Dear Katie & Kelly

How to Get Your Man (or Woman) to Put Things AWAY


Dear Katie & Kelly: I keep a mail bin in our entryway where I put the mail when I bring it into the house and have asked my husband to do the same. But whenever he does it, he puts it next to the bin but not IN it so that the mail starts to go every which way. Is it that tough to put things away?? Help!!

Signed: Aggravated in Atlanta

Dear Aggravated: First, remember this universal truth: old habits die hard. You didn’t mention your personality types and we’re willing to bet good money that he’s not a Classic — the most traditionally organized type. We’re also betting if he can’t manage to put mail in a bin that he’s just as bad about putting clothes IN the hamper. But, we shall focus on solving your mail problem here.

Make sure you ask him WHY he doesn’t place the mail in the bin. You’d be surprised just how many solutions and tweaks stem from simply trying to figure out why a system isn’t working. Next, explain how important it is to you that he places the mail IN the bin. Finally, place the mail bin where he walks in the door and sets things down. If the homes for his things reside right where he naturally dumps them, there is no new habit to learn. Therefore, easier for him to put things away. Also, make sure there isn’t a lid on top of this mail bin as a lid adds an extra step to the process thereby making it harder for him to properly put away the mail.

All our best: K & K

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