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De-clutter your relationship

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Out with the old

Just like closets and shelves overflowing with things that just seem to collect dust, relationships also need to be de-cluttered every so often. In fact, we recommend you carefully examine yours at least once a year to get rid of the clutter, lighten the load and make sure everything is running smoothly. Everything looks and feels better minus mess so why not your relationship? Here then we look at a few simple ways to trim the fat and take a more minimalist approach to your love.

Couple arguing over same old thing

1Air your grievances

If you really want to de-clutter your relationship you're going to have air what's bothering you. Think of all the lingering resentments and issues you hang onto but don't talk about as trinkets taking up space on your shelf and weighing it down with their uselessness. Whatever you hate – the erratic way he drives, the fact he can't seem to ever get everything on the shopping list – but say nothing about is actually cluttering up your relationship and now is the time to discuss it. And fair is fair. If you let him in on some of the things he does that drive you nuts, he's allowed to do the same. But keep it civil – this isn't a time to fight. This is about discussing anything that's holding either of you back and clearing the air so your love is lighter and stronger.

2Fix what's not working

You wouldn't keep a broken clock lying around or hold onto a radio that doesn't play music and the same principle applies to your relationship. If you lose your mind every Monday night because you're responsible for making dinner and picking up the kids from soccer and cleaning up – that's a scenario that isn't working, so this is your opportunity to rid your relationship of anything that doesn't feel right and replace it with things that do. Maybe Monday night becomes pizza night or you husband skips his after-work beer to come home and start dinner. Either way, if either of you are having a tough time with something – don't suffer, make improvements.

3Ditch recurring arguments

If you always fight about who's turn it is to take out the trash or the fact he spends too much time watching sports or that you invite your mother over too much for his taste – it's time bust out of your argument rut. Find ways to get around the weekly fights. Tell him he can go out the next time your mom comes over for Sunday tea, create a trash schedule so it's always equal, and implement a rule that says he can watch as much sports as he wants as long as he does a chore first. Either way, find ways to actually deal with what you argue about on a consistent basis so you don't have to think about it anymore.

4Clear our your space

Once you've cleaned out your figurative space it's time to de-clutter your actual space. Living with someone means collecting twice the junk you don't need, triple or quadruple that if you have kids so taking stock of your space and donating anything you don't use or need is a great way to feel better about your home and your relationship. Clutter causes stress so it makes sense that minimizing the crap will make you feel better. Hold a yard sale, give things to charity, and find better ways to get organized – anything that will help clear the air and all the rooms.

More relationship advice

How to tell it's time to move in together
Imrove your marriage in 5 easy steps
Love Happy: Being upfront and honest

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