Author Topic: Getting rid of 90% of your earthly possessions is a real learning experience  (Read 8801 times)

JoJo

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I'm quite sure I will retire next year.  I've been OMY'ing way too long (although I've been part time the last 1.5 years).  So I decided to sell my house before the next big dip and decided no way I'm moving my crappy furniture across country.  So I have given 4 van fulls of stuff to various thrift stores, sold only a couple things, had to give away bedroom set and barstools.  It's amazing how no retail value anything has.  I thought I had fair prices and kept reducing but eventually just gave everything away.  Literally 1000's of dollars and now...nothing.  So humbling and freeing and scary all at the same time.  So, I'll be sleeping on the floor for the next 1.5 months until I head on an extended vacation, and live with a friend when I get back, and who knows when I'll finally give notice. 

Mustache ride

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I've noticed the exact opposite. I was moving last week and was going to put a glass table out for trash/free, but my wife said we should try and sell it. We were going to be at the old house for about two hours finishing up and I thought there would be no way it would work. Sure enough we had like 8 people on facebook marketplace message and wanted to buy it. We ended up making something like 40 dollars on something I was going to throw away. Also re-sold a bassinet after my son grew out of it for the same price I bought it for in 1 day.

esq

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How exciting! Best of luck to you. Also, can confirm about nothing having any retail value. I've had three garage sales this summer, and finally had to get over it. For the most part, unless something is brand new, still in box with tags, don't bother asking for more than a couple of bucks.

partgypsy

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It's weird what sells and doesn't. I had a beautiful solid wood antique desk, but as it was large (4 x 3 feet?) I could not sell it for love or money. It ended up going to the thrift. Same thing for a vintage dark wood student desk chair. I tried to sell both for a couple months, and ended up donating both. I think I dropped it to $50 for the desk (from 75), and $20 for the chair, so it wasn't like I was asking a lot. OTOH in just 1 day I sold a dollhouse, a rug, and a cot after I put them up, so I don't know.  It reminds me not to buy things so easily, but it's a slow process.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 05:33:30 AM by partgypsy »

nancyjnelson

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I'm going through something very similar.  I just sold my house (will close the end of this month), then will be putting all my belongings in storage and heading overseas for multi-year travel.  While my neighbors have been urging me to hold garage sales, I have opted to give away the stuff I won't be putting in storage (offering it first to neighbors, then carting the rest down to Goodwill).  The hassle (mostly time) of holding garage sales to get $50 here or $25 there (I live in an economically struggling community where few have much disposable income) can not compare to the feeling of relief (!) as I slowly crawl out from under the psychic responsibility of being the owner/caretaker of so much stuff.

What am I keeping?  All my wall hangings, all my books, my kitchen stuff, one dresser, small tables/desks, an antique sofa, my easy chairs, my tool box, stuff from my kids' childhoods that they promise they will take off my hands one day after they become settled.

I am driven by the example of a friend I knew when I was stationed overseas.  He had put all his belongings in storage thinking he was going to do the "bum around Europe" for a few months before returning to the U.S. and getting a job, etc.  But when he got to one country, he both fell in love with the place and was offered a full-time job with the local American Chamber of Commerce (very modest pay, but sufficient for living in that country. 

It was a decade before he returned to the U.S. to live.  During that 10 years he paid $140/month to store all his belongings - nearly $17,000 to store a big heavy TV that no longer worked when he returned, other electronics that were out of date, clothes that no longer fit, mattresses that were worse for wear after being stored for 10 years, etc.  He ended up discarding most of the stuff from his storage unit and buying new.

I don't want to be that guy.

Padonak

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Ptf

lizzzi

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I've just sold a house in the Midwest--will close later this month--and currently there is an online auction going on to sell most of the contents. I live in an upstate NY apartment--I love it here and this is home--but selling the belongings that I've carefully accumulated over the years has been emotionally intense. I am not a hoarder by any means--not into "things"--but everything in that pleasant, uncluttered little house evoked memories--I have to admit that it was hard--although necessary--to say goodbye to so much "stuff."

