Author Topic: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?  (Read 28718 times)

markbike528CBX

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Photographs:
mmmm... I guess I have to go through my pre-digital collection and toss stuff, so I'm not the elderly relative someone is talking about on this thread in 50 years :-).

My mom gave me lots of pics, fortunately most were family relevant. 
Scanned some of one side of the family, still have lots to go.   
She really liked the dog she got as my "replacement" when I went off to college, judging by the number of pics.

Pigeon

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MIL died a few months ago, and we are still dealing with crap from her house.



Photographs, oh, how I hate photographs.  My bedroom has about twenty huge cartons of photos.  Remember the day of print photography?  ILs would take 8 snapshots of the Christmas tree every year.  Two would be in focus, but all 8 went in the album.  There are albums of pictures of people we don't recognize.  Nobody wants to throw out the ancestors but nobody wants to claim them, either.  One brother helpfully suggested we contact distant branches of the family to see if they could help ID photos.  Umm, no, if you want them ID'd, do it yourself.

We could scan these thousands of photos.  Dh, in theory wants to do that, but in practice they are going nowhere fast.  He's a lovely man, but taking charge of this kind of stuff is not his thing, nor will he let me do it.  I hate photographs.

You are my new hero. That is all. Please take a moment to congratulate yourself.  Anybody who hates massive amounts of inherited pics. as much as I do is awesome.

 My mom died about seven years back. She was obsessed with photography, and frankly, not too talented.  As we cleaned the house out, there was at least seven 20 gallon sized totes in the attic, AND a decent sized dresser that was completely stuffed with pics. To the point that the bottoms of  the drawers were collapsing! It was too heavy to even slide on the carpet. She would own expensive equipment, and take pics. of everything repeatedly. Then she would go to the drug store and have DOUBLES made of everything.  I literally spend a full week at a big table while sorting. I divided them into about ten groups, based on subject. If a special friend or relative was a subject, I boxed up several hundred or more, and mailed them to the lucky aunt, uncle, old best friend.  I explained that I had zero attachment to the pics. and would not be offended if they tossed them all. During that process I trashed at least 2/3rds of the collection since they were doubles, poor quality, or one of a thirty sun rise or set shots, done within a few moments of each other.

We still have a few thousand of them. My daughter is supposed to be scanning them, but I believe that she offered to do it before she understood the magnitude of the project. As it's not showing much success. The fact that 99% of them are no longer my problem is very relieving.

I'm so jealous that you were able to just divide up the photos and ship them out. I've suggested that many times.  I've also suggested that he go through them and pick out an album's worth and send the rest on to the next brother, but no.  Instead they are a gigantic dark cloud that has engulfed my house. 

Have I mentioned that I hate photographs?

paddedhat

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I'm so jealous that you were able to just divide up the photos and ship them out. I've suggested that many times.  I've also suggested that he go through them and pick out an album's worth and send the rest on to the next brother, but no.  Instead they are a gigantic dark cloud that has engulfed my house. 

Have I mentioned that I hate photographs?


Yea, that really sucks. Any chance of agreeing to slowly chip away by scanning every one of them, a few at a time, then disposing of them when they are stored in a few different media?  I guess it's just a matter of picking your battles. My wife had major issues with letting go of an antique brass bed. It was a family heirloom, but it was also too small for modern tastes, and we didn't have room for it. If I could of stuffed it in the attic until one of us died, it would of suited her just fine. Minds are pretty strange, it had zero value except scrap, and no use in our house, but keeping it in the attic for a few decades is better than donating it? 

Cassie

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When my mom was dying she asked us to look through her pics and take what we wanted. When all 3 of us were done she walked to the dumpster outside and threw them all away. Actually it was a really sad moment. She downsized much of her stuff through the years and now at 62 I am doing the same.  No way I am leaving a mess for my kids. I actually just donated 20 Hummels and some antique glassware to a local dog rescue that has a store.  Young people don;t collect things which is good. I am now selling my curio cabinet and it will be interesting to see if it sells. I had my kids teach me how to do craigslist about 10 years ago and do everything myself.  It I feel like it is worth the work I try to sell and if not I donate.

MasterStache

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When my mom was dying she asked us to look through her pics and take what we wanted. When all 3 of us were done she walked to the dumpster outside and threw them all away. Actually it was a really sad moment. She downsized much of her stuff through the years and now at 62 I am doing the same.  No way I am leaving a mess for my kids. I actually just donated 20 Hummels and some antique glassware to a local dog rescue that has a store.  Young people don;t collect things which is good. I am now selling my curio cabinet and it will be interesting to see if it sells. I had my kids teach me how to do craigslist about 10 years ago and do everything myself.  It I feel like it is worth the work I try to sell and if not I donate.

My grandfather had a huge collection of Hummels. Not even sure where they are now. He gave me a bunch of worthless coins that I gave to my kids. My wife is a picture collector. I have one box of pics and that is it. She has bins full of them. I guess she'll be buried with them?? I have no ideal what one does with so many pictures. I hate "stuff" and clutter in general. My wife often says I would donate the kids if I could. 

YogiKitti

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My family is very similar. I tried to give very specific items that I want as gifts in the attempts to channel their shopping habits into something beneficial. Nope. They don't like what I suggest, so I get several things (that end up costing the same amount) which don't work for me.

I've gotten over the guilt part and just donate everything.


This year I'm going to try telling everyone about becoming minimalist and how I don't want any stuff. I already broke the news to my mom. I'm expected it to take several years before I make any headway.


Hahaha. Oh how hopefully I was.

I told my mom I don't want gifts anymore. Now she tells me the things she's sending are not gifts, they are "just because" items. Somehow just because stuff gets sent more often, especially now that I've moved closer. Even though I get rid of them, it is still getting very stressful that every visit leaves me with chores. I have to sort through the bag of crap, figure out what to trash, them hang on to the donate stuff until I get a chance to go to the thrift store. Ugh

marcela

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My family is very similar. I tried to give very specific items that I want as gifts in the attempts to channel their shopping habits into something beneficial. Nope. They don't like what I suggest, so I get several things (that end up costing the same amount) which don't work for me.

I've gotten over the guilt part and just donate everything.


This year I'm going to try telling everyone about becoming minimalist and how I don't want any stuff. I already broke the news to my mom. I'm expected it to take several years before I make any headway.


Hahaha. Oh how hopefully I was.

