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Old 08-24-2016, 05:31 AM   #21
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We've been de-cluttering for a few years now. Much has gone to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, but in the past year I've had good luck using an app called Close5. Seems to be an offshoot of Ebay. Take pictures (up to 4) of an item on your smartphone, write a brief description, set a price. It's for selling in your local area. People sell all kinds of stuff on there. Just an alternative to Craigs List. As others have said, it's very liberating to get rid of stuff you will never use. Largest donation this year was my CD collection. I ripped every CD to disc, then got rid of hundreds of them to the local library. They were glad to take them.
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:50 AM   #22
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We have a very low tendency to keep old stuff. Must be one of the biggest donors to "goodwill clothing boxes". Give furniture "down the line" to family as it is almost always quite serviceable. Take advantage of any dumpsters tradesmen have while renovating our homes for stuff we can't be bothered giving away.

On the other hand we have some "almost hoarders" in the family. In particular my mother. I threw tons of old stuff out when she moved from her condo into a nursing home. Can't believe some of the useless stuff she had squirrelled away.

But even worse are my in-laws who need to sell their house and move. 45 years of junk. My father-in-law is so possessive of this stuff that he is going to gift the house to my brother-in-law, because he trusts him to save the "important" stuff. Fine by us, but good luck. Probably put a bunch of stuff in storage.
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:58 AM   #23
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I'm having some difficulty in purging. I put my pontoon boat up for the sale. I clid a deep clean and then got the "I may not want to sell it" mindset. I still have it. Same thing with my generator. Fired it up and had second thoughts. But I ended up selling it - hopefully that will break the ice and allow me to sell more stuff that I don't use.
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:12 AM   #24
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We are in the process of decluttering our house and have found freecycle to be a useful resource. Essentially, you post items that might be useful to someone else and they come by and pick them up. Typically, you leave the item by your front door so you don't actually talk to them unless you want to. The down side is you don't earn any money by doing this, however, it's much easier than selling the items.
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:40 AM   #25
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Psychological Tricks / Way of Thinking

I am going through a similar process in clearing out my late Father's condo.

One of the enabling things for me was finding the feature in my tax software that placed values on items for donations. These values were much higher than we have claimed in the past (ie used men's shirt $10).

I now photograph everything, detail everything on the charity receipts and claim a very nice tax deduction.

I feel that I have very good documentation in order if I am challenged by the IRS and if they question my values I will point to the source that I used ("heck I am not a property appraiser -- I thought I would let the experts do it").

I have also found that having digital photographs of items serves a good proxy to retaining the original item for sentimental purposes.

The other things that I ask myself include:
- How large is the item?
- How difficult would it be to replace if I needed it again (ie ebay)
- What would be the cost to replace the item
- Is the item consumable?
- How often would the item be used?

I weigh all these against having a nice open home vs a cluttered, depressing difficult to use home.

I have heard once that poor people when they travel (such as on a local bus) often have bags with all the stuff they may need. A more well to do person can travel without anything knowing that they have the option to purchase something while they are out if the need occurs.

Another psychological tact that I use is that of economic marginal utility. How much benefit is that 20 year car that I don't drive in my driveway really doing me? How much utility would this same item bring to someone else? I recently donated a +15 year old Oldsmobile that I purcahsed 7 years ago for < $3,000 to my wife's cousin's cousin who recently lost his recently inherited truck to an accident. He was back to riding the bus again. I gave the car to him free and clear and felt quite good about it.

Having attained ER I really try to push myself in this direction. I find often that once something is gone I rarely think about it in the future. Donating stuff is very liberating to me.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:06 AM   #26
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Yea, I wonder why anybody would take stuff to a dump.... when I sold my house a number of years back I left any 'junk' in the garage and told the person I was selling it to that I was doing it... said if they did not want it they could do anything they wanted with it... they did not object...


