Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering through these links may result in a commission, which helps pay for the cost of running this site and keeps the content free.
Soon after we get married and move in together there becomes a house full of his stuff, her stuff and our stuff. It then seems like every time you see one parent or another they are bringing more stuff over saying, “Oh this is yours. I found it while I was cleaning.” I mean come on we grew up at our parents house and there may still be things of ours there.
Here is how this scenario works for Ryan and I: When I was a kid we moved several times so things got sorted through/given away when it was time to pack. Then, when I went to college I took pretty much everything of mine other than like 3 totes of memorabilia stuff. Which my parents have since dropped off after getting married. Being the organized person I am these totes were organized from years back. So all we did was find a place to store them. Ryan however lived in the same house most of his childhood and only took the necessities to go to college. With him being not as organized as I am his totes are not so organized.
Here we are approaching living in our house for a year in December. Our spare room still has totes in it that need to be gone through. We have meant to go through them before now, but it has seemed like an overwhelming task. A task that we know that needs to be done, but one that we keep avoiding, which in turn makes us feel like we need to get it done even more. We couldn’t really just stack the totes away in the attic as we would need to go looking for something in them occasionally to find something we needed.
This past week we started tackling the totes in our spare room. I have started my sorting trash and things that already have a place in our house. Then I made a box for things Ryan will have to go through and a box that seems to be keepsakes (that Ryan will still probably have to go through). We are already half way done with the room! Also, yesterday we headed over to his mom’s house to go through some of his childhood toys and such.
Sometimes as newlyweds we end up with a large amount of clutter due to things left over from the wedding or joining to lives as one. That is just a part of the process. The important part is that we take care of it in a timely manner so that it is not stealing our energy. Everything we do in our life requires energy. Instead of using energy to worry about the room that needs to be gone through or organized just get it done so that we can focus our energy on better positive things in our lives!
A few tips for decluttering your marriage:
1) If you are helping go through your spouses things be respectful of their belongings! Never throw away anything that could be important to them. This is a fine line as different people deem different things important.
2) For most (like us) it is overwhelming to think about getting the task done all in one setting. It seems like the storage containers are as big as in the picture above! Think smaller! Plan to do one box on a Saturday or a handful of papers each evening this week. If you feel like doing more go for it. Go through things for a short period of time. If you stick with it too long you may start to trash or keep things that you do not intend to. It is better to do short spurts of organizing and get it done right the first time. After each organizing session trash the trash and put away the things that already have a spot in our home.
3) Create stacks/boxes/sacks for the following things: trash, random things that need to be gone through, things that already have a place in our house, junk mail to be shredded, and papers that need to be saved. (For us we also have a stack of papers that are for trainings and another for handwritten notes and journals so add piles that are specific to you).
4) Set up current spaces to help beat clutter. Have a spot for mail, coupon, cards, etc. For us we have shoe boxes for our race bibs and things we create/give each other that we want to keep. Set these spaces up to match your needs!
5) No need to buy expensive organizational things. Recycle! We use large yogurt containers to hold our pens and a computer monitor box for our wrapping paper.
Before you know it you will have decluttered your marriage, but also started creating habits so that new clutter does not accumulate! Now that the clutter is taken care of we can focus more time and energy into more important things like our actual marriage!
What are ways you declutter your marriage?