project after project

My husband built a garage about 2 to 3 years ago.  He wanted a garage for almost 16 years before he actually got it built.  It is a huge garage, 40X60, to be exact and we live on an acre lot.  He has accumulated so many old junk vehicles and treasures to him that we got in trouble with planning and zoning.  He avoided the letters for a very long time until this past year they sent us certified letters about the matter and now I am dealing with something I had nothing to do with but because My name is on the deed I am responsible for his doing.  He blames Planning and Zoning not himself for all the things he has put on our property.  He has this huge building and it is full and can't hardly walk in it and we have lots outside the building that is causing us trouble with the law.  This building has caused much trouble for me for so many reasons.  He locks himself inside that building for hours and he can't stay out of that building 1 day.  The weekends should be time for us to do things together and I feel he is cheating on me with all his treasures and things back at the building.  I can't help but to nag and complain and then I get irrate that he can't think of me or planning things with me for the fact that so many things he has bought have missing parts to finish anything.  How do I deal with this type of maddness???

First of all, you need to

First of all, you need to address the Planning and Zoning violations head-on and take care of any fees or fines, BEFORE you end up with liens on your property that will be very costly and a major problem the longer they sit.

It seems clear to me that your husband is exhibiting hoarding and/or hyperfocused ADHD behavior.  Have you confronted him about these issues?  Have you discussed counseling? 

Big Shed problem

My husband has same size shed, and he even built a mezzanine floor into it to put more things...  the shed has now been there 20 years and its absolutely full - mostly with rubbish and junk, to which he doesnt seem to to see he can just walk past it, even trip over it but not pick it up...there is only a small strip of concrete now that is visible to walk around the shed.

He is constantly reminded by his friends who visit, that perhaps it was time he cleaned it up, as they cannot believe the state of it..but the comments are like water off a ducks back..he has no intention of doing anything about it... Ive given up trying to get him to clean it out, I have even tried to go down and help, but he doesnt see it as a problem...ADDers really do think differently than non ADDer's.

His mother has same problem, but unfortunately she does it with the house.

Luckily we live on acreage and do not have a problem with council.  My husband definitely has ADD  and hoarding is a constant problem...because we dont have to live in the shed at least I dont have to go down there often.   He too spends most of his time down there.. but I have come to live with that..I am working on our communication and the excessive spending on his latest interests and also the way he brushes me and the children off by putting his priorities ahead of everyone and anything...

My husband doesnt understand his ADD at all, but he has an appointment with Psychiatrist in a month...hopefully he will listen to the Doctor about his ADD, as he thinks I'm just trying to blame him for all our problems.


Good luck with your journey.

A question about hoarding....


That's interesting: Is hoarding an ADHD behavior? I know it can be associated with OCD.

I ask because I have come to realize that my fiance (who, thankfully, lives in his own place) tends to hoard. He also has a terrible time keeping up his house. In fact, he has been in trouble with his community organization about the disrepair of his place. (And, yes, he blamed the community association, not himself.) I am pleased to report that he is now in the process of tidying up a bit.

We'll never be able to live together. I realize that now. Disorganization drives me up a wall. I've learned to let him live his way as long as he doesn't involve me in the mess!

Saving things

If you've ever gone to a junk store you know that one man's junk is another man's treasure.  We have solved this problem in our household in multiple ways - my husband has a large office in which he can keep his stuff (electronics etc); he has a huge basement in which he can spread out his stuff (and he does); and I have become much more tolerant of "stuff" in other parts of our home than my mother ever would have wanted me to be :-)

For my husband, junk accumulates for two reasons - first, what he collects represents to him unlimited possibilities - bike parts that might some day go on a really special bike he's building; screws, bolts and computer parts that might one day come in handy for a repair (and often do); papers that he might some day need to refer to.  Second, the act of sorting through things holds virtually no interest for him.  He doesn't get much pleasure out of "being organized" around our house since he knows it will soon be disorganized.  This is in direct contrast to his personal habits - he loves backpacks with lots of little pockets to store things (we must have 10 of them!) and, amazingly, can usually find what he is looking for in his office.  For me, this means that while it "seems" like total chaos in my eyes, it must not be in his own (else he wouldn't be able to find something under the piles).  So, I have come to view this as his "style" and stopped worrying about it.

Though we have solved our problem by separating his spaces (and a large shed does the same) I dread the day when we decide to downsize and we have to go through all this stuff and start making the tough decisions about what to keep and what to throw.  I know that this is going to be very hard for him (and by default, me) and take a very long time.  That said, I prefer to deal with it all at once rather than have the "drip, drip" of me complaining or worrying about it affect our relationship right now.

Thank you for your reply.  He

Thank you for your reply.  He has cleaned up around the outside of the garage and has gotten rid of Some things.  As far as the Planning and Zoning I wish they would just drop the case we go to court on Nov 3, so they say again for the 4th time this year.  I would love for it to be over but it keeps dragging out.  Anyway, I did tell him this week that if something didn't give with all of the vehicles he has accumulated I would not tolerate it anymore.   He says his plan is to get rid of most of it by the end of the year.  I pray he isn't just putting me off like usual to make me happy for a few days cause that isn't all that fair...  As far as him being a hoarder I disagree!  Why?  Because like Melissa pointed out he has parts for whatever he wants to start a project on next or if something comes our way that is broken he has the part to fix it.  I promise he has people call him knowing he has things they may need, because he finds rare motors or stuff that one day He may need for something...  He is always wanting to buy stuff we don't need at the time and I sure don't understand why you need a back up for a back up..... 


I really hope things get better but I'm walking on thinner ice every day.

Not Hoarding, but...

My fiance's not a hoarder... rather he's a spreader.  Every so often he'll tidy-up and sit-down and seriously go through things and throw some stuff away, but in general, he likes to have things spread out around him so he can see everything.

In the bathroom we have a cabinet.  I keep stuff on one side and he on the other.  My stuff comes out of the cabinet and goes back where it belongs.  I like that things have homes and I know where it will be when I go to get it.  I'm not the tidiest person - I often have clothes that I think I'm going to wear again during the week on one or two chairs. And I have notes and lists around, but generally I like things to have a place.  In the bathroom he has some things he rarely uses stored in the cabinet, but he generally leaves things on the counter or on top of the counter where he can see it which creates an untidy look.  I see that as messy/lazy, but whatever.  He plays guitar and our spare bedroom has a bed, a chair, the guitar, and the bed is covered in his music notes and lyrics spread all across it.  When he loses interest (he plays in phases) or someone is staying over they go back in the guitar case, but usually they're alllll spread out.  In the kitchen there are thing on the counter that aren't used very often but he likes to have them out.  We have a couple of shelves in the livingroom that are filled with things that should be given a home but whenever I put them away somewhere they find their way back onto the shelf (watches, Swiss army knife, rings, change, batteries, pens, Tums, vitamins, scraps of paper.)  So he's generally not a hoarder though there are a few tote-boxes with keepsakes but he is definitely a spreader.