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UGH. I want to clobber DH. He can't bring himself to weed through stuff. His nightstand has a newspaper from 1997 in it, a box for a watch he doesn't even have anymore, magazines, batteries that probably don't work anymore, brochures, paperwork, etc. He also has at least 80 tee shirts. He won't get rid of any of it! He cannot tell me a reason he NEEDS the stuff, but he will not let me get rid of it. He thinks he will actually use this stuff some day.

We have an ice cream maker that takes up alot of space. I tried to ebay it but he won't let me. We have had the foolish thing for 4 years and used it once. We don't make ice cream. And do we need 3 immersion blenders???


I don't know what to do. Would it be wrong to throw stuff out and not tell him? I would not throw out anything I thought was important, but I don't want to bother asking him about stuff because he will say "no, we may use it someday!"

Have any of you dealt with this? How did you solve the problem? I would love to get some suggestions! Thanks!
 

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Move out?

Yeah, I'm pessimistic because I just got back from a week at my mom's house. I do not know how my dad lived with her for 30 years without completely going out of his mind. Being blind probably helped.
 

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I have the same problem. I'm right there with you on the 80 shirts, except my DH has work shirts and at least 30 t's, plus the jeans, the sweaters, the socks... And yet I wash the same stuff over, and over, and over...

And we have these 4 wooden salad bowls that I said I wanted to yard sale b/c they've been in the closet forever and we haven't used them in years. "No, let's keep them, they're nice". Since when are bowls in a cabinet decorative???

In the last week, he has brought home for me to shred ("Because you love to shred", "I do???") old pay stubs and corporate card expenses. They go back to 2004!!!!! Why does he have this stuff. At least it was in his office, but now it's here. And his employee handbook from 1997 - can't he get this stuff online? He works for a major conglomerate with over 100,000 employees. Surely we don't need this! ("But what if I want to look something up?")

Anyway, I could never bring myself to get rid of his stuff. I briefly considered spreading out his clothes (his biggest problem) and giving him more room, but I thought that might encourage him to buy more.

Here is my plan, not sure if it would help you. For the not so visible stuff that's taking up space - employee handbook, bowls, etc. I'm going to put it in a rubbermaid bin with the date and if it's not touched in X amount of time, out it goes. If he didn't notice it gone all this time - I will tell him it's going - maybe I'll tape the newspaper to it like it's a kidnap victim.

For the visible stuff (clothes), I'm going to organize it by size and season. He's got stuff from when he was heavier and stuff from when he was thinner, stuff that fits now. He can keep the stuff that fits in the closet, the rest has to go in a bin. If he loses weight, new stuff comes out. Let's hope he doesn't put on more weight.

Hope that one of these could help you. And I'm subbing b/c I could use anyone else's advice too!
 

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I love this thread!!! My DH grew up with a mom who happens to hoard so he has a difficult time parting with ANYTHING!!! When we first moved into our 1300 sq ft home, every square inch of this space was FILLED with boxes of God knows what... Over time, I have sorted through old gum wrappers, paperclips, every receipt over the past 15 years, you name. We are still dealing with clothes, shoes, college textbooks, and paperwork. I allow him to keep his junk in the garage --- so you can imagine how scary it is out there! Maybe he'll get embarassed enough to get rid of some of the nonsense. It's a really difficult mentality to change. My husband has at least 50 t-shirts too and his excuse is always -- "i need some for working out, some for yard work,etc" blah blah blah and yet when he's working on something like the car, he wears his GOOD CLOTHES!!! WTF! ANyway, I have started hiding stuff that he hasn't worn in rubbermaid bins, and I've been getting rid of it slowly! If it has a hole, out it goes - he has 30 more!~ He had a wonderful collection of about 20 winter sweaters - most were new with tags because he doesnt even wear sweaters~!!!! 2 years ago I made a deal - if you don't wear it in a year....out it goes~ It's really worked for us and he always comments on how "clean" our home is. It isn't clean and organized to me...but it is Martha Stewart clean compared to his childhood home so I don't get too discouraged! Just deal with one obstacle at a time and hide things - wherever~! I currently have his college textbooks boxed up in the attic - I know that he'll NEVER look through them and maybe when we move out of this house (if we do) he'll be willing to toss them to keep from picking up that box
we'll see I guess.... Trust me when I say this though --- don't ride him to go through his stuff because he'll never do it!! you're going to have to do it when he isn't around - it's the only way! Otherwise, you'll continue living with all of the unnecessary junk!! - sorry for such a long post!
 

