Tips for Living With A Clutter Bug to Keep You Sane!

 In blog, declutter your life

One of the most common questions I get when speaking is how to deal with someone, such as a roommate or a spouse that accumulates a lot of clutter. I have also worked with couples and families where one hardly has clutter and the other has lots.

Is your bathroom a mess because you have a clutter bug?

So, what do you do?


First, you need to remember that you can’t motivate someone else to get organized; they are only going to change when they are motivated to do so.


When Tony couldn’t find what he needed easily, especially since he uses tools so much, he was motivated to make a change.


Ask your spouse what clutter is costing them and see if you could help them find the motivation to release it. Can you make suggestions to the benefits of releasing clutter? Peace of mind? Not being late anymore?


Have you ever seen someone jack a social media post or turn around a conversation to make it about him or her? You definitely don’t want to do that. It isn’t about you and if you make it about you, they will most likely resist.


I once had a client who became exasperated with her husband. As we were talking, she revealed that she believed her husband to be disrespectful of here because of all the clutter. When someone has clutter it’s their issue—they are not being disrespectful.

There are many reasons why someone may be a clutter bug.

Why do they have clutter?


It could serve as a psychological function—for example some people thrive on chaos. They need the chaos to function. Seek professional help if you think it’s something bigger.


I also have had clients for whom the clutter is invisible. Think absent-minded professor. They literally don’t see it. It’s hard to get mad at someone when they are just being themselves.


Sometimes it’s situational—if you just have had a baby all your systems might have stopped because you are adjusting to a new situation.


If people can find what they need easily, there might be a method to their madness.


Some people also aren’t able to ask for help, so take the step and offer assistance.

Remember, you’re a team! Help your clutter bug!

Here are some potential SOLUTIONS


I am going to mention my favorite one first. Love them and let it go! One of my fans wrote once on Facebook: I have my faults and my husband still loves me, so I have learned just to work with this. If you are okay with picking up or keeping on top of their clutter, this is a possibility.


Change your attitude. The four agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. #2 is don’t take anything personally. What someone does to you has nothing to do with you—how you react has everything to do with you. If you are constantly getting angry and upset, a little self-reflection maybe in order to find out what the clutter is really triggering. Why or what are you trying control?


Put up a screen or throw a sheet over it. I have done this with clients. In one home, we needed to carve out a space for my client to read and meditate. Her husband refused to work with me or let anything go, so this was our solution.


A few more tips:

Remember, you are a team! Create a goal and have that be a focus and let everyone own problems and solutions. Your spouse, roommate, etc. is not the enemy!

Don’t rule out hiring a professional organizer if you need a professional, outside opinion.


Go out clear some clutter to create the life you choose, deserve & desire!

Learn more tips to deal with a clutter bug.

DIY Options to Clear Clutter

Purchase Julie’s books on how to clear clutter from your life:

Subscribe to Clear Your Clutter Inside & Out Podcast

Check out more of my decluttering tips and how to get organized on my YouTube channel.





Recommended Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt