I hate to disappoint everyone right off the bat, but there is actually not a whole lot you can do if you family doesn’t want to be minimalist. But keep reading for a way to overcome the struggle!
You can’t overtly (or covertly) get rid of your family members’ stuff without causing frustration and resentment. You can’t force anyone to become a minimalist, just as you can’t force someone to change their religious or political views. So, what can you do (short of trying to lead by example by gleefully getting rid of all your stuff and living your best life)?
It’s all about changing your perspective.
Sure, as a minimalist it can be frustrating to look around you and see a lot of stuff, especially in your own home. Just thinking about other peoples’ excess amounts of stuff gives me a headache sometimes. But there are a lot of people who truly care about the things they own, and it wouldn’t really be fair of us to expect them to just get rid of it all. If your loved one is a clinically diagnosed hoarder, that is a whole different story. But for the average person to enjoy their everyday possessions is totally reasonable, if inconvenient for those of us in the crossfire of someone else’s clutter.
I talked about realistic thinking in a previous post, and I think it applies here as well. What is the worst-case scenario when it comes to coexisting with your family’s clutter? That you will be extremely irritated? If it goes beyond this, that seems to me like a real reason to take a closer look at your state of mind and priorities. I don’t want you to suffer! But if other people’s stuff is causing you to suffer? That’s reason for concern.
Furthermore, in every relationship there must be some level of compromise. Think about all the little ways your partner (and other family members) compromise for you. Did your husband stop throwing dirty clothes over the back of the chair in your bedroom when you explained how frustrated it was making you? Does your son do the dishes when you have prepared the meal? These little compromises are what allows us to live together in peace, love, and harmony.
In conclusion, try to let your family have their own space, and you have yours. In shared spaces, you will have to compromise a little bit, but with this compromise you can try to give back by honoring their requests, too.