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How to achieve minimalism / decluttering when DP is a bit of a hoarder

(12 Posts)
Frillyfranticfilly79 Fri 28-Nov-14 21:43:26

I have embraced minimalism and decluttering.
I throw away / charity shop everything that is not either useful or beautiful. I know where everything is. It has reduced my stress levels.

DP however is a bit of a hoarder. During my decluttering I have put all his crap into shoe boxes / folders etc and put them in cupboards so for the moment it's out of sight and I can cope. I would really ideally like him to get rid though - how can I achieve this? He has loads of old post not even opened from years ago, old receipts for stuff like Tesco shopping, old train tickets, random pieces of tat, out of date sweets..... proper rubbish. Would I be unreasonable to just chuck it out? I feel mean doing so as I would be annoyed if he threw something of mine out, but on the other hand I am so sure he wouldn't miss it. We could do with the extra space.

We have separate wardrobes, drawers, bathroom cabinets, bedside chests and mine are nice and organised and his are chaotic but as I don't have to look in his it doesn't bother me what state he chooses to keep them in, but the crap he keeps in communal areas such as our home office really stresses me out. How do other people deal with this?

ASAS Fri 28-Nov-14 21:45:45

Got any tips on how you uncluttered and are maintaining? Congratulations! Sorry can't offer any advice but well done, huge achievement to feel stress free xxx

Frillyfranticfilly79 Fri 28-Nov-14 21:48:05

Just sorted one room at a time, throwing away everything that's not useful or important to me.
Then organised the remaining stuff so everything has a place where it lives. After I have used something I return it to its place.

ASAS Fri 28-Nov-14 21:57:01

Do you/did you have a system for toys? Pre and post Santa? Hopefully someone more helpful than me will be along soon xxx

Frillyfranticfilly79 Fri 28-Nov-14 22:03:26

No kids so no toys!

ASAS Fri 28-Nov-14 22:13:51

Ha ha, that'll do the trick! We have cupbboards crammed, even behind closed doors it's mocking me smile

Frillyfranticfilly79 Sat 29-Nov-14 10:31:43


larryphilanddave Sat 29-Nov-14 15:32:13

Congrats on getting your place minimalised smile

There is a hoarding thread on here and on the Minimalism threads there are people who have spoken about it and have relatives that hold on to pretty much everything where you might get better tips than I can offer.

But based on my own experience (fortunately DH is actually better than I am, but I have relatives that hang onto everything)...

You could start by just approaching the shared space issue - taking an area like the home office, saying that you are reorganising it to make the most use of space, and how you would like to avoid clutter piles or random areas. If he is genuinely uncomfortable with throwing things out, and that is a much bigger issue than merely decluttering, then perhaps having his own dedicated space to put things out of sight so that it doesn't stress you, but not thrown out so it doesn't stress him. Like a small set of drawers, or cupboard, or nice boxes, something you'd feel fine looking at but that would accommodate his things for now.

Obviously you can't just keep buying furniture to fill with old receipts and things, but it might be a start for helping you to enjoy your living space too just like you can handle your bedroom for now as it's out of sight.

Then perhaps you can start to broach the real issue - I don't have enough experience to say whether someone has a genuine problem or how to handle it if they do - however there needs to be a balance between him feeling comfortable at home and you also feeling comfortable.

I have a close relative that struggles to get rid of things and is very focused on what might be useful later, even things they have had for 10 or 20+ years and never used during that time. They can actually give things away, or chuck out old things, the problem is that they want to go through every single item to make sure that it is indeed rubbish or give things to people/charities when it may not be anything people really want (eg really old toaster, but still functioning). However they don't have a full-on hoarding house/problem to the extreme that you might see on documentaries, everything gets stuffed into wardrobes, attic space and so on. Maybe your DP has a way to get rid of things, like going through things one by one, or giving to charity to know it will be useful to someone else. Also small steps, like considering going through a few bits in his wardrobe, or a bedside cabinet, and taking it from there. Slow and steady would be much better progress than doing nothing or having an argument over trying to go too fast.

But, if he does not struggle that much, then maybe he would let you organise his things and throw out the obviously useless things, like the old receipts and tat, especially in your shared space. I don't want to make any assumptions as to the extent that you've discussed this together but if you haven't then you can possibly provide a number of different possible options according to how you think it might go down/how receptive he would be, and take it from there.

larryphilanddave Sat 29-Nov-14 15:32:43

PS sorry that was so long! Hope it makes sense blush

specialsubject Sun 30-Nov-14 16:25:55

it is selfish of him to fill your shared space with rubbish - which is what unopened post, old receipts etc are.

if he is a real hoarder (ie. an actual problem) then that needs sensitive tackling. Otherwise just tell him to start shredding. Or do it yourself.

Mollymoofer Mon 01-Dec-14 00:59:31

Sorry if this doesn't sound sympathetic but what about storage? After 6 months, if he hasn't missed it then you have the financial argument - ie what's the point of paying for storage if you're not missing this stuff?

specialsubject Mon 01-Dec-14 16:14:57

after 6 months you'll have paid 10 times what it is worth. Try a month and see what happens!

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