I expect to get pennies on the dollar for that "stuff". (We had an auction in NY in 2012 before moving to the Midwest--sold great items but you just don't get much money out of it.) Again in 2018 I just needed an efficient way to unload the household goods and get on with my life in one location instead of two. I brought a few treasured items in the car--UPSd some to family members--and have been surprised at how emotional it's all been. We downsized significantly when we moved from NY to the Midwest  to care for family members.  My husband and mother both died down there, and more recently, my stepdad. So my reasons for being in the Midwest are gone, and I had been maintaining a NY apartment because I was tired of bunking in with friends up here or renting a motel room when I needed to be here.  The apartment is fully, if spartanly furnished, and I don't need much from the Midwestern house--hence the huge downsizing and liquidation.

Lessons learned: Make your home as beautiful, comfortable,  and pleasant as you can--but remember that the people, pets,  and relationships you have in that home are far more important than the "things" you accumulate. Do not stuff every storage area with "things."  Try to avoid the ubiquitous "junk drawer."  Edit, edit, edit on an ongoing basis--keep ahead of the clutter and junk. It is surprising how little you really need, and how much you are just going to discard or donate before you move...before you even get to the point of selling things.  Be very thoughtful about what you bring in, because sooner or later--one way or the other-- you're going to be carting it back out again.

Penn42

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That's awesome!  I'm kind of jealous.  I live in an apartment and still feel I have to many things--even though I know it's not that bad compared to most non musicians.  I'm not really willing to get rid of most of them yet because I've done a pretty good job keeping them down to things that are often used, but sometimes I think about how awesome it would be to have non of it. 

Here's my made up rule of thumb mindset: to keep no superfluous items that I would feel would need to be replaced in the event the place burned down.  I'm not paranoid about an actual fire.  But if for some reason I lost everything I don't want to be so attached to stuff that I couldn't go out and spend a couple hundred on some new pants/socks/toothbrush and such and not be good to go. 

partgypsy

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I got divorced this May, and for the past 2 years have been getting rid of "stuff". Most of the stuff is not valuable, just things collected over a lifetime. It has been was really emotional "work" going through the things, and deciding what to keep, what could be thrown away, what to set aside for him, what to donate. Yes, there was definite resentment living with someone who was a packrat, could never throw anything away, who then leaves without taking or organizing anything. Being put in this position of being his permanent storage repository for all the things he might be attached to but didn't want to deal with. Including two elderly pets, and moving to a place that doesn't allow pets. Heck, the first year he lived somewhere he couldn't have his kids stay over. 

After dropping multiple loads off to the local non profit as well other decluttering, most of the excess stuff from the first floor has been gone through. Though I still find stuff like his clothes in his closet, sunglasses in a drawer, a cozi from a wedding we went to. Socks that still need to be sorted. 

And there's the attic. The attic is completely filled with things he collected over 20 years. It was his escape hatch, his hideaway. Things he said he threw away, I have been finding up here, like 15 year old broken computers, lamps that just need rewiring, his deceased grandfather's clothes that do not fit him, all his artwork from HS on up including many many canvases. Not to mention old electronics, video cassettes, books, magazines, newspapers, etc. There are 8? bookshelves worth of stuff, and layers of stuff behind it. I gave him 6 months to get his things out. The timeline has passed.
I know everyone says just chuck it, but it's too overwhelming to do this by myself. Plus there is probably a small amount of things I would like to keep lost up there (correspondence and zines from people I exchanged with). So while I hope it is gone through in a thoughtful manner and he gets a storage unit for the rest, most like it will all get chucked at some point, years from now, without being gone through. 
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 10:00:41 AM by partgypsy »

mozar

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You can hire a personal organizer @partgypsy

Brother Esau

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Currently reading this book. Highly motivated now to throw things away.

MilesTeg

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We moved almost two years ago, and have been purging junk starting from before the move. We had managed to collect what is (for us) mountains of junk. An entire basement full of things that went untouched for almost a decade.

We started the purge before the move, but have been (off and on) slowly working through it (looking mostly for sentimental things or highly important things). It was eye opening to how much wasted money there was (though in our defense, a LOT of it was junk handed down to us by family).

