Why do women want to throw everything away?

@DanaMark (807)
United States
August 7, 2007 10:06am CST
Last night while my son was here, my wife was going through some things that we have stored from when our son was growing up. She found an equalizer that he had as part of his car stereo system back in his younger years. He said it didn't work anymore, so she said, "Then we can throw it out?" His immediate response was, "No, I'll see if Keith can fix it." She brought in some other things she thought we could throw away. Our son ended up taking them all home with him. I think he realized if they stayed here much longer they would end up in the garbage. Now they are over at his place so his wife will probably will want to throw them out. Why is it that women want to throw our all our stuff? Don't they understand that we might need it some day? So it is obsolete, or doesn't work anymore, or we haven't used it in years. It might be good for parts someday. And where else would people get all the stuff to have estate sales? lol.
7 people like this
17 responses
@lecanis (16741)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Aug 07
I have no idea why some women are like that. My grandmother used to do that to me, throwing away my things just because they didn't look like they were worth anything, even though I had uses for them. It made me very angry. In my household, since neither I nor my husband are like this, I suppose not enough things get thrown away. In fact, it's usually my husband who finally has to decide we're getting rid of some stuff, because I never will. So I guess that stereotype doesn't always fit. =p
3 people like this
• United States
17 Aug 07
Lecanis, you and your spouse are two matching peas in a pod as that old saying goes! It's good that you have that trait in common or their would most likely be much distress. My spouse and I go through phases like that too, where we store up all of our stuff just in case. We used to live in a very small apartment and had to stop doing that because we had no spare room. And, for awhile when we moved around every few years, we would have to throw lots of things out just before our move, or end up renting big moving trucks. That got costly. However, with that being said, it was always so much more expensive to replace things after we got settled into our new place. Now, it's time to dejunk again. I have mountains of clothes to go through. If I don't dejunk on a regular basis, we are over run with stuff! Maybe I'll put all the stuff into a yard sale, that way I'm not really throwing it away. Better for the environment I suppose than simply throwing it away.
@mrsbrian (1951)
• United States
7 Aug 07
Oh you mean that stuff that he just had to have and has never used for like ever? well all I can say is use it or loose it expecially if it is in the house and in the way, now if you have a shed or man room and you keep it there fine-- that is untill I decide we need to clean that man room out .
2 people like this
@DanaMark (807)
• United States
9 Aug 07
I get your point. Thanks for presenting it in a way that made me laugh.
7 Aug 07
I guess some people just don't value things. My sister is exactly like this and every time she visits my Mum she immediately has to tidy things up and throw stuff away. Personally I hate tothrow stuff away and when my daughter was younger I was saving EVERYTHING so we could make stuff - my kitchen was overflowing with cardboard boxes and yoghurt pots LOL I even have a draw dedicated to 'useful' stuff like elastic bands and pieces of string
2 people like this
• Canada
8 Aug 07
Well I don't now about your wife or daughter in law...but I am a de-clutter/organizer by nature and live with the "if I/you aren't using it...then it is time to lose it!" We do a Decultter Your Life and Live More Freely workshop and I do empathize that it is a struggle for some people to let go of things they haven't used in years. My suggestion...if it has sentimental memories...take a picture of it...write a little note the the back when it was bought, why it was hard to let go...and the day you finally released it to....where ever, yard sale, garage sale, thrift shop. It is true that one person's junk...is another's treasure. So I am sure my comments don't provide answers about why women in general want to throw their guy's treasures out...but it is my perspective!LOL
• Canada
10 Aug 07
Having different people's comments and responses is the joyful thing about sharing in discussions forums here. Sometimes members confirm my point of view...or add something new that gives reason to pause and re-frame things. So I am glad my experiences in the de-cluttering area added something to your understanding. Also thank you for the best response.
1 person likes this
@DanaMark (807)
• United States
9 Aug 07
Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions. I'm learning from the comments that it is not necessarily a "women in general" thing. That's one of the reasons I asked the question. Now I know.
1 person likes this
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
11 Aug 07
Sometimes, you have to get rid of the junk to make way for the new. I have kept many things over the years thinking I might need it someday. The only thing is, is that if you did need it, you can't remember you saved it in the first place. I am practically junk free and don't miss a thing.
1 person likes this
@DanaMark (807)
• United States
16 Aug 07
I thought you were going to say "you have to get rid of the junk to make way for the new junk." lol. I agree, it is often hard remembering where the saved stuff is located. I know I haven't missed any of the junk we threw away. I hate to say it, but it is true.
@raychill (6572)
• United States
8 Aug 07
I don't think it's a man vs woman thing at all. I'm a women and I'm a pack rat. I get this from my dad and my mom both of whom are pack rats. My dad is more willing to throw things out than my mom though. However, like I said I don't think it's a man vs. woman thing. Really I think it's the difference between people who are pack rats and like to keep things in general or see the value in objects more than the other people.
1 person likes this
@DanaMark (807)
• United States
9 Aug 07
As I'm reading the comments, I see that it is not just a man or woman thing. I am learning something here. I guess that's what these discussions are all about. Thanks for your response.
