Mega Downsize....

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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Cycle
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Location: USA

Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Cycle » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:49 am

I did a big purge... Still have a long way to go. You can read a bit about it here viewtopic.php?t=242937

I probably scored $4000 from selling stuff on eBay/Craigslist. This process takes a lot of time tho.

The pain in the neck of selling items tho makes me acutely aware of how hard it is to get rid of junk and how quickly it depreciates in value.

Some little tricks that help me keep my life simple:

-avoid engines that require maintenance. We now just use a reel mower and have 1 car. I stopped doing my own car maintenance.

-avoid extra gadgets. There's no need for an ereader or iPad. I read tons of books on my phone via Libby and Kindle apps.

-get rid of paper books, especially text books and diy books. I still have quite a bit of work to do here.

-minimize the amount of house you need to clean. We only have 1 bath, so cleaning is very quick and easy... No point in hiring a cleaning maid since it's like 30 minutes of work for two people to get our place in shape for company.

-on biking, use Dynamo lights so you don't need to charge battery powered lights. Live near safe biking routes so you don't need to use your car for trips within a few miles. Buy your groceries on your bike, you will no longer buy heavy items like bottled water/beer or high volume items like bags of chips. I like beer, but it's just not worth it to me to haul a case of beer, rather just get a bota box of wine.

-get rid of Amazon prime, not worth it if u don't buy tons of junk. U can buy those few online things from Target.com, walmart.com, Amazon wo prime, or even eBay.

letsgobobby
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:58 am

Silver Bullet wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:52 pm
DW and I have decided (along with our high school daughter) that's it's time for a major "downsize/declutter" mission. We've honestly been pack rats and gatherers for the past 20 years and it has to stop - NOW! :D

This is not going to be an easy accomplishment. It's not so much that the things we've collected are sentimental, it's that there's so much of it. A sampling below:

House - Very large 4 bedroom - designed and filled to entertain 100+. 4 acres, 5 + car garage, all the toys, tools and "stuff" that you can imagine. Garages are full. Garden equipment, bikes, fishing stuff, generators, tools, etc.

In the house - Furniture, electronics, clothes (while I admittedly collect a LOT of stuff, I'm actually pretty minimalistic when it comes to clothes), kitchen supplies, everyday china, fine china (same with silverware), serving platters for a battalion, bar set-up and wine/high ball glasses for same army. Guns, knives and flashlights (If one should only own a couple of each, I'm definitely not that person!), jewelry (that's small and sacred to the DW, so let's not go there, but holy cow!), books by the hundreds - maybe a thousand. Need to know how to buy, build, fix or do anything - odds are I have the book.

Oh, and then there's the two "storage" units that are full of more stuff. It's been so long, I can't remember what's in there!

The list goes on and on. Honestly, the point of all of this is that it makes me tired just seeing it all go unused/wasted. Between work and daughter's after school activities, there aren't enough hours in the day to even think about getting rid of it - but it's all got to go. I'd say 25% of it can be donated, while the other 75% has enough value to resell, but time is money (at least for the next 2 years until I finally retire).

I'd love to hear thoughts from those that have experienced this. It's a daunting undertaking.

What's next? Sell the house. We've started to look at town houses. Of course, that also means down sizing to smaller cars. My truck won't fit in the town house garage and if we don't park the cars in the garage, it'll be a new collection spot. Still not small, maybe 3,000sf, but way less than 1/2 the size we're in now. We're actually very excited about getting this accomplished. No exterior maintenance, no yard work, ability to lock the doors and travel. Having a lot less "Stuff".....

I've read about 20 - 30 threads on BH about downsizing. Not interested in how to digitize photo albums, which seems to be a hot topic. More interested in how'd you find the time to accomplish this feat? Hire someone to help? Hire someone to sell, move, donate the piles that you established? (A yard/estate sale is out of the question as I won't let strangers in my house - but maybe there's the option of saving this stuff until we move out - then have a sale?).

Thoughts? Thanks!
hope you’ll update in a year or so.

daveydoo
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by daveydoo » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:04 pm

Wait two years until work is no longer an issue and your daughter is out of the house. This will be very disruptive to both. It's the only life and home your daughter has known.