I told my mom I don't want gifts anymore. Now she tells me the things she's sending are not gifts, they are "just because" items. Somehow just because stuff gets sent more often, especially now that I've moved closer. Even though I get rid of them, it is still getting very stressful that every visit leaves me with chores. I have to sort through the bag of crap, figure out what to trash, them hang on to the donate stuff until I get a chance to go to the thrift store. Ugh

Every year my husband's mom and sister pester us to update our wish lists on amazon so they know what we want for gifts. Every year they get us something else. Luckily they usually still shop through amazon and we just return stuff and bank the credit to buy what we really wanted. I've also taken to returning non amazon things, getting store credit and then selling the gift card on cardpool for amazon credit. I used to get mad, now I just thank them profusely, run the errand they've given me and buy myself what I want.

Pigeon

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My wife often says I would donate the kids if I could.

I will admit there are times this thought has crossed my mind regarding my teenager, but it doesn't come from a place of decluttering.

MasterStache

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My wife often says I would donate the kids if I could.

I will admit there are times this thought has crossed my mind regarding my teenager, but it doesn't come from a place of decluttering.

Haha I hear ya. I have one entering his teenage years.

paddedhat

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My wife often says I would donate the kids if I could.

I will admit there are times this thought has crossed my mind regarding my teenager, but it doesn't come from a place of decluttering.

Haha I hear ya. I have one entering his teenage years.

My great grandma was old school Italian.  She was about 100lbs, and in her mid-nineties, when she offered my pregnant wife some advice. She told the DW that babies and toddlers are wonderful, children are great. Sadly, by the time they are fourteen or so, the best thing to do is drag them into the woods, kill them, and tell God they died. At the time the wife was not amused, by the time they were mid-teens it all made perfect sense. Disclaimer, they are both alive and well, and lived past their teen years.

o2bfree

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My great grandma was old school Italian.  She was about 100lbs, and in her mid-nineties, when she offered my pregnant wife some advice. She told the DW that babies and toddlers are wonderful, children are great. Sadly, by the time they are fourteen or so, the best thing to do is drag them into the woods, kill them, and tell God they died. At the time the wife was not amused, by the time they were mid-teens it all made perfect sense. Disclaimer, they are both alive and well, and lived past their teen years.

LOL!! My husband always said that teenagers made you understand why some animals eat their young.

partgypsy

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MIL died a few months ago, and we are still dealing with crap from her house.



Photographs, oh, how I hate photographs.  My bedroom has about twenty huge cartons of photos.  Remember the day of print photography?  ILs would take 8 snapshots of the Christmas tree every year.  Two would be in focus, but all 8 went in the album.  There are albums of pictures of people we don't recognize.  Nobody wants to throw out the ancestors but nobody wants to claim them, either.  One brother helpfully suggested we contact distant branches of the family to see if they could help ID photos.  Umm, no, if you want them ID'd, do it yourself.

We could scan these thousands of photos.  Dh, in theory wants to do that, but in practice they are going nowhere fast.  He's a lovely man, but taking charge of this kind of stuff is not his thing, nor will he let me do it.  I hate photographs.

You are my new hero. That is all. Please take a moment to congratulate yourself.  Anybody who hates massive amounts of inherited pics. as much as I do is awesome.

 My mom died about seven years back. She was obsessed with photography, and frankly, not too talented.  As we cleaned the house out, there was at least seven 20 gallon sized totes in the attic, AND a decent sized dresser that was completely stuffed with pics. To the point that the bottoms of  the drawers were collapsing! It was too heavy to even slide on the carpet. She would own expensive equipment, and take pics. of everything repeatedly. Then she would go to the drug store and have DOUBLES made of everything.  I literally spend a full week at a big table while sorting. I divided them into about ten groups, based on subject. If a special friend or relative was a subject, I boxed up several hundred or more, and mailed them to the lucky aunt, uncle, old best friend.  I explained that I had zero attachment to the pics. and would not be offended if they tossed them all. During that process I trashed at least 2/3rds of the collection since they were doubles, poor quality, or one of a thirty sun rise or set shots, done within a few moments of each other.

We still have a few thousand of them. My daughter is supposed to be scanning them, but I believe that she offered to do it before she understood the magnitude of the project. As it's not showing much success. The fact that 99% of them are no longer my problem is very relieving.

Seems like people are all or nothing. My mom has a couple filled photo albums, and a small box (largish shoe box) full of pictures. you would think there would be more, after all 4 kids and extended family, but nope. Most of the photos are basically glued into the albums so you would ruin the photo if you tried to remove it. I actually wish I had more pictures of my childhood. I didn't have a camera during college so I have 2? photos from college. Maybe some people have pics of me, but I don't.

Cassie

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The teenage years are the Universe's way of not making you feel sad when they move out:))

RetiredAt63

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The teenage years are the Universe's way of not making you feel sad when they move out:))

Or encouraging you to do the kicking out if they don't do it on their own!
The measure of civilization is how people treat one another.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/meetups-and-social-events/ontario's-own-camp-mustache-2017/ - MEET US THERE!

The Money Monk

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So just now, my dad was showing up a pineapple de-eyer slicer thing that they supposedly use in Asia for making it easy to get the eyes out of pineapples.

My aunt.  When we were children she gave the most thoughtful gifts.  Now, I kind you not, she must go to a closet & pick out something from her Home Shopping Network stash because it's usually cheaply made, nothing we've ever talked about, and in an unmarked box.  For my birthday last year I received a pineapple corer/slicer thing.  Like you, we eat MAYBE 2 per year.  That thing went in the next donation box straight out of my house.  I don't even feel guilty anymore.

lol the pineapple slicer seems to be the gift for the man who has everything (he needs)!

I eat a lot of pineapples but I just eat the core like a savage. Is that weird? Does anybody else do this?

Its notlike I cut out the core and eat it specifically, I just don't bother removing it. Its barely noticeable most of the time if the pineapple is ripe.

I just cut the top and bottom off, then cut it in half into two rolls, then just cut each cylinder of meat out. Then cut that into small pieces.

Then I plant the tops and grow more! I have 2 growing on my plants as we speak.

iowajes

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We have a pineapple corer. It is used regularly, as I do cut out the core and eat it, but husband hates core on his pineapple.

Our kitchen drawers are overflowing though :(

jeromedawg

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Speaking of food, that's another area where my parents completely hoard. They're visiting this weekend and every time they come down they have to bring an arsenal of food from their freezer or fridge to cook here. It's enough to feed an army yet they also want to eat out. So now our fridge/freezer and chest freezer are completely packed and we have to play Tetris to figure out where food is or get something out. It's pretty annoying - they just have the propensity to keep storing food faster than they can eat it. My dad thinks he's a master chef too, so he makes messes in the kitchen and the food really isn't that great (LOL). So we tend to have all this weird stuff in our fridge that we don't want to eat and usually have to toss after they leave, including leftovers they failed to finish. The worst part is that BOTH of them are like that. Last night at dinner my dad cooked a corned beef that they didn't end up making from a couple months ago (gee, I wonder why) and put it in one of those throwaway takeout restaurant tins that they kept. He put our small cutting board inside the tin because he could slice it at the table. Why not just slice it on the cutting board first and then put it in the tin? He does all sorts of weird things that don't make sense. Anyway, they store food up like the world is gonna end... it's insane.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 12:17:54 PM by jeromedawg »

K-Dogg

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My grandpa built a lake house in the 80s and started collecting junk and storing it all over the yard. He passed away in 2004, a couple months after my mom bought the house from him. She did a ton of work cleaning up the yard, but she neglected cleaning inside the house. Then she added her stuff. And things she kept of her kids, her 4 grandkids (who all lived there at one point with her) and her 3 brothers (they came to live there off and on too).

