Author Topic: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?  (Read 76327 times)

Ananas

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #250 on: November 02, 2017, 05:45:17 AM »
This hits close to home. My father and his new spouse are collectors. They are always collecting something. Money, stamps, designer glass items, porcelain figures, knick knacks, old furniture etc.  They love going to garage sales and auctions. They also have hard time of letting things go, or throwing them out. Sometimes they will sells stuff at garage sales or antique shops. They are fine financially and some of the stuff they own is actually legit valuable (like design furniture, lamps and artwork), but its so intermixed with just plain 1€ crap that the actually nice things don't get a chance to shine.  They live surrounded by so much stuff. They have a huge apartment, a farmhouse with barn and other buildings and our family summer cottage.

Given that they have a hard time throwing things out or selling them at a loss, they try to give me and my brother a lot of stuff. I have told them many times that I don't want any of it. Still my dad tries and tries to give us more things I don't need or want. I have not resorted to either giving it back or plain selling them. The summer cottage, which we now own together is where this usually happens. There are three buildings on the plot, so we have unofficially divided the buildings, so that my dad has the biggest (old main house) and my brother has one of the buildings and I have one. So every summer my without fail stuff will just appear by the houses my brother and I are responsible for.  Its not even usable stuff, its usually ugly knick-knacks like a plastic lighthouse thats like 1,5m tall or artworks. I don't know how to stop it. I return some of the stuff, but then feel sort of guilty.


fredbear

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #251 on: November 02, 2017, 01:52:01 PM »
Quote from: RidetheRain link=topic=49877[msg1755112#msg1755112 date=1509563252
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.
My mother, Old Mrs Fredbear, went through the depression, and any gifts she gave became the kernel of a story.  It took me years to understand that everything she gave would be defective, because if you gave something nice, people might actually like it rather than you, whereas if you gave a piece of crap, and they were still nice to you, they actually liked you rather than it.  The one I'm remembering today was a monkeypod salad bowl shaped like a large leaf and oiled to a sheen.  It had a split 3/4" wide running nearly the length of the bowl.  I called her up to tell her it had been damaged in shipping, and she should make a claim.

"Oh, it was split when I got it."
"What?  Split when you got it?  But, it's unusable.  What am I supposed to do with a salad bowl split almost end-to-end?  The salad will fall out and the dressing will smear the table."
"Well, it was such a bargain."

I like to think I have ruthlessly stripped away all the Fredbear family eccentricities, and what is left is a core of dull, wholesome American normality.  But there is always the rude suspicion that the eccentric loon is the last to know.  One day I was fatuously telling my daughter what a standard average father she had had, and she said, "Right, dad.  All the daddies sat in the soccer stands reading Ovid's Ars Amatoria."

Timing is everything.  If I had not cast out the bowl a couple decades back, I could ask to borrow your rusty table saw blade, cut the bowl fully in half, plane it, and glue it back together, lanceolate rather than ovoid.  And give it to one of my kids once the glue joint started to fail.

RidetheRain

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #252 on: November 02, 2017, 02:11:16 PM »
Quote from: RidetheRain link=topic=49877[msg1755112#msg1755112 date=1509563252
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.
My mother, Old Mrs Fredbear, went through the depression, and any gifts she gave became the kernel of a story.  It took me years to understand that everything she gave would be defective, because if you gave something nice, people might actually like it rather than you, whereas if you gave a piece of crap, and they were still nice to you, they actually liked you rather than it.  The one I'm remembering today was a monkeypod salad bowl shaped like a large leaf and oiled to a sheen.  It had a split 3/4" wide running nearly the length of the bowl.  I called her up to tell her it had been damaged in shipping, and she should make a claim.

"Oh, it was split when I got it."
"What?  Split when you got it?  But, it's unusable.  What am I supposed to do with a salad bowl split almost end-to-end?  The salad will fall out and the dressing will smear the table."
"Well, it was such a bargain."

I like to think I have ruthlessly stripped away all the Fredbear family eccentricities, and what is left is a core of dull, wholesome American normality.  But there is always the rude suspicion that the eccentric loon is the last to know.  One day I was fatuously telling my daughter what a standard average father she had had, and she said, "Right, dad.  All the daddies sat in the soccer stands reading Ovid's Ars Amatoria."

Timing is everything.  If I had not cast out the bowl a couple decades back, I could ask to borrow your rusty table saw blade, cut the bowl fully in half, plane it, and glue it back together, lanceolate rather than ovoid.  And give it to one of my kids once the glue joint started to fail.

I love this story. It almost makes me sad that I got rid of the blade. But really, it's probably good that I did. I'll just have to think of this story next time I get something broken or ridiculous and tell my parents that I love them.

mies

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #253 on: November 02, 2017, 04:29:33 PM »
My dad gave me an electric drill sharpener a decade ago. I tried to tell him to keep it, but he wouldn't take no for an answer. It sat forgotten and unused in my basement from the moment he gave it to me.

He never asked about it after that. I finally sold it at the beginning of the year.

Sibley

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #254 on: November 02, 2017, 07:53:49 PM »
This hits close to home. My father and his new spouse are collectors. They are always collecting something. Money, stamps, designer glass items, porcelain figures, knick knacks, old furniture etc.  They love going to garage sales and auctions. They also have hard time of letting things go, or throwing them out. Sometimes they will sells stuff at garage sales or antique shops. They are fine financially and some of the stuff they own is actually legit valuable (like design furniture, lamps and artwork), but its so intermixed with just plain 1€ crap that the actually nice things don't get a chance to shine.  They live surrounded by so much stuff. They have a huge apartment, a farmhouse with barn and other buildings and our family summer cottage.