Spend the time deciding what you want to keep, and strategize around your eventual approach.

I think you're jumping the gun unless there is a compelling financial or health-related reason that you haven't shared.

Retire to something, not from something. :D
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

Silver Bullet
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Silver Bullet » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:10 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:58 am
hope you’ll update in a year or so.
Absolutely! I'm sure you'll hear about it continuously!

Silver Bullet
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Silver Bullet » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:17 pm

daveydoo wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:04 pm
Wait two years until work is no longer an issue and your daughter is out of the house. This will be very disruptive to both. It's the only life and home your daughter has known.

Spend the time deciding what you want to keep, and strategize around your eventual approach.

I think you're jumping the gun unless there is a compelling financial or health-related reason that you haven't shared.

Retire to something, not from something. :D
We're committed and moving forward. About to put a deposit on a new town house that'll be completed in 4-5 months.
Daughter loves the community. This is a big shift for us. Going from 3 acres, lots of house and no one in ear shot - to a developed community with restaurants, shops, families, etc. all around. My daughter is into mountain biking and her bike shop is walking distance from the new home. A great environment to hang out, do repairs - and the owner has already offered her a job next summer. She's excited to be around people (we've always had to drive her to friends home, gatherings, etc.).

And, I'll only have the business for another 30 days (discussed in another thread). I'll have some continued business travel as part of an earn-out opportunity for the next 2 years. Not having to worry about yard work, maintenance, etc. will be nice. It'll give me back my weekends for family stuff.

moehoward
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by moehoward » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:19 pm

We did this after the kids graduated from high school. A few ideas:
1. Most of your stuff is junk, get over it
2. Most stuff you can buy on Amazon and its cheaper than when you bought it
3. Start by taking ALL your books down to the library. You can visit them anytime you want
4. Next take all CDs to library. If you have VHS , you are a pack rat.
5. throw away all your dishes, cups, silverware. You can go to Ikea and replace everything for cheap and have matching stuff again
6. Try on some of those pants in your closet, gained a little weight?
7. Ties, really?
8. Everything in storage center, BUH BYE. You won't miss it and you will have more money
9. All that stuff (junk) you are saving for you kids, ask them what they want or throw it away. If you don't throw it out, they will after you die.
10. The garage. Most of the stuff is junk or can be replaced. When did you last use the pipe bender?
11. Don't expect to make too much money. I did one big garage sell and priced everything to go. After that, it ended up at Goodwill or the dump.

gogleheads.orb
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by gogleheads.orb » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:19 pm

My area has a free list. I think many places do. You can post things there and people will come by and take them. People will give and accept all sorts of things. Some of them good. Some terrible. They almost all seem to go.

Ruger
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Ruger » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:21 pm

There are businesses that will come clean out your garage or storage shed or whatever for free but they keep everything in it. If you are sure there is nothing in there you want, you might think about hiring one of them.

daveydoo
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by daveydoo » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:23 pm

Silver Bullet wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:17 pm

And, I'll only have the business for another 30 days (discussed in another thread). I'll have some continued business travel as part of an earn-out opportunity for the next 2 years. Not having to worry about yard work, maintenance, etc. will be nice. It'll give me back my weekends for family stuff.
Got it. Best of luck! I'm obviously late to the party! Stuff is a nuisance.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

Lynette
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Lynette » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:43 pm

moehoward wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:19 pm
We did this after the kids graduated from high school. A few ideas:
1. Most of your stuff is junk, get over it
2. Most stuff you can buy on Amazon and its cheaper than when you bought it
3. Start by taking ALL your books down to the library. You can visit them anytime you want
4. Next take all CDs to library. If you have VHS , you are a pack rat.
5. throw away all your dishes, cups, silverware. You can go to Ikea and replace everything for cheap and have matching stuff again
6. Try on some of those pants in your closet, gained a little weight?
7. Ties, really?
8. Everything in storage center, BUH BYE. You won't miss it and you will have more money
9. All that stuff (junk) you are saving for you kids, ask them what they want or throw it away. If you don't throw it out, they will after you die.
10. The garage. Most of the stuff is junk or can be replaced. When did you last use the pipe bender?
11. Don't expect to make too much money. I did one big garage sell and priced everything to go. After that, it ended up at Goodwill or the dump.
+100

I emigrated to the US 40 years ago and I had to be ruthless about what was worthwhile shipping across the ocean. My church has a massive rummage sale every six months and makes over $100K profit each time. So we clear out out closets .. I was considering relocating when I retired so cleared out even more stuff. I decided to stay and am now buying stuff I need. It is amazing how cheap some of the cutlery/crockery is.

