Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Your possessions - what do they mean to you?
Old 03-29-2010, 02:54 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DangerMouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,812
Your possessions - what do they mean to you?

I was reading an interesting article in the London Times yesterday on clutter and how to get rid of it. The link is below.

However, it got me thinking about my relationship to my things. For example, why if I am a size 12 do I continue to hold onto my size 6 clothes? After giving it some thought I realised the reason I did so was because I want to be a size 6 and it is as if I think by holding onto these things I can believe it will happen. The memories I associate with being a size 6 are much more pleasant than shopping as a size 12. It was a bit of a wake up call for me. It certainly inspired me to go through my wardrobe once again and pull out clothes that I am not really wearing. I managed to remove another 40 items and place aside for donation.

Seeing these clothes hardly worn makes me feel guilty for the money I have wasted as well as gluttonous for having so much. I think for me the volume relates to when I was growing up and we never had new clothes. Everything except for underwear was a hand me down.

Interiors: another fine mess you’ve got me out of - Times Online

I think buying things and owning things does control so much of our lives. After all, the more we accumulate the more we seem to desire to have. Following is an interesting blog I read on someone who faced up to what they owned and made some decisions on how it effected their life. Reading this made me realise so much of that applied to my life.

10 Unexpected Costs of Owning Things*|*AlmostFearless.com more.
__________________

__________________

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
DangerMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-29-2010, 04:24 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
The things I have that I would never part with would all fit in my car. Those things (a 1936 E.H. Scott radio, McIntosh stereo system, Questar telescope, and my favorite books) I have owned for 40 years or more and they will always be part of my life. Other than that I like a very simple life; I live in an 850 square foot house, am debt free, and do not want for anything. I do, however, have a weakness for expensive electronic stuff but never get too attached to any of it.
__________________

__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 04:41 PM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 619
I like having nice things, but I HATE clutter. Once I've "enjoyed" something I usually have no problem getting rid of it. (Do not mention this to my hubby. )

Oh...and has anyone seen "Hoarders?" YIKES.
__________________
SarahW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 05:16 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,030
The only things that mean something to me are all sentimental items . China that I inherited, drawings from my kid's , christmas ornaments from my travels ,family photos , sentimental cards and love notes . Everything else is just stuff !
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 05:24 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,408
Hmmm - having everything more or less taken by Katrina - I wish we had packed less underwear and more pictures/momento's.

Alas - hindsight.

heh heh heh - stuff can be replaced. Also I heard this rumor you can't take it with you.
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 05:59 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick View Post
Hmmm - having everything more or less taken by Katrina - I wish we had packed less underwear and more pictures/momento's.

Alas - hindsight.

heh heh heh - stuff can be replaced. Also I heard this rumor you can't take it with you.

Lucille Ball lost a home once and said to always grab the photos. All else is replaceable.
__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 06:00 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA suburbs
Posts: 1,769
The things that mean the most to me have the least intrinsic value: family photos, old letters, pillow cases my grandma embroidered, kitchen utensils from my childhood home. My husband had several pairs of aviator sunglasses...I keep a pair in the glove compartment of the cars, his Army dogtags on my key ring. I adore a gift from my son (made with the help of his kindergarten teacher): a cigar box covered with contact paper with his photo under the lid...my favorite jewelry box.
__________________
WhoDaresWins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 06:11 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Koolau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Leeward Oahu
Posts: 3,240
Never thought I was into "possessions" until I moved 5000 miles - and couldn't get rid of what wouldn't fit into the 2 suitcases I used to move "important" stuff. Had a good chance last year to get rid of stuff (almost 3 months) but didn't make much of a dent. I'm going to really try this year to get motivated - the sheer cost of storing all that cr*p should be motivation enough - but so far it hasn't been.

Beyond the sentiment involved with "stuff" (e.g., mom's piano!) I can not throw stuff away if it has any possible utility. I don't worry too much about "value" (never been into Craig's list or Ebay), but I just about have to find a "home" for everything even if it's the Starvation Army or Good Swill. Dumpsters just don't cut it for me. DW is just as bad or worse! Probably the reason we could retire with no more income than we earned in our life times. We 1) never bought a lot of stuff 2) We never wasted much of anything. Still, most good traits have a down-side and "clutter" is the down-side of frugality in our case.