Given that they have a hard time throwing things out or selling them at a loss, they try to give me and my brother a lot of stuff. I have told them many times that I don't want any of it. Still my dad tries and tries to give us more things I don't need or want. I have not resorted to either giving it back or plain selling them. The summer cottage, which we now own together is where this usually happens. There are three buildings on the plot, so we have unofficially divided the buildings, so that my dad has the biggest (old main house) and my brother has one of the buildings and I have one. So every summer my without fail stuff will just appear by the houses my brother and I are responsible for.  Its not even usable stuff, its usually ugly knick-knacks like a plastic lighthouse thats like 1,5m tall or artworks. I don't know how to stop it. I return some of the stuff, but then feel sort of guilty.

It's ok to recycle it, donate it, throw it out, or whatever. If they don't like your disposing of it, then maybe they'll stop giving it to you. You're allowing yourself to be walked on and made unhappy. Stop.

ysette9

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #255 on: November 02, 2017, 09:41:44 PM »
My MIL likes to show affection through giving gifts, but I am at the stage of my life where I am trying hard to get rid of stuff. Stuff causes me stress, so I have to work hard not to have a gut reaction of “no” every time she gives us stuff. Sometimes it is legitimately good and a lot of the time it is just stuff. She is slowly getting the message that we don’t want more stuff. That is slowly the flow down, but it also means that she will instead just sneak stuff into our house and into the cupboards where we will find them later. I haven’t wanted to say anything because I already feel like the bitchy, ungrateful DIL. The other day my husband found something new that materialized in our drawer of medicinal supplies and commented how it drove him nuts that his mother out more stuff there without telling him. At least it isn’t just me!

Just Joe

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #256 on: November 03, 2017, 10:40:50 AM »
Man - I don't want a broken gift. Just come eat a meal with us or go for a walk or have a cup of coffee.

I think about things too much. I'd think myself right into a funk if I sat around wondering why a relative always gave us defective gifts. It would be a sign that they didn't care enough to give something (whatever the price) that was worth a damn.

This thread has motivated me to carry off another trunk load of stuff to Goodwill this weekend and determine if a couple of things I've been procrastinating about repairing are worth repairing. If they aren't - they too can go - this weekend.

We need another round of clutter reduction before the holidays.

2microsNH

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #257 on: November 04, 2017, 04:58:30 AM »
Oh yeah, my dad does this. He just unloaded on sent me a Mickey Mouse watch that he'd had restored, and he even included the receipt for $98.13 to prove he'd had it restored. What a love!

He asked me whether I'd eventually want my step-mom's watch, now valued at $8,000. Hell yes! I plan to sell it and open a new retirement account.

Primm

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #258 on: November 04, 2017, 05:17:18 AM »
Not yet.

But MIL takes great delight in pointing out that her massive (I'm talking 4 full-sized crystal cabinets full) collection of old glass and crystal will be mine when she dies. Husband is an only child.

Nope. Not going to happen.

rab-bit

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #259 on: November 04, 2017, 06:11:03 AM »
My mom made me take a box full of Norman Rockwell figurines. I have them in my garage in case she ever asks about them or wants to give them to someone else (though she has probably forgotten all about them). After she passes I'll sell them on eBay where they seem to go for about $5-20 each.

former player

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #260 on: November 04, 2017, 07:45:13 AM »
Not yet.

But MIL takes great delight in pointing out that her massive (I'm talking 4 full-sized crystal cabinets full) collection of old glass and crystal will be mine when she dies. Husband is an only child.

Nope. Not going to happen.
I gladly took all the beautiful cut glass wineglasses and drinking glasses my aunt kept for best and use them every day.  I'm clumsy (on the spectrum, thanks) and there won't be much if anything left to burden anyone else with.

Primm

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #261 on: November 04, 2017, 06:26:19 PM »
Not yet.

But MIL takes great delight in pointing out that her massive (I'm talking 4 full-sized crystal cabinets full) collection of old glass and crystal will be mine when she dies. Husband is an only child.

Nope. Not going to happen.
I gladly took all the beautiful cut glass wineglasses and drinking glasses my aunt kept for best and use them every day.  I'm clumsy (on the spectrum, thanks) and there won't be much if anything left to burden anyone else with.

If she had anything like that I would too. But I'm talking spun glass and crystal totally non-utilitarian ornamental only trinkets. There's probably one or two useful things I'll keep for the memories, but the rest are purely decorative.

talltexan

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #262 on: November 08, 2017, 08:34:52 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.

My in-laws and my wife give me this memory excuse all the time. I truly cannot figure out how to overcome it.

I'm not great at managing my stuff either. I think we're doomed.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #263 on: November 08, 2017, 08:38:15 AM »
My mom made me take a box full of Norman Rockwell figurines. I have them in my garage in case she ever asks about them or wants to give them to someone else (though she has probably forgotten all about them). After she passes I'll sell them on eBay where they seem to go for about $5-20 each.

Did you see if people were actually bidding on these?

There are tons of listings on ebay, but no bids. I can't imagine many people buy figurines anymore. I have an aunt whose home is cluttered with Hummels, but she stopped buying them too. They are cute and I wouldn't mind owning one, but that would be it.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 08:39:58 AM by Chesleygirl »

saguaro

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #264 on: November 08, 2017, 11:25:48 AM »
Not yet.

But MIL takes great delight in pointing out that her massive (I'm talking 4 full-sized crystal cabinets full) collection of old glass and crystal will be mine when she dies. Husband is an only child.

Nope. Not going to happen.
I gladly took all the beautiful cut glass wineglasses and drinking glasses my aunt kept for best and use them every day.  I'm clumsy (on the spectrum, thanks) and there won't be much if anything left to burden anyone else with.

If she had anything like that I would too. But I'm talking spun glass and crystal totally non-utilitarian ornamental only trinkets. There's probably one or two useful things I'll keep for the memories, but the rest are purely decorative.

