Clutter Confessions: The One Thing of Theirs I Wish I Could Toss

published Mar 13, 2017
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

That college-age poster of the movie “Scarface.” A collection of terrifying (possibly haunted) Victorian-era dolls. The nine-year-old chair that’s just rags and bones. When you move in with a romantic partner, you inherit not just the stuff of theirs you like, you inherit weird things they’ve held onto for years.

Who hasn’t fantasized about “accidentally” losing/throwing away/setting on fire something really yucky that belongs to your partner? We asked real couples to share the one thing they’d get rid of today if they could.

Under-the-bed Blues

(Image credit: Liz Calka)

Brittany and Christian met nine years ago and have lived in five different places together over six years. Christian’s job relocated them to Amsterdam, and Brittany’s turned her interior design side hustle into a full-time pursuit. See their house tour.

Brittany: I have a little (recently exposed) habit of hiding t-shirts of Christian’s that I don’t like under the bed. This was revealed when we were cleaning our house prior to heading out for Amsterdam. Whoops.

Christian: I don’t know if there’s something I’d get rid of, but Brittany does have the tendency to purchase plants and forget to water them.

Brittany: Christian also has a love for all things Virginia Tech (go hokies!), which means finding creative ways to incorporate maroon and orange items throughout the home.

Mirror, Mirror NOT on the Wall

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Justin and Danielle have been married 4.5 years and together 13! Danielle owns the furniture store TUFT and does interior design. Justin works for himself in the insurance field. See their house tour.

Justin: She is not allowed to bring mirrors into the house anymore! The collection and shuffling of mirrors around the house was getting out of hand! Some of the mirrors were at least 50lbs, so they are not just simple ones to hang. Our walls needed a break and so did I.

Danielle: He buys a lot of plants for outside. It makes for a lovely scene in our yard but if I have to monitor mirrors he has to with the plants! Fair is fair!

Nice to Meat You

(Image credit: Submitted by Meghan)

Jesse and Meghan have been together since 2009 and living together for four years. Jesse is a 2nd year PhD student in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Meghan is owner of Pomp & Circumstance Haberdashery. See their house tour.

Jesse: Meghan has a manual, antique iron meat grinder. It’s one of those well-made, classic ones that clamp onto the countertop — totally impractical due to the fact that we are vegetarian. It’s been with us over three years without ever being used, though Meghan still swears she’ll find a purpose for it.

Meg: More books. They are always overflowing outside of their designated spaces (of which there are a sufficient amount)…especially the books with bright orange or green spines. Haha.

Ashes to Ashes

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)
Deborah and James met in 1991, and made a home together in 1998. Deborah is an artist and works for the Women’s March on Washington-NYC Team. James is a theatrical lighting director who owns a production company. See their house tour.

Jim: Oh, you mean that incident about the urn and the ashes? Wait, not ready to confess anything at this point.

Deb: Jim, I can neither deny or confirm that I may or may not have thrown away _______________, you know, the thing you’re probably looking for as I write.

I Want My DVD(s)

(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)

Saadiq and Mekiel caught each other’s eye on the West Side Highway seven years ago, and have lived together for five. Mekiel is an HR manager within the retail sector and Saadiq doubles as an actor and retail professional. See their house tour.

Mekiel: Saadiq keeps every DVD he’s ever owned! One day I went and purged his collection, only keeping DVDs that he can’t view via streaming services. I guess I did too much of a purge and got rid of some that aren’t on Netflix or Hulu. He always asks me what happened to them and I blame it on the fact that we moved and it must have gotten lost in the process. I’m never going to hear the end of it now.

Saadiq: There’s nothing that I want to confess. However, a lot of my DVDs from high school went missing and I cannot find them in the apartment. Mekiel claims that he doesn’t know where they went, so I’m wondering if he has any confessions to make.

This Rock’s Not Rolling Anywhere

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)
Jill and Warren met eight years ago and have been dating two years. They’ve lived together for six months. They are both chartered accountants, Jill working at a beer company and Warren in banking. See their house tour.

Warren: All the tchotchkes! Jill has a bad habit of making some seemingly meaningless items sentimental and having to put it on display for everyone to see. For example, we currently have a rock from Bali on display that she cannot part with.

(Jill: We are never getting rid of that rock. Such great memories!)

Jill: The blanket box! Warren purchased a blanket box a couple of years ago and cannot part with the monstrosity. I mean, I’m all for function, and the blanket box provides a ton of extra storage, but it just does not fit in our place. It is just too big and bulky.

Also, a couple of months ago, I secretly hid a couple of Warren’s items (from his bachelor pad) in his massive blanket box. I figured, if he hasn’t realized they are gone, it would provide me with negotiation power to donate/get rid of the items. It has been two months now and he still hasn’t noticed the vanishing act! I guess when he reads this article we’ll have that discussion — wish me luck!

*These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.