Minimalist Life with a Hoarder – Intros

Covid has kept families in lockdown for a year plus, so this anniversary seemed timely to publish a proper introduction to my minimalist life with a hoarder. Also, if you wanted an introduction to minimalism – or maybe just inspiration – I would love to recommend to you the MindBeautySimplicity site – as I’m one of her biggest fans. 🙂

Certainly one of the reasons (there’s more than 1, I promise) why I’m a nutjob is that I prefer a minimalist lifestyle while my husband does not. He’s more like a hoarder – as far as he constantly buys items that are unnecessary and duplicates, and leaves them cluttered all over the home, and will not get rid of them voluntarily. I recently posted about his latest duplicate purchases here if you were curious.

But he’s not unsanitary like hoarders we see on tv. I can attest that there isn’t a bug infestation or mold growing on our dirty dishes at home. It’s nowhere near that bad.

So I don’t know, is there a better descriptive word for this than “hoarder” then? I feel like hoarder might be a bit too extreme for what I mean. Let me give you all more insight, and let’s see if there’s a better description…

Minimalist Life with a Hoarder – Sharing Spaces

Before the lockdowns, my husband used to travel all the time for work. So much so, that I could keep the house picked-up and on-par with my comfort levels for the majority of the time. And he would only occasionally disrupt that. So it was very manageable for me. And I would have a decent amount of time satisfied and comfortable in my own home. That’s all I need.

But ever since Covid happened, he’s been home EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. And I have no escape from these habits of his that are making me crazy. I have no comfort in my own home.

He barely leaves the home anymore except to go buy more things that he will leave out to clutter the home, so things are really stressing me out here now.

Minimalist Life with a Hoarder – Money

When it comes to money, I am a super-saver while my husband is a super-spender. He literally lives paycheck-to-paycheck and that’s by his choice – it’s not a income situation.

I just don’t get any pleasure from spending money. I know that’s such a weird thing – I would never say that out-loud to anyone in my real life because I know how strange that is. My pleasure with money comes from saving it – it’s like, my security blanket and makes me feel safe and comfortable when it’s slowly accumulating in the bank.

One “win” that I do have under my belt, is that we both did agree to shun debt going-forward. When we got married, he was heavily in debt – due to credit cards and car payments and a loan from his parents. I don’t believe in debt as it cancels-out my security blanket, so this was my major deal-breaker. I paid-off everything he owed (including his financing for my engagement and wedding rings, so I paid for my own rings basically), and in exchange he agreed to no more debt again, as long as there were no changes to either of our employment statuses. And he’s lived up to that.

We only have mortgage debt at this point, and I’m focused on paying that off as quickly as possible. Having it really nags at me.

But he does spend every single penny he earns, as soon as he earns it basically. That still kills me, but we do have separate bank accounts so he can’t spend any money I earn. When we first got married, we had a joint bank account, but he would spend all the money we BOTH earned in that scenario, so I separated bank accounts quickly. It was necessary to keep my stress and anxiety under control.

Minimalist Life with a Hoarder – Clutter

But it’s the clutter at home that really kills me.

Here are a couple photos of our bathroom. We have separate sinks. Guess which one is his and guess which one is mine.

Minimalist Life with a Hoarder / Image Source: Pepper V.
Minimalist Life with a Hoarder / Image Source: Pepper V.

Like I said, it’s not bad at all – not like what you see on tv shows about hoarders. I realize that in comparison, our home is perfectly fine. But it just makes me flip out. I admit that it’s illogical for me to feel this way, but I do. And I struggle with keeping my feelings under control.

I walk into this multiple times everyday and I immediately have a stress response that I cannot explain. And what freaks me out 10x more than anything else, are all the open cabinets and drawers. And it doesn’t make any difference if I close them myself, a few minutes later they’ll be re-opened, and LEFT open. Ugh, just kills me.

He does that everywhere too. The worst is in the kitchen. He’ll open the pantry, take out whatever he wanted from in there, LEAVE the pantry door open, and then LEAVE OUT whatever he removed from in there, never returning it from where it came from. Everytime I walk into the kitchen and see that, I feel my blood pressure rising.

