Battle of the "stuff" You want to purgue but your dh says..."we might need that" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 05-11-2008, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have an extra dining table and chairs in the garage. I want so badly to get rid of. My dh says, "it's good for when the entire family comes over."

Granted, it was used at the last get together, but we could of borrowed folding table and chairs from church and returned them.

A small tv. that only plays tapes. "might come in handy if we have guests". Our in-laws might come once a yr.

a small table...."it's nice and made of oak". It's been sitting in the closet for 4 yrs.

a basket ball hoop. the kids are way too little to play with now. "when they get older."

Don't get me wrong. I don't like to waste, but sometimes to get to the car I am scared to trip over something or for the kids!
I actually hide what I donate to Goodwill. Not that anyone in the house ever seems to miss it once it is gone!

Do you have this situation?
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#2 of 37 Old 05-11-2008, 02:23 AM
 
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Sometimes!!!!

I can empathize with you, especially with "we might need it". UGH! We might do and want a lot of things, but what we really NEED is space to live!

Good luck!

My DH isn't quite as bad as yours sounds in this thread. It does take him awhile to get used to the idea of giving things up, though. If I propose an idea and act immediately, he gets all flipped out over it. If I mention an idea a week or month or whatever in advance, he generally handles it much better.

I feel compelled to share my latest victory because it is a doozy. LOL We've been married for nearly 9 years and have had the same bedroom furniture since my childhood and his college days. It totally clashed and was hideous and so on. I've been asking, cajoling, begging, pleading, etc to get new bedroom furniture this entire time! "It's functional," was always his response and it was pure torture to go looking. NINE LONG YEARS LATER... We have one new piece of furniture in our bedroom as of yesterday!!!!! The most amazing part is DH listed the two old pieces we replaced (his college days furniture) on freecycle last night and they are both gone now!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!! My childhood furniture has been slowly going to DD and another piece is almost ready to be moved into her bedroom and OUT of ours!!! Getting his clothes to fit in the new piece today was a bit tortuous. We've been discussing "change" for a month or more because we had to order this piece and we shopped for a week or so before picking it out. He still wasn't quite ready to let go of a few items. He did give away several pairs of shorts that were really ratty and/or no longer fit, though.

The good news for me is we don't have a garage and our shed is tiny. We have one storage closet and our bedroom closet is large. That's it. When they fill up, I start putting things in the middle of the floor. LOL He likes a neat home, so that is my saving grace.

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#3 of 37 Old 05-11-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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I am trying to work on making places for we-might-need-it-someday items that are worth keeping.

For example, your kids would probably love a basketball hoop mounted at the right height . Is there a place for the small table? Could you use it instead of a night table or desk that you are using? Good pieces of furniture are worth keeping, but get rid of stuff that you don't care for as much. I would get rid of the tv, as your in-laws don't visit you to watch tv . I would try to involve your dh in finding places for items - what does he want to get rid of to make room for the extra items? If you entertain a lot could you get a thrifted dining table with leaves and get sell both of your dining room tables? Rather than extra chairs, could you get stacking stools for extra seating? Think about your lifestyle and think about what furniture would work best.

Good luck!

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#4 of 37 Old 05-11-2008, 08:42 PM
 
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My husband is an antique dealer, has grown up in this house and lived in alone for 15 years and thinks everything might be valuable, or we should try 'selling it first' and wait for it to sell, it will go eventually, what are we millionairs where we can just give stuff away?...... This includes stacks of old National Geographics.... :

My house looks like something you see on Dr. Phill because of this and I may move out until he gets rid of it all, I'll help him on the weekends to do it but won't move back in until it is done.

The only way I'm ever able to get rid of something (like the juicer we never used that never got much juice anyway and was a nightmare to clean) is by throwing a world class hissy fit , saying it's not valuable or useful right now, what it is right now and the near future is crap in my house!!!! A temper tantrum is my advice, offering to do it myself, asking nicely, talking about my frustrations got me 'I just need to store this stuff here for now'

I think I'll go pick a fight now and get rid of a few lamps.......
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#5 of 37 Old 05-11-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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YES! DH once told me I could throw out some old calendars when he wasn't looking because he has such a hard time letting go of stuff.
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#6 of 37 Old 05-12-2008, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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[\
My house looks like something you see on Dr. Phill because of this and I may move out until he gets rid of it all, I'll help him on the weekends to do it but won't move back in until it is done.

