3 Ways to Lose Belongings and Alienate Housemates

8 February 2015 by

When it comes to getting your home organized, there are a lot of “Do’s” that can help you bring order and cleanliness to your living space.

Do create an easy system everyone can follow.

Do put rewards and motivators in place to encourage disorganized cohabitants.

Do remember to give yourself a break occasionally and allow some chaos to enter the natural flow of your home.

What are not often talked about are the negative effects of being organized. While you’re creating openness in the common area, building space saving storage units, and typing away ferociously on a label maker, you could be ridding clutter, but you could also be introducing animosity.

Avoid these overly organized pitfalls and keep harmony in your home.

I’ll Do It All Myself

This is a dangerous approach to getting organized. You may be the lead proponent of a clutter-free environment, but you can’t tackle the task solo. If your spouse is a bit of a slob or the kids seem to be mess-making machines, doing all the organizing yourself can feel like unpaid servitude.

Being the only organizer will make you resentful, critical and downright unpleasant. Add to the fact that if you’re the only one keeping the house clean, you’re also the only one who knows where anything is.

Get everyone involved in sharing the duties (even if you still do the majority of the work). This will help relieve tension that could build and keep your housemates tuned in to the interworking’s of where they live.

You Should Get Organized Because You Want To

As an organized person, it’s hard to understand why your fellow family members or roommates don’t want to be organized. There are so many great benefits, why wouldn’t they want to keep a tidy place?

The bottom line is not everyone sees it as a necessity, so you sometimes have to incentivize the work that needs to be done.

If you are waiting for a disorderly person to suddenly wake up one day and want to get organized, you’re in for some disappointment. Get them into the habit of cleaning up and putting things away by offering rewards. If you have an unruly roommate who’s carless, offer to give them rides to work if they agree to do the dishes every day. If your spouse refuses to do laundry, tell them you’ll darn the socks without complaint if they wash the cars.

Don’t be above offering rewards, it may be the only way to kick start new habits.

I Shouldn’t Have To Tell You To

Perhaps the most dangerous mentality of the organization king or queen is the thought that de-cluttering should be done without request. That the idea of organization is so obvious, tasks should be completed even if they are unspoken.

Don’t trap your housemates into disappointing you by being unclear about what projects need to be completed.

Create plans and instructions that people can follow and understand.

“Create systems that will be easy for you and your [your housemates] to maintain. For example, follow the simple rule, ‘everything in its place’, and figure out just what those places will be. Papers for annual financial planning go in the file cabinet. Too many clothes in your closets? Anything you haven’t worn in three years, gets donated. Books overflowing your shelves? Organize by genre. Novels in one place, nonfiction in another, children’s books in yet another,” says Jan Yager, a sociologist, time management, and relationship coach, workshop leader, and award-winning author.

The biggest enemy of organization in your home could actually be you if you’re holding onto these mindsets. Try to turn things around by taking less aggressive approaches.