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    • #160211
      gailbon
      Member

      Hi All! I am a newbie here, so bear with me if I am posting a redundant topic. How do I get my spouse on board to declutter our home? I am pretty good at decluttering, and trying to get my husband to see the light. I do not want to throw his stuff out…..I want HIM to want to throw HIS stuff out. He has such sentimental attachment to his things, and always feels he “might need that”, if you know what I mean. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

    • #226115
      Ella
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      I can strongly recommend a new book by Dr. Robin Zasio titled “The Hoarder in You.” Don’t be put off by the title; the author covers the full spectrum of cluttering, from mild clutterbugs to extreme hoarders and absolutely everything in between.

      The reason for my recommendation is her excellent section on how to live with a clutterer, how to get them on board, and most importantly, what NOT to say or do that could alienate them, damage trust, and make the situation far worse. This information is well presented in organized chapters and checklists. I think everyone could get something helpful out of this book. But don’t just hand it to your husband to read; YOU read it first.

    • #226118

      Spouse's clutter

      Good suggestion Ella. I’d add that it’s a process. I tend to go “all in” and want to do everything now, now, now and overwhelm my husband. Give him some time and space to experience what you’ve created on your own and see if he comes around.

    • #226127
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      This is *always* a relevant topic. I am more of a minimalist than my husband and it can cause a bit of tension, though my husband unclutters more now than he used to.

      Here are some things that have helped:

      1) Focus on uncluttering your stuff and talk about why you are doing it and the good feelings you have – without pressuring him AT ALL

      2) Talk about shared goals and dreams – some of these might benefit from having less clutter. If so, you can point that out.

    • #226651
      gailbon
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Thank you all for your helpful advice! I tend to jump right in and declutter, and expected my husband to do the same. He definitely feels overwhelmed, and completely shuts down when I try to convince him how good it feels to get rid of “junk.”
      I am so excited to try a different approach, and put “The Hoarder in You” book on order at my public library.

    • #226670
      lottielot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      I’m dealing with this right now, we’re having ‘his’ space redecorated and I’m having to deal with all his stuff. I feel like I spend half my life managing his clutter, it’s exhausting but I get there verrrrrry slowly. I do have limits in what he can clutter shared spaces with though, I just put a bunch of his work papers and yet another of his work bags into his car as I refused to clean round it any longer.

    • #226676
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      @lottielot makes a good point – it is totally OK to agree on certain shared “clutter free” areas. I have a box for stuff that belongs to my husband that I find in random spots around the house, so if I am cleaning, say, the kitchen and I find some papers of his, I put them in his box.

    • #226685
      Rosa
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      you don’t even have to agree, you can go ahead and demand. If his stuff requires space, and your peace of mind requires space, you get to claim at least as much space as the stuff does.

    • #226697
      chacha1
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      I’m with Rosa. It’s shared space, no matter who pays the mortgage/rent.

      DH and I have tacitly agreed that the “public” spaces and the bedroom are mine to control. He gets the home office. And it is chock full o’ clutter.

      But we’ll have to revisit the topic, because the day will come that we have to/want to move, and I really don’t want to move a whole room of stuff we don’t need.

      I am still working on winnowing things out (leading by example) but I need to do a better job of communicating the Why. I suspect that once he buys into the Why he will turn some of his junk over to me for disposal, simply because I have more “free” time than he does … and also the inclination to deal with it.

    • #226792
      figlet
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      I realized recently that I have been “enabling” my husband’s clutter by spending so much time dealing with it, since I am the person who handles most of our stuff.

      Now when he wants to buy something or hold on to something, we discuss things like where it will go, how he will maintain it, etc, with the understanding that I will not be involved. The result is that he is much less likely to add to our clutter.

    • #226794
      paisley
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      When I first joined this forum, this was my question, too. I asked how I could get my husband to get on board and get rid of things, especially books. Well, I was given some very good advice here. The first of which was that I should begin with my own stuff. As it turns out, despite thinking that I was good at decluttering, there were still plenty of my things to deal with. After that, it was suggested that I bring small piles of things to DH, asking “what do you think of getting rid of some of these things?” You will have to determine the size of the pile that won’t overwhelm your DH. These items should be “shared” things, not his things.

