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Old 01-08-2016, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Idaho
1,451 posts, read 1,153,086 times
Reputation: 5472

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I am usually an optimistic, can-do person but I feel completely overwhelmed today with our downsizing tasks.

We spent a good two weeks cleaning out our 8 tall book cases and whittled the content down to about 3 cases. We took a carload full of old college notebooks, textbooks, reference books to the dump. So far, we had taken 50 books to the library and have at least 100 to go (the library only allows donations of 25 books at a time). We have close to 100 art books to give to a friend who is an art teacher.

Today we went up to the attic to get some insulation material to reline the fireplace screen and discovered at least 20 big boxes full of stuff. I knew that we had stored some old college books up there but did not realize there were too many boxes. At least 5 of the huge boxes have old clothing. I opened one box and was astonished to see it was full of my daughter's old winter clothes from the time she was a baby!!

We had moved 3 times from the time my daughter was born. All the moves were job relocation handled and paid for by our companies. After each move, we opened only the boxes which we needed and put the other in storage thinking that we might need some of the stuffs or we will sort things out for donations or the dump later.

I could not believe that 'later' means until retirement. All the years while were were working, we were just too busy with our new jobs, careers, child rearing, taking care of elderly parents' affairs, trying to 'have a life' by acquiring some intense hobbies after our daughter went to college. The stored boxes just sit and sit up in the attic, in the basement and some closets.

I told my husband today that he should not mention anything about home improvement or home renovation tasks until we have gotten rid of all the attic/basement 'junks'. It may take several months for us to go through the mountains of old books and clothing.

I don't even want to think about the downstair kitchen cupboard full of rarely used appliances, extra dishes, kitchen utensils, pots and pans!! It is difficult for me to figure out what to do with the extra kitchen stuffs. In the last 2 months or so of my retirement, I have resumed doing some of stuffs which I had not done for years like canning. I am glad that we did not throw out or give away my big canning pot, jars. My husband decided to make some bran muffins the other day and we could not find a single muffin pan. I knew we had quite a few but could not remember whether we stored them in a box somewhere or gave them away. We ended up baking the muffins in the 'cup cake' machine. Then there are the pasta machine, the ice cream maker, the yogurt maker, the infrared oven, the slow cooker etc. I hate to throw them out or give them away. We threw out the pressure cooker few years back when the seal got old, and we did not want to bother looking for replacement. I rediscovered cooking with the pressure cooker few months ago and got a new one. It has been one of the often used items.

Downsizing is certainly not an easy task especially after over 20 years of staying in the same house with lots of rooms and storage areas. Our next home has to be a small house with no basement, a small attic and with minimum closet spaces.
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,469,891 times
Reputation: 27565
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
I am usually an optimistic, can-do person but I feel completely overwhelmed today with our downsizing tasks.

We spent a good two weeks cleaning out our 8 tall book cases and whittled the content down to about 3 cases. We took a carload full of old college notebooks, textbooks, reference books to the dump. So far, we had taken 50 books to the library and have at least 100 to go (the library only allows donations of 25 books at a time). We have close to 100 art books to give to a friend who is an art teacher.

Today we went up to the attic to get some insulation material to reline the fireplace screen and discovered at least 20 big boxes full of stuff. I knew that we had stored some old college books up there but did not realize there were too many boxes. At least 5 of the huge boxes have old clothing. I opened one box and was astonished to see it was full of my daughter's old winter clothes from the time she was a baby!!

We had moved 3 times from the time my daughter was born. All the moves were job relocation handled and paid for by our companies. After each move, we opened only the boxes which we needed and put the other in storage thinking that we might need some of the stuffs or we will sort things out for donations or the dump later.

I could not believe that 'later' means until retirement. All the years while were were working, we were just too busy with our new jobs, careers, child rearing, taking care of elderly parents' affairs, trying to 'have a life' by acquiring some intense hobbies after our daughter went to college. The stored boxes just sit and sit up in the attic, in the basement and some closets.

I told my husband today that he should not mention anything about home improvement or home renovation tasks until we have gotten rid of all the attic/basement 'junks'. It may take several months for us to go through the mountains of old books and clothing.

I don't even want to think about the downstair kitchen cupboard full of rarely used appliances, extra dishes, kitchen utensils, pots and pans!! It is difficult for me to figure out what to do with the extra kitchen stuffs. In the last 2 months or so of my retirement, I have resumed doing some of stuffs which I had not done for years like canning. I am glad that we did not throw out or give away my big canning pot, jars. My husband decided to make some bran muffins the other day and we could not find a single muffin pan. I knew we had quite a few but could not remember whether we stored them in a box somewhere or gave them away. We ended up baking the muffins in the 'cup cake' machine. Then there are the pasta machine, the ice cream maker, the yogurt maker, the infrared oven, the slow cooker etc. I hate to throw them out or give them away. We threw out the pressure cooker few years back when the seal got old, and we did not want to bother looking for replacement. I rediscovered cooking with the pressure cooker few months ago and got a new one. It has been one of the often used items.

