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Old 04-20-2021, 03:45 PM
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
8,929 posts, read 14,372,428 times
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When my parents "emptied the nest" (my brother and I finally out on our own) they moved out of the house we grew up in. It wasn't really downsizing, since there wasn't a lot of difference in size, but Mama said they moved because my dad couldn't find anything else to work on. In the old house, he'd built 2 patios, a screened porch, then expanded it, tore out a wall and put in a nice brick fireplace...I could keep on for a while. But a few weeks before they started packing, he called me and my brother and told us if there was anything we wanted out of the house, we'd better come and get it now or it was gone. We both figured he was talking about things like our chest of drawers we'd both used since we were babies, or posters or something like that. We later found out he mean ANYTHING. I had a whole set of Hardy Boys Mysteries books. Gone! I had a scrapbook I put together as a Cub Scout project showing important activities we'd taken care of. Gone! My brother had a whole shelf of model cars he'd put together and painted himself. Gone! We asked what happened to it all and my dad told us that we had been warned to come and get it if we wanted it. It all went to the dump! We weren't the only ones to lose things. My mother said we wouldn't have believed all he threw away from his work bench. Said she asked him if she should hide all her knitting and sewing so it wouldn't get thrown away. lol
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:56 PM
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I think your dad’s message was clear but I would have reminded the adult kids that I meant everything a few times before throwing it away.
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:02 PM
Location: Northern California
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Give all the old school reports to the kids or grand kids now. If they don't want it, toss it. As you go through your knickknacks, artwork or travel memorabilia, decide which room it's going to be hung in, and if it will work in its new position, if not, then put it in the donate or trash piles.
Same with clothes do you wear it often? If it's been on the hanger for months, is it really worth transporting?
We lost everything in a fire, so now I am strict with myself when I buy new things to decorate. It must already have a spot to go, be hung in. Or be a needed item. No whimsy buying. So for you, no whimsy packing.

Best wishes, I hope you will grow to love your new home.
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:07 PM
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
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Yeah, that's when you find out how much stuff you have, when you have to move it!

People with few possessions, seem to be happier.

People with tons of stuff, seem overwhelmed.

They don't own stuff. Their stuff owns them...
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:10 PM
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
We threw away tons of everything when both sets of our parents died, so I do know I can throw stuff away. My issue I think is with the fact that none of my kids lives close by so I can't have them come over and go through stuff and chuck the rest. For instance, my daughter lives in Germany and has lived all over the world, so I have her wedding dress in a big plastic bin -I actually hate carrying it around but I can understand why I'm doing it and not her. Another son lives in Guam. Another lives in Austin which is a six hour drive from me. So I just keep hauling this stuff around and I am so tired of it.

Also, like I said, both sets of our parents died over the past five years so we've gone through tons of stuff. Both our parents were the type to keep everything and so consequently I've gotten rid of TONS of stuff, but now I think I understand why they kept things like report cards - it doesn't mean that much to their kids but I think it means something to them - it does to me. Anyway, UGH.

I am hating all this.

Until my husband died, I was "the hostess" for all big get togethers, plus we entertained and cooked or grilled or both a lot. So I have all sorts of items for all that - stuff I'll never use again. Like for instance, a big roasting pan. OK. Maybe I'll use it some day and it's in great shape since it's only been used a few times, but DANG IT.
KA, I read your first post and this one, and in my opinion, you may miss small sentimental items like photos and some other personal items, but dragging your daughter's wedding dress around from home to home seems ridiculous, especially if she is living in Germany long term. It is highly unlikely she will ever wear it again. You could tell your daughter that the dress is a pain to move and then store everywhere and she has to make a decision about the wedding dress, then give her several options. For example, you can send it to her in Germany where she lives, which is not really that big of a deal, honestly, (you may remember that I, too, lived in several cities in Germany before) or whether she would like to have it stored professionally at her expense, or would she like you to keep a small portion of the dress fabric (could be inserted into a frame or keepsake box and then send that to her. If her wedding dress is the type that can be made into a cocktail dress and it still fits her, then she may want to keep it (and ship it to her), but honestly, do you think she'll convert the gown into a dress? Has she ever pleaded with you that you keep the dress or is there a chance that you are the one sentimental about it instead of her? Maybe she thinks you would miss the dress.

I'll tell you that I am a sentimental person and some old letters and photos are precious to me, also my childhood report cards and yearbooks, but they aren't difficult to put into a few boxes to move. But that dress!

