Author Topic: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection  (Read 25840 times)

StacheyStache

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How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« on: August 17, 2016, 11:40:37 AM »
TL;DR, Boyfriend and I recently moved into a tiny 700 square foot apartment together.  Boyfriend has 10-15 storage crates of his hand made costumes cluttering the apartment that have each only been worn once and will likely never be worn again, he already has a small storage unit and can’t afford a bigger one, he refuses to give away donate sell or toss the costumes and says they’re sentimental and here to stay.  The apartment looks horrific and I can’t live like this.  Suggestions?

Longer version:  My boyfriend and I recently made the Mustachian decision to move in together into a smallish 700 square foot one bedroom apartment together.  Though he is not at all on the FIRE or Mustache train with me, we agreed that both sharing rent and utilities and sacrificing on space will save us a boatload of money, plus we were ready and wanting to move in together anyway.  So far the transition has been...less than smooth.  I love him but I do not love his pile o' stuff. 

I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist by any standards.  I know I have more clothes and shoes than I need as well as a junk drawer in my top dresser filled with old letters, school things, sentimental stuff.  But my stuff can all fit and be put away neatly in the closet, in my dresser, where it’s supposed to go.  My boyfriend brought his own dresser when he moved in and I share the closet with him equally, the kitchen is more than big enough for both our dishes and appliances, even the stuff we have duplicates of.  But the apartment is full to bursting with his costumes.

Boyfriend is a tailor and a side hobby of his (unfortunately not a side hustle...read on), is making costumes for conventions for himself and his friends.  When I first heard about this I saw potential for an enormously profitable side hustle...until I found out he doesn't charge his friends a dime for the vast majority of his work and in fact loses tons of money on materials for the costumes, which prior to us moving in together were all kept at his place as his friends "didn't have the storage space" for the costumes he made them.  Multiple conventions a year, multiple costumes for each day of each convention, for multiple people.  He’s been doing this for about a decade (in his thirties now) and to my knowledge has kept every single costume. 

The result is about 10-15 storage CRATES of just costumes alone.  Packed under the bed (except for a tiny 1x1 space I insisted he leave available for the cat who likes to hide under the bed during thunderstorms), packed in our outdoor porch storage closet, packed in a corner of our bedroom, packed in our dining area (the table is now unusable as it’s filled with his stuff), packed on his bookshelf, packed on the top shelf of our closet, packed everywhere.  These costumes have not seen the light of day since they were worn ONCE at the conventions they were made for years ago.  They now exist only to clutter (he keeps saying he ‘might need them someday’ but admitted that ‘some day’ has never come over the last 10 years, the costumes are only worn once and then he makes new ones for the next convention). 

He already has a small storage unit to store EVEN MORE of these crates and he really can’t afford a bigger one (and in my opinion shouldn't be wasting money on even a small one but I've mostly kept my mouth shut about that).  The vast majority of them are scattered around our apartment. 

As soon as it became clear he had no intention of pairing down any of this I said oh HELL NO and tried to come up with some sort of solution.  He says he doesn’t want to throw away hours and hours of his work and that the costumes are sentimental.  If this was a matter of sacrificing a few of my dresser drawers for his sentimental items I would gladly do so but this amount is unsustainable in this apartment.   He’s hogging not only all the storage space but also spaces that weren’t meant for storage at all like the dining area table.  So I asked him, instead of throwing them away, to give the costumes away to the friends that wore them and only keep the ones he made for himself.  I thought this was a great solution as they’d be out of our place but wouldn’t be thrown away.  He said that his friends didn’t want them and didn’t have space for them (at which point I said “AND WE DO??”  Allegedly his friends live in even tinier spaces than we do).  Then I suggested selling them.  No go as apparently they’re custom fitted and would never fit anyone else.  Then I suggested donating them.  “Who would want them??”  So finally I asked him to come up with a suggestion and he simply said ‘we keep them, I don’t mind, I don’t like a lot of empty space in the apartment anyway.’  *headdesk headdesk HEADDESK.* 

I'm at a loss for what to do.  This is already spiraling out of control and only getting worse.  He's going to another convention soon and has six more costumes planned for that (and his materials, sewing equipment etc are currently spread out all over the living room).  I shudder to think what the place will look like a few years from now.

I want to nip this in the bud before it gets worse.  Suggestions?

mskyle

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2016, 11:49:25 AM »
Storage unit, for your sanity. You have a packrat SO. You want to continue to live with him but not his space-intensive hobby. A storage unit is cheaper than a bigger place, and much cheaper than continuing to have your own apartments.

Or, you say he is a tailor - does he have a professional workspace? Could he keep (or even display!) the stuff there?

Aside from the immediate practical solution, though, this is really important information about your relationship: you guys agreed to move into this small space together but apparently you didn't really think through the logistics - you apparently didn't know about all his stuff or you didn't think he would bring it; he apparently thought that 15 crates of costumes was an acceptable amount of stuff for a 700 sqft apartment. You guys seem to have different ways of looking at your living space, which is totally workable *if* you can learn to talk about it.

So finally I asked him to come up with a suggestion and he simply said ‘we keep them, I don’t mind, I don’t like a lot of empty space in the apartment anyway.’  *headdesk headdesk HEADDESK.* 

This is where you need to say, "I *DO* like empty space in the apartment, and I need you to do something about this FOR ME."
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 11:51:27 AM by mskyle »

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2016, 12:00:45 PM »
Storage unit, for your sanity. You have a packrat SO. You want to continue to live with him but not his space-intensive hobby. A storage unit is cheaper than a bigger place, and much cheaper than continuing to have your own apartments.

Or, you say he is a tailor - does he have a professional workspace? Could he keep (or even display!) the stuff there?

Aside from the immediate practical solution, though, this is really important information about your relationship: you guys agreed to move into this small space together but apparently you didn't really think through the logistics - you apparently didn't know about all his stuff or you didn't think he would bring it; he apparently thought that 15 crates of costumes was an acceptable amount of stuff for a 700 sqft apartment. You guys seem to have different ways of looking at your living space, which is totally workable *if* you can learn to talk about it.

So finally I asked him to come up with a suggestion and he simply said ‘we keep them, I don’t mind, I don’t like a lot of empty space in the apartment anyway.’  *headdesk headdesk HEADDESK.* 

This is where you need to say, "I *DO* like empty space in the apartment, and I need you to do something about this FOR ME."

He's already got a storage unit, it's not big enough.  The next size up is a lot more expensive and he doesn't make a lot of money (and spends $$$$ on this hobby since he refuses to charge anyone for his work).  I suggested charging a little for the costumes to pay for the storage unit and bring some extra income in and maybe even setting up a little side hustle as he is incredibly talented and could easily sell his costumes, but he refuses to charge his friends and doesn't seem interested in turning the hobby into a business.  EDIT:  Now that I think about it he has made a couple of casual remarks that he might be interested in having a business some day, but I don't think he knows how to go about getting clients.  He's kind of shy and doesn't really like to put himself out there.  I think he'd rather just keep making them for himself and his friends.

He's a tailor for a big retail store.  No go on displaying his stuff there or keeping it at his (super tiny I've seen pics) work station. 

Yeah I take responsibility for not talking to him about this prior to moving in.  I didn't realize the extent of it as we spent most nights at my place since he had roommates and I didn't.  Lesson learned.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 12:10:56 PM by StacheyStache »

Captain FIRE

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2016, 12:09:57 PM »
Invite his friends over for dinner.  During dinner (eaten on laps at the couch?), mention that you are storing X boxes of costumes for friends, of which Y costumes are theirs, for which clearly you have no space.  Would they like them or should you donate/sell them?  (If you are lucky they will express shock you are holding onto costumes they can't fit anyways.  Maybe that's another way to do it - invite everyone over to see what still fits - and then give them the ones that do and sell/donate the ones that don't.)