My mom passed away last year and left the house to me. It took us over a week just to clean out her room. Medium sized room with a large bedroom set stuffed full of clothes she never wore. I swear we pulled 30 pairs of jeans out of there. Probably a dozen coveralls for work, all basically the same exact pair. On top of the furniture begin stuffed, she had almost 10 pieces of luggage. Large pieces. All full of random stuff she couldnít part with. Her room made me quite sad. She only had a small walkway around her bed and just piles of stuff. Not like hoarders the show, but going through it there was definitely some garbage. Thankfully not food garbage though they did have mice. But that is more likely due to the state of the home (never actually sided, many broken doors leading outside) anyways lots of ways for mice to get in.

I live 9 hours from the lake house, but Iíve been hauling ass trying to empty it to sell it. Thanks go to the landfill gods that there is a dump less than a kilometre from this place (itís rural central BC). Iím here now with my bf just finishing up. We just went through the laundry room today. How many glass jars does someone really need to keep? We threw out hundreds. And scrap wood. My god! If something was wood, it appeared to have never been thrown away.

Iíve been trying to tell my step-dad (her ex) for years to start throwing out his stuff at his house so this wonít happen to his kids. He refuses. Says he paid for this stuff so why throw it out? Geez, I donít know. Maybe so you can use your kitchen counter? Or have space for a couch in your living room!? Thatís a whole other story though.

My boyfriendís parents also have hoarding issues. I hear about it mostly. Whispers of ďthe basementĒ, but Iíve never actually gone down there. His mother, while lovely, is the worst for this. She has a shopping compulsion and is constantly buying her three sons things they donít need or want. And more specifically, stuff that I donít want in my house. We did a motherís day dinner last week and she bought the younger brotherís girlfriend and me a stuffed animal. I refused to accept it. Iím 31 years old. I donít need random stuffed animals because you think theyíre cute. Everyone thought it was a little rude, but I was nice about it. And now hopefully she will not waste money like that again (on me at least!). She did the same thing at Valentines. She saw this little brown stuffy that shook to some song and bought one for each couple. Closer inspection shows this stuffy is literally a pile of crap with a fly on it! I donít know how the hell that got in stores. Maybe China decided to make crap stuffies, they werenít selling, so they sew a heart on the front and sold em for Valentineís Day. Anyways, just an example of mindless consuming.

Abo345

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Speaking of food, that's another area where my parents completely hoard. They're visiting this weekend and every time they come down they have to bring an arsenal of food from their freezer or fridge to cook here. It's enough to feed an army yet they also want to eat out. So now our fridge/freezer and chest freezer are completely packed and we have to play Tetris to figure out where food is or get something out. It's pretty annoying - they just have the propensity to keep storing food faster than they can eat it. My dad thinks he's a master chef too, so he makes messes in the kitchen and the food really isn't that great (LOL). So we tend to have all this weird stuff in our fridge that we don't want to eat and usually have to toss after they leave, including leftovers they failed to finish. The worst part is that BOTH of them are like that. Last night at dinner my dad cooked a corned beef that they didn't end up making from a couple months ago (gee, I wonder why) and put it in one of those throwaway takeout restaurant tins that they kept. He put our small cutting board inside the tin because he could slice it at the table. Why not just slice it on the cutting board first and then put it in the tin? He does all sorts of weird things that don't make sense. Anyway, they store food up like the world is gonna end... it's insane.

I can relate to opening up my parents refrigerator and they have so much crap stuffed inside that you can barely see the refrigerator light. my mom will make me take home a cantolopue or something because she bought five of them (such a good deal from the 99 cent store) and can't eat them before they go bad. Why oh why must she buy multiples of perishable food items? I have found cans of soup that expired 4 years ago, which means the soup is even older than that. But I can't throw it away because that is wasting food and my mom says she might need it one day.

the worst are those wine deals from the grocery store where you have to buy 6 bottles of wine at a time for the deal. There are wine bottles of cheap wine all over the formal dining room from multiples of that deal. I don't understand why you would buy another 6 bottles of wine when you have a dozen
bottles at home already from the last "deal". My parents don't drink much, but also,don't want to give the wine away because they paid for it, so it keeps accumulating from another deal that can't be turned down.

Agh makes my head spin

kelvin

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My parents keep giving me things that they have emotional attachment to, which means I can't get rid of it without a guilt trip. It seems to be some kind of right of passage thing, proof that I'm an "adult" now inheriting the family furniture/tchotchkes.  Nevermind that it's bulky and fragile and I live in an apartment and have to move every two years.

I've started getting rid of it anyway.

My parents grew up on farms away from town, so if you saw something that you needed or could potentially need in the future, you bought it and stored it in a basement/shed/attic. For years they memorized a huge inventory of household items and clothing, and would randomly say "Oh, I have just the thing for that". Then they'd disappear for half an hour and return with just the thing. When I moved out, I had to learn that seeing something in the store one time does not mean I should buy it "because I can't get it again". I live in the city, the store will still be there with the same thing or something similar. Also my apartment is not a warehouse.

When my mother travels she's doing the same thing. "Oh, it's raining, I have a coat just for that." "Oh, it's sunny out, let me get my sandals." She travels for a one week trip with a sedan packed to bursting with three coats, five shoes, seven dresses, etc. She spends the whole week rifling through her car instead of enjoying the place she's visiting.

She's forever saying "well, I used to have a skirt that would be perfect." Turns out she owned this skirt maybe 20 years ago, and had to get rid of it 10 years ago because she'd worn it out. When it died, she didn't replace it, she bought 3 different skirts that were all for summer instead of winter or something. 

Her memory isn't what it used to be (cancer survivor) but the one upswing is she no longer has a massive mental inventory of every item she's sent me. She doesn't notice that I ditched the sweater I never wore, or the raincoat that didn't keep out the rain.

LeRainDrop

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My parents keep giving me things that they have emotional attachment to, which means I can't get rid of it without a guilt trip. It seems to be some kind of right of passage thing, proof that I'm an "adult" now inheriting the family furniture/tchotchkes.

