Sometimes silence is more effective then words.
In my last blog post I talked about how messiness had returned to my wife's closet despite the Configurations makeover we'd given it over a year ago.
I asked people if I should take comfort in the fact that 'at least' she could now close her door or if I should keep pushing for an organized closet.
Our readership was clear…."if she keeps the door shut….you keep your mouth shut."
And I did.
Instead I went about my usual Fall closet conversion (Summer clothes in totes to the basement, Fall/Winter clothes up) without a word of nagging or even a hopeful suggestion that she do the same.
It turns out that silence was more powerful.
Not only did she clean out her closet and fill three bags of purged clothes for Good Will, but she actually asked me to install another basket. She got engaged in making the space work for her!
Now I'm not under the illusion that the closet won't drift back to clutter but this is a huge victory.
My lessons are simple:
1) System Matters: In the dark days (about a week ago) I fretted that the system didn't matter if the person in question wasn't committed. But after our little miracle I realize that her Configurations Closet did play a big role.
a. It tamed her mess and stopped it from spilling out on the floor
b. It helped her see the benefits of an organized closet and tipped her back into action
c. It was flexible so we could easily alter its set-up (remove shelves and add a basket)
2) Lead by Example: It probably won't work for kids but if you're unhappy with a parner's messiness;
a. let it be known
b. do all you can to help
c. let it be. In my case the fact that I'd "given up on her" really propelled her to action.
I have to thank everyone who nudged me in this direction…..the sound of silence.