Let's talk about Stuff!

Nadya

Member
Hey you all poly people, one question: How do you manage Stuff?

That is, your physical possessions, items, things - clutter? Most people have way too much stuff and living polyamorously will raise new problems concerning Stuff.

Managing Stuff in poly relationships seems to start when a relationship is stable enough for frequent overnights with a partner. When do you start keeping Stuff at the partner's place? What do you keep there? Toothbrush, extra underwear...? How do you manage stuff left at your place by multiple partners? Who does the laundry - ie. can you leave dirty clothes at your partner's place or do you always take them with you and bring clean ones next time?

Me and my two guys moved in together without having any conversations about Stuff. Mistake!! We have been living together for five years and Stuff still causes problems... there is too much of it!

Our house has two separate apartments - one for each guy - and I live in both. So still today I have two sets of basic everyday stuff: toothbrushes, shampoos, bedding etc. etc. Keeping order with all the stuff is quite a job!

How do you do this?
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
The three of us in my closed V all live in the same house. I have my own bedroom, with its own attached bath. So all of my daily living stuff is in here with me. My clothes, toothbrush, etc., all in one place, just one set of each.

Other stuff, such as my CD collection, is in another part of the house. I have tried to cut down on my stuff over the last decade or two, but I still have lots of stuff.
 

AlwaysGrowing

Active member
Boy lives over an hour away from me. I keep a toothbrush and jammies at his house. Oh and some lotion and he got me a phone charger. Lol Day clothes and other necessities I bring with me each visit. He has a tooth brush, jammies, and random clothes that have been left behind at my place. He has a drawer so he knows where to find it next time/whenever.

Hubby does most of the laundry at my house. He doesn't mind Boy's items being included when necessary. I don't mind when it's me doing laundry either. Boy does my laundry that it at his house and washes anything I forget to return to me.
 

PinkPig

Member
I don't currently live with any romantic partners. I have basic toiletries at both houses but mostly I just pack a bag each time I spend the night. Since Blue & I have been together off/on for so long, I have accumulated clothing & other things (like a blowdryer, combs, clips, etc) at his house. which makes it easier to pack. I have a few drawers there.

Blue is the only partner that usually stays over at my house since I have an elderly parent and a college aged kid at home. Blue has a couple drawers and a toothbrush at my house. I keep an extra pack of new toothbrushes and deodorants for the rare occasion someone stays at my house and didn't bring them (picked up this habit from Blue.) I usually take my dirty laundry home to wash but I also don't mind washing any left over clothing at my house. Blue will wash anything left at his house. Blue doesn't iron so I bought an iron for his house since I dress professionally for work.

I really like the idea of living in a duplex or multi-family unit like you, Nadya. In that case, I'd probably keep duplicates of all toiletries in both houses but leave more expensive items in one house or the other and just walk back/forth.
 
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Nadya

Member
I really like the idea of living in a duplex or multi-family unit like you, Nadya. In that case, I'd probably keep duplicates of all toiletries in both houses but leave more expensive items in one house or the other and just walk back/forth.

I do love the way we can live together but have private spaces for everyone in this duplex. It was a good choice. However, sometimes the walking back and forth is really annoying, especially when you notice there is no clean underwear left in the apartment you are sleeping in tonight! :D I am thinking of maybe color coding my undies and socks so they'd end up in the right place after laundry. We actually only have one washing machine and that is enough. I do all the laundry because I enjoy doing it and want it to be done my way - no one is going to ruin my clothes but myself ;)

I have tried to organize and minimize my own stuff so that at least I can find them when needed. I have one cabinet for clothes, a bedside table in each bedroom, two shelves in a book case for my books and a chest of drawes for the miscellaneous stuff. And yet the house is filled with Stuff... that is, my guys do have a lot of it. :p
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
This is a very timely post for me. I have always had problems with accumulating too much stuff!

Both of my boys live with me so I don't have to take things back and forth. For the few months that Dude wasn't living with us he had a dresser drawer for things that he ended up leaving here.

