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Old 06-02-2014, 03:13 PM   #1
littlewoolybaby
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Hitting the limits

So I am starting to feel up against a wall. I have purged more than half of my own belongings and quite a bit out of the kitchen and linen cupboard (where the stuff is "ours"). I have seriously culled my wardrobe down to the point where I wear every piece if not regularly then at least seasonally. I have one small shelf of books. My yarn and fabric stuff has been seriously reigned in and consigned to the storage room. There is still room for progress there but I'm down to 3 totes from what originally was probably more like 10. I have some paper clutter that needs to be dealt with but it's not too voluminous. And yet our place is not nearly as minimal or as easy to clean as I would like.

And the reason is DH's stuff. His clothes take up 3/4 of the wardrobe plus an underbed box. Maybe 30% of them see regular use. Every time I try to clean our closet or storage I am stumbling over tools (Often new in the box. Usually bought several years ago!). No book, record or tool can ever leave but new ones come in all the time. His cupboard in the bathroom is full to overflowing.

I know the only person I can change is myself - that's been my mantra and it has served me well so far. But we're expecting and some of his stuff has got to go to make room for the baby. He keeps saying we'll move to a bigger place instead. But he insists that if we move it has to be closer to his work and the prices around there are astronomical. We'd need to go smaller, not bigger. And we want to move to a new country once or twice before the kiddo hits school age. His behaviour is totally illogical. I'm venting I guess but I'll happily take any suggestions on dealing with this so that neither of us goes bonkers.

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Old 06-02-2014, 03:34 PM   #2
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Old 06-02-2014, 04:00 PM   #3
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Re: Hitting the limits

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Wow it's like you live at my house!! Hugs!
Thanks! How do you keep from pitching it all in a fit of pique?
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Old 06-02-2014, 04:04 PM   #4
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Re: Hitting the limits

It is like that here too. My dh has more stuff then me by a long shot. I do toss his stuff here and there and he never knows, if I waited for him to do it it would never happen.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:46 PM   #5
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My dp is the same! I also get rid of things and he never notices. I even tell him now that I throw or donate his stuff. He just doesn't really care enough to jump on board. All I can do is minimize my stuff and dd, beyond that I just have to deal I guess. It does help being on a budget now bc he can't/doesn't go out and buy junk anymore.
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:32 AM   #6
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Re: Hitting the limits

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My dp is the same! I also get rid of things and he never notices. I even tell him now that I throw or donate his stuff. He just doesn't really care enough to jump on board. All I can do is minimize my stuff and dd, beyond that I just have to deal I guess. It does help being on a budget now bc he can't/doesn't go out and buy junk anymore.
Hmm.. I wish there was a stuff budget. We have an amount for each of us to spend and he doesn't usually go over but I seem to put it into fancy food/yarn(if there's room in my space) whereas he buys the things that stay here. And since it's used books and vintage LPs that are the main influx... well you can get a whole lot of those for not too much money.

I may have to start covertly removing some stuff from the non-key areas. I may be turning into my mother. She used to take my sister and I on "covert missions" to remove stuff from the garage.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:18 AM   #7
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Re: Hitting the limits

To me it sounds like he is a hoarder. I would suggest therapy to be honest. Moving to make room for more stuff when he isn't using the stuff he already has I would see as a mental issue. It isn't normal to think 'Oh I have too much stuff for us in our house. Instead of cutting back on purchases I had best move to a bigger house to better fit my stuff.

You can of course do the 'covert missions' as your mother did. However, that, from my experience(my step-father is a serious hoarder) can cause serious stress in a marriage. It can even lead to divorce. No, I am not exaggerating on that. True hoarders are emotionally attached to their stuff. It can feel like a serious betrayal when someone gets rid of any of it without their explicit permission.

