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stuff and feeling bad getting rid of it

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My family has lots of stuff, of course. I'm trying to downside the stuff we do by really want/need, but I'm having trouble. Particularly with the stuff we've been given for my 7 mo old son. They were all gifts. Given by our family and friends and I feel bad donating/ect of stuff that was generously gifted to us. But there's so MUCH! So many stuffed animals, toys, clothes...My stuff its easier - my family gives us tons, then forgets it was from them.
I can't even count time number of times I got a gift from my mom or grandma, I wear it, they compliment me and I say, thanks, you gave it to me. There response- I did??? Lol.
post #2 of 4
I feel like if someone gives me a gift, the item is mine to do with as I please. If I can't use it, I would rather give it to someone who can. I don't have to keep it forever just because it was a gift. If it has sentimental value, then I will keep it. I don't think my family would want my home to be cluttered with too much stuff. We have given lots of baby stuff away. They outgrow things so quickly, and we don't have the space to keep it. We try to give the things away to charities that will give them to other babies or families that can use them. I have talked to other moms who return gifts to the store so that they can buy things they do need. If you get clothes, you would need to keep the tags on them until you decide if you really need them. If you feel guilty, you could always take a picture of your son wearing or playing with the item before you give it away or return it. Then you can show the relative that they used it.
post #3 of 4

Imagine one of those gift-givers saying, "I want you to keep this forever. I don't care if you don't have any use for it. I don't care if you don't have room for it. I don't care if it makes you unhappy because you can't manage the house. I don't care if your son is unhappy because you are unhappy. The most important thing is not your happiness or his happiness; the most important thing is that you keep and cherish this thing from me."


Can you really imagine them saying that? If they did say it, wouldn't you say, "Yikes! In that case, please take it back now!"


It's common to have trouble getting rid of stuff, and gifts are one of the categories that are hard to get rid of. But I think that it's best to think of that as being rather like a phobia or a bad habit--something where you understand that your thoughts are illogical, and you work to change those illogical thoughts.


If a thing isn't serving you now, and you don't have *very* strong evidence that it will serve you in the very near future, odds are that that thing should leave the house, gift or no gift.

post #4 of 4

This "stuff" issue just gets a LOT worse.  Every birthday, Christmas, get-together, can become a chance for your son and future children to get a new thing-ma-jigger.  Thankfully, at this baby-stage, your son has no attachment to these items.  You should be ruthless about keeping only what you want and need.  


I find it difficult to get rid of toys and junk (misc. trinkets, papers, etc) these days because the kids notice and are unwilling to part with them.  We have dozens and dozens of stuffed animals!  I just keep thinking, "this too shall pass!"  With three kids and ten years of events behind us, it is a challenge to stem the flow!  I am reading "Parenting Without Borders" right now, and really inspired that giving our children MUCH less is really the very best thing for them.  One of our recent successes was my daughter's 6-year birthday party.  We just invited four other girls, and received small gifts from the three families of the girls - a book, two small horse figures, and a craft project.  Grandparents brought some gear she needed and an American Girl Doll.  To me, it was a huge success because she enjoyed the party, but it wasn't overwhelming to any of us, and the inflow of stuff was pretty tame.  


Best of luck as you start navigating!!  This is a hard thing for us Americans!

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