I’ll Say It For You…

A letter. If your house is crowded, you may wish to say this... but aren’t sure how. I’ll say it for you, and you can just forward this on to whomever needs to hear it.
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If your house is crowded, you may wish to say this… but aren’t sure how. I’ll say it for you, and you can just forward this on to whomever needs to hear it.

Dear Family, Friends and Loved Ones,

Let me begin by saying, “Thank You.” Your presence in the life of my family is something I highly value! Your generosity has been overwhelming, and I treasure our relationship.

Now, on to the “delicate” part. Another holiday is almost here, and I am feeling anxious about the upcoming influx of more possessions. You see, my house is very crowded. Many times I walk through my space and get discouraged by the chaos. As much as I resolve to, I can’t seem to get the house organized. It feels like we have more toys than the children can play with, and even though I buy new bins and attempt to de-clutter, I can’t seem to get ahead of the situation. When I try and involve the children in the process, they often balk, telling me that they don’t want to let go of anything. I am so happy that they love their toys, but I don’t know what to do.

I’m not really sure how we got to this point. It seems like “more” keeps coming in: party favors, school trinkets, church take-homes, stuffed animals, Happy Meal toys, artwork, schoolwork, birthday gifts… All of it is wonderful and fun, but after the moment passes, I don’t know where to put it. Furthermore, I feel guilty to even think of giving or throwing these items away. What if my daughter asks for it tomorrow? Aren’t these things too special to donate? How do I let go of a gift from Grandma? Am I a bad mom if I throw away the story she wrote/drawing he made/project they built?

I know I need to be more focused on clearing out and making space, but I confess that I struggle.

So, as we near the holidays, I wanted to ask if you might be able to help. Perhaps we could talk and come up with some gift ideas that that won’t require storage space, such as memberships, lessons, tuition, camp fees, or excursions. I often need help paying for these things. Or maybe we could just make sure in advance that we can accommodate whatever you are planning, especially if you are considering something large or living.

Again, I am so thankful that you care enough to give to my family. I cringe at the idea of seeming unappreciative. I know you give great thought and care in gift giving, and your sole intention is to spread joy. For this, and for the gift of having you in our lives, I am truly grateful!

With love,

*     *     *     *     *

Can you relate to this dilemma? What tips do you have for discussing this potentially sensitive topic?

35 thoughts on “I’ll Say It For You…”

    1. I know you are pretty organized, Janine, and keep things well under control. But I hear from so many clients that this is a tough struggle for them, so I decided to be the “heavy” and pass along their thoughts. Hope you have a wonderful December!

    1. Refitting can be a nice solution. I’ve had some clients who have items still in original packaging that their children either didn’t want or already had. I’ve been suggesting that they donate these to Toys for Tots… a solution for all!

  1. Well said Seana! And so important to be said for so many of us. I declutter all the time and we still have too many toys and trinkets…. and most are gifts. I love our families and they are getting better, because they know how hard I work at decluttering. Thanks for this. Will forward it to some of my clients too… so they can share it with well-meaning gift-givers in their lives.
    Hilda recently posted…Day 8 – Magazines and Newspapers {Net Zero Decluttering Challenge}My Profile

    1. Thanks for this affirmation, Hilda. I know you understand, and see clients struggling as well. It is hard to say, because we appreciate when people are kind to our families, but no one wants to give a gift that ends up causes a recipient stress!

  2. Very nicely put. I know a lot of people could benefit from this, especially parents of young children. Remarriage is so common these days that children often have more than two sets of grandparents, not to mention other relatives and friends, who want to shower them with everything, and it’s up to the parents to manage it all!
    Janet Barclay recently posted…App Review: CoPromoteMy Profile

    1. Such a wonderful point, Janet. Blended families often bring more “gift givers,” and sometimes duplicates of existing belongings… all of which adds to the pressure to clear out and keep order. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Brilliant! Before the holidays, many of my clients are in the space making mode for all the new things that will be coming in. But many also are feeling overwhelmed with what they currently have. The thought of most “stuff” is overwhelming. Your letter gives shares some wonderful language for those that are struggling to share with their families. Many years back, our family started giving “clutter-less” gifts that focused more on experiences instead of things.
    Linda Samuels recently posted…How to Set the Stage for Better Life BalanceMy Profile

    1. So many parents long for these “clutter-less” gifts, but they are afraid to say anything because they don’t want to seem ungrateful. I think most family members want to give joy with their gifts, not a burden. Thanks for affirming this post… felt a bit risky, but I hope it helps:)

    1. What a nice way to summarize the goal of this letter.. we do so love and cherish those who care about us. Unfortunately, we still may not be able to accommodate one more stuffed animal!

  4. A beautifully written letter! Thank you for the time and thought put into this post. I just had this discussion with my sister, who has two small children and is overwhelmed with hand-me-downs from her husband’s family. Rather send her more stuff, I asked what the kids NEED, not want. I started asking this question to others we give gifts to as well, the responses are different, but I am amazed at the appreciation I get for asking before hand.
    April R. recently posted…Gadget Galore!My Profile

    1. I’m so glad you mentioned hand-me-downs. These are often given with love, but sometimes (especially with kids clothes and toys), there isn’t time to sort through them and they pile up. I had a client recently having this challenge from donations she received when her family hit hard times. Everyone was trying to help, but she lacked the skill and time to sort assess and it just overwhelmed her.

    1. That’s exactly it… everything gets “lost.” A few toys is wonderful, but too many can be a burden, even for the children. Now a moose hunting expedition – that sounds like REAL fun:)

    1. Oh the Barbie dream house — how many of those do we see in playrooms across the country? One average doll house and the room is suddenly overwhelmed!

  5. Seana, Love how you present this situation and include several alternatives. I admire your work so much. Thank you for taking the time to share your post with us at Brag About It! Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.
    Pinning and tweeting to share 🙂
    ~Laurie
    Laurie recently posted…Brag About It Link Party!!My Profile

    1. Thanks so much, Laurie. Nice of you to invite me to be a part of “Brag About It”… and I’m enjoying many of the bloggers in your group. Have a happy Thursday:)

    1. That’s my thought, Natalie. Hopefully they can just sort of “forward this along” and say it caught their eye or resonated… It is a tough subject to bring up, especially with loved ones who are being generous!

    1. Thanks, Ellen! It can be tough, and I know so many people have their hearts in the right place. But sometimes, this just needs to be said. I tell my clients to, “make me the heavy” and just forward this post:)

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