Would he notice if you did get rid of things? My friend lives with a man that won't let go of anything. She literally hides things and get rid of them when he is gone. He never notices!

as for finding a home for the table. Nope. It does't match. I might donate it to church. He rarely has problem when we make donations to church.

As for the table situation. I know in a few more yrs we will have outgrown our own kitchen/dining table and need to replace it. So, I guess I could hold out and sell both and put money towards a large dining table.
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#7 of 37 Old 05-12-2008, 03:57 AM
 
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Sigh,, I can so relate to you all. My DH is a neat tidy person himself but he cannot bear what he calls "waste", so he can't stand to get rid of anything that might still have use in it.
BUT he is changing a little at last... (after 32 years of marriage, and my nagging, and despairing, and yes, SachaMacina, a few tantrums over the years I admit, none of which ever had any effect). LOL
BUT there is hope: Here are some things I've tried that worked, kind of :
I told him I was going to go to relaxation/massage classes because I was stressing about his junkyard. "Oh, and by the way, darling, they only cost $20 a session."
"Are you really stressed THAT much about a bit of junk?"
"Yep"
".... Hmmmm."
(We had a big yard clean up that weekend.)

Got some of Don Aslett's and Peter Walsh's books and left them in the loo, making sure there were no motorbike or car magazines in there first. Kind of forced reading. Worked for me. He read them!

Place the offending piece of junk where it is the most inconvenient... where he has to crawl/climb/fall/trip over it, and tell him there's no room for it anywhere else. Best place is right where he has to open his car door
This worked for me with a china cabinet I had no use for and DH couldn't bear to part with because ... well, just because. He ended up telling me to get rid of the wretched thing, and never realised why it bothered him so much. Devious and subtle works sometimes but so does a potential ding in the car door
Example works a bit. When I de-cluttered all my stuff he actually asked me to help him start on his too. I didn't get rid of anything that was specifically "his", but whenever he protested about whatever I was getting rid of I'd just hand it to him, and say, "here, do what you want with it, but I dont' want it". After looking kind of lost, and muttering about the waste, he'd either hand it back or take it to the shed (let's not go there just now) LOL
But actually as he saw the house looking neat as a pin, it made his shed look worse and worse by contrast, and now he's making serious noises about cleaning that out.
DH realises I'm manipulating him, but doesn't seem to mind, because he knows he can't manipulate himself, so he still loves me.
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#8 of 37 Old 05-12-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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lillydilly, I think I love you! I'm still laughing about the relaxation classes and china cabinet.

I too have a dh with this problem. He's gotten a lot better over the years. Since we got married 12 years ago, he's come to really appreciate the uncluttered feel of the main areas of our house. We still have a couple of junk areas in the basement, but it's worlds better than it was, and now he's willing to work on them with me.

I think the key for us was a combination of me pestering him enough and him learning to appreciate clean, uncluttered areas. Plus I always point out to him that with all that clutter in the basement, we can't find the right tool or piece of hardware or whatever even when we have it - so what's the point of having it already if we still have to go buy another one?
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#9 of 37 Old 05-12-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rainyday View Post
we can't find the right tool or piece of hardware or whatever even when we have it - so what's the point of having it already if we still have to go buy another one?
Excellent point!
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#10 of 37 Old 05-12-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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I tell my dh the truth - I WANT to help him save his treasures. I want them to be easy to get to, properly stored, and easy to take care of - so lets go through everything, get the alike things together and figure out the best way to store it.
I point out that his things are not being properly taken care of (ie, too damp) in this big jumble.

So, we go through everything and about 1/2 of it seems to be extra or redundant and the rest gets nicely stored. Even if none left, at least it would be sorted and picked up and on shelves at the end.


Because he grew up poor, we also talk dollars and cents. How much would it cost to replace a card table, for example. New it's $30. Craiglist shows a few for $5. I ask him, "Do you ever expect to be so poor again that we can't afford $5 if we really do need the table?"

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#11 of 37 Old 05-12-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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Oh yes. As a matter of fact, I have some items out at the curb right this minute. An old VCR that we havent even looked at in 5 years, a few other odds and ends. Someone always takes the stuff and DH never notices it when its gone. I wouldnt get rid of something if it really meant a lot to him, but random household stuff that never gets used I have to get rid of. I cant take the clutter anymore.


omg. I think this
Quote:
When they fill up, I start putting things in the middle of the floor
might have just changed my life. That is brilliant!!! I am *so* doing that.
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#12 of 37 Old 05-12-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SachaMacina View Post
My husband is an antique dealer...... This includes stacks of old National Geographics.... :
These two statements don't compute. I can't image anyone who sells antiques for a living thinking that National Geographics would have any value.
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#13 of 37 Old 05-13-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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This is why I declutter when dh is not around. Because he likes to hold on to everything and I like to hold on to nothing. So I clean during the day while he is at work.