If you have to get rid of stuff on the sly then, to me at least, it sounds like he is emotionally attached to his stuff. This combined with the desire to get more room for his things he doesn't use makes me think hoarder.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:08 AM   #8
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Re: Hitting the limits

Buy a couple bins (or find some stores where you can get some free boxes) and start boxing up and storing ALL of his stuff you want gone. Bin it, bag it, box it, and get it out of the way. He will literally NOT notice. My DH was the same way. "I need that, and that too, and that too. I will wear that, I will use that, I like that, this is memorabilia...". I was fed up with working overtime to get the house organized to trip over the pair of shoes he never wears, but insists he does.

So... away it went. Not all at once, because the last thing you want is for him to derail all of the organizing, throw a fit over stuff gone, and unbox stuff. So do one room today, one room tomorrow. Then wait. My DH came home and was like "Whoa, it is SO clean." Then a couple days later "Wow, it is really clean in here. I like it." Well, of course it is, your JUNK is hiding in boxes.

My house is nice and organized, very minimal. But you don't want to see my basement. It has all of DH's 'stuff' in it. BUT.. now that it has been 6 months to a year, and he has not missed anything in those bins, I am starting to finally get rid of stuff. Anything that is sentimental, I put in "DH's Keepsake" bin. And anything tool, goes in the "Tool" bin. Anything I know we really don't need, I donate.

My mother always said "Better to ask forgiveness, than to ask permission". Better to just put it all in boxes or bins, and say "Oh, sorry honey, I was just trying to clean", then to ask if you can do something with it, and get the regular "No, I need/want that...".

We are a million times happier than before, I just had to start 'helping' DH's stuff along, without his permission, but with his forgiveness.

*And please note, NEVER get rid of stuff right away. And never get rid of sentimental stuff of DH's, even if you think it's dumb. You don't want to live the next 50 years with "Well she got rid of..." sad story. Just bin/box it. Always keep DH's precious stuff in a bin for him, bin what you know he will need/want or may want to keep, so at least it is organized. And after binning household odds/ends he wants to keep, if you don't use those, pretty good bet you can get rid of them.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:55 AM   #9
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Re: Hitting the limits

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Originally Posted by qsefthuko View Post
To me it sounds like he is a hoarder. I would suggest therapy to be honest. Moving to make room for more stuff when he isn't using the stuff he already has I would see as a mental issue. It isn't normal to think 'Oh I have too much stuff for us in our house. Instead of cutting back on purchases I had best move to a bigger house to better fit my stuff.

You can of course do the 'covert missions' as your mother did. However, that, from my experience(my step-father is a serious hoarder) can cause serious stress in a marriage. It can even lead to divorce. No, I am not exaggerating on that. True hoarders are emotionally attached to their stuff. It can feel like a serious betrayal when someone gets rid of any of it without their explicit permission.

If you have to get rid of stuff on the sly then, to me at least, it sounds like he is emotionally attached to his stuff. This combined with the desire to get more room for his things he doesn't use makes me think hoarder.
Thanks for the advice but I think you might be reading your situation onto my own. The "covert missions" of my childhood were always jokes - my dad wasn't a hoarder, just seriously not motivated to clean the garage. He was always happy to see the stuff go. My parents recently cleaned out their house together in preparation for selling and downsizing to a smaller place. They've been there for about 20 years so there was a good bit of stuff and some sentimentality but both seem pleased about the whole thing.

As for my husband, he collects and it drives me batty. And maybe he could use some therapy to work on the cognitive dissonance about the space and the moving. Everyone's got their things - I could use some therapy myself probably. But since not everything is sentimental - somethings I know are just not being purged out of lack of desire to spend his limited free time cleaning - and he's got no other signs of compulsive behaviour, I seriously doubt he's a hoarder. Just less minimal than me.

I do feel I should add that we live in a small apartment - about 60sqm. (So.. like 650 ish sqft) with our small storage area. So our issues about stuff and storage tend to come to a head much faster than people living in larger places.

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Old 06-03-2014, 11:03 AM   #10
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Re: Hitting the limits

If hubby is a reader, I highly recommend "The Joy of Less", it really helps you sever your emotional bond to your 'stuff'. Even though I am pretty good at it, it has really helped me to let go of high school and college things, and really helped me see what is important, and to eliminate the rest so I can truly be happy. I love that book!!
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