Author Topic: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?  (Read 48095 times)

LiveLean

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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 grew up two miles from George Washington's Mount Vernon mansion. I remember visiting as a kid often in the years after we moved to Alexandria and had guests who inevitably wanted to go. What struck me then was how formal the living and dining room areas  were in Mount Vernon -- and how that remained almost universally the same 200 years later, including in our home built in 1980.

I hate the concept of unused space. I have a wide open plan here in Florida. Formal areas were fine when people were wearing hoop skirts and powdered wigs. Not today.
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Abe

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I've moved 3 times in the last 15 years, each time to a smaller house. First from my parent's 6 bedroom house to a 4-bedroom apartment (with college friends). Then to a 3-bedroom house, then a 3-bedroom condo, now a 2-bedroom house. Each time we've realized how much physical detritus comes with us and how little we actually use most of it. I have to say, courtesy of my parents, I've furnished at least 3 houses' worth of things via Salvation Army and Goodwill. In the future I'd like to skip the middle-man (me) and just send it straight to donation. I've suggested this before and accused of being ungrateful. Maybe I am but when gifts become a burden they aren't gifts anymore.

Poundwise

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my mom is one of those crazy coupon ladies who is really good and finding deals on stuff for insanely cheap and will stock up on tons of bottles of shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. They'll also grab those soaps/shampoos/lotions/etc from hotels and do it every time the cleaning lady refills or sometimes they'll ask the front desk for more.

I don't know if OP is still reading this thread, but mini soaps/shampoos/toothpastes/razors are VERY helpful to the homeless.  As are extra socks and underwear.  See if you can get hold of your mom's stash and donate them.  Just keep enough to make her think you're using them.

Pigeon

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my mom is one of those crazy coupon ladies who is really good and finding deals on stuff for insanely cheap and will stock up on tons of bottles of shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. They'll also grab those soaps/shampoos/lotions/etc from hotels and do it every time the cleaning lady refills or sometimes they'll ask the front desk for more.

I don't know if OP is still reading this thread, but mini soaps/shampoos/toothpastes/razors are VERY helpful to the homeless.  As are extra socks and underwear.  See if you can get hold of your mom's stash and donate them.  Just keep enough to make her think you're using them.

Yes, these things can be very useful to donate.  Food banks accept them, too. 

Sibley

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my mom is one of those crazy coupon ladies who is really good and finding deals on stuff for insanely cheap and will stock up on tons of bottles of shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. They'll also grab those soaps/shampoos/lotions/etc from hotels and do it every time the cleaning lady refills or sometimes they'll ask the front desk for more.

I don't know if OP is still reading this thread, but mini soaps/shampoos/toothpastes/razors are VERY helpful to the homeless.  As are extra socks and underwear.  See if you can get hold of your mom's stash and donate them.  Just keep enough to make her think you're using them.

Yes, these things can be very useful to donate.  Food banks accept them, too.

Toiletries, baby supplies, and kitchen staples (spices, etc) are in general wanted by shelters/foodbanks.

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Formal areas were fine when people were wearing hoop skirts and powdered wigs. Not today.

Odd how the average home size wasn't so huge back then, but women were wearing those enormous butt extenders everywhere they went. I got a close look at a hoop skirt several years ago-- checking it out at one of those places where people dress up in period costumes and then get their picture taken. From an engineering perspective it's terrifying. I see why the South lost the war.
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jeromedawg

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my mom is one of those crazy coupon ladies who is really good and finding deals on stuff for insanely cheap and will stock up on tons of bottles of shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. They'll also grab those soaps/shampoos/lotions/etc from hotels and do it every time the cleaning lady refills or sometimes they'll ask the front desk for more.

I don't know if OP is still reading this thread, but mini soaps/shampoos/toothpastes/razors are VERY helpful to the homeless.  As are extra socks and underwear.  See if you can get hold of your mom's stash and donate them.  Just keep enough to make her think you're using them.

This is *exactly* what we've done. Collected tons of toiletry items and recently cleared out a medicine cabinet and plastic shoebox full of stuff my mom has collected from all her travels and donated them. My wife was insistent on still keeping a few around, which I think is unnecessary but whatever...

Poundwise

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That is wonderful, jeromedawg! You have no idea how much the homeless want these items... last winter we were distributing clothing and supplies and the toiletries were always first to go.  Great way to make the best of your mom's hoarding, though too bad you have to be the middleman.

marcela

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I travel a lot for work and do keep some of the toiletries around in our guest bath. I'll get the little shaving kits and toothbrush ones when I stay at nicer hotels. It is very much appreciated when people forget things to have a small stock available to them.
Most of our stuff goes to the local domestic abuse shelter though.

katsiki

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I was thinking the same thing... I collect a lot of soaps etc from traveling.  I end up pitching a lot of it.  Next time, I will find a good place to donate it too.  Great tip!
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Kansaslover5

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I read through this thread last night and I found it absolutely mind boggling. I am extremely thankful I wasn't raised by or surrounded by hoarders. I'm a minimalist myself -- long before it was "cool" or something millenials did. I've never been one to accumulate junk. Too me having lots of things just seems stressful and expensive (maintenance, upkeep, storage etc.).  It seems half the stuff I used to have was related to being a military guy. Once I retired I was thrilled to finally get rid of all that extra crap I was required to have. It's been liberating. Currently all of my "things" could easily fit in a studio size uhaul with PLENTY of room to spare.

My parents split up when I was really young and so in that respect they did their "purges" earlier in life. There are no attics or basements full of junk. The one area I can relate to in this thread is the requisite thank-you card or cards in general expectations. I grew up with a dad who expected cards constantly and for eveyone and everything. I stopped complying with this nonsense when I was about 22. It's been nearly 20 years and I still think it bothers him. He remarried someone just SIX years older than me and expected me to send her birthday cards and MOTHER'S DAY cards! Needless to say, I had to distance myself from him/them both emotionally and geographically. It was just too much. Thankfully the military gave me ample reasons to not be involved in some of that weirdness.

jeromedawg

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #211 on: September 25, 2017, 11:26:59 PM »
That is wonderful, jeromedawg! You have no idea how much the homeless want these items... last winter we were distributing clothing and supplies and the toiletries were always first to go.  Great way to make the best of your mom's hoarding, though too bad you have to be the middleman.