Never again! Our new policy is:

1.) only buy if if we _really_ need it.
2.) if at any point it goes unused for more than a few months (a) shame on us for buying it and (b) get rid of it now.
3.) help family get rid of their junk, but under no circumstances accept anything but truly needed/important/sentimental items.

Somewhat related to frugality, but mostly related to not burying ourselves in junk. We both have a bit of PTSD from hoarders in both our families, hah

Cassie

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G, 1800 got junk will haul it away. I have had good luck selling furniture on CL and OfferUp.  It does have to be cheap. We have also donated a ton of stuff.

acroy

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Congrats OP, good luck!!

JoJo

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The purge continues.  I only have 1 chair & 1 loveseat.  They are wooden frames with cushions, that are super easy to take apart and put back together.  There will be staging furniture starting on Monday but not sure how comfy this will be.

Wish me luck on the home sale... all the sudden there are all these articles on the softening real estate market so I hope this doesn't scare the buyers away.


Lanthiriel

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My husband and I have moved 8 times in 12 years, but we hope to stay in our current house until retirement. We've learned to pay full price for super comfortable items (a couch and a mattress bought at Costco), refurbished electronics (all of our current phones and TVs), and Craigslist for well-loved, solid wood furniture. My house is an insane hodge podge of styles and finishes, but it's all functional. I do own a matching bedroom set (bought used), but it doesn't actually fit my room, so you hardly notice how pretty it is. That was a good lesson for me.

In 10 to 15 years when we early retire and sell everything to move to the East coast or abroad, I will not be sad to part with any of it. It will all have served its function, and I can't imagine that my 70 yo dining table will be worth less to someone than what I paid for it last year.

We too have had good luck selling things on Facebook in particular. For pennies on the dollar of what we paid for sure, but at least it's not nothing.

pecunia

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Remember the converse of many of your stories is also a reality.

All that good stuff you brought to the thrift stores is duplicated by many.  If you need to buy a functional appliance, it often pays to look at the thrift store or other used outlets first.  Your needed item may be obtained for pennies on the dollar.

Last week I dropped a couple of glasses.  Ker-smash!   I went to the thrift store near my home and the broken glasses were replaced for $.25 each.   Yes - we have a perfect mismatched set.

Eric

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I can relate to this thread.  Within the next year, I'll need to sell/donate everything I own that doesn't fit in my backpack or car.  But when I look around my apartment, I'm pretty sure hardly anything is worth any money.  At this point most of it was either bought used or is now 15-20 years even if it was bought new.  I'm not even sure a lot of it is worth donating except to the local dump.

It's just such a daunting task, even though I only have 550 sq ft worth of stuff, that I haven't even been able to bring myself to get started.  I think I need to read that Marie Kondo book.  The Mustachian in me says that I need to figure out what's sellable and make some money off the deal.  The non-Mustachian in thinks that I should just leave everything behind, let my landlord keep my security deposit, and just be done with it.  Not that I would do that, but it does seem appealing.  Anyone in the Bay Area want some random crap?  lol

MarciaB

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You can hire a personal organizer @partgypsy

And if you live in Oregon or Washington I'll come on over and help you. Seriously, I perform this service for friends on a regular basis, sort of like being a life coach with the ability to make Goodwill runs.

MarciaB

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Last year Mr. Dreamy and I sold practically everything we owned, gave up the apartment lease and became nomadic. We've got 9 Rubbermaid storage tubs in my daughter's basement to our names. They contain camping equipment, seasonal clothing, favorite kitchen tools, and other things we would rather not part with. But there are only 9 of them. Including his bike, it all fits in our two (old beat up) cars if it needs to.

So freeing! We managed to make almost $1500 bucks on selling all that stuff though, which is remarkable because it was pretty used up (and even bought used to begin with).

My absolute favorite trick for getting rid of stuff no one will buy (or if you don't want to hold a garage sale or whatever) is to put it all out on the driveway and then post a Free Stuff ad in Craigslist. People will start showing up and picking up stuff like hotcakes, and after a few hours it will pretty much be all gone. Easier than hauling it to a thrift store.