Do his friends even realize how much he's spent on the materials for their costumes (aside from the personal tailoring)?  Do they do other things for him, even if they don't pay for the costumes?  He has to make the decision to charge his friends costs though, this one doesn't impact you in the same way as the apartment does, but you could do something like keep track of how much it costs him to make up this new batch so he sees how much it is annually.

The real issue is that you moved in without agreement on what would happen with these costumes.  Unless you get agreement, I'd suggest separate apartments once the lease runs out.  You need him to understand why it stresses you out and that you need a solution or this arrangement is not sustainable for you.

honeybbq

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2016, 12:11:40 PM »
Either the costumes go or you go. Up to him.

(or he gets a bigger storage unit, or he sells some of them to afford an extra unit, or, etc etc).

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2016, 12:20:48 PM »
Invite his friends over for dinner.  During dinner (eaten on laps at the couch?), mention that you are storing X boxes of costumes for friends, of which Y costumes are theirs, for which clearly you have no space.  Would they like them or should you donate/sell them?  (If you are lucky they will express shock you are holding onto costumes they can't fit anyways.  Maybe that's another way to do it - invite everyone over to see what still fits - and then give them the ones that do and sell/donate the ones that don't.)

Do his friends even realize how much he's spent on the materials for their costumes (aside from the personal tailoring)?  Do they do other things for him, even if they don't pay for the costumes?  He has to make the decision to charge his friends costs though, this one doesn't impact you in the same way as the apartment does, but you could do something like keep track of how much it costs him to make up this new batch so he sees how much it is annually.

The real issue is that you moved in without agreement on what would happen with these costumes.  Unless you get agreement, I'd suggest separate apartments once the lease runs out.  You need him to understand why it stresses you out and that you need a solution or this arrangement is not sustainable for you.

Ugh just thinking about inviting people over to this mess has me embarrassed.  And you're not too far off with eating on laps on the couch, we now eat on the coffee table in the living room (after he does his nightly clear off of the fabric and sewing stuff he's working on for the upcoming convention). 

Most of his friends are out of state and he only really gets to see them at these conventions.  That's why I don't want him to stop going to them or making costumes all together, I just don't see why he has to make all of their costumes plus his and why there has to be so many of them.  There has to be some kind of compromise here.  And no his friends do very very little for him, which I pointed out to him.  I think he's being taken advantage of but he quickly dismisses this and tells me how poor they are (a combination of bad choices and anti mustachianism in my opinion, but they're his friends so...)

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2016, 12:23:34 PM »
Either the costumes go or you go. Up to him.

(or he gets a bigger storage unit, or he sells some of them to afford an extra unit, or, etc etc).

It's not that serious yet.  It's got the potential to become that serious though, which is why I want to nip it in the bud now. 

BFGirl

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2016, 12:39:49 PM »
Either the costumes go or you go. Up to him.

(or he gets a bigger storage unit, or he sells some of them to afford an extra unit, or, etc etc).

It's not that serious yet.  It's got the potential to become that serious though, which is why I want to nip it in the bud now.

You are probably going to have to find a compromise solution, either in a bigger place or a storage unit. If the costumes bother you so much, then maybe you should chip in for a larger storage unit for him.   It sounds like his hobby is very important to him and this is something the two of you will need to deal with if you plan on a long term relationship.  Although I do get rid of stuff I've made, sometimes I have to hold onto it for a bit before I am ready.  If he is anything like me, his creativity is a large part of who he is.  And creativity can take up space.  I have an entire game room dedicated to my craft (which is also a side hustle).

There isn't anything inherently wrong in his behaviors that you need to "nip it in the bud", but the two of you will need to agree on some compromises that make the situation livable for you both.

MrsDinero

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2016, 12:44:13 PM »
Probably not the most mustacian suggestion, but can you upgrade to a 2 apartment and let him have the second room for his hobby? 

Also now that you are living together the two of you should have an honest discussion about finances, physical space, his hobby, and how much you are willing to support his hobby.  Also how much you are willing to support him and his hobby.

If I'm reading between the lines correctly he is living almost paycheck to paycheck to support his hobby, which is clearly very important to him.  how much of the financial slack are you willing to pick up, should the two of you decide to get married.

RetiredAt63

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2016, 12:52:13 PM »
Really this is a question for Captain Awkward.  https://captainawkward.com/

Seriously. Just write everything you have written here, including replies to comments.  Amazing pool of wisdom on relationships over there.

Miss Piggy

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2016, 12:55:33 PM »
You say the next size up for a storage unit is a LOT more expensive than what he's currently renting. What about renting two of the small spaces?

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2016, 01:01:30 PM »
Probably not the most mustacian suggestion, but can you upgrade to a 2 apartment and let him have the second room for his hobby? 

Also now that you are living together the two of you should have an honest discussion about finances, physical space, his hobby, and how much you are willing to support his hobby.  Also how much you are willing to support him and his hobby.

If I'm reading between the lines correctly he is living almost paycheck to paycheck to support his hobby, which is clearly very important to him.  how much of the financial slack are you willing to pick up, should the two of you decide to get married.

You would be spot on with your between the line reading.  I recently switched jobs for a raise (and to escape a tough job situation I posted about previously) and while not raking it in by any means I'm now making twice what he makes (think 50k vs. 25k).  We're paying bills proportional to this income split, meaning I'm already paying about twice what he pays.  We can't afford a two bedroom apartment though unless it was either in a somewhat scary area or I took on about 80% of the cost (while we don't live in quite a HCOL yet, it's quickly becoming that way thanks to the twelve million articles that have come out about what a wonderful place this is to travel to and live in....I hate those articles so much, rent and housing prices are skyrocketing).  We did discuss a two bedroom though and both agreed it was out of the question financially.  I will pay for more of the bills but I will not pay for his hobby and I don't want to be on the hook for more than my fair share of bills to give him enough space for his hobby.  He understands that.

To his credit he has cut back a lot in the spendy pants department.  He used to be a frequent smoker and quit when I told him I would absolutely not move in with a smoker when we first discussed moving in together.  That was about six months ago and he hasn't touched a cigarette since.  He used to eat a lot of fast food but now that I'm cooking most meals (no problem doing this, I love it and I'm good at it), he happily chips in for groceries and eats my cheaper healthier and tastier cooking.  We've discussed carpooling to work since my new job puts me a couple of blocks away from his.  Really other than this he rarely spends on himself.  This is really the only thing he has so I'm hesitant to do much foot putting down here...but it's so incredibly expensive and space sucking it's been hard to resist the urge for the foot to slam down. 

BFGirl

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2016, 01:05:34 PM »
Probably not the most mustacian suggestion, but can you upgrade to a 2 apartment and let him have the second room for his hobby? 

Also now that you are living together the two of you should have an honest discussion about finances, physical space, his hobby, and how much you are willing to support his hobby.  Also how much you are willing to support him and his hobby.

If I'm reading between the lines correctly he is living almost paycheck to paycheck to support his hobby, which is clearly very important to him.  how much of the financial slack are you willing to pick up, should the two of you decide to get married.

You would be spot on with your between the line reading.  I recently switched jobs for a raise (and to escape a tough job situation I posted about previously) and while not raking it in by any means I'm now making twice what he makes (think 50k vs. 25k).  We're paying bills proportional to this income split, meaning I'm already paying about twice what he pays.  We can't afford a two bedroom apartment though unless it was either in a somewhat scary area or I took on about 80% of the cost (while we don't live in quite a HCOL yet, it's quickly becoming that way thanks to the twelve million articles that have come out about what a wonderful place this is to travel to and live in....I hate those articles so much, rent and housing prices are skyrocketing).  We did discuss a two bedroom though and both agreed it was out of the question financially.  I will pay for more of the bills but I will not pay for his hobby and I don't want to be on the hook for more than my fair share of bills to give him enough space for his hobby.  He understands that.

