Honestly this is the very hardest!! Tips I have found that work for me: I show him how I want it to look and how I want it kept that way (like junk 'resource' drawers that he also uses all the time). I bought organizers for the drawer and organized it and asked him (a verbal contract) if he would help me keep it that way. It worked. Now and again I do have to put things back in their right place in the drawer but that doesn't bother me as it is a very simple and quick thing to do.
In the garage I have made a place for everything and then I gave him a tour and what the objective is behind the organization—that everything has a home and it needs to live there when not in use. And explaining the advantage to that is when he needs a tool he will be able to find it quickly without wasting time looking for it. When he hasn't been able to find things I have gently reminded him that if it had been put it away where it lives he wouldn't have to be searching. Actually that works most of the time too.
Because he is good at losing tools I have my own set of tools—hidden-- and when he has to borrow my hammer or screw driver I remind him to give it back to me as I want to be able to find mine the next time he needs it. (We both chuckle over that one).
In the bedroom he has a place on the dresser to put the things that are in his pockets, change, wallet, hankie etc. Then when he gets dressed he can find everything he needs fast. His cell phone has a specific place to be recharged and at the end of the evening he plugs it in which means he can find it as he dashes out of the house in the morning. The bonus is that it is always charged.
There is a place for dirty clothes and he has agreed (verbal contract) to put his dirty clothes there when he takes them off. Make it handy and simple for him to toss his clothes there. If you find dirty clothes elsewhere talk to him about your verbal contract and solicit his help again, letting him know why it is important to you. If he has to suffer the consequence of not having clean shirts, pants, or socks when he needs them he may think twice about getting dirty clothes in the hamper. If it isn't working, get his suggestions as to what he thinks will work for him.
I hear women complaining about shoes left around the house. If you have a "Shoes at the door policy" this will be eliminated. Can you charge him (like you do the kids) to get his shoes/clothes back if you have to pick them up?
We have lived in the same house for over 24 years and when he unloads the dishwasher he still puts some things away where they don't belong. I used to let it drive me crazy but now I just let it go. I return the item to its home and forget about it. It takes too much energy and a slice of joy out of my day if I let it bother me. I am just happy that 99% was put away right and it wasn't me doing it.
Maybe the key is to lighten up and if he leaves something out think of all the things that he does do right. One more idea is to have one closet or a shelf in a closet for each of you that is personal and can be as messy and cluttered as you/he want it to be.
Marilyn Bohn's Bio
Marilyn is a creative organizer who has been organizing for over 20 years. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and is working towards becoming a Certified Professional Organizer. Professionally she has been organizing homes and offices for over two years. She holds a bachelors degree in Social Work. She has reared five daughters and currently lives in Utah.
Go to her website http://www.marilynbohn.com where you can find free organizing tips and interesting blogs and helpful articles on organizing.
Marilyn Bohn is the owner of Get it Together Organizing, a business dedicated to developing practical organizing solutions that help individuals and business professionals live clutter-free and productive lives. She is the author of “Go Organize! Conquer Clutter in Three Simple Steps” and is an experienced, enthusiastic public speaker, a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and the author of hundreds of articles covering various organizing topics.
Marilyn takes the often stressful subject of organizing and breaks it down into a simple, easy to understand system. Her methods are both eye-opening and encouraging! She has a passion for helping others reach their personal goals and living a better, clutter-free life!
Marilyn invites you to discover her one-of-a-kind video workshops and organizing ideas at http://www.marilynbohn.com