A common problem people express when I help them declutter is, “I really want to declutter but my husband…”
Marie Kondo’s philosophy on this is that when your housemate sees you declutter it will naturally rub off. While working in a client’s home, a Marie Kondo rule is that we do not touch things of the family member who is not a client. That means when taking down all the books or kitchen komono anything that is specifically the other persons is left alone.
However! Having one of these husbands who doesn’t see clutter the way I see clutter I am slightly pushier than Marie. In case any of these methods work for you here is what I try.
Let’s call my husband Tom, Tim, because it makes me laugh that when I search for his number in my phone I commonly type in Tim.
So, Tim like many others has a few habits that makes tidying more difficult. He empties his pockets at the end of the day and leaves them on the dresser – receipts, change, business cards.
First thing I do is take his change. Ha! Yup.
Marie K says change should go in your wallet to be spent. If he won’t spend it and treats change like it’s not valuable then I will.
Then on weekends, I will touch base with him. Hey, do you need to save these receipts or is this garbage?
Tim and I like to buy books. When we bring new books into the house I like to ask, hey are there any books you could give away? I’m going to Housing Works and dropping off some things.
Often when Tim buys new clothes I say, great, are there some t-shirts you are ready to let go of? Typically, these kinds of conversations go well. Tim might say, I’ll look tomorrow. Then tomorrow I say, are there some t-shirts you are ready to let go of, and he gives me some shirts.
So, by asking questions about what someone is ready to let go of, I find a willing partner.
If posed as a question the ask to tidy is seen as easy to respond to. And soon he or she will on their own start getting into the habit. Now Tim frequently says, “I can let go of this book.”
“I don’t really wear these pants anymore.” Nice! New habits created. Love it!