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Old 01-07-2011, 07:09 PM   #281
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I sent my previous laptop to cashforlaptops.com and received $95. It was a 5 yr old Dell. Lots of these type sites around, and they typically send you a box and pay for shipping as well.

Thanks for the link. I'm keeping my old Dell for the moment but put in the numbers and it's worth $34.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:11 PM   #282
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I no longer need my Toshiba laptop purchased new in 2003. How best to donate/discard this item? Please share your ideas. Thank you.
Retire2014,

Don't know if you've donated your laptop yet. But before you do, if you haven't already, it would be a good idea to wipe it out and/or restore it to a clean state first.

I bought this external HD that didn't quite work as I wished from Wally World. They have a good return policy, so before returning I made sure to wipe the drive, then restore it to the way it was as new.
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:22 PM   #283
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I've been swept up in the financial aspects of our daughter's three-week college break, but for every day that she was spending 20 minutes with me (and it was literally every day) she was spending at least 45 minutes with spouse on "Operation Clean House".

Our 10+ years in this house is the longest we've lived anywhere since I joined the Navy, and I'm amazed at what they've pulled out of the nooks & crannies around her bedroom. (Once she hit puberty I pretty much stopped going back there.) They went through 18 years of "But I might need this someday!" stashed in a hallway closet (12 linear feet of floor-to-ceiling), her bedroom closet (four feet wide), two bench lockers, and a couple of file cabinets. We've already filled our "Goodwill" closet for the next donation run, and we still have a stack of old toys & box games in the livingroom. Our scrap paper pile has doubled in size. She found two "lost" calculators (which each resell for at least $50) and she's passing on many high-school textbooks and AP/SAT study guides.

She brought home a bunch of high-school t-shirts that have been supplanted by college t-shirts. Now that she knows what she wants in a college wardrobe she also left behind a pile of "nice to have" items that are going into Rubbermaid storage. She also packed up most of her toiletries to take back to her dorm room, so she cleaned out an entire bathroom and almost all of our plastic bags.

We also dropped off a dozen worn-out bath towels and two area rugs at the SPCA for the dog-washers and the cat habitat.

One of my next projects is slicking our old Mac Mini's hard drive and bundling it up for the next e-waste collection day. Then I'm going to rearrange all the tangled wires behind the computer desk and hopefully have enough slack to be able to work everything from the front without having to pull the furniture away from the wall.

I think we've made more progress in the last three weeks than in most of 2010...
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:32 AM   #284
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While our daughter was home over the holidays, she & spouse spent 20 minutes a day for three solid weeks sorting through all the closets and all the old notebooks/homework folders.

We now have a foot-high stack of scrap paper that gets fed through the printer when we don't want to use the "good" paper.

Neighbors up the street are hosting their son's family for a few weeks, including two tween boys, so we gave them a couple shopping bags of our daughter's old toys & board games. The other six shopping bags (mostly clothes and girly toys) went to Goodwill.

She also parted ways with her old Palm Pilot m125 (a gift from an uncle who wasn't using it). Anyone know if a Palm Pilot plus all its accessories has any eBay value?

The Goodwill trip was a net win. I found a pair of Land's End surf shorts (Land's End makes surf shorts?!?) for $3.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:02 AM   #285
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(Land's End makes surf shorts?!?)
Isn't that where the Surf is?
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:10 AM   #286
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Isn't that where the Surf is?
I still think of them as flannel shirts and warm jackets.

It's just not one of those brands that makes the splashy surf-culture ads around here... maybe that's changing?
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:41 AM   #287
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I still think of them as flannel shirts and warm jackets.

It's just not one of those brands that makes the splashy surf-culture ads around here... maybe that's changing?
Yeah, and I agree.

It was another of my attempts at humor... I do that periodically despite the poor success rate.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:15 AM   #288
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Spouse's $50 27" "HD-ready" 1080i CRT TV died last week, so we bought a $40 27" CRT TV. We got about two years out of the last one and this one looks like it'll make it at least that long. She's still not interested in going digital, and at this rate by the time the CRTs are gone the 27" LCD TVs will also cost $40.

Now we're just waiting for an e-waste collection day. I have a whole Prius-load of obsolete electronics ready for processing.

We've been having a lot of rain and high humidity this week, and spouse noted that my 30+ feet of shelved 40-year-old paperbacks were beginning to smell a little rank. I've probably read each one a dozen times but years will pass in between those reads.