Downsizing is certainly not an easy task especially after over 20 years of staying in the same house with lots of rooms and storage areas. Our next home has to be a small house with no basement, a small attic and with minimum closet spaces.
Why would you need to go through it ? Boxes stored for decades and never opened means you never really needed what was in them to go searching for them.

Just take those boxes, unopened and chuck them.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Deep In The Heart of Texas
1,605 posts, read 1,270,176 times
Reputation: 3016
Finally downsized books to only 4:


1 Dictionary
1 Cookbook
1 Bible
Clutters Last Stand (love this book) have to reread occasionally to reinforce my minimalism thinking!


Anything I might need can be gotten at the library or read online!
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,338 posts, read 10,327,920 times
Reputation: 28455
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Why would you need to go through it ? Boxes stored for decades and never opened means you never really needed what was in them to go searching for them.

Just take those boxes, unopened and chuck them.
I'd say go through them , time permitting. Some stuff can be donated. Not everything needs to go to a landfill.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:08 PM
 
7,794 posts, read 4,381,326 times
Reputation: 11583
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
I am usually an optimistic, can-do person but I feel completely overwhelmed today with our downsizing tasks.

We spent a good two weeks cleaning out our 8 tall book cases and whittled the content down to about 3 cases. We took a carload full of old college notebooks, textbooks, reference books to the dump. So far, we had taken 50 books to the library and have at least 100 to go (the library only allows donations of 25 books at a time). We have close to 100 art books to give to a friend who is an art teacher.

Today we went up to the attic to get some insulation material to reline the fireplace screen and discovered at least 20 big boxes full of stuff. I knew that we had stored some old college books up there but did not realize there were too many boxes. At least 5 of the huge boxes have old clothing. I opened one box and was astonished to see it was full of my daughter's old winter clothes from the time she was a baby!!

We had moved 3 times from the time my daughter was born. All the moves were job relocation handled and paid for by our companies. After each move, we opened only the boxes which we needed and put the other in storage thinking that we might need some of the stuffs or we will sort things out for donations or the dump later.

I could not believe that 'later' means until retirement. All the years while were were working, we were just too busy with our new jobs, careers, child rearing, taking care of elderly parents' affairs, trying to 'have a life' by acquiring some intense hobbies after our daughter went to college. The stored boxes just sit and sit up in the attic, in the basement and some closets.

I told my husband today that he should not mention anything about home improvement or home renovation tasks until we have gotten rid of all the attic/basement 'junks'. It may take several months for us to go through the mountains of old books and clothing.

I don't even want to think about the downstair kitchen cupboard full of rarely used appliances, extra dishes, kitchen utensils, pots and pans!! It is difficult for me to figure out what to do with the extra kitchen stuffs. In the last 2 months or so of my retirement, I have resumed doing some of stuffs which I had not done for years like canning. I am glad that we did not throw out or give away my big canning pot, jars. My husband decided to make some bran muffins the other day and we could not find a single muffin pan. I knew we had quite a few but could not remember whether we stored them in a box somewhere or gave them away. We ended up baking the muffins in the 'cup cake' machine. Then there are the pasta machine, the ice cream maker, the yogurt maker, the infrared oven, the slow cooker etc. I hate to throw them out or give them away. We threw out the pressure cooker few years back when the seal got old, and we did not want to bother looking for replacement. I rediscovered cooking with the pressure cooker few months ago and got a new one. It has been one of the often used items.

Downsizing is certainly not an easy task especially after over 20 years of staying in the same house with lots of rooms and storage areas. Our next home has to be a small house with no basement, a small attic and with minimum closet spaces.

This was me a few months ago, only it was a three-story house with every closet and cupboard stuffed full along with hundreds of boxes from four family members for 50 years... Thought I was gonna die...


You can't just "chuck them"; you have to handle every single item in case it's something valuable (monetarily or sentimentally) and then make a decision as to what to do with every. Single Item.


As long as you have the room to store it neatly, stuff will sit there until you HAVE to deal with it.


Having no storage space in the future is my strategy, too!
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:34 PM
 
6,306 posts, read 5,046,206 times
Reputation: 12810
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
I'd say go through them , time permitting. Some stuff can be donated. Not everything needs to go to a landfill.
I agree - you never know what is in there. Doesn't take much time to go through a box.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:37 PM
 
6,306 posts, read 5,046,206 times
Reputation: 12810
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
I am usually an optimistic, can-do person but I feel completely overwhelmed today with our downsizing tasks.

