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Old 08-03-2015, 09:39 PM   #21
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They always made a big deal about patents at Megacorp (though I must admit the couple $K they'd give out when one got filed always mattered more to me than the snazzy plaque). Several years ago I watched as a friend/colleague got RIF/retired and saw him just chuck over 10 of those plaques in the dumpster. I admit I was kind of horrified at the time... then fast forward 5 years and I found myself doing exactly the same thing earlier this year. Tossing out all those plaques was a big part of my personal disengagement process.

Some things are harder to let go than others, but it all gots to GO.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:45 PM   #22
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They always made a big deal about patents at Megacorp (though I must admit the couple $K they'd give out when one got filed always mattered more to me than the snazzy plaque)....
Our patent release document always said something like "for $1 and other consideration..." but we never even got the dollar. I guess someone complained because the last one I did didn't even mention the dollar... As for the consideration, I doubt they even thought about it!
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:10 PM   #23
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As we get closer to moving to our retirement home, the “stuff” in our present house keeps bothering me.. When I retired, around 3 years ago, I brought “home” 19 boxes from my office. Some of the stuff I’ve gotten rid of, but even though the boxes have more or less been closed for three years, the stuff is still things… I don’t want to throw in the trash.


Conflicts…
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:50 PM   #24
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That's the story here too. But, WTF, my son should wind up inheriting a bunch of money (by my humble standards) from us so if he has to have a dumpster delivered to the driveway and hire a couple of day-laborers to haul crap out, he'll be able to afford it...
All right! I will not feel bad anymore about keeping my junk.

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You may have misunderstood..... I've downsized my hobby stash about all I care to downsize it and I'm really not looking to shed anymore...

My point is, don't downsize/declutter stuff that still has some entertainment and/or sentimental value to you just to keep the kids from having to do it. Just make sure they understand that after you're gone paying someone to heave it into a dumpster is perfectly OK.
Another thumb up. However, I make a conscientious effort not to bring new junk home unless it's absolutely necessary. Between my own junk and the left-over electronic parts from a failed business venture, I have enough to last me a long time.

I think I can still throw away some more, but it takes time to make more passes through the stuff.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:53 PM   #25
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Our patent release document always said something like "for $1 and other consideration..." but we never even got the dollar. I guess someone complained because the last one I did didn't even mention the dollar... As for the consideration, I doubt they even thought about it!
So if they don't have proof they paid you a dollar, then all the benefits of the patent are yours.
Must be some patent troll lawyer willing to split a few million with you by working free.
Imagine the panic when they realize they have no proof.....
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:18 AM   #26
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I kept my personnel records and my nameplate. My 2 patent awards are tucked away somewhere.

It was loads of fun shredding the personnel reviews that I refused to sign for the last 7 years of w*rking.

I have recently been added to the mailing list of a retirees social club. The guy running it is cool, so I just may attend the next luncheon and see how that goes. There were some fun folks at the j*b that I would like to see again. I'll show up looking very feminine with a little makeup, my now much longer hair and a summer dress, just to get a laugh from the guys who have never seen me look like that.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:27 AM   #27
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I kept a lot of personal documents from work, but not much else, just in case I found I wanted to go back to work. Sort of forgot about it all until one day after about three years retired I looked at it and asked myself why am I keeping this stuff - and pitched/shredded it all...
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:53 AM   #28
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I got off cheap when my Dad died. I paid for the roll-off trash container and chute, and my brothers did all he heavy lifting. I was 2500 miles away.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:29 AM   #29
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Since this thread has wandered from a discussion of work junk to junk in general, I will lament that my two biggest jumbles of stuff that are getting nightmarish in dimension are books and clothing.

I will give up a book when they pry my cold dead fingers from around it.

