that you give them total control over the decision-making & respect their decision. Click here to learn why this is uber important.
And if all else fails…
…then you could call in a professional organizer.
You would probably be amazed at how many husbands jump on board at some point during the process & start adding things to the donation pile. Having an outsider looking in seems to open their eyes from another perspective.
And vice-versa, the husband calls in the professional organizer (with the partner’s approval, of course!)
Hope that helps Alison.
Do you have any advice or tips to share? I’d love to hear them in the comment section below!
You are also welcome to share this article with your friends on facebook or twitter. Actually, I’d appreciate it very much.