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Old 04-16-2016, 06:40 AM   #21
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I'm working on my home office now. Scanning 40 years of records. I'm almost done, and I have enough hefty bags of paper to fill the bed of my pickup. Next up - my workshop and garage. I'm getting rid of everything that I haven't used in the last 2 years. Sell on Craig's list, eBay, donate, or to the garbage. DW is doing the same - donating household items and clothes. We don't have a single downsizing task that is the best - it takes a combination of efforts.


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What downsizing actions were most useful?
Old 04-16-2016, 07:25 AM   #22
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What downsizing actions were most useful?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer View Post

One thing I can tell you not to do is don't advertise on places like craigslist that you have some free items to give away. It brings out the wrong kind of people!

Something else I learned is that downsizing is an iterative process, it is very difficult to do it all at once.

Totally agreed on the iterative process; like an earlier poster, DH and I last moved in a corporate relocation. This time we were more scrupulous about de-cluttering since we paid for it! It's more of a mindset now; we've put out several free Craigslist loads since we moved. The weirdest, I thought, was a Sears gas cooktop which arrived with pieces missing and wrapped in a blanket. Warehouse several states away swore they'd boxed it. They promised to pick it up and refund and did neither. We got the credit card company to reverse the charges. A ton of people wanted that.

I never put a phone number in the listing but do reply to e-mails. Only caveats: 99% of the time people who ask you to hold something for them rather than first come, first serve don't show up, and whatever you put out they'll take it all even if that's not what they came for. I was really annoyed when I TOLD a guy there would be other items but please don't take them because someone else was picking them up. He sent a friend, swears he told the friend to take only the specific item, friend took it all. Told me the friend would return other items. He never did, of course.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:53 AM   #23
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..........
I never put a phone number in the listing but do reply to e-mails. Only caveats: 99% of the time people who ask you to hold something for them rather than first come, first serve don't show up, and whatever you put out they'll take it all even if that's not what they came for........... .
True. I ask for their name, phone number and a commitment for when they will come. No name and phone number, no address texted from me. I Google them to see if they have a traceable presence on the internet. If they don't show when promised, I move on to the next guy. Freecycle is local and has a higher caliber of people, but some items are harder to get rid of.
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Old 04-16-2016, 04:45 PM   #24
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We are in the process of packing to move, and it is difficult. I'm managing to donate and sell some of my books, clothing and dishes, but my husband is not willing to give up anything. When his mom downsized, we inherited her excellent, expensive, heavy bookcases and display cases, plus sets of German China and silver. No one will want it, nor will we be able to get much for it. Not that my husband will allow us to get rid of it. All I know is that an awful lot of boxes are not going to be unpacked at the new house and will stay boxed up in the garage. I refuse to feel closed in like I have in our present house. It is very frustrating. He is an only child and I realise this is his way of holding onto his heritage.
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Old 04-16-2016, 05:22 PM   #25
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.......... Not that my husband will allow us to get rid of it. ..........
Getting rid of stuff can be very emotional. We have enough Christmas decorations for 5 houses, but DW clings to the old stuff due to the memories.

Sigh, at least she understands why I'm keeping my metal lathe and drill press.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:25 PM   #26
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The thing that was most useful: Finally making the decision to get serious.

I would look at something and ask myself... "Would I be willing to pay to store this?"

Taking pictures of things instead of keeping things that I realized I was keeping "for the memory."

The mantra: "Let it go."
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:25 PM   #27
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We down sized to 1400 sq ft on one level and I love it. So much easier and quicker to clean. I put all the furniture I was selling on CL and put it in the LR because it was winter. IT sold quickly. In summer had a few garage sales and then donated the rest. My DH hates to get rid of stuff so his stuff is in a huge shed that came with our little house and his office. Once at our new house realized we still had stuff to get rid of because the shed was full of stuff from the other owners. I put it all in front of the house with a free sign and that stuff went quickly. Most people that down size never regret it and don't miss anything. I had some friends inherit $ so bought a 2700 sq ft house and now don't have the stamina to keep it clean and can't afford their cleaners because all their bills are much higher including the cleaners.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:40 PM   #28
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I had some friends inherit $ so a 2700 sq ft house and now don't have the stamina to keep it clean and can't afford their cleaners because all their bills are much higher including the cleaners.