When we got married, we received several crystal pieces (bowl, plates, glasses) that I finally got rid of last week.  I had them in the box to eventually list on ebay, but after seeing so many listings and nobody buying, I finally donated them just to get them out of the house and out of my hair.  If someone can sell them themselves or use them, that's their gain.  I only used the bowl occasionally at the holidays but the other stuff saw no use at all, it gathered dust in cabinets and was only taken out when we moved.

Sibs and I are dealing with cleaning out parents' home after Dad passed a few weeks ago.   Tons of china, crystal, figurines (Hummels, Iladros).  Sister is thinking this can go in estate sale which is fine, though I don't think she realizes that a lot of this stuff isn't going to go for much, unless we are lucky to have just the right people come through. Sister has the $$$ signs in her eyes though.

I only took the one Iladro that my mom bought because it reminded her of me as a little girl.   I am not a figurine person having banished most of them to a box in the garage years ago (before undertaking a paint job in the living room and never brought them back out) but this particular one I felt I would regret letting go.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 02:07:06 PM by saguaro »

rab-bit

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #265 on: November 08, 2017, 01:46:16 PM »
My mom made me take a box full of Norman Rockwell figurines. I have them in my garage in case she ever asks about them or wants to give them to someone else (though she has probably forgotten all about them). After she passes I'll sell them on eBay where they seem to go for about $5-20 each.

Did you see if people were actually bidding on these?

There are tons of listings on ebay, but no bids. I can't imagine many people buy figurines anymore. I have an aunt whose home is cluttered with Hummels, but she stopped buying them too. They are cute and I wouldn't mind owning one, but that would be it.

Yes, amazingly, people do still buy them. The prices that I mentioned are the prices that they sold for (you can filter for this on eBay).

LeRainDrop

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #266 on: November 08, 2017, 03:29:10 PM »
This makes me sad, though at least it was only a small financial loss.  About 15 years ago, my mom secretly started buying toys on ebay that matched some of the "favorite" toys that my brothers and I had when we were kids.  These were mostly little Fisher Price people and sets.  She was hiding them up in the attic.  When we discovered this stash and asked her about it, first she lied and said they were our old toys.  Then she came clean and said that the originals my brothers and I used were too beat up, and she wanted to be able to pass our "favorites" along to our own children whenever we had them, so she was getting used toys that were in better condition than our own.  But, yeah, my brothers and I would not want our own old toys, let alone old toys from a bunch of strangers.

Just Joe

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #267 on: November 09, 2017, 08:15:17 AM »
I re-purchased a couple of toys that I had as a kid that I wore out. Gave them to our kids and they got some use out of them but they seemed pretty primitive to our kids compared to computer games and other electric gadgets. They were great gifts for less than $50 combined but my kids never wore them out like I did.

BoonDogle

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #268 on: November 09, 2017, 09:44:49 AM »
Wife's aunt decided to get rid of a bunch of Christmas decorations and other house decor one year.  She asked my MIL if we would be interested in having it (not sure why she didn't ask us instead).  Apparently my MIL told her we would be so she loaded up her vehicle (she lives a few hundred miles from us) and drove to our house.  When she started to take out all the storage containers from her vehicle, I kindly told her that we were not interested in having all that stuff but thanks for thinking of us.  My MIL's jaw about hit the floor.

talltexan

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #269 on: November 10, 2017, 09:36:19 AM »
A while ago I saw an online article listing five things baby-boomers have that their kids are just going to throw in the trash.

1. Precious Moments.
2. Hummels.
3. Thomas Kincaide stuff.
4. Antique Glass.
5. CD's.

Except for #4, I've decided I'm pretty much cooked if I survive any of my parents or in-laws.

russianswinga

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #270 on: November 10, 2017, 04:26:57 PM »
I had to google Thomas Kinkaide. This is seriously a mass phenomenon? I think it's absolutely hideous. I can't imagine more than 1 person out of 100 liking that style, please tell me it's not more than that.

My parents are going to leave my brother and I exactly 2 pieces of art: numbered and signed hand-watercolored Dali lithographic prints with all the paperwork. I don't recall one of them, but the other is the Chest of Drawers from Divinna Commedia. I guess the value of the prints is in the low 4 figures.


Sibley

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #271 on: November 10, 2017, 09:20:57 PM »
A while ago I saw an online article listing five things baby-boomers have that their kids are just going to throw in the trash.

1. Precious Moments.
2. Hummels.
3. Thomas Kincaide stuff.
4. Antique Glass.
5. CD's.

Except for #4, I've decided I'm pretty much cooked if I survive any of my parents or in-laws.

Estate sales followed by donation/dumpster. Good luck.

snowball

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #272 on: November 10, 2017, 10:35:18 PM »
I had to google Thomas Kinkaide. This is seriously a mass phenomenon? I think it's absolutely hideous. I can't imagine more than 1 person out of 100 liking that style, please tell me it's not more than that.

My parents are going to leave my brother and I exactly 2 pieces of art: numbered and signed hand-watercolored Dali lithographic prints with all the paperwork. I don't recall one of them, but the other is the Chest of Drawers from Divinna Commedia. I guess the value of the prints is in the low 4 figures.

Hah, well, different tastes.  They seem very unpopular with the MMM crowd, but personally I like most of the Thomas Kinkade pictures I've seen online.  And TBH I think the picture you posted is hideous.  :P

robartsd

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #273 on: November 13, 2017, 09:57:13 AM »
I had to google Thomas Kinkaide. This is seriously a mass phenomenon? I think it's absolutely hideous. I can't imagine more than 1 person out of 100 liking that style, please tell me it's not more than that.