To his credit he has cut back a lot in the spendy pants department.  He used to be a frequent smoker and quit when I told him I would absolutely not move in with a smoker when we first discussed moving in together.  That was about six months ago and he hasn't touched a cigarette since.  He used to eat a lot of fast food but now that I'm cooking most meals (no problem doing this, I love it and I'm good at it), he happily chips in for groceries and eats my cheaper healthier and tastier cooking.  We've discussed carpooling to work since my new job puts me a couple of blocks away from his.  Really other than this he rarely spends on himself.  This is really the only thing he has so I'm hesitant to do much foot putting down here...but it's so incredibly expensive and space sucking it's been hard to resist the urge for the foot to slam down.

I think it is great that you are leading him to less spendypants and healthier ways.  It is also great that you respect his hobby and are hesitant to "put your foot down".  A lot of problems can arise if one SO tries to change the other SO rather than respecting who that person is and the pursuits that make that person happy and fulfilled.

ysette9

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2016, 01:16:49 PM »
Quote
    Either the costumes go or you go. Up to him.

    (or he gets a bigger storage unit, or he sells some of them to afford an extra unit, or, etc etc).


It's not that serious yet.  It's got the potential to become that serious though, which is why I want to nip it in the bud now. 

Just reading your post and imagining the state of your apartment is stressing me out! Then again, this is your life and not mine. From my perspective it seems like you have a disconnect in values more than a lack-of-space problem. He values his hobby to the point that he is making major financial sacrifices for it. He chooses not to monetize his skills. He lets his friends (in your opinion) take advantage of him. This is who he is and if that doesn't sit well with you then it seems to me like you are just going to continue butting heads. Say a 2nd bedroom magically materialized in your apartment; do you think that he would confine his costumes to just that area or would he eventually take over the apartment again? Wouldn't you still find yourself irritated that he spends so much time and money making things for ungrateful friends that then end up as more junk in YOUR home? Would you grow resentful that he wasn't using that time and energy to build a side business and bring in more money or at least be better respected?

I don't have answers but if I were in your shoes, I would live separately until more things got sorted out. I think you may have been blindsided by the allure of saving money by living together and didn't give proper consideration to what that really means logistically. Good luck.

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2016, 01:27:14 PM »
Quote
    Either the costumes go or you go. Up to him.

    (or he gets a bigger storage unit, or he sells some of them to afford an extra unit, or, etc etc).


It's not that serious yet.  It's got the potential to become that serious though, which is why I want to nip it in the bud now. 

Just reading your post and imagining the state of your apartment is stressing me out! Then again, this is your life and not mine. From my perspective it seems like you have a disconnect in values more than a lack-of-space problem. He values his hobby to the point that he is making major financial sacrifices for it. He chooses not to monetize his skills. He lets his friends (in your opinion) take advantage of him. This is who he is and if that doesn't sit well with you then it seems to me like you are just going to continue butting heads. Say a 2nd bedroom magically materialized in your apartment; do you think that he would confine his costumes to just that area or would he eventually take over the apartment again? Wouldn't you still find yourself irritated that he spends so much time and money making things for ungrateful friends that then end up as more junk in YOUR home? Would you grow resentful that he wasn't using that time and energy to build a side business and bring in more money or at least be better respected?

I don't have answers but if I were in your shoes, I would live separately until more things got sorted out. I think you may have been blindsided by the allure of saving money by living together and didn't give proper consideration to what that really means logistically. Good luck.

Oh yeah it's really bad I don't mean to minimize (yuk yuk) that.  And I'm also looking towards the future and seeing how bad this can potentially get....I just clarified with him that I was wrong about the 6 costumes for the upcoming convention.  That's just for ONE of the 'day' group cosplays.  There are apparently also 'night' costumes that are less elaborate than the day costumes  and he's planning on making those too, he just hasn't gotten the materials yet.  This costume making will apparently go on for the rest of the month (though he has stopped spreading his stuff out on the floor for the most part since my kitty started attacking his patterns).  I am NOT looking forward to this and it has to be sorted out, there has to be a compromise.  I'm thinking that after this convention is over we're going to have a long talk about how many costumes are reasonable per year and keeping his workspace confined to a smaller area until we're in a situation where we can afford a bigger apartment or a house (which is the ultimate goal if US News stops yapping about how great this place is).

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2016, 01:41:45 PM »
Probably not the most mustacian suggestion, but can you upgrade to a 2 apartment and let him have the second room for his hobby? 

Also now that you are living together the two of you should have an honest discussion about finances, physical space, his hobby, and how much you are willing to support his hobby.  Also how much you are willing to support him and his hobby.

If I'm reading between the lines correctly he is living almost paycheck to paycheck to support his hobby, which is clearly very important to him.  how much of the financial slack are you willing to pick up, should the two of you decide to get married.

You would be spot on with your between the line reading.  I recently switched jobs for a raise (and to escape a tough job situation I posted about previously) and while not raking it in by any means I'm now making twice what he makes (think 50k vs. 25k).  We're paying bills proportional to this income split, meaning I'm already paying about twice what he pays.  We can't afford a two bedroom apartment though unless it was either in a somewhat scary area or I took on about 80% of the cost (while we don't live in quite a HCOL yet, it's quickly becoming that way thanks to the twelve million articles that have come out about what a wonderful place this is to travel to and live in....I hate those articles so much, rent and housing prices are skyrocketing).  We did discuss a two bedroom though and both agreed it was out of the question financially.  I will pay for more of the bills but I will not pay for his hobby and I don't want to be on the hook for more than my fair share of bills to give him enough space for his hobby.  He understands that.

To his credit he has cut back a lot in the spendy pants department.  He used to be a frequent smoker and quit when I told him I would absolutely not move in with a smoker when we first discussed moving in together.  That was about six months ago and he hasn't touched a cigarette since.  He used to eat a lot of fast food but now that I'm cooking most meals (no problem doing this, I love it and I'm good at it), he happily chips in for groceries and eats my cheaper healthier and tastier cooking.  We've discussed carpooling to work since my new job puts me a couple of blocks away from his.  Really other than this he rarely spends on himself.  This is really the only thing he has so I'm hesitant to do much foot putting down here...but it's so incredibly expensive and space sucking it's been hard to resist the urge for the foot to slam down.

I think it is great that you are leading him to less spendypants and healthier ways.  It is also great that you respect his hobby and are hesitant to "put your foot down".  A lot of problems can arise if one SO tries to change the other SO rather than respecting who that person is and the pursuits that make that person happy and fulfilled.

Thanks, I had a pretty easy time with easing him into more Mustachian habits even if he's not full on Mustachian (and thinks I'm a bit silly about it).  We knew each other for a long time before we got together and he always knew smoking was a deal breaker for me and it was something he wanted to quit for himself anyway.  As for the fast food habit I just constantly made delicious home cooked food available, packed him lunches and filled him up so he wasn't hungry for McNasty burritos.  After awhile he felt guilty about not contributing for groceries so I suggested he come shopping with me and split the bill for dinner stuff.  We had a lot of fun grocery shopping together and he realized this whole cooking thing was way better than eating fast food for every meal.  Awhile back he took me to a Waffle House and after a few bites made a face and said "your breakfasts are so much better."  I knew I'd won then without even fighting a battle.

MrsDinero

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2016, 01:43:00 PM »
Probably not the most mustacian suggestion, but can you upgrade to a 2 apartment and let him have the second room for his hobby? 

Also now that you are living together the two of you should have an honest discussion about finances, physical space, his hobby, and how much you are willing to support his hobby.  Also how much you are willing to support him and his hobby.

