Throw. It. AWAY!!! (venting/could use advice) - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 49 Old 08-16-2010, 03:16 AM
 
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I need to stake out my territory and insist on some space in the bedroom (the office has been designated as his "man cave" once it gets cleaned up and organized,
The post above me made me think about this comment. The office, IMO, needs to be his designated space whether or not it gets cleaned or organized. If he tries to claim the right to clutter up the rest of the house because his office isn't "ready", don't accept that. If you do, he will ensure that his office is never, ever "ready".

And as, again, post above me suggests, you really can't be responsible for keeping his space tidy and organized. The hoarder's den will probably be hoarded; that's what it's there for, as an outlet for the hoarding impulse.

Sure, you should get your own stuff out of the office, but after that, it should be his problem.

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#32 of 49 Old 08-16-2010, 03:58 AM
 
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The people that work at Goodwill get paid to decide what to put on the shelves. And you never know what they might put on the shelf. Gag lighters and old calendars have made it out on the shelves at my Salvation Army. Sure they are likely to throw it away, but does it REALLY matter if it's you throwing it away with fights and arguements from your SO, or them getting paid to throw it away?
I can sympathise with wanting to get stuff out of the house by any means but I really think this is a bad idea. For one thing a lot of shops struggle to get enough volunteers and taking up there time sorting through things you are pretty sure are not going to sell is wasteful.

Secondly (at least her in the UK) once the stuff is in the shop they have to pay to throw stuff away as it has become business waste. I am actually costing the charity money when I send them stuff they can not sell.

As for being green I know it is more difficult when you are cluttered. I would give myself permission to dump stuff straight in the bin and start fresh with a cleaner space.
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#33 of 49 Old 08-16-2010, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You need a designated spot-- with designated shelves and designated storage containers-- for stuff that is "incoming." My parents have a set of shelves in the garage for that purpose; it should be near a point of entry such as the garage, or a cabinet near the front door, whatever. It's easier to go through and throw things out when they aren't already part of the living space, if you see what I mean.
YES- that's what usually happens to the incoming stuff, and sometimes the stuff that we're trying to go through and organize...it gets shuffled around and ends up part of these migrating piles of randomness that float around. I am not a fan! From now on when the "stuff boxes" come in I will put them by the door and empty them before they get any farther!


ITA with everyone who said I should concede the office/man cave and let him trash it in whatever manner he sees fit. I will just take anything that belongs to me out and that can be his junk spot if that's how he wants it, even if I think he'd be happier with a nice room with a couch and lots of space to do his thing.
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#34 of 49 Old 08-16-2010, 11:25 PM
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we had a similar issue with the ILs.

they stored a fair bit of DH's stuff, many boxes of which were things that, like your MIL, my ILs had collected over the years 'for' him, or just saved for random reasons or whatever.

so, first, my ILs would complain that they were "storing all of his stuff." and how it was "taking up a lot of space in their house." they, too, btw, are pack rats. DH would make arrangements to go over and declutter that stuff, and bring to our house what he really wanted.

but it would go like this. show up at 10 am, FIL decides he wants to "quickly show DH something" at his work, the gym, the local park, the place he used to work, the church, whatever. by 12 pm, they would be back, and then we would have lunch. after lunch, MIL wants DH to visit with GMIL for a bit, so they go out there and are back by 3. at 3:30, Dh starts on a box, and MIL complains that he "wasted so much time that day!" *eye roll*

as DH goes through a box, he puts things into two piles: keep and get rid of. what he keeps, he repacks in the box, and then would divide the get rid of pile in two--trash and church rummage sale. he would put trash in a bag, church rummage sale he would take out to those boxes in the garage.

but once in the garage, MIL and FIL would go through it, bring it back into the house, and say "but don't you *want* to keep *this*?" then, they'd tell him a story about it (their memory of how much he loved the object, or who gave it to him, or how he made it or whatever), and then if he said "no" they would go "how can you just give up your history!" and then put it back into his box that he had repacked of things he wanted to keep.

then, he would bring this box home, and it would sit in the closet completely untouched for *years*.

it wasn't until we moved here that he would open a box, divide it into what he wanted to keep for real, and then we could get rid of the rest. it was amazing what he got rid of.
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#35 of 49 Old 08-16-2010, 11:28 PM
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oh, and now they mail us trash. clippings from the newspaper--particularly obituaries--of people whom we don't know, with a note attached that says something like: "this was your great aunt's florist's daughter who went to school across town with this lady from church, and they were in chess club together!"

we got an envelope from them the other day that had two pieces of relevant mail, the rest junk mail (ie, coupons and stuff), and then a whole stack of clipped sudukus and obituaries. it was totally bizarre.
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#36 of 49 Old 08-17-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lynsage View Post
YES- that's what usually happens to the incoming stuff, and sometimes the stuff that we're trying to go through and organize...it gets shuffled around and ends up part of these migrating piles of randomness that float around. I am not a fan! From now on when the "stuff boxes" come in I will put them by the door and empty them before they get any farther!