At this stage of my life I have no interest in fancy stuff. I do not like cooking so entertaining with friends is mainly in restaurants. I do not have an HOA (would never live in one as I like to redo my garden when it suits me!). Trash gets picked up on a Thursday morning and so we can leave stuff on the curb that someone might use. It is amazing to see the enterprising guys with trucks picking up the stuff. Electronics such as laptops get dismantled, hard drive smashed and remainder taken to the city recycle center.

For the remaining stuff, someone mentioned a dump truck - I agree. I am not attached to stuff. I find it sad that some of my friends cannot let go of stuff. Their children/relatives are going to have a massive problem when they die.

So I do not know if the problem is with me or the rest of society. I simply do not like having a lot of stuff around.

ResearchMed
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:16 pm

trirod wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:47 am
This is a timely thread. I am in the process of moving house and even though it's actually to a bigger place, it has less storage space, so we need to get rid of a lot of the junk we have accumulated over the last 20+ years of living here. I always liked the idea of donating to Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity, in part because of the tax deduction. The deduction is not relevant any more since I will be claiming the $24,000 standard deduction, so there may be some items that I would once have donated but will now try to sell - although I imagine my tolerance for that will decrease as moving day approaches.

Luckily (or not), we are completing the move over several months so have plenty of time to work on the decluttering.
About the tax deduction... in a way it helps that we wouldn't be able to claim anything with the new tax rules.
That is, there's no need to think, "Well, I need to itemize and take photos and estimate values, so I'll do it, um, maybe tomorrow..."
Might as well just toss it (all) into either the trash or, more likely, the "donate" pile now.
Sure, we missed "the tax deduction window by procrastinating" on much of this [we did donate some previously, but not enough] but that's over and gone now, so no need to fret, etc.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

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climber2020
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by climber2020 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:40 pm

moehoward wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:19 pm
5. throw away all your dishes, cups, silverware. You can go to Ikea and replace everything for cheap and have matching stuff again
I’m gonna disagree with this one. The goal is to discard excess stuff that isn’t used; not to get rid of stuff in order to replace it with other stuff.

I’ve had the same (small) set of matching dishes for almost 20 years and they’re still used daily today because I bought good quality pieces that are USA made. Throwing them out and replacing them with cheap kitchenware made in China that probably contains lead would serve no purpose.

Based on the original description, the OP can probably unload a lot of the china set or anything that doesn’t actually get used, but if the family enjoys making their own meals, there’s no need to discard everything and start from scratch. If anything, that would only encourage the behavior that got them to this point in the first place.

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queso
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by queso » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:45 pm

I've had pretty good luck getting rid of weird larger stuff on Freecycle (rabbit hutch, tires, etc.).

moehoward
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by moehoward » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:52 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:40 pm
moehoward wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:19 pm
5. throw away all your dishes, cups, silverware. You can go to Ikea and replace everything for cheap and have matching stuff again
I’m gonna disagree with this one. The goal is to discard excess stuff that isn’t used; not to get rid of stuff in order to replace it with other stuff.

I’ve had the same (small) set of matching dishes for almost 20 years and they’re still used daily today because I bought good quality pieces that are USA made. Throwing them out and replacing them with cheap kitchenware made in China that probably contains lead would serve no purpose.

Based on the original description, the OP can probably unload a lot of the china set or anything that doesn’t actually get used, but if the family enjoys making their own meals, there’s no need to discard everything and start from scratch. If anything, that would only encourage the behavior that got them to this point in the first place.
I knew someone would take issue with something. (I'm still waiting for the Don't throw away American tools). This is just a guideline, if you have matching dishes then by all means keep them. I'll change the post a bit, "Only get rid of stuff you don't use".