MissNancyPryor

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I did this in 2016 after my husband flipped out and abandoned me with no warning (he sent me an e-mail goodbye while I was away on a business trip, married 28 years).  I was completely crushed but turned into a field marshal of forward motion and dealt with the disposal of my old life including a 5000 sq foot home and all its contents.

I packed up 30 years of accumulation and had an auction company pick up everything of size and value, the rest was donated.  No garage sale for little stuff, just....gone.  At the auction I got pennies for my stuff, an example was a gorgeous set of 4 Danish bar stools that I paid $1000 for new went for $60, and the auction house then took their 40% of that.  Robbed.  But I didn't care.  And today I wouldn't want those bar stools back.   

So yeah, stuff doesn't mean anything to me anymore.  I have the pictures and little memorable things from my now-adult daughters' lives, but furniture and chotchkies suddenly were not important to me at all.  Too many memories.

I have furnished my new home from almost entirely online purchases including large furniture and decor.  Stuff is just stuff.  There have been a few times I wished I still had a certain tool that I used to have in my old life but when I have needed something like that now I just go get it. 

Yes, definitely a learning experience, and really an opposite type of reaction compared to the Hoarders episodes where people go through some trauma and then spend years building piles and piles of garbage to insulate themselves.  Within 3 weeks of abandonment I shed it all like a scaly skin and revealed a raw, pink and tender surface underneath like some sort of burn victim.  I am doing much better now.         

partgypsy

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Miss Nancy Pryor, I understand exactly how you feel. So many things I felt sentimental about or get super excited and look forward to, no longer feel that way. Things, and also situations, such as vacations or holidays. Kind of got burnt out of me. At least I don't feel like I'm missing out when I don't participate in them anymore. Kind of feel more like a soldier than a civilian enjoying civilian pleasures and distractions.

Dicey

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Currently reading this book. Highly motivated now to throw things away.
I liked the second book even better. Not that I've gotten rid of much...

lizzzi

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I did this in 2016 after my husband flipped out and abandoned me with no warning (he sent me an e-mail goodbye while I was away on a business trip, married 28 years).  I was completely crushed but turned into a field marshal of forward motion and dealt with the disposal of my old life including a 5000 sq foot home and all its contents.

I packed up 30 years of accumulation and had an auction company pick up everything of size and value, the rest was donated.  No garage sale for little stuff, just....gone.  At the auction I got pennies for my stuff, an example was a gorgeous set of 4 Danish bar stools that I paid $1000 for new went for $60, and the auction house then took their 40% of that.  Robbed.  But I didn't care.  And today I wouldn't want those bar stools back.   

So yeah, stuff doesn't mean anything to me anymore.  I have the pictures and little memorable things from my now-adult daughters' lives, but furniture and chotchkies suddenly were not important to me at all.  Too many memories.

I have furnished my new home from almost entirely online purchases including large furniture and decor.  Stuff is just stuff.  There have been a few times I wished I still had a certain tool that I used to have in my old life but when I have needed something like that now I just go get it. 

Yes, definitely a learning experience, and really an opposite type of reaction compared to the Hoarders episodes where people go through some trauma and then spend years building piles and piles of garbage to insulate themselves.  Within 3 weeks of abandonment I shed it all like a scaly skin and revealed a raw, pink and tender surface underneath like some sort of burn victim.  I am doing much better now.       

Exactly this. I could have written this post.

AccidentalMiser

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Congrats OP, good luck!!

+1.  Congrats!

I am trying to get rid of stuff but we're just so busy and it takes a lot of precious time to deal with all of it.  DW is getting better at not buying more stuff and we toss/donate a lot.  I'm 3.5 years out from RE and I'll probably just be satisfied with slow progress until then.

Miss Piggy

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The hassle (mostly time) of holding garage sales to get $50 here or $25 there ...

"Would you take $5 for this?"

Ugh. I could not agree with you more about the lack of ROI for a garage sale. We held our last one a couple of years ago. Tons of work for a few hundred dollars. Never again.


mies

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The hassle (mostly time) of holding garage sales to get $50 here or $25 there ...

"Would you take $5 for this?"