Yeah, DH and I moved from NNJ to a LCOL area when we married in 2003 and for the first time in our lives we could afford a McMansion, so we bought one. We sold it last year and were very happy to be out of it;
I suspect more baby boomers will be looking to move out of theirs as they age. I LOVE our lower utility bills!
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:47 PM   #29
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My friends had their home built 4 years ago and are 70 now. If one of them became unable to work they will be in trouble. Their smaller home is underwater and not sure they could get their $ out of their bigger home now because if people were going to spend that much they would just have one built in that subdivision. At 61 I am so happy to have less to clean. I also have found that I entertain smaller groups of people then when I was younger too so this amount of space is plenty.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:36 PM   #30
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Knowing where I spend my time, and the things I use in those spaces have helped greatly to keep my possessions at a minimum.

I know in the living room I like my space. I know I always have a drink, a laptop, a couple game controllers and dvd remote with me. I usually eat here to watch a show, so I also need room for a plate. I found that the best multitasker for being able to kick back and relax, use the laptop, or lay on my back and read is a couch. So all living room chairs went. Just one couch, with a table at either end.

At the TV, I have that, a DVD player, a few game consoles and games. I found that I can have a hefty PITA entertainment center, or mount the TV to the wall and mount shelves to handle each accessory and associated DVDs/games with bookends. So much less space and shelves are just stupid cheap over a full entertainment center.

I just go through the house and decide on what I can get away with in the most bare fashion possible. I am mindful of these questions:

What do I use a space for? How can I accomplish this with the least amount of furniture possible?

Where can I get rid of bulky storage where shelves will do instead?

What do I use frequently enough that I need to find storage for?

What do I use rarely enough that makes sense to hide away in the garage?

What do I keep around thinking that someday I will actually use this? Does it cost more to replace these items if I toss them, or does it cost more for the amount of square footage and storage space I need to keep them?

Are there better alternatives to keeping these items? A Kindle app or ereader or computer can replace most books and cookbooks. The same with an HDMI cable, or smart TV can replace a cable box with subscription services. Some hardware stores let you rent tools and lawn equipment. Some chain auto stores will let you rent tools too. Libraries can replace book and DVD collections.

By being mindful of what I really use, and knowinf what my alternatives are to keeping items, regardless of the house size I've been in, I can move everything with a fourteen foot Uhaul.
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:53 PM   #31
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Since we had kinda bad weather the last couple of days, I got DH to stay home a bit and clean out some of his papers and such. The recycle bin is filling up a lot. I cleaned the kitchen counter and I tossed all kinds of condiment packs of unknown age into the garbage. (That is a sign that we have takeout way more often than we should!) I did some cooking that used up the last of a few boxes of stuff like instant potatoes and bisquik, so those are out of the way too. At least the kitchen looks better since everything is put away, even if I didn't get rid of anything substantial.....
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:46 PM   #32
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I have had it with the weather also. This morning I have been on a tear throwing stuff out, shedding papers, selling CDs and DVDs to online resellers etc. I think its time to go to warmer weather!
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:56 PM   #33
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Reading books on the concept of simplicity before downsizing was really helpful last year. I just finished reading this outstanding (if not a bit padded) book on decluttering:

Amazon.com: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (8601421528498): Marie Kondo: Books
Excellent book. And I'm not into self-help or how-to type books. I liked that it gave techniques for getting rid of stuff with emotional attachments.