ITA with everyone who said I should concede the office/man cave and let him trash it in whatever manner he sees fit. I will just take anything that belongs to me out and that can be his junk spot if that's how he wants it, even if I think he'd be happier with a nice room with a couch and lots of space to do his thing.
Great, but don't just put it on the floor by the door. Put a tall shelf or cabinet there. Voice of experience!
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#37 of 49 Old 08-17-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lynsage View Post
ITA with everyone who said I should concede the office/man cave and let him trash it in whatever manner he sees fit. I will just take anything that belongs to me out and that can be his junk spot if that's how he wants it, even if I think he'd be happier with a nice room with a couch and lots of space to do his thing.
You don't need to completely give up hope, though! After almost 10 years of marriage, my husband has actually decided to hoe out his room and make it into a legitimate office space and less like a junk room.

It took him a decade to get to that point, but hey, I'll take it!
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#38 of 49 Old 08-17-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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You don't need to completely give up hope, though! After almost 10 years of marriage, my husband has actually decided to hoe out his room and make it into a legitimate office space and less like a junk room.

It took him a decade to get to that point, but hey, I'll take it!
You have no idea how much it means to me to hear that! No, wait, of all people, you probably do.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#39 of 49 Old 08-17-2010, 07:56 PM
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for my husband, it took moving to NZ. he went through and purged everything. we are currently storing about 25 boxes and a chair with my parents. most of those are books! his parents technically are not storing anything of his, but they say that they are: all of his old toys, boxes of artworks, etc.

thing is, what i forgot to include above, is that if DH said "you can sell these" they would put them back in their basement or garage. they want to give all of his toys to DS. except that, we really don't want all of those toys (legos, mostly). not that we are anti-lego, but it's just nto worth sending it to NZ to us. but, they can't let them go, so they are "storing it for us"

DH sorted his childhood artworks, and ultimately decided to toss all of them. his mother couldn't bear it, so she boxed it back up and will "give it to him when he wants them!"

in the mean time, they complain about having to do that (store his stuff). it's nuts. LOL

anyway, DH is getting better. we still have a problem with paper coming in--bills, he prefers to pile on the mantle rather than put into the file that is right by where he puts his keys. he prefers to put receipts (for the business or otherwise) next to his keys in a small pile, rather than in the file for that purpose. it makes it hard for me to gather things for the accountant, so, i've put it in our rhythm to put those into the files once a day during our evening tidy time.

our evening routine is: DH feeds, baths, and PJ's DS; I arrive home and put DS down to bed; we have dinner; i do dishes while he tidies. this is usually doing things like: hanging up towels from the bath and straightening the bathroom, picking up DSs toys and books; folding any laundry and putting it away; and now--straightening up and filing papers. the whole tidying task takes 10-15 minutes (even laundry takes no time for us because we have so few items of clothing, so this paper bit will only add another minute or two.

hopefully, it will work for him.

but we are getting there.
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#40 of 49 Old 08-17-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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A pigeonhole is a good, temporary holder for papers for someone who likes to pile them up.
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#41 of 49 Old 08-19-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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It is totally unacceptable that you have lived a year w/your things packed up in your van. He does not value you or your relationship. Why do you want to marry him? You will live with this disrespect the rest of your life, do you realize and accept that?
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#42 of 49 Old 08-24-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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First thing you need to do is take EVERYTHING out of the office. But you need to dedicate enough time that you can do it all on that day and not leave piles of stuff in the rest of the house. Then you need to put it all back in neatly, bagging anything you're not keeping and putting it near the front door. You need a system which works for the kind of stuff it is, whether that is stacked plastic boxes, shelves, a combination, whatever works. Label everything clearly. You will never get anywhere if you go into a crowded room and attempt to sort piles of junk into separate piles of junk. The only way is to start with a clean slate. Maybe send your daughter and fiance out to an amusement park, or similar fun place they can spend the whole day while you get it done.

Dont give up yet on the morning sickness, mine always lasts between 5-6 months before finally fading away. So there's always hope still . Make sure you eat a lot regularly.

