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Old 04-18-2021, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
56,961 posts, read 45,304,611 times
Reputation: 81093

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OK so as many of you may know, I'm moving, and not for a happy reason - I'm moving into a smaller house because my husband dropped dead in August 2020 and this is just too much house and yard (and pool and hot tub and patio and pergola, you name it) for me. So I need to downsize - house AND stuff. I'm OK with that. But I'm in the week before the movers come and I am going through drawers and closets and OMG. I can't believe how much stuff I have. I told my granddaughter "This seemed like such a good idea to buy at the time." I threw away a juicer today. It was fine, but dang it, I don't remember the last time I used it.

Anyway, so I found a house that's about 400 square feet smaller - not a lot but enough. It's also got a smaller yard and no pool or hot tub or any of that drama, so that's good. It's only got one dining area, and 2 instead of 2.5 baths, and the rooms in general (other than the bedrooms and kitchen) are just a bit smaller overall. So yes, I am downsizing but I'm OK with it.

But here's the thing - the woman I bought the house from is MOVING TO PANAMA. So she has sold EVERYTHING or given it away. She is leaving with two suitcases. That's it. From her whole life - two suitcases. I'm amazed!

I mean, look, don't say it because I have already thought it - I know that we came into this world with nothing and we'll leave with nothing.

But I was wondering - how much is too much for now, and how little is too little for now? She doesn't have any kids or grandkids so I get that she doesn't have a lot of mementos, but I was thinking as I went through a drawer today that held every single kid report card, old photos, my baptismal certificate and my high school diploma, little drawings and school papers and all that from the kids, magazines with articles I'd written in them, etc. - wow, I mean, I guess all that won't matter to anyone else but I can't imagine just chunking it all. I have another drawer that's just drawings and letters and cards and all that from grandkids. The woman I bought the house from had a brother and parents (all are deceased now). Surely she had photos and little things like that. I mean, I have photos and little doodads from my brothers when we were growing up together.

And she had to take her laptop and phone and several years of tax returns and all that, clothes, shoes, you name it. In two suitcases!

But in spite of being scary, I bet it also feels really good and really freeing in a way, to get rid of so much stuff.

Your thoughts?
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Old 04-18-2021, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,616 posts, read 4,937,166 times
Reputation: 12603
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'.
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Old 04-18-2021, 06:47 PM
 
1,304 posts, read 448,438 times
Reputation: 3501
It's a wonderful feeling to "shed" all those accumulated items! I've done it several times over the years - mostly when we've moved - and I haven't missed a thing. I have one large plastic box for each of my kids with special cards and pictures that they made when they were young (they're in their thirties now.) I had boxes of photos from when my siblings and I were kids and also from when our parents were kids. I sorted through them and gave a box to each of my siblings - wonderful!

My kids have been urging me to scan the photos from when they were kids and put them on flash drives. I'll get around to that someday or they'll do it when we're gone.

You can do it KA! Take photos with your phone of mementos that you really don't want in your new home. I have gifts from girlfriends that meant a lot to me because of the women who gave them to me but not so much the actual items. They're on my phone now and I can look through them anytime I want and I don't have to dust them ; )
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:02 PM
 
31,190 posts, read 37,448,735 times
Reputation: 42543
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
OK so as many of you may know, I'm moving, and not for a happy reason - I'm moving into a smaller house because my husband dropped dead in August 2020 and this is just too much house and yard (and pool and hot tub and patio and pergola, you name it) for me. So I need to downsize - house AND stuff. I'm OK with that. But I'm in the week before the movers come and I am going through drawers and closets and OMG. I can't believe how much stuff I have. I told my granddaughter "This seemed like such a good idea to buy at the time." I threw away a juicer today. It was fine, but dang it, I don't remember the last time I used it.

Anyway, so I found a house that's about 400 square feet smaller - not a lot but enough. It's also got a smaller yard and no pool or hot tub or any of that drama, so that's good. It's only got one dining area, and 2 instead of 2.5 baths, and the rooms in general (other than the bedrooms and kitchen) are just a bit smaller overall. So yes, I am downsizing but I'm OK with it.

But here's the thing - the woman I bought the house from is MOVING TO PANAMA. So she has sold EVERYTHING or given it away. She is leaving with two suitcases. That's it. From her whole life - two suitcases. I'm amazed!

I mean, look, don't say it because I have already thought it - I know that we came into this world with nothing and we'll leave with nothing.

But I was wondering - how much is too much for now, and how little is too little for now? She doesn't have any kids or grandkids so I get that she doesn't have a lot of mementos, but I was thinking as I went through a drawer today that held every single kid report card, old photos, my baptismal certificate and my high school diploma, little drawings and school papers and all that from the kids, magazines with articles I'd written in them, etc. - wow, I mean, I guess all that won't matter to anyone else but I can't imagine just chunking it all. I have another drawer that's just drawings and letters and cards and all that from grandkids. The woman I bought the house from had a brother and parents (all are deceased now). Surely she had photos and little things like that. I mean, I have photos and little doodads from my brothers when we were growing up together.

