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Question
Posted by: Kyle | 2005/12/06

Wife terribly messy and disoganized.

Well to start off with I love my wife too bits, we have been married for 7 years, she is a great mother to our daughter, got a heart of gold but she has a serious problem when it comes to organization and being messy.

My wife will hord articles of no value, she buys so many articles, buries them in the closet, forgets about them and goes out and buys the same articles again, sometines there are 5 of the same thing lying around. Instead of sorting, getting rid of the junk ond organizing things, she buys these multiporpose storage plastic containers and piles all sorts of junk into them. When she does any task she does not focus on it, her mind seems to be somewhere else. She starts one thing, continues with another and then at the end of the day has finished nothing but left evrything in a mess then she gets despondant saying she does not get fulfilled by what she does. I have tried all means to sort this out, being nice, asking nicely, being a bastard, throwing her shit away but it has no effect, for a day or 2 she is fine then back to her usual self.

I seriously need some good advice here as my patience is finally really being put to the test.

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Our expert says:
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Counselling could help her. Also, couldn't you make it a joint project, each weekend, to set aside half a day or a day to work together on sorting out a different area of the home ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Yellow | 2005/12/06

Hi Dee

I have told my mom she should hire herself out! She loves it, and she is really strict about stuff. I laugh myself sick, and I dont mind her doing it either. She is practical too, and very organised. I dont know how I would cope with all my cupboards if it was not for her. Oh, .... she does gardens too!

Reply to Yellow
Posted by: Dee | 2005/12/06

Hey - Yellow

Can I borrow your mom for a weekend??

Actually Kyle
After I had my babies, my mind kinda went squank as well. I am so forgetfull and have become quite disorganised. A full time maid is a definite in my life. I know what my limitations are (and my husband knows it too) so having a maid Monday to Friday is not negotiable.

It keeps us sane and takes all the pressure off having to be l tidy all the time. In terms of hoarding - take a weekend to just declutterise. Tell your wife that you can make a team effort out of it - so help her to help herself. Choose one room (or even just one draw or box) and just do it. Doing one thing will encourage you to do the rest.

I saw an episode of Oprah on this. She recommends that if you are sorting out one section of the house - do NOT move from that spot until it is completely sorted. Do not take an item from that section to another room to put it back in its place because you will end up fiddling with stuff in that room. soon you will have little piles of junk everywhere and you'll just give up on the whole thing.

It is actually not pleasant to be an untidy and disorganised person cos you always feel out of control. It is as though your mind is cluttered. I really have to try and consciously make an effort all the time. I can understand that your wife does not want to be this way - but she must learn TOOLS to deal with it.

But Yellow - I am serious about your mom!

Reply to Dee
Posted by: Kyle | 2005/12/06

TA for the advice all. To answer a few we have a maid 3 times a week. I dont like the idea of shrinks but if it will sort out her problem I am willing to accompany her Thanks All.

Reply to Kyle
Posted by: Frosty | 2005/12/06

Haai ou Kaail. Lyk my jy sal 'n groter huis moet koop sodat die goed nie so rondle nie jong.

Reply to Frosty
Posted by: Yup | 2005/12/06

A consultation with a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist seems important. There are at least two possibilities, and her difficulties seem serious enough to consider getting professional help. On the one hand, obsessive compusive disorder; on the other hand, attention deficit disorder. ADD problems in adulthood often show primarily as disorganisation and problems with planning.

Reply to Yup
Posted by: Yellow | 2005/12/06

Does she have domestic help? I have three kids, and thank goodness I have someone to help me keep the place tidy. I also have a great mom, who is great at organising, so when my cupboards start overflowing she gets invited for a cleanup. She gets lunch, and she loves chucking out junk, she is also more objective about what I need to keep.

Reply to Yellow
Posted by: slr | 2005/12/06

better this way than a perfectionist who vacuumes every day and start screaming at the slighest sight of dust or dirt. Now THAT is abnormal.

appreciate your wife, its not so bad at all.

Reply to slr
Posted by: Brown | 2005/12/06

sorry to hear about ur wife but there is something u can do to help her. Take her to see a shrink especially those that specialise with hording, its going to take time for her to get to her normal routine but since she has someone supportive like u, i'm sure she get there fast.
Good luck and i hope ur wife gets better.

Reply to Brown
Posted by: Liza | 2005/12/06

If this is really a problem you can no longer live with, perhaps you should suggest counselling and go together. There are life-skills seminars that both of you can go to, to teach her how to organise herself better, and to you to support her and remind her of the things she's learnt.

One thing is for certain - the first thing that she needs to learn, is to finish something once she's started with it. I had major problems with this until I learnt how to organise my time better. Now I get anxious when I can't finish something once I've started. Previous job was hell with my boss expecting me to do a 100 things at once.

Good luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Missy | 2005/12/06

Each one of us has his/her negative side. I think you should rather concentrate on her good side because if you concentrate on the negative side you wont be able to enjoy the person she is. Just take that as her "dark side". Especially because you knew about it before you got married to her. Leaving together means accepting each other's shortfalls even if it irritates. You are not perfect either. I guess your wife has many more good qualities. Learn to enjoy them.

Reply to Missy
Posted by: Kyle | 2005/12/06

Yip. I think her old lady was rather glad to get her out the house when we got married

Reply to Kyle
Posted by: Tinkerbell | 2005/12/06

Kyle, was your wife like this before you got married as well?

Reply to Tinkerbell

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