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Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-15-2005, 11:09 PM   #1
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Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

From my occasional posts here and from my posting name the folks here would figure out I am a kayaker. For quite a few years I had a subscription to Sea Kayaker Magazine. I had it from early days and even sought out out of print early issues for my collection. And I even read them and dreamed of the equipment and adventures described in their pages. But I am on a simplifing binge and it was time to part with my collection. I thought of selling the collection on ebay or some other way. But I settled for taking the collection to my kayak club and passing them on to a new, good owner. I didn't to just dump them or even sell them, I really wanted them to have a good home and to know that someone else would read them and treasure them.

It worked so well I next rounded up four boxes of philosophy, psychology and religious books and took them to my church to pass on to others to read. Some of these go back 35 years to college days. But I get a certain pleasure that someone will be reading them. What is the use of a book on a shelf if no one is reading it?

Anyway, the point of the posting is to ask whether folks here have decided to simplify your life by passing on things to people who you know will appreciate them?
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 12:34 AM   #2
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

* I've been doing this with old photos.* I inherited boxes of them from my late mother and one of my late aunts. (there were 8 kids in their family). Several of my cousins have received photos of their parents, and of themselves (and their children) at early ages ...*
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 05:53 AM   #3
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Hi yakers,

My neighbor sounds alot like you. He had a super woodshop in his garage. When he retired there was no room in the condo for all his treasures. He though about a yard sale but cringed at the idea of some jerk offering 2 bucks for his prized possessions. So he called his woodworking friends and said, "Come on over. I have something for you."

He gave it all away and never regretted it.
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 07:19 AM   #4
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Note to self: when next in Chicago, check thrift stores...
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 07:21 AM   #5
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Interesting topic. *Some of the hardcore declutterers over on simpleliving.net are trying to pare their possessions down to 100 items. *Seems a little spartan to me, but it is eye opening when you start handling every posession you own in every drawer, box and closet in your space.

I've found Goodwill will take anything useful and clean--old textbooks however, I send to the paper recycler. *

I love getting rid of my stuff! * *
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 07:58 AM   #6
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by P.S.
Note to self: when next in Chicago, check thrift stores...
Note to self:* Get to thrift stores before P.S. does.
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 08:31 AM   #7
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Clothes have been donated to Goodwill. Books have been donated to the library. Woodworking and gardening tools have been given to our sons. And home furnishings will be sold at a rummage sale.

Simplify, simplify, simplify. Hubby is getting the hang of it. hehe
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 09:17 AM   #8
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
I moved from England to Chicago with just 450 lbs of goods
I'd be interested to hear what people think is the bare minimum that a person needs. Especially for a person who will rent furnished condos.
In '97 I moved to Atlanta with 40lbs of "goods" (one suitcase, mostly clothes).
And I was going to live in unfurnished apartment.
Nowadays I'm married and back of the envelope calculations are telling me that I own about 13400 lbs. (talk about 100% yearly inflation Ouch
I think it's waaay to much nad trying to slowly reduce it, but it's a loosing battle.
We've probably inherited about 2000lbs of "goods" when my in-laws ERed last year and joined the ranks of RVeers.
I'm not sure that I can go back to permanent 40lbs, but I think I could make it comfortable with 200 lbs for me if I don't include the car for land living.
On a boat, my personal stuff would be less, but more boat related items would make the weight higher.

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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 09:39 AM   #9
 
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Great post yakers. *I've always had some sort of pathological blockage when it come to throwing things away. *I have boxes of stuff from three moves ago that I haven't used or seen in years. *Books seem especially problematic. *I still have undergraduate textbooks from a career that I never entered (and I'm about to retire!) fer crissakes. *Tools, too. *

However, the thrift store solution seems to work for me. *Even if they end up tossing my donation out eventually, as long I can delude myself into thinking that someone else is making good use of it, I can get rid of it. *

(Neithor here not there, but I read once that more than half of all donated clothing ends up being sold by the bale for shipment to third world areas...)
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 09:52 AM   #10
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

There's always Freecycle for giving things away. I gave away some furniture that I didn't want to sell or haul down to Goodwill. People come and pick the stuff up so it's easy. Can't deduct anything from your taxes though, but it's easy.
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 10:57 AM   #11
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

After moving to a house half the size of my mcmansion and then incorporating another 1500 square feet plus a big sheds worth of my wifes stuff after we got married last year, I can relate.

I dropped off a lot of stuff at goodwill and salvation army, but frankly got tired of doing that. They're so picky. We'll take this, we dont take that, etc etc. I had the damndest time getting them to give me a consolidated actual list of what they would and wouldnt take. Finally I decided it wasnt worth the trouble anymore to pack up a truck and get scrutinized by someone and end up taking half of it back home.