I am very familiar with these feelings :-(

iowajes

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My parents keep giving me things that they have emotional attachment to, which means I can't get rid of it without a guilt trip. It seems to be some kind of right of passage thing, proof that I'm an "adult" now inheriting the family furniture/tchotchkes.

I am very familiar with these feelings :-(

I have quite a few family things that are "guilty clutter". I have my grandmother's sewing cabinet and machine. I was thrilled to get it until I saw it was in awful condition. But now I think I'm stuck with it for the rest of my father's life.  He doesn't see that it is horrible condition. Just "that's the way it always was"

jeromedawg

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Speaking of food, that's another area where my parents completely hoard. They're visiting this weekend and every time they come down they have to bring an arsenal of food from their freezer or fridge to cook here. It's enough to feed an army yet they also want to eat out. So now our fridge/freezer and chest freezer are completely packed and we have to play Tetris to figure out where food is or get something out. It's pretty annoying - they just have the propensity to keep storing food faster than they can eat it. My dad thinks he's a master chef too, so he makes messes in the kitchen and the food really isn't that great (LOL). So we tend to have all this weird stuff in our fridge that we don't want to eat and usually have to toss after they leave, including leftovers they failed to finish. The worst part is that BOTH of them are like that. Last night at dinner my dad cooked a corned beef that they didn't end up making from a couple months ago (gee, I wonder why) and put it in one of those throwaway takeout restaurant tins that they kept. He put our small cutting board inside the tin because he could slice it at the table. Why not just slice it on the cutting board first and then put it in the tin? He does all sorts of weird things that don't make sense. Anyway, they store food up like the world is gonna end... it's insane.

I can relate to opening up my parents refrigerator and they have so much crap stuffed inside that you can barely see the refrigerator light. my mom will make me take home a cantolopue or something because she bought five of them (such a good deal from the 99 cent store) and can't eat them before they go bad. Why oh why must she buy multiples of perishable food items? I have found cans of soup that expired 4 years ago, which means the soup is even older than that. But I can't throw it away because that is wasting food and my mom says she might need it one day.

the worst are those wine deals from the grocery store where you have to buy 6 bottles of wine at a time for the deal. There are wine bottles of cheap wine all over the formal dining room from multiples of that deal. I don't understand why you would buy another 6 bottles of wine when you have a dozen
bottles at home already from the last "deal". My parents don't drink much, but also,don't want to give the wine away because they paid for it, so it keeps accumulating from another deal that can't be turned down.

Agh makes my head spin

Crap, my wife just told me about two recent discussions/incidents with my mom as they're visiting this weekend:

1) My mom bought bagels from Panera Bread in the morning and put them in plastic bags to store in our freezer. The wax/paper bags that the bagels originally were in were left out on the counter, so my wife tossed them into our recycling bag in the kitchen (not even sure if it's supposed to go there but whatever). Later that day, my mom baked cookies cookies and saw that the disposable bags were missing. She dug around and found them in the recycling bag, fished them out, and told my wife "you shouldn't toss these - these are perfect for the cookies!" and proceeded to put the cookies in them. *facepalm*

2) We had an old bath mat in our second bathroom that was just gross - my mom told my wife that she'd buy us a new bath mat. So my wife said "OK, I'll toss the old one when you bring back the second one" to which my mom responded "Why? You can store the old bath mat out in the garage and use it for something - it's very useful." My wife was confounded, asking "What would we use it for?" And my mom just replied "Oh, you know, it's just good to have." I bet if my wife just tossed the mat, my mom would have asked her what she did or would have dug around and fished it out the trash and told us to keep using it like for out in the garage or whatever. I still have no idea what use we would have for it in the garage, specifically.

So basically, anything and everything that they think remotely has *any* utility whatsoever (even if they don't know what it is), they'll justify keeping by saying "It's good to have" or "it's good to have just in case" SMH... ridiculous.

Haha, I get you on the multiples of food items though - my in-laws do the same when they bring us fruit, etc. We ask for a couple oranges and they bring a couple DOZEN oranges.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 03:43:01 PM by jeromedawg »

StacheyStache

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I have a one bedroom, 750ish square foot apartment with a small kitchen.  I'm also known to break things.  Particularly fragile easily smashable things.  I'm down to two of the eight non-precious bowls I started college with.  That's a little under one smashed bowl per year on average.

Last time I came home for a visit my mom tried to get me to take back six full place settings of flowery pink and green china that my grandfather brought back home from Germany during WWII as a gift for my grandmother.  HELL.  NO.  Not only do I have no room to store it or display it, I know exactly what's going to happen and I want no part of the following guilt trip when the china either breaks in the car on the way home or breaks in my apartment.  Durable plastic is good enough for my dinner guests. 

There also have been comments that my future home "has to have a formal dining room so we can give you the (enormous 12 seater) dining table!!"  We probably ate in the dining room ten times during my entire childhood so formal dining room is not on my list of must haves....

seathink

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My aunt had a lot of issues with controling through giving, specifically in regards to sweets/sugary junk.

She's Type 1 Diabetic and used to need to "spoil" us three kids by buying like a dozen 2 liters of pop, tons of candy and junk food for a five day visit. She did not take no for an answer and couldn't for the life of her understand why we weren't guzzling it down, and get super pouty because it was this amazing stuff she couldn't have but was giving to us.

The other guilt was that we all knew she was sneaking into the stash at night, so we'd chug it down just so she wouldn't. It was terrifying as a kid, waiting to make sure she's survive the visit. We were a very healthy family based mostly on my mom's experience a kid when my aunt almost died died, and even as a teenager I felt responsible to not let her screw herself up by drinking the damn stuff myself.

My mom would confront her, but she didn't budge on needing to "treat us".
ďKeep what is of no use at the moment, and later you will find what you need, one of her grandmothers had told her, the water in which you soak them will also serve to cook them, and whatever remains from the cooking will cease to be water, but will have become broth. It is not only in nature that from time to time not everything is lost and something is gained.Ē ― Josť Saramago, Blindness

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Apples

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My parents keep giving me things that they have emotional attachment to, which means I can't get rid of it without a guilt trip. It seems to be some kind of right of passage thing, proof that I'm an "adult" now inheriting the family furniture/tchotchkes.

