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Old 10-06-2007, 07:29 AM   #21
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Since ER'ing 5 years ago we've done way too much moving: from Boulder condo to nice 3 BR house in NM, to 477 sq. ft. (!) mother-in-law apartment, to another house, and now to a 2 BR 900 sq. ft. mobile back in pricey Boulder, CO. It's plenty of space for two (childless, pet-less) people, yet small enough it "encourages" us to get out the door - and our of each other's hair - into the real world on a daily basis.

For us one lesson learned (and Billy and Akaisha are the masters of this!) is that having less stuff to manage AND being involved in learning experiences on a daily basis that really feed one's soul are the way to go. We put all our stuff in storage last winter and spent 5 months traveling through Asia (Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali) with sub-25 lb. backpacks - and we had all we needed, and never felt more alive.

We love our "nesting" comforts [TV to watch DVDs, books (big weakness)], but more and more find it is the learning experiences one can only have when in community with others that really make the difference, and for those too much cocooning or just the hassles of owning and maintaining stuff just get in the way.
Continuing the form follows function theme - in apartments until age 33, generally not much stuff and the more moves tdy travel, even less. Now when I met my SO - she had an apartment of stuff - but hindsight says 'stuff' was proportional to the amount of sq ft we had to work with - includingyd/swamp/waterfront. In the end I was just as guilty with my adult toys cluttering things up. I did cure myself of the boat thing fairly early on. Campers were another matter.

heh heh heh - there may be a math dohicky(stuff=sq ft x some constant), a graph, perhaps a study for those inclined. No polls -please!
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:15 AM   #22
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Leemans' Law: Junk expands to fill the space allotted.
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Old 10-06-2007, 12:02 PM   #23
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Leemans' Law: Junk expands to fill the space allotted.
Ya it do!


A few years ago we moved from 4200 sq feet to 1900 sq feet. I wondered how we would ever fit. We put stuff in storage and loaded the garage with boxes with the intent to get rid of anything we hadn't unpacked or touch after 12 months.

I was astonished after a year to discover that we didn't really need 2 vacuum cleaners, good dishes, boxes of zip discs, more than 4 pairs of shoes, plaques, trophys, holiday linens, drill press, drum sander, dead cell phones, etc....

We also got rid of the time commitment associated with all that stuff.

Downsized and thrilled!
We had such a good time we may do it again.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:05 PM   #24
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Ya it do!


A few years ago we moved from 4200 sq feet to 1900 sq feet. I wondered how we would ever fit. We put stuff in storage and loaded the garage with boxes with the intent to get rid of anything we hadn't unpacked or touch after 12 months.

I was astonished after a year to discover that we didn't really need 2 vacuum cleaners, good dishes, boxes of zip discs, more than 4 pairs of shoes, plaques, trophys, holiday linens, drill press, drum sander, dead cell phones, etc....

We also got rid of the time commitment associated with all that stuff.

Downsized and thrilled!
We had such a good time we may do it again.
Hey, I just looked at your home page. Didn't realize we had a folk star here. You still pretty active in your music?
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:19 PM   #25
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Hey, I just looked at your home page. Didn't realize we had a folk star here. You still pretty active in your music?
well.. a musicians definition of active is somewhat skewed... and I'm fairly certain that "folk star" is a contradiction in terms, but I have a band and we tour a little. We own a recording studio and still do projects for others (but only the ones I like) and I still teach guitar and composition at the local college and to a handful of private students. Not quite yet retired, but working on my own terms. Mostly.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:26 PM   #26
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well.. a musicians definition of active is somewhat skewed... and I'm fairly certain that "folk star" is a contradiction in terms, but I have a band and we tour a little. We own a recording studio and still do projects for others (but only the ones I like) and I still teach guitar and composition at the local college and to a handful of private students. Not quite yet retired, but working on my own terms. Mostly.
Cool. One more question. How did you get hooked up with this website? Are you a website/software junkie? I guess that's 2 questions.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:50 PM   #27
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Cool. One more question. How did you get hooked up with this website? Are you a website/software junkie? I guess that's 2 questions.
Junkie? Maybe..... is there a cure that doesn't involve going cold turkey turning off my laptop?

