Dear Margo, We have a small house which I would like to keep uncluttered. The woman who cleans for us insist on buying us gifts which we don't need, and don't have room for. Since she's in the house on a regular basis, I feel like I need to display the items. However, the clutter really gets on my nerves. How can I approach her without hurting her feelings, and what can I do with the stuff I don't want? We do have a condo/office she doesn't visit. - Marge
Dear Marge, Oy! That is a predicament. Your decorating preferences should not, however, be dictated by your cleaning person ... nor should your small house become tchotchkerama out of concern for her feelings. (First of all, it is odd for someone in your employ to shower you with gifts.) I would gather your nerve and tell her the following: You are uncomfortable with her spending her hard-earned money on gifts for you and you would like that to stop. To spare her feelings you can say you are moving the presents to your condo/office because you like your living space to be spare. When you gather the unwanted items you can regift them to your local Goodwill. - Margo
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