I fear that I have hoarding tendencies as I have items that I have brought with me every time I have moved because "I might need it someday." Now that we are settled in ForeverHome I have gotten better about not keeping furniture and whatnot that might be useful in our next house.

We are currently in another wave of reorganizing the house and how we use the rooms we have. This is always a good opportunity to sort through and clean and get rid of things that we don't need. MrS volunteers at a thrift shop so I can quickly get things out of the house before I change my mind (of course he is always bringing home neat stuff too, but if I find we don't use it I can always send it back!)

We have found that each of us is a slightly different brand of messy and, while we tolerate our own mess, we get irritated at the other peoples'. The new house plan essentially gives each of us our own "room" to organize and maintain as we see fit, and other areas that are shared. MrS and I have done this before and it has worked well (if I find something of "his" that is not in "his" space I sit it on the chair in "his" room to deal with). The boys have different responsibilities for the shared spaces (which I will pick up and "tidy" but they are responsible for real cleaning). We each do our own laundry and I do the household bedding, towels, etc.

Aside from giving stuff to family/friends and donating to the thrift store, I am flirting with getting rid of things on Letgo and eBay. Books I trade on BookMooch if none of the buyback sites want them. I am also working on my tendency to accumulate paper clutter - I used to print out and file everything! If I can access it online I am learning to get rid of hard copies.

Always a Work In Progress.
 

vinsanity0

Active member
I just got rid of (probably literally) a ton of stuff when I moved out of my house. The rest went into storage.

But more to the thread, I've always been mobile for work. That means I have a duffel bag full of toiletries and a small suitcase full of clothes. I always keep those in my car. After my last dating debacle I will never leave something at someone's house.
 

Nadya

Member
I fear that I have hoarding tendencies as I have items that I have brought with me every time I have moved because "I might need it someday." Now that we are settled in ForeverHome I have gotten better about not keeping furniture and whatnot that might be useful in our next house.

So maybe it is now time to break up with your third guy, Justin Case :D

MrS volunteers at a thrift shop so I can quickly get things out of the house before I change my mind (of course he is always bringing home neat stuff too, but if I find we don't use it I can always send it back!)

How handy! I need to do much more work to get rid of things. There are no charity shops around that would take donations, so I need to offer items online for people to come and get if I want to give things away. So much more hassle!

We have found that each of us is a slightly different brand of messy and, while we tolerate our own mess, we get irritated at the other peoples'. The new house plan essentially gives each of us our own "room" to organize and maintain as we see fit, and other areas that are shared. MrS and I have done this before and it has worked well (if I find something of "his" that is not in "his" space I sit it on the chair in "his" room to deal with).

The problem with our house is that there is no room that could really be my own space. So there is nowhere to retreat when other peoples' messes get on my nerves. And - I am the one most sensitive to visual "noise". Also, there is nowhere near enough storage in the house. It definitely is a work in progress!
 

BabyFirefly

New member
I've actually never had an issue when it comes to stuff and space for it, lol. For the most part, just about all of my partners have actually been minimalists (but not the, "Urgh, get rid of all these things so we can have a nice, empty space" kind - They just didn't feel the need to own a lot of things). Since I'm a collector (horror films, comics, figures, movie memorabilia, and so on), I've usually needed plenty of space for my items. This hasn't really caused any problems except for a time when I was living in a small one bedroom apartment with two partners and our dog. Even then, it wasn't a source of conflict with them as much as it was, "Holy crap, how am I going to pick just 50 movies to bring with me while the rest goes in storage for the months we're living here?!" :p

Laundry - This has always been a simple thing. For some reason, I've always hated washing/drying clothes so I've ALWAYS been the one to fold clothes and put them on hangers, in drawers, and so on unless a partner was firm about wanting to put their own clothes away.

When staying at someone else's place, I usually just pack a large back with however many changes of clothes I need, a blowdryer (in case they don't have on), bath basics, my meds, sex supplies (if necessary), and a couple of energy drinks (they keep me alive since I work from home 7 days a week).
 