Anyhow, I’m really miserable living like this everyday. It’s been a whole entire year of this now. Absolutely no comfort in my own home because I can’t keep it in a condition that satisfies me. It stresses me out.

18 Replies to “Minimalist Life with a Hoarder – Intros”

  1. Man I feel you… In some ways I am like you and other ways I guess I am like your husband too! I like things in their place but I’m not always the neatest, and I can go a bit nuts online shopping🙄… And while my husband is a minimalist and super-saver like you, he’s also infamous for leaving his grape stems on the counter as if he really believes that’s where they belong. 🤨 I guess what works in our relationship is somehow we balance each other out in the end! Good luck!!

    1. I get it. I know that opposites attract is a common saying too, but finding that balance is the key. I’m so happy you’ve found that balance that works for you! I know there’s alot about me that makes my husband crazy too so we’re even in that regard. I think I just need a break. A year without a break has been intense and I think I’m at my last straw. 🙁

      1. Yes, you deserve a break! I have been suggestion to my girlfriends to make a date weekend with themselves! One of my friends is renting an airbnb over a weekend in May (without her kids and husband), sounds heavenly to me!

  2. We couldn’t imagine living together with a hoarder. We are of Scandinavian origin and what’s called a minimalist lifestyle is normal, well one could say ‘natural’ for us. We can’t think when surrounded by stuff. We love the big empty rooms of our house and this gives us concentration and inspiration.
    We admire you for being able to live together with a hoarder. By the way, we could live together with a messy person neither. Oh dear, now we feel very limited.
    Thanks for sharing.
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. Then your family would be PERFECT roommates for me then! I would be so happy sharing space with you all. I agree with what you said about not being able to think or concentrate. That’s exactly how I feel when surrounded by clutter or open drawers. It’s definitely a constant distraction for me. I’m most comfortable when everything is in its proper place and I do enjoy large empty spaces. I’m so envious of your home! 🙂

      1. You wouldn’t believe it my mother was quite untidy at home. She was a scientist and not at all interested in household things. She just didn’t see chaos in the house. And our cleaning lady was more than lazy. So my sister and me became quite organised and tidy. Well, that was our way of revolting.
        Wishing you a wonderful week
        Klausbernd 🙂

  3. Totally relate to your attitude wrt money. Steering clear of debt and living the minimalist life allows you to adhere to the old adage – money is a good servant but a poor master

  4. Can I ask you a question? Does he have any ADHD tendencies? Because I have a son with it and he does similar things. Perhaps if you could change the way you’re viewing it because there’s an outside factor to it (ADD?) then maybe it would help you to feel differently. Just a thought..

    1. I don’t know about ADHD or ADD, he doesn’t have that diagnosis. He definitely does pace an incredible amount though. I never noticed how bad it was until he was home full-time. You might be on to something there. I think my biggest issue is that I don’t have a break from it all anymore. He used to travel ALL THE TIME for work, so I was able to keep the house comfortable to my tastes and habits for a decent amount of time. And when he was home, and I didn’t have so much discomfort and stress built-up so I wasn’t bothered too much because I knew I would have my comfort time and safe space back soon. My problem now is that it’s built up to a point that I’m about to have a breakdown over it. I don’t have a light at the end of the tunnel anymore. 🙁

      1. I’m so sorry to hear this Pepper. I didn’t mean any harm in asking, but it sounded so similar to what I deal with here with my son. It’s frustrating I know. When I think that he can’t help it, I feel a little bit better knowing it’s not that he’s doing it to me, but rather it’s the ADD. I hope your hubby begins travel again soon and that the virus goes away so you can regain your peace and light at the end of the tunnel. Sending hugs.💗

        1. Aw no worries about asking… I’m sorry to hear that you have similar frustrations too. I wish I had some words of advice to help you too, but as you know, I’m kinda stuck myself so I don’t have any ideas. If I come up with anything helpful, I’ll be sure to let you know. 🙂

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