We got this question about neat freaks and pack rats, and it seems like almost every couple has this problem. Are you the packrat, or the one quick to chuck stuff? What suggestions do you have for negotiating different organizational philosophies? – Cat
I hate clutter. If a thing has no use, no purpose, no reason for being, I want to get rid of it. I don’t like souvenirs or knick-knacks or tchotchkes. I like tidiness.
It’s deeply satisfying to declutter. I feel a physical lightness after organizing a space. When I look around at a tidied room, it lifts my mood.
But my husband likes to keep things “just in case.” He keeps golf clubs — even though he hasn’t golfed in the three years we’ve been together — and half-used college notebooks. I can totally understand why he keeps that stuff. He did enjoy golfing occasionally at one time, and the notebooks still have lots of usable blank pages.
I try to be sensitive. He worries when I clean out a drawer that I’ll throw out something important. When he looks at his closet, he sees clothes he might wear at the right occasion — not clothes he never wears.
So I don’t push my cleaning ways on him, and I don’t resent that his stuff takes up more of the closet space than mine. I really try to have him look through the boxes before they go to Goodwill, and the piles of paper before they hit the recycling bin. But this is a difficult adjustment for both of us.
How can I deal with this difference in styles?