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Old 04-02-2015, 08:28 AM   #21
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As I have been attempting to deal with my late Father's condo contents (I am his sole heir), I find myself in a bit of a quagmire at times.

Three things that I tell myself to try to get through it are:
  • Consumables that I can use in the short term will be kept because I will avoid future purchases and the associated holding costs will be small.
  • Many items that I may use in the future can be purchased on ebay etc if indeed I really need them with no holding costs during the interim.
  • Digital photographs of items that have sentimental value may go a long way towards maintaining the memory and can likely be a proxy for actually keeping the item.

One of my psychological barriers to this is having such as "value mindset", I keep thinking that I should be able to find a home for items that I am discarding. I usually end up reverting to a donation of goods instead with the thought of letting the professional charities find the new home.

Wish me luck.

-gauss
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:59 AM   #22
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As I have been attempting to deal with my late Father's condo contents (I am his sole heir), I find myself in a bit of a quagmire at times.

Three things that I tell myself to try to get through it are:
  • Consumables that I can use in the short term will be kept because I will avoid future purchases and the associated holding costs will be small.
  • Many items that I may use in the future can be purchased on ebay etc if indeed I really need them with no holding costs during the interim.
  • Digital photographs of items that have sentimental value may go a long way towards maintaining the memory and can likely be a proxy for actually keeping the item.

One of my psychological barriers to this is having such as "value mindset", I keep thinking that I should be able to find a home for items that I am discarding. I usually end up reverting to a donation of goods instead with the thought of letting the professional charities find the new home.

Wish me luck.

-gauss
Good luck.

I took the lead with my father's things, then my aunt's (DM's sister). You have a pretty good attitude and approach. It is so hard to dispose of the things left behind by a loved one. Local chapters of the national charities proved less interested than I anticipated, and some stuff was tossed. Still, I was able to find some worthwhile local initiatives and get them some things. I'm sure DF and DA would be pleased with the outcome.

It's 15 years later for my father and I'm still going through (and enjoying) a shoebox of stuff he collected that no sibling wanted.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:19 AM   #23
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I should say at this point that it's never easy to "declutter" the former residence of a deceased relative (particularly a parent, and g-d forbid, a son/daughter). The emotional attachment to the residence and the decedent's belongings makes it extremely difficult to let go of things. For many people, disposing of such belongings is tantamount to giving away pieces of the decedent, or even a betrayal. Holding onto things simply because one is too afraid to let go is part of the grieving process, so it's important to take things slowly. In my personal experience, it's not like ripping off a band-aid.

OTOH, decluttering one's own life can be easier, but still involves some degree of "moving on" (i.e., growing up/moving on to the next phase in life, etc....) There is emotion involved, but IMHO it's quite different.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:32 AM   #24
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I should say at this point that it's never easy to "declutter" the former residence of a deceased relative (particularly a parent, and g-d forbid, a son/daughter). The emotional attachment to the residence and the decedent's belongings makes it extremely difficult to let go of things. For many people, disposing of such belongings is tantamount to giving away pieces of the decedent, or even a betrayal. Holding onto things simply because one is too afraid to let go is part of the grieving process, so it's important to take things slowly. In my personal experience, it's not like ripping off a band-aid.
Agreed. I went through the same thing with my grandfather when we moved into his house after his passing.

What I found is that you hold on to all kinds of 'stuff' and after a while --1, 5, 10 years?-- the loss part is gone and now it's just junk that's in your way ( which is what it was all along) and now you can throw out.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:59 AM   #25
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I have a natural tendency to feel weighed down by possessions. Still have way too much stuff, some of it forced on me by females (with good intentions), but I can fit everything in one ford transit (including the bike, and two matresses.).

Given I don't have kids or a permanent home, that seems par and fitting. Since more people go that single and flexible route, I'm in good company. Stuff naturally accumulates in a permanent place with kids, just ask my brother

.. and with fewer people having families and (quasi) permanent homes, less opportunity for hoarding, hence boomers who are selling find they have fewer people to sell to. Simple demographics I think.

I also object to the "They are living their life digitally through Instagram and Facebook and YouTube, and that’s how they are capturing their moments" and "The 20- and 30-somethings don’t appear to be defined by their possessions, other than their latest-generation cellphones."

I don't care about my cellphone hipster factor, and don't use Instagram, Facebook or YouTube. Most of my friends don't either.

No need to play the culture / counter-culture card. Demographics work just as well.

[Edit] Just as an aside: I see many grandparents downsizing and/or moving to assisted living. They 'declutter' as well, and are finding their kids (boomers!) don't want their stuff. It's a natural thing.
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:17 AM   #26
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As an almost Millennial, the article resonates with me for the most part. I don't want stuff. We have plenty of room to store more stuff, but prefer to get rid of the stuff we have that's rarely used instead of acquiring more stuff.

I wouldn't take any antiques from my parents or grandparents and they already know this. Unless it's more useful or comfortable than whatever furniture I currently own.

