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When the gift-givers find out you decluttered things they gave you?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Okay, DH told my MIL that a whole pile of stuff was Goodwill/yard sale stuff. It is. But apparently MIL went through all the boxes (why?!?) when she was visiting, and found a glass candle holder thingy that SIL (her daughter) gave us only last year. (big, Christmas-specific, breakable, etc.) So she packs it up in bubble wrap to take BACK to SIL. She shows me the bubbled wrapped package and tells me she found the candle holder in my Goodwill pile (with a "look") and that there was "also a large ceramic Easter egg in one box" (which is also a gift from SIL...*cough*) and gives me an accusing stare.

So basically, I pretended that DH made a mistake and told her not all that stuff is Goodwill, and that something must have happened when we pulled out our holiday decorations. She seemed very relieved and unwrapped the thing to give back to me. And now I'm stuck with the darn thing.

Has anyone else ever had an experiences with gift-givers knowing you decluttered something they gave you?
post #2 of 44
Ha ha! I am laughing out loud at this. She's very nervy going through your stuff and wanting to take the thing back to your sil!!!!

I don't keep a lot of stuff. We declutter often. I try to be reasonable about keeping things we're given but at some point....it needs to be gone.

OTOH, my brother and sil don't keep hardly anything they're given so it makes it very frustrating buying gifts for them when you know they "don't give things a chance"....
post #3 of 44
ha! i would have just been like, "yeah, it's all on its way out! feel free to grab anything else you find interesting . . ."
post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post

OTOH, my brother and sil don't keep hardly anything they're given so it makes it very frustrating buying gifts for them when you know they "don't give things a chance"....
Give experiences rather than things?

I know that's what I'd prefer That said, I have a hard time decluttering stuff that family gave us for this very reason - I'm terrified that my MIL will find out. Dh usually has to talk me into it (and this is while i'm looking at it going "why did they get me this" - dh looks at me and says "just get rid of it!" ) But that said, MIL made t-shirts with the kids last year that were little reindeer with their footprint for the face, and hand prints for the antlers, with eyes stuck on using the fabric paint and pom-pom noses (also stuck on with the fabric paint). I stuck it in the wash - b/c the kids had worn it for a whole day and gotten it a mess... and uh, the eyes and nose fell off. I figured this was somewhat expected and i *think* I ditched them, considering them more of a fun project in the moment and a one-picture that day kind of deal. Weeeeeell... this year, MIL asks us to bring them with us so she can get pictures of the kids in them again! I was shocked and annoyed and... then embarrassed. Apparently I'm the worst daughter-in-law EVER
post #5 of 44
oh my goodness! How annoying (and kinda funny ). I would just try to keep the goodwill stashes hidden in the future.

We can't keep everything forever. Plus, sometimes it's hard to remember who/where you got something, anyway. It wouldn't even occur to me to worry about the gifter finding out.
post #6 of 44
See, that's when I'd get the urge to say what my dad used to say. Nunya. As in, nunya bizness!

In the future though, I'd do one of 2 things. Put everything gifted in one box, and label it "storage". Label the rest "Goodwill". Just make sure DH knows the "storage" box really does go to Goodwill too. Or, tape the boxes shut with strong packing tape. If she's nosy enough to open taped boxes, in that case I'd tell her ... NUNYA BIZNESS.
post #7 of 44
This made me laugh out loud! I have never gotten "caught" like that but I am always terrified that I will. My mom especially is very sensitive that people love and treasure and appreciate the gifts that she gives. I'm so afraid that someday she'll catch me decluttering or worse, regifting something.
post #8 of 44
Oh that is funny. I would have handled it the same way.

Why did you DH even mention the Goodwill boxes to her?
post #9 of 44
sometimes i break stuff i got as gifts just so i have an excuse to get rid of them.
horrible? yes.
but you havent met my MIL, or the "wonderful gifts" she blesses us with.
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackies Ladybug View Post
sometimes i break stuff i got as gifts just so i have an excuse to get rid of them.
horrible? yes.
but you havent met my MIL, or the "wonderful gifts" she blesses us with.
I thought I was the only one who would let the kids leave a noisy, battery operated plastic lawn mower right behind DH's HD Chevy. That thing played music AND popped AND clicked!
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackies Ladybug View Post
sometimes i break stuff i got as gifts just so i have an excuse to get rid of them.
horrible? yes.
but you havent met my MIL, or the "wonderful gifts" she blesses us with.


