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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we just purchased a 1920 one-and-a-half story craftsman bungalow, right down the street from where we live now. It needs a little work, but is in remarkably good shape, and many of the original features (two pedestal bathtubs, living room built-ins, original cabinetry) are still in place. It's pretty much my dream house.<br><br>
Part of the reason I'm drawn to this style of house is that I love the arts and crafts period approach to decorating. The built-ins, the clean lines, the sturdy furniture, the colors from nature -- they all are calming for me and in line with my philosophy of life. The whole craftsman approach is anti-clutter.<br><br>
Here's the challenge:<br><br>
1. My mother, who truly expects me to display every item I've ever received from her or any other relative. For example, I told her about the built-in leaded glass china cabinet -- which I hope to slowly fill with a few pieces of art pottery -- and she says, "Good, now you have a place for your grandmother's dishes." The dishes to which she referred are just not my style. My grandmother left them to me, but they have no emotional connection for me; I never even saw them as a child, and they are this ornate, neoclassical style that I don't care for. Another example is a framed photo my aunt gave me after the birth of my son. The frame has a caption that I find to be rather cheesy, and I personally don't like my walls plastered with photos.<br><br>
2. My dh, who feels really, really guilty letting go of any items his deceased loved ones ever touched. I'm fine with the small stuff, but not okay with a really ugly sewing table of his grandmother's. Dh admits it's ugly, but won't get rid of it. I'm also not okay with his mother's ornate beaded chandelier which I agreed to hang in our current house, because it works with our current 1930s architecture, but which will not look right in a craftsman house.<br><br>
I know that with dh, I have to be willing to compromise some because, after all, the house will be his,to o. I don't have a problem standing up to my mom, but honestly I'm not up for the backlash right now. It's like it never occurs to her that I might have my own tastes, and that my house should be a reflection of my own style.<br><br>
Please understand that I'm not ungrateful for gifts, or unappreciative of family heirlooms. It's just that having an uncluttered decor that I like is way, way more important to me.<br><br>
Ugh, I will never do this to my kids. Anyone else dealing with this, or have any thoughts?
 

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I so understand, especially about the mom thing, I don't really have a style for our house persay but I know what I like and don't like, and after 12 yrs being in my own house I also want to be be able to make the descion on what goes where if anywhere in our house.<br><br>
my mom gave me so many things that she found a space for in my house, the perfect nicknack for the perfect spot... sometimes I really liked the whatever she found but in a way I felt it's not mine because I didn't get to make the descion.<br><br>
Sometimes I feel guilt because if I put XYZ someplace I dread seeing it but then if I don't put XYZ somewhere I feel guilt becasue I know my mom was just trying to be nice and make me happy.<br><br>
I finally talked to my mom and told her I wanted to create our own family memories, that I wanted room in the house so I could dysplay the _____ that the kids, my husband and I got when we did such and such or we found when we went to ____. That I also wanted to have memories of us, of me and her, also in the house and that I wanted her to go with me and help me find something that would fit in this or that spot, that yeah, the object is somewhat important to me, but I wanted the memeories related to it... more of the fun and adventure of the search that we shared together than the thing itself. That really helped, she quit bringing me boxes of stuff and instead she would call me and say, hey I found a really neat antique store, would you like to go with me?<br><br>
On the other part of your post, the thing with hubby wanting to keep something that just doesn't go, I soooo wished I had that problem, my DH is the Sure type, he could care less what goes where or even if we had something or not, do you like these dishes? Sure. Do you want the couch here or there? Sure. What about this color for the walls? Sure. Can I knock the roof off the house? Sure. What about planting a tree in the bathtub? Sure. Now that drives me bonkers!<br><br>
(okay I'm a sewing nut, what type of 'ugly' table are you refering too?)
 

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I had a giant, battered sewing machine of my great grandma's that I had DH help me move THREE times. Once over 400 miles. It weighed a ton.<br><br>
Finally, I got a book out of the library to see what it would it take to repair it, and discovered it was way beyond me.<br><br>
I mulled over it for about another month, and I decided that I had a beautiful brooch of my great grandma's that I wore on my wedding day, and it was special and important, not a burden.<br><br>
I placed a free ad. An older guy came and was so excited when he saw the sewing machine. He had another just like it, and with both of them together he could make a lovely working machine.<br><br>
As he and his friend carried it out of our basement, I swear, I could hear my grandma saying to me, "I'd rather see it used".<br><br>
So there's my story. Maybe reading this will help your DH?
 

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We need pictures as soon as you move in!
 

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I just wondered, would it be possible to say to your Mom "You know, now that you mention those dishes...I just feel terrible that they don't get used and appreciated as much as they should in my house. Do you think any of our relatives/friends would like a very special memento of Grandmother?"<br><br>
I am guessing she mightn't be real responsive to the 'I am trying to clear my home of clutter?' answer? I swear my mom doesn't consider a house a home until every spare surface has ten items on it...<br><br>
As far as hubby - 1) remind him that someone else might truly LOVE it 2) maybe find it's value - if it has some - and show him something else that might be gotten in it's place by letting go of this item - perhaps if he sees something tangible and of interest to him...
 