As you cull your kitchen items, consider that it's not just what you may currently use that goes with you, but something you would miss if it were gone. I'm thinking of some things I got in West Germany years ago, for example a tiny WMF citrus press. I still use it sometimes. I love it. Items that have "West Germany" stamped on it often have financial value, too. I'm keeping all my WMF stuff.

It's all up to you and your decision, of course.

I want to move, too, and I have so much stuff here that I'm getting anxious now even imagining having to go through what you are doing after I have lived so many decades of living in this same home.
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:20 PM
Location: Dessert
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My last move, I got it down to six medium boxes and two suitcases.

Photos, family movies, and paper mementos got digitized and stored on a hard drive. Translation: I scanned or copied it all. Took a while. The hard drive went in my suitcase.

I sold small items of value on eBay. Larger items got sold on Craigslist or given away on Freecycle or donated to Habitat for Humanity. Friend of a friend took ALL the leftovers, planning to use some, sell others, and throw away the real junk. I love that man!
(We had helped some other friends a few years before; we helped them load our truck --several times--with stuff they didn't want, then kept or disposed of it. Karma!)

Good thing we started six months before putting the house on the market, since it sold on the first day, and the cash buyer wanted two week escrow so he could move in immediately. We were out of there before we knew what was happening!

The six boxes contained our wedding china, a few mementos, original artwork, and some tools. One box held only a 3-piece kayak paddle. The boxes sat in my brother's basement for a year, while we traveled.

We've owned our new house for two years, and it's stuffed full already! But I'm not terribly attached, so could (and may) move again.

There are also estate sale companies that will sort, price, and sell everything in your house. Maybe next time!
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Old 04-20-2021, 06:55 PM
1,316 posts, read 453,557 times
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Originally Posted by kygman View Post
rfomd, if you're going to wait a while to scan the pictures, at least try to sit down and write on the back everybody that's in the picture, where it was, and when. We moved in my parents house after my mother died and my dad moved to assisted living. My mother worked for the local newspaper for 30+ years and had a camera within reach at all times. While cleaning things out, we found boxes on top of boxes on top of bags of pictures, but we have no idea who some of them are. We recognize the faces and know they're family, but can't put names with the faces. We'd show some of them to my dad, a lot from the 1950s and he would recognize one or two but most of the time he was like us, not knowing.
I did that for the photos of my family (my mother, father and siblings) before I separated them and gave each brother a box. My dad had 10 siblings and my mom had 5 so there were tons of aunts, uncles and cousins. I'm not even sure how I would scan the photos and keep notes about them at the same time. Scan the front and then scan the back?

One of my brothers moved cross country 40 years ago and he recently told me that he and his wife have about ten boxes that they haven't opened since they moved all those years ago. They have no idea what's in them. That would totally drive me crazy : )
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:00 PM
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Ask your children if they want all those report cards and whatnot. They may say no, which would take care of the problem. Otherwise mail all the memories to them. They can be responsible for transferring it to a digital format if that's the way they want to go.

My DH died last year. He had an amazing incredible amount of stuff after 40 years in the same house. I started going through drawers and closets. It was easy to get rid of impersonal stuff I would never use. But the stuff I knew he loved and enjoyed was impossible for me to part with. I am still sorting through things. Now that more time has passed I realize I have so many things he made (furniture) and so many things he gave me, that I have enough physical reminders of him. The second purge is a little easier. I am sure there will be a third and fourth purge as time goes on.

I am trying to get the house ready to sell. I might not sell, I wouldn't do that without finding another house first, but I want everything perfect in case I find something I like better and that's easier to maintain. If the house burned down I could start over. I would miss many things but it wouldn't be the end of the world. The worst part would be all the paperwork. I keep important stuff in the safe deposit box, but still - it would be a nightmare!

If you are worried about getting rid of something and then needing it - you can buy a new one. Like the roasting pan you mentioned. I have one that I am getting rid of as soon as I cook the turkey that's the in the freezer. If I get crazy and decide to buy another turkey to cook I can buy a disposable foil pan.

You could box up some things that are potentially useful, date the box and mark what is in it. If you don't use it in the next year or two, whatever you decide, donate the box. Don't even look in the box again.
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Old Yesterday, 08:28 AM
Location: Texas Hill Country
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Difficult question. When it comes to moving, I looked around and saw that I had so much stuff, too much stuff to move. But now that things are on steady ground, I am not so sure on a lot of things.

