Monday, July 18, 2011

De - Cluttering..........

I really want to de-clutter my house and put it in order. For that I need your help. Please give me some idea as to how I may deal with hip grandpa as some of you fondly call my husband. He is a hoarder with a capital H and to throw things off I need to get him to turn a blind eye to my cleaning spree. The cleaning bug rarely strikes me but when it does, the sting is strong enough to depress me for days on end.

The first thing I would like to give away is a 45 year old Sumeet Mixer. It doesn’t even belong to me. Mine is just 30 years old but needs to be thrown out all the same. The story of how I managed to acquire a 45 year old mixer - as if I did not have enough to deal with – needs to be told for you to understand my predicament.

The archaic piece actually belongs to my friend who had repaired it at least 10 times before getting herself a new one. We had gone to her place for lunch. I saw a shiny new mixer in her kitchen and asked her if the brand was good since I wanted to buy one for myself. I would give away my old one I said. My husband who was reading the newspaper was shocked that I should even think of it.

“Do you know that Sumeet mixers are the best? The motor is so sturdy that it will last for 30 more years.”

My friend took my side and said that the company did not manufacture mixers any more and it was difficult to get blades and other spare parts. Spurious blades made by local units were not good enough. She went on to say that her own Sumeet mixie was lying idle since it was beyond repair.

Give it to me.” My husband said. “I’ll get it repaired. I know a person who does a good job of it.”

I’ve got a new one.” My friend said. “Please don’t bother”.

There are times when my husband becomes deaf and blind at the same time. He just did not want to listen to my friend’s protests and insisted on getting it repaired.

“He won’t charge much” he went on to explain. “He is very reasonable.”

My friend insisted that she was not interested in getting it repaired and my husband insisted that his electrician would repair it for a reasonable cost and she finally bundled the mixer in a bag and gave it to him saying that she did not want it back. He could give it to a needy person if it could be put to use.

I tried glaring and staring at him. He could not read the message conveyed by my eyes and I wanted to get his eyes tested. I was left with no option but to cart the mixer to my already cluttered house. It is another story that my husband spent some 200 rupees to fix it but it does not work. The motor is in good condition but the alignment with the jar is faulty. As a result when the jar is attached the blade does not budge. He is as possessive of the mixer as if it belonged to my mother in law. These are times when I truly miss her presence. She would have thrown the thing away and drilled some sense into her son’s head. I tried giving it in exchange for a new mixer. The shop was offering a 20% discount on the price of a new mixer of my choice.

It is not ours” bellowed my husband.

“S will not mind” I wailed.

The net result is that although I have now purchased a new mixer I have two old ones adorning my store room. When a mixer that is not working, that does not belong to us and has been abandoned by its owner cannot be given away you can imagine how possessive he would be of all the ‘hard earned’ purchases made by him. The new mixer is to be used sparingly he insists. The old one is sturdier he claims. I’ve given up.

This is just about one thing that I want to give (read- throw) away and there are plenty of other stuff that need to be treated the same way. My mother in law’s cot for instance. Its ply board needs to be changed. It is standing erect in the spare bedroom. I want it to be repaired and put to use or given away. At least 50% of the stuff we have could be given away but the very mention is enough to start a quarrel. To be fair my husband is equally possessive of things given by my mother. The trunk that my mother gave at the time of my wedding, the wooden chest with my father’s name written on it -- well the list is long. Ideas anyone?

20 comments:

Sumana said...

Hilarious post HHG. Will come back to read it more. You both make a great pair.

R's Mom said...

Hip grandpa is like my dad and you are like my mom...so what my mom does is..just throws it away and then says 'arey it got so bad that there were cockroaches all over it and then the maid got so scared that we both just threw it away' in case of appa, he hoards on books, old science articles and some inventions made of glass and tube which he designed....they are obsolete and yet he always wants them! Ma is seriously fed up hehee :) hugs to both of you

passerby55 said...

Hi there!

how big is your house, must be spacious enough. If you have a big house, De-cluttering is not easy.

The problem is when things have memories attached to it, you will never part with them.. Same case with me, my mother and her mother and also my great grandmother.

SO you see we have a very cluttered mind! maybe Well knit !

hugs and take care!

apu said...

HG, my husband and yours are mele-mein-bichde-hue-bhai! I have exactly the same problem. and I deal with it with persistent nagging :( Inspite of that, very little progress is made! Accidently "losing" stuff seems to be the best option, as R's Mom says.

RS said...

HHG - My Dad too is a hoarder! And Mom just piled everything up one day and told him to check if he can use anything out of those things which havent been used in years - so many aluminium vessels/some trunks and huge vessels and Dad conceded that tehre is no use for them anymore.She also convinced him that she will buy him something of his choice with the money she gets :-) That did it - she bought him a new 2-1 player and redid the kitchen with the rest of the money! - Now both are happy...

Uma said...

LOL @ the mixer story. I am also saddled with a braun mixer that is 35 yrs old.

and pls don't throw away the trunk and wooden chest (or anything brass and antique) - painted trunks are in vogue now... I'm beating myself for giving away couple of wooden chests 5 yrs back. Now I'm hunting for them all over again :(

but then, throw away electonics that u don't use anymore...and all the steel dabbas without the lid, etc etc...

Smita T said...

My MIL has the same problem... what she does is... just calls the kabadiwala and hands over the things with an "jo hoga dekha jayega" attitude... and says I am cleaning up the house for DILs who will inherit the junk with the house one day

The Brown Vagabond said...