If I'm reading between the lines correctly he is living almost paycheck to paycheck to support his hobby, which is clearly very important to him.  how much of the financial slack are you willing to pick up, should the two of you decide to get married.

You would be spot on with your between the line reading.  I recently switched jobs for a raise (and to escape a tough job situation I posted about previously) and while not raking it in by any means I'm now making twice what he makes (think 50k vs. 25k).  We're paying bills proportional to this income split, meaning I'm already paying about twice what he pays.  We can't afford a two bedroom apartment though unless it was either in a somewhat scary area or I took on about 80% of the cost (while we don't live in quite a HCOL yet, it's quickly becoming that way thanks to the twelve million articles that have come out about what a wonderful place this is to travel to and live in....I hate those articles so much, rent and housing prices are skyrocketing).  We did discuss a two bedroom though and both agreed it was out of the question financially.  I will pay for more of the bills but I will not pay for his hobby and I don't want to be on the hook for more than my fair share of bills to give him enough space for his hobby.  He understands that.

To his credit he has cut back a lot in the spendy pants department.  He used to be a frequent smoker and quit when I told him I would absolutely not move in with a smoker when we first discussed moving in together.  That was about six months ago and he hasn't touched a cigarette since.  He used to eat a lot of fast food but now that I'm cooking most meals (no problem doing this, I love it and I'm good at it), he happily chips in for groceries and eats my cheaper healthier and tastier cooking.  We've discussed carpooling to work since my new job puts me a couple of blocks away from his.  Really other than this he rarely spends on himself.  This is really the only thing he has so I'm hesitant to do much foot putting down here...but it's so incredibly expensive and space sucking it's been hard to resist the urge for the foot to slam down.

Here's the thing.  If you are picking up more than 50% of the bills then you ARE contributing to his hobby. 

I've never been to those type conventions but I work with people who have been going for years and most of them this is the ONLY thing they spend money on.  I don't think there is anything wrong with that.  Most of them are happy to live way below their means to be able to spend the money on costumes, tickets, etc. That is ok.

When it becomes "not ok" is when it starts impacting other people around them.  I would say you have 3 main problems

1)  You are not splitting costs 50/50.
Both of you should write up a budget that excludes his hobby.  This should include all shared expenses.  After that you and your SO will have exact numbers on how much he last left over for his hobby.  Most likely it will be an eye-opener.

2)  Your SO is storing costumes for his friends. 
This is ok as long as it was only impacting him.  now that it is impacting you, he should contact his friends and send them their costumes.  If they don't have space that is not your or your SO's problem because you don't have space either. 

3) Your SO has an expensive hobby.  It sounds like he is starting to come around to charging for his time and creativity, but isn't there yet.  Once you come up with a budget and he sees how much he has left over, he might come around to charging his friends, at a minimum, for material cost.  If he doesn't want to charge for his time/labor costs, that is is up to him, however he should be the one drawing the line when it comes to impacting both of yours financial stability.

Slee_stack

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2016, 01:55:11 PM »
The idea of paying for storage for stuff that never gets used would drive me bonkers.


You mention you have a cat.

On any given day, I imagine its possible that one of these costume crates could accidentally be left open.

On the same given day, its also possible you might forget to put out or refill the catbox.


As they say, sometimes shit just happens.

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2016, 02:19:39 PM »
Probably not the most mustacian suggestion, but can you upgrade to a 2 apartment and let him have the second room for his hobby? 

Also now that you are living together the two of you should have an honest discussion about finances, physical space, his hobby, and how much you are willing to support his hobby.  Also how much you are willing to support him and his hobby.

If I'm reading between the lines correctly he is living almost paycheck to paycheck to support his hobby, which is clearly very important to him.  how much of the financial slack are you willing to pick up, should the two of you decide to get married.

You would be spot on with your between the line reading.  I recently switched jobs for a raise (and to escape a tough job situation I posted about previously) and while not raking it in by any means I'm now making twice what he makes (think 50k vs. 25k).  We're paying bills proportional to this income split, meaning I'm already paying about twice what he pays.  We can't afford a two bedroom apartment though unless it was either in a somewhat scary area or I took on about 80% of the cost (while we don't live in quite a HCOL yet, it's quickly becoming that way thanks to the twelve million articles that have come out about what a wonderful place this is to travel to and live in....I hate those articles so much, rent and housing prices are skyrocketing).  We did discuss a two bedroom though and both agreed it was out of the question financially.  I will pay for more of the bills but I will not pay for his hobby and I don't want to be on the hook for more than my fair share of bills to give him enough space for his hobby.  He understands that.

To his credit he has cut back a lot in the spendy pants department.  He used to be a frequent smoker and quit when I told him I would absolutely not move in with a smoker when we first discussed moving in together.  That was about six months ago and he hasn't touched a cigarette since.  He used to eat a lot of fast food but now that I'm cooking most meals (no problem doing this, I love it and I'm good at it), he happily chips in for groceries and eats my cheaper healthier and tastier cooking.  We've discussed carpooling to work since my new job puts me a couple of blocks away from his.  Really other than this he rarely spends on himself.  This is really the only thing he has so I'm hesitant to do much foot putting down here...but it's so incredibly expensive and space sucking it's been hard to resist the urge for the foot to slam down.

Here's the thing.  If you are picking up more than 50% of the bills then you ARE contributing to his hobby. 

I've never been to those type conventions but I work with people who have been going for years and most of them this is the ONLY thing they spend money on.  I don't think there is anything wrong with that.  Most of them are happy to live way below their means to be able to spend the money on costumes, tickets, etc. That is ok.

When it becomes "not ok" is when it starts impacting other people around them.  I would say you have 3 main problems

1)  You are not splitting costs 50/50.
Both of you should write up a budget that excludes his hobby.  This should include all shared expenses.  After that you and your SO will have exact numbers on how much he last left over for his hobby.  Most likely it will be an eye-opener.

2)  Your SO is storing costumes for his friends. 
This is ok as long as it was only impacting him.  now that it is impacting you, he should contact his friends and send them their costumes.  If they don't have space that is not your or your SO's problem because you don't have space either. 

3) Your SO has an expensive hobby.  It sounds like he is starting to come around to charging for his time and creativity, but isn't there yet.  Once you come up with a budget and he sees how much he has left over, he might come around to charging his friends, at a minimum, for material cost.  If he doesn't want to charge for his time/labor costs, that is is up to him, however he should be the one drawing the line when it comes to impacting both of yours financial stability.

As for number 1, if we truly split rent and utilities 50/50 based on what we could afford one of four things would happen:  we'd either have one or even two roommates or we'd both have hour long commutes each way or he would have very little leftover for living expenses and savings or we'd be in a scary neighborhood.  None of those things are okay with me.  He nets about 1500 a month in income after taxes and health insurance. 

While he's okay with roommates and scaryish areas (his last place had frequent break ins both for the apartments and cars) because that's what he's used to, I'm not, so I pay more to live in a nicer area that he couldn't afford to split 50/50 and still contribute to his savings and live comfortably though not lavishly.  Our rent and utilities is 1500 per month and while it's nothing luxury, it's a good area and close to work for both of us.  Me paying 1000 and him paying 500 allows us both to save proportionate to our incomes (though I still save a lot more than he does as I both make more and have a profitable side hustle and my hobbies are things like reading and sports that I can play for free).  I really am okay with this arrangement with the stipulation that I don't pay even more for a two bedroom apartment or finance his hobby (or pay for a bigger storage unit.  The storage unit is his responsibility).  I think a cap on spending for his hobby though would go a long way.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 02:34:45 PM by StacheyStache »

redbird

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2016, 02:40:45 PM »
Option 1: Boyfriend sell costumes.
Option 2: Boyfriend give away costumes.
Option 3: Boyfriend get better paying job (and/or charge for making costumes for other people!) and get another storage unit.. This will only be a temporary fix, though, unless boyfriend quits the convention/costume hobby.

