On Simplicity

May 7, 2008

Decluttering: Good for Your Marriage

Filed under: House & Home,Relationships — Serendipity @ 3:10 pm

Last week, The Simple Marriage Project had a great post on “12 Ways to Have an Unhappy Marriage.” Right at the top of the list at #2 was “Have a cluttered home.” The idea is that clutter leads to chaos, and chaos isn’t the stuff great marriages are made of.

Obviously, I agree 100 percent. But let’s get down to some of the nuts and bolts of simplifying to improve your marriage.

1. Everything in its place means everyone can help with chores. If the way the dishes are stacked is so complex that only one person can put them away correctly, only one person is going to get stuck with this chore. Simplify things that go with chores, like laundry, washing the dishes, and cleaning the bathroom. Decluttering makes it easier to complete chores and find the items needed to do them (laundry soap, cleaning supplies, etc.). After all, sharing the load is sharing the love. 🙂

2. Your home can be a haven. Lots of clutter requires lots of visual attention. For a lot of people, this makes it hard to relax and just enjoy downtime with their partner. In a cluttered space, it’s easy to feel like there’s always something more important to do than hang out with your partner. Clean up the clutter (or just get it out of sight), so that you can be your best, most relaxed, most enjoyable self at home.

3. Make communication easier. He forgot to pick up milk… again? She didn’t get your note that you would be home late and was upset all night? Marriage is all about communication. Too much clutter makes it hard–if not impossible–to leave each other messages. The same is true even if you rely on phone messages, not written notes. If you call and leave five messages on your spouse’s phone, they’re probably not going to fully listen to each one, leaving a huge chance that something important will be missed. Limit your messages to only vital ones to ensure that the important stuff get across loud and clear–consider it another form of inbox decluttering.

In the interests of simplicity, I’ll cap this list there. There are many, many more ways that decluttering can be good for your marriage but these are perhaps the biggest in my opinion. Give ’em a try and let me know how it goes.

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