My husband is the clutter king... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 10-14-2005, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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When I first met my husband he was living by himself on an island in a pretty small house. When I first stepped inside his house, I realized that the amount of stuff in it could have filled a house 3 times the size!! There were piles of papers EVERYWHERE! Dishes all over the counters, newspapers from months ago still on the table, clothes all over the floor...I guess I should have stopped right there and ran out screaming :LOL
I, on the other hand, am more "zen" like. I like simplicity. I like tables to be clear, the floor to be void of objects, the counters to be sparkly, etc. Did I mention I also have a touch of obsessive comulsive disorder?? (Okay, maybe more than just a touch...)

So we have been living together for 2 years now. We currently are living in a house that has 12 rooms and I swear EACH room is filled with junk. He will not let me throw anything away. I can't even touch an unread newspaper from months ago without him yelling at me!
I am a full time student and teach piano lessons in my spare time. I clean everyday for what seems like hours, only to come home the next day to find it worse than the day before. I get so exhausted and fed up! I just want to cry sometimes

I just feel like I get nowhere. I've talked to him about it and tell him that I can't keep cleaning and cleaning. I just don't have the energy or the time. But clutter is a part of his life. It goes where he goes.

Do any of you have this problem?? Have you found anything that helps. I did make an agreement that when we moved he could have one room to keep as messy as he wanted, but the rest of the house would have to stay clean. That one room is quite the mess, but so isn't the rest of the house.
We're moving soon and I would hate to see our new house filled with all this junk.

Any advice??

Mama to DD 06' Partner to Sasa
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#2 of 8 Old 10-16-2005, 03:57 AM
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Has he moved before? Many people find that calculating the cost of moving each box makes them more willing to have less stuff to box. Also, once the stuff is boxed up, it'll stack nicely and you could dedicate a room in your new house to "random stuff we aren't using".

I do think that the two of you will need to come to some kind of happy medium. Your description of your idea living space seems uncomfortably empty to me and your dh's ideal living space is uncomfortably full. However, you do need space and spotlessness to feel at ease and he does need his stuff to feel at ease. Eventual solution after lots of work (and WITH HIS HELP--are you reading this Mum2be's DH? :LOL ): A couple of rooms where clutter is prohibited, a couple of rooms that you don't walk into, and the remaining rooms at a level that neither of you really *likes* but that doesn't give either of you the heebie-jeebies.

As usual with a question involving working with a dh, I'm going to suggest asking him to come up with a solution. Not a solution to keeping the house clean, but a solution for you to feel comfortable in your home without cleaning for hours each day.
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#3 of 8 Old 10-16-2005, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your advice!!

Yes, he has moved before....many times! We spent $2500 moving last time on boxes, movers, etc.
I will ask him what he thinks a solution would be. I'm willing to work on accepting a house that's not spotless, as long as I don't have to follow him around picking up his messes!

Mama to DD 06' Partner to Sasa
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#4 of 8 Old 10-21-2005, 12:43 AM
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He will not let me throw anything away. I can't even touch an unread newspaper from months ago without him yelling at me!
Okay that might signify a real problem.
I'd confine his stuff to one room, tell him he can keep whatever he wants in that one room and you promise not to harass him but anything ANYTHING left in the house is fair game.

My dh is also a packrat, I finally got him to throw away old magazines...
he scans alot into his computer...but.... I have been great at pruning my crap.
He on the other hand has one large bedroom like 20x15 for his CRAP.
and we are talking CRAP. old computers - aka antiques....
its insane. and don't get me started on the 'tools' (we live in rental what the heck does he need a few sets of power tools for?)

I am probably not going back to work so we need to get real about the real possiblility of moving from 4 bedrooms/2200 square feet to 2 bedroom 800-1000 if finances continue as crappy as they have....
but add in his tools, camping equipment, paintball gear (hasn't played in 3 years) and I would think he's taking up 400 square feet)

but can I sic the declutter service on HIM?

8 might be enough?
Or maybe 9 will be?
EDD September 18, 2015
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#5 of 8 Old 10-24-2005, 06:14 PM
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Hi all!
My Dp is the same way-he fills up rooms and rooms with is "hobbies". He has so much stuff we needed a whole u-haul just for his crap. The funny part is, almost all the furniture is mine (besides the various cheap tables he's acquired to put his computers and fishtanks on). But with the new baby coming I told him that in the new house (we moved in in september) NONE of his stuff could be upstairs-except one computer, the nice fish tank and his clothes etc. I told him I could not live in a house where I was constantly worrying that the dog and baby where going to eat random electrical cords, step on keyboards, trip over tank filters...
So he gets the WHOLE basement (except the laundry room) and I get to have a clean looking house!! It's worked out really well for the most part. But my god that basement is filled with CRAP!!!

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#6 of 8 Old 10-24-2005, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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momma2finn- A basement for all his stuff would be perfect, but the house we are moving into was built 200 years ago and the basement is leaky, cold, humid, and not in any condition to set up a room. Too bad, because that would have worked out.

But he is thinking about making a room up in the large attic. He originally said it would be the kids' playroom, but I think it should be his playroom

Mama to DD 06' Partner to Sasa
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#7 of 8 Old 10-28-2005, 12:36 AM
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I believe that the messiest DH award goes to mine.

He also had a house full of papers and other stuff almost (knee deep in places) when I met him 18 years ago. I've tried everything. We've moved into smaller and smaller spaces (currently, 600 sq ft) and our current agreement is that he gets a messy ROOM, but I'm so tired from managing our household with two dds all day, that I just don't have the energy to deal with his stuff that fills the house from ceiling to floor on a daily basis. YIKES!

I believe that messiness is an illness. In 18 years of dealing with his stuff, I've come to the realization that it's just not going to change EVER. My advice is either accept him and his possessions or find someone who is neat. Our only arguments in life are about his stuff. At least in my case, there is no hope. I'm so sorry to share that with you.

Good luck.
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#8 of 8 Old 10-28-2005, 05:48 PM
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Mine won't let me get rid of the kids' old toys! He isn't as bad about the papers and things. From what you described of your dh I would have him get some help, sounds like serious OCD/hoarding. It's one thing to be a packrat but if you can't even get rid of newspapers from months ago is a bit more of the illness than usual.

My dh is always saying "save that it might be worth something" or "don't get rid of that they barely played with it and it cost $" urgh. But he is constantly complaining we have too much and the mess all over. If I get a pile together to yard sale or donate he starts don't get rid of that again. Or my other favorite, don't sell that for $1, it's a yard sale you aren't going to get $5-10 bucks for something.
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