How to Live In Harmony With A Pack Rat Partner

We all have different organizing styles and a tolerance for clutter. I have yet to meet a couple that is 100% on the same page about everything in their home. That is okay. We all are different and that is what makes the world go round. The key is learning to share space and coexist with your stuff.

Here are some tips to help you share your space!

1. Define your space- This is a pretty basic principle. If you know where things go, you are more likely to put them away.

2. Purge before you merge- This is one of the most important things you can do before sharing space with someone. Decide what you need in your home. Sell or donate any duplicate items that you have. Scale down before you make the big move.

3. Talk about what space you both need!! Do you both need an office? Is one of you an artist? Do you need a work bench or tool station. Set up stations for the different functions that you both need.

4. Discuss your expectations for your home. What visually important.

During my years an an organizer, I have constantly run into people having what I like to call “space wars.” Here are some other things to consider!!

1. The common areas- It might be important to your partner or spouse to have these maintained in a certain way. These areas tend to be used for entertaining and are seen by visitors.

2. If you have the space, consider having your own closet and or bathroom. Many couples have told me this is a relationship saver for them.

3. Don’t expect your spouse or partner to keep their “personal” space up to the same level that you do. I have worked with many people in which their partner has a room in the home or area in the basement that is their personal space. As long as its not affecting the rest of the home, let it be. Pick your battles!!

4. If you agree to do some organizing or purging together, make a plan. Don’t park a dumpster in your yard and expect them to fill it up. Its all about baby steps.

5. When you decide to work together to organize/purge, start with a category or room. Don’t expect your partner to spend hours trying to help you. Break down the projects into small mini sized ones. You will get less resistance when you ask for assistance.

The moral of the story- give it time. Be patient and respect each others space!!

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