You’re an extrovert. He’s an introvert. You like parties. He likes to fish. To him, collectibles are treasures. You view them as clutter. He makes lists, you don’t. Being different can be better. It may create a balance that makes life fun and interesting. Think of the historic friendship between Thomas Jefferson, the laidback southerner and John Adams, the anxious northerner. They became allies around their passion for American Independence. Remember favorite TV couple Lucy and Ricky Ricardo and Neil Simon’s original Odd Couple, Felix and Oscar. What these friends and characters shared were common goals and a sense of humor. Sometimes that’s enough. Other times, especially when it comes to staying organized, odd couples may need a strategy.
How do you ensure your different styles don’t collide when it comes to keeping your space organized? Here are some ideas.
Decide where things go
Cleaning, cooking, or changing a lightbulb can all be made easier when you know where items associated with such tasks are located. How many times have you given up on tasks because you can’t find what you are looking for? In the big picture, chores are slight things. But when not managed effectively, storms can begin to brew.
Don’t make the mess personal
It’s the situation, not the person. Don’t go on the attack. Be partners in problem solving. Nagging about what didn’t get done won’t help. Remain calm and leave the drama behind. Offer some praise for what was done. Avoid making blanket statements such as “You never do this…” Or, “I always have to do this….”
When odd couples work together a good synergy can occur. Create staging areas where related items can always be found. Show appreciation for this timesaving solution. If you can’t complete a task all at once communicate to your partner what will be done later, when you have time. Sarcasm and defensiveness don’t have any place when working as a team.
Embrace your differences
Listen to what each other’s expectations are for keeping your space organized. Be specific – what’s terrible and what’s tolerable? When you don’t agree, acknowledge and respect each other’s point of view. If you have difficulty creating systems that keep you organized, you can find relief by hiring a professional organizer. The organizer will not only address your immediate needs but will help you learn efficient organizing principles that will make day-to-day living easier.