Are you the “house spouse”? By that, I mean are you the one who is expected to keep your family’s home organized? The other day someone called me to say that they just can’t keep the house clutter-free no matter how much time they spend cleaning up after everyone. With all that a house spouse has to do, this didn’t surprise me. If you follow behind each and every family member and pick up after them 24/7, you need a change. Keeping a home clutter-free requires all family members to participate.
When I work with families on decluttering, we go through a series of steps that go far beyond a one-time pickup. Together, we go through a process that ensures:
- Everybody is on the same page with expectations, the big picture, and goals.
- Everybody gets to discuss their challenges and concerns, from the oldest to the youngest. I’ll meet with children as young as 5.
- You see success quickly. I like to start with the kitchen and kids’ rooms first. The kitchen because the results are fast and impressive, and the kids because they’re more likely to stick with it when they’re involved from the very start. I don’t allow parents to be involved – this is a kids-only moment!
- You’re set up for long-term maintenance. We set up a “Clutter-Free Home Agreement”: rules and a structure around how you’ll stay organized in the future. Here’s what that can look like:
If you’d like to try it on your own, download my Clutter-Free Home Agreement template. Fill in the time for family cleanups, your family promises around picking up, when bedroom check-in happens and something fun everyone can look forward to once that’s done. With a little reminding, these can become habit very soon. No more house spouse for you!
I specialize in organizing solutions, interior design and move management, all custom-designed for your life.