He has safe spots where he can hoard to his heart's content that I won't touch (our top dresser drawer, a room in the basement) but I keep the other areas of the house clear.

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#14 of 37 Old 05-13-2008, 09:18 AM
 
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Hmm I the "we might need it" person i our house. I hate to see things get dumped when they are still usable. I'm also good at thinking of things I could do with stuff (eg sewing new stuff form old etc). Unfortunatly I am having to accept that I do not have time to accually do any of this.

Some things whihc have really helped me are
1. limiting the space I can use for saving old clothes or other things for future projects.

2. Freecycle, first off its much easier for me to rehome stuff than dump it. But more than that I can see a lot of stuff which I would have saved (eg old computer parts) are things which people are giving away regularly. The chances are if I actually needed these things again I would be able to get one.

3. It's OK to make shopping mistakes, well OK I;d rather not make them but if I do I don't really need to keep the item that I don't use around to remind me how much I don't use it
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#15 of 37 Old 05-13-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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I'm a purger. DH is a hoarder.

This past summer I finally got him to go through several shelves of HUGE boxes that we had been storing ~~~at a storage facility~~~ paying a monthly fee for years to store...and do you know what was in those boxes?

Smaller empty cardboard boxes.

When we unpacked them and found out THAT was what we had been storing for three years, DH said "These boxes are a very handy size...should we hang on to them?"

 

 

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#16 of 37 Old 05-13-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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While I don't think I'm anywhere near the worst hoarder, I'm on that side of the continuum. So I'm trying to see if I can think of anything helpful. My DH is happy to just chuck something.

I do think "oh, that COULD be useful" when DH wants to chuck something. And, you know, that's not wrong in and of itself. Reducing waste is a good thing. The thing that screws us up is in our modern, consumerist society, we have WAY too much stuff. If this was 1823 and I had something I could think of a potential use for, I SHOULD probably keep it, right? So that human instinct is not a bad one.

But it goes awry when the instinct is not examined. How much value could an old table bring me? Well, there's a, say, 5% chance I might use it for 1 day in the next couple of years if I host Christmas. How much value could getting rid of that old table bring me? By itself, maybe not so much - but if I got rid of the old table, plus the stack of National Geographics, plus the old telephone and the toys that the kids outgrew, etc. - the value could be ENORMOUS. The space feels so good, the house feels clean. I feel I have mental energy and room to do constructive things. I can keep the place cleaner.

I also must remind myself that the cost of re-acquiring any of these things is fairly minimal. I could rent a table, borrow one, or make do with what I already have. Or I could buy one I actually like and use, should the need present itself down the road. Sure, it's extra money, but if I get one I LIKE it's well worth it.

The sticking point for me is to find a happy home for anything I can. I don't want to just throw it away (unless it's unsable, and if it is - I have no business cluttering up my house with it anyway). If I can find another home for it, then I can FURTHER benefit from knowing that I'm happier and someone else is too.

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#17 of 37 Old 05-13-2008, 07:59 PM
 
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These two statements don't compute. I can't image anyone who sells antiques for a living thinking that National Geographics would have any value.
That's what I said! They're not, and he knows it, he says that someone will buy them maybe for $10 for all 8K of them, so why throw them out, it's $10 we didn't have before. I think a lot of it is that they are his parent's and he's too lazy to toss them, and some of it is spite and he thinks that if he lets me throw that out, I'll get rid of valuable albeit ugly stuff too.

There are a lot of valuable antiques that have the looks to stop a clock.

On that note, you'd be surprised what junk is actually valuable. Google beer can collecting, some cans bring upwards of $1000. I have no idea why someone would pay that for what should have been recycled, but hey, to each his own.
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#18 of 37 Old 05-13-2008, 08:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lillydilly View Post
Sigh,, I can so relate to you all. My DH is a neat tidy person himself but he cannot bear what he calls "waste", so he can't stand to get rid of anything that might still have use in it.
BUT he is changing a little at last... (after 32 years of marriage, and my nagging, and despairing, and yes, SachaMacina, a few tantrums over the years I admit, none of which ever had any effect). LOL
BUT there is hope: Here are some things I've tried that worked, kind of :
I told him I was going to go to relaxation/massage classes because I was stressing about his junkyard. "Oh, and by the way, darling, they only cost $20 a session."
"Are you really stressed THAT much about a bit of junk?"
"Yep"
".... Hmmmm."
(We had a big yard clean up that weekend.)

