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One of my Joumor assistants was planning to move into her boyfriend’s apartment next week while he’d be out of town. When I gave her some advice about it during our session, she suggested making it this week’s newsletter, so here goes!

Last week we talked about the Hierarchy of Organizing, and Relationships are at the top. Here’s the funny thing about the Joumor Philosophy: the whole point is clutter-free connection– making our relationships as good as possible- but we spend the least amount of time “working” on them compared to the other elements of the hierarchy, such as organizing our stuff or our money. Our relationships are a reflection of ourselves, particularly of our clarity and self-esteem.

The details vary depending on the specifics of the situation, but here are three tips for moving into someone else’s home when they’re away (that also apply to more general situations such as visiting or traveling together).

  1. Clarify the (It’s fine if you) Do’s and the (Please) Don’t’s Beforehand– many people, especially men, believe they have fewer opinions about organizing than they actually do. By creating a list of 10 each or at least intentionally having a conversation to discuss these, we are Setting Ourselves Up to Win.

Example 1: “It’s fine if you push all the stuff I have on the floor in the bedroom over to my side.”
Example 2: “Please don’t move anything in the medicine cabinet, let’s do that together when I’m back.”

In an ideal world, the space for the newcomer would be cleared out and totally available, but that often doesn’t happen. Joumor Principle: Start with the ideal, and compromise with the real.

2. Never touch other people’s stuff without asking (unless it’s an emergency): People’s minds work differently, often in surprisingly proprietary ways. Moving their things when they are absent is asking for trouble.

3. By respecting others’ responsibility for their belongings, we discourage co-dependence, avoid overriding their decision-making, and encourage healthy boundaries.

It might seem unexpected that something as basic as taking responsibility for our things can contribute to healthier relationships. In fact, mastering the tangible basics strengthens our infrastructure- our foundation- to allow for the intangible to thrive. This is Joumor: doing what we CAN do- the practical- to receive and create our ideals in the world.

Wishing you a Joumorous weekend.

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