You can easily get frustrated by living with a smelly partner. It can sometimes seem like you are never going to get through to them.

You may possess a similar sense of humor and taste in music, but, you probably have differences, especially when you need to keep a humble home, well, humble and clean.

While there are usually differences in cleanliness and organization habits among any two roommates, it, however, seems to be the cause of dispute among couples.

Many questions begin to roll in;

Why are the clothes not folded?

Why do we still have breakfast dishes in the sink at dinner time?

Why are the jars not covered?

Nagging won’t get anything done, as it often leads to a larger argument. And there definitely won’t be a solution in picking after him or her.

The truth is that; changing our partners may not be possible. We can only change how we react.

We hope that this list will be helpful for you and your partner and give you some systems to use so that you can both enjoy calm in your home.

Tips To Live With Messy Partner

To live peacefully with messy wife, or husband, or roommate, explore the following tips:

1. Try to See Things from the View of Your Partner View

You can easily get stuck in how your daily life is affected by your messy partner without putting an end to the thought about the possible reasons why your partner may be living less than your expectations.

For instance, maybe your partner works night shifts and often spends most of her days off resting and fulfilling social obligations.

We always encourage couples that we work with to see things from the other’s perspective and consider their way as not wrong, but different, according to a licensed clinical professional counselor Julienne Derichs, based in Chicago.

Her best advice is that, you refrain from taking this personally, as it is possible that your spouse doesn’t see the mess that you do.

2. Communicate and Compromise

Similar to most parts of relationships, you both will possibly have to reach a compromise in this aspect. You sure need to find a common ground that you both agree to as you are living in the same home and bedroom.

If you want everything done perfectly with no spot and with a sparkly look, then you may have to come down a bit.

If your partner is not worried about living in a total mess, they will have to try their best to meet you halfway. It is so much important that you both make sacrifices and work, an indication that you both care for each other by letting peace take over in the relationship.

3. Be Specific about What You Want to be Changed

You importantly need to make use of the “I” language with a messy spouse and as well give a clear explanation of things. The majority of messy partners honestly can’t see the mess they are causing.

The reason for them to be messy is that clutter just doesn’t bother them. So when they are asked to fix it, they find it difficult, as they just don’t see anything that you see.

Try to list out things for them for a functional purpose like I like it if you wash dishes after use otherwise it will pile up and attracts cockroaches and other flies.

4. Create Neat and Messy Zones

Make areas of the house that are to remain organized. These should include common areas, like the entryway and kitchen counters, then, you can also create messy areas where your partner won’t touch your things or nag before you can clean it up.

This can include places that see less traffic in your homes like desks or nightstands. If a particular partner leaves their stuff in the neat area, then the other partner can easily pick it up and return it to their messy area and not have to see it.

For instance, if the desk has been turned to a messy zone, and your partner (in the case of roommates) keeps leaving items all over the kitchen table, instead of sorting them, just put those items on his desk for him to handle at his own time. This indicates that his items are his and that he is responsible to clean them.    

5. Be Patient with Messes

Those who like to see things clean and tidy are the ones who see and notice messes before those who are not so tidy and organized. The messes are causing us issues and we have to tackle them now.

Our partner may have it planned to declutter their desk or closet, but we just have to handle it before they come around to do it.

Allow your partner enough time to take responsibility for the mess and fix it at their own pace. If you continue to take care of their messes for them, they may fail to realize how much it bothers you.

6. Share the Chores Fairly and not Equally

Endeavor not to tend towards equity here, but focus more on being fair. Your partner may want to rotate doing the laundry or doing the dishes since that is balanced.

In reality, though, there are certain chores that people just don’t like and other chores that people love. Share the chores fairly depending on what is easiest for each partner. If someone prefers yard work to laundry, you should let them handle yard work.

Also, if someone just hates dishes, they may handle some smaller chores to prevent them from never doing dishes. The major thing is that no one is doing outstandingly more work than they hate.

7. Dispose of the Excess

There is no way you will have clutter if you don’t own clutter, right? One of the best ways to reduce the number of messes that one’s partner can make is to just get rid of unimportant items in your home.

Dishes, for example, are relevant here. If you often discover that dishes are not getting done, you can get this habit stopped by putting all dishes away and leave those that you use. This will force you and your partner to wash dishes regularly because you just don’t have enough of them to use anyhow.

8. Do not Parent your Partner

When you are tired of tidying up after your partner, you may find yourself parenting them instead of treating them as a spouse.