Random Poster
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Random Poster » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:57 pm

moehoward wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:19 pm
4. Next take all CDs to library.
Seems like a bad idea to me.

CDs do not take much space at all, weigh very little, can be listened to at any time (provided you have a CD player and speakers, of course), and, best of all, you own them.

Music that I loaded onto iTunes and then onto an iPhone is seldom played anymore---having to update iTunes, connecting a new iPhone to the computer, etc., it is all just too much work and hassle to keep up with the technology and updates. And paying some monthly fee to listen to music? Yeah, no, not for me.

I'll just pay $15 or whatever for a CD and listen to it whenever I want and for as long as I want.

Texgal17
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Texgal17 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:16 pm


When we had to clear out the rest of Moms stuff, after not selling at estate sale, I hired a local hauling service. It was extremely low cost, about $150 bucks. They came with a flat bed and loaded it all up. They then sell or donate and trash the rest. The estate sale was pretty disappointing as it was a ton of work and no one wanted all Moms 30 year old stuff......I’ve always been a twice a year purger. I think I keep Goodwill in business, haha....Now I’m at the point where I really ask myself “do I really need that xxxx”...
I actually just posted on my neighborhood buy & sell site, a sofa and it sold within minutes.....for a fair low price.

Dottie57
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:39 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:40 pm
moehoward wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:19 pm
5. throw away all your dishes, cups, silverware. You can go to Ikea and replace everything for cheap and have matching stuff again
I’m gonna disagree with this one. The goal is to discard excess stuff that isn’t used; not to get rid of stuff in order to replace it with other stuff.

I’ve had the same (small) set of matching dishes for almost 20 years and they’re still used daily today because I bought good quality pieces that are USA made. Throwing them out and replacing them with cheap kitchenware made in China that probably contains lead would serve no purpose.

Based on the original description, the OP can probably unload a lot of the china set or anything that doesn’t actually get used, but if the family enjoys making their own meals, there’s no need to discard everything and start from scratch. If anything, that would only encourage the behavior that got them to this point in the first place.
+1

I have place settings for 8 of every day dishes and silver. It cost a lot and is 20 yrs old. Still like it. Get rid of what you haven’t used. Gadgets -get rid f if not used n 2years.

Silver Bullet
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Silver Bullet » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:00 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:40 pm
moehoward wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:19 pm
5. throw away all your dishes, cups, silverware. You can go to Ikea and replace everything for cheap and have matching stuff again
I’m gonna disagree with this one. The goal is to discard excess stuff that isn’t used; not to get rid of stuff in order to replace it with other stuff.

I’ve had the same (small) set of matching dishes for almost 20 years and they’re still used daily today because I bought good quality pieces that are USA made. Throwing them out and replacing them with cheap kitchenware made in China that probably contains lead would serve no purpose.

Based on the original description, the OP can probably unload a lot of the china set or anything that doesn’t actually get used, but if the family enjoys making their own meals, there’s no need to discard everything and start from scratch. If anything, that would only encourage the behavior that got them to this point in the first place.
This will be the easy part of the move. As the new place gets close to being ready, we'll go through the china, silverware and serving dishes to determine what makes the move. It'll definitely be a lot less than we have now. The rest will be given to our kids, friends or donated. Although nice stuff, not worth the hassle of trying to sell it.

Pigeon
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Pigeon » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:24 pm

I'm just starting to work on getting rid of my excess crap, but have also had to clear out several relatives' homes when they died. It was a miserable and exhausting experience and I don't want to do that to my kids. A few of them had very nice, good quality things. My best friend is in the process of clearing out two of her relatives' homes. There is a book called "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" you might want to check out.

The sad truth is, your crap, for the most part, is worth a lot less than you think it is. It is hard to even find people to do estate sales, because the market for used furniture, collectibles, antiques and household items has fallen considerably. It sounds like you have nice things, and maybe it's worth trying to sell some of it, but a lot of it will be a great deal of work for not much money. If you can find a company do an estate type sale, they will take a big chunk of whatever you get.