I'm not talking crap here. They kicked back a nearly new 17" computer monitor. A chair and loveseat that I had bought second hand a year earlier for $275 for the pair because both had a stain on them on the side the size of a nickel.

We did a yard sale and that was ok but basically you're almost giving the stuff away.

I sold big ticket items of interest on ebay. An old plasma screen tv that I hated, her old imac...that sort of thing.

I think my best deal was putting everything I wanted to get rid of out in the garage and inviting the extended family to come over and take what they wanted. "I'm just going to throw it away tomorrow if you dont take it". About 75% of the stuff went. And its still 'in the family'.

Then I gave some stuff away to my neighbors where I thought they'd have a good use for it. Didnt make any money but I created some additional good will.

OldAgePensioner...your story about six transformers made me chuckle. I'll have to go take a picture of my stash. I'm going to bet theres 50-60 transformers in a big box and filling a shelf in a huge cabinet in my garage. Nothing is matched to what it originally went with. I'm not dumping them until I get rid of all the stuff that it MIGHT go with. Then I'll go through and match them up with what remains and toss the rest.

I did throw out the one that was clearly labeled for the original nintendo game system though...
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 11:58 AM   #12
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

KB,

Thanks for mentioning Freecycle. I tried Freecycle and it does work. It seems to work very well in some communities. Southern California is so spred out that it is harder to line up requesters and doneers. It was nice to see some of my things get reused that way but one thing I dion't care for is that each time I would post something I would "disappoint" eight or ten people. And it all took a bit more of my time than I liked. But my son is northern California uses it well and regularly.

I am a bit of a "hoarder" son of a Depression era "stringsaver", if you know what that means. I need to change how I look at stuff. What I am focusing on now is not that I could get some money from the resale of stuf or just to get free oof stuff but to take pleasure in seeing some of the really good things I have being put to use by someone.
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 12:14 PM   #13
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Last year I added about 9000 pounds into my garage:

http://www.eurospares.com/graphics/m...rk/Mori028.jpg

http://www.eurospares.com/graphics/m...yTree4crop.jpg

and I'm really looking forward to finally having the time to do something with them.

But stuff can get out of control. I'm going to need to scale back/get out of my remote storage space and that means sorting out and selling about 3000 s.f. paperbacks (I've been reading it for 40 years, and I don't get rid of books) as well as 20 or so motorcycles and lots of spares.

It isn't that I want to get rid of it, but I'm to the point of admitting that it doesn't make much sense to spend $5K a year to store $10K worth of stuff, especially if it is unlikely I'll ever get around to doing anything with much of it. I've learned that projects can definitely have a "time", and once that time has passed it gets less likely that the project will ever move to the head of the queue.

I'll keep a thousand or so books that I'm likely to want to reread at some time, and I *think* I can get down to about 10 motorcycles.

I have lots of motorcycle magazines/newspapers dating back to the early 1960s, and they qualify as archival materials for my hobby. But the new magazines are tending to be read/articles clipped/recycled in short order.

If the dollar amounts aren't too significant I'd much rather see something go for a token sum to someone who will do something with it and appreciate having it.

Having hobbies can be a curse, especially if there are many facets of the hobby that are of interest. There have been times when I find myself envying someone who only wants a late 1958 (preferably from November) 350cc Spagthorpe Super Snipe, with maybe a spare parts bike. Once they get that, what more could they want? But I like to compete in three different types of riding, and on different sizes of bikes, plus having street bikes and there are just too many interesting motorcycles out there.

So I'm going to dispose of an amount of stuff that makes sense to me, and doesn't leave me feeling significant remorse when I'm done. Stuff is not going to stop being a part of the fun in my life, but I'm getting less averse to no longer having excess stuff. Excess, of course, being a relative term.

cheers,
Michael
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 12:23 PM   #14
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

I am a book addict and used to read several novels a week. We had books everywhere. Always bought them and never reread them. I gave most all my books away to the public libary. What they don't use they include in a book sale once a year to raise money for the libary. And you get a tax deduction. I thought about eBay but it seemed to be too much work.

When I retire it is the public libary for me.
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 01:53 PM   #15
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by th
I'm not talking crap here.* They kicked back a nearly new 17" computer monitor.* A chair and loveseat that I had bought second hand a year earlier for $275 for the pair because both had a stain on them on the side the size of a nickel.
Hmm..more potential thrift shop destinations...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
I am a book addict and used to read several novels a week. We had books everywhere. Always bought them and never reread them. I gave most all my books away to the public libary. What they don't use they include in a book sale once a year to raise money for the libary. And you get a tax deduction. I thought about eBay but it seemed to be too much work.

When I retire it is the public libary for me.
Arrghh...so many bargains, so far away...
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 02:13 PM   #16
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Oh I forgot my favorite one.