One year we donated a bunch to Operation Christmas Child but they banned those items after (except for soap bars) because of the simple fact that many of these items, when pressurized, explode or leak :( Otherwise, we've urged my mom to donate many of her "treasures" to the same cause or similar others. She can't help but hoard upon finding the best deal though - her way of avoiding self-hoarding though is to hoard via proxy where we are her proxy/middleman as you state. I think we have a pretty good tempo though - for some crap that's just unacceptable we throw it in the donation pile after they leave. We just purged a ton of pillows that my mom insisted that we keep around (we had them for years) and where she would buy multiple covers for them from the Ikea As-Is section (when the As-Is section was a big thing at least). It was ridiculous - I undid a cover from a pillow (because I wanted to see what shape the inner-pillow was in) and found another cover over it, and then another cover over that one. Like those Russian Dolls! Definitely the handiwork of my mom... anyway, all that has been donated away. We need to start making runs through our clothes too. My wife complains about how many t-shirts I have/had (I donated some on the last run) yet she has a ton of clothes she never wears herself!
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 11:31:22 PM by jeromedawg »

saguaro

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #212 on: October 02, 2017, 11:16:16 AM »
I travel a lot for work and do keep some of the toiletries around in our guest bath. I'll get the little shaving kits and toothbrush ones when I stay at nicer hotels. It is very much appreciated when people forget things to have a small stock available to them.
Most of our stuff goes to the local domestic abuse shelter though.

I hoarded hotel toiletries for years.    When I finally decided to cure myself of this and declutter my linen closet, I used up some, tossed the stuff that was too old but the rest (and it was most of it) went to a local domestic abuse shelter.

Abo345

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #213 on: October 09, 2017, 02:00:13 PM »
Having a baby is another excuse for our hoarder family members to force crap onto us. No matter how many times I tell my mom and MIL that we don't need more baby clothes and accessories (we need target gift cards for diapers, wipes, baby Tylenol, socks, etc) they just end us giving us TONS more clothing and accessories. They just can't stop themselves and love the excuse to do more shopping.

When my daughter was first born, my mom got her a set of bows, SIXTEEN bows to be exact. I told my mom she's doesn't have enough hair yet, she won't be able to wear these for a long time.  My mom said it was too good of a deal to pass up $5 for all 16 bows!! Here I am, over a year later, finally using them for the first time and they are janky AF. The fabric is this ugly glittery cardboard like material that is hot glued onto these sharp little metal clasps. There are hot glue strings on the bows and one broke off when I was trying to unclasp it from the package it came in. My mom would say to save it and re-glue it on, but I don't want to waste any precious seconds of my life "saving" this ugly ass bow when I have 15 more of them anyway. They look ugly on my daughter because the metal clasp still sticks out from underneath the bow.

I really only need one bow, maybe two or three max. I would rather have one nice bow for $5 than 16 of these ugly cheap pieces of crap. But if I get rid of these and my mom ever found out I would never hear the end of it. Gotta save these little treasures in case my sister ever has a kid in the next decade. Smh.

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #214 on: October 09, 2017, 02:49:12 PM »
Having a baby is another excuse for our hoarder family members to force crap onto us. No matter how many times I tell my mom and MIL that we don't need more baby clothes and accessories (we need target gift cards for diapers, wipes, baby Tylenol, socks, etc) they just end us giving us TONS more clothing and accessories. They just can't stop themselves and love the excuse to do more shopping.

When my daughter was first born, my mom got her a set of bows, SIXTEEN bows to be exact. I told my mom she's doesn't have enough hair yet, she won't be able to wear these for a long time.  My mom said it was too good of a deal to pass up $5 for all 16 bows!! Here I am, over a year later, finally using them for the first time and they are janky AF. The fabric is this ugly glittery cardboard like material that is hot glued onto these sharp little metal clasps. There are hot glue strings on the bows and one broke off when I was trying to unclasp it from the package it came in. My mom would say to save it and re-glue it on, but I don't want to waste any precious seconds of my life "saving" this ugly ass bow when I have 15 more of them anyway. They look ugly on my daughter because the metal clasp still sticks out from underneath the bow.

I really only need one bow, maybe two or three max. I would rather have one nice bow for $5 than 16 of these ugly cheap pieces of crap. But if I get rid of these and my mom ever found out I would never hear the end of it. Gotta save these little treasures in case my sister ever has a kid in the next decade. Smh.

No, you do not need to save that crap if you don't want it.

You are an adult now, and you can and should get to decide what crap comes into your house and what things you and your family want to use and what to give away. Gifts that are given with strings - expectations on what you can and cannot do with them - are not gifts.

If she gets mad at you for not saving something she gave you, you need a basic script to tell her: "mom, I told you I didn't want them or need them at the time you gave them to me and you insisted I take them. Understand they are going to be returned for store credit for things I really need right now, or donated." If she yells at you or in any way tries to control your household, that's when you leave/end the conversation. You don't have to sit there and be berated.

You can do this as politely as you feel like doing it, but honestly, you need to start setting boundaries and sticking to them or you will drown in the cheap crap that you aren't allowed to get rid of... and you're setting a poor example for your own children if you can't politely and firmly tell someone - yes, even your own mother - "sorry, but that's not going to work for me."

Or you could just cheerfully dispose of said items that you don't want and plead ignorance on where that thing got to if she ever questions its absence. Might be less confrontational, but won't solve the bigger issue of her buying tons of crap you don't want/need. But at least you can donate or return for whatever you can get for it and then say "oh, geeze mom, I haven't seen that bow set in ages - it's probably shoved in a drawer around here somewhere!"
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Abo345

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #215 on: October 09, 2017, 04:11:53 PM »
Having a baby is another excuse for our hoarder family members to force crap onto us. No matter how many times I tell my mom and MIL that we don't need more baby clothes and accessories (we need target gift cards for diapers, wipes, baby Tylenol, socks, etc) they just end us giving us TONS more clothing and accessories. They just can't stop themselves and love the excuse to do more shopping.

