Overwhelmed? Read on.


I want to ask you something.  And I don’t want your husband/partner to hear.

Generally speaking, you and I know that getting, and staying organised, is a reasonable amount of work.  That it takes some discipline, effort and consistency.  Sometimes, it takes more skill that we own. Also, sometimes, we  get OVERWHELMED.  That doing *everything* becomes insurmountable.

I want to know, in secret, what your partner thinks about you getting things organised.  Is he (or she) supportive?  Or critical?  Does (s)he say “why do you need a book/organiser/TV show… just do it yourself?!” Is this very issue a source of conflict when the rest of your relationship rocks?

Do you have to secretly get someone in to help when (s)he’s away? Or does (s)he always chip in and lend a hand when you need it most?

For confidentiality, please email me your thoughts. I may blog your mail here but promise to remove any identifying details first.  Or, if you’d prefer, comment away, right here!

12 responses to “Overwhelmed? Read on.

  1. Hi Lissanne,
    Have been a fan of SORTED since way back. Took copies of your book to my daughter and friends in Minnesota. But BIG NEWS is I have finaly decluttered my Office, a converted bedroom. Since moving into this home after 34 years on the farm it has only taken me 10 years to take ACTION! Just took 2 months, lots of shredding and 3 loads of re-cylicing. Now when I’m in the Office I think Wow what a lot of carpet space! One thing that that really helped was just moving some dark stained book shelves and cupboards apart to give more open space. Also up graded from my son’s school desk to a teak desk, bought at a garage sale for $15 delivered. I re-oiled it, came up a treat. Will have my own garage sale or should I say staionary sale as I can’t believe how much stationery and folders I don’t need.
    Although my husband was supportive of the deculttering project he was for throwing out lots of stuff I needed to look at first. A friend came around to help me. My husband made lunch for us and cooked the evening meal when we had all day and evening sessions. It was the best arrangement and we are still married! Otherwise?

  2. Go you good thing Lyn! Glad you discovered the stationery cache – many folk can identify with stationery hoarding 🙂

    I’m glad you’re still married too….

    Best!

  3. Here’s a few snippets from “secret” emails too

    Phew!! You’ve given me a chance to vent (and with any luck, to someone who might even have some answers!). For me, it almost comes down to can’t sort. My husband a) wont let me move things when he’s not around, b) is usually too busy to do it together, and c) gets hyper-anxious that I’m focussing on all his stuff and not on my own (I would say that the majority of stuff in common areas IS his stuff, because I put my stuff away, but that’s another issue).

    The remainer of this particular email revealed that husband may have some control and hoarding issues…

    Anyone else have a similar scenario?

  4. Lisanne, worked with a couple recently – very nice people who love each other, and all the rest. He was a hard-charging “man of action”, impatient with delay. She is a very smart woman, who needs to think about the impact on everyone in the family – parents, kids, nanny, etc. Professional organizers understand that it is easy for some of us, very hard for others, depending on learning style, personality type, etc. Just because it’s easy for me (or my spouse, or my office mate) doesn’t mean there’s something wrong if it’s not easy for you!

    Thanks for this post and the invitation to talk about it!

    Margaret Lukens
    http://www.newleafandcompany.com

  5. I have found share accomodation extremely difficult. I’m a naturally neat person and found living with 3 sometimes 4 guys who didn’t give a hoot about a) cleaning up after themselves or b) maintaining the place once I’d cleaned up after them so frustrating. It has cost me alot of friendships and I’m glad to be rid of them!
    I haven’t shared house with anyone for 3 years (that ended badly for the same reason) and it’s blissful. I can get organised, clean and maintain it!

  6. Mark, I agree that cleaning up after flatties is really frustrating. Of course, “cleaning up” can mean so much more than hoovering. It’s common for the organised flatmate being the only person taking responsibility for paying bills, liaising with the landlord, attending to the general repairs and maintenance etc. Running a household is so much more than washing the dishes and putting out the rubbish.

    I am so fortunate: my gorgeous partner is some who contributes to all aspects of housekeeping without any prompting. Luckily, he values being organised and takes pride in his space and respects his belongings. We have great synergy in terms of doing things as they need attending to, putting stuff away, decluttering when need be and enjoying the spare time that comes with being ‘on top of’ our stuff. 🙂

  7. My partner keeps crap. So much paperwork that it drives me nuts.

    Most of it is next to his side of the bed and it piles up.
    As I have been blamed for throwing out all his things and losing his passport, I have come up with a plan that keeps us both happy.

    I sort though the junk and place it all in those Coles green shopping bags. I drag him out to the recycle bin and he looks over each piece of paper before he recycles.

    That way, I cant be blamed for throwing out that all important piece of information.

    With regards to the passport, that turned up under the lining of a sports bag that he had taken away on holidays ~ funny that…..apparently I thought that it was rubbish and binned it with the newspapers!!! Like I told Karl, yes, that is because I like to read the weekend papers with your bloody passport in my hand 🙂

  8. Renee, that sounds like the perfect, logical solution!

    Another reader, who wants to remain anonymous, has a similar scenario and deals with it in a similar fashion but with an important twist!


    While neither my husband nor I are particularly tidy or organised I take a more active interest in the subject and have been trying for years, while raising five children, to have Clear Surfaces and see the Corners of The Rooms!!

    My husband and I work from home and share our office. Our office methods(?!)are very different. He is quite content to let papers pile up such that he can barely see the monitor. It’s as though he doesn’t see all the stuff at all!

    I have devised a simple system that works somewhat to reduce the visual clutter and at the same time respect his space and methods, which respect is most important.

    Labelling plastic shopping bags with the DATE and original specific LOCATION of the papers, I just put the stuff in the bags! For example “Front of Monitor” “Floor under shelf” etc. I don’t sort anything – rubbish and all goes in. That way, the room looks tidier and he can still access his stuff. “I put a letter on my desk last week…”

    The bags go behind the door or somewhere as discreet as possible yet still handy. Periodically the bags get dealt with. I think he finds it easier to sort when the stuff has been broken down to smaller chunks. We just look at one bag or so at a time with no stress of having to find something.

    He doesn’t get upset with this system because I’m not trying to change his ways.

    Re DATE: Put the year on the bag not just day and month!!

  9. My husband can’t stand me being organised. Over the last few months, due to illness, I have had the opportunity to be at home more than I would normally be. I have taken the opportunity to declutter our house from top to toe with no support whatsoever. My consolation though is that now I’m back at work I feel in control of the household and not so overwhelmed at weekends when I have the opportunity to do the cleaning. With less clutter, the house automatically looks tidier and is much easier to clean.

  10. My husband is disorganised chaos and cannot keep anything in order. I have tried to show him how to file paperwork and organise his wardrobe to no avail. He can never find anything and spends literally hours looking for such things as car keys, mobile phone, tools, etc. I do not know what to do with him, as he leaves everything all over the place and never picks up after himself. He admits he is a slob but will not do anything about it. What can I do?. I am at my whits end as to know what to do next. Any tips would be a godsend, before I turn grey with the stress.

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