      When you keep doing these things, you can simply state how it makes you feel to have some empty space. Or, explain that it feels like you have eliminated some responsibilities associated with housing these items. You may even be able to explain your own thought process when you come across something that you are not sure what to do with– something that holds sentimental value. He may not understand how to make these decisions.

      I think it is unlikely that you will find he totally “buys in” and sees it your way. I don’t think any relationship is like that. For me, I have given in to the idea that we will own more books than I think we need. We will likely have to build more shelves to keep them. But, as my DH pointed out, “you have always known that I love to read and that I will always have books”. It’s not the worst thing.

      Best of luck, and let us know how things work out for you.

    • #226900
      gailbon
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Thanks again for all the suggestions. I am now trying to set a good example by tossing or donating things of mine that I do not use, without mentioning my husband’s clutter.
      Our HUGE bone of contention right now is when I want to get rid of stuff that is MINE, but that he bought for me, or shared in the same experience. For example, he bought me skis and boots 25 years ago, but we haven’t gone skiing in 20 years since our kids were born, and have no intentions of going again. Believe me, we got great use out of our ski stuff, and enjoyed many trips for those 5 years. But now I feel that I have the right to toss or donate MY ski stuff, with no pressure on him to do the same. He doesn’t yell or argue when I mention that I intend to do this, but is clearly distressed by the thought. How do you handle situations like this? My thoughts are that since I really don’t have an attachment to the ski stuff, why should it stress him that I want to get rid of MY ski stuff?

    • #226907
      Rosa
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      if he’s just looking uncomfortable, maybe just give him a hug and talk about how much you liked going skiing with him back in the day? Or whatever else you’d do to make him happier, if he were randomly stressed and it had nothing to do with you (like my husband’s job has been crazier than usual lately, i’ve been bringing him tea and rubbing his shoulders more often.)

      You don’t have to keep it to make him happy (especially if he’s not asking you to), but he’s entitled to be stressed out by it.

    • #226914
      bandicoot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      maybe just quietly get rid of your stuff without consulting him?
      that would work for me.

    • #226918
      Netleigh
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      gailbon,
      An excuse for explaining to your DH why you are getting rid of your ski stuff. Ski and boot technology has moved on a lot in 25 years, if you did want to ski again you’d want to hire equipment to benefit from the improvements in carving/rocker ski design and the much better boots.

    • #226932
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      @gailbon – Gifts from my DH can be a little bit sensitive – though at this point, he totally “gets it” and is on board with uncluttering. I’m very gentle about it. I talk about how much I enjoyed the gift and talked about how our home was full of so many gifts and things that reminded me of him, that I no longer needed to keep everything he’d given me.

      Since you don’t have plans to ski again, getting rid of the ski stuff is totally reasonable, and I would explain that to him (gently). Also, maybe find some old photos of you WEARING the ski stuff if you have any? You could show those to him and talk about how you’d like to keep the photo to remember the experience, but you don’t need the (bulky) things.

    • #226936
      purpleBee
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      It really depends on your husband’s emotional relationship to things and especially gifts.

      Some people don’t care if something they gave to you is sold/donated.

      But other people feel as much hurt if its donated 25 years later as if it was rejected on the day it was given. Or that you are destroying their memories. Or by calling the skis ‘junk’ that the memories are junk and therefore your husband is disposable junk too.

      I suggest that you separate the physical thing from the memory. So, I’d approach it by discussing how the skis etc have been packed up so long, and someone else should experience some fun with them now. Then take some photos to remember them by, and point out that you have them most important part of those good times … him.

      Trust me … soppy works with horders because hording is mostly emotional

    • #226943
      s
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Gailbon, it sounds like your getting rid of stuff may be impacting your spouse’s fantasy self, that you, as a couple, are skiers. Help him through that if you can.

    • #226946
      lottielot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      This reminds me that I need a tough love unclutter session over Christmas of dh’s clothes. I cannot close any of his drawers and his part of the wardrobe (miles over half) is groaning with clothes. He has plenty of time off, and he usually buys new clothes at this time of year…I always have to catch him at just the right time though!