Parenting starts when you begin to feel that they are irresponsible that they need to be shown each step to things, and when you assume they are intentionally doing things the wrong way because they are lazy.

Don’t forget that the most aspect of being messy is not some limitation; it is just a small incompatibility. People live differently and grow up with various tolerances for the mess. Tackling it with them rather than against them can make it look like an exercise in bonding rather than an unending fight.

9. Remember to Praise Each Other

Understand that this is a work-in-progress. Seeing that your partner is trying to become better in any capacity is a good sign and it, therefore, deserves praise. If you have too many expectations, the partner may not be praising the other partner enough and there will be positive reinforcement for coming up with a new behavior pattern according to Dr. Van Kirk.

Goodwill is built by praise and acknowledgment and reveals that you both value each other’s needs. This simply means, brief ‘thank you, babe, for doing those dishes,’ goes a long way.

10. Learn to Develop Concession

Acceptance can be a great step if you can concede: my partner makes much mess, and I’m going to find how to live with it. There may be little concessions you will make, like letting them hold on to their office in a complete mess, or letting them leave their laundry unfolded in their drawers. There are indeed certain things that simply don’t bother messy people, and you might have just overlooked it because it doesn’t affect you.

11. Make Positive Reminders

Tasks like removing the trash every evening before bedtime can just be forgotten. One good way to remind you and your partner that trash must be taken out before you enter the bed that night is to set alarms on smartphones and other devices. The setting of alarm for switching chores can also be done, so you never have to argue about whose responsibility it is to do the next task.

12. Teach your Kids to Clean up Themselves

The frustration of handling kids together with a messy partner can be overwhelming, but it can be kind of reduced by teaching children to clean up after them. Make quick agreement on the types of chores to teach your kids (like bringing kitchen items into the kitchen, or picking up toys), and ensure that they are thought these skills over and over. This will make sure you don’t have messy children even if your partner is still messy.

13. Consider Getting Help

A lot of couples don’t initially like the idea of a housekeeper who offer decluttering service or home organisation, but, if you can pay for it, this might be your greatest assistance for your messy partner.

New couples often show eagerness to prove that they have everything under control in their homes as noted by Dr. Van Kirk.

She recommends getting a housekeeper, even if it comes once a month, to help take care of areas with bigger items, such as dusting and cleaning of the shower.

“It doesn’t have to be every week, it could be monthly, or just to handle bigger cleaning jobs,” she says. Determine what works for you and your partner and check your available resources.

Final Words

It takes time to implement new systems and changing up a person’s routine, and you won’t immediately notice the result.

Allow your partner some time to familiarize with the new rules and also give yourself some time, too.

Know that it is not a personal attack when your messy partner doesn’t follow requests to keep their space tidy. People will just continue to live their lives how they have for years.

Do not forget the actual reason why you decide to live with them from the start. You probably didn’t prefer them because they are clean and organized.

As mentioned above, hiring professional to help you periodically or to keep-start your home organisation goal. Don’t hesitate to contact us for help!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make my partner declutter?

You can ask your partner if they would like to help clean out an area, or sort hardware into jars with them, or offer to put their favorite sports jersey in a frame. When things are tidy as you want them, you won’t feel much overwhelmed and won’t worry about the things they are currently hoarding.

How do I declutter as my partner is not interested?

Keeping donation boxes closer is one way to encourage decluttering. For instance, I keep a cardboard box that we can simply toss clothing items into that we no more want or need. I drop it off at a local charity or thrift store when it is full and replace it with another cardboard box.

Can you change a messy individual? 

If you love the person, you must deal with your partner’s messy drawbacks. You can just work on yourself and make sure you become a cleaner and better person. There is a little you can do to change a person’s behavior though. You are not doing him a good thing if you enable his drinking habit.

Those who want to change from being messy to neat can get it done through varieties of gradual lifestyle changes clean your messy mindset to create and gain control over mental and social barriers blocking you from a neater lifestyle.

How much will my cleaning lady charge? 

The average cost of cleaning a house is from $90 to $150 and the median national hourly rate is from $25 to $90 for each cleaner. Expect to pay $120 to $150 for a single-family home to clean, as estimated by the home advisor.

What is the meaning of a minimalist lifestyle? 

Minimalism simply means living with the less simply. This brings you fewer financial burdens like debt and unimportant spending. The philosophy for a minimalist is about disposing of excess items and living life on experience rather than your earthly belongings.