I realized that I don't absolutely have to have the e-reader and the book's electronic version before I throw out the hardcopy. The paperbacks were starting to crumble in my hands anyway. So last night we pulled down about eight feet worth, recorded the titles on a spreadsheet for later, and filled up the trash. The HPOWER plant will burn a little brighter next week from all that well-aged fuel.

It was interesting to see how much time I've invested in those books over the years. Spouse would pull one down and start to read the title to me as I was typing. I'd glance across the room at the cover and complete the author/title before she did.

Now I just have to find an e-reader and electronic versions of those titles.

I quietly noted that while this "simplifying" criterium applies wholesale to my rank paperbacks, it somehow doesn't also apply to any of her 30-year-old college textbooks...
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Old 04-16-2011, 02:07 PM   #289
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Nords, I did the same last fall and reduced my books quite a bit. It's a wonderfully freeing feeling to have so few books that they fit in just two bookcases.

BUT - - in defense of your DW, I didn't get rid of my old engineering textbooks. You can't really get e-reader versions at a reasonable price at this point in time. They are probably really expensive even in paper form these days.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:23 PM   #290
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Good to see this thread revived.

I gave away a very large sailboat model to a friend who used to be a federal security policeman at 1 of my very first jobs in the area and then where I last w*rked. We have stayed in touch here and there over the years. I see him and his wife almost every time we go to the Legion. He was so happy to receive the gift.

I'm done with my "Lady Cave" room, previously referred to as the "junk room" . I assembled the storage unit I ordered from Amazon and have everything nicely sorted through and the "keepers" all organized in plastic and wooden boxes.

I kept my childhood shell collection. I kept my crayons and dinosaur coloring book for that rainy day when I feel creative and silly at the same time.

After much deliberation, I decided to advertise my 2001 vintage Meade DS-114 EC reflecting telescope and a very extensive set of eyepieces, filters, and wide angle lenses for sale on craigslist. I enjoyed using the telescope immensely over the years, but my stargazing enthusiasm has waned to zero. I feel good about admitting that to myself.

I am hoping a Physics teacher or professor will see the ad and purchase it for educational use. If it doesn't sell after 4 months of refreshing the ad, I will consider donating it to one of the local community colleges or high schools.

Decluttering is still a positive thing to accomplish.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:58 PM   #291
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I have lost twenty pounds so some of my clothes were just too big . I took the in great shape items and sold them on ebay . This allowed me to purchase new smaller size items with no quilt .
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:56 PM   #292
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Two weeks ago I bought a pair of 5-drawer lateral file cabinets being auctioned online by a local hospital. I have no truck, so I bribed a co-worker with lunch and a small gift to make the run for a lunch-time pick-up and delivery to my house.

Today (Saturday) was the day for the massive garage cleanup. I've lived in this house about 10 years and it was way overdue. Just about everything in the right side used-to-be-a-car space and a 5x10 place to pile my junk workshop corner came out onto the driveway and front yard.

The day was pleasant for working outside. DD was so amazed she even came out to help for an hour or two.

The cabinets fit in the spot I picked even better than expected. I'll be able to find my garage stuff without digging (or tripping) over boxes in the way.

Total cost: $35 for the file cabinets, $15 for my friend's lunch / gift, 5 hours of tiring bend and lift work and two Tylenols (so far). DW being pleased with the tidy outcome: priceless.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:44 AM   #293
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Big progress.

We've thrown out 237 paperbacks, mostly from the 1970s but some as old as the 1950s. They added up to over 20 feet of shelves, and the HPower incinerator is going to be making plenty kilowatts from this load. The shelves are going in the attic until our daughter packs out her first Navy household goods shipment in 2014. Spouse has started cleaning the moldy walls (although we may have to paint) and when our daughter's home next month we'll do the final sort & discard on the 25 remaining books. The remainder will fit in a small bookcase in the familyroom.

While we were up in the attic we hauled down carpets that we've had in storage since the 1980s. One of them is a 1960s flower-power relic that spouse grew up with, another is a very nice 8'x12' Persian that she found in Spain, and a third is a berber that she bought in the Azores. We're trying those out as familyroom area rugs so that we can start removing some of the decade-old bunny-stained wall-to-wall carpet.