Maybe unclemick's "solution" isn't such a bad one after all. A convenient tornado or other natural disaster could take care of my problem.
__________________
Ko'olau's Law -

Anything which can be used can be misused. Anything which can be misused will be.
Koolau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 06:17 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,873
I come from a family of people who love stuff. My possessions mean a lot to me - either someone gave it to me, or I worked hard to afford it or drooled over it for months before parting with the cash, etc. And then there are all the items that I have personally created. If I can't take my stuff with me, I refuse to go!

DangerMouse's post reminded me that I used to be a Size 10 - 12, and am now a Size 6 - 8, without having lost any weight. In fact, I weigh somewhat more than I did when I wore Size 12s.
So I have Size 12 clothing in my closet, from the early 1980's, that still (pretty much) fits, alongside 6's and 8's that also fit.
(A couple of 20-something men in my office were shooting the breeze, and when one told the other that he would never consider dating a woman who wore a size larger than 2, I almost died except that it wasn't any of my business).

Amethyst
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 06:21 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,695
Pictures are starting to be a burden. Good thing they are now coming in digital format. My 90 year old Mom has a closet full of photo albums and most of the people in them are gone. No real way to share them no great interest by children, grand children & GG children. A FEW good photos of the old farm and family are a good idea, looking through 200 pictures of a now deceased uncle's wedding in 1940 not so desirable. When I first retired I spent some time & effort scanning 800+ slides of DWs relatives and some travels in the 50s & 60s. I think they have been viewed maybe once by any of the relatives who were furnished a copy. Only good part is the slides are not taking up room, are not fading and are accessible from an index.
The most valuable heirloom I have is my father's musical instrument (concertina) I can remember him playing it. It will be passed on to my son who is actually a musician although as a metal drummer he would be an alien to my Dad.
__________________
T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
yakers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 06:28 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
I have some kitchen things that belonged to my Mom. My favorite is a salt and pepper set shaped like lobster claws. I use them every time I cook. They are 4 inches tall, ceramic, bright red with black speckles, classic 1960s style. I remember the low budget Cape Cod vacations we went on when I was a child. My affair with the seashore started a loooong time ago.
There are several things from my 20 year marriage to LH that are precious, things that remind me of our trips together.
I have a ceramic happy smiley turtle and 2 piggy banks that I made in ceramics class as a young teen.
I'm in the process of major decluttering, so many things are being donated. But never ever will these sentimental items be given away.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 08:00 PM   #12
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,825
When we evacuated for Hurricane Katrina at nearly the last minute, I rode in Frank's car and only took two days' clean clothing and my laptop. Afterwards I did not know the status of my house, any of its contents, or my car until we returned almost a week later.

Of course the photos mattered. I beat myself up unmercifully for leaving them behind. But also I was really surprised at some of the other things that mattered to me, that I didn't think mattered to me at all. For example I was surprised that my (cheap) collection of paintings and sculptures was such a Big Deal to me, but it is. So was my favorite fake Tiffany lamp. I spent the time after evacuation, while watching our city drown on TV, crying for our city and my friends and co-workers, whose fate I did not know, and making lists of what I had left behind that I felt I needed.

So, I now have a hurricane list that went through the acid test, so to speak.

In 2011-2012 we plan to move to Springfield, and I don't plan to take much with me. No point in taking much furniture, because even though I am fond of my furniture it isn't worth much and it might not look right in another house. I have been downsizing for the past few years in preparation for the move. As a result, suddenly my house has ample closet space.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 08:09 PM   #13
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,825
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers View Post
Pictures are starting to be a burden.
My great-grandfather was a professional photographer in the old West. Somehow I ended up with many of his photos, which are family treasures, plus I ended up with many of my parents' photos and my own.

I had been intending to scan all of these but it is a prodigious task and frankly, I have barely scratched the surface.

