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Old 03-30-2007, 04:40 PM
16 posts, read 38,702 times
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Originally Posted by MoMark View Post
I wouldn't keep any of that stuff. I love my relatives, my remaining grandmother, and my parents aren't yet old enough to really worry about having to sort through their home, but if I'm here when the time comes and it falls to me to clean out the stuff, it's going to goodwill or yardsales. I don't want any of it. I have enough of my own. I understand Ellie perfectly. And, imagine the poor person left with a parent's home full of junk and faced with having to figure out how to sort through it all and how to clear it out...Estate sales are perfect solutions.

"Reading Comprehension is Fundimental"...
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:41 PM
16 posts, read 38,702 times
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Originally Posted by christina0001 View Post
Unfortunately, dealing with death and the aftermath is a fact of life. It's not morbid.

I read/heard somewhere, that you could learn a lot about a society by how the dead are treated. Properly handling people's belongings after death is respectful to the deceased, and requires a warm heart.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>

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Old 03-30-2007, 04:54 PM
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,826,318 times
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requires a warm heart.
Dr. Para Docks:
It's spelled "fundamental."
Having a warm heart does not preclude being a pragmatic person.
I still have my mom's glasses in a drawer. Do they do me any good? Do I really need them? No. But I hang onto them. However, we did get rid of a bunch of stuff after she died.
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:52 AM
2,775 posts, read 2,809,473 times
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Originally Posted by christina0001 View Post
I hate clutter; my husband is a pack rat. Recently he saw his father, who is also a pack rat, and he told my husband that once he and I settle down someplace, he'd like to give my husband some "valuable" things he's collected over the years. His father insists these things not be sold, they are for keeping and passing down to our children. One of the things that he wants to give us, for example, is a set of old guns. My father in law has never used them, he acquired them years ago and they are collecting dust in a closet. I don't like guns. Now you people who do like guns, don't get into a huff - I have no problem with other people having guns, and my father is an avid hunter. I was practically raised on venison and wild turkey. But I don't want guns in the house. My husband has never used one in his entire life; I have and don't care for it, and I have terrible aim. Us having guns in the house seems at best, a waste of space, and at worst, a potential safety hazard. My mother started this recently also; she gave me a very ugly tea cup and saucer that she feels is "valuable," and a piece of Lenox (not my taste) she's had for decades that she wants me to keep. I didn't want these things, but of course refusing them would result in hurt feelings. I'd feel guilty throwing them out, selling, or donating them. What to do?
You should keep them. Antique guns are of great value and indeed someday of even more than they are today. Even some non-antique guns in very fine mechanical shape go up in value over relatively short periods of time. One or more of your decendants may have a different opinion about them, and more than likely someone will be able to sell them for fantastic profit. These guns will not be dangerous to keep in your home unless you keep ammunition around and more specifically in them. Modern ammunition won't even fit in them so don't have fear about their danger - it's probably unfounded (I cannot guarantee this not knowing more details of course).

Here's what you can do to feel better though - go out to a Gander Mountain or Dick's Sporting goods, buy a single hard shelled case which can hold all of them in foam, put them in it, and buy a lock. Don't worry about losing the key since from the sounds of it you want nothing to do with them - but keep this locked case in a discrete location within the attic. It's one box, it should not be life altering.

The other option is to take them and then have them appraised by someone you feel is trustworthy. You will need to be careful as some collectors will upon seeing something of tremendous value knowing you have no knowledge of what you have (and if you share that you don't want to keep them), may "try to take them off your hands for you" - just don't be foolish. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results of an appraisal. You may be able to sell these things for many thousands of dollars - each.

Lastly - I do know where you are coming from regarding the whole clutter issue. I have such individuals in my extended family. Even upon personally cleaning their house for them using giant dumpsters, they filled it up with cr*p they newly bought as soon as we left. What I see in their clutter is all useless, valueless, junk. What they seem to think is that every item has a potential use and or potential value equal to or greater than what they originally paid to acquire it. Or the items have particular memories associated. Honestly, the guns might actually be in the useless/valueless category if your dad didn't know what he was procuring. Or they might be like my grandfather's and father's baseball card collections which include the original rookie cards for the likes of Babe Ruth. You won't know unless you research this.

I want to telll you to put aside the whole "principal of clutter" issue I know you're feeling and expressing in general - at least for these guns. Even if of value, you just don't want to accept other people's stuff. Trust me, I understand. As a minimalist myself, I hate it when someone gives me "crap" and tries to make me feel obligated to display or hold onto it. It feels more like shackles than a gift sometimes.

I still stand by my recommendation to take the guns though - at least spend the $25-100.00 to get them appraised by someone reputable before letting them go. If you go to places like gunbroker.com you find out quickly that selling these things intelligently can net out several thousand dollars. If there's one thing that clutterers do sometimes achieve - it is collecting things of value, or things which over time become valuable. Although the clutter lifestyle isn't for me - I'm not about to let go of the 3 generations of comic books and baseball cards I now have (in addition to the 3,000 or so Legos from when I was a little Legomaniac). I'm not in dire financial need to sell them right now, but realistically, if the situation ever changes, I or my descendants will do "alright" with some of these things.
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:02 AM
7,099 posts, read 24,418,069 times
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My husband has some things that were his grandparents when they settled out in Nebraska when it was only a territory. So, there is a little historical history to them, besides being just family collectables. He recently found on a site for collectable guns, his grandmother's little "ladies" pistol. $425.00. Not a bad price for something that will mean little or nothing to our grandkids.