Ugh. I could not agree with you more about the lack of ROI for a garage sale. We held our last one a couple of years ago. Tons of work for a few hundred dollars. Never again.

It's crazy how just about everything you buy is essentially worthless after you buy it.  I'm not moving, but I have been getting rid of a lot of junk I have accumulated over the years. A few things have sold pretty easily and have held their value, but a lot of stuff I can barely give away even if it is in decent condition.

lizzzi

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"Just about everything you buy is essentially worthless after you buy it." Yes, indeed. I almost feel like I'd like to embroider this on a sampler and hang it on the wall. (Kind of like in the old days everybody had "God Bless Our Home" on the wall.)

partgypsy

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What has worked best is posting on the local neighborhood listserves. Can post on craiglist as well. The rest of the stuff I do curb alerts or bring to my favorite non-profit.


mies

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"Just about everything you buy is essentially worthless after you buy it." Yes, indeed. I almost feel like I'd like to embroider this on a sampler and hang it on the wall. (Kind of like in the old days everybody had "God Bless Our Home" on the wall.)

Do it! :D But seriously, I keep that phrase in my head whenever I need to buy anything especially more frivolous items. I'm out of my "I'll keep this for later just in case" mindset. It seems like just in case never happens and your house just fills with crap you don't use, can't sell, might have a hard time giving away, or feel guilty about throwing in the garbage. To a certain extent, you should feel bad about throwing things away. A lot of resources and energy go into making and transporting our material goods. It's horrendous waste to just bury them in a landfill.

I'm hopeful that if I my wife and I ever need to move, we won't have to do a big purge like that before leaving. OP, I hope your sale goes smoothly!

SunnyDays

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Everyone just has too much crap nowadays.  It's so much easier to buy things than when I was a kid (57 now) and I think it's largely due to China and all the junk they produce that people feel are essentials.  I can do a mental scan of my childhood home, which was solidly middle class and can virtually count/identify all of the things we had in the house, because they were that few.  My grandmother's house was even simpler, with furniture she bought when she got married and kept for life (beautiful solid oak that went for a song when she had to move).  Now, you can hardly give away good stuff because people want cheap so they can "upgrade" every few years.  And the earth is paying the ultimate price.  It makes me want to weep.

swampwiz

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I am going to be a bit counter in this, but there is nothing wrong with being a true collector of interesting stuff.  Of course, this stuff shouldn't be so expensive that it is a burden on being a "badass" Moustacher - and of course, within reason given space allowances - but it is as legitimate a hobby activity as anything else.

And as for the cheap stuff from China, there had to be reason for the purchase of that stuff in the first place.  An example given here is a set of barstools - well, if you have a bar, you need barstools!  Now that said, of course, cheaply constructed, expensive stuff should be avoided - but the way to get around that is to spend a lot of time looking around at garage & estate sales, or Craigslist, etc.; however, that takes time, so really what is going on is that when you pay an expensive price for stuff that becomes virtually worthless after you take ownership of it is that you are paying for the convenience to get what you want when you want it.

sanderh

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Currently reading this book. Highly motivated now to throw things away.
Don't throw - donate instead.

BigMoneyJim

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the feeling of relief (!) as I slowly crawl out from under the psychic responsibility of being the owner/caretaker of so much stuff.

I can identify with this. I've told myself I've done a good job of not collecting stuff in my first house I bought 7 years ago, but there is still plenty to get rid of. I'm wanting to downsize and move, and I'm finding dejunking the house is much more a mental dejunking than a physical dejunking.

So much of the stuff I feel some microcommitment to keep or caretake needs a little fixing or the right home, but truly it has no value to me or to most other people. Getting over it and taking stuff to Goodwill, the dump, or e-recycling is surprisingly mentally liberating.

That said, I think my biggest challenge is ahead of me: downsizing tools. Downsizing books and media would have been harder if not for modern technology being able to replace them with no bulk. But getting rid of a tool is getting rid of an ability to do something, and that is going to be a real hard thing for me to do, even if I don't want to do that thing anymore.