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First of all, congrats on the new home! I LOVE craftsman homes! They have so much character and have the most beautiful woodwork.<br><br>
Second, I understand exactly what you are saying about gifts and family heirlooms. My MIL brought all the stuff she no longer wanted in her house to ours when we bought our 1919 home. She gave us a dresser that was supposedly her grandmothers. I was thinking it was going to be this beautiful old dresser, no it was a particle board piece of junk that couldn't have been made before 1960. We have a horse saddle and tack in our basement (we live in a town and will probably never have a horse). It is just crazy. She is one that gets upset if we get rid of the stuff too.<br><br>
My thought is maybe you could take the dishes, but not put them in your built in. Keep them for a little while and decide if you would like to keep them. If not, purge them. I have come to the conclusion that I don't want to keep things in my house that I don't love. You could also tell your mom that you just plainly don't want them....in a loving way of course<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
As far as the sewing table, is it something that can be made into something else...a night stand, an end table, etc. If not, get rid of it. Sometimes you just have to make it work for something especially if your DH wants it.<br><br>
My DH was given is grandfather's desk this year. It is monsterous. Our house is small, but he really wanted the desk. I don't really like it at all, but his grandpa made it and so it is special to him. We use it as our computer desk and it works fine. Not my style at all, but it works.<br><br>
Anyway, I don't think I was much help here, but congrats again on the house. Post pics sometime if you get a chance. I would love to see it!
 

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Its your home, decorate how you desire <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Just pack up what you dont love those family heirlooms and save them for your children who may love them.
 

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We are dealing with the same kind of thing with my MIL. We also have a Craftsman home, and have been working very hard to restore it back to the way it might have looked when it was built.<br><br>
My MIL, on the other hand, is trying to "care less about material things" and "get rid of everything but the essentials". Sounds good, except her idea of paring down is to try and make us take all her old stuff. I'm sorry, but my unborn child does not need your ugly particleboard desk. And my lovely Mission style kitchen does not need to be cluttered up with your dark, icky traditional china cabinet. (I like traditional style pieces in trad style homes, but this would just look stupid in our house). She brings it up repeatedly, and we keep saying we don't need it and don't have room for it. Last time she was over she was suggesting ways for me to move our furniture, pictures, and wall hangings to make room for it. Um, no. This is OUR house, not yours.<br><br>
Sorry, that turned into a rant. But now you know you're not alone! I don't have any good ideas a bout how to handle it, though.
 

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Don't let anyone pull a guilt trip on you. Someone said, "Don't have anything in your home you don't find beautiful or useful." If someone shows up with stuff, don't accept it. You DO NOT owe them an explanation. Your house, your rules. I refuse to make myself a victim of someone who has a disfunctional relationship with objects. I will never try to guilt my daughter into taking stuff. She will be an adult with her own tastes and I would never presume to tell her what to have in her home.My house is a home, not a storage facility. My problem was my fear that someone would get mad at me, but you know what? That's not my problem! If they are imature enough to take offense then there is something much worse going on in their psyche than what is going on with you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, everyone! So glad to know I'm not alone.<br><br>
Yeah, I probably will need to have another talk with my mother. Many of you hit the nail on the head with your own experiences: my mom wants me to store all the stuff she doesn't like so she doesn't have to make a decision about getting rid of it. The aforementioned dishes are actually at my mom's house, and I keep saying, "Bring them to me in a box and I will decide what to do with them." And she won't, because she doesn't want me to get rid of them. Even though they are mine, and she doesn't want them either.<br><br><br>
Lightheart, about the sewing table -- it's not to sew on, but to store sewing notions in. It looks like a picnic basket with legs, and both sides of the top open up. It's from the late 1960s, I believe.<br><br>
Nico, glad to talk with another craftsman owner. We, too, are trying to restore as much as possible. Like I said, our new house has many original features, but what "remodeling" was done is really sad. Like the built-ins that were removed from a bedroom. . . and all but one of the original light fixtures. One of the previous owners obviously thought the inherent style of the house was too "plain," so she replaced all the lighting with really inappropriate fixtures. We just have to pace ourselves so we don't spend too much to achieve our "simple" style! I would love to see pics of your house!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, Behere, we were posting at the same time. Yeah, clearly my mom has other issues. Her mother did the same guilt trip/control thing on her, so now she feels that she is entitled to do the same, having paid her dues all those years.<br><br>
We had a confrontation during her last visit. She brought me some bags of stuff to "go through," and insisted that I do this with her. I kept saying no, that I'd prefer to do that on my own then return/give away what I didn't want. But no, she wants to do it with me so she can try to convince me to keep her stuff. The last bag she brought contained random things, including some small, plastic Cabbage Patch Kids figureines that were my sister's back in 1980. I was like, "Why are you asking me about these? These are J's," and my mom said, "Well, since you have a daughter, I though you would want them." Uh, good try. I stood up to her, and she pouted for two hours. Really, really frustrating. And clearly I have work to do on myself, because although I'm standing up to her now, her responses make me really angry.<br><br>
She has already mentioned some stuff she wants me to "go through" when I see her in June, and this time I MUST insist that she just give me the bag/box to take home with me and sort on my own.
 
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