Author Topic: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)  (Read 1483 times)

sealab2021

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My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« on: February 22, 2021, 11:05:23 PM »
My girlfriend sees all my stuff and claims half jokingly that I知 a hoarder. I have, a table saw, multiple size drills, impact, oscillating saw, Dremel, hot knife, industrial sewing machine, hand held wood router, angle grinder with dozens of different discs, drill press, graco 390 airless spray machine, north star 4000psi power washer, circular saw and tons of nice PPE. I have lots of special types of  scrap exotic woods, pine, marine plywood, orbital sander, synthetic boards, aluminum plate. I also have almost every plumbing part or npt fitting you need. I have a massive tool box that has pretty much any normal person will ever need in their lifetime,Tons of painting supplies since I知 a painter by trade. In reality it痴 all stuff we need to do our own work and save money. I rarely have to go out and get a special tool. I couldn稚 imagine life without these tools, I would have to pay to get everything fixed and then be broke. I live in a 1000 square foot house and this is all crammed into a shed and a closet. I use most of this stuff every week, it has proved invaluable. I have saved countless thousands of dollars by having my own tools.

I would like to get a nice air compressor and spray guns but realistically I don稚 have room. Also maybe a small brad nailer and a pneumatic impact.

What do you think? Am I crazy?

Tinker

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2021, 12:12:57 AM »
Quote
I use most of this stuff every week, it has proved invaluable.
if you really, honestly do - great
Otherwise consider storing unused replaceables on craigslist

sealab2021

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2021, 12:20:13 AM »
I知 definitely not a hoarder in that sense. If I have not used an item in a year I sell it. I sold 2 items last week and have more currently listed. I知 streamlined at this point, most of my money goes back into attractively priced dividend stocks. Or I will recycle some of this money to make minor upgrades to the house. It痴 all a wash in my opinion.

WSUCoug1994

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2021, 03:01:41 AM »
If it makes you feel any better, I own most of the tools you have described above and more.  I also have a real garage and my tools are properly stored and out of the way.  My friends/family would tell you I am a minimalist by nature but my tools, for the reasons you have mentioned, have a valuable place in our lives.

Sounds like you just need a new girlfriend ;).

mies

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2021, 04:57:30 AM »
I don't think holding onto tools makes you a hoarder. I have tools I don't touch for months and years at a time, but when I need them, they save a lot of time and money.

If you sort through your tools and start finding your first grade art projects, JC Penney catalogs, and phonebooks from 1994, and you break into a cold sweat thinking, "What if I need these in the future?", you might be a hoarder :D

Moonwaves

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2021, 05:25:20 AM »
If it makes you feel any better, I own most of the tools you have described above and more.  I also have a real garage and my tools are properly stored and out of the way.  My friends/family would tell you I am a minimalist by nature but my tools, for the reasons you have mentioned, have a valuable place in our lives.

Sounds like you just need a new girlfriend ;).
Maybe he could try a bigger/better organised shed first? No need for immediate drastic measures. :-)

cool7hand

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2021, 05:46:58 AM »
What's wrong with owning stuff that gives you great life experience? The wife and I own upwards of 24 fishing rods. We also own a fishing boat in which we store them, along with tens of thousands of dollars of gear accumulated over the last 15 years. Like you, we use them all the time. It's our primary form of fun, and we're on the water 60 plus days a year when she was pre-FIRE. We expect that will approach 100 days a year when she joins me in FIRE later this year. You're only a hoarder if you have stuff with no use or useful stuff you don't use.

Car Jack

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2021, 06:10:37 AM »
Does your girlfriend have more than 10 outfits?  Why?  She could wear something different every day of the week and still have leftovers.  Hoarder?

Your tools are more reasonable than mine.  I've got a 4 post lift in my home garage, the biggest standup 240V compressor that Lowes sold (would have to go to 3 phase to go bigger), most every air tool known to man and every size wrench and socket in 6 point, 12 point, 1/2" drive, 3/8" drive, 1/4" drive, safety bits, torx.  But like you, I use all of this stuff all the time.  Just last night, I used my ultra low jack to jack up my son's STi because he had a low tire pressure warning light.  He took off the wheel with a breaker bar, 6" extension and 6 point 19mm socket.  I then used my angle cutters to pull the nail in the tire, then drilled the hole bigger with my DeWalt LiPo drill and used my plug rasp and plug pusher to put a plug into the hole.  Filled the tire and checked with my Brookstone tire gauge.  All was fixed.  Son put the wheel back on, using my Craftsman torque wrench, 6" extension and 19mm 6 point socket.  He drove off this morning to work and texted me that the tire light went off after driving about a mile.

