Cleaning & Organizing
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How do you clean around a messy/packrat husband?

My husband keeps EVERYTHING. At the end of the day he empties his pockets on our dresser - change, random crap, receipts, etc. A few days of this and our dresser is a mess. I have put out a change jar and a catch all basket for him but he just dumps it anyway.

It's torture trying to get him to get rid of things. His drawers are overflowing with clothes he doesn't wear, he has towers of cds he doesn't listen to, tons of framed pictures he doesn't hang and we don't have room for anyway, and shelves full of books that he's already read and won't read again but won't get rid of - you get the picture. I try to ask him to do one thing at a time like go through his drawers once in a while but he either "forgets" or gets distracted and it doesn't get done. Short of throwing away everything he owns by myself, how do you handle this if you've been in a similar situation?

<span style="color: #382110">my read shelf:</span>
<a href="http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/3941571?shelf=read" title="Andrea Collis's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)"><img border="0" alt="Andrea Collis's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)" src="http://www.goodreads.com/images/badge/badge1.jpg"></a>

[IMG]http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o53/andrea12481/50in12.jpg[/IMG]

Re: How do you clean around a messy/packrat husband?

  • It sounds like you need to have a grownup talk. DH and I had a "come to Jesus meeting" about his packrattedness. He grew up in the house we live in and never saw a need to get rid of ANYTHING. He needed to realize that his trashing the place was disrespectful and made me feel like his mother picking up after him.  

    I started packing up his crap that he didn't use/need/even want, but didn't want to let go of, and we would go through or he would go through. I found it was more effective to not stand over him while he went through it, but also not have unreasonable expectations. We set a timer so he knows he doesn't have to do it all day and I don't have to be his mother and supervise. It also helps if I am doing a similar task. "Hey, let's go through one drawer a piece today."  

    Honestly, it has been a work in progress. I tease him that he thinks clutter gets lonely. If one thing is out of place, it becomes an invitation to be a dumping ground. He may need to start putting his things down elsewhere to break the habit of junking up the place.

    Also, involve him in what works for him, rather than just giving him a system that works for you. I know it's hard to be patient and it takes time, but setting deadlines and reasonable expectations has been our saving grace.

    If all else fails, pack up some things you know he doesn't want and tell him they will be hauled off at the end of two weeks unless he deals with them. Then follow through!

    Good luck!

    Jennifer
  • For us its just a little bit at a time.  If I ask him to get rid of more than just a few items at a time he freaks out. 

    So I'll ask him every once in a while about a few shirts or pants in the closet that he hasn't worn in the past 3 years, and he's usually okay with letting go of a couple of them. 

    His books and CDs I ended up just having to put them in totes and boxes and stacking them in the basement.  He refuses to get rid of them. 

    Some times I barter - if I can get rid of X item, then you can keep xyz on the bookshelf in the living room.  Or if you get rid of these 5 old nasty t shirts I'll buy you 2 brand new ones. 

    My H is terrible about keeping sneakers.  He has no less than 15 pairs of sneakers.  I'm taking him to have sneakers custom fitted and made for him at a shoe maker if he will get rid of 90% of them. 

     

  • I just tell my Husband that he has until a certain date to clean up whatever it is and if he doesn't by then, it's going in the trash!

    He forgot to clean an area one time and pitched something that he got a little mad over, but was over it within an hour. I pre-warned him and he learned his lesson!

    [IMG]http://i39.tinypic.com/2i1yu53.jpg[/IMG]
  • Thank you guys - great ideas. We will definitely be having a talk tonight!
    <span style="color: #382110">my read shelf:</span>
    <a href="http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/3941571?shelf=read" title="Andrea Collis's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)"><img border="0" alt="Andrea Collis's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)" src="http://www.goodreads.com/images/badge/badge1.jpg"></a>

    [IMG]http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o53/andrea12481/50in12.jpg[/IMG]
  • Went through this for 7 years.  We finally cleaned it all out this weekend, DH had to be the one to get of it before it happened.

    I space cubed all of his old clothes, so at least they took up less space, and stacked the cubes at the back of his walk-in.

  • I took off a week for a vacation (just staying home to use some of my vacation days). I warned DH 1 month in advance that I was doing this, and that if he did not clean his junk, I would. And I would be ruthless, AND charge him my work billrate (which is 5x what I take home, but that's another gripe). Basically, he'd owe me a few mortgage payments if I cleaned his crap for him.

    He put it off until the last minute - literally. He was up cleaning until 2AM the night before my vacation. I felt bad for him, but it was his choice to procrastinate that much. It's done now (getting bad again), and I plan to use this tactic again. I gave him a choice, consequences, and a deadline. He made it.

     GL

    image
    74 books read in 2011
    image
  • make him watch hoaders
  • image katarczyna:

    I took off a week for a vacation (just staying home to use some of my vacation days). I warned DH 1 month in advance that I was doing this, and that if he did not clean his junk, I would. And I would be ruthless, AND charge him my work billrate (which is 5x what I take home, but that's another gripe). Basically, he'd owe me a few mortgage payments if I cleaned his crap for him.

    He put it off until the last minute - literally. He was up cleaning until 2AM the night before my vacation. I felt bad for him, but it was his choice to procrastinate that much. It's done now (getting bad again), and I plan to use this tactic again. I gave him a choice, consequences, and a deadline. He made it.

     GL

    Love the billing! Thanks for making me laugh today!

    DH used to do this exact same thing (procrastinate) EVERY time him mother was coming to visit.

    Jennifer
  • image guy'sgirl:
    make him watch hoaders

    This cracked me up. I actually DID make him watch that show and shrieked "do you see where we are heading!?!?" LOL. It's not anywhere near that, just cluttered but I can't imagine what would happen if he lived alone!

    <span style="color: #382110">my read shelf:</span>
    <a href="http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/3941571?shelf=read" title="Andrea Collis's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)"><img border="0" alt="Andrea Collis's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)" src="http://www.goodreads.com/images/badge/badge1.jpg"></a>

    [IMG]http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o53/andrea12481/50in12.jpg[/IMG]
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