In the past 16 years as a professional organizer, I have been invited many times to help people organize their shared spaces in their homes. I have come across many different obstacles but one of the toughest one is dealing with a shared bedroom. It is a challenge to create a plan to make both people happy when they have completely different opinions on how a bedroom should function. With some compromise and a bit of mediation, I often leave my clients very happy.
So what were my top 5 challenges for a shared bedroom and how did I resolve them? Read on to find out.
1) HE/SHE HAS TO MUCH STUFF!
We have all heard this complaint. One person has an abundance of things and the other feels stressed because they can’t find their things among the clutter. For the record it is not only women who have the most things. I have seen men’s clutter taking over too. ☺
One of the rules I go by is that I will only organize someone’s space and things only with their permission and input. This will decrease potential conflict and increase the chances that things will stay organized.
An easy solution is to have designated space(s) for each person. Divide the shared closet into your own areas; or if you have an extra closet in a spare bedroom, you each take a closet.
2) BE MORE LIKE ME!
I usually get two types of calls: “I am very organized but my partner is not. Please help us get their things organized.” or “You need to help me get my bedroom organized, it is driving my partner crazy!”
Either way, do not make decisions without discussing your ideas with each other.
If you are the organized one, share (not tell) why you organize things the way you do and explain why it makes your life easier when things are organized. Teach them new skills that they can appreciate.
If you are the messy one, then let your spouse/partner organize but make sure you point out the things that are important to you. They will explain to you why having an organized space make the room more functional.
3) YOU LEAVE EVERYTHING AROUND!
If your bedroom has lots of different items lying around and creating clutter, then you must find a home for them. Think of the phrase, “A place for everything and everything in its place”.
Here are some common scenarios and easy solutions: Have an accessible waste basket; put books back on a bookshelf; have a portable container for things like medication or beauty aids that can be tucked away when not being used; and a “catch-all” basket/bin for loose change, watch, jewelry etc. Be aware of each other’s habits and work together to come up with ideas.
4) PICK UP YOUR STUFF
Here’s another common complaint, “they are always throwing their clothes on the floor”. Keep things off the floor by using hooks on the wall or behind the door. Use a quilt rack or towel tower for hanging pants and other clothing and keep the floor clear.
2 other tips: Avoid using a chair as it invites creating piles which then leads to clutter. Have laundry baskets close to where you undress. It will help to make sure dirty clothes go into them.
5) WHERE’S MY WORK?
My first suggestion would be to take work out of the bedroom. If this is not possible or if you prefer to do your work in the bedroom, then create a distinct work area. Keep all work-related files and things on your desk or in portable containers that can be easily tucked way. Have a designated spot on your desk for all your paperwork and documentation so your spouse/partner knows where to put them. This way, nothing gets lost in the room.
My biggest take away when organizing a shared space is communicate and compromise. This allows you to find common ground that will work for both of you. If you are in need of some guidance or mediation on how to create a shared space contact me at www.chaostoclarity.ca/contact-us/.
At Chaos to Clarity we help our clients with individual organizing needs; Downsizing, decluttering, office organizing, estate clear-outs and move management in the Burlington, Mississauga, Hamilton, Peel, West GTA and surrounding areas. Would be glad to answer any questions.
Are you a do-it-yourself person but just looking for some tips and encouragement? I have created an organizing course Creating Clarity that helps you to go through 5 areas of your home and set up systems to get organized and stay that way! Learn More