Dear Amy: Like many people my age, I have accumulated many "things". I know that (as we say in the electric power business) it is time to "get rid of the load".
The process is complicated by the fact that our spare bedroom and garage are so full of things that I can barely move. I have considered moving some of the material to a rented warehouse, but my wife is about to "have a cow" and she says, "Things will be out of sight and out of mind, and she will never deal with that." (which implies that she and our daughters will have to solve it after I die).
I think it would accelerate the process of sorting "keep-and-throw" things to have more room to work.
Should I do the best I can under the circumstances, or is there some way to convince her that it would be useful to have more room for the elbows?
Pete the Packrat
Dear Pete: I'm with your wife in this case. If you transfer these "things" to a storage facility, there is a real possibility that you will pay the storage rent for the rest of your natural life, while those empty rooms will simply be replenished.
The way to create more space is to take this project in stages and resolve to get rid of / donate / sell the physically bigger things first. Choose the easiest category (for example, lawn mowers or garden equipment). If you have five lawnmowers in various repair states, keep the one that works and get rid of the rest.
A professional waste expert would be worth your weight in excess of clutter. A professional sometimes organizes a sale and takes a percentage of the profit. They are objective, neutral and work fast.
I realize that Marie Kondo's book "The life-changing magic of ordering" is a fury, but I prefer the empathic and charming technique of Margareta Magnusson, whose book, "The gentle art of Swedish cleansing: how to get free" . and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter "(2018, Scribner) is a game changer. I recommend it to all those who struggle with a life of wonderful things, and not so wonderful.
Throwing this burden will be liberating for all of you.
Dear Amy: My 37 year old partner has a series of youthful behaviors that are affecting me after our seven years as a couple.
He has poor hygiene, which affects my physical attraction to him.
He has never contributed fairly to our finances. He says he is simply "bad with money" or that he "does not conform to capitalism," despite my efforts to convey how important it is to me.
Rarely does he take the initiative to do almost anything that benefits our association without asking for help.
Despite all my frustration for his regressive behaviors, I still love him for his other great qualities. I have not been willing to let something that I consider petty and easy to solve destroy our relationship.
I have talked to him several times about these things. I have been kind and angry. Nothing seems to improve in a lasting way. It also bothers me to feel that it is my job to manage him and our family.
Is there any way to help an adult man grow? Or am I naive to keep thinking that I can teach this old dog new tricks?
Dear adult: This man was 30 years old when they met for the first time. Presumably, he was like that when you two met.
Seven years later, you're still trying to figure out how to inspire (or encourage) him to do something as simple, basic and self-affirming as bathing.
You sound like a high functioning adult. At some point, you should question your own judgment and the reasons for staying with someone who thinks you need such a fix!
It is possible that your boy is not so "easy to fix". I suggest you wrap the idea that it will always move around the world "as it is".
So, you have a big decision to make.
Dear Amy: I like it when you relate personally with your readers. It seems that you have encountered so many different situations that I often wonder if it is possible. I guess I'm asking for an explanation for your life like Zelig's.
Dear question: First of all, I'm old. I have a huge family, I have worked in many different jobs, I have raised a child as a single mother and now I am a stepfather and grandfather. I have lived my life and I have been paying attention.