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All the gifts...

(42 Posts)
jennnnnnn Thu 09-Mar-17 08:36:54

I'm so sorry if this sounds ungrateful but I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do.
Mil volunteers in a charity shop and nearly every week buys us another gift from the shop. It's been going on since dh & I first moved in together a couple of years ago.
The most recent gifts I can think of off the top of my head include;

Photo frames
Cake slice shaped like a shoe
A toast holder with pots of jam
A food warmer
8 piece cheese set
Breakfast set (including another toast holder)
We have about 10 egg holders

The list goes on and on. We have no use for this stuff and it just sits in cupboards. I really hate having a lot of clutter, it actually stresses me out (I appreciate this might be my problem). I know she's not doing it out of badness but I'm really finding it hard to even say thanks now every time I'm handed something. I don't know what to do?!

I have said in passing that I don't like clutter and things like, oh I'm having to do a clear out as we have so much stuff etc. But it doesn't seem to work.

Mulberry72 Thu 09-Mar-17 08:40:20

Could you pass it on to a charity shop? Obviously not the one she works in!

MrsTwix Thu 09-Mar-17 08:41:51

Box it up and take it to a different charity shop. You absolutely don't have to keep them. If you are worried about hurting her feelings keep one or 2 of them for when she visits.

MrsTwix Thu 09-Mar-17 08:42:43

Posting at the same time Mulberry

jennnnnnn Thu 09-Mar-17 08:44:28

Tbh that's what I am thinking of doing but she's at our house about once a week and for instance will tell me which room to put the photo frames in etc. So I'm sure she might notice. I also have a small baby and really can't be doing with having to go down to a charity shop constantly with stuff. My husband would feel too guilty to take the stuff to a charity shop sad
I just need it to stop really but cannot think of a polite way (other than the hints I've already said) to make it stop really.

TheFlyingFauxPas Thu 09-Mar-17 08:45:43

" I have said in passing that I don't like clutter "
But she's not going to see her loving gifts as clutter is she wink It's a bit like when I go out posting my beautifully crafted Ptfa flyers. When I see a sign on a letter box saying "no junk mail" I do not consider mine as

jennnnnnn Thu 09-Mar-17 08:54:39

I see your point fauxpas wink

tbh it's like we receive anything from the shop that's still in its box, without any consideration as to whether it would actually be used. The only type of cheese we ever have in the house is cheddar and we're unlikely to be having dinner parties for quite a long time.

Only1scoop Thu 09-Mar-17 08:59:22

'Cake slice shaped like a shoe '

That made me chuckle
Sorry Op

FruSkogKattOla Thu 09-Mar-17 09:10:17

The cake slice made me laugh too grin

I guess she feels that she's supporting the charity by buying all this stuff - plus giving you loads of lovely presents at the same time!

RB68 Thu 09-Mar-17 09:13:12

Just recycle - I have about 10 coats for the same reason - lol

SerialCerealKiller Thu 09-Mar-17 09:17:18

Have a big box somewhere ready to dump the stuff in. Every month you can get your dh to take it to a charity shop.

Or, do you have a good enough relationship where you could bite the bullet and tell her you really don't need all this stuff. You truly appreciate the thought but there is just no space?

Feilin Thu 09-Mar-17 09:17:29

You are going to have to tell her straight . Harsh it may be but better that than bric a brac everywhere. Good luck op try not to hurt her feelings too much.

Birdsgottaf1y Thu 09-Mar-17 09:20:44

If you don't tell her she won't know that you don't want 'stuff'.

I don't understand why people don't just communicate properly.

My DDs have have had little blow ups at me. But I've always asked and they've never previously said no, so how the hell was I supposed to know?

For my youngest it's stuff, with my middle it's clothes for my GC, mainly and my eldest, it's sweets.

It was hinted that I was staying too long when visiting and possibly too often, so I cut it down. Then I had my middle DD upset on the phone, because she hadn't seen me.

