Husband resisting simplifying. Gah! - Mothering Forums
Organize & Declutter > Husband resisting simplifying. Gah!
Beauchamp's Avatar Beauchamp 12:35 PM 01-08-2011

This past summer we moved from a 2,500 sf house to a 1200 sf condo. We have no basement, only attic storage which gets HOT during the summer. We did get rid of and sell a LOT of stuff when we moved in. But we're PG again, and we need to make more space and shuffle some rooms around. But my husband is SO attached to keeping things. We agree on certain things to store in the attic, but his perspective is that someday we will have a big house and we will need these things and he does not want to buy them again. He wanted to buy a brand new "McMansion" (sigh) to fit all of our things, but we recently decided that is a bad idea, since we hope to only be in this town for 4-5 more years max. So, our idea was to improve what we have (add sod to make a tiny yard for DD out of the unusable brick-paved condo garden, etc.)

 

I am having such a hard time convincing him that more open space would make our smallish house feel much better. He seems to think that if it can physically fit, even if pieces of furniture are end to end and fill an entire wall, that it's okay.  

 

We do have perfectly serviceable and nice things, but too much for this space. So...do I convince him to cram it all in the attic (more likely for him to accept this, versus selling..for the "just in case for the future" factor) or do I live with his way of doing things?

 

Help! 



journeymom's Avatar journeymom 10:39 AM 01-10-2011

This is the essence of marriage, isn't it?  orngbiggrin.gif  Can you rent a storage unit?  For what it's worth, I agree that end-to-end furniture is a bad idea.


VisionaryMom's Avatar VisionaryMom 10:53 AM 01-10-2011

I wouldn't view it as all or nothing. Look at each piece individually. For example, we're moving in 17 months (yeah, I'm totally counting down). We likely will not take our washer & dryer with us. We've had them 8 years, and while they're in okay shape, they're not going to last a lot longer. (In fact, I'm not entirely sure the washer will last 17 months.) When we get ready to move, we'll freecycle them with the hope that someone will get some use out of them, or we'll recycle them. For us, the value of the appliances isn't worth what it would cost to move it, so that's how we're deciding. So, maybe for some pieces, it makes sense to store them while you're in a smaller place, but for others, selling them is the way to go.


laohaire's Avatar laohaire 11:07 AM 01-10-2011

My personal line is that I won't pay to store things, that's just me. The exception being very temporary and definite periods of time - not someday/maybe but like "we sold our home and need to store stuff for 2 months while we close on the new place."

 

Personally, I would be fine with storing furniture and stuff in the attic if he wants to, lol. That way it's out of my hair and not costing anything.

 

As for selling the furniture, maybe he'd feel better if proceeds from the sale (if you do this) go into a special savings account that has nothing but these proceeds. Then that can be a fund for any furniture needs later. Your needs might change in the future, anyway.

 

I also can totally understand having some special pieces. But that's different from a unilateral "must keep everything" approach. Need to prioritize. So compromise is in the prioritization.


laurabfig's Avatar laurabfig 11:05 PM 01-10-2011

Well, putting it in the attic sounds better than a crowded living space to me. :)

 

I have the SAME issue with my husband.  I feel like I can't declutter our house b/c he is always saying "We'll need that someday!"  We rent right now and have attic and garage storage...sometimes I think about downsizing and renting a different place just so he'll have to part with some of his junk.

 

But is your dh's stuff really junk (b/c my dh's IS junk and cluttered and not organized at that), or is it major pieces of furniture?  Furniture seems easier to negotiate since it is large and really takes up space.  Books, cords, old computers, etc....this is the kind of stuff I wish would leave my house! :)


Jane's Avatar Jane 11:22 PM 01-10-2011

Suggestions of things that have worked:

 

1. Ebay/craigslist - not to sell stuff, but to research a price.  In the pre-internet world, it was important to save whazzits b/c you couldn't reliably source them.  However, now, you can search for your whozats on ebay and find them for a good price.  Sometimes, finding a replacement would be $50 meant we kept it.  Sometimes it's a $2 item and we chuck it happily into the garbage.  We are committed to never being too broke to afford the small junk of life. 

