(Closed) How do minimalists live with hoarders?

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
1975 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@greenidlady:  FI is a hoarder… I <3 to throw things out. this is the one thing we fight about!!

we rent a 4 bedroom house with study (just us two + pets) so we have room to work with, we work by he has his space for his treasured junk where i simply dont go in (his study and a games room/ man cave) but it doesnt get to overspill into shared rooms (lounge, dining room, kitchen, laundry, bedrooms) he does claim that i have my hoarding room (its the wedding room and its NEAT)

*** last christmas one of his presents i bought him a a wii remote he took the remote out and wanted to keep the clear plastic packaging it came in. in case. NO.

Post # 4
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I do! Lol

My Fiance is not quite a hoarder, but he refuses to throw things away, so I bought tons of the big tubberware tubs and a huge shelf for his office, everything goes in the tubs on the shelves, and the door is always closed!!! I don’t go in there!!

His dad retired and gave him all these suits… His dad is 5’9″ 250lbs+…. my Fiance is 6’00” 175lbs… So they don’t fit…. But he wont get rid of them!!! Lol so I just roll my eyes, laugh, and break out another tub to store them in!! Lol 

He’s the same way with cords and cables and computer parts 🙂

Post # 5
2778 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I tend to want to hold on to things he wants to throw everything out well almost everything and we don’t always agree on what should be kept.  I hold my ground because he can get controlling about things.  There is this stereo he wants me to get rid of and I refuse.  I’ve had it since I was 12, its the only thing I have left that still plays cassettes and I have caved on other things that once we talked I realized I don’t need them.  He called the stereo ugly and bulky and said I could re buy all my language stuff on CDs.  Um no.  I have something that plays cassettes now without spending money why would I necessarily go out and buy something that I already own?  Its not like I’d have people lined up around the block to buy my cassettes!  Thats also why I refuse to rebuy my VHS, altough I may get or borrow a converter at one time.

So I won on the stereo yey!  Just pick and choose your battles and don’t be too pushy to get rid of things.  Some things actually do hold sentimental value and some things really are useful even if you don’t see it that way.

ETA: It’s a smaller sized boombox, not one of those three piece stereos that sits on a counter, it currently lives under a table in the living room so it’s not even like it’s taking up a lot of space.

Post # 7
1358 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’m a complete packrat. I always worry I’ll regret throwing something away, but my fiance hates being burdened with too much stuff. We have bickered so many times about the value of “useless clutter” like throw pillows and why I hold on to things I may “someday maybe possibly need again for I-don’t-know-what.”

For the most part, I think it’s easier being a minimalist-hoarder couple over hoarder-hoarder or minimalist-minimalist. It creates balance: he keeps my packrat tendencies in check and makes me get rid of some stuff, and I keep our house from being mostly empty and impersonal, the way he would probably keep it. A roomy basement for storage is admittedly also pretty useful. (We really need to do another purge of a bunch of stuff down there. I found a box that had empty movie cases, silk flowers, and a container of twin XL sheets from back in college the other day.)

Post # 8
11273 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@greenidlady:  to answer your question……they don’t.

i don’t keep anything.  as for my dh, he isn’t too bad but he does have a lot of crap.  i did a lot of purging of his stuff when we moved.  don’t worry, i didn’t do it without permission.  he was right there too.

Post # 10
515 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Right now, we are living in a very small 2-bedroom flat that has no storage space. We literally have two small bedroom closets and that’s it.

Until I came along, Fiance lived his whole life in the house he grew up and NEVER threw anything away. I’v seriously found piles of receipts dating back to the 90s. WHAT IS HE SAVING THOSE FOR???? He also saves things like socks with holes in them.

I can sort of understand saving things you think you might need later, although I’m against it in practice (are you really going to fix that broken iPod screen or are you more likely just to buy a new one?).

If you save things that you have no realistic expectation of ever using again or things that really don’t serve any purpose at all (potential or otherwise), then to me, that’s a hoarder. And that’s definitely what Fiance does.

So… I throw things out. Guess how many of his holey socks he has even noticed going missing? None. Guess how many of those receipts he misses? None. For things he would notice, like old technical manuals, I tell him I am going to throw it away unless he has 1) used it in the last year, 2) is likely to use it in the next three months, or 3) can articulate that it has some significant sentimental value. (I couldn’t bring myself to throw away his deceased father’s rusty old tools, for example.)

Usually, he grudgingly accepts my judgment. Our biggest hurdle now is to get him to stop impulse buying things he doesn’t need. But we’re working on it. If he wants to buy something new, he has to tell me which two things he will move out of the flat and where specifically he intends to store it when not in use (the floor or the kitchen table is not an acceptable answer). He also has to say why he wants it and why he would miss it if he didn’t have it. This averts 90% of the purchases he tries to make.

