One of the best things I ever did was insist my ex remove his things from the house we once shared. He hoarded everything from old movies and magazines to food and broken appliances. Nothing of his was ever thrown out not even shoes the cats used as a litter box. I couldn’t stand the site of his things and felt like they were swallowing me up in the shadows. I asked him politely to get his things, but he refused so I packed up everything and moved it to the garage. Even a two car garage was not big enough to hold all his stuff, so I asked him again to get his things, and again he refused. Ultimately, a court order was necessary to motivate him to collect his precious things. The entire situation was just another way he sought to control me. If I had his things, then he always had a reason to come back and badger me. For years he accused me of still having some of his things and even enlisted my young son to smuggle things out of the house to him. Fortunately, my son quickly realized he was being manipulated and told me. It has been almost eight years since the relationship ended and just this past summer, he tried to get my teenage son to take things from the house to give to him. In truth, he has multiple storage sheds full of things – so much so that he doesn’t know what he has or where it is – yet he fumes over the possibility that I still have some of his things. His things are toxic to me, and I want nothing of them, but to him, they are treasured memories. He holds onto clutter as he holds onto dysfunction and hate. How thankful I am to be free of the clutter he finds so valuable.