So ask your girlfriend which tool I could do without.

better late

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2021, 06:31:17 AM »
How痴 your stuff stored? How messy is it?

Do you have any shelving in your shed?  I like the 6 metal rack shelving from Costco. IKEA sells similar OMAR shelves that come a few inches shorter than the Costco ones, as well a version 3 feet high. Get what you can off the ground


Malcat

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2021, 06:55:15 AM »
It's really hard for us to say.

I've heard this argument before and seen it turn out that the complainer was totally unreasonable and the tool collector really only had what was useful, and I've seen it where the tool collector *thinks* their collection is reasonable, but they've got literally thousands of screws, nuts, bolts, hinges, literally every scrap of possibly usable metal bits they've ever encountered because "I might need it someday", when really, a trip to the hardware store for a rare sized screw every now and then isn't exactly a financial disaster.

I have no idea if your tool and metal bits collection is reasonable, or if your girlfriend is reasonable, but I can say that it's a bit of a red flag that you are bringing a relationship issue to a financial forum.

Who cares if a bunch of internet strangers think that your description of your collection sounds like it's within the realm of useful??? Is that going to change your girlfriend's perspective??

People are making suggestions to perhaps organize your tools more, and maybe that will help, or maybe it won't. It depends on what her actual concern is.

So I would start with focusing on communication. Find out what exactly bothers her about your collection, why she thinks it's an issue, and what it is that she's actually trying to get you to do with it and why.

Is it simply that it's messy? Then ask her input how she would best like you to organize it.

Is it that it's taking up way too much space and crowding her out? See if there's somewhere else you could store the bigger/less often used items.

Is it that she thinks you have a mental illness/unhealthy fixation on these things? If so, that requires some serious conversations

Is it that she feels neglected by the time you spend on these projects and this is her indirect way of saying that you love your tools more than her? If so, that's another serious issue

All you are saying you know is that she calls you a hoarder, but that means almost nothing in and of itself. First find out what her motivations are behind what she's saying, and then from there figure out how to address them.

No one here can figure this out for you. Go back to the source and address this as a communication issue first, and a "is my tool collection reasonable" question second.

ericrugiero

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2021, 07:24:19 AM »
What you listed seems like a very reasonable set of tools for someone who really uses them regularly.  But, I can't say about the exotic woods, bits of metal, plumbing fittings, etc.  For that, I would say it's more about whether you have room for them and whether they are organized.

I've been collecting tools for 20+ years now and what I own has saved me way more money than it has cost me.  But, I do need to do a better job of organizing them.  Your girlfriend would probably be frustrated if she tried to use my garage. 

Malcat is right that this seems like it could be more of a relationship issue than a tool collection issue. 

Fishindude

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2021, 08:40:02 AM »
Get a new girlfriend.
You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

ixtap

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2021, 09:02:52 AM »
If you are really doing that many projects to be using such a wide variety of tools regularly, I have to wonder if part of the relationship issue isn't that she feels like you are prioritizing the stuff and a few make work projects above her.

former player

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2021, 09:14:41 AM »
If all your tools are in a shed and a closet then that sounds as though they are reasonably well organised.  My only query might be that if the tools are things that are used outside the house then storing them inside the house in a closet might not be optimal.

The other thought I have is that I grew up in a time when I was told to my face that I couldn't sign on to a car mechanics course "because the boys needed it more".  I still resent that.  If your girlfriend doesn't understand (because she hasn't had the opportunity or impetus) what all your tools are for, and perhaps sees the times when you are using them as times you are not spending with her, then those are two possible reasons for her to resent them and consider them as hoarding.  It might be worth your exploring with her whether there are any projects you can undertake with those tools that she would be interested in taking part in and learning how to do.

Much Fishing to Do

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2021, 09:18:40 AM »
You just need a bigger shed.  There are a lot of cool tools that'll help with that project that I can think of ;-)

Malcat

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2021, 10:05:30 AM »
Get a new girlfriend.
You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

Or perhaps there's a legitimate issues underlying her concerns that she isn't comfortable or able to articulate in a way that's resonated with OP.

OP needs to explore with her to find out.
No one here can draw any conclusions about this relationship other than the fact that there has been some sort of communication breakdown.

