Do You Get Rid of Stuff Behind Your Family's Back? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Do You Declutter Behind Your Family's Back?
Yes. And I have no qualms about it. 62 48.44%
Yes. But I feel somewhat guilty about it. 28 21.88%
No. It feels ethically uncomfortable to me. 32 25.00%
Other 6 4.69%
Voters: 128. You may not vote on this poll

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#31 of 45 Old 03-21-2009, 11:16 AM
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I usually leave dh's stuff alone, but the kids... 15, 13, &7. Last summer, I warned my oldest, "If your room isn't clean when you leave for church camp, it will be when you get home." She knew that meant stuff would go away. Years before, I did it without telling her, she was like in 4th grd, and I got rid of vanfuls. I did the same with dd last summer, warned him before he went to scout camp, he came home to clean room. DD-15 now keeps her room reasonably clean, dd 13 not so much, and dd 7, is getting better.
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#32 of 45 Old 03-21-2009, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KatieBonita View Post
So I gave DH the book I'd been reading and he's been on board ever since.
Which book is this? Perhaps I can win some "converts" with this Bible . . .

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.” - Marcia Angell, M.D., former NEJM Editor Private Parts are Private Property!
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#33 of 45 Old 03-22-2009, 10:22 AM
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I of course have no qualms because its only dd and i... and i take away toys etc she never plays with and she doesn't miss it... now i have given her a warning if there is something she knows she wants to keep to let me know because i am about to go through her room again.. i also told her to put things she knows she doesn't want in a bag to make my life simple.. but she has yet to do that and i gave her 2 wks notice... she is 10 so she can deal with whatever maybe missing..

Seperated, Cape Dress Wearing, Covered, Conservative Mennonite Mama to big girl K.
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#34 of 45 Old 03-22-2009, 07:53 PM
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I suppose it depends on what you're talking about, but - stained t-shirts w/holes? Socks & underwear, ditto? (DH) Boxes & boxes of mildewed, mouse chewed magazines? Old jars full of bent, rusty nails & bolts? Anything partially decomposed, with holes, broken, rusted or covered with rodent crap? (parents) You bet I'll throw it out. Mostly, this has been while helping out my parents, so I was invited in to clean, but it's best they don't know exactly what's going - they're terrible packrats (dad had all his original college notes & papers from his engineering degree - fifty years ago (but I never touched those, he was always going to need them someday - which only went away because the barn loft they were in burned down...).

Other stuff - I'll sort it into what I think should be given away/sold, kept, or thrown out. The owner of this stuff is invited to inspect these boxes w/in a set time, & if there's not sufficient interest, my appraisal stands.

: : SAHM to : (5/06), : (7/07) Plus : & a few
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#35 of 45 Old 03-24-2009, 06:52 AM
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I have usually tried to involve my children and my husband, but I have also thrown out obvious clutter without consulting anyone beforehand.
A lot of times, I managed to lengthen the life cycle of things (outgrown clothes to charity, paperbacks to the library, ...). My children part a lot easier from "stuff" when they know someone else needs it more than they do.

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#36 of 45 Old 03-24-2009, 09:44 AM
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Things DH wouldn't notice I get rid of, and in no way would he feel betrayed if he was like "hey, where'd that go?". He's just not that kind of person. Other things I want to get rid of but I know he might want I always ask first.

I tried to get rid of a worn toy and my 2 year old saw it in the salvation army pile and started wailing. So I gave it back to her and than got rid of it later. Will she notice again? Probably not. Do I care if she does? No. I'm in charge around here. I'll explain why I got rid of it and she'll get over it.

Christian SAHM & birth doula.
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#37 of 45 Old 03-24-2009, 10:04 AM
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The only thing I get rid of is toys they don't play with. But if I let them know (especially my autistic 5 year old son) all hell breaks loose. So, I have to do it when he's not looking, or we would continue to have old toys or toys that are way below their age range cluttering up the house. But it starts on a rotation...the ones I'll get rid of are eventually moved closer to the top shelf of the playroom shelves--if he doesn't ask for it within a few month's time, it's out of there.

I don't however touch anything in his room. He has his collections of toys that he never plays with but that I let him keep as long as they are neat. He also has a box of random stuff he collects (that I secretly term "box o crap"--paperclips he finds in parking lots, old light sticks that don't work anymore, rocks, a deflated Darth Vader balloon from his birthday party, plastic bottle lid he found on his school's playground, etc.)--as long as he keeps it in his closet, I don't care. He specifically told us never touch it or throw it out because it's his "collection". Whatever floats your boat kid. :

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#38 of 45 Old 03-24-2009, 10:07 AM
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Oh, I will say that the donating toys thing backfired on me recently too. Brandon's school was having a consignment sale so I donated all of their outgrown clothes and toys. The school said they'd keep the toys in the office until the sale so that the kids didn't see the toys laying out. Guess what...they didn't. He came home from school talking about how the sale has "twins" of his toys and he wanted to buy the "twins" too. Um, oops. I had to explain it to him. And give him a dollar to buy him off. LOL!