I am very familiar with these feelings :-(

I have quite a few family things that are "guilty clutter". I have my grandmother's sewing cabinet and machine. I was thrilled to get it until I saw it was in awful condition. But now I think I'm stuck with it for the rest of my father's life.  He doesn't see that it is horrible condition. Just "that's the way it always was"

We were given an antique bed frame that was my great grandparents and had gone down through the generations.  We were told it was a Queen size bed.  Turns out to be exactly the size of our current double bed.  We used it for a few months, got word out to the family that it probably wouldn't survive another generation (trying to set expectations early!).  And then we accidentally broke it.  Just snapped one of the bars across the foot of the frame.  Unfortunately that holds the sides of the frame together, so now it's gone.  We did tell people that it was broken, and had broken in such a way that it wasn't reparable (a long crack in the wood where it supports weight).  Several people wanted us to fix it, and we offered to let them fix it and keep that. Well they didn't want that.  So we just said we're upgrading to a real Queen size bed now, thankyouverymuch.  But we do still have a rather uncomfortable rocking chair that doesn't go anywhere in our house and I don't intend to use, because it belonged to another set of great grandparents...

Also, I live on a farm.  +1 to keeping things around "just in case"

Pigeon

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Dh had a great aunt and uncle that had a farm.  His dad had fond memories of spending summers there.  When they died and cleaned out the farmhouse, much of their junk went into FIL & MIL's attic, and they kept trying  to force it on us.  The folks on the farm didn't have much money and the stuff was pretty well worn out and not great quality to begin with.  No, I really don't want threadbare, stained linens, cracked dishes, baskets with holes, etc., but no, we could never throw that junk out because it came off the farm.

paddedhat

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Last time I came home for a visit my mom tried to get me to take back six full place settings of flowery pink and green china that my grandfather brought back home from Germany during WWII as a gift for my grandmother.  HELL.  NO.  Not only do I have no room to store it or display it, I know exactly what's going to happen and I want no part of the following guilt trip when the china either breaks in the car on the way home or breaks in my apartment.  Durable plastic is good enough for my dinner guests. 

I will never understand the who concept behind China. Now adding the concept of "special china" that can only be used on special occasions, and I'm totally done with that silliness. As a married couple, our parents and older relatives oooohed and awed, as my wife open the gift of  wedding china, I just curled my toes and stayed quiet. Decades later, it has long be relegated to daily use, and has broken to the point that there is very little of it left. The wife gets mildly upset when another piece bits the dust, I try not to smirk.

There also have been comments that my future home "has to have a formal dining room so we can give you the (enormous 12 seater) dining table!!"  We probably ate in the dining room ten times during my entire childhood so formal dining room is not on my list of must haves....

As a homebuilder, I fought hard to push back against customers who wanted formal dining space. I usually succeeded. One particular customer was a total PITA. I tried several times to get her to allow me to open the wall between the formal dining and the family room, on a traditional colonial, before we broke ground. She refused to budge. After the place was framed, the HVAC guys filled the common wall between the rooms with ductwork. Just before we were ready to sheetrock, the homeowner announces that she wants the wall removed. I tell her no. She says money isn't the issue. I then tell her, that no it isn't. The time to do that was when I was vigorously lobbying for you to approve the change at no charge to you, NOT after the whole HVAC system has to be re-engineered and reinstalled, too late. Jesus, I hate formal rooms.

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Last time I came home for a visit my mom tried to get me to take back six full place settings of flowery pink and green china that my grandfather brought back home from Germany during WWII as a gift for my grandmother.  HELL.  NO.  Not only do I have no room to store it or display it, I know exactly what's going to happen and I want no part of the following guilt trip when the china either breaks in the car on the way home or breaks in my apartment.  Durable plastic is good enough for my dinner guests. 

I will never understand the who concept behind China. Now adding the concept of "special china" that can only be used on special occasions, and I'm totally done with that silliness. As a married couple, our parents and older relatives oooohed and awed, as my wife open the gift of  wedding china, I just curled my toes and stayed quiet. Decades later, it has long be relegated to daily use, and has broken to the point that there is very little of it left. The wife gets mildly upset when another piece bits the dust, I try not to smirk.

There also have been comments that my future home "has to have a formal dining room so we can give you the (enormous 12 seater) dining table!!"  We probably ate in the dining room ten times during my entire childhood so formal dining room is not on my list of must haves....

As a homebuilder, I fought hard to push back against customers who wanted formal dining space. I usually succeeded. One particular customer was a total PITA. I tried several times to get her to allow me to open the wall between the formal dining and the family room, on a traditional colonial, before we broke ground. She refused to budge. After the place was framed, the HVAC guys filled the common wall between the rooms with ductwork. Just before we were ready to sheetrock, the homeowner announces that she wants the wall removed. I tell her no. She says money isn't the issue. I then tell her, that no it isn't. The time to do that was when I was vigorously lobbying for you to approve the change at no charge to you, NOT after the whole HVAC system has to be re-engineered and reinstalled, too late. Jesus, I hate formal rooms.

We all have our tastes. I for one despise the modern concept with the "open" floor plan and prefer rooms for designated purposes. If there were any traditional colonial homes around I'd definitely prefer to live in one; sadly it's all post-1990 newer buildings or else stuff designed to make it look like it's been built out of mud. (I hate modern stucco with a passion.)

I keep only one table to eat off of, with chairs to go with it, so it's in the dining area where the formal plates are. It's just easier to do all the eating in one place and then clean up, so things don't have to be made different for guests. What I wish was that there was a good way to break up the space between the kitchen, living room, and dining room. I don't mind having easy access from the kitchen to the dining room but I hate it when my living room smells like food and I don't like it when my guests can see the dishes in the kitchen all the way from the living room where we're relaxing for after-dinner conversation. Also, have you noticed that the "open" floor plan is irritatingly noisy? You can only have one or two conversations going on in the entire house at the same time unless someone goes into a bathroom or bedroom. It's impossible to speak privately.
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Pigeon

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Last time I came home for a visit my mom tried to get me to take back six full place settings of flowery pink and green china that my grandfather brought back home from Germany during WWII as a gift for my grandmother.  HELL.  NO.  Not only do I have no room to store it or display it, I know exactly what's going to happen and I want no part of the following guilt trip when the china either breaks in the car on the way home or breaks in my apartment.  Durable plastic is good enough for my dinner guests. 

I will never understand the who concept behind China. Now adding the concept of "special china" that can only be used on special occasions, and I'm totally done with that silliness. As a married couple, our parents and older relatives oooohed and awed, as my wife open the gift of  wedding china, I just curled my toes and stayed quiet. Decades later, it has long be relegated to daily use, and has broken to the point that there is very little of it left. The wife gets mildly upset when another piece bits the dust, I try not to smirk.

There also have been comments that my future home "has to have a formal dining room so we can give you the (enormous 12 seater) dining table!!"  We probably ate in the dining room ten times during my entire childhood so formal dining room is not on my list of must haves....