Selling the stuff yourself will take a ton of work. Ebay has fees that eat up profit. If you have neighborhood facebook/nextdoor groups, you might have some luck selling things, but you will have to deal with flaky people. I don't have an endless amount of time, so getting a low return wasn't worth it for too much of it. Maybe tell your high school kid that she can keep the money from anything she can sell.

Donate, donate, donate. Toss the rest.

RudyS
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by RudyS » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:52 pm

3-20Characters wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:03 pm
1. Buy new place (smaller)
2. Move (taking only items you want/need)
3. Estate sale and sell house
4. Deposit check from house sale into portfolio
That's pretty much what we are up against now. Nice and succinct summary. But probably should be 6 steps. Divide #2 into sort, and move. Divide #3 into estate sale, and sell house.

Target move date might be 9 - 12 months, but we are starting NOW. Final sort will be when I pack. I figured if I get lazy and have the movers pack, too much stuff will come. The estate sale stuff is too much to just pack and set aside.

We've been in this house for over 40 years! Kids grew up and moved out, now it's our turn.

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JupiterJones
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by JupiterJones » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:50 pm

i<3Investing wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:34 pm
I read Marie Kondo's book, "the life changing magic of tidying up". It was a great motivator.
^^^ This
Stay on target...

Dottie57
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:39 pm

JupiterJones wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:50 pm
i<3Investing wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:34 pm
I read Marie Kondo's book, "the life changing magic of tidying up". It was a great motivator.
^^^ This
I just can’t talk to my things as I decide to get rid of them. I am afraid of the men with butterfly nets.

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burt
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by burt » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:04 pm

To All,

Do not buy shelves or shelving units thinking that you are organized and in control.
Shelves are just a method to store more stuff you don't need and don't use.

burt

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Jazztonight
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Jazztonight » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:13 pm

Silver Bullet:
This is not rocket science. You're downsizing, you have too much stuff, and you need to take action.

Start with the low-hanging fruit! Clothing and books. Box it all up, put it in bags, and drag it over to Goodwill or Salvation Army, the library, or someplace that will take it all without question and give you a receipt. Some places will send a truck to your house and take all the junk that you've piled on your driveway. If they show up, you've done everyone a favor.

We downsized from a big house to an apartment 8 years ago. It takes time to get rid of stuff because you put value on every item. Okay, if you want to, take those "valuable" items and see if you can "Freecycle" them, or donate them. This takes time on the internet (Craigslist/for sale/free). If someone said they wanted my Mexican carved animal collection, I'd put it all in a box, put a post-it note with the person's name on it, put it outside the house, and let them know if they don't pick it up "between 9 and 10 am it goes to the next person on the list." I was able to give a lot of things away like this to school teachers, etc.

But the bulk of your stuff is just not worth your time. You must get rid of it! Fast and easy!

Sad to say, but you have to spend the time and energy decluttering your own stuff. Or...hire someone else to do it for you! There's a whole industry built just for this purpose.

This is not an easy task, but it's doable. Good luck!
Last edited by Jazztonight on Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

ResearchMed
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:13 pm

burt wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:04 pm
To All,

Do not buy shelves or shelving units thinking that you are organized and in control.
Shelves are just a method to store more stuff you don't need and don't use.

burt
Too true, for *any* type of storage system!

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

SoAnyway
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by SoAnyway » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:51 pm

Silver Bullet wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:10 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:58 am
hope you’ll update in a year or so.
Absolutely! I'm sure you'll hear about it continuously!
I look forward to your updates, OP! I admire and respect what you're doing. As you know, too many put their heads in the sand because they can't bear to face the task; thus, as someone upthread said, they leave the mess for their kids to clean up.

Soanyway, you've gotten some great advice in this thread, and it sounds like you've got your head screwed on straight in how you're tackling this monumental task. A few things I'll add and/or throw in a +1 for what others have said are listed below, having had the sad and time-consuming task of clearing out my parents' large home (w/50+ years of accumulation in it) after they passed, and having to spend the time and energy sorting through (in a very grief-stricken and overwhelmed state, btw, with a 60+ hr/week job) oh-so-much STUFF I knew they held dear for understandable reasons, but meant nothing to me. Back on the rails:
-
1. Start with the "storage units". If you're like most people, my guess is that in the last 2 years, you've not had a need to visit - and relocate to your current home - 95+% of what's in them. If so, EVERYTHING in there (or at least the vast majority of it) probably needs to go. You don't need it, and even if quote-unquote "valuable", it's holding you back and weighing you down as you pursue your exciting "next chapter".