I remember right around the time we got married back in 2004, my mom mentioned a fancy silverware set or china as a potential wedding gift. I told her I wouldn't use it and didn't feel like having it cluttering up the house. Instead, we received plane tickets and a week long cruise to the Caribbean ($1500 or so, probably the price of fine china and/or silverware).

I can tell you I enjoyed that awesome week more than I would having fine china or tarnished silverware sitting in a box in the closet or attic (waiting for me to die so I could hand it down to my kids that don't want it).

My parents have sooooo much stuff in their house (borderline hoarders, but relatively clean at least). Part of that is a stuff-intensive hobby (model trains) and part is simply not realizing that tons of stuff doesn't equal more happiness. It got to the point where the grandkids' playroom at grandma's house was so cluttered with toys (~90% of the floor space with goat trails to get around) that my kids didn't want to go over there any more. Maybe I'm rebelling against stuff in my own life due to my upbringing?
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Old 04-02-2015, 02:20 PM   #27
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It feels good to have time now to organize and declutter the whole house and garage. I try to do at least one declutter project a day.

I'm really into the whole reuse, reduce, recycle way of living. I try to get what I can from charity thrift shops these days and donate our clutter to them to to find a new home.

I bought a practically new glass top office desk for $30 and am donating a nice, all wood student size desk the kids used to use. It is in good shape so I hope someone with younger kids can give it a new home.
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Old 04-02-2015, 02:38 PM   #28
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It feels good to have time now to organize and declutter the whole house and garage. I try to do at least one declutter project a day.

I'm really into the whole reuse, reduce, recycle way of living. I try to get what I can from charity thrift shops these days and donate our clutter to them to to find a new home.

I bought a practically new glass top office desk for $30 and am donating a nice, all wood student size desk the kids used to use. It is in good shape so I hope someone with younger kids can give it a new home.
Way back when... things used to be made to last generations. Young couples starting out would be given hand-me-downs from their parents, who in turn had received those items from their parents.
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Old 04-02-2015, 02:40 PM   #29
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I try to toss, recycle or give away 5 things every day. Even if it is just extra pens, pencils or small things. It helps over time. I am to the point where much of the garage stuff still has a lot of 'potential' value. For example, I would love to get rid of some of my camping gear, but... if we get hit with a big natural disaster or just a big power outage, I know that I may need to depend upon that gear for heat, food and shelter. After Katrina, I think it is obvious that we need to be able to survive for at least a week without any outside help. So, it still takes up room.
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Old 04-02-2015, 03:11 PM   #30
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My DS took very little from our house when he went out on his own. I had consolidated 3-4 boxes of his stuff over the years and even though he smiled a lot at the memories while going through it, he quickly pared it down to one box. I even had made a memory box that he wasn't interested in--although I kept it in case he has kids one day and they will love to see it.

Different generation.
Same here. I keep telling them "you'll wish you still had that 20 years from now" and they just roll their eyes.

We're planning to downsize in ~3 years, so are getting ready to have garage sale #1. It absolutely makes me sick to think of how much $$$ I spent on all this stuff now sitting in our garage with $1 or $5 price stickers on it. I hope we're able to retain this sick feeling for the next few years as we pare down.
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Old 04-02-2015, 03:48 PM   #31
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My next decluttering project is the garage, specifically the tools that exist in duplicate and triplicate. Some belonged to my late FIL, who gave them to my husband. My gardening buddy has the same dilemma in the form of stuff his late father accumulated over the years. I still use some hand and power tools, but nowhere near what is in the overall collection. All name brand stuff will stay with me. I may keep a few duplicates of power tools as backups. TBD.
I'll bring the unused tools to the local Legion for first pickings to fill out their ever-disappearing tool collection. Whatever is left over will go to the side of the road or the local church rummage sale. I doubt there will be much left over.
I also have 4 large Sears Roebuck double door heavy duty metal storage cabinets. I think I can consolidate those 4 down to 2, perhaps 3. Those I will sell, advertising only by word of mouth.
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:20 PM   #32
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My next door neighbor has moved to his daughter's house because of severe memory issues. (I can't help but wonder how well that's going to work.) He's a very nice guy and I hate to see this happening to him. His wife just went to assisted living a few weeks ago and a week later the memory issue was diagnosed.

His daughter and SIL are doing most of the work prepping the house for sale simply because they only live a few miles away. I came back from the gym today and this was in the driveway. They're taking decluttering seriously.
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:31 PM   #33
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Before I fled down south for the winter I was working (with help from DW and DD) to deal with my Mom's house after she died. We didn't have much of a relationship, so there's no real emotional ties to the stuff, but damn there's a lot of it. She was a definite hoarder. She used to brag about how she could survive for months on her supplies if necessary. But when DD (age 30) was picking through the canned goods two of the cans exploded in her hand, and a number of them had expiration dates from when she was 15. And the paper! My god, she has statements and stuff from the 60s.