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Then the parents and aunts/uncles started dying and passing on their superior furniture to our generation.
This is the quandary I have. We have furniture that one or the other of us is loathe to get rid of because it's good quality and has family memories. We ask siblings (and sibling in laws) if they want it - and no takers. I was able to successfully get rid of an antique rocker, to my aunt... but that's the only piece I've been able to get rid of. My sister inherited a bunch from my BIL's side and is in the same boat.
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Old 04-17-2016, 03:42 PM   #34
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This is the quandary I have. We have furniture that one or the other of us is loathe to get rid of because it's good quality and has family memories. We ask siblings (and sibling in laws) if they want it - and no takers. I was able to successfully get rid of an antique rocker, to my aunt... but that's the only piece I've been able to get rid of. My sister inherited a bunch from my BIL's side and is in the same boat.
I ended up with high quality family furniture too, despite moving 4,000 miles away from home. My mother had it SHIPPED to me from Hawaii (years ago). I was aghast, because surely the shipping wasn't cheap.

I got rid of it all but like always, I did things the hard way. I got divorced and my ex wanted everything so he got my family furniture too. I wouldn't recommend this method for divesting oneself of furniture, though! A more sensible solution might be to give it all to your kids when they get older and leave home.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:18 PM   #35
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I like the idea of giving it to the kids when they launch. Since my boys are 13 & 15 it's a good plan.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:35 PM   #36
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I like the idea of giving it to the kids when they launch. Since my boys are 13 & 15 it's a good plan.
That could work out really well. Meanwhile, you could drop subtle hints about how terrific and desirable the furniture is, so that they will be extra glad to get it. My mother did that, and also she did not ask me if I wanted it - - she just shipped it to me and sent me a letter telling me it was on its way and when it would be arriving..
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:54 PM   #37
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I like the idea of giving it to the kids when they launch. Since my boys are 13 & 15 it's a good plan.
It worked great for us. Bought house near kid's college campus and furnished it with items we knew needed to go for our downsizing and ultimate relo.
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:04 PM   #38
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This is the quandary I have. We have furniture that one or the other of us is loath to get rid of because it's good quality and has family memories. We ask siblings (and sibling in laws) if they want it - and no takers.
Sometimes you just gotta kiss it goodbye. I've decided that if you enjoyed something for years or generations and you're done with it, well, it was a good ride. Maybe take a picture of it first and write down some of your memories about it. Old but well-made furniture isn't to everyone's taste and it's better to find someone outside the family who will appreciate it. I have only one son; he and DDIL have a small house, which they love and there wasn't room for our cast-offs, other than DS's large wooden toy box, which was a really nice piece of furniture. Fine with me.

My mother is 85 and trying to pare down, knowing she and my Dad won't last forever. The only person who wants her sterling is my SIL; the rest of us either have sterling or don't want it. I was glad it would stay in the family. Mom said, "yes, but that's $7,000 worth of silver". "So what?" I said.

My sister, however, got there first and asked for the ancient, worn cookbook with all Mom's hand-written recipes. I'm sure she'll let me borrow a few.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:06 PM   #39
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Here is my screening questions:

1. Have I used this item in the last year? Do I reasonably expect to use it during the next year?
2. Is it particularly valuable? Does it have sentimental value?

If the answer to the questions are no.... then out it goes! If I later find I need it I can get another one.

If it is valuable but I don't intend to use it then it gets sold. If it has sentimental value then I'll keep. If it has negligible value and I don't intend to use it then it is donated or tossed.

Really easy.

The hard part..... getting DW to do it.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:39 PM   #40
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1. Have I used this item in the last year? Do I reasonably expect to use it during the next year?
2. Is it particularly valuable? Does it have sentimental value?

If the answer to the questions are no.... then out it goes! If I later find I need it I can get another one.

If it is valuable but I don't intend to use it then it gets sold. If it has sentimental value then I'll keep. If it has negligible value and I don't intend to use it then it is donated or tossed.

Really easy.

The hard part..... getting DW to do it.


It's the sentimental value that is difficult. It's ALL sentimental!
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