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Old 03-19-2015, 12:52 PM
248 posts, read 267,766 times
Reputation: 1043


There's sentimentality and then there's.... pathological. Take all that interest in people and memories and put it to better use than hoarding 300 stuffed animals; think about volunteering in a no-kill pet shelter or a nursing home, or a food bank - anywhere where you can put your sentimentality to real use. Your 'DD' is telling you in no uncertain terms that she's moved on from stuffed toys and doll houses and wishes you would, too.

No one can be attached to that many 'reminders' of what used to be, it's the emotional power that they have to remind you of the past that's working on you - but the past *is* past, your children are grown, and it's time to open another chapter. Maybe consider how happy some child would be to have ONE of those 300 stuffed animals, if they come from a family where good money spent on endless trifles isn't available...
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:55 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,829 posts, read 54,503,450 times
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Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
There are ways to 'preserve' your treasures on CD! Some on this forum have taken pics and videos and saved on an SD card (that saves a lot of space! (and trouble). )

I 'distribute' many of my treasures, but since I have been the 'collector' of 2 sides of the pioneer families, I have many. Recently gave some treasures to a friend who was outfitting a 1900's pool hall in his cabin, also to museums, and many other friends and family (kids don't seem to want the treasures.)

I also have 4 retirement locations, so they each get a few items to make it feel like 'grandma's house'.

We still do a 17' tall Christmas tree (cut from the yard / forest), and it's the only time the family gathers together. (We should be giving away family heirlooms as 'door prizes' .)
Just plan to have the media updated to modern technology as it changes. While the CD is still commonly used, think about what we have seen in our lifetime. My father did 16mm film home movies, I did 8mm, then VHS video tape, now phone or tablet video. Conversion takes a lot of time, but chances are by the time your heirs decide to look at your CDs no one will have a CD drive any more.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:22 PM
10,818 posts, read 8,069,111 times
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Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
The less we have to bring with us the lighter and clearer and more open we feel.
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
I Let me tell you it is liberating to have all the 'stuff' gone.

I involuntarily gave up several boxes of cherished family and personal treasures in 1975. They were lost in a move.
I was initially devastated but after a couple of weeks I felt a lifting and lightening and came to realize - for me - the loss was an opportunity to move on and learn to shake my attachment to "stuff".

In the 40 years since, I've never once missed that stuff and I never again became emotionally attached to any material object. My mom never quite grasped how I felt; when she passed she gave almost everything with sentimental meaning to me, her only daughter. Within a month I gave it all - every photo, old letter, journal, knickknack, quilt, dish, and piece of jewelry - to my two brothers' adult children and told them it was theirs to keep, sell, or give away.
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:00 PM
382 posts, read 352,836 times
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Signalfire's comments were "right on target." The past is the past and your children are grown. It happened to me also. Focus on your new chapter. There is too much "living" to do.
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Old 03-19-2015, 05:06 PM
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,238,618 times
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You're hanging on to the knickknacks, mementos, stuffed animals, dollhouse, decorations, china and dishes because of the memories attached to them.

You still have the memories, even after the stuff is gone.

I'm speaking as a person who has 3 completely empty bedrooms, an empty dining room and a living room that is 90% empty
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:22 PM
1,831 posts, read 2,599,552 times
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BTDT. Last year I was begging people to think about downsizing as we had to clean out a relatives home after his passing that had been lived in since 1957, with all records kept since then. We also downsized and moved ourselves during this same time. Crazy year. Like others have said, take pictures, lots of them. I saved a few trophies but took pictures of all. My way of dealing was to find places for stuff. Craigslist, local facebook pages, Freecycle and of course a couple of local church run thrift stores. As for OP, stuff animals can actually be hard to donate as many places will not take them, or old toys, anymore. One idea to explore is where we use to live the local elementary schools had a stuff animal walk, like a cake walk, with their spring carnivals. Parents loved it as they got rid of stuffed animals then just put up with the "new" ones their kids won. I loved it as I got rid of a few bags of stuff animals that way.
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:39 PM
1,706 posts, read 1,227,377 times
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It is difficult to give up cherished family items both large and small. At one point I had an entire basement full of various family furniture. I ended up donating much of it to local charities, and gave away some to individuals that were in need. I still have much left to give away, but that will happen over the next year.
That said, I have certain chosen items that I will never give up that will move with me where ever I go.
I agree wholeheartedly with what others have said- but I also think it is ok to decide that you want to keep certain items that have special meaning for you and/or do it over time as you become ready to let things go.
Our possessions can keep us anchored to a particular time, place, or person- sometimes in order to grow we need to let go of those attachments that keep us anchored in the past.
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:47 PM
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To add to the misery, my MIL passed away last December. what a time to go!Now the rest of the family is expecting us to take most of her stuff, since we live the closest. Its impossible to explain, I'm cleaning out my own stuff, which I have no use or room for and can't afford to store it forever