Some things, yes, like the VHS tapes recorded off TV for, long story short, most of what is there has been bypassed.

Books. Books are my curse but they are also my blessing for as I try to break away from the Net, books are one avenue that I believe can return me to remembering the absolute power of imagination. A thing about books, however, can be the setting they are read in. This is fiction but I believe it to be accurate:

Jenny Calendar: Honestly, what is it about them that bothers you so much?
Rupert Giles: The smell.
Jenny Calendar: Computers don't smell, Rupert.
Rupert Giles: Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower or a-a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences... long forgotten. Books smell... musty and-and-and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a... it, uh, it has no-no texture, no-no context. It's-it's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then-then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible. It should be, uh, smelly.(from BTVS, I Robot, you Jane, on imdb)

There are times, for example, when I am reading a book and I feel like at the beach on the coast as oppose to in the middle of the forest. It is because the book touches the right memory points........

.........so thinking we may be able to replace all our books and read off a Kindle may not as pleasurable as we think.

BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, as known, my life has been leaning toward to that of a Cowgirl which means a simplification in various views. Such as appliances. I got out of appliances because they took up critical room on the counters in the apartments, they were roach motels, and they were dumpster fillers every two years or so.

Or trying to find joy in nature such as wonderful sunsets and starry skies. It's not totally there yet, I don't think I have quite matched the frequency of the energy like when I open the garage door to the view and WOW........., but I am getting there.

Maybe what is needed is a change of life style.

Originally Posted by kab0906 View Post
My first thought is I'm thankful my hubby isn't on this forum, because he has so much damn stuff that drives me crazy. I could happily live in a house half the size we have but his stuff takes up so much room.

Now. I think I need more than 2 suitcases, but I gave away (to my brother) all the 'family' stuff that got passed on to me when my dad remarried and moved (our houses were in the same town at the time). It was very freeing to not be the 'keeper' of the family stuff. Most of what I have here has no great importance to me, just functional furniture that could be replaced anywhere.

But hubby is a pack rat and never likes to get rid of things. I gave up owning physical books when we made our big 1k mile move. He has six 8' tall bookcases crammed full, sometimes double stacked (books in front of other books). And then there's his music collection (who owns CD's anymore?). And all his computer games (that he never plays). Then there's the dvd/ bluray collection. Ugh. We don't need any of that.

So yeah, I see the appeal of owning near nothing and not being attached to 'things'.
It's a case of to each their own for I own CDs, still. Part of it comes from a lot of specialty bands such as Circa Paleo, Tartanic, and belly dance music which is not available to be streamed (or that I won't stream because these people are my friends and I want them to get their money) to being out of range to stream. As far as the DVD collection, I do need that because TV, basically, doesn't exist out here.

The family LP collection, on the other hand.....I've decided to get rid of that, keeping only what is precious to me. My brothers recommend I take that to a tune store instead of 1/2 Price. So when I find the time.......

So it depends, to each their own.
Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
Due to a divorce I am moving into a 855 sq ft condo. All my possessions besides furniture fit into 33 plastic containers. I have been downsizing for years. I have one big container full of photo albums........
There is practical and efficient.....and then there is life.

Ever see the 1971 flick Zeppelin? Michael York and Elke Sommers? Set in WWI, York, the spy, comes over for dinner at the house of the old aeronautical engineer. He's not there but his young wife, Elke, invites York to have a drink and look at the family albums while she finishes dressing.

That is the kind of fantasy I see, let a guest look at an album or a coffee table book while they wait for me. Certainly don't want them looking at my computer to look at the pictures.....and I'd be a little piffed if they turn toward their phone.

Last edited by TamaraSavannah; Yesterday at 09:01 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 08:47 AM
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Our town has Little Free Libraries all across it and they are wonderful places to find new reading material. I use our county library quite a bit but sometimes just walking down to one of the Little Free Libraries is more enjoyable and the books are always being replenished. I read on my Kindle too and I've recently starting reading on my iPhone 8+ which is something I never thought I'd be able to do but it's really convenient waiting in a doctor's office.

We used to have bookshelves filled with books in every room when our kids were at home but anything that's of a research nature gets outdated pretty quickly and I tend not to re-read novels/fiction/biographies. Unloading the books in our house was very freeing to me and I'm a very big reader.
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