That is it. There are no other options... Well, technically there is 1 I guess...

Option 4: The crazy nuclear option of breaking up with the costume hoarding boyfriend.

canuck_24

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2016, 02:47:30 PM »
Here's the thing.  If you are picking up more than 50% of the bills then you ARE contributing to his hobby. 

1)  You are not splitting costs 50/50.
Both of you should write up a budget that excludes his hobby.  This should include all shared expenses.  After that you and your SO will have exact numbers on how much he last left over for his hobby.  Most likely it will be an eye-opener.

While I do agree with a lot of the advice given in the responses on this post, I must say, I disagree a little with this part.  Both people are not earning equally, why would they split the costs 50/50?  While that is one way to divvy up living expenses, it is not the ONLY way.  Another way to split expenses is as follows: Person A earns 50k, Person B earns 25k (for simplicity, lets call that take home) - if both are working full time and have agreed on what quality of life they are willing to share (ie. living in the same apartment, eating at home together, etc) why not share expenses based on the same ratio?  Work out the budget for the shared expenses (as MrsD says), and then figure out what percentage you both need to contribute to meet that budget, for simplicity sake, lets call it 50%.  Say your combined expenses are about 35k.  Person A contributes 50% of their earnings (25k) and Person B contributes 50% of their earnings (12.5k).  Person A has a higher paying job and therefore they also maintain a higher individual account, banking 25k into their personal account, Person B winds up banking only 12.5k for their hobbies or personal savings.

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2016, 03:01:48 PM »
Here's the thing.  If you are picking up more than 50% of the bills then you ARE contributing to his hobby. 

1)  You are not splitting costs 50/50.
Both of you should write up a budget that excludes his hobby.  This should include all shared expenses.  After that you and your SO will have exact numbers on how much he last left over for his hobby.  Most likely it will be an eye-opener.

While I do agree with a lot of the advice given in the responses on this post, I must say, I disagree a little with this part.  Both people are not earning equally, why would they split the costs 50/50?  While that is one way to divvy up living expenses, it is not the ONLY way.  Another way to split expenses is as follows: Person A earns 50k, Person B earns 25k (for simplicity, lets call that take home) - if both are working full time and have agreed on what quality of life they are willing to share (ie. living in the same apartment, eating at home together, etc) why not share expenses based on the same ratio?  Work out the budget for the shared expenses (as MrsD says), and then figure out what percentage you both need to contribute to meet that budget, for simplicity sake, lets call it 50%.  Say your combined expenses are about 35k.  Person A contributes 50% of their earnings (25k) and Person B contributes 50% of their earnings (12.5k).  Person A has a higher paying job and therefore they also maintain a higher individual account, banking 25k into their personal account, Person B winds up banking only 12.5k for their hobbies or personal savings.

Agreed and that's how we see it as well.  The difference in our incomes is much less of a problem than the amount of clutter his hobby accumulates.  It's unfortunate that he has such an expensive (and messy!) hobby and I think he'd benefit from a more Mustachian one, but until he starts coming up short on bills or racking up credit card debt I'm picking my battles. 

Bajadoc

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2016, 03:04:07 PM »
Wear a different costume each night to bed and don't stop until he gets rid of some of that crap.

nobody123

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2016, 03:08:39 PM »
I'd go full Brady Bunch and put masking tape on the floor in the proper storage areas that divides it up according to your expense sharing ratio.  Tell him that his crap needs to fit in the designated areas.  Withhold sex until he gets his act together.  Problem solved! 

Or, you could of course have "the cat" "accidentally" knock over a stack of the crates and onto something of his and break it, then say you're worried it might kill or injure the cat next time.  He wouldn't really want Mr. Whiskers to get hurt and rack up thousands of dollars in vet bills he can't afford, now would he?

There's nothing wrong with his hobby per se, and if his friends take advantage of his generosity that is his problem until it affects you (he can't pay for his share of the bills, you are married and it's shared money, etc.).  Having his hobby take over the majority of your living space affects you, so you're well within your rights to tell him to take care of the mess. 

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2016, 03:09:23 PM »
The idea of paying for storage for stuff that never gets used would drive me bonkers.


You mention you have a cat.

On any given day, I imagine its possible that one of these costume crates could accidentally be left open.

On the same given day, its also possible you might forget to put out or refill the catbox.


As they say, sometimes shit just happens.

Except I still don't think he'd get rid of them.  Then I'd just have crates of costumes that smell like cat pee!

He's careful not to leave his things where kitty can play with them.  Kitty has shredded more than one of his precious patterns and loves to roll around and shed on his fabric.  I think it's revenge for the crates cluttering up kitty's thunder sanctuary. 

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2016, 03:19:32 PM »
Wear a different costume each night to bed and don't stop until he gets rid of some of that crap.

hahahaha I LOVE this especially knowing what some of these costumes are. 

http://zeldawiki.org/images/thumb/9/98/MM3D_Happy_Mask_Salesman_Artwork.png/200px-MM3D_Happy_Mask_Salesman_Artwork.png

Complete with mask.

Frankies Girl

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2016, 03:56:18 PM »
See, he's not compromising. He's expecting you to do all the give and he takes 100% as far as this goes.

He has all of the typical hoarder excuses. The "sentimental" crap is classic hoarder mentality. It will only get worse unless he recognizes this and takes significant steps to get a handle on it. And you'll end up feeling trapped trying to take care of him and living in a horrible shithole mess. (BTDT - grew up with hoarders, so I'm not going to be real nice about this).

It won't get better unless he sees that this is irrational and takes positive action to stop the hoarding. It will only get worse if he refuses to do this.

Compromise would be he keeps his 10 favorite costumes he made for himself and get rid of one if he makes a new one, or he can have X amount of storage space in the apartment, or similar.

He's not budging on anything  - he's told you that. He wants to continue this hobby, spending lots of money he can't afford, and keeping these things forever without them being useful ever. He'll keep doing this even to the point of running up debt (he's already wasting money he doesn't have buying supplies and renting a storage unit!) and packing your shared living space so much that you'll never be able to have friends over or feel clean and comfortable in your space again.

What he needs to do is sell the costumes. There will be buyers out there if the price is right, despite his claim that they are custom; unless his friends are VERY unique (Third arm? Unusually tall or short or fat or thin? Still think they'll find an audience). And any further costume builds for friends need to have friends at minimum cover the costs of supplies and keep the damn things after.

If he wants to remember them, then taking a few really good photos of them (likely he already has this) and saving them in an album or displaying a few nicely framed collages of them on the wall is a MUCH better idea than hiding them away in boxes and them never seeing the light of day (this is classic hoarder behavior too - burying "important" things and hiding them away).

Since he won't wear them again, and doesn't have the space to store what will eventually become hundreds of costumes, what does he think will happen eventually? That you'll be okay living in a warren of boxes? That you should pay to buy him more space/rental units to store his junk? Seriously ask him this, because it would be interesting to hear what he has to say about this since he really can't afford a larger unit as it is.

By selling them, he can keep doing this hobby since it should be self-supporting, he'll be making other people happy by getting really nicely sewn costumes for cheaper than professionally made (if he prices them right). And you'll be happy because you'll get your apartment back, and that in turn will make him happy since you won't be upset with him and this thing of his won't become a huge issue in your relationship.