2. Focus on the great life you and your spouse/daughter have planned. I loved what you said about your daughter being into mountain biking and being so close to her bike shop, btw. Envision as best you can the life you're looking forward to. Then, instead of thinking in terms of "getting rid of" all the stuff from your soon-to-be prior lifestyle, think in this way: You're not "getting rid of" the stuff from that wonderful period that got you to this point. Instead, you are "going shopping" for the pieces from it that will fit into this exciting new life you're embarking on. It's a COMPLETELY different mindset. This is a tip I got from another poster on this forum in a different thread, and it's 100% true. Once you've finished "shopping" for the things that will add value in your next chapter, EVERYTHING else is a candidate for sale, donation, or the dumpster.

3. As many have said, there are various time-money trade-offs w/r/t sale vs. donation vs. dumpster. Everyone's situation is different, and there are geographical differences in the available paths for each. You haven't shared whether you'll be pursuing a charitable deduction, or what your $ threshhold would be for pursuing sale vs. giving away free w/o charitable deduction vs. donating w/charitable deduction vs. paying to haul away vs. just throwing in the trash. (And I know there are great variances by geography in what local trash pick-up will accept without charge.) If you provide those specifics + your geography, you'll likely get more specific advice on the available options in your locale, in addition to the nationwide options of selling via eBay, Craigslist, etc. If your local municipality doesn't sponsor a buy/sell or giveaway/getforfree site, I would encourage you to plug in your zip code here, to see if there's a local Freecycle community in your area. (Just don't get caught up in all the posts of a bunch of OTHER free stuff available for the taking that you DON'T need, OP!! Hahaha... :happy

I wish you and your family all best, and I look forward to updates on how you're going about this, and your progress! :sharebeer
Last edited by SoAnyway on Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ResearchMed
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:23 pm

Thank you for the link to Freecycle.

We didn't know about this, and there is a list nearby.

For now, the lesser items we left by the curb vanished within about 2 hours both days.
Glad someone could find a use for those things.

But we'll take a better look at Freecycle for a lot of other things.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

SoAnyway
Posts: 232
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:49 pm

Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by SoAnyway » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:18 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:23 pm
Thank you for the link to Freecycle.
We didn't know about this, and there is a list nearby.

For now, the lesser items we left by the curb vanished within about 2 hours both days.
Glad someone could find a use for those things.

But we'll take a better look at Freecycle for a lot of other things.

RM
Happy to help, RM! :happy In my locale, Freecycle has been a huge resource for a "feel good" way to get rid of stuff. Win-win!! :sharebeer
Last edited by SoAnyway on Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Pigeon
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Pigeon » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:27 pm

Just beware, Freecycle can be full of weirdos. Trying to use mine was not good. I had much better luck with the local Nextdoor and Facebook neighborhood groups.

veindoc
Posts: 379
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by veindoc » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:43 pm

I second the idea of buying your new home before you eliminate items (if you can afford it) and taking only what you want. Have an estate sale in old home once you’ve moved. Hire a company. Donate what doesn’t sell. List home.

I am trying to clear out our basement which has become a sea of toys. But to do so is taking an inordinate amount of time. The steps are as follows: sorting and organizing, inventory, setting prices, listing items and then waiting waiting and more waiting. The process is going on a year. Mostly because I can only work on it every few weekends. Save yourself the trouble. Make it quick and outsource it.

I feel like opening up the storage facility is a Pandora’s box. You will be flooded with nostalgia, maybe a little regret and for sure analysis paralysis. Save yourself the trouble. Outsource.

ResearchMed
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:51 pm

Pigeon wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:27 pm
Just beware, Freecycle can be full of weirdos. Trying to use mine was not good. I had much better luck with the local Nextdoor and Facebook neighborhood groups.
I was sort of wondering how I'd feel about doing something like this with strangers, who would know who we are/where we live.

