Most of my clients are women.
A few tell me their husbands are THE problem when it comes to clutter and that their husbands do not understand why they need to pay an expert to declutter.
To which I reply: Are you clearly and directly asking for what you want?
In these times, it’s important we get real clear and real direct about what we want, especially with those we love the most. If we are not clear, the universe serves us up all sorts of crazy stuff.
I am working on getting so clear with myself that I have given up coffee, dairy and most alcohol. I maybe drink once a month now. I want to be awake, and I want to be clear with the universe and my loved ones.
I also tell my clients whose husbands are questioning their use of a professional organizer that it’s OK to ask for help from an expert. You wouldn’t do legal work or therapy on your own. We all need experts in our lives because the help we are seeking will go a lot faster with an expert. How long do you think it would take me to hang drywall versus hiring a drywall company?
To get clear with your husband, it takes a few steps. First, you need to get clear with yourself how his clutter makes you feel. Do you feel disrespected or uncomfortable or angry that he leaves his $h&t every where? Are you tired of cleaning it up? If you don’t get an answer right away, ask yourself how you feel about his clutter before you go to sleep at night, and the answer will come.
I invite you to also take a hard look at your own habits. Are you projecting your own frustration that you shop too much on to him? I always say, if you act differently, he will act differently.
Once you know how you feel, then you can sit him down and clearly articulate why his clutter affects you and why you want to bring in an expert.
When my husband and I got engaged, I was a newspaper reporter, and shortly after we got married, I took at job as a communications director for a U.S. Congressman. I sat him down and told him that, “I work a demanding job, too. I don’t want to do it all.” So he took over the cooking and the grocery shopping.
For the record, my husband disagrees with this version of events. He says he knew when we were dating that I did not cook, and that he did all the cooking before we got married.
I told him that at least I was not pretending to be something I am not. FYI: I do all the yard work, which I love to do.
When we had kids, we sat down again, and I made it clear I wanted him to do 50% of the child rearing. I learned he wanted it that way, too! My husband is really good about chipping in, even though he has a very demanding job and works a lot.
But it’s because he is clear, and I am clear with our expectations. We talk about everything. And, sometimes, it’s uncomfortable. But we like getting uncomfortable because that’s when we grow.
It might be the case that you’ve made up these stories up in your head — that your husband is the clutterbug and that he does not want you to hire someone. What if he is excited about brining in an expert? We make up all sorts of stories in our heads.
But you never know what the real answer is until you sit down and ask for what you want.