We are getting serious about retiring and have a bunch of issues to work out.
DH has worked for Uncle Sam for more that 35 years - since 18 years old. He can pull a full retirement next year - just waiting for the birthday.
This site is highly helpful and unusually engaging. I just don't have the stomach for most traditional planning and financial info venues. Somehow my denim just doesn't feel right in a polyester world.
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:27 PM   #28
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Beeee careful / they have dangerous people on this forum - just do it/don't read books/ keep it simple/ put it on auto pilot/ etc.

Pssst Wellesley or Target Retirement or ??



heh heh heh -
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Old 10-14-2007, 01:47 PM   #29
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Late to the discusssion, so this is for the OP. Go rent whatever style of home that you think you might like to live in. Several years ago, Scott Burns wrote about one guy who owns places like the one where Billy and Akaisha live sometimes. By following links and Google, those park-model parks are in many locations and climates. They all have rentals. My suggestion is to try different levels of downsizing before moving off of the rural place. A park model may be too radical of a change.

What I find attractive about the parks is that a business person is managing the place, not a homeowners association.

If you do sell off the stuff, then need it again, you can rebuy used at craigslist and estate sales. It won't be exactly the same, but you would have time to shop for what you did want.
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:54 PM   #30
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Funny, since my DW/me did exactly that. We were married after I returned from Nam in '69. All our "possessions" were in the back seat of our '69 Dodge Dart on our way to my next assignment.
Back in the early 70's I was working a temp j*b in eastern Canada. They layed me off the day before Good Friday and offered me a permanent full-time j*b starting the day after Easter Monday. That meant I missed 2 paid statutory holidays (with pay). I got PO'd and decided to move west. By mid-night I was on the road with all my worldly goods in the trunk of an Austin-Healy Sprite.
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:54 PM   #31
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Back in the early 70's I was working a temp j*b in eastern Canada. They layed me off the day before Good Friday and offered me a permanent full-time j*b starting the day after Easter Monday. That meant I missed 2 paid statutory holidays (with pay). I got PO'd and decided to move west. By mid-night I was on the road with all my worldly goods in the trunk of an Austin-Healy Sprite.
Back in '74, I drove from Dover NJ to Stockton CA via Pensacola FL and San Diego CA with most* of my worldly possessions (and a passenger) in the MG.

*A box half the size of a large desk arrived two weeks later.
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Old 10-14-2007, 07:02 PM   #32
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It took us a year to get rid of most of our stuff (including a house and a boat)! We moved from a home into a motorhome, and only kept what we could carry in the motorhome and in a 5x10 ft climate controlled storage unit in my MIL's town.

It was a lot of work, and took concentration and ingenuity, but it was SOOOOO worth it! Very freeing, lots of closure. We found good homes for a lot of our stuff and that was very rewarding as well.

Regrets? Nope!

I thought of it as "streamlining our life". After a few years of retirement, we looked at what was most important to us in our daily lives and how to rearrange our lifestyle to optimize these most important things and get rid/minimize of the rest. Living mobile was a major part of it. It became painfully obvious that the responsibilities of home ownership were a total drag on our lifestyle as was extra stuff that we didn't use.

I don't think we would have made the right decisions before or right after retiring. I think we needed a few years to get our priorities straight first.

Think STREAMLINING!

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Old 10-14-2007, 08:09 PM   #33
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I've often thought that an all consuming fire would be a blessing in disguise. I have trouble letting go of crap that is really not worth keeping. It really came home to me a couple of years ago when I was off working on relief effort with the Red Cross during the Katrina crisis and someone broke into the house and stole a number of valuables from us. After seeing the losses that folks in MS experienced, I was somewhat immune to our loss. If I had not been in MS at that time, I'd have wanted to find the perps and destroy them.

Accumulating "things" is only a temporary "satisfier". True satisfaction comes from other sources. I only hope I'm able to let go before I die. Hopefully long enough before to really enjoy life.