    • #226962
      PaulT00
      Participant

      Spouse's clutter

      I’m about to get a big overload of spousal clutter, I think. This afternoon we finished vacating his parents’ house in Penzance and drove back to our home near Bristol. The movers arrived at 12:30 and loaded up the stuff being kept into their van, which will be delivered tomorrow morning. The builder finished refurbishing the bathroom at the weekend, the kitchen was completed yesterday afternoon and he was snagging until 1:30pm today. The cleaners then arrived and started cleaning the place. The carpets are being deep cleaned tomorrow. Then the tenant moves in on Saturday.

      In some ways I’m very glad to be finished with the house in Penzance, although I’m sad that we have to rent it out – both of us would have liked to have it as a bolthole or holiday home, or even move down there to live part-time, but it’s just not practical now. L moved there aged 3 and his parents lived there for more than 50 years. We’ve been working on the refurb since about September – it’s finally come together, the new tenant signed the paperwork on Tuesday and frankly we are both tired and emotional about everything. That’s as well as just tired from spending alternate weeks down there for several months…

      However: 10am tomorrow a vanload of stuff from Penzance will arrive to be integrated into our already cluttered household. L promises that one box a day at least will be cleared – and that I have carte blanche to nag if we fall behind. At that rate we may be able to get into our downstairs lounge (the designated staging area) sometime around March 2013. Fortunately other living spaces are available or I might have a nervous breakdown.

      I think new year may bring a resolution to – as steadily as possible, but quite firmly – sort out the place once and for all before we become unable to move. At the very least we need to rationalise – perhaps HM Queen Elizabeth II needs more than one dining table in any given home, but I’m pretty sure we don’t!

      Wish me luck!

    • #226964
      bandicoot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      good luck paul!
      i swear i could actually feel the weight of all that stuff in your post.
      you do sound weary…and who wouldn’t, after the months of sustained effort?
      i hope you can take a break over the holidays to recharge.

      our house is a nightmare right now with the ongoing tiling job.
      half the house is stuffed into the other half of the house and i was planning to get my kitchen back yesterday. it didn’t happen. despite hours of dusting and wiping, a lot of stuff is still covered in dust. and the dust seems to creep back into/onto whatever i have i already cleaned.

      the general chaos is encouraging my somewhat untidy husband to casually fling things just anywhere. i am losing my mind.

    • #226965
      chacha1
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Hang in there Paul and Bandicoot!

      I have a project of my own to get through before I beard my lion in his cluttery den. At least we only have one dining table to cope with.

    • #226967
      Sky
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      bandicoot, when we had our hardwood floors refinished it made the biggest, dustiest mess I’ve ever seen. I cleaned and cleaned before we put the furniture, art, etc. back but there was dust forever! I think it gets caught in every tiny nook and cranny on the walls, ceilings, moldings and comes out when you think you’re done!

      Good luck, I know you are tired of the mess but try to think how nice your new floors will be.

    • #226968
      gailbon
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      I love all this advice!
      purpleBee, you are so correct when you say “Trust me … soppy works with hoarders because hoarding is mostly emotional.” I am trying to be kind and not refer to our old stuff as “junk.”
      I know I need to take baby steps, but when we get to the point where my husband tries to declutter, and says things like “i might need this” or “i’ll do it later”, should I just step back from the situation? It seems to me that waiting til “later” is just another way to say “not dealing with it EVER”….

    • #226969
      Sky
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      OMG….DH left a pair of jeans on our bedroom floor so I asked if they were dirty or what. He said “they have a hole in the seat and he’ll keep them to use when he’s painting or other work around the house”. So….he added them to the hugh pile of ‘work’ clothes taking up too much in our closet. He’ll never wear them. The hole is huge and visible. Ridiculous.

      Yes, “I’ll deal with it later” means never.

    • #226971
      paisley
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Bandicoot- hang in there! The floor will be great. Tile dust and dry wall dust get into central duct work ( if you have central AC). That can deliver dust to rooms that shouldn’t be affected by the job. Best to turn it off. Hoping it gets better soon!

      Gailbon- when DH suggests postponing the decision, you might try gently suggesting that together you decide on one or two items. That would be a tiny amount of flexing the decluttering muscle. If it is not too painful, he may be able to do it again soon. Best of luck.

    • #226975

      Spouse's clutter

      Paul: best of luck to you! It sounds like the two of you are in agreement about what needs to be done, which is a HUGE blessing. And permission to nag — how exactly did you go about receiving that? I need to know yesterday.