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#39 of 45 Old 03-24-2009, 11:56 AM
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Until recently, I would have never thrown out/decluttered DH's things.

I have come to the realization that there are somethings DH simply doesn't want to think about.

He would like to read back issues of Magazine X but I know he won't so out they go. If I asked him, he would save "keep them, I take care of it later." Later being never and the stack grows.

I know he won't wear the socks with streched elastic but I could nag 'til the cows come home and he still wouldn't take the time to go thru the sock drawer.

Now, I get rid of a lot of stuff that could be considered DH's things.

If I have doubts, I will pack everything for the trash can or donation and ask him to approve. He has yet to take something out of trash/donation box.

It is almost like me packing stuff gives him the freedom to let go of it.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#40 of 45 Old 03-24-2009, 03:13 PM
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Not DH's stuff.

I usually put things I think he would be willing to part with in a pile, then I ask him about the pile.

Usually he keeps everything in it. He's a keeper.

My kids are little and they are keepers too.

So to avoid the conflict, I have a "halfway" box. I put everything of theirs that I want to get rid of in that halfway box and put it in the shed.

If they ask for the item, it will come back inside. If they don't, eventually that box goes away.



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#41 of 45 Old 03-24-2009, 05:01 PM
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I do it all the time, and I feel guilty about it some of the time. DH is a sort of pack rat and if I didn't do it in secret, we'd have way too much junk. He'll never know any of it's gone.

dd1 4/7/05 dd2 8/22/07 and b/g twins born 5/23/10
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#42 of 45 Old 03-24-2009, 05:30 PM
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I do it unless I think it might have sentimental value. DH keeps a lot of old t-shirts that have memories for him (I do not understand this at all) but I deal with it. I also make him go thru his stuff on a regular basis. We are about to make a goodwill run so I have been thinking about this a lot lately.

Alicewyf: Doula, wife to DH, and mama to Lillian (7/09) , Daniel (6/12). (11/14).
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#43 of 45 Old 03-24-2009, 06:14 PM
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I can totally understand people not wanting to declutter a DP's stuff, but I do do it...DH still has boxes of stuff that he has not opened in the ten years we have been together. (in fact I shouldn't say that he hasn't opened them...some of them are so crammed with stuff that they will not close!) These boxes have moved with us many, many times. He no longer knows or really cares what is in the boxes. My DH doesn't have the time or inclination to declutter stuff although he likes and wants a pared down aesthetic! So, I declutter one box at a time and make four piles- keep, give away, trash, and "ask DH". The last pile is for all the stuff that I think might have sentimental value. Then he can give it a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down". I guess I could just throw out entire boxes since some of this stuff hasn't seen the light of day in years, but every now and then I happen upon some nice photos or old documents that we need or actually want.

So, he's basically given me permission to do his decluttering for him...though I do have the executive decision when it comes to throwing stuff out since I'm the one sorting through all the crap.
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#44 of 45 Old 03-25-2009, 08:50 AM
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i generally know what's important to DH so i don't declutter that, of course....but other crap that i know he wouldn't care about but doesn't have the time/energy to deal with, yeah. same with the kids. i know what is important to them, so that stuff stays. like their artwork, even though i'd love to purge some. but i do go through toys and crap regularly and get rid of things i know they won't care about.
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#45 of 45 Old 03-25-2009, 01:09 PM
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I'll chuck DH's stuff, no problem. He's not a terrible packrat, just darn LAZY about some things. I wouldn't throw away anything with emotional value (if I'm not sure I ask), but if I didn't throw away his stuff, he'd have a drawer of boxer shorts full of holes, socks and T-shirts too worn to wear, ditto jeans that are so worn-through they go to the trash and not Goodwill, etc. Sometimes I think that he believes there is a magic fairy in our house that periodically replaces holey clothes with fresh ones. He doesn't do ANYTHING with paper junk, so I shred the old pay stubs, cable bills, whatever. I don't throw away photos, stuffed animals (of which we have WAY TOO MANY, given that we're both adults!), or other sentimental stuff; I don't go into the shed and suddenly decide that he no longer needs a circular-sanding-thingy.

Seriously, if DH suddenly decided to do the same kind of thing (i.e. has a complete personality change!) and starts cleaning out my panty drawer, the kitchen cabinets, or the filing cabinet, it wouldn't bother me! We each have a solid idea of what the other considers important, so it's really no big deal.

Mara, mama to two boys born 05/2009 and 04/2011, after four miscarriages. 

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