We also brought down a half-dozen remnants of wall-to-wall carpet projects from the last 20 years. ("But we might need these someday!") Along with old bath mats & towels and a collapsible cage, it all went to the Hawaii Humane Society for their, um, cat house.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:51 AM   #294
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I have lost twenty pounds so some of my clothes were just too big . I took the in great shape items and sold them on ebay . This allowed me to purchase new smaller size items with no quilt .
Fine for you, down there in Florida, but in colder climates the quilted items often make more sense.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:43 AM   #295
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We have started a big purge as we are planning on moving at the end of May. I told DH this time no excess is going to be going with us.

We bought a scanner and I have spent hours scanning our paperwork with many more hours to go. We are doing a room at a time. Spare bedroom is done, lounge area has a few magazines to go then we have the biggies to attack. Kitchen, study and the dreaded closet.
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:23 PM   #296
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I had several years of National Geographic, Car and Driver, Astronomy, and Sky and Telescope mags and decided it was time to get rid of them. I boxed them up and put them out on the curb with a "free" sign on them. The kids were like ants on a pile of sugar. By the time they were done there were no magazines left, just empty boxes.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:35 AM   #297
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I like this thread! Being new here, I'm still finding my way around but I stumbled on this and although I'm not in ER yet, I love getting rid of stuff lately. I have a small stack of clothes that will hit the Goodwill this weekend!
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:20 AM   #298
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We cleaned out the area under our storage shed yesterday.

It's a 12'x16' room built on stanchions into the side of our steep backyard hill, so it's easy to store large objects under the floor joists. The previous owners had hung some lumber racks under the joists, so we promptly filled them up with scrap wood of the "But I might need that someday!!" variety.

That was over a decade ago, and the area has become a mess. We've only used one or two small pieces of wood for our daughter's school projects, and now she's in college. We also noticed that some critter was bringing macadamia nuts into the woodpile (we have a mac nut tree in by the shed). We thought it'd be a mongoose or something else with very tough teeth. (Mac nut shells are impossible for humans to open without a rock crusher or a hammer. Nutcrackers won't even get started.) The shells weren't fresh but we expected a certain critter factor during the cleanout so we were wearing work gloves & shoes.

Our storage shed is 21 lava-rock stairsteps down from our back lanai and probably a hundred feet from the street. It was hot, sweaty work-- small scraps went into a wheeled trash can but my daughter and I each made over a dozen step-aerobic trips during the next 90 minutes lugging armfuls of bigger pieces. Fortunately it was all dry wood without termites, centipedes, or brown scorpions. ("Welcome to Paradise".)

We ended up hauling over two pickup-truck beds worth of wood, pipe, and PVC. We can store the PVC in the garage and we'll recycle the metal. Some of the wood might go to Re-Use Hawaii, but most of it will be cut up and sent out in the trash over the next few weeks. It's burned for electricity at the HPOWER plant.

It took us over an hour to haul our way from the periphery to the last lumber rack-- in the center and way under the floor joists close to the hillside. I was putting smaller scraps in the trash can while my daughter was crouched by the rack, pulling the larger boards out from the pile and brushing off the mac-nut shells. I turned my back for a second and heard her yelling at the top of her lungs "Ho, shoots, RATS!!"

She came leaping out from under there like a rocket. I've never seen her move so fast. As soon as she cleared the shed, the rats followed like they were ripple-launched from a catapult-- off the rack, springing into the air, and down the hill into the brush. *POING*,*POING*, *POING*, *POING*, *POING*-- five full-grown adult rats vanished while my daughter considered whether her $15/hour labor was interested in continuing this project. I lost the jan-kep-po so I went back under there to see who else was waiting for us, and found two young rats who weren't old enough yet to leap like their parents. They finally scampered off the back of the rack and worked their way down the hill too. I'm really glad I didn't find any baby rats in there.

Once the squatters had vacated their abode, we finished cleaning out the last of the lumber. We filled two five-gallon buckets with mac nut shells and lychee husks...

We'll spend another hour or so cutting the wood scraps into trash-can-size pieces, and we'll get rid of them over the next 3-4 weeks.

We might have solved another problem too: maybe the neighborhood cats will stop spending so much time in our back yard yowling away all night?
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:39 AM   #299
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Great story! I was picturing the rats springboarding and your daughter shrieking.

Very glad I was not there. You would have seen me defying gravity, running up one of the trees.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:14 PM   #300
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As soon as she cleared the shed, the rats followed like they were ripple-launched from a catapult-- off the rack, springing into the air, and down the hill into the brush. *POING*,*POING*, *POING*, *POING*, *POING*-- five full-grown adult rats vanished
Of course they ran. Natural enemies...

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