I would tell him if it was me, that he can have X amount of space but he has to get rid of anything that can't fit in said space. And if he is unable to do this, then you need to think about having him move out and seriously consider whether you want to be in a relationship with someone that puts material things ahead of relationships.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 03:57:52 PM by Frankies Girl »

Basenji

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2016, 04:03:19 PM »
Edit: Frankies Girl beat me to it, so +1
I saw on "Hoarders" (my fave) an idea where he would get into each costume (or finds models) and takes high quality photos of each costume, 360°. Then he makes a website showcasing his designs. Then either sells, donates, or gets rid of them.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 04:19:18 PM by Basenji »

former player

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2016, 04:12:51 PM »
Can he take the costumes to the conventions to sell?  That could be a way into a side-hustle - he could have some for sale and offer custom tailoring as well.   His friends could act as walking advertising for him in return for the costumes they are wearing.   Could you (or one of his friends?) offer to help him on the business side, as lack of knowledge/confidence on this may be what is holding him back, and having support plus a familiar and happy environment to set up his stall might get him started in business.

marty998

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2016, 04:32:24 PM »
You need to locate the nearest kid who is having a fancy dress 18th / 21st party...

Shor

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2016, 04:32:58 PM »
I hear a lot of nuclear options being tossed around, but I disagree.
Costumes can be adjusted and refitted to size. They can also be sold as-is for a bit cheaper (say half to 75% what it could make, depending on the work involved.)

I think your bf has a real talent in how much effort and motivation he is able to pour in to these costumes. That same energy can be redirected to modifying costumes, but it would be a huge request to ask him to handle the entire selling process on his own.
I think, if you do a bit of the talking and encouragement, you can get the process rolling on selling the costumes. If the bf can agree that you put forward the effort try to put them up for sale, that might be the push he needs to accept actually parting with them. A lot of times, people can just be overwhelmed by the amount of work, unknown number of steps that might be involved to tackle a large project like this. So you might have to do a lot of the business work side of it, and then keep him involved as things get rolling.

Selling the costumes involves a good bit of work on its own:
Pictures - not just the costume in a box, but modeled on someone, ideally posed. Plain, or even better, a creative background can really help make the costume pop and seem appealing. Some of his friends might be able to help out for modeling, even for free. You dress up in character, you like the attention, bonus in that they already know how to pose for it :D

Description - Itemized list of the complete costume that will be shipped. Sizing, determine how much work it would take to modify. Sometimes buyers might request for a size change, which would involve their measurements, and the bf determining how much effort it would take to rework the costume to make it work. Some things might be too much work, other things you might even charge a little bit more for modifications, or do small mods for free.

Price - Determine generally about how much it would cost, and how much it might go for. Naturally a more recent or character that's popular again  (think X-men movie just came out = lots more X-men costumes, or new Zelda game is out = people are on the lookout for retro Zelda costumes) might be higher priority to put up for sale than an obscure or generic game character

Organization - Bunch of costumes stuffed in boxes will end up being a nightmare trying to find costume X and prep it for shipping / figure out modding it. Sorting, organizing, maybe pre-wrapping the costumes will help a lot in keeping things organized. The lack of space is a real cap here because there's less room available for prepping, displaying, packing and keeping these separate. Also, a lot of times when customers contact you asking questions, they'll refer stupid vaguely to a costume and assume you know what they mean ("Oh I had a question about the Mario costume" "I have 4 different costumes, but they were all Zelda, which one were they referring to?"). Just part of the territory, it's helpful to know how to talk to customers to super clarify exactly what they want and not just what they're saying.

Sale contact: your bf might be too emotionally invested to talk about selling the costume with a stranger. This requires a little bit of work, a little bit of salesmanship. Sometimes customers have concerns, sometimes they want to negotiate on price. They might want resizing, but don't know their own measurements or how to take them, It can be a lot of work, and you'll be working with the bf on what is possible or not.

Customer relations: After sale, people will call back with questions, requests, they might have measured wrong, they might not like what they got. Some things you might be able to negotiate, other things you can say that the sale is final and won't accept a return. Other times a costume might get damaged with use and you can charge separate for repair (additional side business). Sometimes people will damage the costume and expect you to send them replacement pieces, like, what?

So.. that was a long type up. Nothing is 'unmodifiable', but it can be a good deal of work to sell them with any amount of success. It's not simple or easy, but a good team working together and communicating well can tackle even this. Now, the real question is, are any of these costumes any good, and how much would people pay for it?

You will eventually hit costumes that don't sell even after being posted a long time, have no appeal, and no chance of being popular again. Have some cutoff point for tossing these out and removing the listing. At the same time, some things will be up forever and then sell suddenly for no reason. It just took the right person seeing the listing, or finally getting enough money together to go through with the buy.
Sometimes you can tweak the listing, other times it's completely random. This is where running a business of making costumes completely differs from a business of selling off inventory. You already have a product that might or might not be appealing.
A costume making business, people usually have an idea in mind and the costume maker will go about putting it all together. There is some overlap, but you can charge way more to put a costume together for a person, selling a pre-made costume is more of a chance / luck thing that the viewer likes it.

Post write-up idea: A lot of conventions often have seller booths. Might it be possible to rent a space and try to sell costumes? This can have varying success, especially depending on the convention size, theme, interest. You'll still need a lot of time spent prepping, packing, and getting picture and description of the costume. The more professional you can make the booth seem, the better you can charge for the costumes (think costume business, and not garage sale "dig through a box"!).

Good luck!

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2016, 04:40:14 PM »
It sounds like he won't sell the costumes, rather than can't, but if he's insisting that no-one would buy them individually, it might be worth looking into:

- selling them in bulk to a costume shop for re-sell/hire
- donating them to a school drama department
- donating them to an amateur theatre group (may not be used in their current state, but costume people are very skilled at cannibalising old pieces to make new costumes)

I understand how clutter can drain the peace and joy from your life and your home, and I'm sorry you are dealing with this.

You seem to be making progress with him in other areas, so I'm hoping he will come around on this one day. Eventually. In his own time...

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2016, 04:43:59 PM »
So we had somewhat of a talk.

He apologized for being so defensive about this. He said that I was right and he needed to compromise on this even if it was hard on him.  He admitted he does have somewhat hoarder tendencies and he wanted to help me more with saving for shared goals (house etc) so he needed to cut back on spending for the costumes anyway.  He also said that he will only go to one convention a year from now and that he will pair down the costumes, but doesn't want to talk about it anymore until after the convention next month.  He already made commitments to his friends about the costumes and most of the money is already spent (hotel tickets materials etc).  He looked so tired when I was talking to him, he's been staying up late after work and using all his time on his days off to work on these costumes (we went to a movie the other day and it was the most time we've spent together in weeks, unless you count me reading or watching TV in the same room as him on the sewing machine).  I think he's really been stressed out and bitten off a bit more than he can chew, with us moving and him making so many costumes all in the same month. 

I don't know if he really means it as to the pairing down after this next convention.  He looked so tired I didn't push it.  The convention is in a couple of weeks, I can stand the mess until then, but after it's done I'll see if he really means it and pairs down the costumes on his own without me nagging.  If not, we'll have to talk about this again.

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2016, 04:56:22 PM »
I admit that I know absolutely zero about this business (I've cosplayed exactly once, mostly to try and impress him when we were in college 10 years ago), but I kind of get where he's coming from about how no one would buy them.  Maybe not all of them at least.  He does a lot of really obscure games that I've never heard of despite being a lifelong gamer and a lot of "original creations" like Pokemon costumes if Pokemon were humans, gender bent costumes (think female Link with male Zelda), stuff like that he and his friends dreamed up that always look amazing but I doubt there's a lot of demand for.  I certainly wouldn't be opposed to trying to help him though.

Frankies Girl

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2016, 05:12:20 PM »
I admit that I know absolutely zero about this business (I've cosplayed exactly once, mostly to try and impress him when we were in college 10 years ago), but I kind of get where he's coming from about how no one would buy them.  Maybe not all of them at least.  He does a lot of really obscure games that I've never heard of despite being a lifelong gamer and a lot of "original creations" like Pokemon costumes if Pokemon were humans, gender bent costumes (think female Link with male Zelda), stuff like that he and his friends dreamed up that always look amazing but I doubt there's a lot of demand for.  I certainly wouldn't be opposed to trying to help him though.

