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Spouse or Partner Caregiver Forum
frequent need to reorganize and get rid of items
Hi Doris. This happens at our house too, and I also struggle with how to handle it. Just yesterday my partner was vacuuming (a very favorite activity) but then all of a sudden decided she needed to go through and "organize" a bin in the kitchen where all the extra batteries are kept. Drives me nuts, she takes them all out of their packages, which makes them much hoarder to keep up with. I had to leave the room. Then she decided she "organize" the pantry, which also driven me nuts as I'm the one who uses it, and she moves things to places where I can't find them. It's like a constant game ofvhide and seek. She also moves keys constantly, they are never where they are supposed to be.
I think you are doing the right thing to just let him do it over and over, unfortunately. I don't think there's any "distracting" to be done. Is there a place you can put the box for your daughter that he cant access? Signs and notes dont work around here any more because she doesnt see/read them any more.
Items like the cameras.....help him box them up and both of you take them to someone who will use them.
Items earmarked like the box for your daughter.....get it to your daughter or whoever
bicycle/tools and the like.....get rid of them
I would take advantage of his desire to sort/organize/dispose of. I would go through closets and drawers...attics and basements.
Interesting topic! Right now I am experiencing the 'other side' of this problem.
My DH keeps everything!
Styrofoam cups are stacked and loose all over the shelf between the kitchen and the living room...along with empty bottles, clear plastic plates (we live where meals are served and social events with food which is served on small clear plastic plates). He even asks other people to 'save the plates' for him.
There are stacks of things on EVERY surface in the living room, and lots of empty soda cans and who knows what on the two tables next to his chair.
DH often has up to 5 pairs of shoes around his recliner.
You get the picture.
I cannot do anything about this clutter. DH is outraged if I move anything. And since I'm very disabled (braces and a walker) I cannot move and discard these things, even if DH didn't realize I was doing that.
The clutter makes me CRAZY! I like clean surfaces and orderly arrangement of things I'm using. I constantly clear and truly organize, and also discard unwanted articles. We often send a full box to Goodwill and other organizations. But everything is MINE, DH doesn't get rid of anything, ever.
When we moved into Independent Living 2.5 years ago, DH brought 30 ratty stained t-shirts, and every article of his clothing including his tuxedo! Of the three large closets we have, his stuff is in two of them.
I read almost all of the postings here, and I have no idea what will happen next with my DH. I find this all so upsetting and scary.
DH still drives, takes me to appointments, runs errands for me. He's become surprisingly easy going as his MCI has progressed. He relies on me to get him to appointments and activities. And I think DH knows he needs me. DH has always been fiercely independent for all the 59 years of our marriage.
And I am trying very hard to adjust to his clutter......I have to adjust since there isn't anything I can do about it. Even with his cooperation I couldn't collect, organize and dispose of DH things without tremendous physical effort on my part.
DH also opens boxes that come when I'm out, and stores everything that has come, and then doesn't tell me. I don't know where anything is, and he's very tall and puts things on high shelves and on top of all the cupboards and on the refrigerator. So everything has 'stuff' on top of it everywhere in our 800 sq ft apartment.
Sharing this minor stuff with all of you is very cathartic for me. And under the 'minor stuff' anxiety is my fear of the future....of the changes that are sure to come.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your contributions to this forum.
Loved that you said "drives me nuts" Those were my actual words to myself. Although I would rather not feel as though I am going nuts - it is reassuring to know that I am not alone. Here's hoping we do not go nuts!!!
I like your suggestions and all are things I plan to do or have done. But we must remember that our days are full with the needs of our LO and our own lives - such as taking the car with the dead battery to service this morning - something LO always did in the past and now is my responsibility. The pressure one can feel from a LO to take care of something right now, his own anxiety feeding onto the caregiver, can be overwhelming. Someone suggested hiding. I have started to do that until I can take care of it at my own speed. Daughter lives out of state and is coming someday when her schedule allows to get the items. Hiding and notes work well for now. Yes, taking advantage of his desire has worked at times but I am now leaving things for him to continue to sort through again and again. It can be a great way for him to be occupied.
I can relate to both sides of this situation.
I buy my husband shorts, tee shirts etc. I found the new clothing in the garbage the other day.
He feels the cold so even on a hot day, he will wear long pants. He complains of the cold, shuts off the a/c and jacks up the heat. He then gets too hot and takes off all his clothing. Then the cycle repeats itself.
The clutter is that he has all these tropical plants in the basement, half of them are dead because he can’t care for them. He also has a lot of cooking equipment from when he did baking. I am looking to quietly remove a lot of this stuff and donate it.
He throws away my stuff as well, saying I don’t need it. I do.
It is like being lost in a strange city with no map.
Buggsroo - I understand your feelings about being in a strange city with no map.