Compromising Couples

Compromise is the name of the game when organizing couples. No two people are alike in their level of organization. You must communicate with each other your expectations and then meet in the middle.

The latest book I am reading, “Clutter Control, Useful Tips for getting Rid of the Mess”, by Susan Wright, states the issues very well.

Compromise is in order when one or both partners are clutters. Usually each person has his or her own special problem – for example, the husband may be a collector while the wife can’t organize her time.

First, each must respect the other spouse’s right to live as he or she wants to. But it follows as a corollary that neither spouse has the right to inconvenience the other. These two principles must be kept in balance. One person’s habits or preferences should not be allowed to disrupt the household or prevent another from living normally.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Janet Barclay on February 5, 2021 at 8:01 am

    I’m so lucky I’ve never had to deal with this, but I know people who have. It helps a lot if each partner has one or more spaces that are “theirs” which they can keep the way that works for them, whether it’s a home office, workshop, or other area.

  2. Janet Schiesl on February 5, 2021 at 8:19 am

    I agree Janet. We have separate spaces and it makes it easier to compromise on our shared spaces.

  3. Linda Samuels on February 17, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    Compromise is essential in any relationship. And sometimes that flows into our living styles and patterns. What has worked well in our household is having communal and private spaces. That is defined in different ways. The “private space” could be a drawer or an entire room. In the communal spaces, we have “respect rules” that we agree upon. It’s the “owner’s” choice in the private spaces as how they want it to be without any outside interference. It works for us.

  4. Janet Schiesl on February 18, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Linda, we do something similar. I like to keep things organized and clutter-free and my husband is not as focused on it. So I have a drop spot for him on each level of our house. That way I can declutter without nagging him and he can find his stuff in his drop spots.

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