It’s very common for one partner to be on board with decluttering, and the other to not be.
You WANT to declutter but your spouse disagrees and has different viewpoints as you when it comes to the stuff in your home. That is okay! You are not trapped, you are not helpless and you CAN make progress even if your spouse doesn’t want to. Even if your spouse won’t declutter
You are a leader in your home
Leaders model best practices. Start by decluttering your stuff first. You can also declutter the “common areas” of the home.
Make your spaces, stuff and life really appealing and easy. There is no way to tell how long it will take, but your efforts will be noticed.
People are inspired to take action by seeing something they want for themselves. Sometimes they just don’t know what that thing is unti lthey see it, which is why I always recommend decluttering your stuff FIRST.
Adults don’t like to be bossed around. Or have their stuff taken. Even if they are a partner.
So don’t touch their stuff! Unless it has been explicitly agreed upon that you can.
Can you imagine if you walked into your closet and found that your partner took it upon themselves to toss your stuff without your consent? Even if you wouldn’t mind, or would be grateful to not have to do it yourself, it is unfair to assume that your partner IS.
The role of a leader is to empower. Taking and decluttering the items of someone else is often shameful, invasive and doesn’t inspire long term change. Again, unless it has been explicitly agreed upon.
Create physical boundaries for their stuff
As you clear out your clutter start to take note of what areas your partner’s stuff is spilling into. Because you have done the work of decluttering your own stuff you can start to have honest, and respectful conversations about the areas of the home that are being taken over by their clutter and establishing boundaries for it.
This might mean keeping all personal items in the garage, in a closet space, drawer or something else. Being able to physically show how their stuff is creeping into the spaces can give you an easy way to show how the clutter is affecting your daily life in a fair and gentle way.
Approach your spouse clutter with curiosity and kindness
Rather than nagging someone about the stuff they have, get curious.
Ask them why they feel the need to hold onto specific items. When you authentically ask (without sarcasm or judgment) one of two things will happen. You will either get insight into the emotional struggles they have with their stuff (money, what if, sentiment). This can help you be more understanding. Or they will come to the realization that they don’t have a good reason.
Either way you open up the lines of communication to get on the same page with the stuff in your home.
If you need help decluttering YOUR stuff so that you can get to this point, join us in Decluttering Simplified! You will get a 4 week decluttering plan for your entire home AND the support you need with your spouse because you definitely are not the only one whose spouse won’t declutter!