I'm not super into the scene, but I read things like Epbot (the geek love blog by the CakeWreck's creator Jen), and trust me, there are TONS of people that would be into obscure characters, gender-swapped characters, human crossovers... those are the ones that get the most requests for photo ops and lots of street cred at the cons. The more obscure and unique the better. Who wants to be the same thing that 3 dozen other people are wearing? Weird and unusual will absolutely sell if you got them out there in front of the folks that want to attend but aren't crafty enough to make their own costumes.




Retire-Canada

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2016, 05:12:32 PM »
If he needs until after this convention to make some changes that's fine. But once the event is over you need to get some commitments in writing and a schedule. You are about to find out if he is a hoarder or not. If he is it's a mental illness and unless you desire to be a hobby therapist he's going to need professional help.

If he is able to communicate, negotiate and make significant changes and stick with it then you are fine...although the pace of the changes may not be ideal.

In some ways this crisis is good. You'll come out of it knowing if he is worth the long term effort as a partner.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 05:21:06 PM by Retire-Canada »

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2016, 05:12:49 PM »
I'm glad you guys are a step closer to a solution, and that he is starting to align his priorities with yours.

pairs down

This is intended gently.

*pares down / pared down / pare down.

You're obviously an intelligent woman, and I would hate for you to keep making this tiny error.

StacheyStache

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2016, 05:17:52 PM »
I'm glad you guys are a step closer to a solution, and that he is starting to align his priorities with yours.

pairs down

This is intended gently.

*pares down / pared down / pare down.

You're obviously an intelligent woman, and I would hate for you to keep making this tiny error.


Lol.  Yes.  Guilty.  Does it make it better or worse that I have an English degree?

Bee21

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2016, 05:29:28 PM »
I think he is moving forward. Let him do this convention and then discuss your future together, shared dreams/aims and what it takes to get there.

If you live in a small one Bdr you need to keep it neat and clutter free to make it comfortable. He can't compromise your comfort for the sake of keeping his friends stuff. Definitely get rid of the friends' stuff and keep a few special items. Photograph everything, put it in a portfolio, album, blog whatever and see if it generates interest. Even if he gets rid of them, having a portfolio showing what he is capable of doing will be helpful if he decides to build a business from his hobby.

And tell them to set those costumes free. They fulfilled their purpose, both from a creative and entertainment point of view and now they became just stuff which puts a strain on your relationship. Get rid of them to make space for other stuff.

I read somewhere that every home is just a giant garbage creating station and our prized possessions are in different stages of ' crapification'. My home is not the dumpster, so I find this quote helpful when deciding whether to keep or chuck something.

Goldielocks

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2016, 05:33:05 PM »
So we had somewhat of a talk.

I don't know if he really means it as to the pairing down after this next convention.  He looked so tired I didn't push it.  The convention is in a couple of weeks, I can stand the mess until then, but after it's done I'll see if he really means it and pairs down the costumes on his own without me nagging.  If not, we'll have to talk about this again.

Oh, the opportunity.

I would take out the costumes with him, have a fun evening together of laying them out / photographing and noting the condition of each, the current size.  You could put them on, even for the photos.

Then, I would print up a small book showing all of them as a sample of his work, and send him to the convention with the book.    He would probably love to show off his work to others, as they chat  (think 3x5 book size he can carry).

This may generate unsolicited offers to buy said costumes or orders for next year.

--------------------
Above all, do NOT try to dispose of the costumes yourself.   i did this to my DH's RC car, thinking it was junk (from his mom's house, which had a lot of junk from his early years.)....   It was rescued by him, and I still hear about it to this day.
----------------
I would try to get him to visualize how happy other people would be to have a chance to buy them off him, or just pay him to tailor /improve them for the new owner.  How they (the costumes) are unhappy to just sit in the dark...

Astatine

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #40 on: August 17, 2016, 09:16:15 PM »
I have no suggestions, sorry. Just posting to follow.

Kaikou

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #41 on: August 18, 2016, 04:45:25 AM »
Read 1/2 of comments. Honestly this isn't sustainable long term. But as that is not helpful all i came up with was either a charity auction or gallery showing to raise money for a worthy cause. How about trying to get his own booth at the convention or coordinating a fashion show at the event for a worthy cause? It will get his name out  there and maybe recognition he needs to see how it is a worthy endeavor. If he is unwilling to do anything then I would move out to be honest.

Harper

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #42 on: August 18, 2016, 06:58:54 AM »
I love goldilocks suggestion. 

OP, I love the way you write.  I would totally read a blog you wrote.  Sorry you're going through this.

mamagoose

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #43 on: August 18, 2016, 07:12:25 AM »
So we had somewhat of a talk.

He apologized for being so defensive about this. He said that I was right and he needed to compromise on this even if it was hard on him.  He admitted he does have somewhat hoarder tendencies and he wanted to help me more with saving for shared goals (house etc) so he needed to cut back on spending for the costumes anyway.  He also said that he will only go to one convention a year from now and that he will pair down the costumes, but doesn't want to talk about it anymore until after the convention next month.  He already made commitments to his friends about the costumes and most of the money is already spent (hotel tickets materials etc).  He looked so tired when I was talking to him, he's been staying up late after work and using all his time on his days off to work on these costumes (we went to a movie the other day and it was the most time we've spent together in weeks, unless you count me reading or watching TV in the same room as him on the sewing machine).  I think he's really been stressed out and bitten off a bit more than he can chew, with us moving and him making so many costumes all in the same month. 

I don't know if he really means it as to the pairing down after this next convention.  He looked so tired I didn't push it.  The convention is in a couple of weeks, I can stand the mess until then, but after it's done I'll see if he really means it and pairs down the costumes on his own without me nagging.  If not, we'll have to talk about this again.

If you want this guy around for life, you could go the extra mile and join him in the costume making/selling business. Instead of sitting there doing your own thing while he sews, ask him to show you how to sew also. Learn enough to make your own costumes, start selling them and leading by example. Walk a mile in his shoes. Men bond by sitting & working side-by-side rather than face-to-face, and it would probably make him very happy to have a buddy making the costumes with him. Maybe you'll even like it! At least that way he'll know you entertained the idea instead of standing in the opposite corner of your 700 sf place asking him to clean up his stuff. I liken this to video games - there are couples where the husband plays hours a night on video games and the wife is lonely in the other room wondering when he'll come to bed, and there are couples who order a pizza and stay up all night playing TOGETHER - which couple do you think is happier? Give it a try!

PMG

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #44 on: August 18, 2016, 07:20:36 AM »
Photographing them and making a book of them may be a to to helping him let go of the
   He would still have evidence of all be invested in them. 

Beyond that, it sounds like you are investing a whole lot into this relationship.  I hope that he is as well.

So we had somewhat of a talk.

I don't know if he really means it as to the pairing down after this next convention.  He looked so tired I didn't push it.  The convention is in a couple of weeks, I can stand the mess until then, but after it's done I'll see if he really means it and pairs down the costumes on his own without me nagging.  If not, we'll have to talk about this again.

Oh, the opportunity.

I would take out the costumes with him, have a fun evening together of laying them out / photographing and noting the condition of each, the current size.  You could put them on, even for the photos.

Then, I would print up a small book showing all of them as a sample of his work, and send him to the convention with the book.    He would probably love to show off his work to others, as they chat  (think 3x5 book size he can carry).

This may generate unsolicited offers to buy said costumes or orders for next year.

