I'm married to a packrat.

  1. This probably sounds like something minor, but it irritates me to no end. My husband will not throw anything away. He still has clothes that he wore when we were dating. He has stacks of magazines that he has saved because he may want to re-read some of the articles. I am the opposite, I don't save anything if it doesn't have an immediate use. If I have clothing in my closet I haven't worn for over a year, I give it to Goodwill. As soon as I finish a magazine, I pass it on to someone else. I have even had to go out and buy an item to replace something I gave away because I thought I wouldn't need it any more. We have three closets in our bedroom, and two of them are full of his clothes. He has more junk than Sanford & Son. He has stuff in the attic, and an empty bedroom filled with stuff. I have tried to get him to get rid of some of the clutter, but he just can't seem to part with it. Once a year or so, I can get him to go through his things and get rid of some of it, but he just collects more.

    This trait seems to run in his family. When his aunt died a few years ago, we cleaned out her apartment, and found rent receipts and phone bills from 1958. We actually made some money selling some of the things she had kept, including some WWII and 1936 World's Fair memorabilia. At least he's not as bad as that. Not yet, anyway.

    I guess after 33 years of marriage, I'm not going to change this about him. I really don't expect to. I think I just got annoyed when I was cleaning out the closets this afternoon, and came here to vent instead of grouching at him. Thanks for listening.
    Last edit by RNinICU on Feb 25, '03
  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   Lausana
    hehe, sweet of you not to yell at him I'm a bit of a packrat too, but not quite as bad. I think having 2 closets makes it worse more room to put "stuff"!

    Good luck on your cleaning!
    Last edit by Lausana on Feb 25, '03
  4. by   KaroSnowQueen
    My hubby is that way too. After 16 years, I just take a few things at a time and put them in the trash. The only things he's ever missed is his trophy collection from when he was young, and I had only boxed it up. Part of it had to come back out. His dad is the same way.
    My mother was too. She died five years ago and we STILL do not have her house cleaned out, although we are down to the last room at this point. I am cleaning out more and more as I get older, don't want my kids to take five years cleaning out my house!!!!!
  5. by   kids
    Cheezee...replace "husband" with "wife" and my husband could have written this.

    I had him clear all of the yard care junk out of our 10X12 shed and install heat so I could put all of my treasures in it.

    The good news is I cleared out all of the closets.
    The bad news is the shed is full and the closets are empty.

    I need another trip to the fabric/craft store
  6. by   Rustyhammer
    I don't like to throw things away either.
    I have a 14x24' shed with an upstairs that is
    full of stuff.
    My wife has one big closet. the rest is mine.
  7. by   hiker
    OMG- don't even get me going! My hub. has at least 14 of each type of garden tool, 30 huge ropes, all kinds of auto parts, every car magazine ever written... and...5 vehicles that do not even run! Good thing we live out in the boonies, or people would think we are white trash. This packrat stuff is one of the few things we ever fight over. I have mellowed somewhat w/it, as he is perfect otherwise, and in the general scheme of things, it doesn't matter that much... I keep repeating this to myself, anyway. OK, I'll tell the truth, it DOES still bother me. I, too have given many things away and slowly thrown things out... he never even noticed when I gave a friend an entire set of about 10 garden tools- big stuff! I have learned not to get excited the few times he has cleared a spot in the garage(we have a 3 car garage- all full of junk- my car has never been inside)- when he clears a spot, you guessed it- more stuff magically appears the next wk. When we go for walks, he even picks up JUNK ON THE ROAD! HELP ME!!!
  8. by   BadBird
    It must be a man thing, my hubby saves everything too, so did my Dad. If I don't use it in 6 mos. I throw it out, I hate clutter! Well the garage is his to do as he pleases as long as there is room for me to park. My hubbys thinking is that he may use it or a piece of it someday, *****??
  9. by   Lausana
    Alright Hiker here's the real test: Does he go out and trash night and hunt for goodies?? :chuckle

    It's an amazing phenomenom when my dad would leave a chair or an old shelf or something out by the curb, trash night or not it was always gone by morning! Even things that were big enough to need a truck I guess it's a form of garage sale-ing!
  10. by   hoolahan
    My hubby too, but I am like karo, I just take a few things at a time and into the trash they go. If they have a layer of dust on them over one year old, it goes!

    He has never missed one thing!!

    Some of you know this as you have said you dealt w what your parents left, but I have seen some old folks incapacitated by the piles of magazines, and junk. The anxiety can be crippling the older they get if you try to get rid of it for them or "help them clean up" so I strongly advise you to help them out little by little now. I mean some people who have asthma and copd, I have NO DOUBT it is from the dust in these piles of stuff. It is seriously a handicap!

    Me? My junk is all in rubber maid containers. If I haven't used it, it gets tossed in a year. My weakness is my research I have done for nursing or HH in particular. But the one thing that has helped me enormously is that so much of the stuff I saved is now on the internet, I feel OK w tossing it out much quicker than I would have.
  11. by   SandyB
    Ahhhh, packrats...both of us are! We even named our acre "Packrat Ranch"! Got 2 old trailers (like 10x50!) almost full.....love having an acre!...just have to buy another trailer...
    LOL got no kids....no idea who will get the fun of cleaning up when we are gone..hehehe
  12. by   Tweety
    I used to be. But I've moved so much the last ten years I really cured myself. Now I own a home and don't plan on moving ever again, so we'll see. So far so good.
  13. by   cactus wren
    ouch !!! that could be me....When it gets too bad, i have my oldest daughter come down for the weekend...she loves clening out closets, and drawers.......of course she gets first pick....

    when i was traveling, i had everything down to what i could pack in my car....have been here 6 years now, and it would take a BIG Uhaul.....
  14. by   RNforLongTime
    I am the packrat! I have saved my nursing magazines since 1998! Can't throw them away, never know when I'll need to brush up on obstetrical issues.

    I have enough Bath and Body Works stuff to stock my own store, I think. And lets not get started on my collection of Clinique products!

    Then there's my shoes. I spent enough $$ on them so I won't throw thwm away unless they are falling apart. I'm always getting yelled at everytime I bring something new home from the mall like a new sweater that was crazy cheap on sale at CJ Banks! Or my collection of Beanie Baby bears, or my nursing figurine collection......Hubby would LOVE to just throw it all away!

    I forgot to mention my collection of candles!