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AIBU to tell everyone to stop buying my son clothes?

(17 Posts)
squarecorners Sat 10-Feb-18 19:54:16

I'm absolutely drowning in clothing and I can't deal with the sheer amount of clothes that my 3yo son has.
Basically I am a hoarder and can't bear to get rid of things. I'm aware, taking steps to deal with it etc but piles of "stuff" overwhelms me. I deal with the problem by buying very little that isn't needed or has been wanted for a sufficient length of time to make it valued, but people in my family- especially my mother- keep buying my son clothes. I dress him smartly enough- he's always got clean things on, right size, warm enough, without holes in etc but I'd rather have fewer items that get washed and worn more often.
My mother is also a hoarder and transfers her hoarding to me. She is constantly - and I mean every week - buying more and more clothes in various sizes. I don't know where I'm up to. She either buys in the charity shops (where in fairness she has got some nice quality things because of the area she lives in) or on holiday, and he just ends up with dozens of items that he won't get any wear out of because they're just not suitable, and he's grown out of before he gets chance to wear them.
My other problem is that people buy him things that are just inappropriate - my mother in law buys him a lot of things with slogans or logos on that I just really don't like on children, or trousers without a completely adjustable waist that won't fit him because he's quite slim, and my mother's other habit is buying him clothes "for holidays" that we are not likely to go on in the near future because we can't afford it, which she knows, so he has 9 pairs of shorts in the middle of winter because they were reduced in Sainsbury's and nowhere to wear them.
I'm doing my nut having all these clothes to get rid of- I just haven't got hours in the day to sell them and sending stuff to the charity shop is hard for me because of the hoarding. Is it really awful of me to just tell everyone to back off and stop buying him clothes for a while?

OnlyFoolsnMothers Sat 10-Feb-18 19:56:49

Of course you can ask or ask them to buy something else, “tbh he has so many clothes, some books would be nice”....however the hoarding problem in your own, just get rid!!!! (Lord I hate stuff)!

squarecorners Sat 10-Feb-18 19:59:31

OnlyFoolsnMothers I'm not sure how much you know about hoarding but that's like telling an anorexic they just need to eat a sandwich... I'm not getting upset but it's a bit more of a complex problem than just getting rid of stuff.

Jenijena Sat 10-Feb-18 20:03:27

I have told family this. They don’t listen particularly. I am not a hoarder and thus much that is given goes straight into a charity shop bag. Anything with slogans and non seasonal in particular: We always have one in a go (as well as more than enough clothes for every age up to 5.5).

MsVestibule Sat 10-Feb-18 20:04:27

Does your mother know/accept that you're a hoarder? What would her reaction be if you asked her to stop?

Does your mum have her own issues? Buying nine pairs of shorts in the winter for a holiday you're unlikely to go in isn't really normal behaviour 😕.

NeedMoreSleepOrSugar Sat 10-Feb-18 20:06:03

Do you feel an attachment/need to keep the clothes you're given for him? If not, could you just sell or donate them immediately and tell your dmum your doing this because 1) he has too many clothes 2) the piles of clothing are upsetting you and 3) a lot of it is unsuitable

Could she redirect her efforts - maybe put pennies in a money box for him instead?

IlikemyTeahot Sat 10-Feb-18 20:19:40

I was (still am) like this. I used to bag them up then unpack them again. I found that by taking them to a clothing bank that send them to people in need in other countries finally helped me let them go without the guilty conscience x

fleetingthinker Sat 10-Feb-18 20:25:19

It's fine to say stop buying stuff please. I'm totally overwhelmed with clothes for mine and understand having piles of stuff everywhere.

I ask my family to stop and tenure were a bit offended but my stress levels over it meant I didn't care! After two years of massive amounts we are finally getting to a reasonable place.

