Getting our Families on the Organizing Train

Getting our significant others to organize their spaces or keep general spaces organized can be a tricky task. Often times it doesn’t mean as much to them as it does to us and that can become frustrating and even lead to hard feelings on one or both sides. Here are a few tips to help your partner get on the same organization train as you.

Start the organization process for yourself. Begin with your own products or

clothes. Declutter and organize those to set an example. Do not touch your significant others personal belongings without their permission however as that will most certainly not help the situation. Marie Kondo states in her book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ “getting rid of other people’s things without permission demonstrates a sad lack of common sense” she goes on to say “To quietly work away at disposing of your own excess is actually the best way of dealing with a family that doesn’t tidy”. So, although it can be a huge source of frustration Do not touch your families’ items.

Ensure you have tidied your own items first. Always lead by example. Marie writes “the urge to point out someone else’s failure to tidy is usually a Sign that you are neglecting to take care of your own space” so ensure you have completed your spaces first. Then move on to common areas. Yes, tidy them & make them as beautiful as you can. Once you have done so your family may be encouraged to part with some of their items especially if they can now see they have let’s say 15 basketballs and 7 pairs of running shoes when really all they need is 1 or 2. Try enticing them by offering to help organize their most favourite possessions or hobby, once they see their favourite things looking tidy this may provide the motivation to complete the process on the rest of their items.


When working with children with tidying teach while you go. Start by teaching them how to become organized while they are young as organizing does not always come naturally to people and keeping children organized is such an important skill. Marie Kondo suggests covering stuffed animals’ eyes when asking children if they would like to keep each animal. “Once their eyes are covered stuffed animals and dolls look much more like objects and that makes it much easier to part with them” Marie says. Start off categorizing your children’s toys with them, once you have done this start the editing process. Take your time. Try letting them know these toys, clothes, or stuffies are going to children who are less fortunate or a special organization that they understand. Once children understand they are going to a new home sometimes its easier for them to part with them.

Overall, when it comes right down to it the best thing to do is lead by example. Kindly ask if they’d like a hand organizing their items but don’t push it because this will only lead to a resistant power struggle. Remember its you that this process is most important to and the goal it to improve the quality of your home and relationships inside your home, not cause more unnecessary turbulence.

Florena Davies is a Professional Organizer and Owner of Organize by Flo. She uses her experience as a wife and mother of 2 to create real life organizational systems and changes for work and home that allow our 2 worlds to co-exist and 'Flo" together. Check out her website at https://www.organizebyflo.com/ and on Instagram @organizebyflo.

Melanie McConnell is a Professional Organizer and the owner of Mello Spaces. She helps busy professionals and parents get the organized home of their dreams. Check out her website www.mellospaces.com and follow her on Instagram: @mellospaces

Marybeth Welty is a Professional Organizer, Interior Designer, and Mindful Living Coach, and is the owner of Sustainable Lifestyle Solutions. She helps her clients create a calm, organized, and sustainable home and the life of their dreams by utilizing refined design principles, organizing best practices, mental wellness strategies, and a holistic lifestyle approach to sustainability. You can connect with her at www.sustainablelifestylesolutions.com and on Instagram at @this_sustainable_lifestyle.
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