That was good humour, HHG.

My brother is a hoarder. He did not let us throw any thing that my grandmother left. She was a hoarder too. We inherited stacks of bills and cardboard boxes from her.

There is a mixer tale in my brother's house too. He never lets my mother part with any of the broken jars and unusable parts.

Sangi said...

Funny! Agree with not throwing out anything old like chests - an art project, maybe? Redo and display differently?

As for the mixer, a quiet disposal or even better a super quiet burial! :-D

Hip Grandma said...

Sumana:Thanks. We are opposites when it comes to giving away things. My husband wont give away sockets and plugs that have been replaced and I can gladly give away any stuff that are of no use to me.

R's Mom: i do it too. When the stuff can be packed into brown paper bags and trashed. The mixer is huge and cannot be dumped without his knowledge.

Passerby55:My house was fairly big when we moved in. Now we have less people (just the two of us) and more junk. There are areas such as the loft and the top shelves that have not been checked for years.

apu:Strange that when I give away his shirts and pants he hardly notices. But try giving away - well not even giving it away,just lend it to a neighbor- he starts looking for it immediately. 'mookiley verkkum pola irukku'.

RS:very smart of your mother. Would like to approach her for tips.

Uma: my dad's wooden chest is very precious to me too. I have some use for it. But mixies that cannot be used, the yendiram that my MIL used the tripod stand for the steel kudam in these days of plastic bottles and no water shortage, don't even get me started..........

smita T:My daughters and daughter in law are going to be very cut up with us if they are ever burdened with clearing our house. i think I should follow your mother in law's practice. Ha, ha! "jo hoga dekha jayega" indeed. This grandpa generation cannot chase us out can they? who else is going to put up with their weird habits?

The brown vagabond: is your brother married? I think it is either the mother or the wife that can drill sense into the heads of hoarders.

Sangi:Between you and me I have come to know that a friend plans to purchase a new mixie and I've told her about the 20% discount stuff. We are scheming on ways to remove the mixie without my husband's knowledge. My friend S(Mixie's owner) is well known to this friend too.Very exciting to be scheming and plotting at my age.

hillgrandmom said...

In my house, it's my husband who is much less of a hoarder, except it comes to his finance magazines. But then he can be persuaded once they pile up to a sizeable height. Seems like the plotting to quietly exchange the mixie seems like the best idea.

Hip Grandma said...

hillg'mom:God help the house hold where both are hoarders! That however doesn't normally happen. I only hope the plot to exchange mixies works. will keep you posted.

An Indian said...

Alright you talking about de-cluttering your house and I Wanna de-clutter my mind! You see am sorry I can't help you with your problem but if you can help me I'll stay obliged to you for ever.From 1 week I'm facing trouble falling asleep,like I feel sleepy,eyelids get heavy and strongly feel sleepy at bed time but the false thoughts are not letting me 'fall into' sleep. And the false thought cluttering my mind is here - ''why to sleep and become unaware of the presence?''. This kind of thought is monsterous I tell you and is keeping me awake even when I feel badly sleepy.HELP please! Note-I have no tensions or worries.Then why it's happening to me??

noon said...

It's kind of sweet also you know..this post...I enjoyed it. Although I understand how annoying it must be when you want to declutter and the other person won't let you! This is where the ingrates come in - rope in your children to do the dirty work. My brother threw out big chests full of reader's digests and old books and what not when my father was not around. He got yelled at like crazy but honestly my father could not have brought it with him when he moved to the US. It still breaks my heart and I am tearing up as I write this - how my father used to carry his big black leather bag full of his important papers and bring it to our houses as they traveled to each of our places...I still can't believe how he just left it all one day at home and went to the hospital and never came back...it is something we fondly remember about him. Sorry - didn't mean to digress. Somehow thought of him because he was a hoarder of magazines and articles and books.
Anyway - Good luck with the decluttering! :)

vidya said...

My MIL calls me 'bhrama rakshashi' mainly because i don't let her hoard things that are forgotten 2 days after purchase, and because i suffer from 'disposal-disease':) The FIL and my hubby too are like her... I figured out that the problem was in asking! So most things make an exit without a noise and the biggest benefactor of course is our house help!! She can have them, sell them, do anything, but she has to move them out:) There, I've hinted:) Good luck. And do let me know if you manage to do away with at least a few things!!

Hip Grandma said...

An Indian: I am no psychologist so I am not equipped to answer your question. However listening to soft music and/or reading a light book may help. Try it out. And may be this is temporary and will become ok after a few weeks/days.

noon:my husband gets regularly yelled at for clinging on to stuff. No, I am wrong. i get yelled at for not dealing with him firmly.But there is no use of all that. A hoarder does not easily change. Your father's example reminded me of my uncle. Ha had a leather bag in which he would stuff things and no one was supposed to touch it. He would get upset if anything from it went missing.

Vidya:That was smart advice. will try it out. Will let you know if I've managed to declutter even a bit.

writerzblock said...

Ha ha ha, that was a laughter riot!!! Loved it. Sharing on FB :-)

Hip Grandma said...

writerzblock:thanks.

Tys on Ice said...

in our case its pressure cookers...both of us psycho horders and disposers...we horde for a period of time and then one fine day, we chuck the whole thing out...we sell some, give away most of the things..and then start the process all over again...

but those pressure cookers with no lid , some with no valve etc are still there...mads is planning to give it a rebirth as flower pots..shes a recycling master...

Hip Grandma said...

Tys:At least you and Madhu think alike. We are at logger heads on the issue.