“I want to declutter, but my husband has SO much stuff that he just won’t let go of”. I hear this so often, so when I start to hear the same things coming from multiple people, multiple times that’s my sign it needs addressed! When we went through our major decluttering process it was a unique situation of us moving across the continent and we didn’t have the time, means, or desire really to pack it all up and bring it. So we ditched it all and started over.
Neither of us really had a choice but to accept our massive downsize. However there are still times where we disagree on what we should have, or shouldn’t have. Or piles of stuff that drive each other crazy (like that one time I accidentally called him out on his side of the bathroom sink on my Facebook like page!).
When you are wanting to simplify your home, and your husband isn’t quite on board though, how should you handle it? You deserve to have an uncluttered home and space, and I personally don’t believe you should wait until he is “on board” to get it, but there IS an in between solution.
Don’t touch his stuff. Just don’t. I know you want an uncluttered home and his man cave, garage, closet and piles of stuff is making you crazy. But you know what? I bet if you look around you have just as much right now that you need to declutter as well.
Focus on you. Just like you can’t make someone decide to work out, or take care of themselves or their political views – you can’t make your husband want to declutter his stuff through force. “Worry about yo’ self, okay?!”
You have plenty of your own work to do first. Focus on that. Then the common areas of the house like toys, kitchen, living rooms, etc. SHOW him how a simplified space and less things makes the home so much easier to be in.
I know it isn’t a fast result, or the answer that you really want, but trust me, it works. I have given this husband rule to many moms and wives who have taken my course and they have seen it work. By the time they are done, or at least deep in the throes of the course their husbands begin to come around and want to make changes for themselves too.
Stay Positive You’re likely reading this because this is something you have been trying to address for a little bit or a long time by now. You have felt the frustration, annoyance, and maybe even overwhelm and anger because your husband just has so. Much. Stuff. Everywhere.
I get it. You want an uncluttered home. But the saying “you catch more flies with honey, than vinegar” is completely applicable here. Yelling, degrading, nagging, and passive aggressive remarks about clutter and mess will not ever get you the results you want.
Sure, maybe he will clean something up or donate some tools he’s never used. But he will only be doing it out of compliance, shame, or just sheer annoyance to get you to get off his back.
Not only is this not a good motivator for him, but it’s not healthy dynamics for your marriage.
So stay positive. Make the changes to your things, and the common areas and just be happy about it. Do it without feeling the need to rub it in his face how much easier it is for you to find your clothes. Or how much better your kids are getting along because the toys are simplified.
Just do it, and be happy about it.
Don’t make it a huge deal This one is hard. Often we are wanting them to be on board because we are so overwhelmed that it IS a big deal. This is where you flex your emotional control muscles.
Yes, this is a big deal to you. Yes, you want this to happen and you want to be on the same page about it. Yes, you may need to ask him for help while you do this for yourself.
You can get your point across though without being dramatic and throwing a fit. It can be as easy as saying, “I really want to go through my things because I am SO overwhelmed by looking at the mess. Can you watch the kids for an hour while I go through this?”
Then he knows you’re serious, and that you want help. You aren’t getting combative and you aren’t making it an all or nothing deal.
I think we often make it need to be we either declutter it all now, or nothing ever. When really it is a process. It’s going to take time, and effort and work. Focus on doing what you can, in a way that is positive and impactful. Feuding with your husband over this things is not going to move you forward. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start moving your HOME forward.
Start small and make those changes you can, and start showing him the difference in your home. As his wife, and as a mom and woman yourself you deserve to do this with grace and dignity. It is possible, and I am always rooting for you!