My parents are going to leave my brother and I exactly 2 pieces of art: numbered and signed hand-watercolored Dali lithographic prints with all the paperwork. I don't recall one of them, but the other is the Chest of Drawers from Divinna Commedia. I guess the value of the prints is in the low 4 figures.
I'm not sure what might be considered hideous about Kinkaides. While I reconginze that Kinkaide has great technical skill, I certainly don't see Kinkaide works as sophisticated art - gererally portraing idealistic scenes that seems to appeal to the masses to me. I don't expect that much Kinkaide work (if any) will appreciate as some fine art does. I'm not sure if I would keep a Kinkaide if I inherited it, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't purchase one. If I inherrited "Chest of Drawers" I would certainly be inclined to sell it.

Just Joe

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #274 on: November 13, 2017, 10:25:15 AM »
I think Thomas Kinkade style appeals to the nostalgia enthusiasts. Everything is tidy and pretty and serene. Old places but not run down. Sort of a storybook picture.

As for the "chest of drawers" by Dali. Interesting concept. Not anything I would want to hang in my house though.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #275 on: November 13, 2017, 05:12:20 PM »
I think I'm probably the 'parent' asked about. I have told the kids when their Dad and I are gone, just take what you want and have a big farm auction for the rest. That's how a lot of the stuff got here anyways. I remember my Dad and I used to go to farm auctions all summer.
A lot here has a family connection and I intend to leave a detailed list so if they're getting rid of something, they know what they're getting rid of.

I have a child sized roll top desk that my fil used as a kid, it even has his little rimmed glasses in it and a few books in it. He was born in 1930 for my youngest son.It is for our youngest son, TheHusbandHalf has already told the kids.
There's a high chair from the 30's that folds down into a stroller that's going to my daughter
and the grandfather clock  that's going to my oldest son.
Oh, just remembered. In the basement is a prototype of a cart that their great great grandfather made and I have the patent paper to go with it. I think it's from 1880 or so.
Oh, I have 3 quilts that my kids' great great grandma made - in perfect condition as her daughter wanted them to be kept.
She kept all these things, many in a trunk in her basement, I kind of felt obligated to preserve them and pass them on. If someone wants to get rid of them, that's ok, I just couldn't do it.
Stop me, I could go on all night!

Goldielocks

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #276 on: November 13, 2017, 11:21:41 PM »
I think I'm probably the 'parent' asked about. I have told the kids when their Dad and I are gone, just take what you want and have a big farm auction for the rest. That's how a lot of the stuff got here anyways. I remember my Dad and I used to go to farm auctions all summer.
A lot here has a family connection and I intend to leave a detailed list so if they're getting rid of something, they know what they're getting rid of.

I have a child sized roll top desk that my fil used as a kid, it even has his little rimmed glasses in it and a few books in it. He was born in 1930 for my youngest son.It is for our youngest son, TheHusbandHalf has already told the kids.
There's a high chair from the 30's that folds down into a stroller that's going to my daughter
and the grandfather clock  that's going to my oldest son.
Oh, just remembered. In the basement is a prototype of a cart that their great great grandfather made and I have the patent paper to go with it. I think it's from 1880 or so.
Oh, I have 3 quilts that my kids' great great grandma made - in perfect condition as her daughter wanted them to be kept.
She kept all these things, many in a trunk in her basement, I kind of felt obligated to preserve them and pass them on. If someone wants to get rid of them, that's ok, I just couldn't do it.
Stop me, I could go on all night!

There are people out there that may love and cherish some of those things more than your family does...   do think about selling some of the better items now, to make it easier later.

former player

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #277 on: November 14, 2017, 02:01:36 AM »
There are people out there that may love and cherish some of those things more than your family does...   do think about selling some of the better items now, to make it easier later.
Agreed.  Plus, ask around the family.  I have a cousin who is keeper of the family archive and who has already very happily taken custody of some family stuff I don't have room for and is the designated end recipient for the rest.

If you do sell, please try to sell with the "story".  It's a good idea to write what you know about it on a postcard or sticky label and attach it to the item - it may or may not add to the financial value but will make it more likely that the item will be kept and treasured into the future.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #278 on: November 14, 2017, 09:20:28 AM »
I could go on all night!

There are people out there that may love and cherish some of those things more than your family does...   do think about selling some of the better items now, to make it easier later.

I've thought of that.  I think when the kids are in a better place to keep things, I will ask them.
I have the DNA to live to my mid 90's (My paternal Grandfather was 96 when he died, despite a cholesterol of 289!  My materanl Grandmother and her sisters lived to 94-97) and though of course that is no guarantee I was thinking I had more time to figure all this out.

CNM

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #279 on: November 14, 2017, 10:27:47 AM »
My MIL is a lovely and wonderful person.  However, she clearly does not like to throw things away.  So what happens is that literally every time we go for a visit (which is very often), we come home with a bag of almost-spoiled food or old toys or a knick knack or newspaper clippings or SOMETHING.  I've come to just accept it as trying to refuse is futile and toss it in the garbage/compost/donation bin. 

Just Joe

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #280 on: November 14, 2017, 10:28:59 AM »
Oh please, do keep the story with the object. We've inherited a few little things and there is no back story to go with it. This table, that set of China, and so forth. Grandparents are long gone at this point. No way to ask.

marble_faun

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #281 on: November 14, 2017, 10:29:49 AM »
This thread speaks to my soul!

My mom is a mild hoarder. Her house is stacked with giant plastic containers, filled with random things.  She has a whole closet of clothing in pristine condition that she hasn't worn since the 80s. There are things in heaps on the floor that I remember from 15 years ago, sitting in exactly the same heaps.

Christmas has been miserable since I was in college.  My mom takes the holiday as an opportunity to pass junk along to me, in the hopes that I will carry it out of her house.  In this manner she can declutter without actually having to throw anything away.

