This one will help you avoid the need to use any of the Clutter Guilt Conversations I posted a while back.
I call it “Let’s get this clear before I take it” approach.
Click here if you can’t see the video.
Me: It is so great to see you!!
Them: You too!
Me: I can’t believe how big Annie is now! I’m not ready for mine to grow up that fast.
Them: Oh they do, they do. They grow up so fast! And don’t let me forget I have a HUGE bag of clothes in the car for you! We cleaned out all our closets on Monday. There’s some stuff in there for your kids, and some stuff for you too! We’re the same size, don’t you think?
Me: That’s so sweet of you. What do you want me to do with the stuff we can’t use?
Them: What do you mean?
Me: I always get so stressed out about how to get rid of stuff people give me. Decluttering is hard enough for me as it is, you know! I hate trying to remember where everything came from, so I’m asking upfront if you’re okay with the fact that I’ll probably either donate or stick whatever we don’t need in our garage sale.
Them: Oh, I can’t stand the thought of all that nice stuff going into a garage sale or a thrift store. If you finish using it, just save it for me and bring it back next time you come this way.
Me: Oh, well in that case, I’d better not take any of it. We really do have what we need and even though I know we’d love it, I can’t handle the stress of having to store it and try to get it back to you.
Alternate, more-likely ending
Them: Oh. Well I’d never thought about that, but I guess I don’t mind. You do whatever you need to do. Once I give it to you, it’s yours.
Me: Thanks! I like you!