As a homebuilder, I fought hard to push back against customers who wanted formal dining space. I usually succeeded. One particular customer was a total PITA. I tried several times to get her to allow me to open the wall between the formal dining and the family room, on a traditional colonial, before we broke ground. She refused to budge. After the place was framed, the HVAC guys filled the common wall between the rooms with ductwork. Just before we were ready to sheetrock, the homeowner announces that she wants the wall removed. I tell her no. She says money isn't the issue. I then tell her, that no it isn't. The time to do that was when I was vigorously lobbying for you to approve the change at no charge to you, NOT after the whole HVAC system has to be re-engineered and reinstalled, too late. Jesus, I hate formal rooms.

We all have our tastes. I for one despise the modern concept with the "open" floor plan and prefer rooms for designated purposes. If there were any traditional colonial homes around I'd definitely prefer to live in one; sadly it's all post-1990 newer buildings or else stuff designed to make it look like it's been built out of mud. (I hate modern stucco with a passion.)

I keep only one table to eat off of, with chairs to go with it, so it's in the dining area where the formal plates are. It's just easier to do all the eating in one place and then clean up, so things don't have to be made different for guests. What I wish was that there was a good way to break up the space between the kitchen, living room, and dining room. I don't mind having easy access from the kitchen to the dining room but I hate it when my living room smells like food and I don't like it when my guests can see the dishes in the kitchen all the way from the living room where we're relaxing for after-dinner conversation. Also, have you noticed that the "open" floor plan is irritatingly noisy? You can only have one or two conversations going on in the entire house at the same time unless someone goes into a bathroom or bedroom. It's impossible to speak privately.

I love a formal dining room, too, and a separate living room.   I loathe the open floor plan concept.  I don't want people in my kitchen underfoot when I'm cooking.  I don't want to look at dirty dishes while we eat.  Eating in the kitchen is fine with family but not with guests.  I totally agree about the noise, it's so obnoxious.

Fortunately, I have my 1980s colonial and don't have to get a border collie to chase people out of the kitchen.

jeromedawg

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One of the more recent things my mom has been doing with clothes, is that she'll buy a bunch of clothes *she* thinks are great for any of us. Then she'll rotate through and asks who wants the underwear or tank tops she got for 99% off at Sears, Ross, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, etc... granted, *some* of it might be ok stuff but most of it is just crappy and nothing that we would wear. She primarily does this to my wife though, where she'll go buy here some tops for 90% off and then brings them all to show her (like 10 of them at a time). My wife will kind of just be like "ehh, no thanks" and then my mom will question her and be like "why? just wear them once or twice then toss them. they were so cheap!" - she's obviously addicted to buying cheap. If you told her to give us the cash she spent on the crap, she'd hesitate and be like "nope" but then it's OK for her to buy cheap junk and give it to us. My wife was stressed after this weekend of having them visit (my mom dragged her TWICE to Old Navy and bought more crap). I just told her, let's just collect everything up and Goodwill it. We can tell her we Goodwilled it too - telling my mom that might be like fingernails on the chalkboard, and quite possibly the right tactic to make her stop this God-awfulness.

Abo345

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From the mouth of a hoarder: "it's not that we have too much stuff, we just don't have enough room".
(Coming from two grown adults living in a 1200 sq ft house with crap piled high.)

Abo345

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If you told her to give us the cash she spent on the crap, she'd hesitate and be like "nope" but then it's OK for her to buy cheap junk and give it to us.

It's because the crap is "worth" more than the cash they paid. $10 for 10 tank tops that will never be worn = a great deal!!! They are worth $200!!

My mom is the same way. If you asked her for the cash she would've spent instead she would get all defensive like, "no I need the money more than you, I can't afford to just hand out $10".

But $10 worth of unused clothes with the tags on them sitting in the closet for years is totally fine. The shopping and deal seeking is an addiction. Logic and reason do not apply. Makes me want to smash my head into a wall.


bacchi

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The Company moved my parents around when I was growing up. Thus, nothing was ever cleaned out because they just used another company paid semi-truck to move.

When they moved to Cali, some boxes were left outside, unopened, for years (it never rained there and the Cali house was too small to hold everything).

Now that my dad is retired, he's going through the piles of consumer junk. Who needs 3 identical umbrellas (they were on sale!) out of 19 total? There are 6 sewing machines and 4 of them have never been opened. Thousands of paperback books. Hundreds of old clothing items that no longer fit.

It's not a legacy I look forward to handling.

jeromedawg

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If you told her to give us the cash she spent on the crap, she'd hesitate and be like "nope" but then it's OK for her to buy cheap junk and give it to us.

It's because the crap is "worth" more than the cash they paid. $10 for 10 tank tops that will never be worn = a great deal!!! They are worth $200!!

My mom is the same way. If you asked her for the cash she would've spent instead she would get all defensive like, "no I need the money more than you, I can't afford to just hand out $10".

But $10 worth of unused clothes with the tags on them sitting in the closet for years is totally fine. The shopping and deal seeking is an addiction. Logic and reason do not apply. Makes me want to smash my head into a wall.

Yep, that's exactly it - they have a certain 'valuation' of a product in mind, so they equate spending only $5 for something that's "worth" $50 the same as spending $5 and making $45 (or an ROI of 900%!!!). Problem is that the money is *in* the tank tops (this reminds me of Arrested Development: "The money is *IN* the banana stand?!" or Zoolander: "The files are *IN* the computer?!?!?!"). Now, if these were "covfefe" tank tops that could resale for $50 a piece, I wouldn't have anything against it, because I'd Ebay every single one of them for instant profit!

*sigh*
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 04:37:54 PM by jeromedawg »

Cassie

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I  have lived in old and new homes and prefer old with separate rooms.  Our kitchen is a galley kitchen so we eat all meals in the dining room. I like that people in the DR can have separate conversations then those in the LR. When we lived in bigger houses with formal LR that is the room that was never used unless we had a big party.

paddedhat

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I  have lived in old and new homes and prefer old with separate rooms.  Our kitchen is a galley kitchen so we eat all meals in the dining room. I like that people in the DR can have separate conversations then those in the LR. When we lived in bigger houses with formal LR that is the room that was never used unless we had a big party.

As a builder, my issue is with building rooms that are abandoned 99% of the time. Those of you who actually use a formal dining and living room on a daily basis are not as typical as you might believe, and good for you for not wasting space. A buddy of mine did warranty work on new homes, as in thousands of new homes. Lots of McMansion style 2500ft.+ two stories, three car garage, total POS places that were the majority of the foreclosure inventory when our region got driven into the ground by the great recession.  He found that the vast majority of formal areas were treated as some sort of F'ed up shrines by the owners, places that can only be entered during holidays, when important people show up. The other thing that he found was that a lot of these new homeowners were severely overextended, and owned homes far larger than they could afford, or even use. As a result it was nothing to see formal rooms that were completely empty, zero furniture, and only every entered to vacuum and dust. Waiting for a tax return, or other windfall, to blow on furniture that they don't need, for rooms, they don't need, to impress guests who show up 2-3X a year.  Because? Who knows...................