For a while I tried not to be super blunt about it. I would tell her I didn't really want these things, but I would relent and bring at least some of the stuff back with me. (And sometimes she would hide unwanted things in my suitcase for me to discover upon arriving home.) Gradually all these books I never wanted to read and jewelry I never wanted to wear and tchotchkes I had no interest in started to accumulate and junk up our small apartment.

One Christmas a few years back I just broke.  She had piled tons of wrapped gifts around the tree, to the point where the gifts almost filled the room.  The visual impression was of bounty and generosity.  But then we started opening the gifts and it was clear that each object was some random, broken-down thing from the house that she didn't want anymore. Or something she had ordered off of eBay and then regretted when it turned out to be of poor quality. Used slippers in her size... cheapo trinket jewelry... stained table cloths... I think my husband weirdly got some of my brother's old toys?

Because there were SO MANY gifts, this just went on forever. I feel like we were sitting there for hours just unwrapping each gift and trying to pretend to be at least okay with each one. It became grueling.

I finally offered my view that these gifts represented the opposite of true generosity or caring. They were clearly just things she had and didn't want anymore. Each one represented a burden for us to have to deal with, and none of them showed any kind of care or relevance to our lives or interests. Instead of bringing joy, the gifts seemed thoughtless, and the sheer quantity of them was exhausting and destroying the Christmas spirit.

I begged my mom not to give me any more gifts.  Not for Christmas. Not for my birthday (when huge boxes of junk would show up at our door).  I told her that anything she gave me would go directly into the trash or donation bin.  And I would never take these things home with me.

Since then, two things have happened:

(1) We have successfully started transitioning to "experience" gifts!  Over Christmas we'll go to see a concert or take a day trip to an interesting place in the area. This is actually fun and enjoyable. 

Mom still tries to give us a few gifts, but she accepts that we will just leave them in her house.  In a weird way, she's leaned in to the "horrible gift giving" concept to the point where we can all find it humorous, a bit like a White Elephant gift exchange.

(2) My mom has realized that I have a weak spot... gifts with some sort of connection to family history.  So she'll send me some lace doilies, saying, "I think your great-grandmother might have made these... but I'm not sure, these might have been the ones I picked up at a yard sale." It creates a real quandary for me, as I treasure heirloom mementos but have this sad sense that everything is getting mixed up and confused.

In the past I've given seemingly random gifts away only to get a phone call years later along the lines of: "Remember that pencil case I gave you seven years ago? Well I think that might have been the one handmade by grandpa before the war." Breaks my heart. 

I've been begging her to keep better track of what is what and to avoid accumulating new junk since we already have so much old junk.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 10:32:24 AM by marble_faun »

Frankies Girl

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #282 on: November 14, 2017, 11:21:26 AM »
This thread speaks to my soul!

My mom is a mild hoarder. Her house is stacked with giant plastic containers, filled with random things.  She has a whole closet of clothing in pristine condition that she hasn't worn since the 80s. There are things in heaps on the floor that I remember from 15 years ago, sitting in exactly the same heaps.

Christmas has been miserable since I was in college.  My mom takes the holiday as an opportunity to pass junk along to me, in the hopes that I will carry it out of her house.  In this manner she can declutter without actually having to throw anything away.

For a while I tried not to be super blunt about it. I would tell her I didn't really want these things, but I would relent and bring at least some of the stuff back with me. (And sometimes she would hide unwanted things in my suitcase for me to discover upon arriving home.) Gradually all these books I never wanted to read and jewelry I never wanted to wear and tchotchkes I had no interest in started to accumulate and junk up our small apartment.

One Christmas a few years back I just broke.  She had piled tons of wrapped gifts around the tree, to the point where the gifts almost filled the room.  The visual impression was of bounty and generosity.  But then we started opening the gifts and it was clear that each object was some random, broken-down thing from the house that she didn't want anymore. Or something she had ordered off of eBay and then regretted when it turned out to be of poor quality. Used slippers in her size... cheapo trinket jewelry... stained table cloths... I think my husband weirdly got some of my brother's old toys?

Because there were SO MANY gifts, this just went on forever. I feel like we were sitting there for hours just unwrapping each gift and trying to pretend to be at least okay with each one. It became grueling.

I finally offered my view that these gifts represented the opposite of true generosity or caring. They were clearly just things she had and didn't want anymore. Each one represented a burden for us to have to deal with, and none of them showed any kind of care or relevance to our lives or interests. Instead of bringing joy, the gifts seemed thoughtless, and the sheer quantity of them was exhausting and destroying the Christmas spirit.

I begged my mom not to give me any more gifts.  Not for Christmas. Not for my birthday (when huge boxes of junk would show up at our door).  I told her that anything she gave me would go directly into the trash or donation bin.  And I would never take these things home with me.

Since then, two things have happened:

(1) We have successfully started transitioning to "experience" gifts!  Over Christmas we'll go to see a concert or take a day trip to an interesting place in the area. This is actually fun and enjoyable. 

Mom still tries to give us a few gifts, but she accepts that we will just leave them in her house.  In a weird way, she's leaned in to the "horrible gift giving" concept to the point where we can all find it humorous, a bit like a White Elephant gift exchange.

(2) My mom has realized that I have a weak spot... gifts with some sort of connection to family history.  So she'll send me some lace doilies, saying, "I think your great-grandmother might have made these... but I'm not sure, these might have been the ones I picked up at a yard sale." It creates a real quandary for me, as I treasure heirloom mementos but have this sad sense that everything is getting mixed up and confused.

In the past I've given seemingly random gifts away only to get a phone call years later along the lines of: "Remember that pencil case I gave you seven years ago? Well I think that might have been the one handmade by grandpa before the war." Breaks my heart. 