We spent a good two weeks cleaning out our 8 tall book cases and whittled the content down to about 3 cases. We took a carload full of old college notebooks, textbooks, reference books to the dump. So far, we had taken 50 books to the library and have at least 100 to go (the library only allows donations of 25 books at a time). We have close to 100 art books to give to a friend who is an art teacher.

Today we went up to the attic to get some insulation material to reline the fireplace screen and discovered at least 20 big boxes full of stuff. I knew that we had stored some old college books up there but did not realize there were too many boxes. At least 5 of the huge boxes have old clothing. I opened one box and was astonished to see it was full of my daughter's old winter clothes from the time she was a baby!!

We had moved 3 times from the time my daughter was born. All the moves were job relocation handled and paid for by our companies. After each move, we opened only the boxes which we needed and put the other in storage thinking that we might need some of the stuffs or we will sort things out for donations or the dump later.

I could not believe that 'later' means until retirement. All the years while were were working, we were just too busy with our new jobs, careers, child rearing, taking care of elderly parents' affairs, trying to 'have a life' by acquiring some intense hobbies after our daughter went to college. The stored boxes just sit and sit up in the attic, in the basement and some closets.

I told my husband today that he should not mention anything about home improvement or home renovation tasks until we have gotten rid of all the attic/basement 'junks'. It may take several months for us to go through the mountains of old books and clothing.

I don't even want to think about the downstair kitchen cupboard full of rarely used appliances, extra dishes, kitchen utensils, pots and pans!! It is difficult for me to figure out what to do with the extra kitchen stuffs. In the last 2 months or so of my retirement, I have resumed doing some of stuffs which I had not done for years like canning. I am glad that we did not throw out or give away my big canning pot, jars. My husband decided to make some bran muffins the other day and we could not find a single muffin pan. I knew we had quite a few but could not remember whether we stored them in a box somewhere or gave them away. We ended up baking the muffins in the 'cup cake' machine. Then there are the pasta machine, the ice cream maker, the yogurt maker, the infrared oven, the slow cooker etc. I hate to throw them out or give them away. We threw out the pressure cooker few years back when the seal got old, and we did not want to bother looking for replacement. I rediscovered cooking with the pressure cooker few months ago and got a new one. It has been one of the often used items.

Downsizing is certainly not an easy task especially after over 20 years of staying in the same house with lots of rooms and storage areas. Our next home has to be a small house with no basement, a small attic and with minimum closet spaces.
I am getting rid of most of my baking things. My solution - buy those aluminum throw away pans for cakes, muffins, pies etc. Because really, how often do I bake now in retirement? That phase of my life is over. So many places make such good yummy baked goods.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Idaho
1,451 posts, read 1,153,086 times
Reputation: 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Why would you need to go through it ? Boxes stored for decades and never opened means you never really needed what was in them to go searching for them.

Just take those boxes, unopened and chuck them.
One of the boxes which I opened today was a box contained my late MIL's cook books, art books and some of her sketches. In another one, I found some old valentine and birthday cards with drawings done by my daughter when she was a little girl. Another one had several of my late father's handwritten letters. He used to send long loving letters to families. He could neither read nor write after his stroke. My mother had to teach him the alphabet, how to tell time, how to write a single letter. I cried with happy tears when he was well enough (after several years) to write letters again. The lines were up, down all over the place (he had double vision after the stroke) but it was the most beautiful handwritten letter that I had ever received.

It's hard for me to part with some sentimental stuffs. The problem with moving especially when the boxing was done by somebody else was that they just threw everything together in boxes. Unless I go through them, I would not know the exact content of each box. It will take me a while to go through each item in the boxes but it is well worth it.

Even with books, I hate to take everything to the dump. I would rather sort through them giving valuable books to the library or friends. For example, I was about to throw a book in the dumpster pile then decided to check the value and found that it is worth $50 so I put it in the library donation pile instead.
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:23 PM
 
Location: SoCal
6,063 posts, read 9,522,564 times
Reputation: 5789
For getting rid of textbooks - even old ones - try this. You might get a bit of return for your effort (I recently sold six old textbooks and got back around $50.00): Sell textbooks and used books - Buyback comparison @ BookFinder.com
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:29 PM
 
6,306 posts, read 5,046,206 times
Reputation: 12810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlelu View Post
Finally downsized books to only 4:


1 Dictionary
1 Cookbook
1 Bible
Clutters Last Stand (love this book) have to reread occasionally to reinforce my minimalism thinking!


Anything I might need can be gotten at the library or read online!
Clutter's Last Stand is a great book!
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