Do you have a friend you can pass stuff on to? Might make you feel better about getting rid of it.

rocket74 Sat 10-Feb-18 20:28:03

Is it possible to have a box/clothes basket near the front door that all 'new' things go in. Try not to let them in the house?
We have this problem too, clothes and toys.
I think our house has acquired new toys - even if just a shopkin - about 3x a week for the past 7 years. That's 150 new toys/crap a year - and that's not including Xmas and birthdays. I feel your pain, it's so fucking overwhelming when your kids room is so full of boxes of mixed up crap that you didn't buy and don't have the energy to stop. I've told my MIL so many times and she gets so upset. It makes no difference.
They have about 60 pairs of pants each too - another MIL obsession.
I don't have a solution though, but mentally, if it doesn't really get into your house maybe it will be easier to give away?

Allthewaves Sat 10-Feb-18 20:30:29

Donate to a really worthy cause like a woman shelter whom desperately need the clothes. Take one look if not appropriate bag it and take it out of the house

Schlimbesserung Sat 10-Feb-18 20:40:40

It's fine to ask people not to give clothes and even to tell them why. But hoarding is such a complex and intractable problem that you should also be seeking proper, professional support. Do you have that in place?

Cheekylittlenumber Sat 10-Feb-18 20:48:43

My man was a hoarder so I have some experience of it. Well done for recognising the issue. Definitely be firm with your mum about not wanting anything in the house.

Unfortunately for my nan her house became so consumed with stuff it actually killed her (she fell down the stairs after tripping on something)

I wish she would have accepted help but she wouldn't. It's an awful affliction. Keep strong and remember to focus on the home you want your LO to grow up in. Is your mums house under control OP?

Cheekylittlenumber Sat 10-Feb-18 20:49:05

That's nan not man!

OnlyFoolsnMothers Sat 10-Feb-18 21:06:24

Apologies OP- sometimes people use the term hoarder somewhat flippantly, I have indeed seen programmes where it’s clear it’s a condition so sorry if that’s what you have.

NewYearNewMe18 Sat 10-Feb-18 21:15:03

Sell it on FB or ebay - get some of your money back

gingerfoxcub Sat 10-Feb-18 21:31:43

I'm a bit overwhelmed at the moment too.

I did some research on the net and worked out what quantity of stuff is in a capsule wardrobe and labeled a set of coat hangers. Now I hang things on the coat hangers and if I run out, e.g go to hang a tshirt and the hangers a full, I pick one with stains / less suitable to put on the spare pile.

Now with the spares I'm making capsules in plastic bags too, the idea being to eventually part company with them but at the moment it's all stacked on the spare room.

But I'd also say to your family that you have enough clothes please stop buying them to your family.

squarecorners Tue 13-Feb-18 11:34:40

OK I think I need to address some points. I'm not exaggerating, I am a proper hoarder - I get emotionally attached to irrelevant items (stacks of paperwork really cause me problems) and that makes selling or giving away items really difficult for me, even if the cause is a worthy one or I'm being offered money for them.
My mother is also a hoarder, but is unwilling to admit it. Hoarding transference is really common, which is where you acquire items for other people, or try and get people in your family to take items from your hoard so you're not really getting rid of them.
I have undergone some treatment, but because hoarding is quite a complicated situation it makes things difficult, because you need a lot of help to really sort things out, and it's not always available in a supportive way. I am on online messageboards for hoarders and there are people on there who have literally had nervous breakdowns when their families have gone in and got rid of all their stuff while they were on holiday or something. It's something by which you really have to work through it yourself. Plus there are a lot of feelings of guilt and shame associated with it that really stop you from asking for help from other people.I also don't have many friends because when you live in CHAOS it's Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome.
I've told my mother in the last couple of days to please not buy anything else until after the summer at least - and she's told me she has more shorts and tshirts at her house! It's insane. I'm planning to sell a lot of stuff at the local second hand market which starts at the end of March- hopefully that should give me some time but I just get so disheartened every time I look at another bag full of clothes that just appear when my son comes back from Granny's house.

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