When my daughter was first born, my mom got her a set of bows, SIXTEEN bows to be exact. I told my mom she's doesn't have enough hair yet, she won't be able to wear these for a long time.  My mom said it was too good of a deal to pass up $5 for all 16 bows!! Here I am, over a year later, finally using them for the first time and they are janky AF. The fabric is this ugly glittery cardboard like material that is hot glued onto these sharp little metal clasps. There are hot glue strings on the bows and one broke off when I was trying to unclasp it from the package it came in. My mom would say to save it and re-glue it on, but I don't want to waste any precious seconds of my life "saving" this ugly ass bow when I have 15 more of them anyway. They look ugly on my daughter because the metal clasp still sticks out from underneath the bow.

I really only need one bow, maybe two or three max. I would rather have one nice bow for $5 than 16 of these ugly cheap pieces of crap. But if I get rid of these and my mom ever found out I would never hear the end of it. Gotta save these little treasures in case my sister ever has a kid in the next decade. Smh.

No, you do not need to save that crap if you don't want it.

You are an adult now, and you can and should get to decide what crap comes into your house and what things you and your family want to use and what to give away. Gifts that are given with strings - expectations on what you can and cannot do with them - are not gifts.

If she gets mad at you for not saving something she gave you, you need a basic script to tell her: "mom, I told you I didn't want them or need them at the time you gave them to me and you insisted I take them. Understand they are going to be returned for store credit for things I really need right now, or donated." If she yells at you or in any way tries to control your household, that's when you leave/end the conversation. You don't have to sit there and be berated.

You can do this as politely as you feel like doing it, but honestly, you need to start setting boundaries and sticking to them or you will drown in the cheap crap that you aren't allowed to get rid of... and you're setting a poor example for your own children if you can't politely and firmly tell someone - yes, even your own mother - "sorry, but that's not going to work for me."

Or you could just cheerfully dispose of said items that you don't want and plead ignorance on where that thing got to if she ever questions its absence. Might be less confrontational, but won't solve the bigger issue of her buying tons of crap you don't want/need. But at least you can donate or return for whatever you can get for it and then say "oh, geeze mom, I haven't seen that bow set in ages - it's probably shoved in a drawer around here somewhere!"

Wow. So I am the one actually posting relevant new content to the discussion, and that is being extrapolated to now being accused of not being an adult and being a bad example to my children. Kind of asshole-ish don't you think?

Maybe there is more history that is too personal to share on this silly thread. But I don't know, apparently strangers on the internet must already know everything.

mm1970

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #216 on: October 09, 2017, 06:28:34 PM »
Quote
Or you could just cheerfully dispose of said items that you don't want and plead ignorance on where that thing got to if she ever questions its absence. Might be less confrontational, but won't solve the bigger issue of her buying tons of crap you don't want/need. But at least you can donate or return for whatever you can get for it and then say "oh, geeze mom, I haven't seen that bow set in ages - it's probably shoved in a drawer around here somewhere!"

Oops, mom, they broke!

I know where the OP is coming from those. It's a delicate balance, figurg out where to set the boundaries without really pissing people off.  For me, it wasn't terrible because, well, I live 2000-3000 miles away from family.  They aren't going to see if we are using the stuff or not.

If your family is closer, you need to pick your battles, really.  If they come by a lot, just saying "no more of this shit" can really start a big rift.  Need to be a bit gentler.  As I never had to deal with that, I don't know the "right" way for your family.


Abo345

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #217 on: October 09, 2017, 07:20:05 PM »
Yes setting boundaries is the key. The problem is nobody respects them. My MIL is your run of the mill consumerist who buys gifts to show love. She agreed to no more baby clothes, yet here I am receiving  more baby clothes every month or so. The baby clothes market is a true racket...each season a new print comes out of the exact same outfit so if you try to return an outfit it is "old" even though it was from a few months ago and is now worth 1/10 of a new outfit. Unfortunately I don't care enough to drive around town from store to store to make the exchanges right away because I don't go to department stores anymore and use this new tangled thing called the internet to buy stuff.

If anyone has read my previous posts in this thread, my mom is an actual hoarder. And she lives close so will question me from time to time on items that she believes are in my possession. Nothing will stop her, all I can do is relationship management at this point. but apparently another poster has solved this disease! "You are an adult now and need to start setting boundaries- yes- even with your own mother!!"  Thank you for this! A lifetime of heartache, now solved! Maybe I can finally be a good example to my children now!

JoeO

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #218 on: October 09, 2017, 08:18:24 PM »
The most valuable thing anybody has is time. Everyone has the same 24-hour day. No one knows how many of those days. So spending someone else's time without his or her expressed consent is a terrible thing to do.

Most people will have to (and want to) help their parents through the end of their lives -- it's part of a life's work -- and that does take some time and energy. But parents who leave huge messes for their kids to deal with are spending an asset that isn't theirs to spend.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 08:22:35 PM by JoeO »

YogiKitti

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #219 on: October 10, 2017, 05:28:36 PM »
We are buying a house and family thinks we have zero things for it, so they keep trying to give us stuff. We have a whole apartment that is fully furnished already.  You can tell they want to get rid of their stuff very badly, but for some reason can't bring themselves to donate it and instead hoist it on us.

Poundwise

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #220 on: October 10, 2017, 06:06:34 PM »
We are buying a house and family thinks we have zero things for it, so they keep trying to give us stuff. We have a whole apartment that is fully furnished already.  You can tell they want to get rid of their stuff very badly, but for some reason can't bring themselves to donate it and instead hoist it on us.

The reason this happens, I think, is because a lot of people justify overspending because they are "heirloom quality" and they think they can pass them down to their children.  The alternative is to face the fact that they spent their lives earning money to buy things that immediately lost their value once purchased...

talltexan

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #221 on: October 12, 2017, 07:26:30 AM »
My parents have been known to buy things spefcifically to become heirlooms. You have enough heirlooms already, mom and dad, kthanksbai!

elaine amj

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #222 on: October 12, 2017, 02:57:16 PM »
My mother is downsizing and moving in with me. She is frugal and has piles of stuff that are "too good to be tossed". THANKFULLY, she crossed a mental hurdle and is now selling piles and piles and piles of stuff. I very clearly told her that I wanted barely anything. 1-2 of her nice pots, her nice vacuum, one crystal vase (I actually said no - but she really wants me to have it. Since she sold the other 10 pieces of crystal, I'm OK with this), and one very nice painting (I like her other ones too but space is an issue so she sold the rest). My SIL sorted her photo collection a few years ago so she has everything condensed into a few albums.

