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Old 08-25-2016, 10:50 AM   #61
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Speaking of purging, and bonfires, there are days when a match, and a little gasoline, sounds like the perfect way to downsize the whole shebang...

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Old 08-25-2016, 11:15 AM   #62
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After my FIL passed in December, my wife and I spent the better part of four days just tackling the walk in closet where he spent so many hours over the course of his life before Alzheimer's slowly took him from us. He was the ultimate pack rat, saving everything from newspaper clippings to maps to brochures to political memorabilia, all the things of a life well-lived. He had hundreds of video cassette tapes of TV shows that were all labeled and piled on shelves. Hundreds of audio cassettes from over the years. Most of the stuff filled a dumpster by the time I was done, plus two full recycle bins for the paper. Quite a project and we're by no means finished. My MIL is still living, though with dementia and won't let us part with anything of hers.

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present - Jim Rohn
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Old 08-25-2016, 11:22 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by gauss View Post
But did the cash cover the cost of the new drywall?
In this case it did. His drywall skills were not great so it was fairly obvious to his son. IIRC there was about 15k hidden.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:36 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by MRG View Post
My sister's FIL had cash hidden in the walls. Hubby knew his dad had his savings in the home somewhere. Few new sheets of drywall. That crazy guy had his life savings in the walls, can't trust banks.
I don't know if he was old enough to have lived through the Great Depression, but I heard stories about that time from those who did. Apparently it was pretty awful. I probably would have hidden my money in the walls too, if I had lived through that mess.
"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:35 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I don't know if he was old enough to have lived through the Great Depression, but I heard stories about that time from those who did. Apparently it was pretty awful. I probably would have hidden my money in the walls too, if I had lived through that mess.
He would have been alive then but too young to actually experience it first hand(he was 10 years younger than my parents, who were 12 in '29). His family certainly did live it and shared the fears.

Sadly his views went to his son (sister's husband). Banks yes, mutual funds no way. They have a couple of small rentals but nothing other SS and a small annuity. But hey they seem pretty happy.
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Old 08-26-2016, 05:38 PM   #66
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We did downsized from a large home to an 8X8x16 storage container. Neither of our two children needed or wanted anything. Three bedrooms of furniture went, plus an office, a den, a rec room and storage.

Never had a garage sale. We have been fortunate in our choices and people have been good to us over the years. We gave everything of value away to people who needed it. What remained went to social services. The only items we sold were things that had little or no value and would have cost us money to dispose off. Like the 20 year old freezer.

And after we emptied the container we downsized even more. It has changed our life. No more hoarding or saving things that we have no use for. Books get donated to the library, clothes to social service agencies. Feels good to be clutter free. After all.....who really needs all that stuff. Now that we are retired it is more about experiences than it is about accumulating future garage sale inventory.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:10 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by DustyMom View Post
My question is related, but about the purging process of downsizing. How did you get rid of all your stuff? I am starting the process of purging and I keep getting hung up on thinking that I should try to get some money for some of the better "stuff". Have tried online selling with limited success and am starting to think it is not worth the aggravation. Do NOT want to have a yard/garage sale (can't stand the idea of watching people pick through my little treasures). I have no problem donating stuff and regularly schedule pickups when charities have trucks in my neighborhood. I think it's my frugal brain, which got me to ER in the first place, that keeps thinking "but it's worth something"! I've thought about an estate sale, consignment, but it seems like a lot of trouble and in the grand scheme of things, any $'s made would be insignificant (assuming I've planned as well as I think I have).

How can I retrain my brain to think it's OK to just give it all away?
One way would be cleaning out the home/possessions of an elder.

Having to paw through and dispose of all their junk, er, I mean "valued collectibles" will darn near turn you into a minimalist. Especially if you have to do it in conjunction with a deadline like paying rent on the apartment or selling their home.

My spouse and I dumped 4500 pounds (four plywood crates) of our personal property on our daughter. If your adult children are willing to pay for the shipping expenses, then they can have it for free! In our case it was our daughter's military home-of-record move to her first duty station, so when she arrived she had the full kitchen gear + furniture to set herself up.

When we visit her, it feels a little weird to see "my stuff" scattered around the bedroom and living room and kitchen. But I know it's in a good home.

Two other modern challenges are books and LP vinyl record albums.

Three years ago I went through all of my books, some of which I'd dragged around for four decades. (Tropical humidity, mold, and critters were wreaking havoc on the collection.) I gave a few hardbacks to the library, but I donated the rest to Goodwill. Before I hauled them away I entered the book name/author in a spreadsheet so that I could "replace" it with an eBook on my iPad Kindle app. However there's lots of new books out there every month and I've only bought one or two eBooks of my old collection.

I researched the LPs on eBay ("completed auctions") and learned that the vast majority were worth $5 or less. I hauled two egg crates of them to our local independent record dealer, hung out in a coffee shop for 90 minutes while he appraised all 180+ of them, and cashed his $150 check. Once again I have the LPs on a spreadsheet so that I can replace the tracks via iTunes, but there's a lot of new music out there. I haven't made the time to track down the 2-3 dozen albums that I was really reluctant to part with.

The book written on, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
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Old 08-27-2016, 11:18 AM   #68
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+1 Nords
I helped move a couple, she was a hoarder. They were piling up the junk in the two car garage for someone to pick up. Before the moving truck was full the two car garage was overflowing! Crap was piled to the ceiling. Very sad to see.

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