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Old 10-07-2019, 11:30 AM
 
148 posts, read 61,602 times
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Funny, I've been going through this myself. I'm about 15 months from retirement. My wife and I knew we'd be relocating to a different State, and in a smaller home than currently. I'm not so bad as to be called a hoarder, but I do have a lot of stuff. When my wife passed recently, I was left on my own with going through her entire material life and figuring out what to do with all her stuff. I didn't approach that for a long time, but after some time I started and discovered that the great majority of material things were no longer important for me to hold on to the memory. I think it was a good thing that I waited before doing this. By the time I did, the things were mostly just "things". I've held on to only the dearest of things. Between Dress for Success, and treasured items going to her various cousins and her sister, I found good homes for everything.

I use this to address the OP's question. Now it's my turn. I still have a 2400+ square foot house that is full of furniture, artwork, more kitchen hardware than one person could every realistically use (I cook), and my own piles of "stuff". I will likely wind up after retirement in an even smaller home than originally planned, so things have to remain practical. The loss of my wife has caused me to realize (for me - YMMV) that the material of the past has to be looked at from the point of view of who you are today. I am (and "will have been") an engineer. It will have been a nice career, but once it's over my life as that working professional is over. I road track bikes when I was younger; I still have one. That's what I could do, not what I can do. I could go on... It's time to shed what is no longer needed. I've started doing that for myself. Is it hard? Not as hard as I would have thought. Once something important has been lost, the rest kind of reprioritizes itself. My own view, not meant to apply to anyone else.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:02 PM
 
1,708 posts, read 388,399 times
Reputation: 2161
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyp22 View Post
Funny, I've been going through this myself. I'm about 15 months from retirement. My wife and I knew we'd be relocating to a different State, and in a smaller home than currently. I'm not so bad as to be called a hoarder, but I do have a lot of stuff. When my wife passed recently, I was left on my own with going through her entire material life and figuring out what to do with all her stuff. I didn't approach that for a long time, but after some time I started and discovered that the great majority of material things were no longer important for me to hold on to the memory. I think it was a good thing that I waited before doing this. By the time I did, the things were mostly just "things". I've held on to only the dearest of things. Between Dress for Success, and treasured items going to her various cousins and her sister, I found good homes for everything.

I use this to address the OP's question. Now it's my turn. I still have a 2400+ square foot house that is full of furniture, artwork, more kitchen hardware than one person could every realistically use (I cook), and my own piles of "stuff". I will likely wind up after retirement in an even smaller home than originally planned, so things have to remain practical. The loss of my wife has caused me to realize (for me - YMMV) that the material of the past has to be looked at from the point of view of who you are today. I am (and "will have been") an engineer. It will have been a nice career, but once it's over my life as that working professional is over. I road track bikes when I was younger; I still have one. That's what I could do, not what I can do. I could go on... It's time to shed what is no longer needed. I've started doing that for myself. Is it hard? Not as hard as I would have thought. Once something important has been lost, the rest kind of reprioritizes itself. My own view, not meant to apply to anyone else.
That's how I approached my retirement. I "was" a software engineer. Now when asked what do I do I say "nothing" or "whatever I want" or "I'm a beach bum now"; what I don't say is "I'm a retired software engineer".

Retirement is another chance to invent yourself if you want. Out with the old, in with the new and have all new experiences.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Florida
20,280 posts, read 20,382,632 times
Reputation: 23959
I think that anybody who has gone through cleaning out their own parents house may see things differently than one who hasn't.
And moving helps make it easier since you either get rid of it now or pay to keep it.
As well as , do you love your kids or want to punish them?
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,595 posts, read 3,792,699 times
Reputation: 5211
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
As well as , do you love your kids or want to punish them?
A bunch of stuff is theirs! The entire attic above the garage, and the closets in their former bedrooms.

If I would not be liable for the extended demurage charges, I would just pack up all their abandoned things in two Pods and have it shipped to them.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:24 PM
 
8,382 posts, read 5,281,404 times
Reputation: 14218
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
...As far as school books. I don’t have a clue where they are, but they are outdated already.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norne View Post
...why would anyone want to get rid of books/paraphernalia that helped them through decades earn their daily bread or finance a nice life?...
Good textbooks are timeless! I enjoy browsing at the used-bookstore the shelves of old engineering and math books, evidently from donations by engineers who have recently died. One such was an old physics book. It was black and white, with limited graphical sophistication… but the material was as fresh as today. It was published in 1964. Some of my oldest books – pre-war – remain topical and lively. Applications change, but the core material is invariant over centuries. Even in the 19th century offers hauntingly prescient and accurate insights. The classical core of mechanical engineering hasn’t changed since the days of Lagrange, Laplace and Gauss (not contemporaries, but close enough).

