Matt and I got married when we were both 30. Translation – we were pretty set in our ways. I know I’ve mentioned many times that I have an aversion to clutter. Matt does not. He lays stuff down on any flat surface he can find. That caused many a disagreement when we first got married. I would go behind him and either move stuff or throw it away.
We knew we needed to solve the problem so we came up with this solution – we decided to designate a space for his stuff. We still use that solution today. Matt named it “The Safe Zone.”
I knew when we came up with this idea that we’d have to have borders on the zone. If not, the zone would grow. So I found this lovely wooden tray at Target. Here are the rules for the zone:
• I touch nothing inside the zone
• He must keep his stuff inside the zone otherwise I am free to touch it
• He can pile the stuff as high as he wants as long as it doesn’t spill over the sides
Over the years it has had different locations in different homes, but it now has the perfect location. It is in the kitchen near the back door on top of a chest of drawers that I use to store linens. Matt comes in the back door, stops at the safe zone, and unloads his pockets. On his way out the door, he stops at the zone and loads up what he wants to take with him.
Sometimes fighting to change a habit isn’t always the solution to the problem. If you have a clutter scatterer in your house, consider this trick. It has worked well for us.