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.
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.