And as to the clothes, I have an old house with a weird master BR closet. Its door is on the right and the closet space runs far to the left of the door. It used to be (6 months ago, pre-ER) that all my busin*ss clothes were right there when you opened the door. All casual clothes were a lonnnng reach to the left. Yesterday, I thought: "I haven't touched ANY of these 30 or so dress shirts and 8 suits since February!" So instead of throwing them out, I just reversed things and moved the dress clothes far to the left. Consigned to Closet Siberia. Now my t-shirts are right in front of me. But if only I could only drum up the courage to give the off*ce clothes away....

Which reminds me, months ago I posted this funny link:

www.youhavetoomuchsh*t.com (replace the * with an "i" and you'll link to the site).
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:45 AM   #30
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You kept all that crap for all those years? Wow........ Must have meant something to ya I guess.
I think that's one of the problems with having too much space. It's easy to just pack something away and forget about it, rather than make the decision to save or discard. I'm guilty of it, myself. I get those trinkets from work, and they end up in a box out in the garage, or packed in the storage room or something.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:30 AM   #31
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For general de-cluttering I have two recommendations. First, "Rightsizing your Life" by Ciji Ware, is a great book- it covers both the practical and emotional sides of de-cluttering and downsizing. She even lists places you can recycle things. One of these days I plan to take all our excess, worn-out towels to the local animal shelter. The second is Craigslist. List it as "Free Stuff", put it at the end of your driveway, provide your address and it will disappear. I've gotten rid of well-built chairs that needed caning and new cushions, leftover grout, empty scotch whisky canisters, and two tins of old buttons inherited from 2 mothers-in-law, among other things. I feel SO much better when I'm not just adding to the landfills.


Business paraphernalia- I've saved some of the good stuff. The crystal paperweights are on a shelf in front of a window in my home office. I got rid of a lot of the inconsequential plaques, but saved the one with my professional designation and the two I got for serving on the Society's Board of Directors. That career got me where I am now- retired early in a place we love, with enough $$ to enjoy retirement. I did, however, discard everything with the logo of my last employer. I'm hoping one of the T-shirts will show up on the security footage when someone robs a bank.


I started a discussion on LinkedIn a few years ago in the alumni group of one large financial services entity asking what paraphernalia people had form the company; it still gets new responses. Amazing what some people saved- even back copies of the company newsletter. I still use the bookends I got as a gift after 5 years of service.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:08 AM   #32
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I threw a lot of my suits away, much to Mr. A's chagrin ("Those looked good on you! They were expensive!" and my siblings': "You could donate them to a women's shelter!" Yeah, like anybody wants 20-year-old clothes that probably wouldn't fit anybody but me. Size 6 jacket and size 4 skirt? Who wears that combo?

But with my upbringing and his, getting rid of anything is hard. We had so little for so long.

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Yesterday, I thought: "I haven't touched ANY of these 30 or so dress shirts and 8 suits since February!" .
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:17 AM   #33
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This thread got me to start looking in the two boxes I have under my desk at work. I found a bottle of white out. I figured it was safe to toss that. It had solidified, anyway
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:22 AM   #34
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When I was closing out my parents' house, I got rid of a whole pickup truck of glass jelly jars--all from Dollar General Store. I just wonder how many loaves of bread they went through eating toast and jelly that left behind 1000 lbs. of glass jars.

Possessions are worth so much more to the owners than those that inherit it. My kids will be cussing me for years with all "my stuff."

I have enough good inherited furniture to furnish 8 bedrooms and two full dining rooms. We swap out furniture from time to time in rooms for a change.
My parents are avid "collectors." My father, however, pulled me aside one day to discuss the value of some of their stuff. His sage advice was, "When we go, burn the house and take the insurance money. That'll be far easier than sorting through all of our crap."
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:06 AM   #35
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My point is, don't downsize/declutter stuff that still has some entertainment and/or sentimental value to you just to keep the kids from having to do it. Just make sure they understand that after you're gone paying someone to heave it into a dumpster is perfectly OK.
That's a very good point. I cleaned out after an aunt, then my father, and now I'm doing it for my mother. The one big take-away for me after that is to make sure to let my kids know very clearly what stuff of mine has any financial value, what stuff has any sentimental value, and how to divide up those things amongst them. That's a short list, and they'll be able to toss everything else.

