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How to Have a Happy Home when Opposites Attract: Organized vs. Disorganized

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
by Sherry Castaldi
Category: Home Organizing

Did you ever wonder how organized people live with disorganized people? It’s one thing for a professional organizer to come into a disorganized home, assess a project and reorganize a client’s space. But what happens when one very organized person (whether it is their profession or not) lives with a mate who is messy by nature?

If you happen to be one of those hard-wired organized types who is short-circuiting with the contrary characteristic of your easy-going, yet higgledy-piggledy companion, take heart; you are not alone.

Here are seven survival tips to help you curb the chaos in your home when seemingly incompatible personality traits cohabitate.

  1. My first and most important piece of advice is to keep your sense of humor! No accusations, no fighting, and no resentment is needed.
  2. Take some ownership that although you think your structured lifestyle is normal it may be a bit over-the-top kind of thinking to one with a less regulated existence. Quirky for sure and if they are willing to tolerate your quirkiness you too must endure theirs.
  3. Know that going into this you may improve the ingrained habits of your disorganized mate or spouse, but you will most likely never change them to be the most organized person on the planet.
  4. Realize that yes you will do more to keep your space and home organized to the level you prefer. Life isn’t always fair. If it’s more important to you then you will do more. Accept that fact.
  5. Set up systems to help them. For example, if you know they constantly drop their belongings in a certain area, purchase and put something there, appropriate for the size needed; like a basket, container, etc. to corral their items so at least if you can’t break the habit, you can live with the neater look of the items in an aesthetically pleasing container.
  6. You may also need to post small reminder notes or label certain areas. Because although you can’t understand why they can’t remember what to do with things to keep the home tidy, they somehow have no recollection, no matter how many times you have told them.
  7. Understand they do not see things as you do. For example a large open space is an invitation for a free-for-all to them. So don’t give them large areas of free reign for their “stuff”. Break it down into smaller areas of storage sections with labeled containers of what goes in where. And know they will still not always get it right, but it will be better than if they were left without any direction.

In the end, value your disorganized mate for their other qualities, that add usefulness and meaning to your lives together and pick up the slack to keep things organized in your household for a happy home together.


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