Uh-oh! Hoarder alert!

Yesterday, I told you guys about our biannual goodie bag subscription aka my parents and how they send in all kinds of goodies in the form of clothes and food to us twice a year. And while all that is really convenient and sweet, it comes with a downside. When we selected this apartment as our first home, one of the main features I went for was the closet space. We have a pretty attractive closet with quite a lot of space, 3/4 of which I occupy. Or my stuff does. Either way, we got stuck with a broken half-fridge and a tiny kitchen because I found our closet pretty orgasmic. Setting up that closet and filling it with my our stuff was the best part of moving in for me. Little did I know that a free biannual subscription was going to start soon.

I've mentioned before that while I'm very materialistic, I'm not at all attached to the stuff I own. I don't believe in always shopping at high-end brands because I want to feel guilt-free when I'm "over" something. I understand that it's important to invest in some good key items like a really good pair of jeans or a nice long-lasting pair of sun glasses or a durable winter jacket but apart from about 10 items in my closet, I could easily get rid of (or replace) all the other stuff in there. And that, I feel, is ideal for the situation I am in. If only things were that easy all the time.

By now, you've all virtually met The Husband. That guy with a constant scrunchy beard because hates shaving, walking around in a depleted black shirt, wearing mostly the same pair of jeans and owning only one pair of shoes. He seems to be the kind of guy who doesn't particularly care about his looks, doesn't he? That's right. He doesn't care about his looks at all. But for someone who is so indifferent about his looks, he has a serious problem bordering on obsession. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a hoarder amongst us.

I've been noticing this for some time now but it was only yesterday that I saw the full extent of his condition. We have his oldest laptop in the house and I've suggested multiple times that we should maybe sell it online or give it away for free. But he always says that he will work on it and fix it because it used to be quite a powerful machine. 16 months and he hasn't laid his eyes on that thing even once. There's this old pair of fuzzy socks that he never wears because they make his shoes feel too tight. I tried to donate them once and he said he wanted to save them for the winter. He never wears socks indoors no matter how cold it gets outside. He has 7 hoodies and jackets out of which he only wears 2, come what may. Whenever I try to get him to wear some of the others, he always finds an excuse like "It's too warm!" or "It's not thick enough" or "This one doesn't have a hood. What if it rains today?". So when I suggest that we donate them, he says he intends to wear them the next day. All of them. All at once.

But yesterday, we reached a point where we had to decide what to do with all the clothes that he wasn't wearing. After my parents' goodie bag arrived with a new bunch of shirts and t-shirts, we literally had no more hangers or cupboard space to store the new additions. So I sat him down and went through each item in his wardrobe one by one.

"This black shirt doesn't even look black anymore. It's a weird brownish-grey colour now and sometimes even looks purple under strange lighting. Let's give it away?"

"No! No no no. I'll wear it at home."


"This black shirt is too loose for you now. Look we just got all these new black shirts. Donate?"

"Oh hell no! That one's my favorite! I'll wear it at home."


"This one is 5 years old and it's in size Medium. You don't fit into it anymore. Donate?"

"You never know. I might fit into it soon. I'm going to hit the gym."

"Sweety, it's been FIVE years. You're not a boy anymore. You've grown. You CANNOT fit into a Medium size shirt anymore!"

"You never know. Let's keep it."


"This one's missing a button. You haven't worn it in ages because of the missing button."

"I'm ordering a sewing kit off of Amazon right now."

"But even the button is missing!"

"Ordering a set of black buttons right now."

"But you don't know how to sew anyway."

"Opening a Youtube video on sewing lessons right now."


That went on for a while and so far, he's let me donate ONE shirt. The one with the missing button. All the others will be "worn at home", he says. But what about all those hundred t-shirts that he already wears at home? Most of them have holes in them and he still won't let me donate them. When we first moved in here, we were actually going through some stuff and he said that I could get rid of one t-shirt because he didn't want it anymore. I love that t-shirt so I just put it in the wash and put it back in his cupboard and he still wears it without realising that he'd wanted it gone. When stuff mysteriously disappears from our house, not even once has he come up to me demanding to know where it all went. He just doesn't notice these things. There was once an ugly t-shirt that he would never stop wearing. Around the time of our wedding, I found it at his parents house when it came out of the wash and I casually tossed it into the back of a cupboard filled with junk because I knew that a) no one was going to find it there and b) my mother-in-law would promptly donate it if she ever came across it. The Husband still shares horror stories of how his mother would sometimes randomly raid her children's cupboards and decide that 90% of the contents had to be given away to charity. It was her style of doing it and I totally believe the horror stories.

But that one time that I got rid of his ugly blue t-shirt, I felt so guilty that I went up to him months later and confessed. He hadn't noticed its absence till I told him about it but I still hear that tale of betrayal from time to time -_-

I just don't want to be that girlfriend or wife who gets rid of her partner's stuff albeit for the greater good. I feel that it's a huge breach of privacy and personal space to do that. But how do you even handle this level of hoarding? How do you convince someone that they sometimes just need to let go of stuff? How can I turn this into a win-win situation? Are you a hoarder who understands why he's doing this? Are you someone like me who has to live with a hoarder? Have you ever been in this situation?

Some advice would be great, thank you very much! Preferably before the new clothes come out of the wash.


Photo credit: Schill via Visual hunt / CC BY


COMMENTS