Recently I received a pair of photos from Willow which demonstrated her frustration with items cluttering up her kitchen bench. Even though this is a launch area for stuff coming in and out of Willows home there wasn’t a lot of items out of place once she removed the things that had just accumulate during the course of a day. The problem was the items that had landed there and not been shifted for some weeks. I will let you read her email so you get the full picture.
Willow wrote :- This counter is higher than the kitchen counter and would normally be used as an eating bar, but my husband’s desk is where the chairs would normally be placed. In interests of being transparent here, in one photo I showed the stacks of CDs that are my husband’s. He has gone through them once but then put them back up on the counter. Oh well. It’s just not a battle I want to fight right now. I did discover this week though that I am usually the person in the family who drops stuff on that counter and since I’m working at keeping it cleared off, it hasn’t gotten messy until today.
My first thought when I read this was, does Willow’s dear husband understand her frustration with the CD’s cluttering up this space so I replied as follows…
I have come up with an angle for a post using your photos. First though could you do one thing for me? Could you ask your husband — if you haven’t already done so — what is his plan for that pile of CDs. I ask this because I had a similar problem recently. We have a staging area for potential ebay sales which was becoming quite cluttered and annoying. It suddenly occurred to me to just ask my hubby what his plans were for some of the stuff he had put there. His answer was, “Nothing, I left them there for you to declutter”. Sometimes clutter is just the result of a lack of communication.
Willow replied :- Here’s an update on my husband’s stacks of CDs/DVDs on the counter. I asked him. “What are you planning to do with the CDs/DVDs in that stack?” He had already moved one of the stacks of music CDs to his car and when I asked him about the Christmas CD from The Canadian Tenors, he stated it was for me. 🙂 The stack that was left was empty CDs/DVDs and one clip on flasher for his bike riding at night. He picked them up and put them all on his desk. Clean counter!
As it turns out all Willow had to do was ask and now her counter (right) only has the two bowls of healthy colourful fruit and vegetable that she wants to see there every day. The next mission is to get her husband to work on his messy desk and bookshelf. Make no mistake though her husband makes up for his little bit of clutter in so many ways. Willow informed me — He cooks dinner, he does laundry, he gives me the better car, he grocery shops. He even takes me clothes shopping (cuz I hate it) and bribes/rewards me with coffee. The messy desk and messy book shelf are a small price to pay.
I have since had an update from Willow — The bench is staying clear aside from the usual in transit items that we all have in our launching areas. Hubby has cleared the clutter off his desk and it is staying clear. Just the bookcase to work on now. All and all a pretty good effort I’d say. Well done Willow and hubby!
Just remember sometimes all you have to do is ask. Good communication can be an important key to decluttering.