    • #226977
      MelMc
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Sky, your comment about the pile of paint clothing reminds me of an anecdote in a clothng styling book I once read. The stylist was working with a professional woman who wouldn’t part with anything, declaring it all paint clothing. The stylist piled it all up and asked when the woman was starting her career as a professional housepainter as she had a month’s worth of clothes in the pile. The woman saw how silly it was an tossed all but one set.

    • #226992
      Sky
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      MelMc….That’s a good idea. I just joined the 333 project for January so I’ll be taking everything out of our closet. I’ll pile his paint clothes up so he can see just how many he has.

    • #226993
      Rosa
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      I do think that works. I’ve kept my dude down to one pair of painting pants.’

      And no t-shirts with holes. Stains = workout or paint (he has several, he works out 4 or 5 days a week). But if there are holes in the shirt paint will go through them. Right?

    • #226995
      Sky
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Absolutely right.

    • #227020
      clutterbug22
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      paulTOO,
      Have read your previous posts over the weeks re your ‘FIL’s’ house and am wishing you Good Luck with the influx of his stuff at your house today. Sending you a big hug as well, you sound so tired! Try to have a relaxing Christmas though, if you can, all sounds a bit stressful what with a new tenant as well.

    • #227055
      liag
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      I used to throw out DH’s stuff, and he never noticed. Now we are both downsized enough for my taste. I still don’t see why he keeps those many stamp albums and CD’s that he digitized, but he has a closet where he stashes that sort of thing. It isn’t in my way now. Sometimes–usually in fact–I spend as much energy being sure to have little enough to feel balanced as I accuse (mentally)clutterers to have.

    • #227071
      PaulT00
      Participant

      Spouse's clutter

      Hi everybody…

      Well the van arrived at 10am and by 11am our lounge was full. L has started unpacking stuff but then disappeared to his office to sort some stuff out. I’ve been working all day (and an exceptionally frustrating one at that) but when I went down to get a cup of tea earlier the dining room/den and kitchen had been annexed by some of the clutter already. It’s almost impossible to see the top of the dining table and all the work surfaces in the kitchen are full.

      Normally I’m pretty relaxed about this kind of thing but at the moment it’s not possible to e.g. sit in the lounge and watch TV, sit at the table for a meal or use the kitchen to cook in without first doing some tidying up. I’m feeling quite claustrophobic which isn’t like me under normal circumstances – I had to take several deep breaths as I stood there waiting for the kettle to boil…

      What with this and the fact that it’s 22nd December tomorrow… I’m not feeling well at all!

    • #227074
      Sky
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      PaulT00….You are doing well, I would be flipping out! What will you and L do with it all?

      I tossed one of my t-shirts today and as DH was taking the trash out, I told him it was old, had bleach stains on it, Goodwill would not take it and our rag pile is overflowing. He took it to the trash. Yay!

    • #227091
      chacha1
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Poor PaulT00! kind of wish I could knock on the door and tell you to go out while I sort things. πŸ™‚

      could some of the stuff in the kitchen be stashed UNDER the table?
      could some of the stuff in the lounge be stashed BEHIND the couch?

      Obviously this will be a Process, but one must be able to live through it.

    • #227092
      irishbell
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Paul- do you have a spare bedroom/office/basement that you could store ALL the stuff in?
      Then work on it bit by bit? At least if its out of sight it wouldn’t be/seem so overwhelming.

    • #227102
      PaulT00
      Participant

      Spouse's clutter

      I must admit I’m starting to freak out a little. The feeling I’m fighting very hard at the moment is a sense of invasion, or violation. It’s like my living space is being summarily annexed by something. I know that my partner doesn’t mean it this way, and in fact some of the things which have come from his parents’ house are in better condition – and sometimes better quality – than our local equivalents, but there’s a feeling of ‘we will use the other dining table’ or ‘we will use these pans because they are better’. It’s going to take a while to feel comfortable again I think. I’m trying to be tolerant because when all is said and done, my partner has just effectively moved the remnants of his parents’ lives out of the house he grew up in – I’ve been there and done that, it isn’t much fun. But deep breaths are the order of the day.

      @chacha1, irishbell – yes there are places things could be stashed, but we have to sort through it first. One of the things we have to sort through *is* the couch, quite literally – a 3-seater sofa and an armchair. There are also two beds… At the moment the main lounge is a staging area – hopefully over the weekend we can move bulky items and lots of boxes to other locations which gives us our living space back.

