I know this thread is about DH's being packrats and such, and since reading through this thread I've realized that my dh isn't -nearly- as bad as everyone else's when it comes to this stuff (literally and such, heh)... but I just felt like I could offer some advice (or babbling, whichever you prefer to call this) for all the ppl posting here who are overrun with lots and lots 'o crap.
My husband and I have been together for eight years, and I used to have a lot of stuff, and my husband used to have buttloads of stuff, but since our daughter was born 28 months ago, I've slowly decluttered and purged and decluttered and cleaned and moved massive amounts of STUFF out of our home and garage. I've donated everything, and have never kept track of exactly how much has gone, but I do know that it's been a beyond ridiculous amount.
Anyway, today our apt (just moved from a townhome) is shpick and shpan, and has just a handful of stuff in it - and it's all stuff we absolutely love and use all the time. Like three plates, four bowls, 6 towels, seven shirts each, two pants each, 10 toys, etc... you get the idea. Today I feel like I'm a minimalist and that's how I want to stay, because it makes my life incredibly calm, relaxing, clear and open to do anything we want to do. Since our dd was born I've slowly and surely come to my senses and have -seen- our society for what it is-- a crazy, consumeristic nutsos land, in my own werds, there.
And I don't want a bunch of useless stuff living in my house! And I don't want to buy buy buy and go to malls for fun every weekend! I don't understand how I got here or why it wasn't sooner, or why most ppl aren't here (I go to friends' houses and there's crap everywhere that makes me crazy, because I am a little crazy, I shpose). It's very strange.
I've slowly gotten my (total packrat) husband to follow me along as I've slowly donated lots and lots and lots of our stuff. My dd and I are here at home most of the time, and dh's at work, so the girls live here the most, and we need a home that is neat and clean, and easy to clean, and a home that has space to play and be crazy, without fear of falling knick-knacks on our noggins and whatnot.
I've gone over and over our stuff (many times in the last 2 years) and just taken out and donated anything that isn't beautiful or useful. If it hasn't been used in the last six months, it's gone. If we buy something, two things must go.
I call up Salvation Army and they send a truck and pick up the stuff. I don't drive, so this is the easiest way for me to donate it all. Every week, I come up with a bag or two to donate, and I keep a bag in the front closet ready for anything I come across that we don't need. My dd Molly loves to grab a "Donations Bag" and help go through the closet or toys or bathroom or wherever on occasion, and get things we don't want or need or love or use and put them in the bag.
I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it feels to be FREE! Not totally free of course, but freer than I've ever been in my life. It is so incredibly easy to clean, and to play and to do whatever we happen to feel like doing. I LOVE knowing exactly what we own and exactly where it can be found. I love having one or two things in a cupboard and that's it- clear space around everything. I don't have knick-knacks or random anything anymore. Counters and tables and flat surfaces are clear. I just wish everyone could experience how I feel about this. I read this thread and had to ramble about what we've been doing.
I have also -completely- changed how I see houses and what I thought I always wanted. A mansion? HA! I wish we only owned 10 things and lived in a much smaller apt (ours is 1100 sq ft). It's so weird to see home shows now and all the decorating and huge rooms and kitchens and giant bathrooms and who cleans all that space, anyway? :-p (The one thing I can't get dh to get rid of is the TV and $190/month cable -GAK. Yes, I watch Lost and occasional random HGTV shows, and my dh barely watches anything on it, and dd watches only Wallace and Gromit every Friday, but this is a whole 'nother story.. yeesh. I just want it gone forever, but this one seems hopeless :-()
I feel so trippy about how much my mindset has changed in just the last two or three months. No one -needs- millions of dollars or a huge house in the suburbs with two cars. I always thought that it would be so great to win the lottery and get that "dream home", but now I want to live in a yurt in Oregon and be self-sufficiant. THAT is my new dream.
I'm from Seatown, I've got some good love for Oregon. Get me out of busybusybumblebees Va, please! :-p (We're saving up dosh and getting the frug out as soon as can be expected.
) Anyway, I don't want my stuff to own me, as it were. I don't WANT a mortgage! Ever!
One great book that I feel like everyone hanging out on this awesome forum should read is It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh. I've posted about it before, but it's a fantastic book about decluttering all your Stuff, and it even has a section for you to "have your partner read", if they're the one with the holding-onto-stuff issue. Another book I'm still reading right now is Walden by Henry David Thoreau - all I can say so far is Read It. :-p
I think that's all I've got to say about this for now...
Methinks I'll post my little Stuff Story in its own thread, only because I want other peeps to read it and maybe it'll help someone, and also 'cause I love this forum so much it's got it's own little spot up on my browser and whenever I get on the coopie (as dd calls it), I click Gmail and then MDC Organizing. I'm a little obsessed with this decluttering and organizing and downsizing and simplifying goodness these days.
Search words like Simplifying, Simplify, Declutter, Minimalist and suchlike in this forum, that'll pop up some good threads to read. Also, I can't get it to come up on search right now, but google "10 Toys Tribe Mothering.com
" and a great thread about minimizing toys will pop up. I also enjoy reading zenhabits.net - here is a link to the Guide to Creating a Minimalist Home (LOVE IT):http://zenhabits.net/2007/08/a-guide...nimalist-home/