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Old 01-01-2013, 01:17 PM   #1
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How to minimalize with your s/o's mess

So I am a minimalist in every sense...I grew up with parents that worked a lot so they bought us stuff to fill the voids my dh is the opposite. I have such a hard time keeping it all clean with him constantly putting his stuff EVERYWHERE he does not throw out anything he says he might "need" one day. Anyone else have this problem and what do you do about it?

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Old 01-01-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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Re: How to minimalize with your s/o's mess

Not sure what items he's keeping but my SO is the general foreman for a factory and he is always bringing home little notes, catalogs, invoices etc from work. He would just toss them where every so I go him a basket that sits near the door where he can dump it all. Most of the time he won't ever need that scrap of paper again but there have been a few times when he needed to hunt something out of th basket. Once it gets full I have him go through it and he usually empties the whole thing and we just start over.

Maybe if you give him his own space to dump/collect items it will help keep the mess contained. Maybe a small dresser in the bedroom or empty cabinet somewhere. Eventually if he sees it all in one place and sees how much room it takes up he'll start letting go.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: How to minimalize with your s/o's mess

Dh has a closet thats his to store stuff. If i find stuff laying around continually, i gather it all up and dump it on his pillow. Childish, yes, but it works!
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:30 PM   #4
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Re: How to minimalize with your s/o's mess

Everything...He is military and also a plane mechanic so he is forever bringing home tools, hardware and such he also leaves his uniforms, boot,s papers ect.... around. He has a walk in closet that is FULL like you cannot see carpet full which will look horrible when we go to sell this house.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:41 PM   #5
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Re: How to minimalize with your s/o's mess

I would start with having a designated area for tools.

Get a couple tubs and ask him what things he can put in there for when he needs them. We are also military, so I understand how work things can sometimes seem to take over. We have a tub of cold weather gear that we're not currently using, but because it's issued stuff that he might need again, we have to keep it.

As for leaving his things around, I think having an agreed upon dumping ground is a good idea. Also, set up a schedule for him I to go through things.

I have found we end up with lots of paperwork. Sometimes I have to sit and sort it the best I can and ask DH specifically about what we can keep and what can get tossed. He has a section in the filing cabinet with his military stuff.

Some things, I will admit to getting rid of when he doesn't know. Only things that I know he doesn't need or use, such as old t-shirts that hold no value, pants that he never wears, etc. I don't do much at a time --a couple items every month or two. Some times I don't pack things when we move. I know, sounds terrible, but he has never missed the things I got rid of.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:44 PM   #6
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Re: How to minimalize with your s/o's mess

Sounds like we have the same backgrounds. DH keeps stuff on his desk and I don't touch it. If he leaves things out in the living room I toss it on his chair. All the little junk he leaves on the counter I usually trash. He knows it's fair game, so he's pretty good about saving his treasures from the trash monster. Every receipt, sticky note, junk mail, anything he collects he sets on the counter and he would never think to toss it on his own. It's a real head scratcher for me since I can't wait to clear that space!
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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Re: How to minimalize with your s/o's mess

Totally sympathize with you. But yay, you have a walk in closet he already associates putting stuff in, that is a step ahead. I totally agree with the others he needs a space to dump and store his stuff, and he can only keep what can reasonably and attractively be stored in that space.

So this is what I would do in your sitch. He's not going to change overnight. Plan a time that either just you, or you and him, sort out everything in that closet into lidded bins. Say you have a bin for tools, for parts, for manuals/warranties, for bills/paperwork, and miscellaneous. Trash as much as you can get away with. Then, you put the lidded bins back into the closet, and you have one open bin for him to dump into daily. Then once a week, you (or you and him) sort that stuff into the lidded bins. When a bin gets full, he needs to purge to make room for said item.

The only exception I would make is perhaps if mail and bills are in there, you consider a open bin that fits letter-sized paper flat and that is no more than 5" high. Then you/he are forced to go through it more frequently. I say this because mail and bills can become overdue, checks and GCs can expire, etc so it needs to be gone through more quickly than say a tub of tools. And since it is open, you can scrounger thorugh there quickly if needed if you are looking for an errant bill or check.

I wish I could give you a magic wand to make him organize his own stuff, but the truth is it is a learned skill. You will have to take the lead on the current mess, and get him into new routines to maintain the system you put in place. And you may have to supervise that effort for a long time for it to stick. But like I said, at least he is not leaving random piles all over the house. Just getting him to put it in one place is a big step forward.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:18 PM   #8
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Re: How to minimalize with your s/o's mess

Thanks a ton for the suggestions. I cleaned the kitchen and my 3 junk draws out so now I have 1 and he has the big one for his draw!
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:27 PM   #9
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Re: How to minimalize with your s/o's mess

i wait to purge until she is sleeping or out and then i put the stuff in the trash bin outside.
it works for us. she is one of those "we might need it" people.
i have so much tupperware, glasses & mismatched dishes i want to scream.
oh & afghans from her mother. they are in closets, storage, etc & we dont freaking use them.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:27 PM   #10
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Re: How to minimalize with your s/o's mess

i wait to purge until she is sleeping or out and then i put the stuff in the trash bin outside.
it works for us. she is one of those "we might need it" people.
i have so much tupperware, glasses & mismatched dishes i want to scream.
oh & afghans from her mother. they are in closets, storage, etc & we dont freaking use them.
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