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Old 02-11-2008, 10:45 AM
 
Location: NJ
152 posts, read 574,017 times
Reputation: 109

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We will be retiring in a year or so. We have everything worked out except... what to get rid of. My wife has a hard time departing (throwing away) stuff that we have not used in years. This situation is creating a conflict between the two of us because unless we de-cluter our home we will not be able to sell it before the move. Any advice?

"A frustrated planner"
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:52 AM
 
305 posts, read 1,533,131 times
Reputation: 149
Here was my rule:

If it hasn't been seen or touched in more than 12 months - unless it is a personal memento or family heirloom - it's trash. Never toss out photos, awards, achievements, that type of stuff.

Worked for me. And trust me, between the two of us (hubby and I) we had a LOT of stuff (we were a "blended" family).

It took 6 months to go through everything. We also offered our kids anything we had that we were going to toss just in case they wanted to continue the family tradition of being pack rats!
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:16 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,053,898 times
Reputation: 2141
I'm looking at this too. It is amazing what detritus can accumulate over a period of years. I've had to reorient my attitude. Now, I've started to make a list. 1 for things I really love and want to keep, another for things I need to get rid of before I move. If I don't really love it or really need it, then it will go. If I haven't used it in a couple of years, it will go. My clothes will get culled so that only a handful of dresses will remain because I will mostly be dressed in play clothes in retirement. Anything broken or worn is going because, I'm not going to fix it since I haven't yet.

Only the furniture that I really, really like is going to be moved after having investigated the high price of moving things. I think it will be better to start over except for the few pieces of really good furniture I have. Tools will stay (I use them!).

That accumulation of stuff (some dating from college!) that has resided in the basement waiting on me getting around to sorting it out is going.

This going to take more than 6 months, but I won't do it all at once either. But every little clean out I do and get rid of a load makes me feel a little better.

If one spouse is more reluctant, then maybe the list approach would help vs. the cost of moving/storing it.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,888,205 times
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There is a psychological aspect to hanging onto things and you need to be aware of that. She may be unwilling to let go of the life she has now (and the things that go with it) to move onto a new life. You may want to get some couples counseling to help her deal with the transition to a new life and new home.
It can be very difficult for some people.
There's a good book out that explains why some people hang onto things:
Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding
Also consider bringing in a professional organizer who can help her deal with letting go.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:32 PM
 
19,922 posts, read 9,990,094 times
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I'm in the process of "throwing stuff out" as well in preparation for an eventual move.

Don't forget to check to see whether your community has a FREESHARE or a FREECYCLE program. There may be people who might want your items and will come to your house to take them! It's a win-win for everyone. You get rid of your stuff, a person who might benefit gets something that might help, and the landfills have one less item.

I given away lots of my stuff to people in my community and feel pretty good about it.

Charley
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Looking East and hoping!
28,227 posts, read 19,622,171 times
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Our neighbors, family and friends benefited greatly from our downsizing. Life is very uncomplicated now. Take your time, make lists, and yes donate.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:34 PM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,301 posts, read 15,356,670 times
Reputation: 9473
When it came time to move, we had too much stuff and needed to downsize. Problem is, a lot of "stuff" was antiques (furniture and china) that my mother had collected. When she died (almost 20 years ago now - I can't believe it's been that long!) my father sent most of it to me.

The problem with getting rid of it was that it felt like a last attachment to my mother. The furniture and china weren't a style I cared for, and I never did a very good job dusting them, but... they were still there, a reminder of her.

So finally I steeled myself up, and chose to keep a small inlaid music cabinet (for storing sheet music) that works beautifully as a telephone stand, with phone books and bills inside. The other big stuff - the china cabinet, the massive secretary, the fussy formal china - went.

Apparently my mother had good taste, too, since the lot fetched $9,500 at auction. I had no idea the pieces were that valuable.

It was hard, though, getting rid of things that had been my mother's.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:38 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,236 posts, read 18,519,100 times
Reputation: 17765
Only the furniture that I really, really like is going to be moved after having investigated the high price of moving things. I think it will be better to start over except for the few pieces of really good furniture I have. Tools will stay (I use them!).

That accumulation of stuff (some dating from college!) that has resided in the basement waiting on me getting around to sorting it out is going.



I'm doing the exact same thing, tesaje. Au revoir , old life . I have a question for you about this , but I will PM it .
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People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Lovelock, NV - Anchorage, AK
1,195 posts, read 4,994,499 times
Reputation: 465
We retire June 1, I've been working on the down sizing for more that a year now. Everytime I go shopping and think that I want something I ask myself if I want to move it and after I ask myself that I usally won't buy it.

I went through and tackled one room at a time, gave a great deal of items to my daughter, donated numerous times to Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

One time I put items on Craigslist advertising Free you haul away and ended up give several items to two young college kids that needed furniture, they were very excited about the free items. Was nice for us too as we didn't have to mess it.

My husband on the other hand will be a challenge, he has a great deal invested in tools and I know he won't part with those as they will come in handy later or at any time of need.

We have a garage sale and actually did pretty good but it's amazing how folks don't value your items like you do. Still made some money that I wouldn't have as I would have just given the stuff away.
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:39 PM
 
Location: New Jersey/Florida
5,440 posts, read 10,524,802 times
Reputation: 3624
We donated coats, suits, shoes, boots, purses and bags of clothes to the Salvation Army and Goodwill mission. The good thing is these items go to the needy and we havn't used them to much in the last couple of years. Another good thing is you get a receipt for what you gave and we get a small tax reduction from uncle sam.
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