CodingHare

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2021, 10:16:25 AM »
Yeah, I'm going to second @Malcat here.  You need to figure out what your GF actually concerned about and then you can decide how to deal with it.

This post reminds me of Reddits Am I an Asshole forum.  Half the stories there are fiction, half are people looking for a pat on the back about their non-assholery so they can report back to their SO that "Reddit says I'm right!!!", and half are people leaving out all the details needed to actually tell what's going on.

I'll pontificate on my parent's relationship here:  My mom is a neat freak and my dad likes to collect parts for projects.  He has circuit board components dating from the 1980's in the garage.  And a big source of tension in their relationship has always been my mom wanting to throw out his stuff because she wants everything perfectly neat and minimalist, even in the garage, and my dad wanting to have lots of maybe useful stuff around for tinkering.  A genuine incompatibility.  So now my dad has a million fishing tackle boxes to organize his stuff, and my mom is forbidden from cleaning in the garage.  That was a compromise they could both live with, but they had to talk out what was negotiable and non-negotiable to them.

Dreamer40

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2021, 10:19:00 AM »
My dad has probably all of that stuff in his garage, but he hasn't touched it in many years. Now that's hoarding... In addition to my mom's rooms full of fabric and crafting supplies, plus a shed and attic full of god-knows-what.

One cluttered space filled with things you like and use isn't hoarding. How is the rest of your house? Relatively neat and organized and not filled with things you don't use? Your girlfriend might start to see things differently when she wants you to fix something and you happen to have the right tools for the job. It's possible that she views it as hoarding because she isn't recognizing the value in it.

PDXTabs

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2021, 10:21:23 AM »
If I have not used an item in a year I sell it. I sold 2 items last week and have more currently listed. I知 streamlined at this point...

Then I would say that you are not a hoarder, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you are compatible with your girlfriend.

I can appreciate your tools and how you use them without necessarily wanting that in my romantic relationship. In particular, I might want to live out of a backpack for a few years, and might be looking for someone that would be compatible with that existence. Just as an example.

AMandM

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2021, 10:24:40 AM »
The other thought I have is that I grew up in a time when I was told to my face that I couldn't sign on to a car mechanics course "because the boys needed it more".  I still resent that.

Ohhh me too!
In grade 7 we had to choose whether we would take home ec or shop in grade 8. The girl behind me asked, "What does Shop mean?" and the teacher answered, "Oh, never mind. It's for boys."
I turned around and told her, "No! Take shop! My mother says to!"

I'm glad to say that, over the summer, the school policy changed and everyone was required to rotate through both shop and home ec.

jfer_rose

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2021, 10:35:31 AM »
I love this question so much! In fact, I have recently started my post-FIRE business to help people in this situation. I've lived in small spaces for my adult life and yet I have hobbies that require a lot of stuff. I really love finding ways to pack as much storage into a small space without having the space feel like a hoarder lives there and so that's what I'm trying to do with my business.

So yes, the first question is do you have the best storage solutions for your space? Are you making use of vertical space as well as horizontal? And then you have to think about your own personal psychology as well as that of your girlfriend. Everyone has their own preferences for how much breathing room there is on a particular shelf, or how much what is stored should be visible vs. hidden away. Are your storage solutions working for you both in that regard?

Also, I dream of owning these tools some day!!


sealab2021

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2021, 11:01:02 AM »
Some of you have the wrong idea. My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder in a joking way. Yes it is all organized as much as it can be in a small house. I built shelves into the shed to hold the outdoor tools in a corral I call it. The rest of the loose tools are in a long tool box with many drawer that hold everything. It痴 located in the small nook under the stairs with a door. I added some lighting in there and it痴 a tiny workshop now.

Malcat

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2021, 11:59:23 AM »
Some of you have the wrong idea. My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder in a joking way. Yes it is all organized as much as it can be in a small house. I built shelves into the shed to hold the outdoor tools in a corral I call it. The rest of the loose tools are in a long tool box with many drawer that hold everything. It痴 located in the small nook under the stairs with a door. I added some lighting in there and it痴 a tiny workshop now.

So then what are you looking for feedback on?

Sounds like you have a collection of useful things you enjoy that your partner is cool with you collecting.

Enjoy your tools.

honeybbq

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Re: My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder, (all tools and supplies)
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2021, 12:19:43 PM »
My spouse has a lot of tools as you do. However, he doesn't use them nearly as often.

He has been slowly donating them to the neighborhood tool library so that they can be shared (especially the larger, not as useful/one time) items.