Just bloody make yourself clear!

jennnnnnn Thu 09-Mar-17 09:23:14

birds the problem is, when something is presented as a gift it would be considered rude to refuse it. I've never met anyone that wouldn't think it was rude. That said I agree a more direct approach is obviously needed. I'm going to ask my husband to speak to her and hope he makes it clear without hurting her feelings sad

FurryLittleTwerp Thu 09-Mar-17 09:28:54

You're just going to have to tell her!

My mum has form for bringing unwanted gifts if household goods. The trouble is she has a phenomenal memory for them & asks after them:

"What happened to those mugs I bought you from Boston market in 1989 ?" she asked me a while back.

& I have to come up with elaborate excuses that won't hurt her feelings they were hideous, far too big & after a couple of years I dumped them like "oh, such a shame, they all broke in the end" which I realise doesn't solve the problem!

GallivantingWildebeest Thu 09-Mar-17 09:32:21

You're going to have to bite the bullet and tell her, otherwise she'll keep doing it! She can buy stuff from the shop for her own house if she wants, but she doesn't have the right to fill your house with crap!

And as for telling you where to put photo frames... er no.

Just be polite - but firm. And yy to recycling her gifts to another charity shop.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Thu 09-Mar-17 09:33:54

Could you just say thanks, but you simply don't have room for more stuff?

We had friends who were endlessly trying to offload stuff on to us. We began by politely thanking them - and then wondering what on earth to do with whatever it was, and how soon we could 'disappear' it to a charity shop.
But in the end we just started saying thanks, but we didn't have room and were trying to de-clutter the stuff we had already. Which was true enough.

Floggingmolly Thu 09-Mar-17 09:38:42

envy at cheese from a charity shop!

LizzieMacQueen Thu 09-Mar-17 09:42:07

This is one of the hazards of working in a charity shop. I have a friend who does one day a week in one - her house is literally stuffed full of clutter because she can't help herself 'rescuing' items from the shop (I assume she pays for them).

I think for it to stop completely you will need to persuade your MIL to find somewhere else to work (slightly joking there).

TinyTear Thu 09-Mar-17 09:45:16

especially if you have a baby it will only get worse!

you have to tell her.

i had to tell my parents as, especially my dad, would give tons of stuff. my daughter wanted a baby doll, they gave twins! i bought a nice owl cushion, they went and bought another, and so on and so forth...

It took being brutally honest...
they gave my 2nd daughter a pair of bloomers that would be more suited to George or Charlotte Windsor and I asked them to take it back to the shop and exchange them - as they were also expensive and i'd feel bad for the waste of money - they got two lovely child's bath towers in organic cotton for the price of the the bloomers!

And when they came to visit I made a point of showing how much STUFF we had and toys and things... I let my girls just pile it all out (while normally i'd hide some in the toy boxes) just so they would realise...

and now, much better, they ask what we want for birthdays and christmas, i take the girls to a shop and tell them they have £20 to spend from the grandparents, for example and we are all happy

TENSHI Thu 09-Mar-17 09:48:17

Just present it back to her when she goes to leave and if she insists, keep lighthearted and say 'no, you have it! I insist, but thank you for thinking of us!' If she is insensitive then just say 'please don't give us X we really don't deserve it, you have it' so you kind of compliment them but say no at the same time.

jennnnnnn Thu 09-Mar-17 09:51:01

flogging thankfully there's no actual cheese in it, it's a set with cheese knifes, forks, dish kind of thing.

TENSHI Thu 09-Mar-17 09:51:21

The alternative ploy would be to have a box for her with stuff you don't want in it and ask HER to take it to her charity shop.

Keep doing it and use this time to say you don't like clutter while handing the box over with the things you don't want from her underneath. She'll soon take the hint!

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Thu 09-Mar-17 09:52:00

Maybe you could soften the blow by asking your MIL to keep an eye out in her charity shop for a couple of things you might actually find useful?
For example, please don't buy any more toast racks or kitchenware. I wonder if you could look out for a shape sorter or sunhat for baby, we could do with a garden trowel or whatever.
So she feels useful just looking for specific items.

This may backfire spectacularly though grin

Floggingmolly Thu 09-Mar-17 09:53:39

Oh, sorry grin. I did wonder...

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