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Old 08-27-2008, 10:48 PM   #21
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We got rid of a lot of stuff to downsize so we could be more mobile. The only thing that hurt a bit was selling the $9k bed and dresser for $300, but we were never really in love with the set anyway. The rest of it was very therapeutic.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:22 PM   #22
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We have been in the process of downsizing our stuff for about 10 years! Finally, before our move to Japan we really pared down our stuff and now only have a small storage place plus our clothes and a few boxes worth of things here.

We'll get more stuff eventually when we settle down and make a home again. Maybe next time we will coordinate the furniture, etc.

Like Kramer, now whenever I buy something I do have to analyze how long it will be around and how much space it will take up, etc. I'm not buying much these days!

I do agree that its hard to do all at once - its easier in phases.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:11 AM   #23
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I have been in the downsizing phase as well.
Where does a perpetual traveler (for a while at least) draw the line as to what to keep and what to toss.

And when downsized where is it kept?
In storage? home of friend or family?
I bought into my mom's storage on her property, so no monthly bills for that (she was putting up a storage shed, and I simply paid for part of it). I also reorganized all her stuff and moved all her things out of a storage location for which she was paying $120 per month and now she pays nothing, and it all takes up less space than before with lots of extra room. My mom was happy to store my stuff for free, but I insist on paying her for everything and she does appreciate it. I also help maintain her property when I am around.

If I were paying monthly for storage, I would get rid of more stuff (basically doing the math on replacement vs. storage+convenience). But right now I could fit everything into a 5 foot x 5 foot storage if I needed to (which was my goal). I don't really have that many knick-knacks and almost all my photos are online.

Only on this third phase did I start throwing out things I might actually need in the future. I had some 20 year old dishes and dishware (although family historians assured me they were much older!, ha ha). So I went to the dollar store and looked around and realized that I could get much better replacements for dirt cheap whenever I needed them. I also tried to remember back the last time I cooked for 10 people and served them on my dishes and when paper plates wouldn't have sufficed, hmmm, no events came to mind . . .

So I got rid of that stuff. I also got rid of old books. I had already given a bunch away but decided to sell many of them this summer and got over $1000. I was keeping things like old chemistry and physics textbooks. Then I realized I could get new versions of the same textbook, usually, for just a few dollars on amazon.com used (since only the latest edition textbook is really worth much). Plus, my local library is my almost like my own personally managed collection of books that I can access when I have the need.

Then I started selling other things, like my old digital camera for $85 (which I promptly replaced with a new one for my upcoming trip). I sold a bike rack and an old pair of binoculars, stuff like that. I got rid of more clothes (deciding which clothes to get rid of is very time consuming!). I think I counted 20 sweatshirts, most of which were gifts. How many sweatshirts can I use? So now all my clothes fit in a few drawers and one closet. I actually wear many of the clothes that I own, a first for me. It was painful to even get down to about 15 t-shirts, but how many do I need? And the clothes I wasn't using are being used in a good home. I even sold a small collection of small change foreign currency (like some francs, marks, pounds) that I had from when I was not smart enough to cash in the money before leaving the country!

I still have things like blankets and sheets that I just kept because there is plenty of space for them. Other things I thought smart to keep even though I rarely use them, like a nice 2-man tent, and even tire snow chains (expensive, take up little space). I kept virtually all of my sporting equipment which does not take up much space.

Because of free trade and rising standard of living in the last generation, "stuff" has gotten more easily available and super cheap. The calculus for storing things is fundamentally different than it was a generation ago, when it made more sense to keep things.

Kramer
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:15 AM   #24
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We got rid of a lot of stuff to downsize so we could be more mobile. The only thing that hurt a bit was selling the $9k bed and dresser for $300, but we were never really in love with the set anyway. The rest of it was very therapeutic.
Yeah, sometimes I think one of the best things you can do for someone who is starting out is take them to the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, Thrift Store and see where all that expensive stuff goes when the owner gets tired of it, and just how much it is really worth.

Kramer
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:52 PM   #25
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Just finishing downsizing departed MILs stuff. First everything was offered to friends and family as their "inheritance". Then we sold the Murphy Bed on craiglist. Then we had a 2-day contents sale. Then we had the local second dealer in. Then we gave some stuff to a neighgour and his friend with a truck. Then we took 2 loads to Goodwill. Then we took the rest to the dump (2 trips). Today the cleaning lady is helping us make the place spick and span for the new owner Friday at 6pm.

Lots of lessons learned, expecially in the attic. We have downsized twice and will be getting rid of much more stuff as a result of this experience.

"You don't own stuff. Stuff owns you!" - Tyler Durden played by Brad Pitt in "Fight Club"
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:23 AM   #26
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When we retired we spent a year throwing out stuff, to the point that DW bought an additional large trash can so we wouldn't be moving stuff that we hadn't used for years. I kept all my radio control models and support gear and moved them, then after retirement lost interest in all of it, and sold most of it. I'll keep the specialty small tools as they are expensive, some hard to find, don't take up much space, and are occasionally useful for other things.