I'm still in shock that she's willing to downsize from her huge house to my small basement bedroom. And that she's totally accepted that she cannot bring the 20 handbags she has piled in her closet (of which only 1-2 that she actually uses - many of the others are cracked/broken). She was telling me that she is totally fine downsizing from her gigantic walk-in closet to just one small closet - that she really doesn't need the dresses she bought 30 years ago.

It helps that she has to fly here and is restricted to 2 pieces of checked luggage :)

On the other end of the spectrum...I have stories of DH's grandmother. She was a HOARDER (but thankfully rarely went shopping). She liked to take things from my DD's closet when she was a baby (some still unworn!) and "gift" them to me 2-3 years later. Good thing all DD's stuff came from yard sales, etc so it really didn't bother me when a $3 dress went missing and reappeared when grandma finally gifted it to us :) Her thoughts were that I was wasteful and so she would take the pretty dresses for safekeeping. One time she stayed with me for a few months as she recovered from pneumonia. I knew her well enough by then to search through her stuff before she left and sure enough, there were some of my DD's clothes tucked in there!
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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #223 on: October 12, 2017, 03:16:35 PM »
elaine amj. 

This story about dress regifting baffles me.

If I have this straight..
1) You buy your daughter pretty dresses (from a variety of sources)
2) Hang them in the closet.   Like most moms, these will current size or one dress size up.
3)  Like most kids, DD only wears the "nice" stuff occasionally, and generally has more clothing than needed.
4) MIL sees this nice clothing "just sitting there being wasted", and sneaks it out of the closet...
.......?!?......
5)"Gifts"  aka - returns it with a bow on it -- it to you when DD has outgrown it.
6) REPEAT

I am not sure what happens between 4 and 5.   Does she know that she will return it to you later?  Is she thinking of giving it to another person who needs it but doesn't?  Thinks that you don't remember it, but if it is a gift, it will be appreciated and actually worn in future? Wants to have it in her home as a pretty thing until DD will wear it?  What is prompting this?

elaine amj

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #224 on: October 12, 2017, 09:12:47 PM »
elaine amj. 

This story about dress regifting baffles me.

If I have this straight..
1) You buy your daughter pretty dresses (from a variety of sources)
2) Hang them in the closet.   Like most moms, these will current size or one dress size up.
3)  Like most kids, DD only wears the "nice" stuff occasionally, and generally has more clothing than needed.
4) MIL sees this nice clothing "just sitting there being wasted", and sneaks it out of the closet...
.......?!?......
5)"Gifts"  aka - returns it with a bow on it -- it to you when DD has outgrown it.
6) REPEAT

I am not sure what happens between 4 and 5.   Does she know that she will return it to you later?  Is she thinking of giving it to another person who needs it but doesn't?  Thinks that you don't remember it, but if it is a gift, it will be appreciated and actually worn in future? Wants to have it in her home as a pretty thing until DD will wear it?  What is prompting this?
LOL...I agree. It was absolutely bizarre. And yes, u got the story pretty much straight. Grand MIL would swipe a dress or two, stash it somewhere,  then bring it out (usually a year or two later after DD outgrew it). She didn't gift wrap it (she never gift wrapped anything - she was in her 90s at this point) but would basically just say, "here's a pretty dress for DD".

I would humour her, say thank you prettily, and then add it to my resale pile. Once it was a very pretty dress that DD had never worn so I groaned a little.

Best I could figure is that she thought some of the dresses were so pretty that she better stash it so DD could enjoy it in the future. She only took pretty things. And no, she had no intention of giving it to anyone else but DD. One time she was there when I was selling DD's old clothes to a friend. She was horrified at some of the stuff I was selling and snuck it out of the bags before my friend left. Thankfully, I spotted it and snuck 'em away from her again haha! We never really discussed it and I just humoured her baffling behaviour.

Mostly I chalked it up to a quirky in law thing. Didn't bother me as I shopped at Mom sales frequently and my DD had a huge array of pretty dresses since I have a weaknesses for bargains (oh no - I hope I don't turn into one of the hoarder MILs in this thread!!)

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saguaro

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #225 on: October 13, 2017, 11:57:23 AM »
The most valuable thing anybody has is time. Everyone has the same 24-hour day. No one knows how many of those days. So spending someone else's time without his or her expressed consent is a terrible thing to do.

Most people will have to (and want to) help their parents through the end of their lives -- it's part of a life's work -- and that does take some time and energy. But parents who leave huge messes for their kids to deal with are spending an asset that isn't theirs to spend.

This is what I am going through right now.  My mother passed away two years ago and now my Dad is going through cancer treatment with a prognosis that isn't very good.   Last year, before he got ill, he gave my and my sister permission to start cleaning out Mom's stuff, but OMG what a mess.  The living areas were OK except for stuffed cabinets and closets, but the basement, attic and garage were just terrible.  And not only did they keep everything, when grandparents passed away, guess where it went?  My parent's attic, so we were finding grandparents stuff and dealing with that.

My sister and I started to chip away at the dusty mess last year but Dad had started to hoard in other areas of the house, possibly in response.  One room that had been partially cleaned up had stuff piled high again.  I stopped going because it was counterproductive and stressing Dad out, causing fights between him and my sister who was overstepping and starting to toss his stuff.  By this time he clearly was declining so I said I would focus on him and keeping him safe, not the stuff.   Now that he is probably dying (and no longer in the home btw) I am taking him to some of his treatments and just visiting him.  My sister, who is hellbent on that we go through everything, wants to start cleaning up again and this time she wants me to do this every weekend in addition to looking after Dad.   I have told her that right now, my focus is on Dad, that's where I want to spend my time.   I do not have time to deal with both.   Time with my Dad is limited but the stuff can wait.  Sister is not happy, but that's where I stand at the moment. 

But.......they left a huge mess and I am not happy about that.  It aggravates me that they didn't deal with it.  To be fair, Mom did try and some very large items such as a camper and upright piano were gotten rid of.   But where those items stood got replaced with more stuff.   I just want to get a dumpster, a cleaning crew and chuck it all.   But I will be in for a real battle after Dad passes because sister wants to go through everything and is insisting I spend that time.   


tyrannostache

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #226 on: October 13, 2017, 01:47:42 PM »
I am tremendously grateful to my sibling for talking my parents into moving out of their 5 bedroom 3-storey house into a small one-level condo while they were still healthy and able to deal with downsizing all of their crap.

