Getting organized can be tedious and overwhelming when you are alone and without support of your partner, family and or roommates, who don't want to be your cohort in the organizing adventure. Organizing a shared space with an unwilling partner can block the road to YOUR ORGANIZED world.
Most commonly I hear that a spouse, partner, family member or roommate wants to get organized but the other half is just fine in their clutter comfort. This tends to be difficult and worrisome for the person who wants freedom and escape from clutter and disorganization.
Why does clutter come between people? Well some people realize that the outer is a reflection of the inner and want to have an organized system to help them stay focused and productive. Other people push clutter in your face and are just plain old “self-centered”, not aware of their surroundings and or other's feelings. The person creating the disorganization and mess cannot see the demise of their counterpart. Or could it be they thrive on clutter and actually feel comforted?
Are people REALLY comfortable with clutter? Not usually, but on some level if a person grew up in a cluttered environment they may not think twice about living the same way as was their home of origin. Other people who tolerate clutter mayhem well, may suffer from mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, ADD and or Obsessive Compulsive challenges. The divide, amongst people who share space, in housekeeping styles, is what a lot of partnerships fight about. Most people who cohabitate or who share space fight about money, housekeeping, moral issues, how to raise children/pets, and sex (if that is in the equation). Housekeeping, let's face it is tedious, but when clutter has run rampant it may become dangerous, harmful to health and downright unbearable for a person who likes order and neatness. One person may feel like they are king, on their "junk" pile, while the other a drowning person.
So what to do when two or more people in a space are at odds with each other? Well what most civilized groups tend to do is compromise. But how do you compromise on clutter and chaos? The same way emotionally intelligent people solve conflict, you discuss it, find out what common ground there is (no pun intended), and you make a plan that suits both of you. The best way to discuss a difficult situation is to use assertive language.
Assertive language style goes like this.
YOU: I feel______________(adjective feeling words) i.e. hurt, overwhelmed, confused, disappointed, let down, unheard, stepped on etc.... when________________(describe situation) i.e. there are piles of stuff in corners, the garage is overtaken by your unfinished projects, when I can't see the countertop, when dishes are left in the sink, when the house if not kept up etc.... and then the finale......_______________________(validation, so they hear the feelings) i.e. and I love you so much, and you are such a great partner, and so creative and so loveable and I appreciate this and that about you, you’re a fun roommate etc....
The reason for the switch from the "I feel" statement and the "situation" statement to the sweet "validation" statement is that ideally the other person will hear your feelings and respond accordingly. There are no guarantees, if you become highly assertive, the other person will respond appropriately. That doesn’t mean that you lower your communication style, becoming aggressive, passive aggressive or passive, it just means you will probably have to learn how to have rules about your world and boundaries to protect it.
When you discuss situations that bring on contention between you and others, in an assertive manner, you will feel more confident and justified in your approach, and also create expectations for an assertive response. When the other person comes back at you with aggression, passive aggressive stances, and or ignores you and you feel defeated keep going with the above assertive language. If the other person continues to use a non-assertive method of communication even though you have shared deep and dark feelings, and have validated them, it is time to realize they do not care about your feelings and or working on a better partnership. Your next step may be to seek counseling, individual and or family, get coaching with an experienced life coach or take a break from the situation through separation until the other person will hear you, and make the necessary changes for the partnership to resume comfortably for both of you.
Remember when you share space….the meaning of share is important!
Many people who call me for Professional Organizing Services are also interested in Feng Shui. Most people I encounter do not really know too much about Feng Shui, but they appear mystified by the thought of it. Some people say "I'm not interested in Feng Shui". Interestingly though the people who have "gone for it" usually have the best experiences when I follow up with them.
I get many calls from clients months after they have been Feng Shui'd exclaiming the successes and changes in their lives. Some clients are getting divorced and have to downsize, others are going through short sales and have to move quickly and want to have us pack, many people have moved and want to be unpacked. Some clients are decor challenged and have furniture to and fro and pictures in upper right hand corners of their walls. I always say O.M.M (oh my my) what were you thinking?? Some people have ADD Attention Deficit Disorder or ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Everyone has a reason to call a Professional Organizer, but usually the client is "missing" something in life or there is an imbalance of some kind.
After organizing one client's bedroom, and moving her bed to the center of the room, with two end tables on each side, instead of the bed being squished against a wall, she has become more balanced, claimed her love life is more fulfilling and has expanded her business three fold. Another client has told me that her life will never be the same since we organized and Feng Shui'd her. She said that she felt "joy and peace for the first time in years". Other clients that I spoke with claimed better health, increased wealth, better socialization, more fame and recognition, a hotter sex life, increased desire to go back to school, better job opportunities, stability, and more.
Rather then just moving furniture around, cleaning out your pantry and closets, using baskets and finding a home for everything, Feng Shui stirs up new and exciting energy in your self and space. Energy or Chi can become stagnant and stale sitting aimlessly in your home or office.
You may wonder why you have so many fake people or clients in your life?
Look around and count how many fake plants are in your space. Is it difficult to see your self, life and others clearly? Maybe the window washer needs a call? Imagine why your romance has died and gone to heck? Look in your Love and Romance corner of your home or office and see blocked areas, dried flowers or absolutely no objects symbolizing Love. Figured out why the money has stopped flowing in steadily? Look at your Prosperity corner and notice that there are no round shaped leafy plants, purple and blue objects and MONEY! Yes, just putting money in your Prosperity corner can bring the gold coins in. Has your Health turned to sour grapes.?
Put some fresh fruit and a growing plant in or near your Health Bagua. Is your Children and Creativity area in your laundry room? You'll figure out that your Children and your Creativity will feel washed out and dry. Yet there is a Feng Shui Fix for every area of your home and your life.
Does the Career area of your home reflect your growing career and aspects of the Career that you want to enhance? No, well that is why the career department might be hurting. When was the last time you Traveled to a bucket list destination? If the Wise People and Travel area of your home is enhanced with travel destinations, a few angels and Wise People symbols you just might be going on that trip to____________. Have your skills and knowledge gone to pot?
Let's beef up that area with books and ideas that you want to bring into your repertoire.
Are you having difficulty with a particular family member and want some resolve?
Let's put up some pictures of that person in your family area and objects symbolizing unity to build up that relationship. How about some recognition for what you would like to be famous for? Hanging awards and putting some spiky plants and bright flashy colors can really get the phone ringing and bring on the applause.
Bottom line each and every Bagua (nine separate Baqua's in your home represent a different source of meaning and energy for you) must be Feng Shui'd often in order to have continuing change and new events occuring in your life. It is not a one time deal, but something you want to engage in when certain aspects of your life require a Small or Dramatic Change.
Call Marla Stone for a free 30 minute phone consultation and to learn more about getting a Feng Shui Fix!! Feng Shui can be done on Skype as well. Call for details!!!
Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of