KonMari Method Brought Us Together: How Our Messy Home Divided Us
I told my husband that our messy home made me hate him. He laughed…only I wasn’t joking. And it wasn’t just him that I hated. I hated me too. It was like the clutter infiltrated our house and my mind. I couldn’t think straight with so much shit around and it made me resent him. It made me angry that we couldn’t seem to keep up with the Laundry or keep the kitchen clean. I could feel the affection drip from our union and it wasn’t until we approached our home using some techniques from the KonMari Method that our home and our relationship saw a big improvement.
What is the KonMari Method?
Taught by tidying expert, Marie Kondo, KonMari is a method of cleaning in a way that pushes cleaning by category instead of rooms. It requires you to tap into your emotions to determine what items speak to your heart and encourage you to discard the items that don’t. It’s almost like therapy because it’s centered around mindfulness in that you are focused on how you feel while practicing gratitude with every item that you touch.
My Husband and I used the KonMari Method to help us purge. The method helped us get rid of things we never or no longer needed. We still tackled one room at a time based on our scheduled but the techniques in the method allowed us to move through that room quicker and with purpose. It was simple. If we felt “blah” about the item, we either trashed it or donated it.
Before the KonMari Method
Before we discovered how clear to the clutter with Marie Kondo’s method, laundry was everywhere, dishes were everywhere and toys were everywhere. It seemed like I was the only one who cared. I would watch my Husband throw his clothing on the floor or stack dishes in his office for days. I felt really weird about forcing a grown ass man to clean his mess up. For one, I only have 2 children. One is 3 years old and the other is in utero. Those are the only two beings that I can make do anything. Really, the one breathing oxygen is all I have to boss around. The other one does what he wants until he decides to enter this world and truthfully the toddler does what he wants too (but that’s another post). My point… the only human I can force to clean is ME MYSELF AND I. I am not in the business of telling grown men what to do.
So, I held loads of resentment in. Honestly, I should have come to him with my concerns sooner but for the sake a peace I just cleaned by myself. It made me angry but I knew it was time for me to stop playing the victim and make changes.
How I Got My Husband To Help Me Stay Tidy
I pulled him aside (after I had a cry session by myself on the floor in the bathroom) and spoke to him about how I was feeling. Keyword, “I”. I didn’t come to him in tears or yell at him or tell him what I thought he needed to do. He’s a grown man, remember. I cried by myself and then went to talk to my husband like the grown man that he is. I told him that I felt overwhelmed and needed his help. In fact, here is exactly what I said word for word…
“Babe can we talk for a second… I recently had a cry session in the bathroom because I am feeling overwhelmed. The clutter and the mess in this house is getting to me and sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I am drowning and I can’t pull myself up. All that makes me feel like I am failing at this wife thing. I realize that you are tired and busy with work but this is one of those situations where I really need you to help me. At first, I tried to do it all by myself but I am now seeing how that “teamwork” thing we always talk about could make it much easier for me. My plan is to tackle the bulk of this mess over the weekend while you are working but if I give you a tiny small list of things to do would you be open to make sure each item is done daily to maintain this big deep clean that I am about to do.”
My Honey-Do (Chore) List That I Gave Husband
Knowing that he is a very simple person, I didn’t want to bore him with all of the KonMari Method things that I was learning. I simply asked him to go through all of his clothes and put in a pile only the things that he Loved. I explained that we would donate the rest. He didn’t have nearly as many items as I did so he got through it quickly. Then I gave him the following daily task list.
- Unload the dishwasher (I clean and load them every night before bed)
- Take the trash out
- Place clothes in hamper ( I have one in every corner of the house) or on a hanger. Never on the floor.
- Place shoes on the shoe rack ( I bought one just for him) and one for our son.
- Assist our son with picking up his toys and placing them in the toy bins around the house.
How I Made It About Me
Notice that I tried to make it as easy as possible for him because this was something that bothered ME; not him. I wish he was bothered by the mess (God, I wish it bothered him ) but I realize that he is a completely different person than me. There are things that bother him that I simply laugh at. We are not the same. I was solving my own problem and I just recruited his help. So long as he was willing to do these things every day, it was enough for me to keep up with the rest on a daily basis with an occasional deep cleaning day or two thrown in per month.
Lucky for me, I have a husband who was willing to help without conflict. It just took communication. He even goes further and helps with things not on the list too. Sometimes, he tackles all of the chores while telling me to sit down but the list was my bare minimum and it allowed me to take control over the messy house that bothered me so much.
Teamwork really does make the dream work. Do you have a partner willing to tackle chores with you or is it a one person job in your home? Are you willing to try the KonMari Method? Let me know in the comments.