How to live with a messy partner
LIVING with a messy partner may seem like a minor issue at first, but the everyday burden of having to pick up someone else’s clothes every time you get back from work becomes a bit off-putting in the long run.
After spending a number of weekends at my boyfriend’s place and having to play the role of ‘skivvy’, I’m now aware that unless I instruct him to get off the couch and put his dishes in the sink after eating - he simply won’t see it as necessary.
Judith Penny from All Sorted and Natasha Nel from Makeroom, who are both professional organisers, share tips on how to make living with a messy partner work:
Confront the problem “For the sake of peace let me not ask him to pick up his trousers from the floor or assist me with the dishes or even do the laundry every now and then” — that’s what I used to think before realising it only gets worse when ignored.
Nel believes it’s important to create a team environment. “Do not always be the one picking up and cleaning or else that will become your role.
However, do not make rules that will make living at home a chore, sometimes life gets busy and messiness happens — that’s what makes a house a home; give it time to transition and work together to restore the order.”
Be willing to compromise Living with someone else who most likely doesn’t have the same approach to home management as you do, means you need to learn to find the middle ground.
Penny says have a discussion around why you like an organised house, and why it’s frustrating for you to live in a mess.
“You should also work on areas that should stay clutter-free and organised, for example the living spaces, and let your messy partner have a space or two where you won’t interfere and let them do their thing.
“It is important not to lay down the law with regard to how things should look, rather, both partners should share and discuss how they feel about messiness and then try to compromise.”
Know the pros and cons Pros: Living with someone else means that you always have company, expenses are shared, and you have someone to create a home with. Cons: You can’t always have it your way, which means sometimes you won’t get that pink headboard and floral wallpaper you want for the bedroom; to be fair you might sometimes have to compromise.
Here are 8 top home management tips from Penny and Nel to help you keep your home chaos-free:
1. Have a place for everything — putting something away is so much easier when you know where it belongs.
Think about the best spot to put your books, CDS and so on, and ensure that you store them away in the same place every time. You will soon both get into the habit and do it without even thinking, says Penny.
2. Don’t put it down, put it away — it’s tempting to put the keys down on the kitchen counter, or leave your gym bag at the front door because it’s easy.
But that causes more work later on, rather put the items away immediately, and that will make it easier to find them later.
3. File, don’t pile and don’t print — keep all your paperwork in one spot and then set aside time on a regular basis to sort and file. Make sure you have a filing system that works for you.
4. If in doubt, throw it out — Penny says ask yourself the following questions: do I love it, do I use it, and why am I keeping it? Think twice before you buy…something in, something out. — Property24
Having to pick up someone else’s clothes becomes a bit off-putting in the long run.