In attempting to declutter and tidy for others in your home, there’s one major rule to follow: don’t.
It may be exceedingly frustrating to feel that you’re making all this effort to improve your living space while those you share it with maintain their old habits. But you simply can’t control what others do, or their outlook on life. In the end, you can’t do it for them, you can only do it for yourself, and sticking to your decluttering guns is the best way to encourage others to take up a similar lifestyle.
Here are some tips on decluttering in a shared space:
- Be sure to declutter your own belongings and your personal space first and foremost, to prove to yourself that you’re committed to simpler living and to help set up a successful daily tidying routine.
- Turn your attention to shared spaces next, not in order to clean up after others, but to set boundaries and expectations. When dealing with children, explain what you’re working on and why, then allow them to let you know which toys, books and clothes they like best. You’ll be surprised to learn which items they are willing to donate and give away, and the process becomes a teaching tool about the differences between “want” and “need”, as well as placing value on what makes you feel happy and joyful.
- Be kind and gentle on yourself and others! The process of decluttering is meant to be a path towards creating a peaceful, relaxing, inspiring living space. Try to stay calm and remember you’re doing this with the best of intentions for yourself and those who share your home.
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