Calm Homes + Lucrative Home Offices For Professional Women

How To Organize With Your Significant Other

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Written By Melanie McConnell of Mello Spaces as part of our Organizing Blog Collab.

Most of us dream about having a tidy house 24/7, but unfortunately, life gets in the way- and so do the people you live with! Trust me, I know this first hand! Of course, this can be extremely frustrating. I’ve learned over the years that nagging doesn’t work but changing your approach will.

Chances are your family members are not concerned with being more organized, so don’t take it so personally. I like to think of my household the same as running a business. Specific jobs need to be delegated, and someone needs to be in charge.

  1. Start Small. Without demanding it, ask your significant other to handle 3 simple daily tasks. For example, bring the mail in, empty the dishwasher and sweep the kitchen. These items may only take 5 minutes but will make you feel like a huge weight was lifted off your shoulders, and because they are small, your significant other probably won’t mind.
  2. Make daily reminders. Don’t be afraid to write stuff down. It might annoy you to have to do this, but it works. Leave daily reminders on the counter so your partner will be more likely to do their part when they get home. It will also hold them more accountable.
  3. Don’t be a control freak. If your significant other wants to do the chores right before bed instead of as soon as they get home from work, that’s ok. The goal is to make sure they are doing it. Unless it is something that requires a specific deadline, don’t sweat the timeline. If they don’t load the dishwasher the way you do, look away, redo it, or give him a different task. You choose.
  4. Let them have one messy place. I know this one stings a little, but it will help. If your significant other has a messy home office or keeps their car a mess, but it is not affecting you, just walk by it. If you don’t like their loose items left around the living room, give them a basket. Let them keep random stuff in it, so straightening up will be a cinch for both of you.
  5. Give Choices. Not everyone likes to be told what to do, so you might as well give them choices. They will be more willing to help. Would you rather empty the dishwasher or load it? 
  6. Ask nicely and say Thank you. This one may make your eyes roll, but it’s a solid ground rule if you want your ground rules followed. Making them feel good and appreciated can go a long way.

Since every household beats to its own drum, these suggestions may have to be tweaked to work for you and your family. The most important thing is communicating, playing fair, and respecting each other. While keeping the house neat and tidy is a top priority for you, it may not be the same for your other half. These pointers should help lead you in the right direction and will hopefully help you meet your family in the middle somewhere.


Sustainable Lifestyle Solutions is an interior design, professional organizing, and sustainable living firm in Vancouver, BC. We connect sustainable design and a zero waste lifestyle to transform our clients’ spaces so that their homes and offices can support them in achieving their goals and dreams while also improving their mental health and reducing environmental impact. We create beautiful, healthy spaces that are earth-friendly and can evolve with our clients over time.

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Melanie McConnell is a Professional Organizer and the owner of Mello Spaces. She helps busy professionals and parents get the organized home of their dreams. Check out her website www.mellospaces.com and follow her on Instagram: @mellospaces

Florena Davies is a Professional Organizer and Owner of Organize by Flo. She uses her experience as a wife and mother of 2 to create real life organizational systems and changes for work and home that allow our 2 worlds to co-exist and ‘Flo” together. Check out her website at https://www.organizebyflo.com/ and on instagram @organizebyflo.

Marybeth Welty is a Professional Organizer, Interior Designer, and Mindful Living Coach, and is the owner of Sustainable Lifestyle Solutions.  She helps her clients create a calm, organized, and sustainable home and the life of their dreams by utilizing refined design principles, organizing best practices, mental wellness strategies, and a holistic lifestyle approach to sustainability.  You can connect with her at www.sustainablelifestylesolutions.com and on Instagram at @this_sustainable_lifestyle.

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