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When You Are Not the Clutter Culprit

Updated on July 5, 2016

When we finally get on the path of living a clutter free lifestyle, we can come into obstacles such as living with a clutterer. So the question to answer is: How can we declutter if the clutterer is a person we care for?


I am going to be completely honest when I say I usually go for the “tough love” stance in life. This is definitely a quality of mine that I am both proud of, but has deep flaws to it. In this case it might work, but often the person will only follow through for a short period of time before reverting back to old habits. Again, everyone is different and this tactic might work on other individuals! Be advised that it may hurt the relationship you have with the person.


The second option is to do nothing. You can clean up after them, or if it is a roommate just make sure your own space is organized. If those are not an option you can always just let the clutter stay, but then you would have to live in an environment you were not comfortable with. The problem with not addressing the issue is that often resentment will be built up towards the clutterer. In that circumstance the individual typically is not even aware there is an issue! If you let resentment sit long enough, it can be catastrophic for your relationship with the individual.


Encouraging the clutterer to partake in your own efforts to declutter can be a great way for them to see the improvements organization can make on their lives. Sometimes, there is a more deep rooted reason why the individual cannot declutter. Encouraging, not forcing, them to talk about might bring to light some of these issues and offer to help them tackle them on together!


If this does not seem to help, I do know some people choose to have hired professional organizers come! This can be a good way to avoid putting a strain on the relationship you have with the clutterer. An added bonus would be the possibility of learning some new things from the professional on organizing and declutter that you had not already known!


Be prepared and willing to compromise! If you end up getting exactly what you want, congratulations! Maybe discussing specific rooms the clutterer can have to themselves is a happy medium if they are not willing to completely declutter. Do not try to rush them into the process before they are ready. Remember, there might be a larger issue at play here and this is still a person you care about! Putting your own desires to declutter ahead of their needs might not only push them away from wanting to become more organized, but also push them away from you.

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