People often ask about partners who need help getting organized or decluttering, so I thought I’d address the question here. I was recently asked this question via my Facebook page.
How To Handle a Hoarder
My partner is such a hoarder! Any tips?
There are a several ways to approach this, both for you and your partner.
Start by making peace with the fact that you can’t change someone else. In fact, if you push too hard your partner may become defensive, making the situation worse.
Instead, focus on getting what you need (perhaps a clutter-free space of your own?), modeling the benefits of hoarding-free behavior in your own life, and reinforcing positive change in your partner. The first post, below, is about working with a disorganized colleague, but the three tips are equally applicable to living with a stuff-loving partner.
For your partner, if and when they decide they want to address their habits, there are a number of ways they can tackle the challenge.
They might like to start with changing their mindset by looking at mental resistance and excuses. Or they might prefer to jump right in with simple fixes to get started.
It then becomes a small step to broadening the focus to their home, and going for short, 30-minute decluttering projects.
The Secret: Start Small and Keep Going
Unless you have the resources of a national television show at your disposal, don’t expect big changes all at once. Instead encourage your partner, when ready, to make a small start, and continue most days. That will be enough.
All of these posts offer simple strategies, so the barrier to starting is low.
Living With A Hoarder
Changing A Hoarding Mindset
- Hoarding: 7 Lies That Keep You Caught In Clutter
- The One Thing You Must Do If You Want To Get Organized
- Getting Organized Quick Tip: How To Short-Circuit Perfectionism and Procrastination
- Home Organization: My Very Best Life-Changing Tip For A Clutter-Free Home
- Declutter Your Life – Get More Energy
Small Ways To Start Decluttering
- Simplify Your Life Quick Tip: Have a Ready-For-Donation Basket
- Simplify Your Life Quick Fix: Limit Your Hangers
- Simplify Your Life Quick Tip: Abandon ‘Everyday’ Versus ‘Guest’ Tableware
How To Declutter Your Home
- Declutter Your Life and Home
- Home Organizing: Start with your Home Values
- Organize Your Living Room for Holiday Entertaining: 15 Targets for Clutter Blindness
- 10 Tips For Simplifying Your Life
Clutter-Busting In 30 Minutes
- Get Organized Mission #1: Fill a Hu-u-uge Trash Bag
- Get Organized Mission #6: Detox Your Car
- Get Organized Mission #8: Declutter 50 Items
- Get Organized Mission #10: Clear Out Your Closet
- Get Organized Mission #15: Organize Your Kitchen
- Get Organized Mission #16: Streamline Your Books, CDs, & DVDs
If you live with a hoarder, what have you found successful? Please share your experiences, or let us know what you’re going to try.