I wouldn't call them hoarders, but they definitely had a lot of unnecessary things--partially thanks to having a giant house with loads of storage space. They have always been people who would buy the highest possible quality item with the intention of holding on to it forever. The trouble is that my father just continues to buy things and would rarely consider getting rid of anything. They also had lots of sentimental stuff from grandparents, and I'm grateful that they have already gone through the sorting process to keep a few items (photos, medals, & some special documents) and get rid of the rest (old suitcases, creepy dolls, etc).

Leading up to the move involved a year of "do you want Aunt Doris's old sewing table? Why don't you want this very large dresser?" My father did sneak four bike racks into our garage the last time he visited. We have learned to say nothing and just give away/sell as necessary.

When they moved, they sold a few items, but ended up putting a lot of really nice stuff on the curb with a "free" sign. The resaler in me cringed, but I'm happy not to have to deal with it. They still have a storage locker (or two) in addition to what's stored in their new condo, but it's a huge improvement over the house full of STUFF.

Of course, the main benefit of the condo is that they can navigate it even as their mobility declines. When one of them had to have surgery a few months ago, they were able to recover comfortably and safely at home. I really wish my spouse's parents would do the same.

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #227 on: October 14, 2017, 07:22:23 AM »
Having a baby is another excuse for our hoarder family members to force crap onto us. No matter how many times I tell my mom and MIL that we don't need more baby clothes and accessories (we need target gift cards for diapers, wipes, baby Tylenol, socks, etc) they just end us giving us TONS more clothing and accessories. They just can't stop themselves and love the excuse to do more shopping.

When my daughter was first born, my mom got her a set of bows, SIXTEEN bows to be exact. I told my mom she's doesn't have enough hair yet, she won't be able to wear these for a long time.  My mom said it was too good of a deal to pass up $5 for all 16 bows!! Here I am, over a year later, finally using them for the first time and they are janky AF. The fabric is this ugly glittery cardboard like material that is hot glued onto these sharp little metal clasps. There are hot glue strings on the bows and one broke off when I was trying to unclasp it from the package it came in. My mom would say to save it and re-glue it on, but I don't want to waste any precious seconds of my life "saving" this ugly ass bow when I have 15 more of them anyway. They look ugly on my daughter because the metal clasp still sticks out from underneath the bow.

I really only need one bow, maybe two or three max. I would rather have one nice bow for $5 than 16 of these ugly cheap pieces of crap. But if I get rid of these and my mom ever found out I would never hear the end of it. Gotta save these little treasures in case my sister ever has a kid in the next decade. Smh.

No, you do not need to save that crap if you don't want it.

You are an adult now, and you can and should get to decide what crap comes into your house and what things you and your family want to use and what to give away. Gifts that are given with strings - expectations on what you can and cannot do with them - are not gifts.

If she gets mad at you for not saving something she gave you, you need a basic script to tell her: "mom, I told you I didn't want them or need them at the time you gave them to me and you insisted I take them. Understand they are going to be returned for store credit for things I really need right now, or donated." If she yells at you or in any way tries to control your household, that's when you leave/end the conversation. You don't have to sit there and be berated.

You can do this as politely as you feel like doing it, but honestly, you need to start setting boundaries and sticking to them or you will drown in the cheap crap that you aren't allowed to get rid of... and you're setting a poor example for your own children if you can't politely and firmly tell someone - yes, even your own mother - "sorry, but that's not going to work for me."

Or you could just cheerfully dispose of said items that you don't want and plead ignorance on where that thing got to if she ever questions its absence. Might be less confrontational, but won't solve the bigger issue of her buying tons of crap you don't want/need. But at least you can donate or return for whatever you can get for it and then say "oh, geeze mom, I haven't seen that bow set in ages - it's probably shoved in a drawer around here somewhere!"

Wow. So I am the one actually posting relevant new content to the discussion, and that is being extrapolated to now being accused of not being an adult and being a bad example to my children. Kind of asshole-ish don't you think?

Maybe there is more history that is too personal to share on this silly thread. But I don't know, apparently strangers on the internet must already know everything.
I saw nothing asshole-ish in Frankies Girl's response.


Meesh

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #229 on: October 14, 2017, 08:24:35 PM »
My mother is obsessed with buying crap. For everyone. She still has toys she bought for me and my sibs from the goodwill that sat in the attic since I was 4 and I'm 30. My poor DH broke his back bringing down used 80s cabbage patch dolls when they moved, and yes they still have them. They now sit with everything else in a massive storage unit when they moved to a house 1/5 in size. My father proudly announced they had entered the tiny house movement but I'm not sure it counts when your storage unit is bigger than your house.

She is deeply offended that I refuse her stuff now. "How could I say no to this purse?!?" Maybe because I use exactly 1 purse. "But its *insert something that's supposed to be awesome here*!" That does not change the fact that I use 1 purse.

She gives my son sooo much crap its crazy. Everything spiderman. I tell her I didn't want lots of character stuff because I'd rather him create his own characters and it's too commercial, she just went around me and gave it to him as gifts. He's old enough to say he wants it but I hide the truly crappy stuff, if he doesn't notice I'll donate it (he never notices). Then she reminds him of it all and specifically tell him mommy hides his gifts and I'm stuck trying to find all this crap some of which is actually gone! It's so infuriating. She thinks I'm depriving him. Like he really need 5 spiderman shirts, a spiderman flashlight, spidey bedding, nightlight, swim suit, light switch cover and legos... all spidey. All from one birthday haul. It's beyond ridiculous.

I set limits, she ignores them, I get rid of it and she tattles on me so I have a tantrum kid. Gah!

I'm about ready to start refusing gifts from them. It would ruin our relationship. Though honestly it already is ruining our relationship.

It stresses me out enough that I have less interest in seeing her, which is sad because the gift issue aside I really love my mother even though shes cray.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 10:58:29 PM by Meesh »

Sibley

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #230 on: October 14, 2017, 08:57:20 PM »
The most valuable thing anybody has is time. Everyone has the same 24-hour day. No one knows how many of those days. So spending someone else's time without his or her expressed consent is a terrible thing to do.

Most people will have to (and want to) help their parents through the end of their lives -- it's part of a life's work -- and that does take some time and energy. But parents who leave huge messes for their kids to deal with are spending an asset that isn't theirs to spend.

