Being married to a pack rat can be incredibly frustrating. Especially when you find yourself constantly trying to reduce the clutter while your husband keeps creating more.
One of the most important things when it comes to having a clean and organized home is to reduce the clutter within it’s walls. The truth is though, when you are married to a pack rat, this isn’t an easy feat. In fact, trying to manage a space that is overflowing with someone else’s clutter can be downright infuriating.
What is a Pack Rat?
A pack rat is defined as an individual who has an abundance of unnecessary or unusable items saved. Pack rats tend to hoard or save items that they don’t really need, taking up an abundance of space and cluttering the home.
Signs Your Husband is a Pack Rat
• It’s a challenge for him to get rid of unnecessary items.
• Rather than throwing random items like old receipts out, he creates piles all over the house.
• He is extremely disorganized and doesn’t know where most of his belongings are.
• They continue to add to the disorganization and unusable items.
How to Encourage Your Pack Rat Husband to Help Declutter
To encourage your pack rat husband to help declutter your home, you will want to take a few simple steps and create new rules. Changing the way your husband views the clutter is important.
Be the Example
Start with your own items first. Work for weeks on your own items or rooms. This may include your part of the closet, your office or even the kitchen or laundry. When someone sees the progress you are making they are more likely to see the benefits of clearing out the clutter.
If you are missing some camaraderie in the process or want to talk about your progress with others, my friend Hilary has an amazing course that comes with access to a super supportive Facebook group. If this sounds like something that would help you then check out The Organized Home course and group.
NEVER Take it Upon Yourself
No matter how frustrated you may be by your husband’s pack rat ways, it is never a good idea to take it upon yourself to throw any of these items out. This should be a change and a choice that your husband makes, not one that he is forced to cope with all at once.
Questions to Ask Your Husband
1. Do you love it? – If your husband owns items he doesn’t love, then why does he own them? Of course, there are some items that will hold important value that he wouldn’t particularly love like his toothbrush, but this question refers more to items that serve little to no purpose. If he doesn’t love and it doesn’t serve a purpose, it’s time to get rid of it.
2. Why do you have it? – If your husband isn’t going to use it anytime soon, it serves no purpose at all and is seemingly worthless, why does he have it? If your husband discovers that items that he won’t use, still hold some monetary value, he can sell them.
3. Why did you get it in the first place? – Quite often the reason pack rats purchase so many things is because they were on clearance or a great deal. Regardless of the reason, if it’s not useful, it may be time to sell or trash it.
4. Is it associated with positive memories? – If your husband is a pack rat chances are he holds on to items he perceives to be sentimental. If your husband has many sentimental cards, trinkets or letters have him go through each one and ask himself whether it’s the item that holds value or the memory itself. This doesn’t mean that he must throw out every single card and love letter, he just has to look through all the items and determine whether or not it is necessary to save to hold on to the memories.
Have a Plan
Once you have asked these important questions of your husband and had a good discussion, really listening and understanding his feelings, you can move onto implementing these as a strategy. For your husband to discontinue his pack rat ways, and help you declutter your home, he needs to approach things differently than he has been. The questions you asked him should be questions he continually asks himself before storing new items from this point forward.
FREE 30 DAY DECLUTTERING CALENDAR
Print it out and get your house under control.
Words of Encouragement
When you notice your husband taking the steps necessary to helping you declutter, it is important to offer words of encouragement and positive reinforcement. Changing habits is a slow process and not something that is going to happen over night. Stay patient and positive and make sure to recognize the small steps he is taking to change his habits.
It is important to remember that your husband will not change over night, these habits take him wanting to change his pack rat ways, not being forced into it. If you are hoping to get your pack rat husband on board with decluttering, you will have to make sure to remain patient, take baby steps and encourage him the best you can.
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