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Dealing w unwanted furniture and art from ILs

First, let me say that I appreciate the gesture of giving. My MIL and FIL consistently gift us furniture and art. The thing is, we dont ask for or need any of it.

This bothers me for a least three reasons that I can identify:

1. I have spent A LOT of time cultivating nice furniture and art off of craigslist, thrift stores, and travel (with input from my husband, if he feels so inclined).  At this point we have everything we need. I want to use the stuff I picked out with my partner without feeling guilty for it. They think I am picky, when honestly this process brings me joy.

2. Every time they give us a piece of art or furniture, it feels like they are trying to replace what they feel is an inferior version of that item. This recently happened with a bookcase.

3. I HATE clutter. Seriously. They know this about me. Each piece feels like an unnecessary albatross that I'll have to lug around for the rest of my life.

I am at my wits end with this and I don't know how to deal with it without hurting their feelings. I'm used to being able to speak openly with my family, but my husband's family is not like that. Obviously, I'm reacting from an emotional place. This post makes me seem like a monster and I'm actually a lovely person. I need help. Any advice aside from the just deal with it kind?


Re: Dealing w unwanted furniture and art from ILs

  • This post is all about how you feel about this, about how you like to pick things out, how you will have to lug this stuff around. Where is your husband in all this?
  • Yes, where is he in all of this?

    Maybe he likes the furniture and the art and in which case you and he will have to come to an agreement.

    I agree: it is a lot of clutter and it's a lot to make room for...if, that is, you even have the room for extra furniture at all.

    If these are pickups that they found curbside on junk day or through CL or someone's discards...forget it. It's like they are pawning it off you and they decided they didn't want it.

    And there are some people who do not like art on walls.....

    You and he will have to come to an agreement about this...and the both of you will have to sit down -- if you both decided no more extras from his parents -- and say "We appreciate the gesture but we simply don't have the room in our place for anything you might give us." They should be fine with that.
  • At face value - I totally get where you're coming from.  Furniture and art really can be a pretty personal thing and to just randomly buy stuff that you have and expecting you to replace your stuff w/ theirs?  It's odd and I feel its crossing a line.

    If they want to buy you something big, that's fine - but they need to ASK you what you need and involve you in the process of picking it out.

    That being said - yes, where is your DH on all of this.  Does he agree with you or does he like the stuff his parents give him?  IF he's on the same page as you- then it's time for him to step up.  He needs to tell his parents that the big gifts like that need to end.  And if they don't stop, you all will be selling/giving away the stuff - and then do it, 

    He can say this nicely/gently, but he DOES need to speak up. 

    However, if he doesn't see the problem, likes what they give you, etc - well, that's really an entireyl different issue.
  • I know where you're coming from. My mother-in-law keeps doing this with us also. What seems to work for us is just to tell her nicely, thank you for thinking of us, but this really isn't the direction we're trying to go with our home, or we don't have a place to put it, or just straight up tell her we plan on buying something ourselves and prefer to do it on our own. I don't know how straight forward you and your husband can be with them, but at least this is what has worked for us.
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