This is what I do too. Buh-bye. No problem if it broke, right? Or I say it broke and move it along.

OP, LOL at your MIL. Next time you'll have to keep the box out of her reach! I find that pretty nervy myself, tho I guess I'd figure the stuff was up for grabs. If I found a gift I'd given in a family member or friend's goodwill box, I ask if I could have it back if I liked it and also ask why it didn't work so I could better tailor my gifts in the future. But I'm mostly on the practical, not emotional, side with gifts.
post #12 of 44

"We liked the Christmas candle so much...

...that we took it to DH's workplace and set it up there on his desk for everyone to admire!"

I know, really, you don't want to do that because it only encourages them to give you something else just like it! Well, sometimes you just have to take your lumps and be seen as the hoity-toity person whose house is too good for their sad gifts. I know, I've been there many times. They do get over it. Although my mother still gives me things while saying, "Well, I don't want to give this to you if you're just going to donate it in a few months!" OK, then don't buy it for me or give it to me. I don't really want it. But some folks really do see a rejection of the gift as a rejection of their love. We just have too damn many material things nowadays. It's ridiculous to expect everyone to hang on to every gift ever received.

If I know a person is sensitive about that kind of thing, I offer the gift back to them first--usually it's something THEY liked--or ask them if they know anyone who could use it. "We're done with this now." "I need to make space in my garage." "I'm afraid the kids will break this." "It's cute but it doesn't really match my decor." etc.
post #13 of 44
Seriously overstepping boundaries.

Maybe you should do a prank bag of "goodwill" and buy a vibrator to put in the bag. It will cure the nosey.
post #14 of 44
And that is why I am extremely careful about what I send to the local thrift store and what I send out of town (at least an hour away!). Stuff from local people gets sent to the city, and stuff from family gets sent to the local store!
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
Seriously overstepping boundaries.

Maybe you should do a prank bag of "goodwill" and buy a vibrator to put in the bag. It will cure the nosey.
OMG! I am picturing my mom finding something like that in a Goodwill box...and then I'm picturing the person buying it at the Goodwill store!
post #16 of 44
A couple of years ago DH told his mom to stop sending us things we don't need for Christmas. All that stuff just ends up in our yard sale, and it's a waste of money. We move a lot (military) and hate clutter. She was offended, but now only sends us consumables for gifts

I felt bad about offending her, but it was either be honest or have her send us useless items for the next 30 years or whatever. Ungrateful? Maybe. But we haven't had to have a yard sale in a couple of years!
post #17 of 44
I wouldn't have lied. I'd have told MIL "Yes, we're giving that away. We don't need it and we don't want it taking up our precious storage space. You're welcome to it if you'd like." Then you wouldn't be "stuck with it" and MIL might have a better idea of what kinds of gifts you're likely to keep.
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackies Ladybug View Post
sometimes i break stuff i got as gifts just so i have an excuse to get rid of them.
horrible? yes.
but you havent met my MIL, or the "wonderful gifts" she blesses us with.

I've done this too. One time DH's grandma made a hideous Christmas decoration. It's a tree made out empty baby food jars and involves putting a Christmas light inside each one or something. DH's family are all hoarders and I was almost sick when she told me she had kept all those jars from when DH was a baby...35 years ago!!!

Coincidenatlly, I went to put it in the garage, dropped it and broke some of the jars. It was irrepairable, right? . So I HAD to toss out the whole thing.

Is moving an option for you? My SIL lives in the same town as all of them and gets stuck with all their stuff and they take inventory of what they gave you!
post #19 of 44
another thing i do when people come over to see their "gifts" (be nosey and rude) and they cant find them i usually just play coy "oh, i think i saw that just last week. i was looking for it and i'm sure its around her somewhere!"
works especially well for toys as they do get scattered and misplaced pretty often.
if your MIL is digging through your boxes, you need to buy better tape.
post #20 of 44
On the reindeer tshirt thing that would have been easy for me... kids loved it and wore it to death, eyes all falling off and everything.
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