I see this thread is a few months old but hope it's ok if I chime in. I am in the same situation. We lived together for a while but he always kept a room at his parent's place, which was really messy and he was constantly going through 'sorting' projects, which would leave half the room clean and the other half would stay a mess because he wouldn't finish. Now this is happening in our house. To make it worse, when his parents moved to a smaller place, all that stuff from his room there came to our house. There were not too many big objects because we live in a condo but boxes and boxes of sentimental stuff. He thoroughly does enjoy looking at it and going through it, and I don't mind him keeping it, but it's so messy and takes up space.
If that were the only thing, that might be ok. But he has tons and tons of clothes. There are constantly clothes piled up in 'his room' which I've given him to try to keep the messiness out of the rest of the house, but I don't care about that room. It's when the clothes start piling up in the bedroom that I get frustrated. Why not put them in dresser drawers or closets, you might think. But guess what's in there- junk! aka stuff he's saved like papers, broken cameras, buttons, cords he doesn't know what they go to. It took me a while to realize this, and finally I looked in his dresser and three drawers were full of junk and I was like, no wonder his clothes are piled everywhere. He constantly wants to get rid of clothes, and seems like he's always working on it. Stuff does go out, but the process is slow, and in the meantime he's bought more clothes! On top of that, he also picks up furniture he sees by the road or in people's bulk trash that he thinks we can use, computers, chairs, desks, etc when we already have too much. So even if something he found is nice, then I have to figure out how to rid of our own things to make room.
And finally, sometimes I see hoarders on tv, and they are really neat, albeit usually worse off. But that's not the case here. I mean to be fair he wants the place to be clean, and is always working on some sorting/cleaning project (that may or may not have results). At the same time, our car is filthy. (Luckily I commute on the train,) He gets fast food and instead of throwing away the bags, he tosses them in the back until the trash piles up and eventually I have to clean it. If if he opens a package, or removes a lid or cap, he does not throw it away, he leaves it on the counter or wherever he removed it. I always just go through and throw this stuff away. Sometimes it's too gross for me to deal with for example I just found a pile of old cigarettes that has to be at least a few months worth on our back porch. They are moved into a neat pile, but why not throw them away?? I don't think he means to leave stuff for me to clean up, it's just like he can't part with it, even if it's trash. Maybe it's the permanence of it. He definitely got it from his mom & her side of the family.
I guess I'm venting a lot here, but I'm just not sure what to do. I nag him a lot (he says) but not enough in my opinion. He feels like it's never enough, but I explained that by the time he's cleaned up one thing, another thing has started. And I am not a neat freak, in many past relationships, I've been the messy one. He does want things to be nice and works on things on his own sometimes but not until it gets to be overwhelming. But he says he'd be perfectly happy living in a mess. I am almost positive he wouldn't go to therapy for it, so if that is out, do I just clean and nag the rest of my life? I am away from home 13 hours a day for work so I am just so exhausted trying to keep up with this. And I want to get a house cleaner to help out, but I'm worried that with all the clutter, they won't be able to clean. Any ideas?! Does any one know if a house keeper charges more if your house is clutter-y? I'm not rich by any means so getting someone to clean the house twice a month would be pricey for me, but maybe it's worth it for the
sanity. It's just a constant project, and I'm not the most naturally organized person myself so it's a challenge. Also, have to add, he has many many great qualities and I really love him.