This is what I am going through right now.  My mother passed away two years ago and now my Dad is going through cancer treatment with a prognosis that isn't very good.   Last year, before he got ill, he gave my and my sister permission to start cleaning out Mom's stuff, but OMG what a mess.  The living areas were OK except for stuffed cabinets and closets, but the basement, attic and garage were just terrible.  And not only did they keep everything, when grandparents passed away, guess where it went?  My parent's attic, so we were finding grandparents stuff and dealing with that.

My sister and I started to chip away at the dusty mess last year but Dad had started to hoard in other areas of the house, possibly in response.  One room that had been partially cleaned up had stuff piled high again.  I stopped going because it was counterproductive and stressing Dad out, causing fights between him and my sister who was overstepping and starting to toss his stuff.  By this time he clearly was declining so I said I would focus on him and keeping him safe, not the stuff.   Now that he is probably dying (and no longer in the home btw) I am taking him to some of his treatments and just visiting him.  My sister, who is hellbent on that we go through everything, wants to start cleaning up again and this time she wants me to do this every weekend in addition to looking after Dad.   I have told her that right now, my focus is on Dad, that's where I want to spend my time.   I do not have time to deal with both.   Time with my Dad is limited but the stuff can wait.  Sister is not happy, but that's where I stand at the moment. 

But.......they left a huge mess and I am not happy about that.  It aggravates me that they didn't deal with it.  To be fair, Mom did try and some very large items such as a camper and upright piano were gotten rid of.   But where those items stood got replaced with more stuff.   I just want to get a dumpster, a cleaning crew and chuck it all.   But I will be in for a real battle after Dad passes because sister wants to go through everything and is insisting I spend that time.

Can you just let her go through it? Realistically though, it's probably emotional for her. I can see myself doing something like that - fixating on something tangible that I can "fix" when there's something else going on that I have no control over. It might sorta resolve itself eventually.

Just Joe

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #231 on: October 18, 2017, 09:44:14 AM »
https://www.treehugger.com/cleaning-organizing/swedish-death-cleaning-new-decluttering-trend.html

Not really a new idea to MMM'ers but perhaps the mainstream folks are noticing too?

rockstache

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #232 on: October 18, 2017, 10:45:55 AM »
...
...
...
I saw nothing asshole-ish in Frankies Girl's response.

+1

+1, and she actually dealt with a similar situation and has experience. If you actually want to change the dynamic, you absolutely can, but you don't really sound like you want to. Which is fine of course, but maybe admitting it to yourself will bring a bit more peace to the situation..

saguaro

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #233 on: October 23, 2017, 08:55:04 PM »
The most valuable thing anybody has is time. Everyone has the same 24-hour day. No one knows how many of those days. So spending someone else's time without his or her expressed consent is a terrible thing to do.

Most people will have to (and want to) help their parents through the end of their lives -- it's part of a life's work -- and that does take some time and energy. But parents who leave huge messes for their kids to deal with are spending an asset that isn't theirs to spend.

This is what I am going through right now.  My mother passed away two years ago and now my Dad is going through cancer treatment with a prognosis that isn't very good.   Last year, before he got ill, he gave my and my sister permission to start cleaning out Mom's stuff, but OMG what a mess.  The living areas were OK except for stuffed cabinets and closets, but the basement, attic and garage were just terrible.  And not only did they keep everything, when grandparents passed away, guess where it went?  My parent's attic, so we were finding grandparents stuff and dealing with that.

My sister and I started to chip away at the dusty mess last year but Dad had started to hoard in other areas of the house, possibly in response.  One room that had been partially cleaned up had stuff piled high again.  I stopped going because it was counterproductive and stressing Dad out, causing fights between him and my sister who was overstepping and starting to toss his stuff.  By this time he clearly was declining so I said I would focus on him and keeping him safe, not the stuff.   Now that he is probably dying (and no longer in the home btw) I am taking him to some of his treatments and just visiting him.  My sister, who is hellbent on that we go through everything, wants to start cleaning up again and this time she wants me to do this every weekend in addition to looking after Dad.   I have told her that right now, my focus is on Dad, that's where I want to spend my time.   I do not have time to deal with both.   Time with my Dad is limited but the stuff can wait.  Sister is not happy, but that's where I stand at the moment. 

But.......they left a huge mess and I am not happy about that.  It aggravates me that they didn't deal with it.  To be fair, Mom did try and some very large items such as a camper and upright piano were gotten rid of.   But where those items stood got replaced with more stuff.   I just want to get a dumpster, a cleaning crew and chuck it all.   But I will be in for a real battle after Dad passes because sister wants to go through everything and is insisting I spend that time.

Can you just let her go through it? Realistically though, it's probably emotional for her. I can see myself doing something like that - fixating on something tangible that I can "fix" when there's something else going on that I have no control over. It might sorta resolve itself eventually.

Getting back after a few days as my Dad passed away a couple of days ago.   Now that he has passed sister is taking her bereavement time to continue cleaning out.  Sister who lives out of state is here to help and I went down today to help out as well.

However, sister is highly emotional at this time to the point it's walking on eggshells around her.  I very nearly did not go down to help because of (frankly) the abuse I got over the phone from her this morning.  Too long to explain but in short she has a habit of going off like a stick of dynamite when I don't respond the way she wants me to which is easy to do, even on a good day.  She told me that maybe she should just "do it all and she will mail me the check".  Was very tempted to say OK to that.

Anyway, both sisters are very resentful of being left a mess.  I get it, I really do but I am doubtful that this situation will resolve itself very soon as far as the emotional component goes. One good thing, high strung sister (who is executor of the estate) does want to hire cleaning crew and estate sale which will help.  I will be going back the next two days to help, after that I am due back at work.  I will be honest, going back to work will be a reprieve from dealing with the mess and the screaming sister and that's saying something considering that I would rather deal with end users (I work in IT) in a 300 employee facility.

« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 09:09:36 PM by saguaro »

Cassie

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #234 on: October 24, 2017, 05:38:45 PM »
I think throwing away the stuff that is junk can be done by you 3 and then having the estate people say what will sell. You don't want to throw away something that may be valuable but not look like it.  Having cleaners is a excellent idea.  I know from personal experience that if only 1 person is stuck doing it is so not fun. I think it is a combination of resentment and grief on the part of your sister.   This made me determined to leave no such mess to my kids and have been downsizing a lot the last 10 years and I am only 63.  One of my 2 sibs is volatile and I find it very unnerving to the point that I try to be invisible which is not good either.  It is so stressful.