I dont believe that it is fair to say that all hoarders will be that way forever. I dare say a lot of people posting here are former hoarders I know I am. I was never too bad as everything was packed away neatly. But boy did I hold onto some useless stuff. And I didnt even realize it was useless. Actually it never even occurred to me to get rid of any of it. I had the space, it was my stuff, there didnt seem to be any reason to get rid of anything. Then I moved to a smaller place and had kids (add all associated stuff) and suddenly it became a bit overwhelming to keep anything which was not completely essential. But you dont 'get it' til you do when it comes to minimalist living. Your fiance just is not coming from the same POV as you. Maybe he will be a hoarder forever, maybe he wont. But you mentioned he is eco-conscious so that is a good push forward to thinking about the impact of stuff.

Good luck!
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#43 of 49 Old 08-24-2010, 10:28 AM
 
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If he ever missed what was gone, I'd stop doing that, but no... it's never noticed missing and I make sure that it's garbage day so there is no chance he'll spot it in the can and want it back.
Ugh. Memories of my father pulling a broken lawn chair out of the trash barrel just came flooding back.

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I think you may need to give up on the idea of "his" space being organized- that's something he's going to need to decide on and commit to on his own. I know exactly what you mean about the uncomfortable almost unusable man-cave, but if that's how he chooses to utilize his space and care for his stuff, then that's how it's going to be unless you want to take on the responsibility of doing it for him.
and

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Originally Posted by Crayfish View Post
The post above me made me think about this comment. The office, IMO, needs to be his designated space whether or not it gets cleaned or organized. If he tries to claim the right to clutter up the rest of the house because his office isn't "ready", don't accept that. If you do, he will ensure that his office is never, ever "ready".

And as, again, post above me suggests, you really can't be responsible for keeping his space tidy and organized. The hoarder's den will probably be hoarded; that's what it's there for, as an outlet for the hoarding impulse.
Please give up on the ideas of getting the office and basement storage room organized. Make these his spaces, and he is responsible for how they are organized and used. If you take responsibility - or wait for him to do so - and want it to be organized, it never will. Or you will resent him. Focus on your spaces and the shared spaces in the house.

And if relatives are giving things for YOUR daughter, you get to say if they go or stay. YOu could accept them, say thank you, and then they go in the trash on the next trash day. Fun little temporary toys that visit for a week or less.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#44 of 49 Old 08-24-2010, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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UC, He didn't tell me I couldn't bring my stuff in or even refuse to help me bring it in (the stuff that's in the basement is stuff he carried in, I just won't unpack the stuff until there are specific places to put it all)- I am the one that wouldn't bring my stuff in until the house was in order because I didn't want to throw piles of my crap on top of his piles of crap. He's just not good/speedy at that part and neither am I, so it's taken a while to get there. To be fair, we have also had a LOT of crazy life circumstances, some of which I have talked about on MDC (although I had some of the posts removed by an admin because we were involved in litigation with a stalker), in the past year. I just want it to be fixed now!

I assure you that this man loves and respects me, and the list of reasons I want to marry him would take a very long time to write out. I completely understand why you would get a bad impression from this thread, but it's really not the case. I appreciate your concern, but I know that my fiance highly values me, my daughter, our family, and our relationship.

Logan, I'm going to leave the office for him to do but I will suggest that method to him if/when he decides he wants to do it. Thanks for the encouragement on the morning sickness
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#45 of 49 Old 08-24-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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Oh, I feel your pain. DH's mother passed many years ago and she saved absolutely everything. Now that my FIL has remarried, his new wife brings us boxes and boxes of things that belonged to dh's mom. So, everything is sentimental, everything is precious.

School papers and baby teeth and old toys and dishes and glasses and old quilt squares and etc, etc, etc. We had boxes and boxes of stuff lining the basement walls. Now that we are dong this weird move and need to consolidate our stuff, I have been going through things that haven't been out of boxes in years.

What has helped me:

My dh travels a lot. He is often gone for a week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, at a time. This gives me a lot of time to go through things, sort and drive it all to the second hand shop.

I save small things that are especially nice and use them...a small plate that I hung on the wall, the crock his mother kept her cooking utensils in...no, I don't like it all, but it has made the transition smoother for dh to have a few sentimental things around to look at. And finally, this stuff is out of boxes and actually being used.

I don't bother to sell anything. I list it on Freecycle if it is big or I drop it off at the second hand shop immediately. Nothing sits on the front stoop or wallows in my van giving my dh the opportunity to bring it back inside.