SunnyDays

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Swampwiz, well yes, to a point we do need things, but we as a population, expect to have a certain lifestyle that just wasn't normal before.  For example, why does anyone need a bar?  If you're talking about an alcohol bar, do you really need a special place to store bottles and glasses and a special place to sit to drink the alcohol?  If you're talking about a breakfast bar, what is wrong with the kitchen/dining table to eat on?  My point was that our lifestyles are getting more and more complicated and luxurious and therefore we have to buy more and more stuff.  When I referred to China, I was mostly thinking of all the plastic and cheaply made crap that really no one needs and that just ends up in the landfill because it breaks so quickly.  And then there's planned obsolescence ......   Insanity!

Channel-Z

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To paraphrase from the movies, the things you own, end up owning you.

I'm not looking forward to the day when I have to downsize my parents' life. That should have happened years ago, but my mom has emotional attachments to everything, even if the cat peed on it. I've been able to get them to call a junk truck on a couple of occasions, but it hardly feels like I made a dent.

Personally, since I just have an apartment, I could probably get rid of everything in one push. But I work in the media, and physical media (tapes, etc.) takes up a lot of space. Life's work, you know...


TomTX

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I got divorced this May, and for the past 2 years have been getting rid of "stuff". Most of the stuff is not valuable, just things collected over a lifetime. It has been was really emotional "work" going through the things, and deciding what to keep, what could be thrown away, what to set aside for him, what to donate. Yes, there was definite resentment living with someone who was a packrat, could never throw anything away, who then leaves without taking or organizing anything. Being put in this position of being his permanent storage repository for all the things he might be attached to but didn't want to deal with. Including two elderly pets, and moving to a place that doesn't allow pets. Heck, the first year he lived somewhere he couldn't have his kids stay over. 

After dropping multiple loads off to the local non profit as well other decluttering, most of the excess stuff from the first floor has been gone through. Though I still find stuff like his clothes in his closet, sunglasses in a drawer, a cozi from a wedding we went to. Socks that still need to be sorted. 

And there's the attic. The attic is completely filled with things he collected over 20 years. It was his escape hatch, his hideaway. Things he said he threw away, I have been finding up here, like 15 year old broken computers, lamps that just need rewiring, his deceased grandfather's clothes that do not fit him, all his artwork from HS on up including many many canvases. Not to mention old electronics, video cassettes, books, magazines, newspapers, etc. There are 8? bookshelves worth of stuff, and layers of stuff behind it. I gave him 6 months to get his things out. The timeline has passed.
I know everyone says just chuck it, but it's too overwhelming to do this by myself. Plus there is probably a small amount of things I would like to keep lost up there (correspondence and zines from people I exchanged with). So while I hope it is gone through in a thoughtful manner and he gets a storage unit for the rest, most like it will all get chucked at some point, years from now, without being gone through.

Craigslist post: "Attic full of stuff [insert partial list and photos] - $100. Must take all."

Someone will offer you $50, or $20 or $10 and think they got a deal. Take it.

pecunia

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To paraphrase from the movies, the things you own, end up owning you.

I'm not looking forward to the day when I have to downsize my parents' life. That should have happened years ago, but my mom has emotional attachments to everything, even if the cat peed on it. I've been able to get them to call a junk truck on a couple of occasions, but it hardly feels like I made a dent.

- snip -



Exactly - You know - my own father told me something similar many years ago.  This did not, however, prevent him from collecting junk.

My parents are gone.  My mother died last November.  It is time to sell her house.  Sixty years of stuff was loaded into that house.  Each item had a story associated with it.  I understand that.  I understand that the hoarding was not just saving junk.  It was saving memories.  I attempted to help my mom clean her house five years ago.  Every broken toy I picked up had a story.  She couldn't let the stuff go.

I helped my brother fill a large dumpster.  I too had stories for much of the junk.  It was memories in a physical form.  The stuff had emotional attachments that I wanted to retain.  It was like throwing the items away was like throwing away a piece om my past.  It was like throwing away a piece of myself.