When we sold my moms home almost all the rooms had something in it... we said up front we were not going to do anything with it.. he said fine since he was going to tear out most of the inside.... the garage was also full of junk.... some with value if you wanted to take the time to sell it...
They probably threw it all in the garbage or took it to the junk yard
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:17 AM   #27
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My first step has been to STOP buying stuff.
I used to stop at garage sales and pick up tons of wonderful stuff people were selling, I didn't realize they were purging. I'd buy things in case I needed it, so for example I have 6 led headlamps, but still only 1 head

Sometimes I have to fight the urge to buy, but it's been working for about a year now.
Next step is to throw out the broken things, the left over parts from repairing things.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:30 AM   #28
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I've always been one to keep the clutter down. I hate to go look for stuff and can't find it. Worse is to look, can't find it, buy another, then find the original and now have TWO!! Ha!

So, my process is this;
Once a year a go through a room or garage. Not all the rooms at once, spread out over the year. Anything in that room I haven't used for 2 years gets a sticky dot put on it. The type of decal dot you find on prices marked on items at garage sales. Anything in the room that already has a dot on it from last year gets a price marked on the dot and moved to the attic. When moving the stuff to the attic, anything already in the attic gets brought down and either listed on craigslist, neighborhood garage sale, donated to a thrift store, at the curb with a free sign and finally the garbage can.

Sure, sometimes I get rid of stuff I had a use for later down the road, but the probability that I either wouldn't remember I had it, or wouldn't be able to find it anyways and just frustrate myself. The way it is now, I know what I have because I do this sort of inventory every year and nothing is more than 4 years old and not needed.
I don't keep track of the dollars, but I would bet that what I make off the reselling goes a good ways toward getting what I really need. I also have lots of storage space that now stays well organized and stuff is easy to find. When I do downsize, the process will be easier as there won't be too much of the stuff that's been kept well past it's useful age.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:42 AM   #29
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My rule of thumb when cleaning out a closet.
50% trash
25% donate
25% useful stuff that you bought replacements for because you couldn't find them.

I been able to sell stuff through craigslist. If something is in mint condition I look for 50% of new and lower the price every few days until I hit the right price. Stuff that is a little warn but still useful you may be lucky to get 10% of new price. I am usually just happy as pie to see it go.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:09 AM   #30
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I'm a little surprised at some of the responses here; being that most ERE folks are frugal and "value" seekers. By the time I'm done with something, it's usually used-up, broken, or thread-bare. No criticism...
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:31 AM   #31
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When my MIL died, we checked the price of her good china. Found it it would cost more to ship it than it was worth.
My dad was a real pack rat. When he died, my sis and BIL cleaned out the "walk-in" closet. They claim they took out about 100 trash bags of stuff!
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:45 AM   #32
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Mom and Dad were mild-grade hoarders. Lotsa stuff, but stored in a tidy manner so it wasn't obvious to the casual observer or house guest.

When Mom died, Dad stayed in the house until he passed a decade later, and never got rid of anything. It made him happy. When I'd visit 2 - 3 times a year (distant location), he'd usually have something he'd taken out and played with recently and would proudly show me. Sports trophies from my youth, guns and fishing equipment we used together decades ago, lotsa tools long untouched and, of course, junque.

When Dad passed, I dreaded cleaning the house out. I was working at the time and took one week's vacation to get it all done. Turned out to be a piece of cake. The realtor who was selling the house for me connected me to a service that would clean out a house and haul it all away for just the value of the "stuff." I spent a half day going through things and grabbed all the guns, a few of the tools, family pictures, purged confidential paperwork, etc. The next day the junque hauling guys came and cleaned the place to 100% empty in just a few hours.

Yeah, if I'd had time, I could have probably sold the stuff I didn't keep, but who cares? We're talking maybe $1k - $2k - $3k, who knows for sure? But not life changing amounts. And it was all quickly and easily gone.

The only problem is that most of the few boxes I hauled home are still sitting as I packed them, in my basement, waiting for me to die I guess! Oh well......... My son can call the junque guys!
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:46 AM   #33
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1. Ask my friends if they wanted anything, if it was of any real value they offered a little something, like a new snow blower I wouldn't need when I moved south. I took pictures, created a pinterest page, and shared on facebook...had more than i thought contact me... especially the big stuff. I put it all in the garage so as neighbors and friends stopped by to say goodbye, they would walk through and usually find something they could use or always liked of yours.
2. luckily the neighborhood had a rummage sale organized already, so I only had to manage to open the garage, tagged expensive items, the rest I had a $1 table and free table.
3. items that were deemed collectibles I sold on Craigslist and got contacted by people in other states, added shipping, and sold about 1/2, then the rest I found someone doing an auction for a charity so gifted the rest that way.
4. Lastly a charity came and took everything else.