For now, perhaps we'll just keep putting "non-trash" out by the curb.
If it keeps disappearing so fast... well... that should also keep the town officials happy, or at least not displease them. It wouldn't even give time for the neighbors to get annoyed.

Perhaps now is an especially good time for that, given that there are probably many college/university students moving in about now, and anything "free" at least gives them some time to use their cash for other things, and later replace the clunkers found by the curb :wink:

We'll see if it keeps up.
Because we aren't trying to sell things, we don't "need" to use a website if the local "vultures" stay hungry :D

Thanks!

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

SoAnyway
Posts: 232
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by SoAnyway » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:00 pm

Pigeon wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:27 pm
Just beware, Freecycle can be full of weirdos. Trying to use mine was not good. I had much better luck with the local Nextdoor and Facebook neighborhood groups.
This just reinforces the point, OP, that there are VAST differences by geography. I've not experienced ANY of what Pigeon has, but I've NO doubt that Pigeon's experience is valid and legit. (Sorry you experienced that, P.) Try it, OP. If it doesn't work for you for whatever reason, try something else. As I've said, you've received lots of good advice here. :)

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tooluser
Posts: 275
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by tooluser » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:23 pm

Silver Bullet wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:08 am
You're also accurate in that we're both impulsive people, which is one of the reasons it's good to act on this now.
Striking while the iron is hot!
Many people believe that the theory of evolution states that things evolve gradually. In fact, it states the exact opposite:
Punctuated equilibrium (sudden change) is what moves life forward.

That said, don't forget to take a break now and then. :happy
"A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness." -- Albert Einstein, just before he won the Nobel Prize.

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kramer
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Location: Philippines

Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by kramer » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:28 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:15 pm
We began a decluttering, minimalistic, and simplistic life both financially and non-finacially years ago. This is a large undertaking but the journey starts with the first step.

I have learned that it is not a one time event but rather a philosophy and ongoing way of life.
Agreed, and I think one of the keys to decluttering is realizing that it is an ITERATIVE process. I couldn't do it all at once. And when I was on the second or third iteration, I realized how far I could go, further than I could have dreamed on the first iteration. Just keep at it ...

Also, I liked initially attacking it by categories, as others have suggested. My biggies were clothes, papers, and books. I did the books in a short period, I actually started a used bookstore on Amazon and raised over $1000, getting them to people who wanted them and I also gave some useful books to the library. I tried on all of my clothes and donated what I wasn't using (tax deduction). This was about ten years ago, and I realized the internet and e-books (along with my retirement) had replaced a lot of my "need" for paper books.

PS: I agree about giving stuff away to strangers brings out some weirdos ... I wouldn't repeat that part (although I did donate to friends, that was fine).

AlphaLess
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Location: Kentucky

Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by AlphaLess » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:19 pm

Silver Bullet wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:52 pm
jewelry (that's small and sacred to the DW, so let's not go there, but holy cow!)
Loved that quote.

Kudos and good luck to you, OP!
"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word." George Washington

mnnice
Posts: 358
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by mnnice » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:23 pm

Random Poster wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:57 pm
moehoward wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:19 pm
4. Next take all CDs to library.
Seems like a bad idea to me.

CDs do not take much space at all, weigh very little, can be listened to at any time (provided you have a CD player and speakers, of course), and, best of all, you own them.

Music that I loaded onto iTunes and then onto an iPhone is seldom played anymore---having to update iTunes, connecting a new iPhone to the computer, etc., it is all just too much work and hassle to keep up with the technology and updates. And paying some monthly fee to listen to music? Yeah, no, not for me.

I'll just pay $15 or whatever for a CD and listen to it whenever I want and for as long as I want.
Or you could subscribe to Apple Music?

veindoc
Posts: 379
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by veindoc » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:43 pm

Never had a problem with free cycle. I’ve met people in parking lots and have left things for porch pick-up. I’ve been to people’s porches to pick things up.

