Simple on Purpose | Intentional Living and Parenting

Simple on Purpose | Intentional Living and Parenting

72. When your spouse doesn’t want to declutter (but really, it’s marriage advice)

September 25, 2020

One question I get so often is "how to get my husband to get rid of all his crap?"

I don't have a magical formula to convince him to give up the ill-fitting company leather jacket from twenty years ago, or the questionable 'comedy' VHS from the 1990s - but I do have seven tips to help you navigate the conversations and process of decluttering with someone else in your home. 

When most of us decide to become a minimalist we have laser eyes for everything that has got to go - and a lot of it is OTHER PEOPLE'S STUFF. Whether it is teens, grown kids, or your spouse these people like their things and do have some say over what happens to it. 

We often find that the issue moves away from the STUFF in your home and becomes a RELATIONSHIP issue.

So, these are tips on decluttering when your spouse isn't on board, but really, it's marriage advice too. Because the goal is to declutter our home while preserving the relationships of those in our home. We don't want to become minimalist at the cost of peace in our relationships. 
Seven Tips for When Your Spouse Doesn't Want to Declutter
1. Talk about the common vision
Sounds too simple right? But the more you can talk about the vision you each have for your space, the more you can find places where your vision overlaps and get excited about what you do agree on. 

Having a vision is always more motivating because you are doing tasks for the sake of moving towards your vision rather than doing tasks for the sake of chores. 

* Use this free worksheet to set some vision for your home

2. Quit trying to change them 
If ex-boyfriends have taught us nothing it is that you cannot change people. 

And really, when you feel like the person you love wishes you were different it feels crappy. It lays the foundation for resentment. 

There is a difference in encouraging them to be their best, vs manipulating and shaming them for who they are 

3. Declutter your own stuff first
The most common piece of advice, for a good reason. 

Actions speak louder than words.

And you really don't need a lot of words when your partner can see you feel lighter and have more space and mental clarity in your home. 

4. Let communal items have communal input
I would pile up the 'communal items' that I thought we should get rid of and offered my husband a chance to go through them and grab what he wanted. 

Because really, this is his home too and his stuff too. And we would all want someone to give us say about the things we wish to keep in our home. 

5. Learn their why
You may not agree that your husband needs to keep the Pottie Tang VHS, but you can still ask why he wishes to..... like really, why???

Because we all keep things for a reason and that reason doesn't need to make sense to us - just knowing they know their reason and they like it can let you off the hook of making this the issue you have conflict over. 

6. Offer support 
It is a hard step, but if you are willing to offer your support in helping them organize things it can be a game-changer. 

It shows you are willing to let them figure things out, it shows you are empowering them to create the space they want too, and it gets things more organized which just feels like less clutter. 

7. Let it be ok to disagree
Marriage is so weird right!? It is putting two different people, with different opinions, different tastes,