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Help Wife Hoards Junk!

 
 
Chumly
 
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 11:06 am
How do I get my wife to stop this junk accumulation? How do I get her to throw out packing materials from purchases immediately instead of storing them for god knows how long? How do I get her to throw out junk right away? How do I get my wife to recognize that stuff that once cost money is now worth nothing? How do I get my wife to realize that this junk is of no worth to charities? How do I avoid the really annoying hassles of getting stuck with sorting all the crap out and taking it all to the dump all without her getting pissy I've thrown out "important stuff she needs"?

I had a similar hoarding trait (not as bad as hers) until a few years ago but I've cleaned up!

Examples include: old useless crap from her mother's which she brings over every few months, egg cartons, pop bottles, wine bottles, portions of old paint in tins, old plastic containers of every sort, old paint brushes, old cutlery, broken plates, empty glass jars, empty cardboard boxes, empty plastic laundry soap containers, bubble wrap, really old Christmas present wrappings, designer name plastic bags, old telephones, old fabric, old curtains, old bathroom parts, 35 year old ratty kitchen chairs, 35 year old ratty desk, broken plastic garden furniture. The list goes on and on.

She will try and provide a rationale for any and all of this junk, but the bottom line is that almost none of it ever gets used, thus it keeps accumulating for no net purpose. A perfect example is all the empty boxes, which she claims she needs to put things in; this despite the fact that I've mentioned "if you really need them simply go to Costco store and get them at the time you need them, do not store them at home for some undetermined eventuality".

Almost none of has any worth so a yard sale is not going to happen. I want her to stop this accumulation of crap and throw stuff out right away, not hoard it for some vague eventuality.

I would not go as far as saying it's a full blown "Compulsive Hoarding" as per Wikipedia but it's sure annoying as hell, needless space hogging and causes work for me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsive_hoarding
 
Region Philbis
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 11:14 am
@Chumly,

you can't... she's a pack rat.
we pack rats can't help it if we find it difficult tossing something that might come in handy someday...

R (i've gotten a lot better about it) P
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 11:22 am
As region says, pack rats are by nature unretrainable (and that's a word).
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 11:24 am
@Region Philbis,
I've cleaned up my act considerably...it can be done!

For example I bought two big kitchen fans each costing $50 new, plus a DigiTech VL4 vocal harmonizer costing $650 new, plus a Roland GR30 guitar synthesizer costing $250 used, plus a Roland VG-99 guitar modeler costing $850 used, and immediately took all the packing materials and boxes and threw them out...it can be done!
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 11:28 am
@edgarblythe,
RP says he's gotten a lot better about. I wonder about the Pavlovian carrot and stick system; too unsubtle for spousal application?
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 11:30 am
@Chumly,

did someone tell you to stop, or did you overcome on your own?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 11:45 am
@Chumly,
Only by applying stick to ass, which makes for resentment and probable divorce.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 11:53 am
@Region Philbis,
Even though we live in a big house and have no kids, a few years ago I became so tired of it all that something in my brain just flip-flopped from a) to b)

a) hoarding is necessary and good!
b) get rid of this **** now!

I am now very crisp, lithe and free because of it. Akin to the zeal of early missionaries, I must share this Revelation.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 12:10 pm
Any zeal for dumping stuff just because I think I don't need it was cured by the times I dumped stuff I actually did need.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 12:23 pm
@edgarblythe,
Fight the fear, embrace the ways of the new clean! When it come to junk, need is just a dirty frame of mind.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 12:34 pm
Just checking in.

Merry (proud member of Packrats Anonymous) Andrew
(still suffering from the disease but trying harder)
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 12:48 pm
The only thing I suggest you two do is accept she's a hoarder and agree on an area of the house that she can fill with all her stuff. Make sure it has a door, though! This way, you have a junk-free house and she gets to indulge her habit. No more frustration for either of you.

You can't change people, you know, so stop railing at all the things she does that bug you. She would change if she wanted to. I don't understand people who fall in love with someone and then want them to change. This habit of hers is not hurting anyone and it makes her happy. While I do think she was inconsiderate of you in your smelly cooking post, I think there's a reason she's that way. Again, though, railing at her is not helpful. And why should she change her hoarding habit just because you did?
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 01:14 pm
@Mame,
Mame, Reminds me of that old joke:

My husband... I keep trying and trying to change him, and he's just NOT the man I married!

And Chumley, dear, I do believe this habit is very deeply ingrained. I've noticed folks who knew poverty in their early lives are prone to this habit.

My ex-boss (public library) was just the opposite, throwing away all kinds of things we actually needed. She really crossed the line when she threw away 5 perfectly-good FAX printer cartridges; we had to order more 2 weeks later.

She was such a neat freak, she actually vacuumed the darned sidewalk in front of the library, herself! It was weird. A patron saw her doing that and asked, "Jeez, is that your BOSS?"
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 01:22 pm
old paint brushes, broken plates?
Sorry, that's just not right.

Threaten to call the gang from Clean House - or make her watch the re-runs on TV. As Nicey says, "What is all this madnessmessiness, and mayhem?"
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 01:24 pm
I worked for one of them thrower-awayers- of-perfectly-good-stuff.
She threw out so many files of office papers that it took months to recover the needed stuff for day to day business. It didn't hurt me as much as it did her, but she did throw away the MSDS forms I had spent years collecting.
0 Replies
 
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 01:36 pm
@Mame,
Quote:
The only thing I suggest you two do is accept she's a hoarder and agree on an area of the house that she can fill with all her stuff. Make sure it has a door, though!

Agreed! Maybe even an outdoor shed that's all hers... that's what folks do around here, anyway.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 01:39 pm
@sullyfish6,
Well at least broken plates can be turned into improvised mosaics if their patterns are noteworthy.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 01:41 pm
Chumly, from a number of things you have posted about your wife, I think she suffers from clinical depression. I suggest that the two of you go together and see a doctor. A professional can offer a better diagnosis and make a few suggestions as to what can be done to help her.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 01:59 pm
@Green Witch,
Good advice, GW - even if she's not clinically depressed, they can talk about respecting each other. But I thought they were seeing a therapist.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 03:13 pm
Look on the bright side, Chumly, she's kept you around. Smile

Maybe you can apply for carbon capture payments. Think also of the volumes of materials that your wife is keeping out of the local landfills. Aren't people/organizations/businesses given awards for such efforts?
 

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