I've been begging her to keep better track of what is what and to avoid accumulating new junk since we already have so much old junk.


To restate where I'm coming from as far as my advice/commentary in this thread: I grew up in a hoarder house. As bad, if not worse than any you've ever seen on those television shows. Both parents (divorced, so I got the fun of being shuffled from one horrible house to the other horrible apartment/house, which just got worse as I got older). I am not talking "they're just a packrat" or "there's piles of stuff on some surfaces or clutter in every room" level - dad's house required a crime scene cleaner, many GIANT dumpsters and hazmat suits to deal with the level of filth/hoarding. Mother's house likely similar (maybe no hazmat) when it comes to that. I am a reformed packrat, who does deal with the echoes of pain/anguish getting rid of "family" items or stuff that that are no longer wanted/useful. I usually cry after driving away from the donation centers, but once it's done, I have little regret and I'm thankful for the years of counseling and self-exploration to deal with this horrible mental aberration.






marble_faun, I'd advise you to stop associating any items with possible family heirloom as "valuable" since you couldn't recognize them as such one way or another, and your mother is using this weakness to try to make you keep things you otherwise would not want at all. Why does it matter anyway? They are gone. The object should be judged/kept based off of whether you want to use it as intended or it gives you great pleasure in seeing/using said object. Period, full stop.

My own mother is unable to let things go at all unless she knows they will be used/valued, or can be sold for money. She is stuck in the sunk cost fallacy of hoarding, where she will not allow herself to process how messed up her life/house is and has been for all these years so she has to justify the hoarding as "saving valuable objects" or else she won't let them go until someone values them and promises they won't be thrown out, or gives her proof that she was being smart (by paying her money).

She justifies quite a bit of her current hoard in outbuildings as things she will sell in a garage sale, but she has never held a garage sale in her life, her house location is unsuitable for doing so, and she can't even stand on her feet long due to health issues so she can't organize anything anyway enough to price and set up. It is a fantasy she tells herself to justify the hoarding.

It sounds like your mother also has a bit of this mindset as she gifts things to others so she won't feel so stupid wasting her time/money/space having hoarded/saved the objects. Broken, stained or ill fitting objects - give to the daughter as she might fix/repurpose them and I have Done A Good Thing by not throwing them in the trash! See, I was really smart as I get to give them as gifts, I saved these objects and daughter will value them because they came from ME! Win/win situation in her mind...

Now that you've told her you won't accept general objects, she's switched tactics to tell you that these things might be "family heirlooms" so you will take the items and not dispose of them... therefore reinforcing in her mind that she wasn't being stupid holding the items herself because you will value them and become the custodian of her collection.

So a big thing to ask yourself: why the fact a long dead relative may have made/bought/touched said item makes it more important to you? You've already stated you got rid of things without any known association at the time (pencil case). So why would you need to keep the pencil case or doilies at all just because of family associations? You obviously weren't going to use or display the pencil case since you got rid of it already. Unless you really love and will use said items for what they actually are, you're leaving yourself open to becoming a hoarder as well. The tendency can run in families.

My father used to use gifting as an excuse to amass even more garbage/junk. He would pick up pictures or old books or anything that reminded him of me or things I liked (even if it was things I used to like when I was like 7 years old and no longer collected or even looked at) and then "save" them for gifts to give me. I lived 4 states away, flew in and had little suitcase space and he refused to pay for postage on even a card, let alone a package... and yet would try to give me large framed prints, comforters/bed-in-a-bag sets, dishes, etc... to take home, on a plane.

I told him finally to stop using me as an excuse to shop for junk. I couldn't take things anyway, and since I didn't need or want any of that stuff, anything he gave me would be donated, and it would be a more meaningful gesture for him to donate the money directly through his church or local charities. He got pretty mad about it (total denial about how terrible the house was, as in his mind he was never "that bad" and would get super angry when confronted), but finally stopped trying to gift me stuff.

The true goal here is start trying to wrap your mind around the idea of just letting them go.

Family IS important - their THINGS are not.



I'd suggest doing some reading on hoarders to help figure out the mindset and recognize the cliffs that you may be facing.
I got these at the library, but there are some great websites as well (http://childrenofhoarders.com/wordpress/ for instance is a great resource for other sites and info):

https://www.amazon.com/Stuff-Compulsive-Hoarding-Meaning-Things/dp/0547422555

https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Clean-Kimberly-Rae-Miller/dp/0544320816
^this one struck a nerve with me
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 11:23:57 AM by Frankies Girl »

mydogismyheart

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #283 on: November 14, 2017, 02:02:52 PM »
Yep, my parent's are exactly like this.  They try to give me stuff constantly.  The only reason I take it all off their hands is BECAUSE my mom is a hoarder and if I don't take it and donate it (which is what I do 99.9% of the time), then it will end up in their garage/attic/closet for me to clean out eventually when they are gone.  I feel like I'm maybe helping in some way by taking stuff now and dropping it off at Goodwill.  Luckily, they have so much stuff, and they so rarely come over to my house, that they would never remember or notice if I didn't have something.

Blindsquirrel

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #284 on: November 14, 2017, 07:39:18 PM »
  Wow! Saw this on the best of and I agree Frankie's Girl.  We bought a house to rehab and my guys filled two, 40 cubic yard dumpsters to the brim with junk from a big 3/1 house. 61164.3886 cubic liters for you in metric land or 2160 cubic feet of junk, clothes, video tapes, and broken furniture etc. It was a mess. The average depth in the basement except for narrow paths was probably 4-5 feet. It is a horrible disease.

Just Joe

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #285 on: November 16, 2017, 08:30:45 AM »
Gift > Thank yous > stick it in the car > depart for home > stop at Goodwill/Salvation army/Thrift store local to your relative > continue to your home unencumbered by clutter.