    • #227107
      chacha1
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Open a bottle, order some pizza, sit – in the bathroom if you have to! – somewhere there is not an Invasion, and just quietly talk for a few minutes.

      The important thing is that you two survived this very trying year and actually wanted to return home together. That is something to celebrate. OXO

    • #227109
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Or go out to eat, maybe? Somewhere neutral that you both enjoy so that you can regroup together?

      And I’m sure you know this, but you don’t HAVE to keep a table because it is of higher quality if both of you enjoy the table you have – you can sell things, etc. I know it will be sensitive either way when deciding which things to get rid of when you have duplicates – but you certainly should end up with a mix of old and “new” so that you don’t feel like you are suddenly living in a different person’s home.

      Take it slow, hang in there, good luck!

    • #227122
      purpleBee
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Paul,
      I understand exactly how you feel. After my mother-in-law passed away we suddenly had an extra roomful of stuff that changed the balance of our home. Before we had our stuff, his stuff and my stuff. Then we had our stuff, his stuff, my stuff and his family’s stuff.

      What was especially challenging was having my husbands family coming into the house to cherrypick through MILs stuff. And I wasn’t really a part of that process.

      Logically it made sense that there were things that had to be sorted through. But emotionally there was something invading my home and my space, and I felt like part of my home was off limits to me.

      My way of dealing with that was to set up a reading nook that was mine and when everything became a bit overpowering I literally and emotionally retreated to my spot for a little while until I felt more content.

      Also, my husband and I set some dates or when certain things would be done, with everything finished in a year. So then we worked out a rough timetable (2 month chunks so there wasn’t a huge pressure on either of us). I agreed nit to nag and he agreed to not let family stuff spread across our house … unless it was something we decided was now ours.

    • #227155
      lottielot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      That sounds exhausting! Could you use a storage facility for a month or two while you sort it out? It would drive me insane…

    • #227165
      bandicoot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      paul, that sounds very trying; and the timing, ay caramba!
      it must indeed feel like an invasion.
      if the stuff simply cannot be expelled quickly, then i reckon purplebee has the solution: carve out a sane nook for yourself and retreat there whenever you need to. apply deep breathing and single malts as required.

    • #227182
      Juliska
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Paul, I did a little online snooping, and while of course eBay is available in the UK, I found out that Craigslist is, as well, and even has a Bristol section. There are several public storage facilities, too. If the sorting-out starts taking too long, suggest that all the excess be stored away from your home. Having to pay for storage — and it seems to me he should foot the bill, it’s his stuff — may speed things up. Anything you both decide doesn’t have a future in your home should be sold or donated as soon as possible, although this is obviously not the best time of year to make those decisions. Keep in mind that any money you make could go towards a much needed vacation …

      Right now you have to get through the holidays in what sounds like the aftermath of an earthquake in a furniture store; I suggest Christmas dinner out, at the nicest place you can afford. Then after the holiday, take it one room at a time, starting with the bedroom, so you have a place to collapse!

    • #227197
      djk
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Paul, sending hogs and a bottle of the best to you and your partner. It’s surely a tough time for him, but sometimes the person with the less “direct” grief can also bear a lot of strain as his/her needs are temporarily put on the back burner while the grieving person gets the care he/she needs. Maybe bundle up and take some extra-long walks with your lovely 4-footed girls?

      I think I’d be tempted to have a night together in a local inn, with a good dinner. You’ve had a lot on your hands, both of you. A treat of some sort away from the house might bring a respite and a fresh energy to deal with the next days.

    • #227210
      gailbon
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      ok….deep breath….I threw the ski boots out this morning. When I actually looked at them, I found something very disturbing. Since they were heated boots, the connectors had rusted, and were defintely unusable. So, I decided enough was enough, and tossed them right in the garbage. I did not torment my husband and blatantly do it in front of him, but decided that he probably will not even notice that they are gone. I will say that my husband is very neat and orderly with our stuff, but enough is enough. We do not need, will not need, nor have the room to store, my old corroded ski boots.
      And Paul, I try to keep in mind that things could be worse. When I read your posts, my heart goes out to you. Hang in there…

    • #227263
      lottielot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Well done on tossing the boots. It’s pointless keeping junk, even if someone else has a problem with it…Dh never even noticed all his magazines and his junk and a few books were gone…

    • #227274
      liag
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      I admit to having sneaked to the trash during moves. Later, if he asks about something–rare–he says withut my prompt, “Do we still have xyz, or did we get rid of it when we moved?”

