He Likes, She Likes

November 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Organising Space

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You like knick knacks around you, reminding you of people and places.  He likes wide open spaces… in the living room.

Or maybe he likes to collect car magazines, while you’d prefer to make room for a single vase of flowers.

People have different levels of comfort with “stuff”. I always say, “It’s not a problem, unless it’s a problem”.  In other words, unless the “stuff” is causing you a problem – costing you time, money, health, peace of mind or relationships – there is no problem at all.

So how does this work when there are two different levels of comfort to consider? The truth is sometimes couples see things differently.  One woman’s memento is another man’s clutter.  And it’s this disconnect which can cause problems.  So what to do?

1.       Start with an open and frank conversation. Explore your own level of comfort with “stuff”. This open chat may surprise you both as you uncover the reasons for these feelings.

2.       Decide on the deal-breakers. What can you each simply not live with? What can you each simply not live without?

3.       Find a middle ground you can both be happy with. And make a plan.

4.       Take small steps to work on that plan. Don’t expect big changes overnight. If you do, you’ll be disappointed and put unnecessary pressure on both of you.

5.       Acknowledge the work you both put in and celebrate the progress made together.

Is there a disconnect in your home? How have you handled it in the past? And will you give these steps a try?


4 Responses to “He Likes, She Likes”
  1. Love all this advice Angela. Makes great sense. Just hope that your first tip about the open and franks conversation doesn’t cause a stumbling block. For some couples I know it probably would! And yet it’s that very conversation that is the start of massive change.
    I guess sometimes we humans can be scared of change! Unfortunate isn’t it when the journey of change is so much of an adventure!!

  2. Thanks Chris. You know, I was thinking of you as I wrote it. So much about being organised is about good communication. Of all those 5 steps, number 1 is the hardest and if anyone has trouble with it, they should definitely seek help from someone like you, who could be an objective 3rd party to facilitate such a discussion.