Post # 11
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

greenidlady:  said in Reply # 5

Yes, I understand that certain items have sentimental value and don’t want to throw those things out either. I mean just never throwing ANYTHING away at all. Old clothing, expired goods, worn out dishes, plastic ware from fast food places, old papers you no longer need and cheap broken items.

By definition… that is a TRUE HOARDER.

And I don’t think therefore that you’ll get a lot of Bees here who live with such a person because they are few and far between in the wider scheme of things…

BUT there are certainly people who hang on to stuff (just not to the extreme) for sentimental reasons… these folks are pack-racks… or just messy folks (once upon a time known as SLOBS… but that isn’t a very politically correct term nowadays)

So, I’m guessing that most of the replies you’ll get on this topic will probably be about WBee couples that fit into that category.

— — —

Mr TTR and I are somewhere in the middle.  He isn’t a minimalist… as he does tend to hang on to some stuff that interests him (Garage is full of “stuff” as is his office).

I am not a hoarder per se (no expired goods – broken dishes – fast food dishes), but I am definitely a pack-rat when it comes to items that are mine from my “past life”.  It kind of bugs Mr TTR that I have so much “stuff” that I’ve accumulated over the last 30 years… because in his mind we should just get rid of it because it is “old” and he likes buying NEW stuff.  BUT I believe we should keep it because it is still useful / works etc.

Case in point… 

Mr TTR this summer wanted to buy new Patio Furniture… because he “likes” all the new looks that are coming out in regards to Outdoor Dining & Living Room sets.

We haven’t bought anything… because

I have a set of patio furniture that I paid a lot of money for when I was married the first time… and it is high-end stuff (think we paid somewhere around $ 2000 for this 8 piece Dining Set).  So even though it is “old” (by his definition… meaning the look of it isn’t the same as what is in fashion now… it is very serviceable, comfortable, and will easily last another 10 years).  He’d like to get rid of it… either give it away, or sell it off for a $ 100.  And then he wants to go out and buy the latest Patio Stuff and spend about $ 3000 or more.  Which I think it ridiculous.

Current solution… is we are at a stand-off.  We are making do with his “old” patio furniture (still workable, but lower quality than mine… and not nearly as comfortable).  And my set is in storage.  At some point his stuff will fall apart (probably next summer).  And then we’ll have to make the decision on what to do…

Storage Lockers do seem to be something that I’ve discovered that a lot of Encore Marriages have… when 2 folks get together later in life (say over 40) people tend to own a lot of stuff.  And although you sell or give some of it away when merging households, there are always items that you tend to want to hold onto for whatever reason.  Sometimes the easiest way to do that without stirring up an argument is having some of it off-site (be that long term, or for seasonal storage, whatever).

Young couples find living together to be a challenge because of the newness of having to get along with someone (kind of like a roommate in college).  Older couples tend to do better with that because we’ve all lived with people in the past (usually previous spouces).  What is a challenge for most of us, is dealing with our “stuff”… it is hard merging households, and deciding what to keep and let go of.  AND if you have grown kids (adults)… they sometimes take offense to changes that happen especially if a couple chooses to reside in one of the former marital homes… it is wierd to come home as an adult child and find the house you once knew now totally changed out with “stuff” from the new spouce… and Mom or Dad’s longtime family stuff no more.

So that too, can sometimes cause issues…


Post # 12
871 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I tend to hide my things I want to keep in cupboards. They are hidden away from sight. He’s happy as long as its not on show. 

Post # 13
1686 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013


he took the remote out and wanted to keep the clear plastic packaging it came in. in case. NO. 

We actually do this. I have a box of recent purchase packaging and we keep it for 30 days before recycling in case we need to return it.  (Of course, after the store refund/exchange period is up, we get rid of it. 🙂

Post # 14
1686 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I grew up in a horder household. (Not like “Oh there is some clutter in this house” but like the Hoarders tv show, where it’s actually unsanitary and unsafe.) I actually get panicky if we have too much stuff. Mr. E isn’t bad, but clutter and disorganization bother him much less than they bother me. For the most part, he just follows my lead. There are some things he keeps for sentimental value, and I don’t push the issue.

Post # 15
10565 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

I wouldn’t call myself a hoarder, but I do tend to hold onto things more than Darling Husband.  I find it easier if I go through things and anything I’m willing to get rid of I hand off to Darling Husband.  He sees that I am getting rid of stuff and I don’t have the opportunity to decide that I want to keep something after all.

Darling Husband isn’t allowed to get rid of anything of mine without my permission (and vice versa, although I don’t see that really being an issue).

I suspect we’ll get rid of quite a bit of stuff when we move, and Darling Husband will be the one convincing me to do it.

Post # 16
1301 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@greenidlady: With great difficulties! No seriously my Darling Husband is a hoarder, I have a pathological fear of clutter. Luckily my Darling Husband is pretty chilled and has allowed me to throw most junk here and manage the house. I constantly throw out. He doesnt bat an eye lid anymore. 

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