Decluttering involves more than just possessions and extra items laying around. It involves people, emotions, and relationships. If we don't consider this facet of getting rid of clutter we can make the road to a clutter free life much more difficult. In this multi part series of decluttering articles I will discuss ways to make the human side of decluttering go as smoothly as getting rid of the clutter itself.
When we want to make changes in our lives we need to be aware that this can affect other people as well. This can be very apparent when we live with those people. There are sometimes more people affected than we realize – here is a short list of those that are likely to be affected by your decluttering.
Some of the people on that list might seem a bit far fetched but I guarantee that when you make changes in your life other people will notice! Whether it is your husband or wife who is watching or helping you to get rid of clutter, your children who might not understand why things are changing, or the neighbor who sees you taking better care of your house, there are people around you that will notice and can react in good and not so good ways.
So - take the initiative and let people know what you are doing! In addition to letting them know what you plan on doing it will lend accountability to the situation that can help you follow through with your plans. The best place to start is with your immediate family. Tell them that you want to make some changes and that you intend to declutter. You know it is a healthy choice and one that can bring you, and them, many benefits. It may include some changes in their way of doing things, so be up front with them and what you expect.
Some common ideas and situations to bring up for discussion are:
- Do you have any expectations of them helping you?
- How can they help you?
- Are they interested in getting rid of clutter or being a part of the process?
- How are you going to go about this “decluttering”
- Why are you now taking action to get rid of things and be more organized?
Bringing these subjects up can save time, effort, and hurt feelings. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own worlds that we forget that others, even the ones we see everyday, might not be on the same page as us. When others know what you are doing, and why, they will more likely respond in a favorable way and probably want to help.
Have you had relationships impacted by clutter? Have you found a way through the maze of relationship issues? Let us about it in the comments below.
The next article in this topic will be: How can we enlist the aid of others in decluttering?