I don't have any interest in collecting things. I don't understand the urge to collect things like Barbie Dolls or ceramic lighthouses. Although I have seen some intricate music boxes that I would like to have, but we are talking real money for something like that.
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:13 AM
Location: Home is where we park it.
3,096 posts, read 8,331,407 times
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My previous stepmom (who is gone now) wanted to get rid of what SHE thought of as junk that my daddy inherited from his mom. One item was a set of Blue Willow dishes. I immediately spoke up and said *I* would take them. When I did that, she second guessed herself...guess she figured if *I* wanted them, they must be worth something. She found out later just how MUCH they were worth.

Thankfully my daddy still has them and I will get them when he dies, which I sincerely hope is a LONG time from now. My current stepmom appreciates the value of the Blue Willow and I don't begrudge her using them (I did my other stepmom cause she only kept them cause *I* wanted them). My daddy just wants them kept in the family.

I also went thru daddy's books, esp the history/genealogical and cook books, with his permission. I tried to get some of the really old ones that are irreplaceable. He was going to donate much of his library and I wanted to keep some of the ones that would mean most to me. Liz
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:00 AM
Location: Miami, Fl
1 posts, read 4,330 times
Reputation: 10
Default I was asked a similar question

This is incredible, because I just received an email from a lady asking me why older people like to keep "little" things and collect them. Being a gerontologist I responded to her that those things give security to the older person...these things are so important to know because if we take care of an aging person, we need to develop patience and understanding.....

It is interesting because I have forums on my website and one of the themes is "taking care of your aging parents" but I wonder why people continue sending the messages instead of posting....do you have any idea why?

Have a beautiful day!

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Old 04-18-2008, 08:50 AM
Location: Glen Burnie, Maryland
1,323 posts, read 3,458,862 times
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There was a neighbor lady who passed away a few years ago. She was in her late 90s. She lived alone in an old Victorian. When she died, she apparently only had a nephew who was close enough to take care of her estate. When he cleaned out the house he rented a big roll away dumpster. All us neighbors knew this lady and knew she had a lot of history in her house, not just personal but related to the town also. This nephew threw out everything. I'm not ashamed to say that we all had a dumpster diving party the next day. The old family photos from the 1800's and the little hotel soap dish stamped "1929 West Virginia" and all the memorabilia from the local firehouse dating to the 1920s was rescued. He threw away his family's history and a lot of valuable china, cast iron toys, and fine leather equestrian items (a whole saddle!). I had my little soap dish appraised at $60 and one of the first View Master stereoscopes at $75. I was able to donate her photos to the local historical museum as many of them were of the old Main Street, the old fire house, and the Laurel Race Track (horses).

Some people treasure history and others just consider it junk. I'm glad many of us neighbors weren't too proud to jump in that dumpster. We found some real treasures.
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:03 PM
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Some people collect for fun or sentimental value. I still have baseball cards from years ago,and coin collection,also my lionel train set when I was young.
Alot of these things bring back good memories.
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Old 04-18-2008, 01:48 PM
Location: Southwest Pa
1,440 posts, read 3,704,328 times
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Mom dealt with her belongings before she left, but then she knew her time was soon to be up. All we had to do was close the apartment and sell the car. The few things she had of family importance were farmed out beforehand as well. A thoughtful woman.

Dad on the other hand was a notorious packrat. He blamed it on growing up with nothing during the depression. Out of date suits two sizes too small, applainces that didn't work, used parts for cars that had long since been junked. All manner of stuff.

When he died, the first thing that went were the clothes as neither my brother or me could use them. The next thing was all what I considered junk, regardless of potential scrap value. Sanford and Son, our local branch anyway, took all that without fee. Then there were the boxes and boxes of items he'd picked up over the years from auctions and flea markets. No family history involved so back to the flea market they went with the wife, she kept the money for her troubles.

That left the family history items. Over the years, as his siblings passed, these were handed down to dad. A hundred years worth of passports, naturalization papers, funeral books and boxes of photos. These were sorted out very carefully.

Anything pertaining to my line of the family was set aside, organized and marked for my sons to deal with when they get older. That still left a small mountain. Our next move was to organize the remainder by family branch. This should go to cousin so-and-so, these should go to and on and on. They all loved the idea, couldn't thank us enough for the trouble. Then they stopped calling or started making excuses as to why they didn't want it or wouldn't pay to have it shipped.

Two years of waiting was enough. I had no intention of being the family historian, we're not that close anyway. Off to the local historical society it all went to deal with as they saw fit. Future generations can find it there.

Unlike dad, I'm well known for eliminating the useless stuff. My rules are that when I'm gone, if you can't find a personal reason to keep it, do with it as you wish. Erect no museum to my memory.
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