    • #227296
      bandicoot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      when the tilers were here yesterday, shovelling up all the debris to take to the dump, i asked them quietly if the ywould also take the bazillions of rusted star pickets DH has been collecting for a retaining wall.
      for four months i have had this eyesore in the immediate front of the house and NO progress has been made on it.
      he noticed immediately, but i shrugged and said, darling, we can buy some new ones for that retaining wall…those were mostly rusted right through and just a tetanus incident waiting to happen. i practically got lockjaw every time i glanced out the front door.

    • #227312
      clutterbug22
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      bandicoot, sneaky but sensible!

      paultoo, how are things going? Hope you are managing to enjoy your Christmas in some way?

    • #227327
      PaulT00
      Participant

      Spouse's clutter

      Hi guys – and thank you for the support!

      Things have improved. We spent Sunday moving stuff around and in particular clearing two beds out of the way so that it became possible to rearrange the lounge. It’s still a staging area – there are currently 6 armchairs, a three seater sofa, two coffee tables, 5 occasional tables, 3 sideboards, two footstools, two tv stands complete with tvs and a stack of boxes, but it is now a lounge. The sense of invasion is receding slightly.

      And by the way – yes it is a fairly big room, why do you ask? πŸ™‚

      The beds are now in a closed off space upstairs until we can decide what to do with them.

      We spent Christmas Eve mostly out and about. Today we had a lovely meal – cooked by L – and then relaxed in the lounge with the dogs and several of the cats. I think the invasion will continue in the new year!

    • #227335
      Swede
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Take a picture of the chaos now. Then in a few weeks when you are making progress but still going crazy, look at the picture to remind yourself that it’s moving forward. It has helped me a lot in tricky situations. πŸ™‚

    • #227361
      bandicoot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      gailbon….good call on the boots!

      paul…it sounds like the elephant is being eaten. one bite at a time, which is the only way possible.

    • #227477
      Parsifal
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      After years of struggling with this thorny issue, I finally figured it out.

      I decluttered my spouse πŸ™‚

    • #227482
      chacha1
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Wow. Parsifal, if you are happier and looking forward to a better life, then congratulations. πŸ™‚ We didn’t hear from you for quite a while it seems … but obviously, you’ve been busy.

    • #228176
      gailbon
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Ok…my next goal is to persuade my husband to declutter his old college textbooks from……drumroll please….30 years ago. He was a business major, so most of the books relate to that major. Wouldn’t the info from that time period have changed by now, and rendered these books useless? I don’t think we could even donate them!

    • #228177

      Spouse's clutter

      gailbon: The textbooks ARE out probably out of date, although some of them — say, basic accounting principles — might have some usefulness. Rather than have him get rid of ALL of his old books, it might be easier for him to go through them and get rid of the ones that have been superseded by events. Set a target — maybe half the books. Maybe some questions to help him decide. Is it still relevant? Have you opened it in the past ten years? If, for some reason, you needed the information could you easily get it from the Internet or a library?

      I recently got rid of my three big law textbooks. I still, in my work, occasionally have questions about constitutional & communications law, but there are better and more current ways of getting the info. It was a hard decision, though — but now they are gone and I have lots more shelf space.

    • #228178
      bandicoot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      parsifal, that is a major decluttering move and sometimes the one that is most needed.
      congratulations on the new phase.

    • #228201
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      @gailbon – books are tough – they likely have memories attached and if he works in the same field, they have the “allure” of usefulness, though I would agree they probably are out of date. I agree with @susanintexas that the goal should be to pare down. If he gets rid of half the books, deeming the other half useful, ask him again in 6 months to a year and he might realize he hasn’t touched the other half, either!

    • #228221
      chacha1
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      @gailbon, I have the exact same challenge with my husband. He has 10 linear feet of textbooks from college, 30 years ago. He does not need them for his business. I think they represent “Yes I did finish college” (few in his family have) … I am going to suggest we dig up his diploma and frame/display that instead.