 Might have $25K in CC debt, couldn't come up with $500 for an emergency car repair, but lets blow that tax check on cheap particle board shit furniture from Billy Bob's House of Shit Furniture, because we need to keep up appearances.  THAT'S why I try not to roll my eyes when a customer tells me that "we MUST have a large, formal LR& DR".  Right, it's clearly a must............................

TheGrimSqueaker

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As a builder, my issue is with building rooms that are abandoned 99% of the time. Those of you who actually use a formal dining and living room on a daily basis are not as typical as you might believe, and good for you for not wasting space. A buddy of mine did warranty work on new homes, as in thousands of new homes. Lots of McMansion style 2500ft.+ two stories, three car garage, total POS places that were the majority of the foreclosure inventory when our region got driven into the ground by the great recession.  He found that the vast majority of formal areas were treated as some sort of F'ed up shrines by the owners, places that can only be entered during holidays, when important people show up. The other thing that he found was that a lot of these new homeowners were severely overextended, and owned homes far larger than they could afford, or even use. As a result it was nothing to see formal rooms that were completely empty, zero furniture, and only every entered to vacuum and dust. Waiting for a tax return, or other windfall, to blow on furniture that they don't need, for rooms, they don't need, to impress guests who show up 2-3X a year.  Because? Who knows...................

 Might have $25K in CC debt, couldn't come up with $500 for an emergency car repair, but lets blow that tax check on cheap particle board shit furniture from Billy Bob's House of Shit Furniture, because we need to keep up appearances.  THAT'S why I try not to roll my eyes when a customer tells me that "we MUST have a large, formal LR& DR".  Right, it's clearly a must............................

I can't quite wrap my head around that notion. Isn't the entire point of having a dining room to... well... *eat* in?

Now I'm told that there are people who never use their good china. That seems weird to me. Nothing says "I love you" to a guest quite as much as being willing to wash dishes and glasses by hand (or to pay someone else to do it) afterwards.
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paddedhat

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By the time you stepped into " I need a formal living and dining room" territory, you are typically in a house that's big enough that it already has an informal dining and living area. Typically a huge kitchen with a table for six to eight, and a huge family room with couch, recliners, big screen, and fireplace. The formal rooms are STRICTLY for show. The kids stay out, the dog isn't lounging in there, and the only way the velvet rope gets lowered to allow usage is when it's a "special occasion".  This is a lot more prevalent than you might imagine.

Cassie

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I get what you are saying. When my 3 boys were small we had a 1600 sq ft home. It had a small kitchen with formal dining which we used everyday. It had a living room with a small bedroom off of it.  I ended up making the bedroom a den with TV and no TV in living room. We used both rooms daily. The living room was where people went to talk or read. It also seems like the room where the TV is can be messy especially with kids. So it is nice to have a neat room all the time.  I have known people that bought too much house and can't afford furniture. How stupid is that? It is also stupid to have rooms that you only use a few times a year. That is why we down sized when the kids left because we had rooms we were not using. We had 2 1/2 baths and one full bath was never used.

TheGrimSqueaker

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By the time you stepped into " I need a formal living and dining room" territory, you are typically in a house that's big enough that it already has an informal dining and living area. Typically a huge kitchen with a table for six to eight, and a huge family room with couch, recliners, big screen, and fireplace. The formal rooms are STRICTLY for show. The kids stay out, the dog isn't lounging in there, and the only way the velvet rope gets lowered to allow usage is when it's a "special occasion".  This is a lot more prevalent than you might imagine.

I'll take your word for it. It still sounds creepy. Don't get me wrong, I've been in some sizable houses, but it's never appeared to me that there are replica rooms that people only pretend to use.

The closest mental image that I can find is when there are divisions that way is if there's some kind of gender or age division (a smoking room for the men and a women's living room, I think the old term for it was "drawing room"), or a play room for the kids, or else separate living and entertaining quarters for staff. My grandmother on my mom's side had a separate staff kitchen, a dining area in the upstairs kitchen for the kids, and the dining area. Maybe an in-law suite, even. But the idea of having a room that's-- I don't know, dressed up to pretend to be for people to eat-- that's just creepy.
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Abe

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Its an old tradition from upper-middle class in many societies - they aren't rich enough to always eat fancy every day (with the servants and fancy dinnerware, etc), so almost always ate in a less formal room (or even in their bedroom). However, they want to show status when people come over on occasion. They would then hire people to serve the guests in the formal room.

This and other interesting history of the house in European societies from Bill Bryson's book At Home: A Short History of Private Life

fredbear

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...Now I'm told that there are people who never use their good china. That seems weird to me. Nothing says "I love you" to a guest quite as much as being willing to wash dishes and glasses by hand (or to pay someone else to do it) afterwards.
I'm gonna probably get in trouble, maybe real bad trouble, for breaking the rules of my Order, but there's a whole chapter in the Husband's Handbook entitled The Incompetence Ploy.  And the lead example is based on the good china.  Now most of us don't really have the "good china," which implies we also have the not-so-good china, and maybe even the double-plus-ungood china, but the HH says it's permissible to use whatever china you have, regardless of its "goodness."  So, you got your brand-new wife, you got your lifelong customs to establish.  You say, "Here honey, let me do the dishes."  You get in the kitchen, do some of the dishes, take one of the cups from the good china or alternatively the Standard Average China, and throw it hard on the floor.  Just as your new wife starts to react to the crash, you scream, "Oh no!  Shit!  The good china!"  (If all you have is the one set, and you are unclear as to its goodness, you can scream, "the china," which will be effective enough.)  And then you start guiltily cleaning up the shards.  She rushes in, swears with a kind of vehement vulgarity, and announces you are not going to do that again.   And of course you have to find and replace the cup from some startlingly obscure and expensive internet source, but it's worth it.  Periodically, you offer to do the dishes again, but you will not be permitted to do so.   (A similar technique later in the chapter involves helping with the laundry: specifically, a white silk blouse, and a brand-new red cotton sweatshirt you wore changing the Dexron III transmission fluid; the HH advises you to be sure you wash them using dishwashing liquid in the washing machine and MaxHeat on the dryer.)  It's probably too politically incorrect to mention on a nice liberal site like this, but all was foreshadowed and forewritten in Uncle Remus: "Please, please, please don' throw me into the briar patch, B'rer Bear."