The only issue I had in the end was chemicals..bags of fertilizer, grub stuff, old varnish, it was mid winter when we moved and they didn't have any drop off locations open.. yeh should have planned that much earlier.
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Empty Nesters Purging Homes Experience
Old 08-24-2016, 10:49 AM   #34
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COCheesehead and TexasProud,
The stuff we took to the dump were things we could not donate or give away. 30 year mattress & box spring, rusted out lawnmower that had just died, ripped up tarps, broken yard tools, old hoses that we're starting to crack, cheap old paneling that had been stored in the attic, old cans of used paint. It was amazing what had accumulated in the attic, she'd and garage over the past 30 years.
DH and I use things until they die. No one wants that kind of stuff.



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Old 08-24-2016, 11:06 AM   #35
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COCheesehead and TexasProud,
The stuff we took to the dump were things we could not donate or give away. 30 year mattress & box spring, rusted out lawnmower that had just died, ripped up tarps, broken yard tools, old hoses that we're starting to crack, cheap old paneling that had been stored in the attic, old cans of used paint. It was amazing what had accumulated in the attic, she'd and garage over the past 30 years.
DH and I use things until they die. No one wants that kind of stuff.



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Don't get me wrong.... I agree that most of this stuff should go to the dump... I just did not want to take the time to do it... so I left it when I sold the house...

I did forget to add that my current house has junk in the garage that the last owner left for ME... now 7 years in and I have not touched anything .... DW is starting to get on me to get rid of it.... I really should... but some is old paint and stuff that you have to take to a special dump site...
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:27 AM   #36
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It has been an experience for us. Still have some very nice high end furniture ( grandmother) that we will probably just store hoping that a nephew or somebody marries a girl that actually likes that stuff...... probably end up giving to Goodwill in the end.
What was REALLY hard for me was my dads stuff. Boxes and boxes of awards, plaques pictures, vacation " trophies"...... Big ole giant formal wedding portraits...all the stuff that NO ONE except direct family would ever want. Well I am at the direct family and have been assured that none of the next generation wants any of it. They barely knew him. I just did not have the heart to throw all of this into th trash along with last nites fish and the used cat litter so.....
I made an evening of turing it into a nice BONFIRE along with a fine bottle of whiskey and memories.
It worked. I had a great evening , cherished the memories and got rid of a LOT of old stuff.
Dad would have approved since I was reminded that he had not had any of that stuff on any wall for decades before he died. My wife asked me if gave a )(&&* about all of my " cherished" crap....well come to think of it...I have all of my stuff in boxes also so......
I had a second bonfire and , poof, all my so called cherished momentos are GONE.....
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:34 AM   #37
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Inspiring!
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:38 AM   #38
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aggie76, wow! What more can I say. That was tough but I would imagine it was SO worth doing.
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:45 AM   #39
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It has been an experience for us. ...

What was REALLY hard for me was my dads stuff. ... so.....

I made an evening of turning it into a nice BONFIRE along with a fine bottle of whiskey and memories. ...

....

I had a second bonfire and , poof, all my so called cherished mementos are GONE.....
Hopefully with another fine bottle of whiskey! Nice way to handle it. Something for us to keep in mind...
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:55 AM   #40
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Hopefully with another fine bottle of whiskey! Nice way to handle it. Something for us to keep in mind...
Naaaah.... I burned my crap along with a bunch of dead tree stuff and plain ole cheap beer......... I was really amazed at what junk I kept !!!! Its not like I won the VC or the MoH or was on the cover of TIME...mostly silly little " Man of the Afternoon" type stuff from folks/groups I don't even remember....
Only kept my and my dads Texas A&M degrees and our old slide rules ( makes a nice wall display the 2 engineering degrees and crossed slide rules both 30 years apart) along with some of his military stuff. That will be on my wall until I'm in a box !!
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