And she had to take her laptop and phone and several years of tax returns and all that, clothes, shoes, you name it. In two suitcases!

But in spite of being scary, I bet it also feels really good and really freeing in a way, to get rid of so much stuff.

Your thoughts?
Oh wow. I have thought of this so much the past few months. All the stuff we went through and threw out after my parents passed away this summer - I mean my mom kept newspaper clippings of EVERY SINGLE EVENT that happened to a family member. Recitals. Graduations. Weddings. Engagements. Articles about accidents. Whatever. And the pictures!!! Good God. I spend HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS going through boxes and boxes of photos - man my parents loved pictures. Drawings, school pictures of all the cousins and neices/nephews and great-whatevers...just SOO much stuff. And then I think of the stuff that I have, in my "treasure boxes" and I think "what will happen to all of that when I am gone?". Yup. Most of it will be tossed - my son will surely keep a few things but most will get tossed. Just like we had to do with our parents stuff.

I don't think I could pare down to 2 suitcases. Maybe if I had no family I could. But I just have too many things I like to go back and revisit. I like my memorabilia. And I am not even that sentimental.
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:51 PM
 
1,304 posts, read 448,438 times
Reputation: 3501
After our kids graduated college and had apartments of their own that weren't connected to school, I had them come to the house and go through all their books, games, trophies, etc and take with them anything that they wanted to keep. I was surprised at how little they took with them.

Getting rid of clothes, shoes, purses has been easy since we moved to Florida. Different climate so a different wardrobe is needed. I got on board with that very happily.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:33 PM
 
3,150 posts, read 1,368,095 times
Reputation: 8597
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. I kept the things I really love. I have gotten rid of all my physical books. I did keep some cds for my car. I kept my 3 college degrees but even threw away my yearbooks. I gave my kids their stuff years ago. I like a leaner look than when I was young. Two suitcases would be extra difficult. My dogs own stuff
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Old Yesterday, 04:30 AM
Status: "Ready to go...anywhere" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: NJ
1,769 posts, read 687,563 times
Reputation: 5583
We are hoping to live full time in an RV in the next couple years and I sincerely hope to have only 2 suitcases worth of stuff. I am not the kind of person who gets overly attached to physical objects. I threw out 2 huge garbage bags of stuff this weekend. I get tired of there being stuff in my house so I want to throw it all away
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Old Yesterday, 04:39 AM
 
4,583 posts, read 5,504,146 times
Reputation: 12454
KA -- I'd say get an organizer stat to scan all the paper memorabilia onto thumb drives or other media storage and just keep the most precious physical items. At least when it's all dumped off on the organizer, it won't be your worry anymore.

I'm starting the downsizing now even though I've got 18 months before I sell and move and it's going to take every minute and then some, I'm sure! Every weekend, I'm down at the Goodwill or Salvation Army dropping things off, and even with 2-5 bags of stuff every time, the pile looks like it's growing not shrinking!
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Old Yesterday, 06:55 AM
 
3,706 posts, read 2,890,964 times
Reputation: 6143
I am one who has always "gone through" stuff pretty regularly and either donated to charity, offered for free, or thrown away.
We downsized about 3 years ago and did a big bit of shedding. In our new space which is still more than ample, but is about 60% of the size of the old ( the old was large- 3500 sf plus basement ) my impossible task is the memory stuff. We have photo albums, loose photos, the report cards, the school awards, etc etc PLUS a bunch of that from our parents.
I try to go through those and just get stumped.
I did offer a bunch of the "kids" stuff to them and surprisingly or not, there was very little that they wanted. So much of it I gave to them to either keep or toss but now I still have probably almost a room full of those albums and whatever. I have to get myself motivated to be a bit unsentimental. As DH has said, we really don't look through them . I feel like if I toss them I will be looking for them.
As far as things go, I find that very easy to get rid of stuff but these sentimental things are just too difficult.( I did do a bunch of that over time, but man oh man how much remains).
I feel ya- and wish you good luck . As much as i try to be a minimalist, it's not happening and I don't think I could do the 2 suitcases~ but it's a good target.
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Old Yesterday, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Berkeley, Denver, CO USA
15,940 posts, read 23,976,120 times
Reputation: 27492
I kept exactly 1 item from my parents’ house—an 8-inch diameter globe of countries as they were in 1929.
Nothing else. Not a single photo.

I am a chucker. It is easy for me.

My wife tends to hang onto more stuff, but even then our paper filing cabinet is less than 1 drawer.

Last edited by davebarnes; Yesterday at 07:52 AM..
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