    • #228268
      djk
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Parsifal, good to have you posting again!
      I wish you all the best with your new life.

    • #228279
      lblanken
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      I purged most of my college and grad school books recently. I was an English major so imagine the books! I sold some of them online, some at a local bookstore, and kept a few. I’ve been going through books again and think I’m going to get rid of some more. Mostly I buy evokes now or use the library. I’ve changed fields so most of the books were useless. The few I kept were either valuable or had sentimental value (hand me downs from parents). I go through my books every summer.

    • #228466
      gailbon
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      My husband told me he did get rid of the business textbooks, and I do see blank areas on the book shelves. But we all know that means they might be relocated and squirrelled away in the attic, LOL.
      I am still trying to do this by taking baby steps, practicing what I preach, and letting him go slowly.

    • #228603
      bandicoot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      gailbon, that is by far the best approach.
      softlee, slowlee, catchee monkey!
      as we are all prgrammed to ACQUIRE ALL THE THINGS, it catches our attention when we notice someone doing the opposite.
      if you press on with your mission, he is bound to notice it. and be influenced by it.

    • #228613
      gailbon
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      bandicoot, you are soooo correct! My husband got rid of 6….yes, 6….bags of old T-shirts without me saying a word. I do believe he is influenced by my enthusiasm, but shuts down when I “nag” him.

    • #230622
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      I just saw this good post on Brooks Palmer’s blog about “clutter busting together” – not a topic that I see discussed all that often on blogs. Might be helpful to this thread (or at least, this is the first thread I saw where it would fit).

      http://brooks-palmer.blogspot.com/2013/01/starting-fresh-clutter-busting-together.html

    • #230708
      lottielot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      I wonder if I live on a different planet from other people sometimes. If I ever used any of the phrases from Brooks Palmer with my dh he would probably have me sectioned. But maybe that says more about the way we interact than anything else…

    • #230710
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      @lottielot – well, you aren’t supposed to read them verbatim!

    • #230713
      lottielot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      I know, but even changing the words to my own would feel extremely weird! We don’t do acknowledging stuff.

    • #231041
      Parsifal
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      @Chacha, excellent idea about framing your husband’s diploma! My nicely framed diplomas are some of my very few precious possessions. I’ve long since tossed my leftover textbooks and I don’t miss them.

    • #231046
      bandicoot
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      i have found it very helpful to couch things in terms of “are we still loving owning this thing” with my husband.
      he is wonderful to clutter bust with, because he has a magic formula he trots out when i am wailing over “but we spent so much money on this”….he says ” what did it cost? how long did we have it for? do you remember how many bazillion times we used it? “
      i answer the questions and then he says: this item doesn’t owe us anything. we’ve had our money’s worth.”

    • #231108
      gailbon
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      My husband donated 9 books today! And he did this with no nagging, cajoling, or begging from me.

    • #231218
      chacha1
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      @ gailbon, woo-hoo! πŸ™‚

    • #232183
      chacha1
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Interesting thing happened last night. I told DH that I’d had an inspiration for re-designing the home office for very little money, and we actually sat down and discussed it … for almost an hour. He looked at the proposed floor plan, we talked about how to use the things we’d keep and which things to move/get rid of, he told me his plans for re-purposing two of the three closets in there … still a little amazed. πŸ™‚

      He *has* been taking baby steps to re-organizing some of his stuff, but it mostly has been “re-organizing” and not actual decluttering. I am hopeful we can work through some of this simply through the necessity of moving stuff OUT of the room in order to re-do it.

      This is now on the calendar to begin in mid-April. Would be nice to get it done by the end of May as we have house guests coming … and that is where they will be staying. πŸ™‚

    • #232192
      Rosa
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      that’s fabulous, chacha.

    • #232326
      Sky
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      My clutterbug DH let go of all of his Mother’s jewelry (all costume junk), a stack of her books, a box of her keys (?, a tote bag, her kitchen stuff and 2 chrome shelves. YAY!! I’m so proud of him!

    • #232330
      chacha1
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Must be something in the air, Sky!

    • #232332
      Sky
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Whatever it is, Chacha1, I hope it sticks around!

    • #232333
      gailbon
      Member

      Spouse's clutter

      Chacha1 and Sky, congrats!

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