Judd Spodek, President of Sit Happens, and dog trainer extraordinaire has a slogan on his company truck, “We don’t train husbands, wives, or kids.” I can relate; in spite of working with three dog trainers, my dog, Charly, remains anxious and untrained. The reason is simple; while I did everything the trainers instructed, the rest of my family did not. In time, each trainer told me I was wasting my money. Unless everyone was on the same page, the dog wasn’t going to learn. So, “sit” didn’t happen for Charly. [Disclaimer: Judd and I agreed that he wouldn’t be trainer number four until my husband agreed to follow his training protocol].
Organizing works the same way. If you want your home organized, you need the cooperation of your family. Often, one person is extremely motivated to purge and organize (probably the person reading this), but another family member, or every other family member, creates a bottleneck.
Perhaps, your spouse or partner genuinely wants to edit all of his/her “stuff,” but simply can’t find the time. Or, you have a sentimental child who claims that every stuffed toy is his/her favorite or that every scribble is a work of art to be cherished forever. Or, you may live with someone who insists s/he likes the mess or impedes organizing attempts in other ways.
Over the years, I’ve devised some tactics that may help when the family dynamic is an obstacle to organizing. Here are a few: