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to be getting sick of hand-me-downs

(27 Posts)
teaandakitkat Thu 03-Nov-16 18:17:39

My dsil gives me all her kids old clothes. Her kid is a year older than mine.
I have no problem at all with second hand clothes, I am not at all precious about what my kids wear.

But honestly, she passes on everything, no matter how old or scruffy. She's given me stained t-shirts, trousers with the knee almost worn right through, a jumper with a hole in the arm, odd socks!. And casually says "oh sort through it and anything you don't want just put in the charity shop." I wouldn't put hardly any of it in a charity shop, it mostly goes straight in the rag bag. Occasionally there is a pair of joggers, or a jumper worth keeping.

I think she just can't be bothered sorting through it herself so passes it on to me. She can't honestly think I would want clothes in this condition?

I am usually passed on the black bin bag at a family gathering, so then I have to deal with dmil carrying on about how wonderful it is of her to pass on these clothes, how lucky I am to be getting all this for free, how lovely it is that the grandchildren can pass things on and share them.

I'm tempted to pull it all out in front of her and sort it out there and then, but dmil can't see very well so she wouldn't see how bad it is and would just gush about each individual stained item. And dsil is so thick skinned it wouldn't bother her either.

So I just sit there and smile and pretend to be grateful for all her worn out clothes, then trundle off home with my bin bag of rags.

But I am sorely tempted to say no next time. AIBU? Should I be more grateful?

WilliamHerschel Thu 03-Nov-16 18:19:45

Just start saying no thanks. If you feel awkward lie and say you've just bought a load of clothes and don't have the space.

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 03-Nov-16 18:23:30

As above say you've no need for the stuff and for her to pass to some other sucker friend

missmollyhadadolly Thu 03-Nov-16 18:28:20

YANBU. Are the one or two good bits worth trundling home with a black bin bag of rags and doing your SIL's recycling for her?

Maybe you could say your DC prefers to pick out her own clothes now.

Wrinklytights Thu 03-Nov-16 18:29:23

It depends I guess on whether there genuinely is hardly anything worth having in there. I get hand me downs from a friend and quite a lot isn't any good, but there's plenty of decent stuff left after a sort through and I don't expect her to do it when I'm getting styff for free.

HomeShapedBox Thu 03-Nov-16 18:36:37

I get hand me downs from a work colleague who's kids are just slightly older than mine. All the clothes are brilliant quality, some are brand new still got tags on, all in immaculate condition

To be honest though, if the clothes where as you describe id probably just start making excuses as PPs have said, say they have plenty of clothes, you have just been shopping, you don't have any more room in their wardrobe/drawers.

Ilikethedaffodils Thu 03-Nov-16 18:39:34

I feel your pain! I have an acquaintance who does the same to me. She has three boys who are older than my two boys and bestows on me bags full of stuff that looks like all her children have had the wear out of them - socks with holes in the toes, tatty t-shirts, school uniform shirts and trousers even though my kids go to a different school with different school uniform.
When she has a big clearout she often then drives straight to my house and hands these unsolicited bags to whoever answers the door so the last couple of times I haven't had the opportunity to decline because I didn't see her. the very last time I cba sorting it and took the bag immediately to the charity shop without even looking inside.

MadameSilva Thu 03-Nov-16 18:42:03

Are you me??! This drives me up the wall. We're basically used as a) free storage (we're expected to pass stuff into DP's other sister when we've finished) b) save sil a trip to the dump.

90% of the stuff given is crap, even charity shops wouldn't want it, and the remainder isn't worth the time I spend sorting through it.

It's also the sheer volume. Dd isn't even 2 and we've been given at least 8 bin liners full to the brim. I have 68 9-12 month baby grows in my attic that have never been worn (I counted one day as I was so pissed off). Dd didn't fit in them until the summer then they were too hot to wear, well the 3 that were in decent enough nick. I also have 13 moses baskets sheets - I never even had a moses basket!!!

I'm ungrateful but I don't care. I'm not rich but it isn't necessary for me to dress my child in rags. We just refuse to take stuff now, especially since the worn out coats and shoes have started to arrive.

Phew - that rant felt good!!!

Thirtyrock39 Thu 03-Nov-16 18:44:57

My sil sorts through and just takes what she likes . I only ever pass good stuff down...loads of people say no thanks to hand me downs ...they're great when you get a good source though I've not bought hardly any clothes for my kids as get such great stuff handed down

BratFarrarsPony Thu 03-Nov-16 18:47:00

YANBU my brother used to dump a lot of dirty broken junk at mine with an air of largesse.
Once there was a sofa with stuffing coming out of the holes on the arms, where the fabric had worn through. He had moved it for a friend that I did not know, whom I was supposed to phone and thank,
Another time there was a broken computer monitor which he told me was a computer for which I should be grateful....
A bag of clothes with old pants of his in.....etc etc

MrsPear Thu 03-Nov-16 18:50:03

Your sil sounds like a lazy mare! I pass on clothes to mine but I inspect then wash then iron. As a result it is usually a carrier bag full. Last time I did take an item with a broken zip but this was given to my other sil first who can fix things.

I would say how kind of you but Dc likes to choose their own clothes now.

flupcake Thu 03-Nov-16 18:58:19

I think it depends on the % of good to bad stuff. My sister passes loads of clothes and toys onto me and I am really grateful as it has saved me a fortune. Sometimes some of the stuff is stained or worn, but plenty of it is great. Yes I get school uniforms when mine don't wear one, but these have been really useful for making costumes or as craft shirts. I wouldn't expect her to sort through it, I am just really glad to have it.

Is any of the stuff good? How much would it cost you to buy the clothes new?

On the other hand I do make an effort when I pass clothes onto friends to weed out the rubbish stuff.

luckylucky24 Thu 03-Nov-16 19:12:31

We have just adopted a little girl and everyone we know who have a DD or knows someone else with a DD has been "gifting" clothes and stuff. The first few bags were graciously received but now I feel we are just being dumped on. She came with a full wardrobe and so most of the stuff gifted was thrown out or given to charity.
Most recently, DH colleague gifted some clothes that she may grow into next year and I haven't even bothered to look other than to determine size. I appreciated the gesture until DH turned up with a boot full of huge toys. We have no room for these and they are very unisex so I kind of feel it was an easy way for her to get rid of these bulky toys.
DH is too polite to say no even though he legitimately could have said "thanks but we have no room for these toys, they are a bit too big for our house". No instead he has been driving round with them in the boot for 2 weeks.

SueGeneris Thu 03-Nov-16 19:13:37

That sounds really annoying. I pass stuff on to my sister but only if it's in good condition and even then I give her the bag of recent stuff to look through and take with her what she can use for her DD. I sort out getting rid of whatever is left.

teaandakitkat Thu 03-Nov-16 19:31:45

Honestly, hardly any of it is worth keeping. Last time there was a bin bag full, I kept one pair of joggers, one jumper, one shirt, and that was it. The rest went straight into the rag bag. A charity shop wouldn't even have sold it. And I only kept the t-shirt because it was a children in need one and I thought it would do for school charity day. Even it had a pen mark on it.

Once we got a winter coat that was in good nick and lasted a winter, but that is the one and only thing I have ever actually appreciated. God, I'm so ungrateful!

I often pass things on to others, but only if they are in good condition. I would never insult anyone by passing on odd socks or things with holes or white t-shirts with big red stains that looked like a bowl of tomato soup had been spilled on them. I wouldn't even give them to a good friend who is really struggling for cash.

It's just lazy. And mil's nonsense about how 'lucky' we are to receive these bags of crap just adds insult to injury really.

BikeRunSki Thu 03-Nov-16 19:34:35

My SiL does this to me to. I accept graciously, salvage anything worthwhile (very little, if anything), the save the rest for rag collection day at school!

Grumpyoldblonde Thu 03-Nov-16 19:36:21

It's not ungrateful to not want other people's junk and crap. Good quality hand ons are a god send. Piles of rags are a pain in the arse.

missmollyhadadolly Thu 03-Nov-16 19:37:00

Then it's decided. You have to say no next time, and report back. smile

Cucumber5 Thu 03-Nov-16 19:41:01

Just tell her beforehand that you're ok for clothes, so don't worry about putting anything aside for you unless it's very special.

EsmesBees Thu 03-Nov-16 19:41:23

We get far more hand me downs that will ever get worn too, but SiL sorts through them, washes and irons them so I never refuse. However, you should start refusing. Just say you've decided to buy DC clothes yourself from now on.

PurplePidjin Thu 03-Nov-16 19:47:08

I have a relative that does this but with broken, dirty toys that they hand straight to my 3yo. Think playsets with bits broken off and missing the characters, ripped soft toys etc. I appreciate that they're doing a kind thing, and that the person isn't in the easiest circumstances, but seriously the dustbin is closer! We do get some brilliant clothes though, I just wish I had a chance to filter it first!

greenfolder Thu 03-Nov-16 19:51:23

Say no
Or just stop off at the recycling on the way home and dump it there

Allthewaves Thu 03-Nov-16 19:54:17

Meh. Just take bag off her and take straight to dump.

spicyfajitas Thu 03-Nov-16 19:59:14

She probably is quite emotionally attached to those clothes and maybe doesn't realise the condition they're in.
I know i put loads of stuff away of ds1's for ds2 but when I got it out again it was in much worse condition than I'd remembered hmm.
I'm very picky about what I send to the charity shop but tend to put stuff away for about a year then sort it with fresh eyes.

nailslikeknives Thu 03-Nov-16 20:23:47

I'd be tempted to say thank you, take the stuff, never open the bag and just take it to the charity shop or give to the next lot who put a charity bag through the door!
That would keep the family happy and lower your blood pressure.
If questioned why they haven't seen DC in the clothes, just say they didn't fit right/grew out of it. I know it's a fib but heigh ho!

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