--------------------
Above all, do NOT try to dispose of the costumes yourself.   i did this to my DH's RC car, thinking it was junk (from his mom's house, which had a lot of junk from his early years.)....   It was rescued by him, and I still hear about it to this day.
----------------
I would try to get him to visualize how happy other people would be to have a chance to buy them off him, or just pay him to tailor /improve them for the new owner.  How they (the costumes) are unhappy to just sit in the dark...

driftwood

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #45 on: August 18, 2016, 07:40:26 AM »
It was good to see that you've talked and he is seeing the logic behind getting rid of costumes.

I was kind of surprised to see him say he'll only go to one convention a year.  I know that if conventions were my 'thing' it would be easy to feel like you're attacking me and my biggest passion.  And then he might feel defeated that he's agreeing to give it up except once a year he gets to do what he loves.

It seems like the big issue is he is pouring time and $ into costumes for others, and then having to store them after conventions.  If you resolved the costume issue, would he still want to attend multiple conventions?  Couldn't the solution with the costumes make it easy to save & afford to go to multiple conventions? 


ariapluscat

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #46 on: August 18, 2016, 08:33:42 AM »
I used to be into conventions. It sounds like he's a very active con-goer and cosplayer. And you don't sound as into the hobby as he is.

There's a mix of issues here.

Conventions are expensive and rewarding. If you can't get the hobby to pay for itself, then it's very expensive. If he's making all these costumes, I'm sure he's also buying a ton of games and associated media for these fandoms. The more you get into cons and cosplay, the more expensive, competitive, and time consuming it can be. He likely feels a lot of pressure to make costumes for his friends and have matching group costumes and 'complete the set' by having all the fave characters, esp if he's doing photo shoots. And he may have friends at the convention who are encouraging him or who he feels he can't let down or wants to impress with an ever expanding skill set in costume making.

But the most appealing idea to me is that he try to set up a booth and have a few costumes present, photos of all on at least a dress model, and sizing options. If he can't afford a booth, then join a facebook group for one of the cons he's going to or see if there's a swap meet at the next con he goes to. Def take good photos of all of them; he may already have photos of his friends wearing them if they were doing group photo shoots. Also set up a flickr or other photo site for him and potential customers to see the costumes.

As has been said before, costumes can take a lot of money and make a lot of money. I knew several women who were into Japanese fashion and turned their hobby into a side hustle. Most weren't really making money, breaking even really, but they were able to get valuable (read: expensive and brag worthy) perks like press badges for cons, the chance to walk in fashion shows, and a lot of notoriety in their community. He may not be interested in putting in the work - and it is a lot of work - esp if he's shy. But these hobbies can be a real opportunity for growth and learning.

And I do kind of agree with him. If these are as unique as he says, there really may not be a market for them. But selling just a few costumes can be a lot of money. Or selling the patterns could be a decent way to make money. He could also try setting up a patreon account to get fans to support his sewing hobby with bonus material like making the patterns available to others or videos of his process.

He can't hold on to all of these costumes. If they're just sitting in boxes, they are likely getting messed up and damaged already. Think wrinkles, folds, and smells. Plus some fabrics need to be regularly washed. And the more of these boxes there are, sitting dark and undisturbed, the more appealing this becomes for pests like moths. And the longer he holds on to costumes, the less valuable they become. Once the fad for a game passes, then the demand for costumes from it decreases (unless it's a nostalgia bait game or part of an on-going franchise like Zelda)

And there's a chance he may not want to compromise. I'm holding on to a lot of boxes for my fave anime figurines. Like I am literally storing empty boxes. And this in a small studio apartment in a HCOL area. I expect my new roommate is going to need more storage space than my current one, so I feel pressure to throw out the boxes. But I don't want to. I know a figurine collector who has a separate storage shed in his yard for his figurine boxes; he's got these empty cardboard boxes from years of collecting. He's proud of this. Some people spend hundreds of dollars on storage and display set ups.

Either way, I want to see photos of these costumes now!

neophyte

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #47 on: August 18, 2016, 09:23:45 AM »
So we had somewhat of a talk.

He apologized for being so defensive about this. He said that I was right and he needed to compromise on this even if it was hard on him.  He admitted he does have somewhat hoarder tendencies and he wanted to help me more with saving for shared goals (house etc) so he needed to cut back on spending for the costumes anyway.  He also said that he will only go to one convention a year from now and that he will pair down the costumes, but doesn't want to talk about it anymore until after the convention next month.  He already made commitments to his friends about the costumes and most of the money is already spent (hotel tickets materials etc).  He looked so tired when I was talking to him, he's been staying up late after work and using all his time on his days off to work on these costumes (we went to a movie the other day and it was the most time we've spent together in weeks, unless you count me reading or watching TV in the same room as him on the sewing machine).  I think he's really been stressed out and bitten off a bit more than he can chew, with us moving and him making so many costumes all in the same month. 

I don't know if he really means it as to the pairing down after this next convention.  He looked so tired I didn't push it.  The convention is in a couple of weeks, I can stand the mess until then, but after it's done I'll see if he really means it and pairs down the costumes on his own without me nagging.  If not, we'll have to talk about this again.

If you want this guy around for life, you could go the extra mile and join him in the costume making/selling business. Instead of sitting there doing your own thing while he sews, ask him to show you how to sew also. Learn enough to make your own costumes, start selling them and leading by example. Walk a mile in his shoes. Men bond by sitting & working side-by-side rather than face-to-face, and it would probably make him very happy to have a buddy making the costumes with him. Maybe you'll even like it! At least that way he'll know you entertained the idea instead of standing in the opposite corner of your 700 sf place asking him to clean up his stuff. I liken this to video games - there are couples where the husband plays hours a night on video games and the wife is lonely in the other room wondering when he'll come to bed, and there are couples who order a pizza and stay up all night playing TOGETHER - which couple do you think is happier? Give it a try!

I'd flip this around a little bit.  I think maybe he just needs a little push in the right direction to get to the point where he's selling these things. I agree the market is probably there. (Especially for the genderbent stuff, I swear half the cosplays I see are crossplays) He sounds like he's got the sewing and creative stuff down pat. What he is missing is photography and marketing. I'm guessing he probably doesn't have much of an interest in spending the time to do the nitty gritty stuff like editing and posting photos, running an etsy/whatever, and soliciting business.  Would you be willing to take on the photography/business/marketing side for him if he agreed to it?  You'd still be working on it together but taking on different roles that might be more suited to your individual talents and interests.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 09:33:00 AM by neophyte »

Frankies Girl

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #48 on: August 18, 2016, 09:57:20 AM »
Just had to come back in here and say this:

While I think it is really cool if you share interests/hobby with a SO, by no means should you feel the least bit obligated to take on his hobby or attempt to get him into business to justify his current storage/spending on said hobby.

You do not have to be the responsible one to step in and take care of him because he can't deal with reining his stuff in. That's not fair, and you don't have to do this, despite the numerous suggestions of how you can help him photograph, market, develop a booth/website - that should be on him completely and it's not your job to clean up his messes (don't make this a precedent). If you have no interest in his hobby, then please don't think this is the logical answer and feel like you have to do this. 

What it comes down to is this is his thing. It is out of control and he needs to be the one to decide how to get it back under control and put in the actual work himself (with whatever help you're willing to provide if you so choose) so it isn't effecting his life, his money, his living space and his relationship.


ditheca

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Re: How to get packrat SO to compromise on his stuff collection
« Reply #49 on: August 18, 2016, 10:00:52 AM »
We agreed that both sharing rent and utilities and sacrificing on space will save us a boatload of money...

He already has a small storage unit to store EVEN MORE of these crates and he really can’t afford a bigger one.

Living together is saving you (personally!) half a boatload of money, right?  Use part of that to buy him a bigger storage space.  You won't have to look at the boxes, and you are still coming out ahead over living alone.

If there really is nothing coming out of the boxes, feel free to look father away for cheaper storage.

I'm not comfortable assuming he is 'out of control'.  A house full of boxes works just fine for a bachelor.