My fiancé and I have recently (1 month ago) moved in together. (I moved into his house.) The other day I was cleaning out some drawers in the kitchen and found some card from his previous girlfriend (son's mother). I did read a few for I am a woman and we can be nosey. I thought nothing of for it was in the past.
Then over the weekend, I was moving some stuff around in the closet and found more cards and pictures from several previous relationships. At this point, I am thinking my fiancé is a pack rat and can't throw anything away.
I understand that is important to remember your past. For our past experiences help make us who we are today. I don't think it would be such an unusual issue if he had a few items (for I have some too)...but this is years and years of relationship material stuff into boxes....
I am not sure why he is holding on to all those memories. So my question to you all, at what point do you throw away things from previous relationships??
Funny, I'm moving in with someone (temporarily) and am currently going through boxes to try to weed out what I don't need. I have pictures going all the way back to high school of me with various boyfriends. I even showed them to my son. I don't keep them because I miss that particular boyfriend, or because I wish I was still with one of them (quite the contrary), but those boys and men helped shape who I am today, and I do think of most of them fondly. I didn't "love" all of them, but we had our fun and it's kind of a fun thing to do to remember who I was back then and what that guy and I did while we were dating. I'm not even particularly sentimental, but I didn't throw that stuff away either. In fact, I even kept the little love notes my ex-husband wrote me while we were still dating! And he and I do NOT get along now at all, but still...Fond memories, that's all. Just FYI, I'm 42 now, and some of those pictures date back to when I was 16. It's part of my history!
My husband has saved every single card, note or piece of paper since he was a child. He is now 50, so you can imagine how many boxes of all this he has. I've seen pictures of his girlfriends, ex wives and just name it. I personally don't have a problem with this. On the other side am a "hoarder" too. I have a hard time getting rid of clothes, shoes and other things that I haven't used in years.
I have 2 boxes full of ex boyfriend stuff. Pretty much all of them except one that made me so mad I threw everything and anything away that was from him. My ex, who was previously married had numerous pictures and such from his ex wife around the house, in drawers, etc--all of them included the kids, etc. When we moved in together he threw most of them out and the rest I even told him he could keep I just didn't want them displayed. He respected me enough to give it all to his oldest daughter although I was completely fine with him hanging onto them because it was his past and its not my place to tell him to rid of them. If it bothers you, mention it to your fiance' and see what he thinks. He may forgot they are even there, especially since you moved into his place. Let him know how you feel about it. He may very well surprise you and get rid of it all.
The answer to your question is when you are ready.
My husband had all these all pictures and cards and such from exes when we started dating. I was helping him move and came across them with him. I was intrigued and we looked together. I actually learned a lot about his exes and why things ended and I felt good about it. He then decided after that to get rid of them. I didn't ask, he decided to do it. I guess once he talked about it he was ready.
Remember, it's just stuff. Don't make a big deal about it. It was "hidden" after all. It's not like it was out in the open to haunt you. I'm sure you have something from an ex. If things are good between you don't let this become an issue.
Just to throw my two cents in, I think everyone's different and thowing away mementos of the past should not be a requirement. I have dated around quite a bit since my last relationship, and feel very ready to move on and find someone right and good for me, but even if I fell in love head over heels with someone else, I would never throw away the things my ex gave me. I'm very sentimental that way, and it's a part of my past. I still have my favorite doll from when I was a child, I still have my favorite little dresses, that kind of thing, and it's the same kind of thing. It's a part of my past, it's part of who I was and who I am, and all those things are special to me. I don't think I could ever be with a man who insisted that I get rid of anything having to do with my ex. I don't think it's an issue of not getting over the ex so much as just being sentimental and being the kind of person who likes to keep mementos.