things always end up on my roll top desk

ronbreOctober 24, 2009

i was sitting at the desk, re writing my to do list and going through a few organizing notes yesterday..and i'm thinking..what is the deal with my seems to always be cluttered with stuff that doesn't belong there.

my husband has a head injury and is a compulsive buyer, and he is always buying things and plopping themn down on the desk (for me??)...things I'll likely never use..and don't purse size kleenex, mints, little lady multitools, hand sanitizers, etc.

then other things get tossed on the desk rather than put away where they belong, and things seem to multiply on that desk as well...

well yesterday I decided to start going through that roll top, one cubby at a time..ok i found all the extra buttons that come attached to the tags on your nice clothes, plus 2 hooks that might have been put on the wall inside the closet, besides the things mentioned above, as well as some things that just don't function like i like, like the elec pencil sharpener, etc..

so now i have 2 cubby holes cleaned out and organized, things put away from them and things to go to charities, or where they should properly be stored..and the rest of the desk will wait for later..but progress has been made.

wonder if i can re train him??

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Impossible---Men have these annoying little quirks. Of course we women are absolutely perfect and never do things that annoy them--AHEM.

Well anyway he is thinking of you when he buys these little things, so count yourself lucky, even if you do have a cluttered desk. If you have room put a wicker basket beside the desk and ask him to put his finds there.

Oh darn you'd have to clean that out sometimes too. Drat ---woman's work is never done

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 4:08PM
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If he's only cluttering the desk, I'd consider him well trained!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 4:19PM
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don't i husband is a packrat..his parents were packrats..his grandparents did actually no kidding run a junk yard and took in other people's junk and sold it from their home and yard..there were paths through the caverns

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 10:01AM
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Eeek! Okay, then he needs to be restrained to one small area of the house and leave the rest alone.

Can you return things?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 1:06PM
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Good suggestion reyesuela. If DH buys yet another (whatever) I usually return it and he doesn't have a clue. I've long since learned to just do it........

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 8:58PM
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i can't tell him he can't buy things, or force him to return or return things he buys, it is his money not mine.

he has a head injury with anger management issues and icpd..i do tell him when money is tight that he can't be spending money ..and he understands that..not happy but i try to limit how much extra money he has to spend on STUFF...but when he has extra money, he will spend it on things we don't need

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 11:22AM
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You may be able to separate your plopping from his, and work on them differently. I have more than one workstation (table top or desk) in my "study" and it is amazing how they collect things. I have to try to analyze why--usually need better system and it can include "a place for everything" plus developing new habits. Ideally you work with your weaknesses so new habits don't require a brain transplant.

So you would first look at all your "stuff" and try to think of ways to make it flow better.

For DH, you might just try having a little basket on your desk and seeing if he'll plop stuff there. Then it can just be set aside when you want to use the desk. Or, have your own basket ready, and just clear all the clutter into it. I have done that in several family areas so that I can clear stuff off if I need a work space, or to clean, and not get caught up in putting away dozens of little things so that the time is all gone. Then I might be able to tackle the putting away later or do "5 things" approach.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 12:49PM
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>i can't tell him he can't buy things, or force him to return or return things he buys, it is his money not mine.

You have his money/my money/our money divisions, then? Do you have legal protections against his credit card debit? Can you ensure that he spends only "his money"?

If so, the spending may not be a big deal, but the packratting still is. If he won't miss it, you can make it disappear by returning it, and you can return the money quietly to his account. If he shops at stores with generous return policies, just box it all up, and if he doesn't miss it after a month or two, return it. Or donate it. Or something to keep it out of the common areas of the house.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 6:21PM
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it all sounds so simple..but it isn't..with a person with ocpd and a serious head injury with anger and short term memory problems..but who still is allowed to drive, shop, and do as he pleases..and is billigerant and is the only source of income in our house as dr's won't allow me to work as i'm supposed to be here to look after sounds easier than it is.

when i try to take things to charities..i have to do it when he is asleep..or he will remove it from the bags is so hard to get a bag of things out of here for i always do it when he can't see me.

sometimes he sleeps days a that helps..but right now i'm sharing a vehicle with our son who works 12 hour days and i never know when i'll have a car to take things to man it just gets so hard to get stuff out of the house..

i have told him that we can't afford to buy things we don't need, but he doesn't understand..his head injury..and his ocpd..he also has a poverty mentality and grew up in a family of hoarders..i did not

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 11:52AM
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Use that rolltop to your advantage!! Maybe close the desk, put a small basket on the top where he can put his treasures, and deal with just the basket instead of the whole desktop.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 7:32PM
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If he's working, then can you return stuff while he's gone?

If he's working, can you work part time?

What about making sure the house is in your name only and legally separating your finances, if it isn't a homestead state? Compulsive shopping can cause bankruptcy.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 2:36AM
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he has a head injury, he can't work. I can't work cause he can't be left alone. Our only income is his disability and it is all his money coming in.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 7:21PM
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Ohhh, got it-I thought he was still managing to work!

You call the disability money "his." It's not. It's yours, together. If you're his caretaker, it's ESPECIALLY yours. Durable power of attorney is the answer you need, with him on a very tight budget. Otherwise, you may lose your house.

If he can't work and is in an altered state, is it safe for him to drive?

Look into your options for respite care or for in-home nurse's aides. (Hiring one yourself is cheaper than using an agency, but you have to pay payroll taxes.) You might be better off financially and in the sanity department if you work, depending on what your original job was.

I can't make you do anything, of course, but you're opening yourself to a HUGE risk that he's apparently not going to be capable of processing.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2009 at 4:18AM
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If we go back to thinking about the rolltop desk as the stuff magnet, and altering the environment and not the stuff-collector, I like the idea of closing the roll top desk. Maybe the basket can be in the chair in front of it--readily available but easily moved. Those ideas are aimed at more of the things you're in control of, versus the thorny issues of someone else's behaviors.

One of my stuff-collecting desks is a small drop-lid. When I go into cleaning up mode, I try to get it to where I can close it up. If not, I know I'm using the drop lid for stuff collecting and it's not going to be available as a surface for writing or projects. Plus, the closed desk looks neater in the room--more serene if I'm not actually using it.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2009 at 1:17PM
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i do keep the roll top desk closed, he isn't incapable of opening it..he still is allowed by drs to drive, yes and NO his dr's would not allow me to get a durable power of attorney as they are encouraging him to be more independent, even though he really has no desire to be.

If he decides he wants to take the care by himself and go shopping, he will and I can't stop him..he also has that right..can you imagine stopping your husbands from going shopping??? good grief..

i have asked him to not buy things that we don't need..but this isn't to the place to where we would lose our house as someone said above..we have never had to pay a bill late or any overdrafgts on our accounts..he doesn't spend money we don't have available..just spends it unwisely.

i pay each bill as it comes in and we have been out of debt most of our adult life..we don't owe on our house, cars or credit card this isn't the issue...this was a clutter post.

i just was sitting at the desk looking around and realizing how manyt things Ron had "opened the desk and put inside" that didn't belong there..and yes he buys things for me we don't need, i don't need...but he does it cause he thinks he is doing a good thing. I hate to hurt his disciplining him like a little kid !

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 10:14AM
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