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Getting rid of stuff, again.


Bill/Marg

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What happened to me? Back in 1995, we lived on the lake. We were out in the country. I have never been much on yard sales, had rather give "stuff" away. I did burn a lot of "stuff." I can still burn "stuff." My daughter though, she is the queen of yard sales. She is one of those people who can go in and find a treasure among a bunch of "stuff." She insists on a yard sale. Lots of stuff can be given to the local thrift store. The sales benefit the local nursing home. I was not sentimental. Age has made me sentimental though. Have to save this for my granddaughters, cannot throw away that "Best Grandma" mug. Who is going to take care of the family pictures? Pictures I have not looked at in years. I will figure this out. Hate houses. How did a nomad, a gypsy by heart and head, a born wanderer, a total meandering couple get themselves into such a fix. Now I am old and cranky. Well, I was middle aged and cranky before. I can do this. It's all good. Procrastinator - it has my picture in Wikipedia. Cell phones had just come into being last time we did this. One time I almost called in a controlled burn in Arizona. I would have if I could have got reception in those mountains. At a senior RV camp they questioned our ages all those many years ago. They won't question them now.

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It's hard. I had managed to clean out most of our house and then..... My parents passed away months apart just over a year ago. DH & I had to empty their house in about three months while working full time, caring for them and living about an hour from them. My mother was the queen of stuffing all the non-public areas of the house while keeping the public areas neat and clean. We were astonished at how much stuff was hidden in every nook and cranny. And important things were mixed with things that were garbage. With so little time, we brought anything that we couldn't instantly decide was trash here and a year later, I'm still making the hard decisions that they couldn't. Genealogy? Keep the older irreplaceable stuff, but organize it in a way that is meaningful to the family. Scan the rest. Scan the pictures and share with the family. Keep only the really old ones (if it's color, toss it). Grandma mug? Toss. Clothes from the 70s? Bins of nails? Grandfather's tools? Cabinets full of vases? Antique furniture? 500+ Mason jars from at least three generations? I've got it all.

 

Fortunately after this weekend all but the best quality stuff that needs to be sold will be gone. We've sorted, washed, tossed, donated, recycled, and sold mountains of stuff. It is hard. But it gets easier, both from practice and from learning how important it is to let things go. And we did another big hack at or own stuff this past month as we came close to finishing. I still need to go back to the genealogy & pictures, that just takes too much time but it will be done by year's end.

 

Two years from now when we leave to full time we shouldn't have to do very much more at all other than pack the RV and store the heirlooms that really are valuable to the family.

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There have many 'debates' about 'stuff' on these forums. All it does is bring us to the conclusion that we all have different opinions.

I think individuals need to be left to their own decisions on the matter. It's hard enough without being bombarded with those who say 'do this' or 'do that'.

For us we thinned down our pile of 'stuff' but what was left represented so many memories. (Just yesterday we delivered a load of books to the charity shop). All we have in life is memories and dreams. Don't be influenced by those who tell you what to do. Do what your heart tells you to do.

I have 'stuff' such as my grandfathers WW1 medals and service records. I have my best friends WW11 medals and service badges. I have my favorite aunts bible. We lost our son some years back. Do I get rid of his 'stuff'?

And no modern technology can't 'copy' those memories onto a small piece of silicon for later use. It doesn't work that way. Well not in my opinion.

 

regards

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I have to keep rethinking things. My mom is fixing to be 94. My sister lives with her. My mom has never been sentimental about anything, but she was a business woman first and probably still has checks saved from 1945, just in case the IRS checks on them. This house we have been in eight years keeps needing taken care of. This is okay if you like to live in a house. I never have. Always wanted to move even when I was a kid. My dad would have, but my mom was a nester. I am lucky we both want the same things. We have a pretty good retirement income, not rich, but okay. Thinking now, if I discover something and have not used in years, or do not know where it was, out it goes. Things for the granddaughters go with the parents. I don't want to think about dying and my kids having a million things to go through, and each thing making them sad. I've done this once before, can do it again, just not as fast. My mom cannot understand anyone "wanting to live in their vehicle." I have friends that want to die where they were born. We all hear different drummers.

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Bill/Marg, cute first post at the top. I need to re-sort AGAIN as well. When we return to our home town of Va. Beach (we are fulltimers), to see family and friends, my goal is to sort through the storage unit and try and downsize to a smaller one. Yep, I am one of those just cannot get rid of everything. But I do try to get rid of stuff a little at the time. I was an Antique dealer for 10 years so I do have extensive collections but tastes change so I realize some of it is now just 'junque'! But of course, I simply replace some of it with other things we have collected in our travels. I am hopeless!

