Wanted: order, in a small, overcrowded apartment. Husband and wife each have their own systems. Mission impossible? Think again. Use these six steps to find organization in your own shared living space.
Take joint ownership of problems and solutions. Instead of starting sentences with "You should," try "How do we want to solve this?"
Assume the other person has a valid reason for his or her system. Listen carefully until you understand. Repeat back to confirm.
Concentrate on your shared goal: a home you both enjoy, where you can find your things. Be willing to compromise.
Stay focused. Avoid jumping from one project to another.
Schedule a mutually acceptable time to tackle clutter. Let the answering machine pick up calls.
Have fun. Get a little bell and ring it the minute either person breaks one of the rules.