If they are 'crammed' into space and messy, it might seem hoarderish- can you organize them neatly and categorize? Might help with finding and sorting tools as well.

sonofsven

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Tell her you read about a guy that has two or even three examples of some of his favorite older power tools because he wants them to last the rest of his working life.
That would be me.

norajean

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Tell her to mind her own beeswax. And to just shove the Sawzall to the other side of the bed...

Fomerly known as something

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I consider my Dad a hoarder, it痴 all tools and supplies. 

Kris

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Some of you have the wrong idea. My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder in a joking way. Yes it is all organized as much as it can be in a small house. I built shelves into the shed to hold the outdoor tools in a corral I call it. The rest of the loose tools are in a long tool box with many drawer that hold everything. It痴 located in the small nook under the stairs with a door. I added some lighting in there and it痴 a tiny workshop now.

I don稚 get why you wrote the post, then...?

ender

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Is this a humblebrag? Or what?

couponvan

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I WISH we had more tools and supplies. I cannot get my husband to buy quality ones - he buys the cheapest ones. I just had to route a cutting board to fit into our camper sink outside, on a painter's tarp sitting on two boards because we don't have an actual table set up for routing and he doesn't think we need one.

I will say I am SOOOO much happier now that we have a (used) Elfa shelving system in the garage that makes all the tools as easy to put away as they are to find in the first place.  He used to just put the tools into big bags, and we could never find the tool we were looking for when we needed it.  So the drawers with labels (which he made fun of me for) have really helped him and us be more organized. Our garage still looks like hoarders anonymous, but we are 50 ish and have 3 kids (bikes, camping gear, xmas decorations, gardening supplies, and tools - no shed).  Make sure you really do need that old bathroom sink faucet, or the old light switches and electrical plates from 2 houses ago that have started yellowing.  That's the hoarder part.  If you can't find what you are looking for in under 2 minutes, you either have too much, or you're heading to Home Depot anyway.

Hobby wood I would personally get rid of if it doesn't have a designated project listed.  It's like quilting scraps.  They can easily get out of hand. 

Kroaler

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Ben my old neighbor, is that you!? Gotta have that sewing machine to sew parachutes and sails and.... Kite surfing equipment.

Seriously though, it's not about the tools. We cant tell you the root cause only you can get to it.

You say you use your tools every week, Is your girlfriend in that rotation? If not maybe she's a tad lonely. You should fix that or your favorite "tool" might not get used for a while. (I tried so hard to squeeze it in)

Also for fun, I love photos.  If you want us to be the judges, let's see this organized space.

But no matter what we say your gf is the one that feels some kinda way about it. So start there.

Other side notes - I live in an apartment but have a small storage unit around the corner I pay $25 a month for and love and keep some tools in. (I use this for my business inventory, storage unit $/sq ft is cheaper than commercial space $/sq ft)

Additionally I "store" tools on the Internet via craigslist or Facebook market.
« Last Edit: Today at 07:16:23 AM by Kroaler »

Malcat

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Ben my old neighbor, is that you!? Gotta have that sewing machine to sew parachutes and sails and.... Kite surfing equipment.

Seriously though, it's not about the tools. We cant tell you the root cause only you can get to it.

You say you use your tools every week, Is your girlfriend in that rotation? If not maybe she's a tad lonely. You should fix that or your favorite "tool" might not get used for a while. (I tried so hard to squeeze it in)

Also for fun, I love photos.  If you want us to be the judges, let's see this organized space.

But no matter what we say your gf is the one that feels some kinda way about it. So start there.

According to his update, his GF feels fine about it.

mozar

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Quote
My girlfriend says I知 a hoarder in a joking way

I didn't think it was funny. I'm not Ok with criticism veiled as "jokes." I don't want to be around someone that "jokes" that I have a serious mental illness like hoarding.

Just Joe

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https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/

That's where I find my garage porn. None of my spaces look that nice BUT we do finally have work space in this house which is nice. This spring will involve a big push to get organized better.

Tell your girlfriend that those tools represent future potential income.

DW and I flipped our house last year and it sold for nearly double what we paid for it. Those tools we've been dragging around with us all these years were key and DW is very supportive. Could have accomplished what we did without her. With a close eye for detail, maybe our current house can be as profitable - using those same old tools. Also we have antique cars and scooters patiently waiting for restoration. Lots to do.

afox

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Get out now, will b 10x worse if you marry this person.