We still have some worthless junk from work - awards and such. No harm in keeping them, no need to give it any thought before tossing it all after I'm gone.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:27 AM   #36
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They always made a big deal about patents at Megacorp (though I must admit the couple $K they'd give out when one got filed always mattered more to me than the snazzy plaque). Several years ago I watched as a friend/colleague got RIF/retired and saw him just chuck over 10 of those plaques in the dumpster. I admit I was kind of horrified at the time... then fast forward 5 years and I found myself doing exactly the same thing earlier this year. Tossing out all those plaques was a big part of my personal disengagement process.

Some things are harder to let go than others, but it all gots to GO.
When I lived in Colorado, I had what I called the Wall of Shame which was a collection of all the useless trinkets and crap accumulated from work. The jewel of my collection was a clear plastic piece of junk from when I worked at a megacorp that had spun off a division into a separate company. It was for a "Founder's Grant" of about 100 shares IIRC. The stupid plastic block was worth more than the shares because I didn't stick around long enough for them to vest.

When I moved from Colorado back to California, I got a big trash bin delivered into the driveway so I could clear out the house, and all that crap went into it.

The company I'm at right now had a product launch recently and they gave out company logo baseball caps and t-shirts. Those got promptly thrown in the corner of the closet when I got home, and I'm sure will go into a local charity's clothing donation bin when I quit and move away.

I have no use for that junk anymore.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:43 AM   #37
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Here's what I keep and will not throw away: cards and pictures. I have cards given to me going all the way back to undergrad. Last week decluttering what little I have left to declutter, I went through all of those cards and was shocked at what incredibly beautiful words had been written to me by various people over time. Without keeping those cards, I would have forgotten how lucky I have been to know so many wonderful people throughout my life. I would have forgotten just how much I was either loved or thought well of.

The same goes for pictures. For example, I have some pictures of when I worked for a large luxury hotel 15 years ago, and looking at them reminded me of just how much I loved that job, that hotel, and all the people I worked with. Looking at those pictures brought that entire fulfilling experience back to me. I had the most fantastic time there.

My life has been both incredibly hard and incredibly lucky. I don't live in the past as a practice, so without keeping at least some of these cards and pictures I'm in danger of forgetting just how lucky and blessed I've been.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:46 AM   #38
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All work-related tschotskes have been relegated to the big, green can out back. Well, except for the SS Weber grill I got for serving a 25-yr sentence...
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:00 PM   #39
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Here's what I keep and will not throw away: cards and pictures. I have cards given to me going all the way back to undergrad. Last week decluttering what little I have left to declutter, I went through all of those cards and was shocked at what incredibly beautiful words had been written to me by various people over time. Without keeping those cards, I would have forgotten how lucky I have been to know so many wonderful people throughout my life. I would have forgotten just how much I was either loved or thought well of.

The same goes for pictures. For example, I have some pictures of when I worked for a large luxury hotel 15 years ago, and looking at them reminded me of just how much I loved that job, that hotel, and all the people I worked with. Looking at those pictures brought that entire fulfilling experience back to me. I had the most fantastic time there.

My life has been both incredibly hard and incredibly lucky. I don't live in the past as a practice, so without keeping at least some of these cards and pictures I'm in danger of forgetting just how lucky and blessed I've been.
I have a scrapbook of the cards and notes from high school graduation 40+ years ago. It is enjoyable to sit and read through all the cards every few years and appreciate all the friends and family that are no longer here. Scanning those cards would lose the essence of them and would never be even a close second.
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:29 PM   #40
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Mega corp had a 3 tiered recognition program: a framed certificate, a framed certificate and $200, a framed certificate and a grand. Never. never, saw anyone get the grand .... in hindsite it was just a carrot on a stick.

Funny to see all the framed certificates in the dumpster after our dept was laid off.
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