Clutter, Communication and Couples

November 3rd, 2014

Better family life through a plan for clutter.

Clutter often takes up space needed for other things such as guests in the guest room and cars in the garage and working space in an office. It can easily overwhelm a home, as we continually bring in new things, but don’t necessarily send things back out at the same pace.For November, I’ve decided to share some thoughts on the importance of couples having clear communication to control clutter. This is a topic that often comes up on my first visit with clients. By communicating a shared plan and setting up boundaries for your space and your stuff you establish a way to be more comfortable in your home together. Gather your spouse or family and have a discussion as to your family guidelines for clutter.Coming to an agreement about your clutter is about asking the right questions. Here is a list of typical clutter categories and a few questions to lead your discussion.


  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Toys
  • Technology
  • Tools
  • Holiday decorations
  • Mail, paperwork and Magazines
  1. What is it that we want for our home and family regarding these categories?
  2. Who would be responsible for the final decisions on removing clutter in the different categories? Which categories require more than one approval?
  3. Are we planning on having additional children? This question will be important in regards to toy and clothing hand-me-downs.
  4. What boundaries should we put on each category? Boundaries might be the amount of space such as bookcases, closets, drawers, cabinets and garage space or the amount of time we hold on to certain items.
  5. How can we better control incoming potential clutter as a family?
Keep in mind that Santa is coming next month with more things that may become a future round of clutter. Have you decided on some non-clutter gifts? Stopping the flow of stuff coming in is a good plan towards reducing clutter.I often find myself using my quote: “The best get lost in the many.” Whether it’s a favorite toy, sweater, or item once thought lost; clearing out the excess clutter allows you to find and then enjoy the things that are most important.
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