Carol

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Oh we learned a lot with the first four RV's. Before Kindle I kept my vast collection of books under the automatic lift bed. Probably 1000 pounds maybe a good guess. When we went down hills (5th wheel), we thought our Dodge Diesel would carry anything. That 28 foot 5th wheel pushed us down hills. I hung so many clothes in the 30+ foot one with the mirrored closet across the back, it broke the clothes holding poles. With the 19 foot 5th wheel, the 30+ foot 5th wheel, the 28 foot 5th wheel, the cab over camper finally, we learned a lot of lessons. The new TT is parked in our driveway. I have put rugs in it, a memory foam mattress, new bedspread and pillows, but know how much I can carry now. We have had learning experiences. I hope in the time lapse since the last RV that we can just remember them all. That is why I posted this in the beginning RVing part, we are beginning again.

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We got rid of 90% of our "stuff" by September 2005. The rest went to our rental's "office/shop" 5 hours away in Northern IN. Most that "stuff", is gone now, but the "office/shop" was my parents home. Their "stuff" from 54 years is for the most part still there, got rid of things left to others, paintings, nick-knacs and clothes, been shredding personal and business records of theirs from the mid 50's. 2 tall file cabinets and box after box stack in nooks and crannies throughout the house. Why shred? We're sorting anyway and have found pix, birth records, marriage licenses, legal records and all kinds of "family" stuff mixed in. Last year I disposed multiple bags of shredded paper and a wheeled trash container of house plans, quite a few which I had drawn for Dad in the 60's and 70's. Over the winter wife Dale scanned a 3rd bankers box of photo for the year. Last year we started selling off the rentals, 2 more to be gone this summer. So we're going to start emptying out the house/shop, since once the rentals are gone, there is no need for the "office/shop", other than a place for our kids to stay when visiting relatives. This has basically been going on for us since July 2004, 2-3 weeks each summer.

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When both our parents were gone we had a estate sale prior to selling the family home. I was not there to see it but after it was over there was not a single item left in the house. We did get a large sum of money which surprised us.

 

We were not much for garage sales but we have been having them each year for the past few years on our cities city wide yard sale day. Each year more stuff disappears from our S&B and money appears in our travel fund.

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The process is evolving. In our garage we have his, hers, mine, ours, theirs, two middle aged kid's stuff too. Yesterday, Billy got an insane look to his countenance and started taking things out to a big pile way out back. I managed to save a big box of "important" papers. After going through them, most are to be burned. Saved some cards from the kids. Sentiment. I looked in one box and he jerked it back from me. What-nots, old watches, junk. He did not even ask if I wanted to save them, he jerked them away and headed toward the junk pile. A few minutes later I heard a boom and the pile erupted in as many flames as a rainy season will allow. The ice making refrigerator, well I called a local furniture place and they picked it up this morning. Yesterday he got so hot, so exhausted, that last night I was afraid for his health, maybe his life, and it came to me. This may take time. We are not spring chickens this time around. Old rooster, old hen. He had taken a Tylenol #3 the night before. We don't take anything stronger than blood pressure pills. Scared him. I do not want to leave a dump where a beautiful house once was. We will still make the improvements. The rock garden that someone had put the entire length of the house, (the black weed guard had allowed weeds everywhere). If we used a weed eater, it threw rocks everywhere. Too old to bend and pull. We shoveled all the rocks, took them by wheel barrow to a part of our road that needed them. Will lay a weed guard today again and put treated wood chips. This is a country home (in a small town) with five city lots. Too much for two older folks. Still, I want it to look nice for some younger couple with kids to enjoy a bunch of more years. My chief interest in the place though is to see it in my rear view mirror on leaving. We just want to leave in the RV, not a box. Will take it slower.

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Worse case could always be a nice storage shed. Then when time allows pick your way through your 'stuff'. We always feared that circumstances would change and we would be left with no RV and no 'stuff' to look after in our old age.

 

regards

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  • 2 weeks later...

As a p.s. to the first note, we are learning to go slower than we did. After about a week missed with illness from too vigorous pushing ourselves, we will take it slower. It's all good and falling into place. I think the hardest thing to admit is the fact we are old, or older, and we certainly hope to keep getting older. Used to it was a destination and we made it. Now it is a dream and we are taking the first step. Lord willing and the creek don't rise.

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After about a week missed with illness from too vigorous pushing ourselves, we will take it slower. It's all good and falling into place. I think the hardest thing to admit is the fact we are old, or older, and we certainly hope to keep getting older.

Getting old isn't the most fun thing to do, but it sure does beat the only alternative! :huh:

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