You can't use it.  You can't sell it.  You can't give it away.  Save the memory and discard the item. 


partgypsy

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I got divorced this May, and for the past 2 years have been getting rid of "stuff". Most of the stuff is not valuable, just things collected over a lifetime. It has been was really emotional "work" going through the things, and deciding what to keep, what could be thrown away, what to set aside for him, what to donate. Yes, there was definite resentment living with someone who was a packrat, could never throw anything away, who then leaves without taking or organizing anything. Being put in this position of being his permanent storage repository for all the things he might be attached to but didn't want to deal with. Including two elderly pets, and moving to a place that doesn't allow pets. Heck, the first year he lived somewhere he couldn't have his kids stay over. 

After dropping multiple loads off to the local non profit as well other decluttering, most of the excess stuff from the first floor has been gone through. Though I still find stuff like his clothes in his closet, sunglasses in a drawer, a cozi from a wedding we went to. Socks that still need to be sorted. 

And there's the attic. The attic is completely filled with things he collected over 20 years. It was his escape hatch, his hideaway. Things he said he threw away, I have been finding up here, like 15 year old broken computers, lamps that just need rewiring, his deceased grandfather's clothes that do not fit him, all his artwork from HS on up including many many canvases. Not to mention old electronics, video cassettes, books, magazines, newspapers, etc. There are 8? bookshelves worth of stuff, and layers of stuff behind it. I gave him 6 months to get his things out. The timeline has passed.
I know everyone says just chuck it, but it's too overwhelming to do this by myself. Plus there is probably a small amount of things I would like to keep lost up there (correspondence and zines from people I exchanged with). So while I hope it is gone through in a thoughtful manner and he gets a storage unit for the rest, most like it will all get chucked at some point, years from now, without being gone through.

Craigslist post: "Attic full of stuff [insert partial list and photos] - $100. Must take all."

Someone will offer you $50, or $20 or $10 and think they got a deal. Take it.

I wish I could. But buried in there is personal stuff like photos and personal correspondence I don't want to throw out accidently. It makes me think of how a brain or computer, or library, it doesn't matter if you can store a huge amount of data, books, etc, if you can't successfully retrieve it. I'm hoping when time passes, he be willing to retreive/find the more personal stuff, and then the rest can be dealt with. Many of the things will have personal importance. But right now, they are just moldering/mildewing away. They are not really being saved.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 08:47:38 AM by partgypsy »

Eric

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"Just about everything you buy is essentially worthless after you buy it." Yes, indeed. I almost feel like I'd like to embroider this on a sampler and hang it on the wall. (Kind of like in the old days everybody had "God Bless Our Home" on the wall.)

I'd buy one of those!  lol

JoJo

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I still can't get rid of a couple bar stools, they'd be $90 new with tax, and these virtually look new.  I put for free on several sites, and had a couple people flake.  At least these will easily go in the van and off to goodwill if need be.  I know some people hate goodwill, but the other thriftstore I go to isn't taking furniture now. 

Pretty much everything else is gone.   Do still have a LED TV.   Only 2 years old.  Wonder if I should sell that or is it nearly impossible to get anything for TVs too?



swampwiz

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Exactly - You know - my own father told me something similar many years ago.  This did not, however, prevent him from collecting junk.

My parents are gone.  My mother died last November.  It is time to sell her house.  Sixty years of stuff was loaded into that house.  Each item had a story associated with it.  I understand that.  I understand that the hoarding was not just saving junk.  It was saving memories.  I attempted to help my mom clean her house five years ago.  Every broken toy I picked up had a story.  She couldn't let the stuff go.

I guess I don't have an attachment to big things like furniture.  So there was a desk that I grew up using.  So what?  However, I find that there are little things that I like to keep around, but in general, they don't take up much space.  For example, I have kept every credit/debit card I have ever had - it fits in a shoebox, big deal.  I also keep my old driver's licenses, passports, student IDs in that shoebox.  Until I had a major flood disaster in my home, I'd keep tests from college, along with the textbooks.  I keep award trophies/plaques.  I keep my letter jackets from high school (even after the flood, LOL).  I keep copies of my high school & university transcripts (the diplomas got destroyed).  I keep happy birthday cards from my mother/sister.  Sure, this stuff will go in the dumpster when I'm gone (maybe it will be cremated like me), but I'll keep it with me as long as I can.

swampwiz

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The digitalization of the culture has definitely made keeping stuff a lot easier.  When card drives got me big enough, I copied all my music CDs to my computer (with backups), and even then, I could always re-get it via Torrent.  The same thing with just about any book (of course, with the internet, who has time for books?)

