top of page
  • Writer's pictureHeatherAnne Norbury

Decluttering When Your Spouse Resists Letting Go: A Guide to Harmonious Home Organization

spouses sitting beside each other after an argument

Decluttering can be a transformative experience, freeing your home and mind from the burden of excess belongings. However, it's not always easy when your spouse doesn't share the same enthusiasm for purging possessions. Striking a balance between your desire to declutter and your spouse's attachment to items can be challenging but not impossible. In this blog post, we'll explore strategies to declutter when your spouse is hesitant to throw anything away.

Lead by Example

Be a role model for decluttering. Start with your possessions and demonstrate your commitment to a clutter-free home. Seeing your dedication may inspire your spouse to follow suit.

Communication is Key

The first and most crucial step in decluttering when your spouse resists is open and honest communication. Sit down together and express your feelings and goals regarding decluttering. Listen to your spouse's concerns and reasons for holding onto certain items. Understanding their perspective can help create a more empathetic environment for change.

Set Clear Goals

Establishing clear decluttering goals is essential. Outline what areas of your home need attention and create a timeline. Agreeing on specific objectives for each decluttering session will help you and your spouse stay focused and motivated.

Start Small

Begin with small decluttering projects to avoid overwhelming your spouse. A single drawer, closet, or room can be less intimidating than tackling the entire house. Starting small also allows your spouse to experience the positive impact of decluttering gradually.

Sort and Categorize

When decluttering together, create three categories: Keep, Donate/Sell, and Discard. Encourage your spouse to participate in this process. Sorting items into categories can make it easier for your spouse to see that you only need to keep some things - not ALL. THE. THINGS.

Respect Sentimental Items

Many times, resistance to decluttering stems from emotional attachments to specific items. Respect your spouse's sentimental attachments by encouraging them to keep truly cherished belongings. Suggest finding a special place for these items so they're not cluttering commonly used spaces or hidden away unseen. See this blog post for guidance on decluttering sentimental items.


Decluttering often requires compromise. If your spouse is reluctant to part with some items, propose a compromise, such as designating a specific display or storage area for them. This way, your home remains organized, and your spouse can enjoy and access their belongings when needed.

Set Limits

Establish boundaries for items that tend to accumulate, like clothing or kitchenware. Agree on a specific number of things to keep in each category. When you reach these limits, you and your spouse must decide what stays and what goes.

Offer Support

Decluttering can be emotionally taxing, especially for someone who struggles to let go of possessions. Offer emotional support to your spouse throughout the process. Encourage them when they progress and reassure them that decluttering is a positive step toward a more organized, stress-free life.

Seek Professional Help

If you and your spouse struggle to declutter together, seek professional help. A professional organizer can mediate the process, offer expert advice, and help find solutions that work for both of you.

Decluttering when your spouse doesn't want to throw anything away can be a delicate process, but it's not impossible. By prioritizing open communication, setting clear goals, and being understanding of your spouse's attachments, you can work together to create a clutter-free and harmonious home. Remember that the ultimate goal is a tidy living space and a stronger, more connected relationship.

34 views0 comments


bottom of page