Thursday, April 18, 2013

For Better or for Worse: The Spousal Treasure Hoard

Being married, for better or for worse, includes your spouse's hoarding.

my husband's end table

My husband is a bibliophile. He has many, many books. Early in our marriage he thought I didn't notice the new ones. But I eventually spotted them (and calculated how much they cost. )

my craft closet

Likewise, he watched my  stash of fabric and yarn grow from modest, to significant, to indulgent.  He also noted the completion rate of projects from said collection. Some projects I finished quickly, some hung around for years!   He pretended to number them  and would say, "Is that unfinished project 492?"

projects 600 and 601

 My daughter's issue was shoes. Can anyone relate?  My son-in-law recently remodeled her bedroom closet. Of course, all of the shoes, boots, and sandals had to be moved. He categorized and counted them. She was shocked to see them in a large pile and sorted through them. She made some Goodwill shopper very happy with her contribution. 

One friend has a bigger job ahead of her. Her husband noticed that their large freezer was completely full. They haven't had to feed ravenous teenagers for years and his curiosity kicked in. His inventory showed they had more steaks, roasts and pounds of hamburger than they could eat in a year. While she defended the purchases because they were such good deals, she agreed to quit buying and start cooking.
photo by Xandert

As Americans we have the luxury of buying more than we need. (And I am not talking about TV-worthy hoarding, just too much of a good thing.) It's not a  healthy mindset however. Some of my beautiful woolens were eventually ruined by moths. Unused meat can even go bad in a freezer. And shoes are better worn than forgotten.

I'm grateful for my husband's teasing. It helped me reduce the resources I'd accumulated to use "someday."  Likewise, he gave away books. 

Do you struggle with how much is enough? What have you learned in the process? 


  1. When my sweet mother-in-law died, we started cleaning out her house. We discovered that she was a serious hoarder--things hidden away every where. It's made me consider my piles of stuff and I've began going through things. I don't want the girls to deal with this mess when I'm gone.

  2. Amen, Sherry. We found my mother-in-law's 35 year old lesson plans from teaching!


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