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgardener View Post
...Personally, I don't want to leave a lifetime of memorabilia for someone else to dispose of when I'm gone. I have the memories, don't need the actual physical "stuff" at all.

When we die, it will all be just trash for someone to clean up.
Not at all! When my parents passed, it was both cathartic and enlightening to go through old letters, and even financial documents… pay stubs from many decades ago, for example. It was a museum. I burned the transitory stuff, but kept several boxes worth of archival items, which occasionally I amuse myself by re-reading. Though never a literary person, towards the end of her life, my mother took to jotting down notes, reactions to what she saw on TV, recipes, fragmentary diary-letters. Perusing her loopy handwriting, comments meandering between English and Russian, odd word-substitutions and idiosyncratic misspellings… things now to cherish.

Through such rummaging I came across the original print of my late father’s dissertation. He and I ended up gravitating to similar fields, and though the language and specific application are different, the contents between his dissertation and mine – separated by some 50 years – are shockingly similar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lottamoxie View Post
Editions used by the profs are updated quite frequently, forcing students to buy the newest and more expensive versions.
Not necessarily. When I teach (as an adjunct), I tell my students to buy whatever version of the textbook is cheapest and most convenient. All of the problems in all of the editions have already been worked, and can be found for free online in PDF. So, instead of assigning problems from the textbook, I write-out my own.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:09 PM
 
6,802 posts, read 3,758,340 times
Reputation: 7632
Quote:
Originally Posted by edglock21 View Post
This is sad to read. Not about him though, about your attitude towards it.

Perhaps, to him, these things are giving him hope or memories of fonder times. Of things he can no longer do, in body, but in his mind he sees (or remembers) himself doing and it gives him joy.

The books I can understand - but the fishing gear, the golf equipment...

It's sad you only see the "useless garbage" and not his lifelong hobbies.

.
He wanted to downsize to a smaller house upon retirement. You cannot do this and still keep everything from 40 years ago. No room to put it all in a smaller home.

He also keeps all of his old worn out clothes which don't even fit him. Just buys more and keeps the old ones. Sentimental value for worn out T-shirts and jeans too? How about food? "Don't throw this out". It gets green molded. You CANNOT eat this. I think he has become a hoarder.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:21 AM
 
Location: SoCal
14,344 posts, read 6,912,307 times
Reputation: 11150
Thanks to this thread, I’ve downsized my kitchen bookcase to manageable number of books that I can stack them up and look at them. All large cookbooks.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:43 AM
 
1,708 posts, read 388,399 times
Reputation: 2161
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
Thanks to this thread, I’ve downsized my kitchen bookcase to manageable number of books that I can stack them up and look at them. All large cookbooks.
I just did that with my last move. Cookbooks I had and never looked at went to the library as donations.
I'm down to 3 good ones that I always refer to and 1 recipe binder for whatever I find.
My cherished one is a 1975 A&P cookbook because of the simplicity of the recipes.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:56 AM
 
8,382 posts, read 5,281,404 times
Reputation: 14218
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyp22 View Post
...I am (and "will have been") an engineer. It will have been a nice career, but once it's over my life as that working professional is over. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
...I "was" a software engineer. Now when asked what do I do I say "nothing" or "whatever I want" or "I'm a beach bum now"; what I don't say is "I'm a retired software engineer".
I am an aeronautical engineer. And unless dementia overtakes me, I'll always be an aeronautical engineer, whether I am employed or unemployed, retired or working, consulting privately or plunked in a cubicle or connected to tubes in a hospital bed.

Just as another might say, "I am a Christian", or "I am an American", as an expression of their mental essence, of who they foremost are... so too, I say, "I am an aeronautical engineer".
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:59 AM
 
3,829 posts, read 2,936,434 times
Reputation: 4792
Just let go. I took it to the dump when I could find no one who wanted it.
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