I like the idea to go through the house with a video camera and record all the important stuff, along with a narrative describing it. Then, get rid of it. Donate, have a garage sale, sell on Ebay, whatever. The rest of the family says oh, I am the "expert" at doing such, I've cleaned out my parents, grandparents, etc....now my own stuff. So I should be expected to do more?

Did I mention I am scheduled for a total hip replacement first of May? That's right, I have such severe RA my right hip is just about gone. I am at the screaming level of pain 80% of the time, when I run out of vicodin, which doctors don't like to prescribe. WTH, they're afraid I might feel human for a few hours?

Why did we choose to move now? Long story, but we are currently renting the house we live in. We intended to buy, but owner wants too much. He isn't using a realtor, and thinks he can set the price. he's off by about $50,000 and we simply don't want to negotiate that much. Since we're going month-by-month, I can't be recovering from a hip replacement and showing the house! Also, our kids will be moving out, so, we feel an apt for just the two of us will be better, for at least a year, until we can get a grip on the next phase of life. It will be small enough for us to maintain without killing ourselves, and not a long-term commitment while we decide what the next step in housing should be. Of course, I could just pack up everything and take it with me, sort out later---NO! NEVER do that! I've been on the other end. My mother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. She lived in another state. All we could do was have her stuff packed up by a moving company and sent down to us, where it was stored for about 2 years. We sorted box by box, it literally took 2 years to go through all that stuff, especially since there was no pre-sorting. Thank goodness Mom left enough life insurance to cover the costs, or we would have just had to walk away and leave most of it. Never again----will I be sorting through piles of crap!

I now tell myself every item, big or small, that I get rid of, is something I don't have to contend with later!
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:30 AM
Location: Tennessee
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I hate to tell you this but you could hold onto stuff for years and never look at it but right after you throw something away, you'll need it again.
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Old 03-20-2015, 03:49 AM
71 posts, read 64,567 times
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Default Also downsizing

MaryleeII, I understand to some degree what you are going through as we too are downsizing right now due to moving to a smaller home, actually FOR retirement, not pre-retirement - though it's something we've planned for quite some time. It is a choice we wanted to make - not by force really. I mean, hell if we had hundreds of thousands of $ in the bank we would probably choose to move to a bigger place... But we don't so it's a choice to either stay where we are and keep working, or downsize and live on social security and part-time income. We chose the latter. I'm sick of working for a living!

Let me say that I do understand your pain... and I feel some of it as well... but it is different for me because I have a different attitude about it. Maybe my wife is a bit more like you about it; she is less enthusiastic about moving and doesn't like having to get rid of some of her "stuff".

Maybe my attitude about it might help you re-frame your experience and feelings about it.

The way I see it, I feel good about getting rid of useless stuff that has just been sitting around in our apartment and in various homes I've lived in over the past 45 years! Sitting around in boxes or on shelves... serving no real purpose other than collecting dust.

I have boxes of old letters and writings and pictures I drew when I was a child, poems I wrote when I was a young man, love letters to and from various girlfriends, tons of books, mementos and so on... stuff I've mostly stored in the closet for most of my life. If I had a spare room I might have displayed SOME of the stuff but I know if I did it wouldn't have brought me any great abundance of happiness to have done so. It would have just gathered dust in a different location!

Basically as I go through my closet and open up these old boxes I think "Why the hell did I KEEP all this stuff??!" ;-D I think, "Jheez, what a waste of space! What was the point of keeping all this?!"

