7 Thieves That Live In Your House: Organize Thief #6

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Stress Management, Time and Money Management Add comments

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Do you live with someone who is messy?

Do they clutter up your home and space?

Other people’s clutter can be very frustrating to deal with if they just won’t learn how to organize and stay that way.

Have you read the first 5 Thieves? If you‘ve read them and are doing the assignments I’ve set for you, you will be feeling really good right now! YEA!!! 🙂  Keep going!

How much and how often is each thief robbing you every day? These are just a few examples of how they are stealing from you:

  • time
  • energy
  • money
  • peace of mind
  • joy
  • self-worth
  • socializing
  • and so much more

I’m glad to share more immediate feedback I’ve received from these articles:

Feedback coming is so great:

Diana wrote, “Boy, taking control of my home and “space”, getting the time sucking thieves out of here, has made a world of difference, for me and my family. Thank you!”

Patty shared, “I’ve always found getting and staying organized hard, but your one-by-one steps and categories of “thieves” has really helped me to the work one by one. Thanks!”


Our forward movement and proactive activity on a day-to-day basis makes all the difference in a week, month, year or decade from now.

In this edition I’ll cover Thief #6.

“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”

~ Anonymous

Thief #6: Other’s Clutter

How much “stuff” in your house actually belongs to someone else?

Here are a several categories of other’s stuff in your way, stealing your space and peace of mind:

1.  Neighbors, Church, School, Committee, Fundraiser

Sometimes we are part of a group that has had garage sales, raffles or other events and, out of kindness, we volunteered at the end and said, “Sure, no problem! I’ll store it.” Well, those events are long over and you’re still storing it all. Dig it out, box it up, make some phone calls and get it out of your space.

2.  Business

Whether from your job or in your home office, due to being self-employed, how much of that stuff is current enough to be of importance any more? Whose is it, yours or someone else’s?

3.  Kids

This can include items from cousins. neighbor playmates, the library, school or playground. Plus, how much stuff is from others who have left toys and items that your kids borrowed or played with, forgot to give back, have outgrown and/or just don’t use.

4.  Siblings

Do you have stuff that is your brothers or sisters? Can you give it back to them? Call them up and start the discussion.

5.  Parents

Have your parents downsized and “stored” some items in your home, garage or barn? Is there a plan to use and enjoy it, sell or it or get it back out?

6.  Friends

It’s nice to be a good friend, but don’t let yourself be taken advantage of by letting them over-stay the welcome of their stuff in your space. Talk to them and discuss a clear decision and timeframe for giving it back to them.

7.  Spouse

A very touchy area for sure! Sometimes it’s just good to have very separate areas of the house for each of your joy piles of stuff and things, crafts, hobbies, paperwork, etc. If they have their own space and it’s messy, make sure it’s a space with a door! Just shut the door!

8.  Roommate/Housemate

Figure out your “rules” before, or soon, about who does what and where in your house. Being angry with one another, or just one with the other, is no way to live. If you’re considering getting a roommate, access their clutter-bug-ness before you sign the papers together.

9.  Those who have passed on

Did you “inherit” a basement, garage, crawl space or storage unit (that you’re probably paying for too – a big “no!”) full of a loved ones life’s memorabilia? Is there a plan for it?

hand shake - man and woman


1.  Have an honest conversation with those who are cluttering up your space. Don’t be mean or condescending, just honest and let them know what you want to change and how you can see helping them and doing it.

Get other’s stuff out.

2.  Go through the stuff that is not yours, box it up. (See NOTE below).

3.  Label it. Put their name and contact information on it. This way you won’t keep looking for their contact information if you have to contact them several times.

4.  Contact whomever it belongs to discuss how to get it back to them, with a deadline and a plan if they don’t take it back.

5.  If there’s no one to contact or to get it back to – as in a death, or the group has disbanded, or you can’t find them – decide what to do with it. If you keep it, decide why and where to store it so that it doesn’t take up valuable real estate in your home every day.

NOTE: For items that you do know where it all is “living” in your house, how much there is of it and who to contact, don’t go finding it all, just make the call first and see if they want it. If not, go find all of it and donate or move it out as appropriate.

       “I’ve been getting rid of some clutter – anything that doesn’t serve a positive purpose in my life – and making room for things that feel happy to me. Because I get to make my life whatever I want it to be. I get to make the room feel however I want it to feel. I get to make the closet as full or as spacious as I want it.”

~ Jan Denise, American Columnist


If  you just can’t get started, or stall out too often, I can help you set your priorities and stay the course to make the changes you desire by working with you as your Priority Coach. Get your Ticket To Shift here.

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