Got some of Don Aslett's and Peter Walsh's books and left them in the loo, making sure there were no motorbike or car magazines in there first. Kind of forced reading. Worked for me. He read them!

Place the offending piece of junk where it is the most inconvenient... where he has to crawl/climb/fall/trip over it, and tell him there's no room for it anywhere else. Best place is right where he has to open his car door
This worked for me with a china cabinet I had no use for and DH couldn't bear to part with because ... well, just because. He ended up telling me to get rid of the wretched thing, and never realised why it bothered him so much. Devious and subtle works sometimes but so does a potential ding in the car door
Example works a bit. When I de-cluttered all my stuff he actually asked me to help him start on his too. I didn't get rid of anything that was specifically "his", but whenever he protested about whatever I was getting rid of I'd just hand it to him, and say, "here, do what you want with it, but I dont' want it". After looking kind of lost, and muttering about the waste, he'd either hand it back or take it to the shed (let's not go there just now) LOL
But actually as he saw the house looking neat as a pin, it made his shed look worse and worse by contrast, and now he's making serious noises about cleaning that out.
DH realises I'm manipulating him, but doesn't seem to mind, because he knows he can't manipulate himself, so he still loves me.
I have gotten rid of all but my clothes (but tossed a lot of the ones I don't wear) and a few things on my dresser, and even those aren't immune. One time he did come round to my point of view when it took him all day to dust a room, because I might break something. I should start making him do it again......
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#19 of 37 Old 05-13-2008, 08:13 PM
 
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Most people have a junk drawer. We have a junk house.
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#20 of 37 Old 05-13-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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A few months ago I decided it was time to get rid of the old video tapes that we didn't watch (our vcr doesn't work, only the dvd player). This included classic titles such as 'great engineering of the american west' and 'parisian views from the air' and a video tour of florence, etc.

I had them all in a box and he comes in like a hen that's just had it's nest disturbed and starts accusing me of throwing out his stuff without asking him (which was perfectly true but beside the point). I asked him to name one video I took out of the cabinet. He shouts back 'Woodstock'. I asked him to name one video that was not on the top of the stack, and sure enough he couldn't. He continued to argue, but when I told him it was either the videos or something else of my choosing when he was out he relented. To this day he doesn't know what videos they were.

And I got a lot of dvds into the cabinet that had been sitting arouns.
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#21 of 37 Old 05-14-2008, 03:42 PM
 
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I actually hide what I donate to Goodwill. Not that anyone in the house ever seems to miss it once it is gone!
I do this all the time! Next, I am planning on taking one piece of junk at a time and bringing it to goodwill

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#22 of 37 Old 05-14-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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Side note - Every few weeks I try to bag up a grocery bag of toys that aren't being played with much or are broken, and I hang it on the front door to remind myself to take it to my car, and then Goodwill, the next day.

DS (2 1/2 years old) has started bagging all of his toys individually and hanging them on the door. It's the cutest freaking thing I've ever seen.


Real point - My DP is also a hoarder to the max. He got it from his mom, who lives in over 4,000 sq feet of crap piled to the ceiling, unable to move without knocking over piles and piles of stuff. I saw "Clean Sweep" on TLC long ago and liked what the guy said - "If this stuff is important to you, treat it as such. Display it, value it, etc. Keeping it in boxes piled up like garbage means it is garbage." I talked to DP about it, and pulled out some "special stuff" - like awards for running, etc., and displayed them and managed to get rid of boxes of childhood stuff.
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#23 of 37 Old 05-15-2008, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like that. If it's valuable display it.

I usually put old toys or ones they don't play with in the garage in a plastic bag for donation. I have to cover it well. I threw in a duck that made quacking noises and he found it. He was like, "oh, you can't get rid of that...just look at how cute it is."

Ok, so when both sides of the family give each one of the kids a gift...it starts to mount.

I swear my kids will play (this is true) with construction paper that I have drawn a crude drawing of a dinosaur on. I made some dinosaurs and my little one wanted a lake for them to drink out of (so blue paper cut in a wavy circle) and plants for them to eat (so green paper cut in plant shapes). He has been playing with this for 2 days! He is 4.