(The first rule of the Husband's Handbook is to deny there is a Husband's Handbook.  Happy incompetence to you and yours.)

talltexan

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My wife is very good friends with a co-worker, whose mother has become delighted by our children (she has no biological grandchildren). This mother has taken to remembering our children on every holiday and visit with all sorts of trinkets and toys.

meanwhile, the co-worker (her daughter) regales us with all sorts of stories about her parents' lack of savings for retirement, etc. I appreciate the toys and gifts, but if it comes at the expense of being able to afford retirement, it starts tog et awkward.

YogiKitti

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Just visited family!


Ok, the plants and wine were asked for.

infogoon

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As a homebuilder, I fought hard to push back against customers who wanted formal dining space. I usually succeeded. One particular customer was a total PITA. I tried several times to get her to allow me to open the wall between the formal dining and the family room, on a traditional colonial, before we broke ground. She refused to budge. After the place was framed, the HVAC guys filled the common wall between the rooms with ductwork. Just before we were ready to sheetrock, the homeowner announces that she wants the wall removed. I tell her no. She says money isn't the issue. I then tell her, that no it isn't. The time to do that was when I was vigorously lobbying for you to approve the change at no charge to you, NOT after the whole HVAC system has to be re-engineered and reinstalled, too late. Jesus, I hate formal rooms.

It varies by family. We use our dining room every single day -- not just for meals, but that's the table that the kids use for homework, my wife uses her laptop in to check email, etc.

An old friend of mine, on the other hand, ate Pop Tarts in his dining room once in the ten years he lived in his last house. And he only did it because he was still pissed about spending thousands of dollars on furniture for a room that nobody else even sat down in.

jeromedawg

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So my wife just collected like 6 pairs of sandals my parents have brought down (over time) and left at our place. They tell us "oh we're going to leave these here for when we come down so we can wear them there" - as if we have space to store their shoes and clothes. And they do this nearly every other time they visit, bringing us more slippers/sandals.
First off, we don't wear sandals (or our shoes, for that matter) in the house. My mom insists on wearing sandals or those disposable slippers (she saves from hotels) though. Technically it's their house too since we co-own it but they're not the ones living here. She even said "These sandals are clean - I only wear them when I take showers with them at the gym. They're clean!" - uhh, I guess she's never heard of ATHLETE'S FOOT? That's a bit counter-intuitive anyway... people typically only wear sandals to shower in a public/community-use shower if they think the shower stall floor is filthy. Makes zero sense that she would think they're "clean" in light of that.
Anyway, it's probably one of those battles not worth fighting, we've come to realize. So we just let her wear her dumb slipper/sandals around otherwise we'll just keep getting into arguments. My mother in law does the same thing with slippers my wife keeps in the kitchen for when it gets colder (tile floors). My wife only wears them in the kitchen but my MIL will keep them on and walk around our entire house... ugh. Just have to make sure to vacuum well afterwards.

But yea, we've already accumulated a bag of crap they've given us for us to give back to them. If they refuse it or take stuff out and put it back in a closet, etc, we're just sending it to Goodwill. It's so ridiculous the way they are... when I think about it though, it ultimately might just be more work for us when we have to clean up their crap-pile house once they've passed

« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 03:58:12 PM by jeromedawg »

Not Your Monkey

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The timing of this thread makes me so sad. I just returned home after a major cleaning event at my parents' house.

My parents have always been rather messy people but when my mom began to have health issues, things took a turn for the worst. 8 years ago she started exhibiting signs of dementia and made a rapid decline. Her everyday care took priority for my father and I.  It was so overwhelming/exhausting that for about 3 years, we were just in survival mode.  There were brief times that I offered to declutter/clean the house but my dad was just too physically/emotionally spent to allow it.

By the time my mom passed this last February, their house had degenerated into a disgustingly dirty and cluttered mess. After a period of grieving, I gently offered to organize, gift, donate mom's things and dad agreed to that.

I used this as an opportunity to declutter and clean the whole house. After a first pass of trashing/donating junk, I organized the salvageable stuff in dad's living room and invited all my family (brother, aunts cousins, etc) over to pick out anything they might want. Knowing that some of this stuff was going to stay in the family made it easier for dad to let go.  It was a bittersweet few weeks as different family members would drop by. Many times, we would share memories of a certain object before it would get carted off.  The unwanted items got donated. After a thorough scrubbing, the house became habitable again.

I would have to say the process was quite hard for dad. At first, he had a difficult time letting anything go and everything was a negotiation.  (Dad, why do you need 10 tea sets?  You can keep 2. Oh, okay, you can keep 4). But when he started seeing how nice and neat the house was becoming, he became an enthusiastic participant. It seemed like a great weight was being lifted from him.  Those two months (yes, it took 2 months) we spent working on the house, along with the passage of time, helped us with our grieving and it brought us closer together as a family.  Losing mom is still so sad though.

TaraB

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Age: 32
  • Location: New Jersey
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My mom definitely has a problem with clothes hoarding. She has 2 walk-in closets full of clothes, and as my brother and I moved out, she took over the closets in our old rooms. She also has a buttload of clothes in her basement. Five years ago she bought our family shore house and has proceeded to also fill her closet and a coat closet with her clothes.

She buys clothes for everyone for birthdays and Christmas. And sometimes I get things for Easter and Valentine's as well. Today I just took the tags off the sweater I'm wearing....Can't remember if it was Christmas or my b-day in 2016.

On the plus side, this means I spend very little on my own clothes (work pants and underwear are about the only things I have to get myself). Often she buys things for herself but then doesn't like how they fit or they sit in her closet unused for a few years and then are given to me. I've appreciated this as my weight has fluctuated up and down a lot over the last 14 ish years, but I'm committed to staying hard at my current weight/size.

I try to be grateful and keep in mind that she gives clothes out of love. It helps to not care about my "personal style".

onehair

  • Bristles
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On the 8th I steeled myself and went to visit my father who is a hoarder.  The apartment was a mess is an understatement.  Piles of boxes and containers everywhere.  While it was true they were having their wiring upgraded it still didn't account for the mess.  He has a wife who has a younger daughter and I do not understand how they live in such clutter and filth.  The younger girl has asthma so I suspect all that dust aggravates her condition.   They had traps down that had caught what I thought was a huge cricket but could have been a waterbug.  He has bags labeled remotes and various other labeled bags of what I consider junk.  He has old televisions he keeps with one operational.  He even keeps books my mother (who has long divorced him for reasons unrelated to the hoarding btw) gave him when they were married he swears are worth something to a collector.  I checked their worth on Ebay not more than $10 for the lot.  He has several others he keeps as well the bedroom is more of a lair than a room.

I am amazed he hasn't been sanctioned by the rental office.  I stayed for about 4 hours when I left I itched horribly needed a shower and was deathly afraid something had crawled into my bag.  I won't be returning for quite some time.