Dear Holly,
I recently had a new baby so my frustrations are much more obvious right now. Although I have not yet established my own rule, I have been working toward that for a while now, especially in the area of reducing clutter, which would be EXTREMELY helpful, especially since we have a rather small house. And I’m TIRED of tripping on stuff, and having to move stuff off surfaces to cook dinner, or eat dinner or whatever!! But this seems to be a losing battle. I clear off a surface, and something immediately gets placed there again, rather than being put away, and it’s usually my husband who does it, the one person who knows how frustrated I get by that, and the one person who should have enough self control, or thoughtfulness, or whatever, to help me by not un-doing the work I have just done. That’s a huge pet peeve, and I am not sure what more I can do to keep that from continually happening. I’m not a nagger, which wouldn’t be helpful anyway, but my husband doesn’t respond well at all even if I try to calmly and simply tell him how I feel or what I need from him. So how do I deal with the bigger issues, if I can’t even approach the little things without him “shutting down?”