The Fake Cheap

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #235 on: October 24, 2017, 06:39:56 PM »
My wife and I have been trying to get my parents dehoard their home for the last few years, before my sister and I are stuck with trying to deal with the horrific task ourselves.  No luck though.  My parents house seems ok, if you stick to the main level where the living room, kitchen and family room are.  If you venture upstairs, the hallway is filled with crap. All 3 bedrooms are filled with crap, books/boxes/files, it's piled on the bed, on top of TVs everywhere.  You go to the basement, you have to maneuver though tiny alleyways to get around all the junk, clothes/bins/boxes.   Then there is the garage, it is in a state of disrepair, and it can't be repaired because of all the stuff in it.  The garage door broke about 6 years ago, when the car was still being driven into the garage, and when that happened, it became "Oh I'll someone fix that next week, in the meantime, I'll just store this stuff where the car used to go" and within a month or two there was no turning back, no one could get in to fix the garage door.  Then the storage unit came about 2 years ago, as a "temporary" solution to help with "sorting" all the stuff.  We knew then, as we know now, that the storage unit will be kept until the death of my father.  Sadly my parents financial affairs aren't much better, they would be fine if they could cut back just a little bit, but they won't.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #236 on: October 30, 2017, 10:15:44 AM »
My grandma gave me a ceramic flower candle-holder handmade by my great-grandma. So sentimental. But I have no space in my house for such a thing and it's already broken a few times. Can I get rid of it? Or do I just keep it in the back of my closet forever?

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Sibley

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #237 on: October 30, 2017, 10:45:31 AM »
My grandma gave me a ceramic flower candle-holder handmade by my great-grandma. So sentimental. But I have no space in my house for such a thing and it's already broken a few times. Can I get rid of it? Or do I just keep it in the back of my closet forever?

Is it sentimental to you, or to your grandma? There's a big difference. If it's your grandma, then either give it back to her or get rid of it (and probably don't tell grandma). If it's you, you need to determine if it's worthwhile for you hang on to something that you will not be able to use and will only take up space.

This is an ongoing issue with my mom. She has a lot of stuff that she is sentimentally attached to. She CANNOT understand that her children may not have the same attachment to an item that she does, and that we may be attached to things that she is not. She's gotten around part of this by asking us if we want things before she gets rid of it.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #238 on: October 30, 2017, 11:00:49 AM »
My grandma gave me a ceramic flower candle-holder handmade by my great-grandma. So sentimental. But I have no space in my house for such a thing and it's already broken a few times. Can I get rid of it? Or do I just keep it in the back of my closet forever?


Take a photo of it, and then donate or trash (if it's broken). If it bugs you to throw it away, you could post it up on facebook/freecycle/craigslist as a giveaway so someone that really liked it could come get it and put it to use in a crafting project or something. You'll have the image forever (at least until you decide you no longer need it to refer to the item), and the memories and sentiment are still there if you feel the need to remind yourself of it.

As you don't even display it, you can pretend to yourself that it is technically still in the house somewhere stored. That's one of the games I play with myself when trying to let go of sentimental items. After a while, I then ease into the idea that the object has likely found a new home with someone that likes it and gets actual use out of it instead of collecting dust in my closets. And most of the time, I never really think of it again. I won't unless specifically reminded of it, and once it's been a while, it doesn't have the same sort of power over me.
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LadyMuMu

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #239 on: October 30, 2017, 12:17:41 PM »
Ah, the sentimental trap.

About 7 years ago, at my father's instruction, my sister, cousin, and I went through our grandmother's house to keep anything we wanted prior to her moving into assisted living. I got a box or two of photos, some practical items we needed at the time (vacuum, towels, good pots and pans), and a few sentimental items (gravy boat, lamp, etc.). My sister took home about 4x as much stuff as I recall. Grandmother passed away later that year and my father sold her house with the remaining contents.

Just this past week, sister calls to see if I want any of grandmother's things--she is trying to clean out her storage area above her garage. I kindly told her that I had taken what I wanted back then. She just can't seem to part with stuff. Like photos from my grandparents RV travels over the years. She wonders if the forest service might want to have a record of what the countryside looked like back then. Or my parents (35 years divorced) guest book from their wedding. Mixed in all of that stuff are my grandfather's WWII medals and letters from villages he liberated in France. It's like she can't cull the useful or personally sentimental from the rest. None of us want it. She doesn't want it. But she can't bear to toss it out. To her, it feels like she's tossing out our grandparents.

Rufus.T.Firefly

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #240 on: October 30, 2017, 03:40:18 PM »
Ah, the sentimental trap.

About 7 years ago, at my father's instruction, my sister, cousin, and I went through our grandmother's house to keep anything we wanted prior to her moving into assisted living. I got a box or two of photos, some practical items we needed at the time (vacuum, towels, good pots and pans), and a few sentimental items (gravy boat, lamp, etc.). My sister took home about 4x as much stuff as I recall. Grandmother passed away later that year and my father sold her house with the remaining contents.

Just this past week, sister calls to see if I want any of grandmother's things--she is trying to clean out her storage area above her garage. I kindly told her that I had taken what I wanted back then. She just can't seem to part with stuff. Like photos from my grandparents RV travels over the years. She wonders if the forest service might want to have a record of what the countryside looked like back then. Or my parents (35 years divorced) guest book from their wedding. Mixed in all of that stuff are my grandfather's WWII medals and letters from villages he liberated in France. It's like she can't cull the useful or personally sentimental from the rest. None of us want it. She doesn't want it. But she can't bear to toss it out. To her, it feels like she's tossing out our grandparents.

WWII medals and letters from France sound like neat family history possibly worth preserving. The rest of it sounds like junk.
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honeybbq

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #241 on: October 30, 2017, 03:51:47 PM »
I was trying to purge some of my stuff this weekend. Not very successfully.

