Family Decluttering When They Aren’t On Board

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family decluttering

It’s one thing to declutter your home yourself, but if you have a family getting them on board with tossing the excess may be a different story.

Hell hath no fury like a child who has to get rid of toys, and even though that doll is missing an eyeball and has been lost under the bed for months, try to put it in the Goodwill box and suddenly it’s their favorite toy.

I am not a pack rat. In fact, I toss clutter ruthlessly. My husband, on the other hand, had every single school paper his scrawl had graced since third grade, and felt that I was trying to erase his childhood when I suggested he choose a few favorites and toss the rest.

How do you find a decluttering compromise when your family isn’t into it?

Emphasize The Payoff

My daughter is messy, and she could one day audition for an episode of Hoarders. She likes having a neat and orderly room, but she doesn’t like it enough to put in the work to keep it that way.

I can’t just send her into her room to clean and declutter it, I have to break it down into steps. Clean out under your bed, fill a garbage bag with things you don’t want, clean the floor of your closet – if she bites off one piece of the room at a time, eventually she eats the whole elephant.

Another tactic that has worked with her is giving her a goal to work towards. If she completely cleans and declutters her room, I am going to give her my art desk to have in her room. She REALLY wants my art desk, so she has been dilligently working to get her room in order.

Clean While They Are Gone

Let me be clear, I am not suggesting that you throw all of your husband’s football cards away while he is at work (don’t think I haven’t been tempted), but I am talking about inconsequential things like the mountain of paper on the desk.

You can likely clean file cabinets, go through closets, and declutter some common areas without coming in contact with items that have any emotional consequence for your family. Once they start seeing some progress, they might be inspired to start cleaning up on their own!

Learn What Is Important

I am a perfectionist who hates clutter. My family ranges from laid back/doesn’t care what the house looks like, to borderline hoarder. I have had to come to terms with the fact that this is their house, too. I would prefer that it is clean and neat as a pin all the time, but they would rather pull their own fingernails off than spend their free time decluttering. I still make my kids clean their rooms and help with the dishes, and encourage my husband to keep the yard up, I have accepted that it won’t be perfect all the time. And that’s ok.

Are you ready to start some family decluttering, or are you ready to audition for the next season of Hoarders?

31-Days-To_A-Clean-House-SeriesThis is day 14 of my series 31 Days To A Clean House


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Hi! I'm Melissa!

Melissa is a former hairstylist of 20 years who has a passion for living a simply creative life. She loves inspiring others to pick up a planner and get their lives organized, to clean out a closet and minimize their clutter, and to clean up their physical and mental space to lead their most fulfilled life. She is a wife, mom, and crazy dog lady who constantly rewatches The Office.



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