 

2. Giving items relative values.  For example, I do not want things to be inappropriately stored.  My husband's paper items need to be not-damp.  Therefore, they need to be in the house.  We need to have enough proper storage for our valuble things (value is sometimes emotional not monetary).  We need to sort items and figure out storage ideas. I strongly say, it's NOT that I want to get rid of anything, I just need to get a handle on storing it, and I MEAN it.    As we go thru stuff, there is stuff that is obvious discards.  Even if there isn't, it's resorted into a smaller space when all the papers are together, etc.  And found things are replaced where they go (my hair barettes!!). 

 

3. Small chunks of time and large chunks of time.  15 minutes can do a lot.  But then, it takes a million days to do.  So use large and small amounts of time. 


Beauchamp's Avatar Beauchamp 07:53 AM 01-11-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by laurabfig View Post

 Furniture seems easier to negotiate since it is large and really takes up space.  Books, cords, old computers, etc....this is the kind of stuff I wish would leave my house! :)



Yes, this is true. Our biggest thing is a really large (mostly empty due to DD yanking stuff out) entertainment center, which will supposedly maybe be in a basement or media room someday. 

 

Other small, more problematic stuff includes..old computers, old stereo equipment, tons of cords/cables, a bazillion CDs which he cannot bear to put on MP3 and part with, and things like 40 bath towels. I tried to explain that we keep using the towels and then I have multiple large loads of towels (with some clean still stacked on the shelf!) 

 

Sigh.


The other stuff is "mine", i.e. dishes, etc, that I know needs to go. He resists that too and had a big problem with me slimming us down to 10 coffee cups. (For two people. LOL) 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane View Post

... I do not want things to be inappropriately stored.  

 

This is big. DH thinks everything is okay in the garage...loose, uncovered, what have you.  It drives me nuts! Sorry, DH, but a piece of furniture stored in the garage (aside from taking up valuable space!) needs to be covered and protected. A ton of dirt and getting banged up all the time is not good for something that you eventually want back IN the house. lol

 

 


VisionaryMom's Avatar VisionaryMom 11:10 AM 01-11-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauchamp View Post

Other small, more problematic stuff includes..old computers, old stereo equipment, tons of cords/cables, a bazillion CDs which he cannot bear to put on MP3 and part with, and things like 40 bath towels. I tried to explain that we keep using the towels and then I have multiple large loads of towels (with some clean still stacked on the shelf!) 

 

With things like bath towels, we have a cabinet. If it doesn't fit, it has to be donated (to the animal shelter in this case). We have 12 hooks for coffee mugs. More than that means we have to decide which ones go. (I know a lot of people like a 1-to-1 ratio of things like coffee mugs, but we do have guests who drink coffee, sometimes leave one on the porch, etc.)

 

My husband had a huge, huge problem with old computer stuff. The first step for us was to pull it all out so that he could get a visual on just how much it was. Then I asked him to toss what he thought should be tossed. We later made passes at it with some questions. First, can it be replaced for less than $5? Is it still a usable component? Does it belong in a computer museum? (Yeah, sarcastic, but we had peripherals that just won't ever be used anymore.) Then we looked at what was left. We packed some into 2 crates. DH built several computers out of the rest, and we donated them to groups/people who needed them. He felt really great about doing that. He loves custom-building computers, and they got to go to places where they will be used, rather than in our basement just sitting there.
 


journeymom's Avatar journeymom 10:29 AM 01-12-2011

 

Quote:
We later made passes at it with some questions. First, can it be replaced for less than $5? Is it still a usable component? Does it belong in a computer museum?

 

 

notes2.gif  Great questions. 


catscharm74's Avatar catscharm74 07:19 AM 01-13-2011

It took me 5 years..yes 5 YEARS...to chip away at hubby's clutter. I live by example...he doesn't say much about how the house is decorated or where things go but he has realized I am lessed stressed about cleaning and keeping things in order. We had a huge yardsale and made enough money to pay off a CC and have a nice dinner out. Is it a matter that he really does believe someday he will use it or does he just not want to deal with it? My hubby just didn't want to deal with so he used the excuse that we may need it, if that makes sense. I have learned over 10 moves and multiple types and sizes of housing, EVERYTHING can be replaced, yes at some cost, but what is your life worth to you NOW???


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