Two nights ago, I was giving a talk to the W.I. East End to a bunch of lovely receptive and enthusiastic ladies. So no wonder I was asked a lot of interesting questions.
One really stuck with me: How do you do to make your husband (or whoever one shares ones home with) understand how important the state of your house is for you?
I must admit that it must be because I still haven't found the perfect answer yet that it stayed with me. Actually there isn't a perfect answer, but at this stage of my reflection, here are the conclusions that I have reached so far:
I keep saying how important the spaces you live in are for your general wellbeing. A cluttered or unloved spaceman really affect us. In my job, I am trying to help people create a space that uplift and energise them. So it is a real pain when you are aware of it but the person(s) you live with isn't. It can create unbalance, frustration and even resentment and conflict. I even have clients who employ me behind their partners back because they have had enough trying to make their point. In clear, It can be extremely stressful and even painful not to be heard in this area.
So what I would suggest is:
- Explain calmly how the state of your home affects you. Some people (I used to live with one) don't mind messy home or don't realise the negative effect of clutter or a home that doesn't 'feel right'. So have a sit down and explain how it makes you feel and how it really affects your wellbeing.
It is really important that you do it and preferably in a calm, matter-of-fact kind of way. Your message is much more likely to reach home if you do so. Often, people who aren't that sensitive to their environment are more of matter-of-facts people. They will understand it better if you explain to them that it has been proven scientifically that clutter or and environment in which you don't feel at ease in increase stress and anxiety and reduces creativity and productivity (my blog on the effect of clutter: https://www.yourspaceinmind.com/single-post/2017/11/08/Clutter-effect-on-your-energy-level).
- Ask them why they don't want to deal with it. You might realise that they are actually also feeling anxious about facing their clutter or mess and that the idea of parting with their belongings is stressful to them. As I have already explained in my blog about letting go (https://www.yourspaceinmind.com/single-post/2017/12/17/Letting-go), decluttering is an emotional process for most people and letting go of objects that we have an attachment for created real pain. So if it is the case, be gentle (but firm, your wellbeing matters).
- Remind them that a clear space, means a clear mind and therefore a more energetic and positive attitude to life. Explain to them that having an organised and beautiful place will make things run smoothly. Making easier to really relax and enjoy life.
- Kids: Start early, explain to them in simple words that it will be easier for them to find their toys if they put them back where they belong. Make it a partnership (Hands up, I still struggle with that one). Make them participate to the design of their room and where to store their stuff. Stay calm, make it a special time shared together. They will be more likely to keep their room tidy if they understand and have participated in the process.
- If you need to change your decor because it doesn't fell right, it is good to acknowledge that as we evolve and change so should our homes. We are evolving beings so why should our home not reflect this too. Sometimes it doesn't take an overall change but a a few tweaks can do the trick like changing the colour of the walls or adding some coloured accessories (but remember to get rid of the old to make room for the new). Never impose though.
- Ask for help. My call is to create space where people are happy and relaxed. I want them to enjoy life and not to worry about stuff. Have a space in which they can truly enjoy each others company. Me and my fellow declutterers can help people to regain a sense of belonging and feel supported emotionally by their home. We are non judgmental, patient and are good listener. It is a good experience overall.
So it is very important that you explain how you feel and what changes you need to feel better. Maybe the people in your life have been dismissive or not paying attention so far because they didn't really 'get it'. Share your vision and needs with them. Make it a fun, creative collaborative work, it will be so much more satisfying and will create a beautiful space for everyone to be enjoying together.
Create your vision and and help your home optimise your potential, relax and breathe deeply!