I guess with everything buyer beware but I am grateful that I have not had a problem.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Artful Dodger » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:17 am

Silver Bullet wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:08 am
jwhitaker wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:18 am
Here's a contrarian view. I know someone kind of like you, house full of fancy furniture and lot of just... stuff. If I had all the money he had blown on just pure nonsense, I would be retired and I'm under 40. To me, a person that ends up in your and his situation is probably impulsive. And your all of a sudden desire to get rid of everything is also impulsive. Your daughter is in high school and presumably your family is very busy. Why not just wait a few years until she is in college and you and your wife have tons of free time? You could tell daughter she is free to sell anything, and she can keep the money, then it's like a little job for her and you don't need to do anything.

If you have fine china to entertain 100+, you and or your wife must have some desire to entertain, so do you? When your daughter is gone and the house is empty, maybe you will have more time and energy to actually do it. All of the stuff you bought must be connected to some desire to do that activity. Here's the problem: you at one time bought all sorts of fishing gear; now you get sick of stuff and sell it all; in 5 or 10 years you are retired and need to fill your day, how about fishing!; then you go out and buy all that stuff new again, wasting the same amount of money. Same with snowmobiles, motorcycles, whatever, etc. It's like cars: the cheapest car is the one you already own (barring crazy leases, etc.). The depreciation on random junk and china is way worse than cars and look at how people on this forum talk about cars.

I vote you keep your stuff, keep your house, stop being so impulsive. Just stop buying new stuff. Get rid of the storage units, so your stuff is not costing you month after month.
Most of what you mention above is true. You're also accurate in that we're both impulsive people, which is one of the reasons it's good to act on this now. Life is short and the clock definitely spins faster as we get older. While I'd like to think I'll have more time in a few years to mess with this project, I know we'll both want to do something new/impulsive (travel mainly). And heaven forbid either of us becomes ill or dies in the next few years, I'd hate to pass this project along to my children (2 are adults now).

Striking while the iron is hot!
By all means, do your downsizing. We've done a lot lately. But don't worry about leaving it to your kids. When my dad died and mom went into a nursing home, my brother and I spent a few hours gathering the things we wanted, then hired an auction company for everything else. Everything was gone in a day. Easy peasy.

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GerryL
Posts: 1947
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Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by GerryL » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:37 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:39 pm
JupiterJones wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:50 pm
i<3Investing wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:34 pm
I read Marie Kondo's book, "the life changing magic of tidying up". It was a great motivator.
^^^ This
I just can’t talk to my things as I decide to get rid of them. I am afraid of the men with butterfly nets.
I don't think talking to things I plan to get rid of would help me. I'd be afraid they'd talk back … and guilt me into keeping them. I suffer from emotional attachment to stuff. Must fight that.

HelloMousette
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:31 am

Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by HelloMousette » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:50 am

I’ve been following this thread because I’ve been decluttering (although not necessarily downsizing).

If it has not been mentioned, Dana K White’s book “Decluttering at the Speed of Life” helped change my mindset. She also has a podcast and blog.

Good luck and I look forward to your updates.

moehoward
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:16 am

Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by moehoward » Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:16 pm

Random Poster wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:57 pm
moehoward wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:19 pm
4. Next take all CDs to library.
Seems like a bad idea to me.

CDs do not take much space at all, weigh very little, can be listened to at any time (provided you have a CD player and speakers, of course), and, best of all, you own them.

Music that I loaded onto iTunes and then onto an iPhone is seldom played anymore---having to update iTunes, connecting a new iPhone to the computer, etc., it is all just too much work and hassle to keep up with the technology and updates. And paying some monthly fee to listen to music? Yeah, no, not for me.

I'll just pay $15 or whatever for a CD and listen to it whenever I want and for as long as I want.
You are missing the point, I get it, CDs are small and lightweight. The idea of the original post was to down size. This is an easy way to adjust your thinking toward the goal.

Afty
Posts: 841
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:31 pm

Re: Mega Downsize....

Post by Afty » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:30 pm

I use the following criterion: If I haven't used something in the last 2 years, I get rid of it. I've also let go of trying to get the maximum value for those things -- I do sell some stuff, but I also donate lots of stuff and feel comfortable with that.

Another attitude shift you might try: Don't worry if you get rid of something and then need it again. You can always buy another one, or rent/borrow one. At worst you're out a few bucks. Heck, half the time even when you do have the thing, you can't find it when you need it anyway.

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