Al99

Active member
Like Jane above, I have also always had a problem with accumulating too much stuff - especially media. First and foremost - books! But also music - lots of vinyl, cd's, even a hundred or cassettes still. And then the DVD's.

In regard to media, like so many others, I have moved to digitizing. I've given away more books than I currently have in my library (several hundred) - but in recent years, with rare exception, I've purchased only e-books - just no room left for paper.

Same with music - downloads replace hard media. And mp3 quality is readily available essentially for free for almost any title or artist. And for $20 a month, Tidal offers virtually unlimited titles - at audiophile quality (why buy? - except for vinyl - which is a different experience). Movies - Amazon Prime, et al. No physical storage needed at all. And only a small hard drive for thousands of books and music titles.

Even some physical objects - such as the old manual typewriter from high school, I finally took a digital pic of it and let it go. etc...

And yet, I still have too much stuff.....

Al
 
I'm a bit of a packrat. I've staved off becoming a true hoarder and I do cut down on things when I do get around to cleaning, but I do collect and I do have quite a bit of things. Which means I need partners who have similar enough tendancies to understand.
 

Monkfish

New member
You don't own possessions, possessions own you :rolleyes:

I sometimes hope to get back to a life where material things don't matter at all, but I'm afraid that spiral is difficult to break...
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
... I have moved to digitizing. I've given away more books than I currently have in my library (several hundred) - but in recent years, with rare exception, I've purchased only e-books - just no room left for paper

Al - I need help, most of my collections don't take up much space, but my BOOKS - I have a problem! Or maybe I don't have a problem - maybe I just need to accept who I am in this regard and work on everything else for a while.

The problem is that I don't enjoy reading e-books. When I can't get to my "real" books for some reason, like travel, then I don't read anything at all, and get grumpy...:mad:

I have (finally) managed to get rid of out-of-date textbooks from college and books that I was saving for my children (if I ever had any, which I won't) like books from my childhood that I don't like enough (now) to read over and over again (although I did at one time).

To be fair though, some of them I DO still read over and over, even if it is years apart. Get it from the library (you may say), read the digital version (you may say), you can BookMooch it again when you need to read it (you may say) - OR I can just hold on to my original Caddie Woodlawn, or Brighty of the Grand Canyon, or I Capture the Castle, or The Diddakoi and read them whenever it strikes my fancy at 3 AM!!!:cool:

Oh, well - there may be worse issues than an addiction to used book sales...:rolleyes:
 

Leetah

Member
Tam has often suggested that we could move into a warehouse and just use bookcases for all the internal walls. I have started getting rid of some books but he regularly buys more.

Leetah
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
All my books are in storage now. It's driving me crazy.

Damn - that's rough, I remember when we were packing to move and I would "need" a certain book, and have to move seventy-eleven boxes to get to it (Hey, beats going to the gym! - and yes, the boxes were all labeled and stacked to facilitate this.). I can't imagine not even being able to get at them!

I. Might. Die. (That is the final outcome for dead-tree biblio-withdrawal syndrome, correct?)
 

vinsanity0

Active member
Damn - that's rough, I remember when we were packing to move and I would "need" a certain book, and have to move seventy-eleven boxes to get to it (Hey, beats going to the gym! - and yes, the boxes were all labeled and stacked to facilitate this.). I can't imagine not even being able to get at them!

I. Might. Die. (That is the final outcome for dead-tree biblio-withdrawal syndrome, correct?)

I got lazy. I probably have at least 30 boxes marked "books". I couldn't find a specific book if my life depended on it. At least when I unpack it will almost be like Christmas.
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
I got lazy. I probably have at least 30 boxes marked "books". I couldn't find a specific book if my life depended on it. At least when I unpack it will almost be like Christmas.

:p - way to see a silver lining! I would have to sit down and read each one that I had missed while they were away - Christmas could last several years! :eek:
 
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