Why are senior men such pack rats?

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I feel so overwhelmed with "things" that I sometimes start to have an anxiety attack. We live in a big house filled with years and years of "stuff". Hubby is going on 80 and has ongoing macular degeneration. I want to get us out of here before he loses his sight. He won't get rid of anything. He spends half the day rearranging and putting things in order when half of it should go OUT! Boxes of old cameras, dozens of fishing reels, piles of wood, car parts, etc. I am feeling a panic attack just thinking about it. No one wants old "in good condition" stuff any more so most of it needs to go to Goodwill or a dumpster. I am so scared that in a few years we will have to move and I won't have the strength to face this stuff.

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Between my mother and father, their house was unlivable when I arrived. It took 2 years to get some semblance of sanity to the place. Their are still two rooms and three closets that are nightmarish. I've thought the best thing I could do is to put a For Sale sign in front of the house, and include "All occupants and contents included."
Quote: "I've thought the best thing I could do is to put a For Sale sign in front of the house, and include "All occupants and contents included."

LOL!! Ah, at least we can fantasize, right? ;)
My father built a fort of plastic boxes around him. They were boxes that held the hand wipes. I imagined that they had all kinds of useful things and mementos that he wanted to keep close. After he died I discovered that the treasure boxes were mostly empty. A few of them had a few little trinkets that weren't worth anything. The rest of the fort was just empty boxes. Maybe they gave him a sense of security, or maybe he felt he would need them one day. They all made it to the recycle bin when he was gone.

He also saved all the bills and records going back to the 1980s. It took me weeks to get everything shredded. He bought a lot of stuff in his last few years that were really silly. Most of it was worthless, much not even worth donating -- trinkets and fake medals and fake coins. Oy. He had a job where he had to order things, so I think ordering stuff was a holdover from his early days. He had just lost the organization and reasoning that keeps it meaningful. Men! What can you say?
When it came time for me to remove everything from my parents house, I found tons of pill bottle caps... I think maybe they were "trophies" for being able to open up those prescription and over-the-counter containers :)

And yes, old things he wanted to fix or to use as parts for other items.  Oh also his pay stubs and income taxes going back decades, hey you never know when you want to see what payroll taxes were taken out of that 1952 paycheck !!

My Mom saved old sneakers. A couple of sets were for indoor use... couple of sets for yard work..... and brand new ones for doctor appointments.

Now my sig other, who is a senior like I am, doesn't save anything, not even bill invoices. Thus if he needs to call an utility company or whatever, he has nothing to reference.... [sigh]... so saving and not saving has its issues.
Oh lordy! The sneakers! Yes, I had about 5 pairs, one for dog walking, one for gardening and one for good. I just threw away the gardening one! LOL!
Yep, the saving! My FIL had his own place, and yes, he also has receipts and tax records from the 1960's!!  The 60's!!!  We're starting to sort and burn it.  Good times.  He also has boxes and boxes of random stuff; much of his stuff is still there, but slowly, my husband is bringing the "stuff" (I use that term loosely, what I want to say is cr@p) over to OUR house!! The other day, DH was at FIL's house, and I told him to just bring the necessities - cold weather clothes, and Dad's beloved coffee maker. DH arrives home with an SUV full of cr@p!!! I told him if he brings home one more thing from Dad's, I'm putting something of hubby's in the trash. And I'm serious.

Honestly, I think it's the WW2 generation. They remember a time when you had to save and re-use EVERYTHING - whether it be a piece of metal, an old shirt, or wrapping paper. My own father has a 4 car garage with no cars in it - and it's FULL!! Floor to ceiling. I told him that when he passes away, I'm not dealing with it, I'll just put a sign out front that says, "Make an Offer."
Sneak it out little by little, chances are he won't notice. My father bought from bradford exchange to the point the boxes were piled up to the ceiling. All junk. You couldn't tell him anything. I had to get to the mailbox before he did and throw out all the bradford exchange mail and advertising. They are vultures. A scourge on society, they take advantage of the elderly. For your own sake, get rid of what you can. Good luck.
Oh, the stories I could tell. My husband is a hoarder. If I had not learned to be able to walk by it without looking at it, I would have had to check myself into the looney bin. He is always organizing, and I mean always. My kids and I cannot stand it. There is stuff everywhere and to me it's depressing. I also have my 89 yr old mother with Alzheimer's with me and managing the two of them is hard enough. Now on top of it all I have been told my job is being outsourced! So that looney bin may come in handy after all. I did tell my husband that the day after he passes, I'm shoving it all to the curb and not looking back. So if there are things he needs to do with them, he'd better get it done. I don't think he believes me, but I'm serious. I have never been able to park in the garage and I look forward to it! To top it all, I just looked down and realized I have on 2 different colored socks today! Ha! Haha!
My mom had a stroke at 55 in the 90s, and the only thing that kept her sanity was the Internet that came roaring into life right as she could have felt terribly isolated on our farm. Fast forward to 2013 - and she dies of breast cancer. My father is so weak, he moves down to Atlanta. I go up to Ohio as an only child to clean out a hoard of a paper in the farmhouse, the barn, and three storage units. Mortgage statements - of my GRANDMOTHER's - along with cash stuck everywhere - shoes, books, back of cabinets. In the end, it took a team of seven - with an organizer - to clean out the farm in a week. I touched every single paper. We had a shredder on site - with more than 1.1 ton of paper shredded. But in the end,  the process worked, and I was able to clean out that farm with great efficiency - and amazingly, it looked so good, it sold within two months of being put on the market. My house is now overrun with the antiques of the farm, files upon files of genealogy, and my own stuff (which is too much). So now I'm on a crusade to clear out all of my stuff so that my children won't have to do what I did. It was horribly stressful - and it made me sad at the same time because I know my mother - who would lose her mind with a cluttered home - had all that paper because she would print things out that she was interested in the internet, but didn't have the mobility trapped in a wheelchair to deal with the paper she was generating. Everything neat, but it all got away from her and dad in the end. They had been in the farmhouse for four decades. When it sold, I felt like my childhood was swept away with my mother's death and the sale of the farmhouse. I still don't look at pictures of the farm on Google or Zillow because it either will be changed for the good (which will make me envious) or it will have changed for the bad (which will make me rage) I think as you lose energy as you get older, the house just gets away from you...
Anyone else's sig other addicted to the internet? I'm embarassed to see the mailman - anything he can think of he might possibly need - Amazon, E-Bay etc. We get at least a package a day. Things keep coming in, and nothing goes out. He doesn't have "time" to go through the 15 pairs of jeans, 22 shirts, etc only a few which he wears, or the cameras, or all the rest. It just keeps collecting dust and building up. Sometimes I want to run away. I love being in our camper - there is just so much room and I have a place for everything. I feel so unburdened there!

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