I'm a little shocked that I've never written about this topic before considering it can put a sudden halt to anyone's organizing efforts. What happens when your every intention is to create that streamlined and clutter free home you know you deserve because of the peace it brings...but those around you aren't getting the memo? At all. Maybe they even tear up the memo and leave it on the floor amidst a pile of last week's laundry. It's a fact that not everyone in your household is going to be on the same page as you in terms of getting organized. I have I seen it in homes I've visited. I have even been told that I'm wasting everyone's time with my efforts. To that I say- the amount of time wasted by being disorganized would astound you. It's taking years away from your life. Literally. That's my rebuttable. Maybe it's weak, but I know for sure it's the truth. Turns out it doesn't always fix the habits of those around you. So here's 2 things you can do to hopefully ease the situation.
Keep Doing Your Organized Thing Don't fall into their trap of disillusionment about clutter. If being clutter free makes you happy then sing that song all day long. Throw away the junk mail immediately, pick the crap up off the floor if it's making you nuts and keep your side of the closet looking like you're the poster child for organizing maniacs across the globe. Own it. You can even talk about how magical and relaxed you feel in the space, and how much time you have in the morning because you can find your socks.
If you feel at times you are being thrown off course, continue to stay true to your own priorities for the space. Disengage from your initial reaction to want to throw it all out the window. This will allow you to possibly see some options to better handle it, rather than shut down and cave into the chaos. Stay the course! Lead by example and they just might follow suit.
Set Boundaries Without Nagging
Because of your commitment to keeping a tidy decluttered home, some boundaries should be in place for those that prefer to dwell on the dark side. This approach should leave any nagging at the door. The last thing you want to create is an argument or animosity around a situation you really want resolved. Have designated areas marked clutter free zone and leave it at that. Whether it be your side of the bed, the closet or the couch, make sure those who tend to leave trails behind are very clear it is your decluttered territory.
As items begin to spill into your clutter free happy zone, you can politely put them back in a home that makes more sense in the space. If you don't have a designated area then I suggest you create one. Divide and conquer so that their mess can stay elsewhere.
The point of declaring boundaries is not to give yourself more work by cleaning up after others but to bring to light the obvious differences that are happening within the space. At times it's all about perspective. I have learned from working with the chronically disorganized that they don't always realize how much clutter they are creating in a space until it has been simplified. When they take a step back and notice the significant changes a shift occurs. By allowing others to see and feel the distinct differences between their organizing style and yours, you are helping them to understand their habits. In a subtle way.