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I don't understand that mentality. I do keep stuff for sentimental reasons but I get rid of things that we don't use, even if it takes me a couple of years to realize it. I guess if it's trash like dead batteries you can take charge and recycle them. But I did want to tell you that experts say that hoarders get worse with age. Their homes become more and more cluttered as they get older. I think they say the average age of a packrat is 40-50 yrs old. Bad habits probably start out early and just get worse. If your DH doesn't start addressing this problem now it could end up getting worse and worse. It's a serious mental condition.
 

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It is interesting to hear the perspective of the non packrat in the family.

I am the packrat. I am trying to deal with it as I don't want to live with so much clutter in our lives. I am slowly going through my junk and making progress. Progress for me though would still probably horrify you all


I had to say though that I would be absolutely livid if DH started tossing my stuff behind my back. Now I am not talking about dead batteries and paper clips - obviously that stuff is trash. But if he were ever to start going through my clothes or keepsakes or craft stuff and tossing things, I would consider that a HUGE violation.
:

If you decide to do so, just be prepared that your DH may feel that way too! Good luck.
 

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I am a packrat..Big time. To everything, sentimental things are the worst..My grandfather died almost 3 years ago. I have ALL of his clothes (jeans and flannel shirts) Boxed up..Why?? I can't bring myself to get rid of them. And that isn't all of the items I have from my Grandfathers..I have pictures, paperwork, silverware, table cloths..you name it I probably have it.

I am starting to make some lifestyle changes in our home, and I am beginning to see how bad I really am. Now I need to deal with it and get stuff out of the house. But truthfully I have no idea where to even begin.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by artemis33 View Post
It is interesting to hear the perspective of the non packrat in the family.

I am the packrat. I am trying to deal with it as I don't want to live with so much clutter in our lives. I am slowly going through my junk and making progress. Progress for me though would still probably horrify you all


I had to say though that I would be absolutely livid if DH started tossing my stuff behind my back. Now I am not talking about dead batteries and paper clips - obviously that stuff is trash. But if he were ever to start going through my clothes or keepsakes or craft stuff and tossing things, I would consider that a HUGE violation.
:

If you decide to do so, just be prepared that your DH may feel that way too! Good luck.
I agree with you that it's a violation. However, I'd love it if DH could meet me half way and try to reduce a little. Just as it's disrespectful of me to toss his things without permission, it's disrespectful of him to say that I am the one who makes the clutter when at l am trying to get rid of it. I am a pack rat too, but I'm trying to change. He criticizes, but doesn't see it in himself.

So, I figure if I just pack his "extra" stuff away in the garage, then at a future time I can suggest I toss it since he hasn't missed it in a year. He'll never agree to put his stuff away, but if I do it and he asks for it, I can always go get it for him.

And as I'm reducing my own stuff as well, I hope he can appreciate that we BOTH need to cut back and appreciate all the extra, clutter-free room we have.

Honestly, I don't need it all gone, but I do need it neatly sorted and into the garage storage area.
 

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My DH does this too. He collects who knows what? because we may need it later.
: Yeah right! I have to admit some of the stuff we might could use later but parts for a car we don't even own and never will? Come on now! For us DH has a shop. That's his space. He can put whatever he wants to in there and I don't care. If he can't fit it in his shop something has to go. The stuff in the house clothes etc. I help him decide when it goes. "Okay you have too many shirts. Pick out X # of shirts and the rest goes. Okay pick out your fav 2 pairs of shorts. You don't need more." Something like that.