Most of it I have only looked at briefly when I've moved every 10-15 years, just as I am doing now. Yes it brings a smile or two to me to go through them, yes even some tears here and there, and yes I do feel "weird" about throwing some of this stuff out!

At the same time, I feel liberated by throwing it out! "FINALLY! I'm getting rid of this JUNK I've been holding on to for so long! And for WHAT! It's crazy!" I'm "old" now, my parents are gone, it's basically just my wife and me now... we're moving away, starting a new life! Time to freshen up our lives!

Yes I have some mementos of my mom and dad who recently passed on. Some I will throw out, some I will keep but mostly I will throw them out. I will still have photos, and memories in my mind. That's enough!

Some stuff as others here mentioned, will be scanned into the computer. My mom's diary is hundreds of pages and too many to scan so I'll keep it and store it at a good friend's home until we get settled. I'll then probably read it once and throw it away. (She told me not to let anyone else read it. She just gave it to me a few years ago and I've not really read it, just skimmed through it.) My dad's war stories from when he was on the front in WWII however are only a small box of letters, and so are less in volume and to be honest more interesting to more people, so I will scan those into the computer and am thinking of putting them up on the internet for WWII aficionados.

I am getting rid of some stuff of mine that I really love like my big speakers - costs too much to ship them as we're moving to another country; my electric guitar that I want to play when I'm retired but it's just too big and heavy to ship; my cd's and cd cabinet are all going into folders, throwing out the plastic cases and covers and liner notes etc. Kinda sad but hey, it's a matter of getting rid of stuff I don't really need! At least I'll still have the cd's! Same with dvd's - they're going into folders, no more bulky space-taking plastic cases.

As I look around our apartment I see tons of junk that just sits around gathering dust. I "like" all of it or I wouldn't have it! But do I "need" it? No. Out it goes! Out go the knick-knacks, out go the junk - the magazines I thought I "might" refer to or re-read but haven't in the last 5-10 years! LOL. Out it all goes!

So to me it's somewhat sad but it's also liberating. Very liberating to say "Out you go! I never needed you, never used you, never had any real relationship with you! [books, magazines, knick-knacks, tchochkies, the JUNK DRAWER! LOL!] OUT! OUT you go!

There is something to be said of being free from the past. I'll still have digital photos on the computer, tablet and cd's, and scanned items to look at if the urge strikes me. But no need for tons of junk sitting around any more! Yay! Time to let it all GO!

I have hundreds of books most of which I've read and few of which I'll read again. I bought a Kindle Paperwhite (highly recommended) and found most of the books in e-book format, that I really want to re-read or haven't had time to read yet, for free on book sharing sites, and bought a few at amazon. So all those bookshelves of dusty books? Gone! All I need now are in a little 8" large-paperback size electronic reader! (and backed up on the cloud). Amazing and wonderful!

We just sold 2 bikes we never road, a bedroom tv we seldom used, a cd cabinet I won't need now, etc. - in part because we need the $ but also simply because we don't want to ship them and won't have room for them.

The personal writings when I was a teenager fascinate me but also embarrass me. To think I was once so young and naive! LOL! I find these the hardest to throw out. And I have to shred them as they are personal, and that's a pain in the butt. And so final! ;-D Some letters from my mom and dad too... hard to let go of. But I'm not likely to read them again - if I did it would be maybe once, the next time I move which might be never... so ... OUT THEY GO!

I'll close by saying I lived in this same foreign country we're moving to, for a year many years ago, and I lived for that year with ONLY 2 big suitcases full of stuff - left everything else behind in storage, sold most of my furniture etc at that time as I was planning/hoping for it to be a permanent move.

That year was one of the best of my life! Making new friends, living in a new place, doing different things, not watching tv, reading in a hammock, swimming, living a different life! It was fantastic! I never ever missed any of the "stuff" I left behind! And I doubt I'll miss all this stuff I'm leaving behind now!

Anyway I'm really excited about downsizing and I know how liberating it can be to start a new life, fresh without all the "trappings" of the past to weigh me down. If you allow yourself to see it this way, you too might find this move and downsizing to be very liberating and one of the best things you ever did! I hope you do find that to be true, once you make the move and adjust to your new life/lifestyle!

Good luck!
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