Reader Kristen submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer:
My fiancee and I will marry on May 1, and although we both currently room with VERY messy and disorganized roomies, we both agree on keeping our future home clean and organized. Do you have any suggestions, ideas that we should start out doing at the beginning, in order to build a “neat” future together?
Congratulations on your impending nuptials!
The two of you are already headed in the right direction with regard to an uncluttered and organized future because you are discussing these issues before moving in together. Open lines of communication are essential if the two of you want to avoid frustrations in your married life.
You may have covered many of these topics so far in your discussions, but give the list a look to see if there are still a few things you can hash out before heading down the aisle. Have pencil and paper with you during your discussion so you can make lists, charts, or just take notes about your talk so you can review them once you’re in your new place:
- A vision of your place together and how you will live in that home. Will your home be a place to entertain your friends and family, and how often? Will your home be a place to relax and rejuvenate after a day of school or work? How do you want things to look and what do you expect out of the space?
- What both of you be responsible for every day. Do you expect dirty clothes to be put into the hamper? Do you want all dirty dishes to be loaded into the dishwasher or will it be okay to have them sit in the sink? How long can a project mess be left out on a table or in a room? How will these responsibilities be met and when?
- What chores each person will be responsible for in the home. Will you take out the trash or will he? Will you change the kitty litter box or will he? Who will cook, clean up afterward, scrub the tub and toilet, vacuum the carpet, dust? How will these responsibilities be met and when? Divvy these chores up now to ensure that one of you won’t be carrying the full load.
- Plan for handling frustrations in the future. There will be times when one of you will be more messy than normal and this will bother the other person. How will you handle conversations about these frustrations so you don’t hurt each others’ feelings, show respect for each other, and help you find the best solution?
- Review policies. How often will you review your daily and chore responsibilities? How often will you unclutter your closets, garage, basement, and other storage spaces? Will you take on spring and fall cleaning? If you hire someone to clean, how often will you review their services and decide if you should keep them or hire someone new?
I’ll admit, these aren’t sexy topics to discuss before getting married, but they will help you significantly in your future life together. I wish my husband and I wouldn’t have waited more than a year after we were married to discuss them — it certainly would have alleviated a great deal of stress he felt about our place because of my clutter-bug and messy ways.
Thank you, Kristen, for submitting your question for our Ask Unclutterer column. Again, congratulations on your big day in May!
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