I tried the "leave the doors unlocked and go away for two weeks" method, but it's all still there. I think we're going to tell the local FD to come pick up almost everything and sell it and keep the money. But I'm not sure they'll even want some of the mouse-chewed furniture. Luckily it's way out in the country. Might be bonfire time. Not looking forward to that part of flying north for the summer.
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Old 04-02-2015, 07:02 PM   #34
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Sorry if off topic:

Went to my mom's house to get it ready to sell. The only thing I took from her home was a picture of me when I was 3 years old. (Mom always wrote the ages on back of the pictures).

While I looked at the picture (this was ~4 months ago), I started to remember vivid details of what happened when picture was taken. Nothing special, it was done by a professional photographer, but I remember climbing up on the counter to get my picture taken.

Now mind you, this was 57 years ago. Today, I'm in my closet and I pulled out a pair of my shoes to show my wife. I said to her, "you know why I like these shoes?", "these are the same style of shoes that I wore in that picture". Just realized that today.
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Old 04-02-2015, 11:36 PM   #35
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His daughter and SIL are doing most of the work prepping the house for sale simply because they only live a few miles away. I came back from the gym today and this was in the driveway. They're taking decluttering seriously.

Geez that's some serious de cluttering.

When I was a kid the neighbours son did the same thing, they took 3 truckloads of stuff away including a truckful of cardboard.

I'm glad my i laws moved out of their country place into town, they had a shed (think the size of a 3 bedroom house) full of stuff and have gotten rid of most of it.


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Old 04-03-2015, 07:16 AM   #36
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My next door neighbor has moved to his daughter's house because of severe memory issues. (I can't help but wonder how well that's going to work.) He's a very nice guy and I hate to see this happening to him. His wife just went to assisted living a few weeks ago and a week later the memory issue was diagnosed.

His daughter and SIL are doing most of the work prepping the house for sale simply because they only live a few miles away. I came back from the gym today and this was in the driveway. They're taking decluttering seriously.
We are close to this situation with MIL. She will likely move in with us next week, unless she prefers assisted living.

SIL wants to take MIL to do some sorting at MIL condo, but we have told her that with the severe dementia, that it will be a painful process. And then the next day, she will likely have to review everything again.

My plan would be a dumpster in a couple months, when she is not there.
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:58 AM   #37
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His daughter and SIL are doing most of the work prepping the house for sale simply because they only live a few miles away. I came back from the gym today and this was in the driveway. They're taking decluttering seriously.
That looks about the size of the one we had brought out to Grandmom's house back in October. We filled that sucker to the gills, but sadly, it barely made a dent.

I used it as an excuse to clean out my own garage. Here was my contribution...

It felt good at the time, to get that much stuff out of the garage, but now, whenever I go in there, again, it feels like it barely made a dent.
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:53 PM   #38
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Way back when... things used to be made to last generations. Young couples starting out would be given hand-me-downs from their parents, who in turn had received those items from their parents.
I think both desks would last a long time. The all wood one is very nice - just not adult size and our kids aren't even married yet, so it could be a long time, if ever, before we have grade school age grandkids needing a student desk, even assuming they lived close by enough for transporting it and wanted the desk. Plus we don't have a basement. That cuts down what we can keep right there.

I got a great deal on the glass desk, the charity shops get the money for both desks and a young family gets the student desk. I think that is a win all the way around.

When our oldest moved out we did the math and it was cheaper to just buy the bigger stuff from Ikea and thrift shops in the new location instead of renting a truck and moving stuff from home a long distance.
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Old 04-03-2015, 03:00 PM   #39
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One of my decluttering actions before I quit work 9 years ago was to take our old basketball hoop, one of those stand alone jobs with sand in the base, to my old office. It was a massive pain to move, but my buddy and I hauled it there and set it up in a corner of the parking lot. When I was in town last fall I drove past and was pleased to see it was still there and a couple of guys were shooting hoops at lunch. My company isn't even in that building anymore, but the hoop lives on. It felt good. Reuse instead of dumping in a landfill.
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Old 04-03-2015, 03:11 PM   #40
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I should say at this point that it's never easy to "declutter" the former residence of a deceased relative (particularly a parent, and g-d forbid, a son/daughter). The emotional attachment to the residence and the decedent's belongings makes it extremely difficult to let go of things. For many people, disposing of such belongings is tantamount to giving away pieces of the decedent, or even a betrayal. Holding onto things simply because one is too afraid to let go is part of the grieving process, so it's important to take things slowly. In my personal experience, it's not like ripping off a band-aid.

OTOH, decluttering one's own life can be easier, but still involves some degree of "moving on" (i.e., growing up/moving on to the next phase in life, etc....) There is emotion involved, but IMHO it's quite different.
+1 Must confess that, now that DH has passed, I no longer need to keep and polish his mother's sterling service for 8 (along with multiple large serving pieces). Instead, found a company that will buy it for resale and pay me a good price. (Sold some of my own stuff there in '13).

The proceeds from this sale should be a very nice down payment on a trip to Europe. As dear MIL always said, "Go have fun, and don't look back!"

Not sure if DS and DDIL would make such good use of the family heirloom. They were already kind enough to take a set of the family china......but would probably have little patience with sterling.

I, however, can have great patience with anything that helps to pay for a good vacation!
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