How to Cope With an Unorganized Spouse

Posted November 30, 2016 by Thirty-Something Angie in Business & Productivity / 4 Comments

Do you have an unorganized spouse? I can relate!

If you didn’t realize it by now, I’m an organized person.  My biggest issue in my marriage, though, is that my husband (Willie) is not.  It doesn’t seem like a big deal at first, but having an unorganized spouse can lead to a lot of unnecessary arguments.

We were both twenty-something slobs when we met.  I guess that’s why his unorganized nature never really bothered me in the early years.  As I’ve grown, though, I’ve channeled my mother a little bit and become a little….obsessive about tidiness and order, I guess you could say.  (If you’re still in your twenties and reading this, just know that it’s true.  Eventually, you do become your mother).

I’m still not perfectly organized, but I’m getting better every day.  I use a planner constantly, purge unnecessary clutter regularly, and I’m always on Pinterest looking for new organizational ideas to tackle the next big mess.  My husband…well….the messes don’t bother him.  It’s something I’ve had to learn to cope with!

{Disclaimer: This post is entirely light-hearted, and my husband knows I’m writing it.}

How to Identify an Unorganized Spouse

How do you know if you have an unorganized spouse?  Well, if you don’t know, you’re probably pretty close to equal.  However, for fun, I’ll describe how I know that I do.

The best way I can describe my struggle with Willie’s disorganization is through a recent home renovation story, because that’s when our differences are most apparent.

[bctt tweet=”Do you have an disorganized spouse? Check out these tips for coping! #organization ” username=”cruiseangie”]

Recently, we started a small project.  When I say small, I mean that it should only take a weekend. We planned to paint our oldest daughter’s room, build some new furniture (from a box), and hang some new decorations.  Easy, peasy, right?


It’s been a full week, and we’re still. not. done.

Do you know why? Because he is an unorganized person!  It’s just who he is.

This has been especially difficult for me to cope with, since I like deadlines and order.  It has taken me a lot of time to learn how to deal with this behavior.  Hopefully by sharing these tips, you can cope, as well!  Life is more enjoyable when we can embrace the fact that we all do things differently.



As is typically the case with two opposites, my husband and I approach tasks in entirely different ways.  I remain very methodical and organized with every task I take on.  It doesn’t matter if I’m folding clothes or taking on a renovation.  I know which step is next and why.

He, on the other hand, likes to “wing it.” Distractions and side projects are very common when we do a project together. He also sees nothing wrong with going to the store 3 or 4 times for the same project.  Talk about wasting time!

By communicating and coming up with a plan-of-action, we can divide up tasks so we can work separately towards the same goal.  This helps me feel more productive, and I’m sure it helps him, because I’m not bickering with him about what he’s doing.

Create a Schedule

To me, this is the most important part of preparing for a task – even cleaning! It’s no secret that I believe in having a clear plan of action and a deadline, and this especially holds true for tasks that take more than a couple of hours.

  • I figure out how much time it should take.  Is this a morning project? A weekend project?  Longer?
  • I set aside time in my schedule to complete the project or task before we move on to anything else.
  • I make my lists.  This includes lists for shopping as well as a list of tasks.
  • I do all of my research before we get started.  There is no need wasting precious time on the computer when we could be working.
  • I come up with our plan of action, and set up our project by steps.
  • I decide on a deadline.  If I’m cleaning, I know what time I want to be done.  If I’m doing a big project, I decide how many days it should take and put that on a calendar.

Now, this is where it gets tricky.

If I don’t communicate all of this to my husband, he has no idea what I just did! He prefers to just go do things without sitting down to plan them.  For the longest time, I didn’t communicate with him at all about all of my preparations, which led to some pretty frustrating home projects.  I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t doing things in order, or why he was stopping to look up how to do something while we were supposed to be working.

By communicating with him through this whole process, we’ve learned how to make everything less stressful.

[bctt tweet=”Have an unorganized partner? Communication makes all the difference! #marriedlife #organization” username=”cruiseangie”]


This is the key to all relationships. No matter how much planning I do, or how well I communicate the plan to my husband, things still aren’t going to go entirely my way.  That’s just the way of life.  He is his own person, with his own way of doing things.  If I want his help, I have to understand that he might do things differently that I had planned.  The same goes for him.  He knows I’m a little neurotic about my plans, and knows that if he gives in to them a bit, we’ll have a much smoother time of completing the chore.

Embrace Your Differences and Learn to Work Together

Dealing with an unorganized spouse when you love organization can be a really frustrating issue.  By learning to communicate and compromise, you can eliminate a lot of the problems that can arise.


Time Management Tips for Moms

How to Work at Home with Kids

A Look Inside my Inkwell Press Planner


Do you struggle to cope with an unorganized spouse? How did you learn to work together?


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4 responses to “How to Cope With an Unorganized Spouse

  1. Ha! This used to drive me CRAZY about my husband when we were first married! Now, in every place we live, I just make sure his side of the bed is away from the door, and he promises to keep his stacks of papers and dirty clothes over there, where I don’t have to see them! 🙂

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