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#1 of 3 Old 07-21-2006, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you declutter when you live with a pack rat :
So, I'm participating in the July challenge; decluttering and organizing the livingroom. I've gone through all the bookshelves and got rid of a lot of books that I didn't need any longer. I moved all of DP's books and papers onto two shelves and asked him to go through it, give me all the books he didn't need for goodwill, and I would organize the shelves. He goes through them, many of which I know he hasn't touched in 5+ years, and says he still needs to keep them all. I "know" that he will never need some of them, I don't want them in the house, but they're not mine and I don't really feel like I can just dump them J/K?!

Most of his "pack rattiness" is confined to the basement so it's not really a big issue, but I can't get him to get rid of anything! ex. he has a big box that he's had since before we met (12 years ago) that is filled with all sorts of stuff that he has never needed the entire time we've been together. Every year he goes through the box, pulls out 1-2 sheets of paper or 1-2 items and recycles them...5-10 new things then go into the box etc.

It irked me a bit before, but now that I'm trying to organize the house it's tough when there is a lot of things that we don't need but aren't mine to get rid of.

Yikes, that got long any suggestions?

Mama to three wonderful boys and a fabulous baby girl.
My heartfelt thanks to all those that have donated milk to others; you are amazing
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#2 of 3 Old 07-21-2006, 03:11 PM
 
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Speaking as a recovering pack rat you have made all the right decisions by designating a space just for his things and or keeping them in the basement. If you want to make it more attractive, you could put his things in something like a nice chest or even some colorful boxes that you can stack. That will help you keep them from making the entire area cluttered. I still have all of my college books. Will I need them again, of course not.

My dh brought me a nice book shelf to keep all of my books. He gave up and asking me to throw them away. And the big brown boxes that I kept them in was an eye sore. The book shelf gives the room some sophistication. So says me.
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#3 of 3 Old 07-22-2006, 01:12 PM
 
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My husband was definately a pack rat too. He also had the box of stuff from before we got married that he looked through maybe once a year - What's with that anyway? I tried asking, pleading, begging, but that never works for anything so I gave up pretty quickly. I decided that we had lots of stuff to sort through, so I would "save" my husband's for last. (That was my nice way of thinking of it, after he told me not to dare to throw even 1 thing that belonged to him away.) So I started with my things, moved on to the kids things, then household (like kitchen, bathroom) stuff. By then, he had been eye witness to the bags and bags and bags of clutter that were going out the door. He honestly didn't believe until then that we had very much. Well, after all that work, I wasn't about to be responsible for the upkeep of his junk, so that became his job. Then came the real test - we moved! You never realize just how much stuff you own until you have to move every last stinking bit of it. Normally I would have packed everything myself, gotten it organized, etc. just like every other time we moved, but at the time I was 7 months pregnant with orders to rest as much as possible. So the clutter once again became his problem to pack and move. Needless to say, it's steadily been moving permanently out of our lives. He is a total simple living convert!!

So the moral of that long story is not to worry about the stuff you can't get rid of. Start with what you can. Believe me, it will be a bigger job than you think it will and most likely will take quite some time to complete. Maybe by then, hubby will come around. If not, get some nice looking bins to keep all his junk organized.
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