I came across a small toy in a bag (a stuffie) that was my mother's when she was a child. It has a note with it "The only toy I have left from my childhood." She gave it to me. I don't know why. She's still alive, and, we don't have a great relationship so I don't see this as a precious item. I have permission to take a picture and throw it away, correct? I could give it to my daughter (who is 5) but it's sort of scratchy and she has plenty of stuff anyways.






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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #242 on: October 30, 2017, 04:20:33 PM »
I was trying to purge some of my stuff this weekend. Not very successfully.

I came across a small toy in a bag (a stuffie) that was my mother's when she was a child. It has a note with it "The only toy I have left from my childhood." She gave it to me. I don't know why. She's still alive, and, we don't have a great relationship so I don't see this as a precious item. I have permission to take a picture and throw it away, correct? I could give it to my daughter (who is 5) but it's sort of scratchy and she has plenty of stuff anyways.


YES! If you need the permission - consider it granted from the strange people out on the internet... ;)

Take a nice photo of the stuffie and the note itself, save it to the cloud or whatever, and throw it in a donate pile if you can't bear the thought of putting it in the trash. They'll recycle it if they think it won't sell. It will go where it needs to go, but you absolutely can send it on its way now.

And then if your mother ever, EVER asks about it... it is buried in a closet or the garage or someplace. You will look for it next weekend (and then don't bring it up or say you never got around to it, maybe next month when you tackle the garage or basement...). Little white lies will be fine in this case, because if she truly wanted to keep it then it was her responsibility to actually KEEP it, in her house.



I frequently have no idea what I'm talking about. Like now.

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JoeO

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #243 on: October 30, 2017, 05:27:19 PM »
Mixed in all of that stuff are my grandfather's WWII medals and letters from villages he liberated in France. It's like she can't cull the useful or personally sentimental from the rest. None of us want it. She doesn't want it. But she can't bear to toss it out. To her, it feels like she's tossing out our grandparents.

If none of you really wants the medals and letters fro WWII, please consider donating them to the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center, part of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA.

They accept donations of veterans' service-related papers and photos (and probably medals) for their library and archives for scholars and researchers to use.

http://ahec.armywarcollege.edu/about.cfm




MarciaB

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #244 on: October 30, 2017, 08:58:53 PM »
My grandma gave me a ceramic flower candle-holder handmade by my great-grandma. So sentimental. But I have no space in my house for such a thing and it's already broken a few times. Can I get rid of it? Or do I just keep it in the back of my closet forever?

The best advice I've ever gotten on stuff like this is to take a couple of good pictures of the thing...and then get rid of the thing. And in the case of a grandmother item, I might do a 10-second video of the thing with a little narration about and how much I love Grandma SoAndSo and how she gave this to me when XYZ...you get the picture. Then put the digital reminder on a backup hard drive or in cloud storage (Dropbox or whatever) and you'll "have it" forever.

I have done this with dozens of items and lightened my load (physically and emotionally) by what feels like tons. So freeing!
My (admittedly kinda lame) blog on topics having to do with stuff, paring down your stuff to nothing, travel, and misc: www.baggypop.com

markbike528CBX

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #245 on: October 31, 2017, 08:35:23 AM »
I had a friend that was/is a hoarder.   

He said, the object is a link to a memory that he wishes to retain.   

If you can delink the memory and the object (by photograph or other means), then you might be partially solved.

Of course, why he wanted to keep ALL those memories (including truly trivial ones), is beyond me.

LadyMuMu

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #246 on: October 31, 2017, 01:48:39 PM »
Ah, the sentimental trap.

About 7 years ago, at my father's instruction, my sister, cousin, and I went through our grandmother's house to keep anything we wanted prior to her moving into assisted living. I got a box or two of photos, some practical items we needed at the time (vacuum, towels, good pots and pans), and a few sentimental items (gravy boat, lamp, etc.). My sister took home about 4x as much stuff as I recall. Grandmother passed away later that year and my father sold her house with the remaining contents.

Just this past week, sister calls to see if I want any of grandmother's things--she is trying to clean out her storage area above her garage. I kindly told her that I had taken what I wanted back then. She just can't seem to part with stuff. Like photos from my grandparents RV travels over the years. She wonders if the forest service might want to have a record of what the countryside looked like back then. Or my parents (35 years divorced) guest book from their wedding. Mixed in all of that stuff are my grandfather's WWII medals and letters from villages he liberated in France. It's like she can't cull the useful or personally sentimental from the rest. None of us want it. She doesn't want it. But she can't bear to toss it out. To her, it feels like she's tossing out our grandparents.

WWII medals and letters from France sound like neat family history possibly worth preserving. The rest of it sounds like junk.

Oh,  I didn't write carefully. Yes, I agree. That's the only thing that I'd be interested in taking as well. And it would fit in a shoebox.

fuzzy math

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #247 on: November 01, 2017, 12:31:34 PM »
My MIL and my mom are both hoarders.

My MIL buys stuff at the dollar store and mails it to us. Or she'll call my husband and derail his day with a 90 minute conversation about the things she's packing into a box to send to us. Like there will be a silver platter and she is sending it to us (even though she knows we hate her stuff) and this is the story of it and all these family members were involved and blah blah blah you can't get rid of it! And it ends with "once you get the box if you don't want it save it for your sister". And that sister is a hoarder too and I have no idea why any of this stuff is even sent to us. We have gotten in trouble for getting rid of so many 'valuable' things that I truly thought by now people would know better than to give (force upon) us. And I don't want to save piles of stuff to save for when I see my sister in law because it feels like enabling her hoarding when we give her stuff.  In summary, my MIL spends about $400 a year on postage sending us stuff (sometimes an envelope with 1 coupon in it)... And i just really wish she'd put that $400 in a college account for my kids or something.

My mom has always spent beyond her means to buy stuff. And now she's gone from a 2400 sf place, to 1100 sf of space, and now just recently to 675 sf of space. And my sister claims that there is stuff coming out the front and back doors on to the porches at her apartment complex. Yikes.
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RidetheRain

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #248 on: November 01, 2017, 01:07:32 PM »
Yes. I recently received a table saw replacement blade. I do not have a table saw. The "replacement" is rusted and likely dangerous. But apparently, it only cost 34 cents.
See my journal

YogiKitti

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #249 on: November 01, 2017, 05:58:49 PM »
Family also loves sending my husband and I things that are kinda similar to what we like, but in not related. I like yoga, therefore I will appreciate this running magazine from the 80s.