I caught up with two friends recently and we ended up discussing how different males and females are (in general of course!) when it comes to organization, thinking ahead and multi-tasking. The difference can often be stark and a source of great frustration.
There are ways to help avoid pitfalls in these areas, which I wrote an article about a while back. I thought it may be helpful to you if you are in a similar situation and have a dis-organized partner and don’t know how to get them to tackle/ keep on top of their own stuff - without world war three! Enjoy!
"10 Steps To Help You Deal With A Disorganized Partner.”
by Claire McFee
I have had numerous emails asking me for advice on what to do when you are organized but your other half isn't. Below are some tips on what you can do that may help if this is applicable to you and is driving you nuts. Please keep in mind that you can only change your own behaviour, not someone else's. Having said that remember that by altering your behaviour you may then help someone else react differently, thereby changing theirs.
1. Go in with a positive attitude - not with a negative one assuming the worst before you have even begun, because your partner will pick up on this. (review “How to get motivated and set goals”on ways to psyche yourself up for the challenge ahead.)
2. Lead by example and occasionally (& subtly) point out some of the changes you have made in your routine or the clutter you have tackled, and how much less stressed and how much better you feel finally dealing with it.
3. Initially keep up your own good work without expecting your partner to notice or even comment about it let alone miraculously do the same thing. Gradually ask for help.
For example ask them to go through that pile of papers of theirs on the kitchen table, (then move onto bigger jobs like the garage down the track. (Be prepared to help your partner go through their things with them and remember to help them be ruthless in the filing and/or binning of it all.)
4. Have your own "to do" list somewhere your partner can see it and over time start a separate one for them (don't make it overwhelmingly long or this may frighten them off!) The fridge is a good place to put this. Tick off the jobs for both of you as you go - (if your partner hasn't done theirs already.)
5. Write down a time-line for the jobs on your lists. Yours may be weekly but your partners may initially need to be monthly. If the jobs haven't been done within this time, it may highlight to them how much time has passed and how little has been done, which may help jog their memory to tackle the tasks sooner rather than later.
6. Be clear about your intentions and when you think the time is right, ask for your partners help. (Remember not to nag or you won't get anywhere!!) For example you could say- "I'm hoping to re-organize some of my things this weekend. Would you be able to help me go through some of your things at the same time? Then I'll know what I can take to the op shop and/or throw away of yours along with my stuff."
Claire McFee Creator Organize Your Life Organizers