View Full Version : How to get DH to de-clutter/purge?

09-24-2010, 10:34 AM
So, the flylady thread had me thinking. *I* don't mind de-cluttering and purging, for me it's more a matter of finding time to do it w/o a kid hanging off of me and distracting me. My problem is DH. As I de-clutter I ALWAYS end up with a ton of DH's crap that he has left lying around. I pile it up on his desk for HIM to deal with it. Does he deal with it? No. Literally, he is just fine letting it pile up. I call him the trash collector, b/c he doesn't seem to mind just having trash everyone in his, 'study' (which btw looks HORRIBLE, b/c we use the living room right off of our foyer as the study).

How do you get your DH to de-clutter/purge? He NEVER wants to do it, ALWAYS wants to keep things, doesn't want to give things away or throw it away. My parents are hoarder types and it just frustrates me that my DH leans in this direction too. Every time I de-clutter his clothes closet, he picks stuff out that I have thrown into the donate pile, even though he has nicer stuff that he doesn't wear that much. My mil is always going on and on about how my DH was such a neat and tidy child, but as long as I've known him (college), he's been a total slob. Like one of those types whose car is a sea of food and drink containers. He just doesn't seem to mind trash laying around, I don't get it. Like he'll eat something and leave the empty pkging on the counter top. It BUGS me, but he doesn't understand why. The trash can is RIGHT there. Same with mail. I go through mail ASAP, most of it goes straight into the trash. If he gets the mail, he won't go through it, he just stick it under something else and I find it days later.

09-24-2010, 12:16 PM
My DH is more like that than I'm going to describe here. The only *big* difference is that he is starting to see the big picture consequences, and he just gave me permission to toss ANYTHING. So, that's not getting him to do it, but it will eventually get the job done. In the past, he has complained about stuff I was donating, even if it was from the kitchen, so this is a big change.

Like Kris (in the FLYLady thread), I have success pulling out stuff and leaving it on the bed for him to sort through. (Because it's hard for me to throw out his stuff if it isn't obvious trash). It has to be a small amount, but it can be several times per week. And it helps if I organize for him, so that at least his tools are in one place, and school stuff in one place, and hobby stuff in one place.

Counting DH's pants motivated him some, because he had no idea he had so many. He is now saying he needs to sort through them (which is far better than me saying he needs to do it) and it has stopped him from buying more. (My DH is a huge shopper. At least he's a bargain shopper)

In your case, if he has nice clothes he rarely wears, I'd ask him why. . . and consider donating them if he doesn't like the color, the style, or the fit. If he doesn't love it, and doesn't wear it, it's not worth keeping when someone else will love it. Maybe save a few outfits he likes for special occasions.

09-24-2010, 12:33 PM
My DH is like that and that is why he has a pile on the bed right now :).

For other things -

* I've made a spot where mail goes. He puts it there and I go through it.
* I sort through his piles of stuff, before they're too big, and tell him when I'm trashing them if he doesn't do something.

Also, I've found that since our house got overall much more organized, he's much, much better at keeping things that way. Before, his clutter just added to the overall clutter and he didn't even notice. Now, when he leaves his clothes on the floor, it's obvious because the rest of the floor is clean.

09-26-2010, 06:34 PM
I think most husbands are that way

I gave DH a basket, where I put all his mail and papers after throwing obvious junk out. It helps, but I have to remind him to go through it. At least all the paper clutter is confined in a basket I can hide away

09-26-2010, 07:59 PM
DH is pretty good with the big stuff once he gets going. It's the day-to-day papers that pile up. A few years ago I put an in-box on the stairs to his office. Now I just put all of his papers and stuff in the in-box. He deals with it when it's convenient for him and I don't have to have it all over the house.

09-26-2010, 08:03 PM
DH is like this too, I'm interested in hearing what advice you get.

... Now I just put all of his papers and stuff in the in-box. He deals with it when it's convenient for him...

I do have this for DH, the trouble is the "when it's convenient for him" part, which is never.

09-28-2010, 12:57 AM
I just got DH to sort through all the computer disks/manuals that we've kept. We were sitting in front of the TV and I would hand him a pile, he would sort into keep or throw away pile. I then put the keep pile away into the filing cabinet. DH knows I'll toss things if he doesn't help with the sorting.

I am the one that is more organized - I wanted to file the manuals by keyboard/mouse/monitor and DH is throw them all in a box and I'll sort through them when I need to get a disk. So, I do more of the keeping things organized as that's my tendency - but I keep way too much and spend too much time on things that aren't really worth the investment. DH's organization strategy pre-me was to throw everything in a banker's box. He is better now, but that's because I set up baskets/file cabinet etc. I do wish he would be more proactive and put things away on his own/set up the filing cabinet etc, but then we would probably argue about how it's set up, I like how I set things up...my control issue.

I have several more things we need to sort through, so I might try the sit in front of the TV and do it then.

09-28-2010, 10:49 AM
I make him purge and sort in small doses ;). For example I gather a pile of his papers and over the weekend I'll sit with him and ask him to sort it, he usually ends up tossing most of it, I don't know why he won't do it on his own in the first place. Apparently he needs me to tell him and supervise him. Or sometimes if it's just a few things I'll ask him "do you want to keep this? if so, where are you going to file it?".

I also think like a PP that he's more likely to keep some order with his stuff if the rest of the house is organized.

My MIL told me she gave my FIL 48 hours to go through a bunch of stuff and if not she would toss all of it. She already did it once so he knows she's for real with her ultimatums.

Another thing that motivates my DH is that he likes the house to look perfect when people come over, so I'll tell him to invite friends for dinner and the morning before he's purging like CRAZY.

09-28-2010, 11:02 AM
Honestly, speaking from experience--some men need an intervention. BIL and BFF's DH are examples. They are hoarders and my sisters house and BFF's house are two places I have NEVER been inside b/c no one is allowed in due to the mess.

DH likes to keep stuff and drop stuff where it falls, but he grew up with a hoarder and does periodically purge (although lately he has been so busy he asked me to do it and let him just glance at what I put together to go out of the house).