Sunday, April 27, 2008

Different Decluttering Styles...

You'll have to talk me back from the edge.

When I started clearing out the basement, some of you may remember, I tackled it 15 minutes at a time. I started with one 15 minute session, then two, then I just stayed down there as long as I had the energy and the time to do the job I'd set for the day (and sometimes getting distracted and doing a different job). This is my way. This is my style. It keeps the impact of the project low, and allows for frequent breaks when one is overwhelmed with the decisions that need to be made .

The husband is quite different. Impressed with the work I've done down in the basement, he's motivated to clear out his workshop. It truly needs to be done. Specifically, he needs room to use his router table and he wants to leave the collapsible "Workmate" workbench up so he has an extra surface to saw upon.

I'm all for it, actually.

He has a wall of shelves, 24" deep. He wants to cut them in half (so they are 12" deep) and clear them off--not my way--slowly and in small bits of time, hauling out 75 lbs of crap or so a week--no, he wants to do it his way--which means dumping everything into my freshly cleaned and cleared area--and then putting back what will "fit."

Egads.

I can see this taking months!
Months where no one can use the dartboard again, months where the punching bag will be inaccessible again.

Should I bite the bullet and just let him do it "his way" or should I encourage him to do it the way I did?

Maybe you could suggest how it might be done his way--and not take months. That would make me happy.

7 comments :

zooza said...

Yikes. That doesn't sound like a path to happiness and harmony. I'd really recommend some encouragement for him to do it your way. Or agree a firm deadline for completion with him if he must dump everything in your clean space? Either way, I'm weeping inside with frustration for you.

drwende said...

There must be some reason that he'd benefit from NOT having a heap of crap in the floor for weeks. He needs to be reminded of whatever that reason is.

Colleen (CQ in DC / quinncx) said...

oh no- no way Mister! All that hard work down the drain? I'd tell him that there is no way he can destroy what has already been accomplished so he can either do it slow and steady, or dump everything out onto the lawn to sort through!

Seriously, if I had done what you've done, and my husband made such a plan, my blog post would have been more along the lines of "trying to hide a body in my newly cleaned basement"...

Alana in Canada said...

Thank you ladies...I was wondering if perhaps I was over reacting a tad--after all, if that space wasn't clear, then he would have had no way to make a start on the workshop.

He's decided he can get rid of a box of books right away. (They're old paperbacks--so old, the second hand bookstores won't even take them because their covers have prices like 75 cents on them.)

lorijo said...

OH NO! How about this- I do understand his need to take everthing out and start fresh. It's how I like to clean out big messes too, but it doesn't always work out well. He's already taking some items out that he doesn't want right? Well, have him go through and look around and have him remove everything he know he doesn't want. And when I say remove, I mean remove. Throw away or donate or sell, but it has to LEAVE the house. Once all of that is gone, there may be a smaller amount to move. If that's the case, then I would have a VERY small time frame (like a weekend)that he can move his items out into the clean space, clean and organize his space, then move everything back in. Then, he has to promise to clean whatever he messed up in the space you already cleaned.

lorijo said...

OH NO! How about this- I do understand his need to take everthing out and start fresh. It's how I like to clean out big messes too, but it doesn't always work out well. He's already taking some items out that he doesn't want right? Well, have him go through and look around and have him remove everything he know he doesn't want. And when I say remove, I mean remove. Throw away or donate or sell, but it has to LEAVE the house. Once all of that is gone, there may be a smaller amount to move. If that's the case, then I would have a VERY small time frame (like a weekend)that he can move his items out into the clean space, clean and organize his space, then move everything back in. Then, he has to promise to clean whatever he messed up in the space you already cleaned.

Alana in Canada said...

Lorijo--I'd love to use the "tough-love" approach, but it would just make my husband dig his heels in and take even longer. I volunteered to help him today for 15 minutes. "No. I want to do it myself."

Then when he'd brought me one box and left it on the pic-nic table--on its way out to the car--I said, "Is that all?" He just gave me That Look which pins creepy things to the wall. So I shut up.

When I got to the donation centre, I found he'd put in two more small boxes of books--so, it's a start.

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