How to Deal with Disorganized Family Members, Part 1 | Clutter Video Tip

Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter
Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about fixing those members of
your family who are not so organized. We have a feature on our You Tube channel now called
“Ask Lorie” where people can send in their questions via our comments here below, or
via our Facebook page, or just e-mailing us, or however you want to send in your questions,
but we had two different people send in the same question — one about a daughter, one
about a spouse. So I’m going to answer this in two parts. So today, Part 1, we’re going
to talk about adults in your life. Usually this is a spouse that’s living with you. And
then Part 2 we’re going to talk about kids and teens, who are messy and they’re not cooperating
with your organizing efforts. So, first lets address the issue of just personal
change. You know, we have a lot of fun with the metaphor of “going on a clutter diet.”
And getting organized really is a lot like losing weight. There are many parallels. And
one of the main parallels is that you can’t make anybody get organized any more than you
can make them go on a diet. It’s very hard to get a grown up human being to do anything
they really don’t want to do. And they have to be bought into the process [POP], especially
if it’s about a very personal change in their habits and their daily routines. So we have
to set our expectations both with adults and kids and teens, that sometimes this problem
can only be managed and not truly ever solved. It’s about compromise and communication. So
let’s talk about what to do. First, you want to approach this problem using
your very best communication skills. Now, I know this makes you angry, it makes you
frustrated, you may already have had some yelling going on and some arguments and fighting,
but you want to wait and discuss this at a time when people are feeling pretty good and
things are calm — over dinner or however it works for you — but you want to bring
your best self to the table and you want to try to bring some solutions and ideas to the
table too. You want to talk about how this genuinely makes you feel and what it would
do for you if it were solved. Sometimes if people really understand that it’s not just
being picky, that there is a reason behind it, they can buy in a little bit more. So some of the solutions you might come to
the table with are that you might want to have some bartering. So I’m sure that there
are things you do that annoy your spouse just as much as these messy areas annoy you. So
be really honest and be responsible for those things about you that are annoying and come
to the table with those and say, “You know what, I know I don’t fill up the car gas tank
until it’s on ‘E,’ I know that we have a goal of not eating out so often and we need to
cook more at home and I’m not doing that. [POP] I will work on those things if you work
on your closet,” or, “your desk,” or whatever it is. So you can kind of barter that and
see if that works. Also, you can compromise by saying that you’re going to give up control
of certain areas. So let’s say it is your spouse’s desk. It’s cluttered with paper all
the time, you’re sick of looking at it, but you just give that up and say, “You know what,
it’s your desk, it’s your area of the house, you get to manage that however you want, but
please agree with me that the common areas of the house will be picked up and will be
organized and that you will cooperate with me to make those things happen. So I’m going
to stop nagging you about this, but please let’s work together on these areas and this
is why.” So these kinds of bartering and cooperation
and discussions can be great. They may not solve the problem, but what [POP] you will
get is a lot more information which may give you a new angle on solving it yourself. So
let’s just talk about that for a second. You may be in a situation where you’ve already
discussed this death, you’ve already tried these things, and you may have to just own
the problem yourself, like it or not, make it better, and move forward. And that’s not
the most fun answer, but if you do the project yourself and organize it and have to keep
redoing it, what I would suggest is that you focus heavily on prevention. We talk about
prevention, reduction, and maintenance as part of our little diet metaphor, and if you
focus on prevention and really look at where the logjams are happening and how this clutter
problem is happening in the first place, you may be able to solve, you know, half of the
problem before it even becomes a bigger issue. So think about prevention, look at compromise
and communication, and if you need help, a third party is often another good solution.
[POP] So people that join our on-line program can write in to our team on our Member Message
Board area and they can post photos and show us what’s going on and we will give you an
objective opinion. So it may be that sharing that objective opinion with your spouse might
be kind of a tiebreaker in this argument. So this does happen and hopefully that could
work for you too. You can find out more about our program at See you next time for Part 2 — we’re going to
talk about kids and teens — and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than

14 thoughts on “How to Deal with Disorganized Family Members, Part 1 | Clutter Video Tip

  1. You have such helpful ideas! I love your approach. As a naturally "leave it out in the open" person myself, it has been helpful for me to accommodate my spouse as a "gift" to him by storing things in a way that makes him feel calm, happy and comfortable. Even if I enjoy having something (like a stapler) on a counter for easy access, I can contribute to his sense of well-being by tucking it into a drawer.

  2. I enjoy your videos Laurie. I cannot wait to hear about helping our children get organized. I will use your advise with my daughter.

  3. I can only imagine what it must feel like to live with a Professional Organizer. My "rule" is all the common areas must be keep clean, neat and organized by the end of the day. His office can be left anyway he wants. YIKES!! Yes it drives me crazy and yes I close the door.

  4. Thank you for sharing this information for free.  Very kind of you.  I hope I will improve my living from your pearls of wisdom. 

  5. I'm temporarily staying with parents and my sister while I except a new job offer, the house always looks like a bomb hit, so sick of it.

  6. My Parents or the members of my Family are so MESSY! Their things are in everywhere all of their things is mess up. They didn't want to organize it. I am a organize person, i don't want a messy room so i always cleaning and organizing my things in my room. When i was going to school i'll checking my things if i organize it well or i clean my room before i left…. even in school i am very clean and organize. After school i am ready to home and when i enter in my house… you can see their things, it is very messy!. When i enter in my room they always messying my room i hate it! They disorganizing my things!!!! They always messying my things in my own room… i always get mad to them… and when i ask them if they messying my things… they are lying to me!.😠 they saying that they didn't do that they are such a LIAR. They are jealous to me because i am a organized and a clean person, that's why they messying my things. They want me to get messy too.. but i don't want to be messy! I am different to them. I am a clean and organized person…. i want a organized life! Why they doing this to me! Why they always messying my things?!!!😡 i earning a time to organize my then they will mess it?! After i do that?! I organize my things with my BLOOD,SWEAT AND TEARS! I always cleaning my room with that!!!.
    I hope that someday they will learn how to be organized and clean their own staffs.😇

  7. just dont touch my stuff. i have to have it all out to know what i got lol. but I know what i need and it's dresser and more storage for my small stuff.

  8. My mom and my sisters are so unorganized and it frustrates me so much. I love them but they’re just so unorganized, which is not me. I like having a clean and organized room, and what really sucks is when I try to get my sisters to clean my moms like “Leave your sisters alone, they don’t want to clean.” So I just have to clean up the mess for them!

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