Now thinking about other stuff - bought a small boat & outboard, thinking of a motorcyle and mountain bike.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:43 AM   #27
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I think I'm having some kid of mid-life crisis. I recently realized that pretty much everything I own is a project I don't feel like wasting time or money on, or something from my past that is not relevant to who I am, or who I want to become. Getting my debt paid off in conjunction with my worst year ever at work has forced me to think about a lot of things I ignored while I was in debt payoff mode. Now, when I tell people I'm selling most of my things, they look at me like I'm crazy. It just feels like this stuff is getting in the way of my life. Anyone else do the big sell-off, and if so, how did it go?
There is nothing wrong with that. I moved twice in two years, and I couldn't believe how much stuff I was able to sell and still be able to live my life without feeling crimped. Let's see, I had two cars for myself, and now I have one. No problem. Bedroom set, living room set, dining room table and chairs, entertainment center, BBQ grill, one weight scale, engineering books I'll never read again, a book case, two lamps, an AC unit, a TV, a humidifier, a tool chest, and a TKD heavy punching bag are all gone. The only things that I miss are the sofa (ah, comfy) and the TKD punching bag (well, it's better than punching someone for real).

The biggest pain was dealing with all the buyers. I didn't mind the emails and phone calls. I have several standard form answers ready to copy and paste, but it was dealing with the actual pick up that was a pain. The lady who bought the entertainment center had the movers show up but refused to show up herself. It was a very hot June day, and the drivers were sweating in their truck because it was so big that they couldn't just park it and sit in my house. When the buyer finally did show 4 hours later, she tried to use her delay as a tactic to get my speakers for free. The guy who bought the AC unit during the second move refused to come up to my apartment. He figured that if he had me carry the AC downstairs he could knock another $20 off the price (The original price was $50) because I wouldn't want to carry the AC back up. Wrong! I love exercise of all kinds especially the free ones you get from just living your life, so I started carrying the AC back, and he caved. What a tool.

These two sales also reminded me to be careful in accumulating things in the future because the pain of having to do time-consuming transactions to get rid of the stuff.
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:08 AM   #28
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I have been in the downsizing phase as well.
Where does a perpetual traveler (for a while at least) draw the line as to what to keep and what to toss.

And when downsized where is it kept?
In storage? home of friend or family?
My thinking is that when you find yourself constantly borrowing other people's underwear, you may have gone too far, but most of us don't even get anywhere near that even after 2-3 cycles of purging.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:29 PM   #29
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Hi all. What a bunch of great posts. I haven't been able to post in awhile, but got to read all your posts tonight. It actually has been somewhat therapeutic just reading some of the stories, and I've also gotten a lot of good ideas from you guys. Sold a truck along with a couple pallets of parts over the weekend, and just sold a set of wheels tonight that I've been storing for twenty years. Every time something leaves my property, I feel like I just bought back part of my life. I really do appreciate all the good advice and stories, and by all means keep them coming if you have more.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:33 AM   #30
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We started downsizing this year. We sold our house 5 bedroom 3 1/2 bath 6 car garage and a giant pool. The house was so expensive to maintain. We made money on the sale of the house and paid off some debt. We are building a much smaller more affordable house in an "active adult community" with a very small yard. We actually donated a lot of things to local charities, like most of our furniture and other "stuff". We both work so the tax break will help. I understand what you mean by things just get in your way or lost interest. I am or was a big time hunter but the hobby has gotten very expensive and my hunting buddy (my daughter) went off to college this year. So I gave away an old travel trailer that was not worth much I sold one of my 4 wheelers and I am going to downsize some more. Let me tell you I felt better when I started getting rid of stuff. The worrying about it and the up keep was wearing me down. I think it is a natural progressing of life.

Tex
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:05 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by BunsGettingFirm View Post
There is nothing wrong with that. I moved twice in two years, and I couldn't believe how much stuff I was able to sell and still be able to live my life without feeling crimped. Let's see, I had two cars for myself, and now I have one. No problem. Bedroom set, living room set, dining room table and chairs, entertainment center, BBQ grill, one weight scale, engineering books I'll never read again, a book case, two lamps, an AC unit, a TV, a humidifier, a tool chest, and a TKD heavy punching bag are all gone. The only things that I miss are the sofa (ah, comfy) and the TKD punching bag (well, it's better than punching someone for real).

The biggest pain was dealing with all the buyers. I didn't mind the emails and phone calls. I have several standard form answers ready to copy and paste, but it was dealing with the actual pick up that was a pain. The lady who bought the entertainment center had the movers show up but refused to show up herself. It was a very hot June day, and the drivers were sweating in their truck because it was so big that they couldn't just park it and sit in my house. When the buyer finally did show 4 hours later, she tried to use her delay as a tactic to get my speakers for free. The guy who bought the AC unit during the second move refused to come up to my apartment. He figured that if he had me carry the AC downstairs he could knock another $20 off the price (The original price was $50) because I wouldn't want to carry the AC back up. Wrong! I love exercise of all kinds especially the free ones you get from just living your life, so I started carrying the AC back, and he caved. What a tool.

These two sales also reminded me to be careful in accumulating things in the future because the pain of having to do time-consuming transactions to get rid of the stuff.


So do you still have an entertainment centre or was this a spare?

I got caught up in the trap of accumulating too much...when I was living in a condo I had what I needed but since owning several houses I managed to accumulate in order to fill space. Now I have a couch in my garage because it doesn't fit down stairs.

I am resisting putting it up for sale for the reasons you described. I dislike the sale interaction.

Grunt
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