• Canada
8 Aug 07
That is me to a T , I can't stand hanging onto anything that is not working , hasn't been used in a long time or just the fact that we are no longer using it . I hate having things around the house that I know we are never going to use again even though my husband ( who sounds like you ) says that he might need it for something one day . The truth is I know that he is never going to have a clue where to find it if he does need it and will end up buying a new one anyway so I don't see the point in hanging onto it , not to mention the change of him actually fixing it someday are slim to rare lol . This would be my reason for getting rid of everything . I hate looking around and seeing clutter . We just moved and my husband went through a garbage I had thrown away and was having a fit because I threw away the guests book from when we got married . He couldn't believe I had thrown it away but the truth is had he not seen it , he never would have known and in the seven years we have been married he has never once looked at it , so my point is what are we really hanging onto it for , we are never going to look at it . In the end he kept it and hit it saying it meant something to him . I know without a doubt if I asked him where it was now he wouldn't have a clue where he put it and I will end up finding it some day and throw it out AGAIN :) If we kept everything we had over the years where would be living now , our house wouldn't hold all the trash or things that no longer work etc .
1 person likes this
• United States
6 May 12
Throw everything your husband values away and you might find there isn't anything that he needs to stay around for and he will just be gone one day when you come home.
@missbdoll (1168)
• Australia
8 Aug 07
Funny as a woman I too tend to hang on too a lot of stuff, cuase I'm not sure that I won't use it agian, its usualy someone else trying to get rid of this stuf !
1 person likes this
@mfpsassy (2827)
• United States
8 Aug 07
Because I am tired of moving it around to make more room for more stuff that "might be useful someday." We have the hugest stack of speakers in the garage that "can be fixed" we have had them for about seven years and they still are not fixed. And they take up an entire wall is the garage. Oh yeah guess what they are about to go bye-bye because I am having a garage sale in a couple of weeks. Everthing that isn't being used is going in it
1 person likes this
@MonAmb (126)
8 Aug 07
I think most women are generally more organised than men. I think it is a natural habit to be clean and tidy, LOL. My mother is completely different, she likes to keep alot of stuff that she may 'need' in the future. I tend to throw anything i do not use out or give it to charity, i have also sold old stuff on eBay before, i made a nice amount of money from my old 'junk'. I would recommend selling some of your old junk because be honest, you are not going to need it. That's how i see it anyway, i'd rather have luxuries money than some old junk in my attic.
1 person likes this
8 Aug 07
I wish my wife would throw things away! We have a whole houseful of useless clutter including broken baby toys. It's a real source of conflict between us.
1 person likes this
@malijka (141)
• Poland
8 Aug 07
Hmm only i can say is that not all women throw away things. Why i say that?? I am a woman and one my small wardrobe is full of things that i might use in my handmade stuff but necessary i have to : Somehow i can say this one furniture can be called garbage ;) because you can find there everything : buttons, papers, plastic flowers, just everything. I think i wouldn't throw my husbands stuff just like i wouldn't like him to do same with my :
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Aug 07
You're probably right. His wife will want to throw it away too. Many women just hate clutter. Even if its in the garage, its taking up space for something else to go into the garage. Something that will get used. Someone else said use it or lose it and I totally agree. If something has been sitting for years without anyone even thinking about it, if its not money, family photos, or something that has gained value, then its disposable. I have learned to stop asking my husband if he wants something because he will ALWAYS say "yes". Even if it's broken and I know he will never even look at it again. I will toss it without a word. Very rarely does he ever notice. This ofcourse means it was indeed dispensable.
• United States
7 Aug 07
As a woman, I can say that I only get rid of things that I think are useless, other than that, I do not throw anything away that I need.
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15350)
• United States
7 Aug 07
I would like to say it is all in the way you were raised but thats not the case. i was raised to get rid of stuff if you didn't use it. No one saidant thing it was just the way things were done. I was raised by grandparents. When a rainy day came along Grandma cleaned cupboards and closits and thing went.out the door. No my oldest son will keep every nut and bolt or nail that he finds. His wife keeps all kinds of glass jars and every thing here kid ever had I believe. The basement is a hazard to walk through. You would think that they would never get a chance to get another nut or glass jar. I find it hard because I have to live with it too.
@bonbon664 (3480)
• Canada
7 Aug 07
Yeah, that sounds just like my husband. That's why his crap is lying all over the house. If there is an old equalizer lying around face facts that it's never going to get fixed, so, just toss it. Not only does my husband want to keep all the crap, he wants to let it sit exactly where he put it down, whether it's the kitchen table or the floor by the front door. So, husbands, boyfriends, I don't think we would object to the crap (or valuable possessions as guys like to say) so much if you put the crap away, and don't leave it lying around the house.
• United States
5 Jul 10
We are dealing with this very issue as I read your post. We have'nt been able to walk through the garage in several years. There are things stuffed into the space in the garage ceiling. There is stuff in the middle of the floor. There is stuff underneath stuff that you couldn't find in anything in it if you tried. Most of it is his and his grown kids. He finally says he wants to clean and organize the garage. Then, he see's something and says, I might need that someday. This continues on and on until stuff is just getting moved around, not moved out. I say, if you haven't used it in this long, send it to Goodwill and there will be somebody else that WILL use it. He's always telling me I should get rid of this and that but doesn't follow his own suggestions when it comes to his outdated (not antique) stuff. He has furniture that was in his batchelor pad years ago that was not in good taste back in the 70's and 80's and now he thinks of it as "well made" and that he could refinish and make look good. I say, "that stuff will NEVER look good, even if you gold leaf it". There were a couple of tennis rackets that someone gave us about five years ago that don't work very well and have sat in the garage all this time collecting dust. I put them in the Goodwill pile and the next thing you know, he's walking down the hall with them and I say, "hey, what are you doing with those". He says the grandkids might play with them someday and then he puts them in our bedroom closet which is so overloaded with his shoes and clothes from the 70's, you can't fit clothes from today in them so they lay in a pile in the corner of the bedroom. I say this crap needs to go away to make room for today's life, not the memories of the past or the possibility of maybe using them in the future. And how come he always thinks MY stuff should go away but he can't follow the same guidelines??????