The only problem we still have is his hats. He has probably 30 and doesn't want to get rid of them. He only wears maybe 2-3. He brought home another one the other day and I made him throw out 2 of them. He told me okay that's 2 for 1 that's enough now leave them alone! All whiney like a 2yo. Then the other night he wore one he hasn't worn in ? long and came out of the bedrm... "Look baby I'm wearing a different hat! Now you can't throw it away!"
It was actually kind of cute.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by brittneyscott View Post
"Look baby I'm wearing a different hat! Now you can't throw it away!"
It was actually kind of cute.
That is funny - at least you know your message is getting through.

I'm taking the stance that DH gets final say on his stuff (though I think I can have more input on WHERE it goes), I get final say on mine and our stuff - household stuff, I've decided that since I'm a housewife now (as we affectionately call me), it's my job to keep things orderly. So I'm purging what needs to go. He no longer gets much input on things like the number of sheets we keep.
 

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At least I know I'm not alone! My DH has t-shirts that he wore under his bball jerseys from HS. He's 35, crazy. I made him go through some boxes that we kept moving around and we discoverd SEVERAL phone books from 1995, 1996, and 1997. Crazy!
 

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I wouldn't throw away stuff that belonged to my DH. But I would play "let's make a deal." Say he wants to spend money on something frivolous--you say "sure, in exchange for ME cleaning out that corner of our bedroom and you not having any say as to what happens to the stuff in it." I did this once to my DH and he actually passed on whatever it was he wanted, because he didn't want me throwing stuff out! Ugh!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HappiLeigh View Post
I wouldn't throw away stuff that belonged to my DH. But I would play "let's make a deal." Say he wants to spend money on something frivolous--you say "sure, in exchange for ME cleaning out that corner of our bedroom and you not having any say as to what happens to the stuff in it." I did this once to my DH and he actually passed on whatever it was he wanted, because he didn't want me throwing stuff out! Ugh!
Or, you get it in exchange for ten T-shirts.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nascarbebe View Post
I don't understand that mentality. I do keep stuff for sentimental reasons but I get rid of things that we don't use, even if it takes me a couple of years to realize it. I guess if it's trash like dead batteries you can take charge and recycle them. But I did want to tell you that experts say that hoarders get worse with age. Their homes become more and more cluttered as they get older. I think they say the average age of a packrat is 40-50 yrs old. Bad habits probably start out early and just get worse. If your DH doesn't start addressing this problem now it could end up getting worse and worse. It's a serious mental condition.
This is very depressing, indeed. My DH is like those of the pp. He grew up with nothing and now must keep everything that has wandered into his path. He does have emotional and mental issues with the things stuffed into boxes in our cabinets, closets, rooms, etc. It can get worse? Can I do anything to prevent the kids from picking up this hoarding?
 

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Here is an idea that works for us so maybe it will for you too:

Dh is a huge pack rat as well and mainly for sentimental reasons. So I asked him to box up everything that he wanted to keep only because it was sentimental. Then we went through that box and I took photographs of everything. Lots of photographs (I am a photographer so this solution popped into my head) the we made two collages of the photographs and hung them in the office where he is all the time on the comp. So, when he is feeling particularly nostalgic he can look up at that collage and remember the "good ole days" without having to go through boxes downstairs just to look at whatever the item was. That made it easier for him to throw these things out. But for things like Tshirts etc. that are kept just because he "might wear them someday", I gave them to Goodwill.
: Of course, not his favs or anything and then explained to him that I cleaned out our closets and tossed everything that no longer fit etc. My only suggestion here is that if you do this- DON'T TELL HIM WHAT ITEMS YOU THREW OUT! If he asks just say, "I don't really remember but I never saw you wear them so I'm sure they were really old." If you describe what you threw out he will get nostalgic and say, "Oh! That was my favorite shirt in 3rd grade!". Just don't go there. Hope that helps. BTW dh has told me many weeks after the throw out party that I had that he doesn't miss anything so far so that is good news.
 
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