Had a truck full of stuff and saw one of the salvation army semi trailers sitting in a parking lot with a fat guy in overalls sitting in front of it in a chair.

I pull in, the semi trailer is about 1/8th full.

I start taking stuff out and he's putting it into the trailer. I take out a pair of heavy oak speaker stands...I think I paid about $150 for these and they're like new. These are the adjustable stands you can put a stereo speaker on to raise it off the floor and tilt it back a little to optimize the sound. They're about the same size as a regular full size speaker...about 24" tall and about 12" wide and deep.

"Oh I dont take furniture here, it fills up my truck". I glance at his 80% empty trailer.

I stopped unloading, left the speaker stands where they were on the parking lot, and drove off.

"Hey! You cant leave that here! I dont have any place to throw it out!"

Someone tell me whats right with that little transaction... :P
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 02:23 PM   #17
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
I thought of selling the collection on ebay or some other way.
eBay is absolutely the best way to go for stuff like you're describing. I'll tell you why:

1) You'll usually get more than you expected, because there are people out there just as passionate as you for the stuff.

2) It will end up in good hands. Nobody bids for crap they don't want.

3) You'll probably have a nice email exchange with somebody else who shares your interest.

4) If you're like me, you've got enough crap to make eBay a second career. I'll probably be dribbling stuff out for the next 20 years, and by the end of that period the stuff that is "like new" today will be collectible by then.
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 02:37 PM   #18
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Only problem with ebay is I wont do business with paypal, period.

That really limits the number of bidders, as some people just wont go through the trouble of writing a check.

Its not a trust thing, I have something like a +49 over a 5+ year period as both a buyer and seller with zero negative/neutral.

The last bunch of stuff I sold I offered a cash option with free delivery if they lived in the local area. A few bidders decided 'local' meant a 3 hour drive away. But as it turned out, I had three products sell for ~$2500...Two in the east SF bay and one in the south bay. Wife and I drove down, dropped all the stuff off, took the cash and went out to lunch at one of my favorite old south bay restaurants.

Now for the head slapper. I usually keep all my big bills in the back of my wallet, normally a handful of $20's. In this case, I had a wallet full of $100 bills. Check came, it was something like $45-48. So I took out three 'big bills', put them in the little leather foldy thing and we started walking out.

Waiter comes flying out to the parking lot breathless. "Sir! Sir! You left three hundred dollars on the table!!!".

That came close to being one HELL of a tip. Fortunately there is still a little honesty left in the world.

And yes, the wife gives me crap about that all the time. Its her drum riff anytime I'm getting the upper hand in a 'discussion'..."At least I never mistook three hundred dollar bills for three twenties..." :P
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 02:40 PM   #19
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
wabmester,
I've thought about doing ebay but I's have to line everything up, take 5 pictures, learn how to post it, go mail it and I get cold feet.

Any suggestions as to how to do ebay easily?
There are whole companies who will do this for you, and some of the local shipper outfits around here do some or all of it.

Most anything can be taken to the local ups or ups type store where they will wrap, package and mail something for you. For a fee, which you can work into your auction. Simply state that the item will be packed and shipped via "my ups store" and that the total actual cost will be added to the price of the auction. If you provide dimensions and weight, the myups web site will give packaging/shipping cost estimates.

Some of the shippers even take the photos, set up the auction for you, and handle the shipping. For the most part you're going to lose all your profit on the item if you do it that way.

I frequently do not include a photo of the item itself, but a stock photo I found somewhere else on the net. If its a common item (like the imac) I dont bother with a photo at all.

Auctions arent that hard to work up. Look up a few similar products, read what they had to say, and then plagiarize what you like.
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff
Old 06-16-2005, 02:46 PM   #20
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Re: Getting Rid Of (Good) Stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
I've thought about doing ebay but I's have to line everything up, take 5 pictures, learn how to post it, go mail it and I get cold feet.

Any suggestions as to how to do ebay easily?
It really depends on the nature of the stuff you're selling and whether you're doing it just to get rid of the stuff or to maximize your profit.

The easiest approach is to just write a nice description, limit your bidders to US only, request payment by PayPal only, and ship only to confirmed addresses. * The only key is ensure that the title of your listing contains all the keywords that people might use to search for your particular item. * *This approach only takes a minute to list, you don't have to worry about jumping through hoops to ship the thing, and your exposure to fraud is close to zero. * Also, always ship with some form of delivery confirmation.

The next step up from that is to "borrow" images that you find on the web. * eBay lets you list one image for free, and that's usually enough. * Use the gallery feature too, so people can see what you're selling at a glance.

If you want to maximize your take, then you'll probably want to take lots of detailed pictures and hype the item a bit. * Use the featured listing option if it's a big ticket item.

I usually just go for the lazy approach, because, well, I'm lazy.
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