Don't try and coerce or guilt others into decluttering
You’ve decided you don’t want to live surrounded by clutter anymore, but you’re pretty sure the folks you live with have got just as much clutter as you do (sometimes more!). Here’s the bad news though – trying to guilt someone into sorting their stuff is likely to just make them feel bad about themselves and even more reluctant to assess their possessions. Focus on only your things where you have the sole decision-making power.
Do ask them to support you
If you find stuff dumped into your newly cleared spaces, or your organising systems being ignored, don’t be afraid to ask for support. Explain that you are working to change some habits, and manage your space differently, and outline why this is important to you. Then give clear directions for how they can support you: “I am working to keep the kitchen work surfaces clear so I have space to make my lunch; please help me out with this by putting your papers / books elsewhere.”.
Do share how you're finding the decluttering process
Making endless decisions about what to keep and what to move on can be hard work - share this with those you live with, and maybe even ask for their opinions. Sometimes hearing someone else’s response to “do I really need to keep this glass vase?” can help you discover what your own response is.
Do share the benefits you've discovered
Once you’ve started to make some headway with your decluttering, you’ll notice you can find you belongings more easily, you’re saving yourself more time, and you’re feeling less stressed! Let others know what a positive difference decluttering and organising is making to your life, and how pleased you are to have finally tackled it. This is much more likely to get them intrigued and thinking “maybe I should give this decluttering business a go too?”.
Don't try and declutter for them
If you’re buzzing from your decluttering success, don’t get carried away and start working through other people’s possessions without their consent! Once you’ve built up your decluttering muscle it can be tempting to think “I haven’t seen them wear that shirt in years, I’ll add that to the charity shop bag for them”. Bad move! All decisions about what stays and what goes need to be down to the person who owns the items to avoid the clam-shell response of “don’t touch my stuff – I’m keeping all of it!”.
Looking for some support and accountability on your decluttering journey?
Book a free no-obligation consultation call to find out more!