JoJo

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Condo went on the market tonight.  I'm kind of nervous.  Agent warned me the Seattle area market is softening a lot and more inventory now than in quite some time. 

BigMoneyJim

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I guess I don't have an attachment to big things like furniture.  So there was a desk that I grew up using.  So what?  However, I find that there are little things that I like to keep around, but in general, they don't take up much space.  For example, I have kept every credit/debit card I have ever had - it fits in a shoebox, big deal.  I also keep my old driver's licenses, passports, student IDs in that shoebox.  Until I had a major flood disaster in my home, I'd keep tests from college, along with the textbooks.  I keep award trophies/plaques.  I keep my letter jackets from high school (even after the flood, LOL).  I keep copies of my high school & university transcripts (the diplomas got destroyed).  I keep happy birthday cards from my mother/sister.  Sure, this stuff will go in the dumpster when I'm gone (maybe it will be cremated like me), but I'll keep it with me as long as I can.

Huh, I seem to have inadvertently kept similar things as you. I never really thought about it, but I still have some textbooks and notebooks, old IDs, a couple of particular birthday cards, and school records. I may still have my letter jacket, but if I do I need to throw it out as it's old, cheap, and the vinyl got all weepy and sticky so it's been in a hanging garbage bag for years. Made me look: I can't find it, so I must have thrown it out in the past two years as I've gone through several rounds of dejunking, but I held on to it 25+ years without ever wearing it after HS.

Condo went on the market tonight.  I'm kind of nervous.  Agent warned me the Seattle area market is softening a lot and more inventory now than in quite some time.

Seattle softening? I so want to move there. Not right now, but maybe in 1-5 years.

JoJo

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yeah, seattle definitely seems softening... wait a year and see ...

RunningWithScissors

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JoJo - I'm joining your 'selling house and downsizing' thread.  My house will be hitting the market this weekend and I'm hoping I don't stay in selling limbo for too long.  I've been decluttering closets and storage rooms for over a year since we've moving to a home half the size of this one, and in another province.  The less we move, the less we have to pay to the moving company!

Most of our stuff is hand me downs, thrift store or secondhand so I'm always delighted when I sell it for what I bought it for years ago.  I remember a post that MMM did years ago about envisioning online sales apps as a stream of consumer goods that you can just dip your hand into and pluck out what you need, then throw it back in once you're done with the item.

For me, books are my nemesis.  When we move, I'm also retiring so my library of profession related books (architecture) is being culled.  These books, the stuff, the house....it all feels like letting go of who I am.  Cait Flanders' book 'The Year of Less' has some great passages about this feeling.  The cool thing is, once all the stuff is gone, I'm still here. 

Cheers to all of us who are decluttering!

JoJo

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My advice - start early.  I was really trying to rush to market and had to get rid of everything in a matter of 2 weeks and it absolutely sucked.  In many cases, I couldn't even give things away, so just took to goodwill and another thrift store.

It's a lot of work!


We're 2 days in to showing the condo and the news isn't great.  Traffic has been really low and no hint of offers.  Talk about missing the boat by 2 months.

partgypsy

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There is softening and there is also a season for house sales. At least around here because of the university, the best time to sell is around spring, so there is enough time to purchase, move in summer and be situation for the following school year.

Sending you dust for your sale!

JoJo

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There is softening and there is also a season for house sales. At least around here because of the university, the best time to sell is around spring, so there is enough time to purchase, move in summer and be situation for the following school year.

Sending you dust for your sale!

Yeah, really kicking myself for not having my act together.  I was out of town late April - mid June for vacations and visiting family that wasn't in good health (and going to a funeral).  Then I was having some health issues that didn't give me the endurance to get things done.  Really didn't kick in to get my rear in gear until 2nd half of July.

Unfortunately it looks like bad timing is going to cost me about $50,000