Husband’s hoarding makes walls close in


Dear Amy: My husband and I — now empty-nesters — live alone in a large four-bedroom house.

My husband doesn’t qualify as a hoarder, but maybe only because I am constantly trying to organize everything.

He won’t throw anything away and forbids me from disposing of his possessions, even if they are broken or obviously will never be used again.

He buys anything that he considers a bargain, whereas I have become offended by over-consumption.

Because it is impossible to find anything in this mess, he buys a new item when we already have that item — somewhere! As a result, we have multiples of everything and our house is full of stuff.

We violate our homeowners’ association rules because our garbage bins won’t fit in our garage. The outside of the house is surrounded by junk — buckets of old golf balls, multiple grills, an old basketball hoop, etc.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours trying to organize, inventory, box things, etc. If I didn’t spend that time, the house would be a junkyard, and I resent having to spend my time this way. As I look around, inside and outside the house, I feel rage.

Although I have three rooms I keep “sacrosanct” — no clutter allowed — on the whole, I feel like the walls are closing in.

We’ve been married for many years, and I guess this is a petty thing, but it bothers me more and more. At this point I almost feel like it’s a deal breaker.

What should I do?

— Desperate Housewife


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