So, I removed all of these photos from all of their photo albums, wrote what they are on the back of them, and threw out the photo albums. Then I put the photos (and my diplomas) in a rubbermaid under-the-bed plastic container about 30"x18"x6". Now, when we evacuate for hurricanes I just grab the container and put it in the car, and I know I have all my photos. I am sure this is not the best way to treat old photos in the long term, but it is working for me for the time being.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 08:54 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 484
I accidentally set the kitchen on fire during my last Lupus flare (forgot the teapot on the stove). Small fire - no big deal but I had a reoccurring nightmare afterward that a little bisque angel I have was destroyed. I love that angel, it looks just like my DS. I think that angel was replacing my son in those nightmares. Other than that angel, the thought of losing everything else didn't bother me.
__________________
tinlizzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 10:53 PM   #15
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,501
I'm also in the process of getting rid of stuff. Hardest to part with is the radio control airplanes, in part because I spent so much time building and flying them. It was a great stress reliever in part because the mental concentration required pushed everything else aside. But I haven't flown one for years, I suppose because I "plateaued" with that hobby. Or maybe I just don't need that stress reliever anymore.

And I have a basement full of tools, a workbench 14 feet long, and five cabinets full of associated R/C materials that I am slowly whittling down by either selling, giving away or trashing. The specialty tools for tiny size things I'll keep as they are remarkably useful in working on small household stuff, like repairing a broken necklace chain.

DW once asked "If anything happened to you, what am I going to do with all this stuff?" I told her "Go through the house and decide on what you want to keep. Then call an auctioneer, point to the rest and say 'Make it go away.'"
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2010, 11:52 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
20 years in the military formed the habit of packing all your stuff up every 2-3 years and handing it over to govt contractors (of the fabled lowest bid) who promised to ship it thousands of miles and hypothetically return it to us undamaged.

We learned pretty quickly to sever all emotional attachments to our stuff.

If a fire swept up out of the gulch then we'd put the family, the bunny, the computer, and the photo drawer into the car. Everything else is replaceable, and frankly we could learn to live without the last two. And if we weren't home when the fire swept through, then I'm pretty sure we could learn to live with that too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahW View Post
h...and has anyone seen "Hoarders?" YIKES.
Spouse is strangely captivated by that show. Hopefully it's the horror of watching a train wreck and not a case of "There but for the grace of a few more cubic feet of storage..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
DW once asked "If anything happened to you, what am I going to do with all this stuff?" I told her "Go through the house and decide on what you want to keep. Then call an auctioneer, point to the rest and say 'Make it go away.'"
When my mother died, my father literally had an estate auction. Then he downsized from a 4BR three-story house on a half-acre lot to a 2BR apartment. It's interesting to see what he's kept over the years. As for our house, though, I tell my spouse that it's a good thing I'm dying first...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
(A couple of 20-something men in my office were shooting the breeze, and when one told the other that he would never consider dating a woman who wore a size larger than 2, I almost died except that it wasn't any of my business).
Nice of them to let you overhear... now you won't have to waste any time fixing them up with anyone in the gene pool.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2010, 06:05 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
vicente solano's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,116
Not being a very sensitive guy, I am ashamed to confess that aside a few photos I hold no real attachment to anything that money can replace. And those photos I´d hate to lose are close family ones only. I tend to forget faces....
__________________
I get by with a little help from my friends....ta ta ta ta ta...
vicente solano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2010, 06:12 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
Nords: I can hear the battle cry now, "Saaaaaave the bunny!"

I heard some fellow long ago saying he wanted someone who wore a size zero or size two and not over 98 lbs and maybe 5'7". I asked him if he had any idea how thin that was? Naturally, he didn't. In fact, his response was, "too thin?" I learned alot of guys have no clue about women's sizes so I'd take that fellow with a grain of salt, Amethyst. Let's hope he was just showing off for the fellas...maybe?
__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2010, 07:49 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,634
A handful of old photos seem worth preserving. Other than that I can't think of anything I would be upset to lose. The hassle factor of replacing things (especially government documents), now that is another matter.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2010, 08:08 AM   #20
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,412
Possessions are like anchors – they just hold you down. We too have learned from frequent moving – including one where we lost everything. Stuff doesn’t enable, it limits choice.

I spent a bit of time with my father before he passed away and ER has allowed me to spend lots of time with my mother and other relatives. One thing I see in them is the only “stuff” that matters is the kind that represents memories. Pictures and other memorabilia. Family, friends. and special moments.
__________________

__________________
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:01 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.