Today we are going to help you navigate a tricky situation. You might be trying everything in your power to get organized, but your spouse, partner, or child is opposed to the process. There are typically three reasons that we encounter conflicting goals when it comes to organization: money, upkeep, and benefit. When organizing, we always try to ensure that everyone is on board and if not we identify and appeal to their opposition. We always want the process to be enjoyable and sustainable for as long as possible.
First Opposition to Organization: Money
The first rebuttal to getting organized or hiring a professional organizer is financially based. They don’t want to pay the cost, and this is usually because they don’t understand why the spouse/partner is looking for help or needs to invest in storage solutions.
In many of these relationships, we find, that the partners have opposite organizing personalities. For example, an organized person partners with someone who isn’t as organized, and they both struggle with why the other person is not exactly like them. In a lot of these relationships, organization is a desire that often gets ignored because it isn’t worth the struggle or the stress. We encourage clients in this situation to understand that it is that it is always okay to ask for help. Asking for assistance is not a sign of weakness or inability. Most organizers can scale their services to meet a budget, helping both parties feel comfortable with the investment.
When you book with The Simplify Team, we discuss project needs and budget goals. There are always ways to stay within a certain budget. This can mean starting with a specific block of time and limiting the amount of product used. For example, booking a flat four hours of organizing is more affordable than you may think, and clients are consistently amazed by how much The Simplify Team can complete in a short period of time. We always strive to be clear and transparent about the financial aspect of organizing. We do not ever charge more than is necessary and our main goal is ALWAYS to help. Period. We also provide tips on consignment to help balance the cost of organizing.
Ultimately, organizing means you will know what you have and where your things are located! This is a huge time and money saver. When you know where to find next season’s clothing or that extra set of product you bought on sale, you will avoid wasting money rebuying items that you already own.
When you consider all of these challenges: the time lost searching for items, the money spent re-buying, and the stress added to your relationships, the total cost of organizing is much more worthwhile.
Second Opposition to Organization: Upkeep
Many people that struggle with organization don’t believe it is possible to maintain that level of order in their space. We hear often that it is specifically a waste of time to organize their children’s items. Clients will comment, “Gosh, I really want the playroom done, but my kids are just going to ruin it that same day.” This is not true! Yes, even children’s spaces can be organized!
Consider a daycare or a school, the items in those spaces are organized. Different classrooms will always have varying levels of organization, but kids rise to the expectations that are given to them. If they can learn where they are expected to put pens/pencils, they can learn where their toys belong.
The primary difference at home is that they might not have an explicit answer for where something “belongs.” If there is not a specific place for dolls/cars, a child will not know where to put those items. When this changes, children learn where to put their items. Categorizing, labeling, setting expectations – all of these things make a huge difference in the long-term outcome.
Another tip is to create a routine for upkeep. All schools/daycares do this. When it is to time to wrap up an activity, children are instructed to do a quick clean-up with clear instructions. This not only helps with maintaining organization, but it also teaches responsibility as they care for their space.
Yes, you can maintain organization of even the most difficult areas. It takes effort, and possibly a few tweaks in routine, but it is definitely possible.
Labels are another game-changer. They make all the difference in every area of the home. It’s something you would have to deliberately ignore if, for example, a container is labeled ‘bread’ and you choose not to place bread there. Labels make a world of a difference when used properly.
Third Opposition to Organization: Why?
Some people just don’t see the benefit of organizing. These people feel like they know where things are, their environment doesn’t stress them out, and they are just not interested. When encountering this type of attitude, our response depends on who has this opinion and what their relationship is to the client.
If this person is a spouse/partner, and they are opposed to organization because the benefit is unclear to them, the discussion turns into a happiness plea. Explaining why you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by disorganization will communicate your need or desire for a change. Your household members need to know how organization, or the lack thereof, impacts you personally, mentally and emotionally.
We are all different. We have to do what enables us be the best version of ourselves. If disorganization is standing in the way of that, you need to be clear that it is not about the clutter – it’s about the impact the clutter has on you. If that message isn’t well-received, you can go the route of all of the above. “Paying a professional organizer will help me save money by not losing items, re-buying things we have, and purchasing items due to stress.”
We hope this helps get everyone on board with your next organizing project. Whether you are tackling it solo or with the help of a professional, it is always best if everyone that uses the space is as on-board and welcoming of the change as possible.
The Simplify Team