|Organizing means different things to different people. What one person considers organized may not necessarily mean the same thing to someone else. In fact, it rarely does.
Some people like things put away as they don’t like clutter. Others like things out so that they can see them.
When I lived at home as a child, my Mother’s way of organizing meant being able to access what she needed when she needed it so it didn’t matter if something was in the “right” place. She spent a lot of time in the kitchen and, therefore, a lot of things that didn’t “belong” in a kitchen were there because it was easier for her to not have to go to another room in the house to get them. It worked for her and she knew where everything was. She was organized in her way and it worked for her.
When I started living on my own, I organized so that like items were with like items. Everything had its’ place and there was little, if any, clutter. That is what worked for me and still does.
There really is no ONE right way.
When we live with other people, whether it be a roommate, your children or a significant other, we need to figure out what works for everyone. Here are some suggestions that I believe will help so that everyone living under one roof is on the same page to avoid conflict (and, not necessarily in this order):
Mutual Respect: We all need to respect the people that we live with. We “should” pay attention to their needs and wants and, in turn, we can hope that they will respect ours. Example: If leaving your shoes in the middle of the floor irritates someone in the house and they’ve asked you to put them away or at least out of harms’ way, the respectful thing to do is to put them away or at least out of harm’s way. It doesn’t take long and it’s not a big deal. More importantly, you can avoid an argument or possibly an injury. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.
Compromise: I think we can all agree that compromising is key. Sometimes we do things that we don’t necessarily want to do BUT it will keep the peace in the house so it’s just easier to do. Example: Men “should” put down the lid to the toilet seat if they’re living with a woman and sharing a bathroom. Yes, it’s an extra step but it’s important. Or, if there’s another bathroom in the house perhaps having different bathrooms might work.
Combined effort: Having a plan in place is a great start. Discuss your wants, needs, expectations and together you can devise a plan that works for everyone. Chores can be divided so that all of the housework doesn’t fall on one person. For example, in my house, the agreement has always been that the common areas of the house (kitchen, living room, den) are always to be left clean and tidy after use. Examples: Dishes go directly into the dishwasher. Beds are always made before leaving the house. Do whatever works for you but, having the conversation/understanding and an effective plan is a great way to avoid conflict.
Realistic Expectations. Like I mentioned above, everyone has their own way of organizing and their own level of organizational skills. You can’t expect everyone, or anyone for that matter, to do things exactly like you do or when. Come up with ways to divvy up the tasks so that they are commensurate with skills/likes of those in the house. Setting a schedule is also helpful so that everyone knows when they need to get their chores done.
If you find that you need assistance with Organizing, Downsizing, De-Cluttering or Relocating please give us a call. We’d LOVE to be of service!