Originally Posted by bluebirdmama1
How do you deal with clutter when it isn't your own?
How to deal with - when I get rid of something, dh later says "where is that old kitchen beater (for example)?" but I got rid of it cause it was mine and I would never need it, but a year later dh really needed it, and doesn't like me to get rid of anything.
I would suggest territories. Your space, his space, and family space. You keep your space how you please, he keeps his space how he pleases, and family space is tended so that the family, _not_ just the hoarder, can use it. I realize that this is probably not how it is now, but I would suggest slowly making it that way, reclaiming one space at a time - one chair, one table, one drawer - from the hoard. Start with your spaces - your bedside table, your closet or your half of the closet, half of the couch, half of the coffee table, one of the bathrooms if there are two, and so on. If there's a desk that's all his and he makes it unusable, clear space so that you have a desk, too. And so on. Every time he puts junk in cleared spaces, move it to uncleared spaces, as close to instantly as you can - make it as if the cleared spaces repel junk automatically.
And then start de-hoarding the shared spaces, and do the same thing there, just a little more gently - he's entitled to use the shared spaces too, but junk sits on them while he's working with it, and perhaps for a few hours after, but every evening or every other evening, it gets moved too. If he claims that he can't use a space unless his stuff is allowed to litter it indefinitely and prevent everyone else from using it, I'd say that's just too bad. If he wants a workspace where stuff sits indefinitely, he does that in _his space_, not shared space.
You'll have to do this yourself. The hoarder will most likely _never_, under any circumstances whatsoever, actually help clear things. You'll have to do it whether they like it or not.
Re the kitchen beater, _if_ it was shared property, and if your DH wanted to keep it while you wanted to get rid of it, he should have kept it in his space - his den, his bureau, his part of the garage, whatever space was allocated to him as his space. But if it was yours, not shared property, then I'd say that it's absolutely none of your DH's business whether you keep it or get rid of it.
The hoarder does not get to take control of every object, and every space, in the house. The house is not solely the hoarder's home, a place where other people are allowed by sufferance as long as they don't mess with the stuff. It belongs to the whole family, and he's going to have to let the family live there and be productive there, whether he likes it or not.
Yeah, this is a little bit harsher than my usual posts on this subject. :) I'm feeling a distinct lack of patience for hoarders just now. But my advice would be precisely the same in any case, I'd just put it more gently.