I know, easier said than done. This thread makes me want to go home and take a load of random things away to a donation center just because.

Sibley

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #286 on: November 16, 2017, 08:55:25 AM »
I actively try to get my mom to give me stuff. Then I get rid of a large amount of it. currently trying to sell some stuff on ebay, when the listings are up I'll donate.

marcela

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #287 on: November 16, 2017, 09:29:11 AM »
I'd be careful with the donate to their local goodwill part. My MIL has found stuff she gave us at her goodwill and roasted us for it. Now things come back to Florida with us and get donated to the Goodwill here.

Just Joe

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #288 on: November 16, 2017, 09:32:17 AM »
Good point. At the same time maybe it delivers a message that is needed.

marcela

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #289 on: November 16, 2017, 09:46:18 AM »
Good point. At the same time maybe it delivers a message that is needed.
The message received was that I'm an ungrateful wretch who her son should never have married. There's just no winning with some people.

Just Joe

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #290 on: November 16, 2017, 09:54:06 AM »
True! ;)

Tell you Mom it was duplicate item to the one she gave you? Mere coincidence.

Remind her it was only worth $1.50 at the Thrift store even if she valued it at $50?
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 10:05:47 AM by Just Joe »

Goldielocks

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #291 on: November 16, 2017, 05:03:37 PM »
I have a weird experience this morning.

My DD, who is now in 1st yr college and lives with us, noticed a bookmark that she had made me when she was 11... with a nice poem on it, but nothing too involved or special..   

DD: "Mom,  do you know where the book that goes with this bookmark is?"... 
Me:  "It should be on the shelf just behind you"  <I have no idea where the book is, I don't care for that book, and I hope I have given it back to her or donated it long ago>
DD:<very upset>  I gave it to you as a CHRISTMAS PRESENT.. it was my favorite book and I put a special decorated cover on it for you and everything!!!   (along the theme of 'you don't love me if you don't love the present I gave you')

I recall having a similar conversation with her previously, about a year ago, which is why I lied and said it was somewhere on the shelf behind her...  and why she asked me about the book as soon as she noticed the bookmark which was in a key place after my major clean up last month.

UGH...  Kids that give you crap and then get all dramatic when you make it disappear after a few years....

jeromedawg

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #292 on: November 21, 2017, 03:56:11 PM »
Back at home now... my parents recently ordered a shed from Costco to have built in their yard. Except, I'm not entirely sure what they're storing in it because all the crap they have laying around in their yard is still out there along with an entire side of their two-car garage occupied with random crap. They justified getting the shed so they could "store" all this crap too, but my dad is too lazy to do any actual work and my mom is busy occupying herself with stuff for the school district even though she's several years retired. "Decluttering" to them means moving crap around and figuring out where to store it so they don't have to throw it away. Of course, part of that is figuring out who, of their kids, they can offload crap to so they don't have to throw it away. They can't even donate a shoebox of their crap to Operation Christmas Child and I'm willing to wager it's because both my mom and dad will say "It costs $9 to ship one of these things?!?!?! NO THANK YOU" and also "But we can use this! We'll donate it to the school district. Wait, are you sure you guys don't want it?" - *facepalm*

Another funny anecdote from the first night we got here: my mom had her hotel slippers out for guests (that she collects and hoards from their travels) and I was about to wear one when I felt this lumpy ball after sticking my foot in. I look at it and the slipper is so worn that the inside padding is balling up. Obviously these, along with 99% of the slippers they have (and that only my wife and I wear when we visit twice a year), should just be tossed as they're one time use. I tell my mom just to throw these out and that they're no good. She can't even do that and resists by saying "NOOO! These are still good! Just put them back and use another pair" - and the icing on the cake is that these DISPOSABLE slippers are like this because she throws them into the washer and dryer to reuse!!! I swear, one day I'm going to go through that closet with a plastic bag, take all the crap-ones out, and then throw it in a dumpster elsewhere. If I try to throw them out at home, my mom will literally dig them out of the garbage... pretty disgusting.
Don't get me started on all the lanyards my dad collects and brings back from computer trade shows he goes to (and he only goes to those things to collect free SWAG... he's been retired for 10+ years btw)
Some of the stupid free crap he gets from trade shows ends up in our Christmas gift bags from them. Socks, boxers and t-shirts (all with the Sears tag still on but price scribbled out... even though we know they were $1 or less), luggage tags from their travels, utensils or cookware they got for 99% off at Kohls, Marshalls, Sears, etc, and then random light-up toys and freebies my dad got from trade shows. That's about all we expect from them as far as Christmas time is concerned. The most 'expensive' items they'll include are the Mint Coin collections my mom insists on giving us because they're "valuable" (what, like a dollar above spot? LOL) and because my grandfather collected coins. *rollseyes*

Ridiculous... just....Ridiculous.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 04:06:41 PM by jeromedawg »

jeromedawg

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #293 on: November 21, 2017, 04:30:24 PM »
Yep, my parent's are exactly like this.  They try to give me stuff constantly.  The only reason I take it all off their hands is BECAUSE my mom is a hoarder and if I don't take it and donate it (which is what I do 99.9% of the time), then it will end up in their garage/attic/closet for me to clean out eventually when they are gone.  I feel like I'm maybe helping in some way by taking stuff now and dropping it off at Goodwill.  Luckily, they have so much stuff, and they so rarely come over to my house, that they would never remember or notice if I didn't have something.

