Whenever we are living with someone else, we are bound to find things that bug us. Whether that be not putting clothing in the hamper or not putting the dishes in the dishwasher. These small things can add up to be rather large things that get under our skin quickly. So how can you live with messy people…even when those messy people are your kids or significant other??
I am going to break down significant strategies for you to use in your home if you are living with a messy person!
How To Live With Messy People
Some links may contain affiliates. For more, see my disclosure.
Organize For The Least Organized Person
This is the key to living with messy people. Find the least organized person in your home, because they aren’t going to change much. Create organizing routines or systems around them. Have a kiddo who just dumps his backpack in the middle of the room? Why not get a giant basket or laundry basket to collect all their things near where they dump their stuff. Get them to put their things away in that basket instead of trailing it throughout your home!
When you set up any organizing routine, make sure that that least organized person can do it. Remove any obstacles that may get in their way. Those obstacles may be something as simple as a closet door or lid to a box. Seriously remove them so they can’t use that as the reason they aren’t hanging up their jacket!
Label Everything When Living With Messy People
Messy people need things laid out in a very straight-forward way. That is why labels are the best friend to a messy people. Want socks to go in this drawer? Add a label. Like nice and big letters. Want toys put away? Add a picture label so that messy child knows where that toy should go.
For older people, I suggest using a label maker or printing off labels using return address labels. For younger people, I suggest using picture labels. Simply take a picture of the bin or drawer. Then print the picture out. Laminate or cover the picture with packing tape. Add a binder clip or ring clip and attach it to the bin.
Want more labeling tips? Check out these posts:
No Junk Drawers
Junk drawers are the worst thing you can have in your home for messy people. Junk drawers are just a collection of indecisions. Why create this in your home when the root of a messy person is indecision. Start by giving that drawer a purpose, let’s say office supplies. Then only allow office supply items in that drawer.
Give everything a purpose and you won’t end up with any junk because the only place for it to go is the trash!!
No Nagging To Clean Up
The biggest mistake I hear is clients nagging their significant other or children to clean up. Remove the “nag” by stating things in a matter-of-fact tone. Something like: “hang up your jacket, please.” That is a no nonsense statement.
Another tip is to stop ending your requests with a question. Let me know if this sounds familiar: “hang up your jacket, okay?” When you end your request with a question you immediately remove the statement and turn it into a question. This gives your messy person the option to say yes or no. Instead, remove the question at the end of your request. You are now stating a task your messy person must complete instead of asking if they can do that task.
Stop Enabling Bad Habits When Living With Messy People
Do you clean up after your kids? Do you put away their laundry even though they are fully capable? That is enabling messiness. Stop doing that by allowing them to find their flow. They can clean up, they are choosing not to. Now, it may not be as neat as you do it, but it is still cleaned up.
So lower your expectations so that clean to you and clean to them means the same. Does that mean they will make their bed and keep everything off the floor? Then when there are piles on their bed that is made, don’t get upset. They did what you expected…bed made and stuff off floor.
Have Less Stuff
If you notice tons of stuff piled around the house and no one is picking it up, then just get rid of it. Seriously!! By having less stuff, you have less things to clean! And it is a win-win for everyone!!
When you see those piles, it should be a sign that no one cares about that pile. Because if they did care, that pile would be put away or in use. Stop holding onto things because you may need them later. Start only holding onto things that you actually care about. Things that you use. Things you love.
By you setting this example for your messy person, you are going to change your entire living situation!! Start by organizing for the least organized person in your home. Label everything with either a label maker or pictures. Do not start a junk drawer. It will only end badly for you, the organized person. No nagging your messy person to do something. Simply state a fact and move on. Stop enabling bad habits. Get clear on your expectations for your kids and hold them to it. Finally, have less stuff. With less stuff lying around, you have less to clean up and less to put away!