I get asked husband questions a lot about how I organize my husband and all of his stuff, especially since I'm a professional organizer and a married woman. They are fantastic questions, so here's advice on the topic!
Below I outline some of the tips and tricks that work in our home and keep us both happy. Enjoy!
...an intelligent, patriotic man with great hair and a lot of patience. John's passionate about reading and writing, so he's got quite a love for his collection of books (that slowly keeps growing). He's not messy or lazy, but he's not organized either (at least he wasn't until I came along). :)
How To Organize My Husband: Tip #1
Make agreements. Communication is the most important aspect of making any relationship work and the key ingredient to keeping your spouse organized. Make sure that you both understand what the other wants in terms of maintaining the home, make agreements as to how things will work and you must both keep up your end of the bargain.
For example, when John and I first moved in together we agreed that I was going to be the one who did the laundry and put it away. John's responsibility was to maintain the tidiness that I had established in the closet and the dresser drawers.
This kept us both happy. John
was happy to have laundry done regularly, and I was pleased to see the
closet maintain organization. It was truly a pleasure to put folded
clothes away without having to refold a whole dresser drawer of items.
Along the way, I also taught John some things that added to the success of our agreement such as how I fold his t-shirts. This was helpful because if his drawer got messy when trying to locate a specific item, he could refold the t-shirts and put them back neatly (see below photo!).
This is John's t-shirt drawer! I literally just opened it, and that's how it looks. That's how it looks when I put in the nicely folded laundry, and that's how it looks after he's been rooting around in the drawer. Beautiful. BTW - here's how to get your dresser drawers under control.
How To Organize My Husband: Tip #2
2. Make compromises. Everyone has to give a little. Unless you are that similar, I'm going to assume that you and your spouse are as different as John and I are. (Read more about how we make "opposite" work, like being an interfaith couple.) We are opposites in so many respects, but what's important is that we want the same end results. We both want a clutter-free, clean home, so what we compromise on is how we get there.
For instance, John made it very clear to me that he does not like opening his mail every day, and I made it clear that I don't like the huge pile (or piles!) of paper that ends up accumulating. Hence, we came up with a compromise that pleased us both, and this is something that we still do to this day.
When the mail comes, I put items addressed to him on the entryway table in a pile. Once a week or so, we go through his pile together. He tells me what to keep, recycle, shred or trash. It's awesome team work! With this wonderful routine, there's no nagging on my part and no procrastinating on his. We both do our part of the compromise and it's successful (see below photo!).
That's John's mail pile on the right underneath the paper weight. It doesn't take up much room or look like too much clutter, and it disappears regularly. How nice!
How To Organize My Husband: Tip #3
3. Create homes. How can you expect your husband to clean up his stuff if he doesn't really know what to do with it? Instead, create homes for his items and tell him where everything belongs. This way he'll know where to find his stuff as well as how to put things away.
For instance, since I am the one that works out of the house, our home office is mainly for me. Regardless though, John still comes home with business cards and other work-related items that can very easily become piles of clutter. Thus, I created homes for all of this stuff.
He now has a business card book to store his business cards, a small file tote for his job-related paper and a small labeled box on my desk to hold his small office items (see below photo!).
This is John's box of office stuff that lives near my desk. It's labeled very clearly, so he knows exactly where to go when he needs a new pencil, etc.