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Old 09-19-2014, 12:26 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,740 posts, read 4,365,107 times
Reputation: 10380

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I live in an isolated farmhouse in the country about 10 miles south of the nearest town. I’m also short of money since getting laid off from my job. This part of Colorado hasn’t gotten the news that the recession is over, and it’s very hard to find work here. So when an acquaintance approached me with the idea of renting out my spare room, it seemed like a pretty good deal for us both. He’s in the middle of a nasty divorce and needed to get out of the small house he was sharing with his soon to be ex, but the rents around here have sky rocketed thanks to an influx of oil and gas workers from out of state.

I gave him a great deal on the room and he’s always paid his rent on time, been very quiet and spends most of his time reading in his room. Perfect housemate, right? Well, not exactly. He has a second job working for the local church run thrift store. Now everyone goes to the thrift store hoping to find a treasure or at least a few bargains. I have no problems with that. I do it myself. However, my housemate has begun taking it to extremes. He’s like a magpie for any thing bright and shiny, and he is constantly bringing home yet another bronze bowl or pewter candle-stick. His collection now fills up an entire set of shelves in the living room and is spilling over to other shelves, as well. I could put up with the junky collection of bronze, but you should see all the “stuff” he’s got stacked up in the kitchen: six coffee pots, 4 thermoses , 2 complete sets of kitchen knives stowed in their space taking wooden blocks, the world’s largest collection of Tupperware, a complete set of metal dishes (shiny!), etc., etc. Even this I could put up with, but then there’s all the food.

Any food that gets dropped off at the thrift shop to be sent along to one of the local soup kitchens gets nabbed by my housemate first. My cupboards are packed to over-flowing with out of date canned goods that neither one of us will ever eat. I can’t find my own stuff anymore because it’s been pushed to the back by cans of off brand beans, past “use by” date and what have you. The fridge and the freezer the same – packed to the gills with food we’ll never eat before it goes bad. It takes me 10 minutes to find the ingredients I need to make myself a salad. Every time I open the freezer, it’s an avalanche. Yesterday was the last straw. I came home to discover every free space on the kitchen counters covered with day old baked goods. Again, we’ll never eat that stuff before it goes bad and in the meantime, it’s not going to sit on my kitchen counters – all this clutter makes me feel claustrophobic. In addition, this food should be going to feed the hungry folks at the soup kitchen where it will be quickly used up before it goes bad.

I’m tempted to gather up all this stuff and run it to the soup kitchen myself, but I don’t want to get into a fight over it with my housemate who has been OK except for this one quirk. What should I do before I’m killed by an avalanche of canned asparagus?
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:39 PM
 
13,219 posts, read 17,762,574 times
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Time to learn the NO-word. He rents the room not the house. What is his is his. Does he acquire or purchase the stuff?
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:40 PM
 
9,584 posts, read 5,795,805 times
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I would definitely say something about the food and all of the extra appliances cluttering up the kitchen. The food the roommate is taking should be used for those in need. I'm actually surprised that the thrift store allows him to take it. Definitely talk to him about it. The extra appliances and knick knacks should be kept in his room. If he wants to hoard things like that he can, but it shouldn't encroach on your living spaces. This may lead to friction in your relationship but in the end, I think his hoarding would lead you there anyway. Time to nip it in the bud.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:45 PM
 
13,677 posts, read 13,579,480 times
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Wow. That's crazy.

You need to tell him he has to keep his mess to certain boundaries and rent a storage unit for the rest.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
7,846 posts, read 10,816,765 times
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I've watched those hoarding shows. I'm just repeating what they've said--I'm not a psychiatrist or psychologist, but in pretty much every episode I've watched, hoarding usually manifests from a loss or difficult life changing event. You mentioned he's going through a nasty divorce. This might be his way of coping with it. By him bringing in these things, it's like he needs to hold onto something. It's also a mental illness. It can mean anything, really.