Part of the problem for me is that my mom will actually go out and buy crap to give to us because she's addicted to buying "good deals" and can't get enough. Very similar to the extreme couponers who buy crap for the sake of buying crap because it was free or greatly discounted, then go on to explain how they had to install 20 new shelves in their garage so they could store the 500 rolls of toilet paper, 60 containers of laundry detergent, and 150 bottles of dishwashing liquid they got for just under $10.
The other half of the problem is that she buys extras and let's us "choose" what we want (sometimes my wife concedes but usually we just reject it unless it's toothpaste, floss or anything actually useful that we would need), then throws the rest of it in one of the closets around the house. So now we're not only stuck with something we never wanted, but we will probably end up seeing duplicates of it upon cleaning their house after they pass away... *sigh*
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 04:41:21 PM by jeromedawg »

Sibley

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #294 on: November 22, 2017, 10:01:13 AM »
With the couponing excess - can you encourage them to donate to food banks, shelters, etc? I know the animal shelter I used to volunteer at went through a lot of bleach, laundry detergent, paper towels, dish soap, etc. I'm sure that people shelters could use the same plus more, and food banks would probably love anything.

jeromedawg

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #295 on: November 22, 2017, 05:39:13 PM »
With the couponing excess - can you encourage them to donate to food banks, shelters, etc? I know the animal shelter I used to volunteer at went through a lot of bleach, laundry detergent, paper towels, dish soap, etc. I'm sure that people shelters could use the same plus more, and food banks would probably love anything.

Doubt it - she has too much of a hoarder's mentality; she thinks she'll "need" the items she buys and the first choice is always to pawn stuff off to her kids. It's fine that she's looking out for her family but it's just too much at times.

I went out into the yard today and the part near where they have the shed is a complete junkyard, thanks to my dad. The shed itself has saws and crap scattered on the floor with very little on the shelves. I'm failing to understand how he can't even put stuff IN the shed they bought. It's so ridiculous that he's hung ugly blue tarps over certain items in the yard. It looks like a homeless encampment out there. He even decided it would be a great idea to tether a portion of the tarp down to a lawnmower/motorcycle-sized battery (with both terminals exposed to wet/cold/rainy weather here in Northern CA) to 'anchor' it. Considering they just got their backyard landscaped, hardscaped and a neck deck installed, it's amazing how fast he's turned the place into a swap meet.

When my SIL pointed out how dangerous the battery "anchor" seems, he shrugged it off. When I pointed out how it looks like a junkyard out there and is potentially unsafe for our kids to be running around, he also shrugged it off. It feels quite hopeless and angry... makes me not want to come up here to visit anymore. It's actually making me very detached from interacting with my family currently (talk about dysfunctional families). My wife was saying they're not going to change and just to not let it get to me... that we'll just have to deal with it and "cross that bridge when we get there" as far as dealing with cleaning up the amount of crap they've accumulated and are unwilling to part with. It truly is a disease and it just gets worse with age.

SMH
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 05:48:20 PM by jeromedawg »

snowball

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #296 on: November 23, 2017, 10:30:04 PM »
"Decluttering" to them means moving crap around and figuring out where to store it so they don't have to throw it away.

Ugh, yes.  My mother’s done that for years.  I can’t even imagine how many people-hours have been spent on just reorganizing her crap and shuffling it around.  I remember my siblings and I had to spend many days working on that when we were kids.  (My father's a hoarder too, but at least he wanted us to leave his stuff alone, so it was less of a burden.)

It's all so useless and such a waste of time and energy.  It's not even good quality stuff!  At least half of my mother's collection is flat out garbage.  Broken appliances - "maybe we'll fix them someday or reuse parts" (no, you won't), old toys and clothing in bad condition, bank statements and utility bills going back thirty years…

I suppose the silver lining is that, partly in reaction, I have very little sentimental attachment to things.  When I moved out here a year ago I got rid of everything I owned that wouldn’t fit in three suitcases.  Stored it all on Craigslist, as MMM would say (I love that concept).

clarkfan1979

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #297 on: November 25, 2017, 10:41:25 AM »
My dad will buy me one piece of clothing for each Christmas. About 90% of the clothes I have never worn since I have been in high school. It's not anything close to my style. It's a huge waste but not worth the argument.

My mom really likes to buy toys for our 7 month old. He has over 100 toys. She buys them used. He will use about 10% of the toys.

I think buying stuff is a generational difference. Our parents like huge houses with lots of crap. The weird thing is that they tend to complain about how life is so expensive. I have the complete opposite approach. Small house, less stuff, lots of travel.

Sibley

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #298 on: November 25, 2017, 11:04:40 AM »
Well, I had a minor success in getting stuff out of my parents house. I asked them to bring all the unused light fixtures so I could figure out if I wanted to use any in my house. Delivered:

1 pewter chandelier
2 pewter candle sconces
1 extra glass globe (which proved to be broken, so is now in the trash)
1 leaded glass overhead light
1 entrance way/stair way hanging light
1 1920s vintage dining room light

I've got all of it except the candle sconces. My mom doesn't like them, but her mother bought them and she's got emotional hangups with FAMILLLLLY stuff, especially her mother. So she won't get rid of them (which means either she'll have a breakdown when she HAS to downsize, or my sister and I will get the joy of dealing with them later).

I actually like the pewter chandelier, so will get that rewired and use it. The other 3 will be sold on ebay. I call this a win.

Just Joe

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #299 on: November 28, 2017, 10:22:02 AM »
We helped someone downsize when they moved last year. Tossed a dumpster's worth of stuff. Had a garage sale for the rest.

Still think most of it got tossed or donated b/c it didn't sell.

When they moved they needed an "all hands on deck" event b/c they couldn't do it for themselves (age). Was just too much stuff.

We collectively and willingly got it done.

Healthy enough to shop and bring it home but not healthy enough to haul it off to Goodwill.

Saw them over the holiday weekend and they are back to buying knick-knacks and the garage is still piled with stuff from the old house.

I just don't get it.

Makes me want to go to our home and clean out a closet just because!

Hey Dad says the teenager - where did the furniture go? ;)