Jim.
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:59 PM   #34
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Back in '74, I drove from Dover NJ to Stockton CA via Pensacola FL and San Diego CA with most* of my worldly possessions (and a passenger) in the MG.

*A box half the size of a large desk arrived two weeks later.
Rookie!

The "back seat" of an MGB (or A) was a lot bigger than the trunk of an A-H Sprite. A box half the size of a large desk is bigger than the trunk and "back seat" of an MG or A-H. You cheated!
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:07 PM   #35
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Rookie!

The "back seat" of an MGB (or A) was a lot bigger than the trunk of an A-H Sprite. A box half the size of a large desk is bigger than the trunk and "back seat" of an MG or A-H. You cheated!
It was a Midget, and I did have a traveling companion (with some luggage).
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:08 PM   #36
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OK, you win, or at least tie.
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:46 PM   #37
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My move from college to my first apartment took two medium boxes in the front seat of my brother's car.

My last move in 2002, required one 53 foot van plus 1/3 of another one. My late wife was a bit of a packrat you might say. Our load was 40,000 lbs. so you can only imagine the stuff we are now working through to downsize.

We have filled dumpsters with junk and given away many many things over the past year. We recently cleaned out 4 closets and gave away nearly a ton of clothing and other household items. We have only scratched the surface to my sorrow.

Our next mission is to find a new home for 100 collector plates my late wife collected. Anybody know a good way to get these sold short of Ebay which would be far more effort than they would sell for?

Next is the linen closet and then the office...which is filled with stuff from several prior jobs and tons of books, Consumer Reports back 15 years or more and National Geo. back to 1982.

We have a plan but it will take us several months to get the good stuff left sold or given away to the right person(s). We are also looking at our options for where to go next considering current family is all local. I would like to go full time in the RV for a few years but DW is not there yet due to the grandkids (all hers) so that is not an option for a few more years.

For now the goals is to keep getting rid of stuff and to determine what to keep for the next place assuming we want a small house in a 55+ active adult community. In the meantime....we will continue to travel in the RV for weeks at a time.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:12 PM   #38
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We have a plan but it will take us several months to get the good stuff left sold or given away to the right person(s).
We seem to be following the same path Steve, although by your description, our pile is a lot smaller than your pile!

On the input side, we've agreed nothing new comes home unless it's offset by something else leaving.....promptly. On the output side, I run ads on Craig's List frequently, jump at opportunities to give things away and try to consume things I'd stashed "for a rainy day" instead of buying new. It's a slow process, but in 15 months of retirement, the pile has shrunk noticeably.

The hurdles we don't know how to solve are the piles of hobby "stuff." DW quilts and grows roses (certified rosarian). I have lots of goodies related to my ham radio hobby including a collection of morse code keys. We both paddle and the garage is littered with kayaks, paddles, life vests, camping equipment, etc., etc. We're active in the hobbies, enjoy the activies and can't figure out how to participate without owning the related "stuff."

So, bottom line, excess general household "stuff" is shrinking successfully. Hobby "stuff" lingers on.

Any ideas gang?
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:38 PM   #39
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...We're active in the hobbies, enjoy the activies and can't figure out how to participate without owning the related "stuff."

So, bottom line, excess general household "stuff" is shrinking successfully. Hobby "stuff" lingers on.

Any ideas gang?
The hobbies are what bring you pleasure so why downsize them until you can't do them anymore? Our RV is another house and has "stuff" from our previous cabin as well as some new stuff that is RV specific. We will have a new pile of stuff to dispose of once we stop RVing when we can no longer do it but in the meantime, we accept the "stuff" as part of what we must have to do our hobbie and will keep it as long as it is desired.

The collections are hard to part with. Anything you have a personal interest in with acquiring it has a history that is all your own and makes it that much harder to part with.

Good luck.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:46 PM   #40
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So, bottom line, excess general household "stuff" is shrinking successfully. Hobby "stuff" lingers on.

Any ideas gang?
Can you change hobbies?

Hobby that requires stuff and takes space: Collecting vintage cars.

Hobby that takes less space: Watching TV

But seriously, there are some excellent and entertaining hobbies that require very little stuff.
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