The other toys, the neat gizmos..they might play with for a day and then leave it on the shelf. I don't just get rid of stuff, I pack it away and bring it out a few months later if there is still no interest then I sell or donate.

clothing, ok if it doesnt' fit me (like I want to be reminded I am not a size 8 anymore) or is not flattering I donate it. He will hold onto pants....for when he loses weight. I told him, "honey, if you lose the weight..you deserve nicer pants than these...treat yourself for your accomplishment." No dice.

Do you think it is sneaky to get rid of things slowly?
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#24 of 37 Old 05-15-2008, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just don't want to park my car outside so I have ahome for my junk. I don't want to spend 50 bucks a month storing, "things".

My mom is the same as me. She has alot of stuff but she doesnt' want to die and leave us kids with a bunch of stuff to find homes for. Honestly, what is important to me it pictures. Pictures of family.

Now I am on a rant.
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#25 of 37 Old 05-16-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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This has been a constant battle for us! Dh is a total pack rat but he is getting better. An example would be he saved all the candles from the candelabras from our wedding for YEARS. He kept them in a big trash bag, just in case. I finally got so sick of the bag of about 20 candles that I got rid of them. He was like "I can't believe you got rid of the candles!! What if we need them one day?" I figured if we had lived 6 years without using them once, it was probably safe to get rid of them. Now if he wants to keep something I just have him keep it in his workshop downstairs. He can clutter that place up as much as he wants! He does know where my Goodwill bag is, though, and he occasionally will sneak in there and take stuff out. :

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#26 of 37 Old 05-16-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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My DH was EXACTLY the same way but has gotten a bit better. He would fight me so hard on decluttering anything. The textbooks that he hasn't cracked open in 15 years (and he doesn't use his degree)? PRECIOUS! Anything that has ever been given to him as a gift? JEWELS! Every piece of paper that I have written on? VALUABLE! It's nuts. I'm working on him. (Plus I told him if he doesn't start getting rid of things like notes that I write to him then I'm not going to write anymore
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#27 of 37 Old 05-16-2008, 03:39 AM
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i love this thread because i dont feel alone. i do hide things and take them to goodwill/thrift store when he is at work. the key is to use the black plastic bags, not the clear ones. he does have a room and part of the garage that he can hoard stuff in. i do throw away unmarked vhs tapes which drives him crazy (wher eis that tape that was on this shelf....???", but hey i figure if you havent labeled it in two months, it probably wasnt that important.
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#28 of 37 Old 05-16-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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I was just coming to check this part of the forum out with the thought in my mind "Maybe they can tell me how to get DH to let go of this crap" or something along those lines.
I've tried very nearly all of this. DH says he's a "minimalist" but he hoards everything. The story about the husband who said "These are a good size, should we keep them?" about the cardboard boxes.. yeah, that's my DH too.
Then there are times when he decides HE's sick of the clutter and he's going to get rid of it... He tried to throw out the baby's playpen on me. : The baby was 3 months old so it didn't get any use at the time. I saved it from the trash and gave him crap; now that DS2's older, we use it outside to keep him from going too far and/or eating the wood chip mulch, pine cones, etc while he's outside with us.
But the truly horrific thing is the books. I swear we're a fire hazard. And god forbid I try to get rid of ANY of them. "I want to build a library when we build our house." : How about we buy a lot to build the house on first?

Wife of Michael , SAHM to Aristotle 09/99 Raphael 06/07 and Marius 05/09 Known only in dreams but never forgotten: Euphrates Decluttering 290/2010
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#29 of 37 Old 05-16-2008, 04:35 PM
 
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I have a semi-packrat dh.

I am a reformed packrat.

It's slow going at our house...and we argue over what should go.

Also, he is TERRIBLY slow about getting the filled boxes out of the house. It slows everything down and my decluttering gets backed up :

Oh, and no matter how much I declutter ( and I have been decluttering a loooong time) more stuff comes in...

I am trying to do better, but I don't seem to be able to convince him or ds#2 that we don't NEED more new stuff.

I am hoping that once they see how much nicer our house looks and how much easier it is to clean when we have done enough decluttering to make a real difference that they will decide to join in more enthusiastically.

Also I would LOVE to institute a one in/ one out rule.

But right now, we are arguing about stuff like old cross country skis...he says we need to keep them, I am pretty sure they can go.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
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#30 of 37 Old 05-16-2008, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=tinybutterfly;11237185]I have a semi-packrat dh.

I am a reformed packrat.

It's slow going at our house...and we argue over what should go.

Also, he is TERRIBLY slow about getting the filled boxes out of the house. It slows everything down and my decluttering gets backed up :


Keep a box in the trunk of your car, then when it's full you can drive it over to donate...if this will work for you!
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