I echo what everyone else said. You need to remind him it's not his house. Definitely sit him down and ask him about these "collections".
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:49 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,740 posts, read 4,365,107 times
Reputation: 10380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Threestep View Post
Time to learn the NO-word. He rents the room not the house. What is his is his. Does he acquire or purchase the stuff?
He acquires the stuff, and he's got the larger of the two bedrooms. My room is half the size of his. Plus, there is an unused garage and a shed where he could put some of this stuff (not the food, obviously).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissTerri View Post
I would definitely say something about the food and all of the extra appliances cluttering up the kitchen. The food the roommate is taking should be used for those in need. I'm actually surprised that the thrift store allows him to take it. Definitely talk to him about it. The extra appliances and knick knacks should be kept in his room. If he wants to hoard things like that he can, but it shouldn't encroach on your living spaces. This may lead to friction in your relationship but in the end, I think his hoarding would lead you there anyway. Time to nip it in the bud.
Yeah, I want my kitchen back. It's not like I'm the tidiest person in the world myself, but having every square inch of the house covered with clutter is making me crazee!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellakin123 View Post
I've watched those hoarding shows. I'm just repeating what they've said--I'm not a psychiatrist or psychologist, but in pretty much every episode I've watched, hoarding usually manifests from a loss or difficult life changing event. You mentioned he's going through a nasty divorce. This might be his way of coping with it. By him bringing in these things, it's like he needs to hold onto something. It's also a mental illness. It can mean anything, really.

I echo what everyone else said. You need to remind him it's not his house. Definitely sit him down and ask him about these "collections".
Yeah, I figure it's either the stress of the divorce or behavior stemming from a pretty poverty stricken childhood. I've hated to say much knowing the difficulties he been through, but I guess I'm going to have to work up the courage to confront him, if for no other reason than that I've heard hoarders get worse, not better.
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:58 PM
 
13,219 posts, read 17,762,574 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
He acquires the stuff, and he's got the larger of the two bedrooms. My room is half the size of his. Plus, there is an unused garage and a shed where he could put some of this stuff (not the food, obviously).
Please correct me - your room mate steals. He can put the loot into a garage or a shed on your property? Do not take this personal! You know about it. What if it comes out? You own property and cannot move on a whim. .....



Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
Yeah, I want my kitchen back. It's not like I'm the tidiest person in the world myself, but having every square inch of the house covered with clutter is making me crazee!
Your house! Give him 48 hours to get that stuff out. Is he renting a room or living in your house making monthly payments?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
Yeah, I figure it's either the stress of the divorce or behavior stemming from a pretty poverty stricken childhood. I've hated to say much knowing the difficulties he been through, but I guess I'm going to have to work up the courage to confront him, if for no other reason than that I've heard hoarders get worse, not better.
It seems like everything from bad manners to theft gets blamed on difficult childhoods nowadays. He is not only a hoarder. He is a thief to boot. Stealing from those donations are being made to by companies/individuals to distribute to those in need.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:10 PM
 
10,812 posts, read 8,056,502 times
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OP, you are abetting a criminal and your biggest concern is the stuff he's stealing is cluttering your home? Really?

This is from the website of a Colorado criminal attorney. Read it carefully:
Quote:
The amount of the theft that you are accused of can be a combined total of separate incidents of theft. For example, if you are accused of stealing smaller amounts on several occasions, which, added together amount to over $1,000, you will likely be charged with a felony. A person can be charged with Theft by Receiving if they received, stored, transported, or sold something they know has been stolen.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
7,846 posts, read 10,816,765 times
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Did I miss something in the OP about stealing?
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
7,846 posts, read 10,816,765 times
Reputation: 9199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
He acquires the stuff, and he's got the larger of the two bedrooms. My room is half the size of his. Plus, there is an unused garage and a shed where he could put some of this stuff (not the food, obviously).



Yeah, I want my kitchen back. It's not like I'm the tidiest person in the world myself, but having every square inch of the house covered with clutter is making me crazee!



Yeah, I figure it's either the stress of the divorce or behavior stemming from a pretty poverty stricken childhood. I've hated to say much knowing the difficulties he been through, but I guess I'm going to have to work up the courage to confront him, if for no other reason than that I've heard hoarders get worse, not better.
No, it doesn't get better. I think you should talk to him. You don't have to bring up all that other stuff--just that the house is getting cluttered and you noticed he keeps bringing in more items.
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