Your partner’s a clutterbug. He leaves towels on the floor just like your kids. The garage is one big jumble of tools and ‘essential’ bits of cars. He doesn’t seem to be able to tidy up after himself and he seems to function in total chaos – well he thinks he is functioning.

And then your teenagers are even worse – their rooms – well, we won’t mention those except to say it looks way better when their doors are closed.

It hardly seems worth starting to declutter when you live with such clutter bugs.

So how do you get other people to clean up their mess, especially now you’ve figured out the cost to your energy, prosperity and peace of mind of having all that stuff around you?

You don’t!

Well, not directly anyway.

The first question I ask the many, many people who have asked me about this is:

Do you have any clutter yourself?

Well, yes!

I’ve yet to meet anyone who could say no with a straight face!

So it’s easy. Focus on YOUR clutter. That will keep you busy for quite some time. Your closet, the kitchen - yes women tend to have a big say in here, toiletries, your handbag, your car, your computer, your desk and office, your stuff in the bathrooms, your books and CD’s.

Is that enough to be going on with?

And here’s the secret: Talk about what you are doing.

Not in a ‘trying to make a point’ kind of way, but in a sharing what you’re learning about yourself kind of way. How are you feeling and why are you going on a clutter busting blitz with your stuff? How do you feel afterwards? How are you going to celebrate what you achieve?

Share that with your partner and maybe even your kids. Be the change you wish to see in the world as Gandhi said.

The reality is that you can’t make anyone do something they don’t want to do, and perhaps they are not ready to do what you are doing. Perhaps it’s just perfect the way things are for them right now.

But what about you, having to live with their clutter?

Well, as I said earlier, until you’ve got rid of all yours you can hardly complain. And the reality is that as you declutter your stuff the energy in your environment will shift. Your energy will shift. And your partner’s energy and teenager’s energy will shift whether they like it or not – and for the better.

Some examples of what will probably happen:

One of my clients set about clearing her own clutter in her home, and before she knew it her husband decided to tackle his basement office and asked for help with it. And what’s more, her teenage sons decided they were going to paint their bedrooms, which also involved decluttering.

Another client when I asked her what she would most like to declutter in her home told me: the garage. But her garage was full of her husband’s stuff so I encouraged her to start somewhere else. She was participating in an integrity day where we go at it for about 4 hours, calling in each hour to give progress reports and receive support. No sooner did she start clearing some of her stuff than her husband decided he would join her – and he tackled the garage.

With another couple – the woman was at a place in her life where she wanted some growth and change so she decided to start decluttering to make space for the new. But her partner wasn’t in the same place. So she drew a symbolic line down the middle of the bed and the middle of the bedroom and put some tape on the floor and wall to mark the two halves.

Then she decluttered her half. She cleaned out her closet and every day she made her half of the bed and tidied her half of the room. The other half stayed a mess with stuff everywhere, the bed unmade and socks and towels on the floor.

This went on for two years! Then her partner got to the point where he decided he was ready for some shifts in his life and he joined her in the decluttering – the two halves of the room were joined. (violins…)

Now, she had a lot of patience and usually it doesn’t take that long. But this works. Has nagging ever worked? Has trying to change anyone ever worked? Has it helped your relationship? We all need to feel we have some control over our environment.

If you have the luxury of extra space in your home, it's always a good idea for each person to have a space they can call their own. If not a whole room, part of a room. Each person having their own space means you each have freedom to have that be how you want.

And if you really think you have no physical clutter, how about mental, emotional or spiritual clutter? I’m not sure if Dalai Lama could say he has absolutely no clutter – so how about you?

Do you have any clutter?

Author's Bio: 

Vicky White is the go-to-gal when it comes to Feng Shui and the Law of Attraction. With her expertise and gentle nature, she helps women feel empowered and clear about what they're doing in their lives - even during difficult transition periods. Get her free report, "The 5 Biggest Attraction Mistakes: and How You Can Avoid them" and see what manifests in your life!