Dh and I talk and talk about the 'stuff' aspect of our lives. He is committed to living smaller, living with less, but he doesn't have any idea how to go about getting rid of all this stuff. He is burdened by the emotion of this stuff being saved by his mom and missing his mom makes it all harder to get rid of anything. Of course, he feels so much better when the material things are gone, lighter after doing the emotional work of letting go.

It is a long process though. I keep nudging and dh keeps trying and we are moving towards a comfortable place, but it does take a of of work.

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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#46 of 49 Old 08-24-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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Hugs to you and your DH, Ruthiegirl. I must admit your post made me a little teary. I have yet to lose a close family member and can only imagine how hard it must be dealing with all the things that bring back memories of that person.

SAHM to three
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#47 of 49 Old 08-26-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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OP, I have BTDT and it gets better!!!! Don't worry!!!!

I moved into DH's house when we got married about 2 years ago. Since then, it has been a daily, constant struggle to eke out a little bit of space in the house. But every little step makes it better, and easier. It was worst when I was pregnant and emotional, because we would get into arguments like why-does-he-get-two-and-a-half-closets-while-I-get-the-leftover-half, and I would just lose it and start sobbing, "I will never be able to live here! This will never be my space!" It was awful. So I totally know how you're feeling!

Only now, 2 years later, after daily small steps of claiming space and cleaning things out, I finally a) know where everything is in the house, and b) can maintain things as they are. This means that if he shoves junk into one of his old junk-collecting spots, it won't stay there -- it has a home somewhere in the house, and I can either put it there myself or make him put it there.

Here are some things that made a REALLY BIG DIFFERENCE for us:

- My parents (aka, my co-conspirators) came over when he wasn't home and helped organize the basement. They brought over two big floor-to-ceiling shelving units, and we just packed up a lot of his excess junk in boxes and stacked it on the shelves. This made room for a TON of my stuff to be moved in. He's never noticed that any of that stuff is missing.

- We needed our one extra bedroom (which had been his junk room) for the baby. So we were forced to clean that one out. I wouldn't let him "migrate" the junk to somewhere else; he had to get rid of it. Except for a few boxes which are still sitting in the basement. But their days are numbered... So my advice to you is, come up with "necessary" uses for every room and storage space in the house.

- My DH is really frugal, so when I start suggesting that we might need to rent a storage space to deal with our junk, that lights a fire under him to get rid of stuff.

- We have loads of sentimental stuff too, from both of our grandmothers, and we struggle with it all the time. What I do is try to use certain things regularly (like his grandma's pretty painted plates, or my grandma's glass salad dressing ladle) so that they feel like they're "used." Then, over time, we'll be able to get rid of some of the extra stuff we're not using, even if it's sentimental.

- I keep the house clean and the surfaces uncluttered. He loves it. This can also help motivate him: "hey, don't you love the way it looks in this room? Wouldn't it be nice if that room could look like this?"

It's a slow process, but it feels like "my" house now -- it took 2 years to get there. Don't give up hope!

I'm traveling the world with my kids without ever leaving home and blogging about it -- watch, taste, and share our adventures at TheGlobalStayCation.com!
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#48 of 49 Old 08-26-2010, 11:37 PM
 
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All I can say, is this is the arguement we had tonight:

I found 2 nasty, disgusting paint and dirt cover jean shorts of DH shoved in with hius winter pants (WTF?). First of all, they are nasty. 2nd of all, you went through almost the entire summer and managed to mow the lawn EVERY WEEK WITHOUT THESE SHORTS. 3rd, they are a fashion nightmare. Like TLC-worthy. 4th, we can afford to buy you a new pair of decent non-horrifying shorts.

Me: "I am tossing these. Even goodwill wouldn't want them. even the rag bin wouldn't want them".

DH: "NOOOOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOO they are PERFECTLY FUNCTIONAL. I NEED them to mow the lawn.

Its like he thinks the lawn can never be mowed again if he doesn't own these shorts.

He wouldn't admit to caving (its like he has to save face) but he eventually started laughing at my creative descriptions of just how horrifying the shorts were, which basically means he gives up and I win and I can throw away the shorts.

I am not sure why we have to go through this bizarre dance. If they were my shorts, all he would have to say it "honey, thsoe shorts are really ugly. Lets just throw them away. If you are ever running low on shorts we can always buy you a new pair". And Bam! they would be in the trash.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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#49 of 49 Old 08-27-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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I've been there, I've totally been there.

I'm traveling the world with my kids without ever leaving home and blogging about it -- watch, taste, and share our adventures at TheGlobalStayCation.com!
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