Hoarder in the house causes stress

Dear Amy: My spouse (D) and I have been happily married (second marriages) for 25 years. We have adult children and grandchildren and are a very happy family.

D is a paper hoarder. It accumulates in big piles because D is unable to make decisions.

D’s small office is a labyrinth of paper piles that fall over and slither across the floor. The bookshelves are packed.

Because the office is basically unusable, the dining room table becomes a substitute desk.

Our basement is full of moldy boxes mostly full of paper stuff.

Under beds and an unused bedroom are likewise filling up.

I keep ahead of the paper elsewhere in the house, putting it in D’s office to keep the other rooms clear. I intercept the mail so I can throw away the junk immediately.

Bringing this up elicits a lot of anger or passive resistance.

We have hired organizers, but my experience is that the current piles get thinned and filed (slowly and over days), but there is no concurrent re-training, and the piles just grow again.

D experiences a lot of frustration when needed stuff can’t be found, and often important documents or mail disappear into the piles, with bills not being paid, etc.

I need advice on how to help with this and to protect myself and our house from the paper avalanche. I worry about fire and bugs, but more about D’s happiness.

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