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Banned
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6,360 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When my dad died and my stepmother moved into a condo, I had to go through all the stuff he'd accumulated in 83 years, including 36 in the same house. It took days, some of it heartbreaking, some of it nostalgic (he'd saved things I made for him in elementary school, and a newspaper clipping from when his high school rowing crew finished second in the nation in 1939). Toward the end i was just piling stuff into the back of my truck and hauling it to the Salvation Army unexamined.
On the way home I realized I was setting my kids up for the same thing. I've lived in the same house almost 30 years, and the garage and a small shed are packed with things like my wife's cheerleader outfit (Pioneer High School class of '68) and a spare thermostat for a 1969 Fiat I sold in 1975.
Arbitrarily, I decided to get rid of one-third of everything we owned. I've been picking away at it, and I'm probably about a third of the way to the third.
When I wrote a column about it, I was surprised at the number of people who've done or are doing the same thing. At some point, apparently in your 50s or when your kids move out, you realize that the crap you've saved is mostly crap...but it's still pretty hard to let some of it go. My wife even felt nostalgic about the thermostat: That's the car I had when I met her. Anybody else experiencing disacquisition these days?
 

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Festina Lente'
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11,508 Posts
Old garages are fun...

If you find any old bottles of Tricloroethylene, Methylene Chloride or Mercury... give a brotha a call :thumbsup:
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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3,438 Posts
I can't seem to throw away old homework...
 

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waterproof*
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41,611 Posts
I'm attempting... but losing. Kids and spouse are still in acquisition phase. If it keeps up much longer I'll be posting like MOPI.
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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24,426 Posts
Been there, done that.

I'm not throwing anything away. My kids will hate me when I'm dead. I'm leaving them some SU carbs from a 63 Volvo and a gallon of DDT and a fogger to spray it, along with a crap load of stuff like water skis and tow ropes.
 

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Great White North
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1,139 Posts
My wife and I have been moving every 2-4 years as she gets closer to being done with med. school, which helps greatly in the reduction department. About 1 year to 6 months before moving, I get pretty careful about what else I bring home and look a little harder when it's trash day.

That said, we've had two kids since our last move and the toys are piling up. Also, two changing tables, etc. We also have the xtra large rubbermaid container of grandma's china from her wedding and two full rubbermaids of lionel train sets, one from each father in-law.

Bike parts are another problem when it comes time to move, and I'm in the process of getting us down from 8-10 bikes to 4-5 bikes. Random parts on ebay every other week has helped a ton with that, but I can't be forced to get rid of it all..

Moving is the sux, but it keeps you lean(er).

Plum
 

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Impulse Athletic Coaching
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5,576 Posts
MR_GRUMPY said:
Been there, done that.

I'm not throwing anything away. My kids will hate me when I'm dead. I'm leaving them some SU carbs from a 63 Volvo and a gallon of DDT and a fogger to spray it, along with a crap load of stuff like water skis and tow ropes.
Thanks dad. I hate you already.
 

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Glue Sniffer
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4,598 Posts
After accumulating a house, and life, filled with brick-a-brack and memorabilia, the husband and I got a job where we'd be professionally homeless for two years. In a matter of months we made our worldly possessions fit into a Subaru Outback, and the remaining possessions that we could do without for two years fit into a 10x10 storage unit.

The pairing down was a life experience almost as valuable as traveling the country for two years.

What started off slow and a bit painful led into the awesome sense of freedom. As the junk, crap, and acquired shiny objects began to leave, the items that were really important to our lives stopped being hidden.

There was no more wondering where that thing was, or if we still had it. It was either in its place, or it was gone forever. As our tour on the road ended and we once again moved into a house, we began unpacking what turned out to be a time capsule of our life before.

We didn't store a TV, or couches, or much furniture at all. And yet, as we unpacked each one of our 16 bikes, the trunk full of photo albums, my grandma's Christmas Village, and the lamp that we originally found in a dumpster, we found our house to be quite full, even as it remained sparse in most people's eyes. Stuff has a funny way of cloaking what you truly value.

Purging. It's not just for supermodels anymore.
 

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The Original and The Best
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1,294 Posts
Cory and Cat, those are great stories about purging.

My extended family on both sides are pack rats. I have seen the houses of several Japanese-American families that are the same as or worse than my parents' house. I've heard and read many times that it is so common in Japanese-American families because they were forced to give up nearly everything when they were detained in internment camps. I know that's at least part of the reason why both sets of grandparents horded so much stuff.

I have been trying my whole life to fight it, but it always gets me back. You've inspired me to try again this weekend. Thanks.
 

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What the Hell is going on
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5,143 Posts
I have a hard time letting go of obsolete stuff. For example, I think I'm the only one still using cassette tapes. I don't have great audio equipment, just good enough (mostly old NAD and Sony stuff). I can't force myself to get an iPod.
 

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Collin's Dad
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1,858 Posts
JaeP said:
I have a hard time letting go of obsolete stuff. For example, I think I'm the only one still using cassette tapes. I don't have great audio equipment, just good enough (mostly old NAD and Sony stuff). I can't force myself to get an iPod.
I can't believe you still use cassette tapes....oh wait, I still don't have a DVR and I still use a VCR to record daily stages of the Tour de France each year.

I wish my parents would move to a different house, they've been in the same house for 35 years. I think they still have all my toys I played w/ growing up.
 

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Captain Obvious
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11,876 Posts
i wish i could get my wife to throw stuff out. her grandfather was a pack rat. he recently passed away. i feel bad for my MIL that will have to go through it all.
 

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Always changing.....
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4,523 Posts
phil. said:
I can't believe you still use cassette tapes....oh wait, I still don't have a DVR and I still use a VCR to record daily stages of the Tour de France each year.

I wish my parents would move to a different house, they've been in the same house for 35 years. I think they still have all my toys I played w/ growing up.

I tried to free cycle my Kenwood double cassette deck last month. I couldn't even give that thing away. No one wanted it. Ended up taking it to the metal recycle place.
 

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Non non normal
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10,098 Posts
My father is the worst. He has an AM radio from a Dodge Monaco. I also found a dry rotted toilet plunger in his garage a while back.
 

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Seat's not level
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19,372 Posts
I've been after my parents for the last 5 years to start purging. They have a 1500 square foot basement that was filled from one end to the other with an accumulation of crap.

My dad finally retired (again) and they started working on it. One or two days a week, I would get a call that they were in the basement cleaning stuff out and throwing away. They have kept it up for the last 2 years, and really started purging the last 6 months. Ever time I go over they are proud to show me what they have accomplished. I think they have had fun doing it actually.

Now the basement is getting back to usable state. I think my dad is down there painting today. He's planning on buying a new TV and a WII so that when the grandkids come over they can go down and play.

I'm just excited that I won't be hauling it all up the stairs some day.
 

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Registered
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15,615 Posts
Since John moved in, it's been pretty hard getting rid of stuff to make adequate room for us both. Or should I say, he's got lots of crap to get rid of, and I just need more room for my stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac

It's not easy. I can't seem to part with the hand-written cards and letters- relics of the days before e-mail. I'd like to toss my high school yearbook (no especially fond memories!) but that seems wrong somehow. Some stuffed animals.....the giant Raggedy Ann doll can't go!! Photos seem to take up the most room. Wish digital was around years ago.

It's even gotten to the point where I dread gifts and books- gaaahh more STUFF!!!

Thank goodness for the thrift store. At least I can buy back stuff if I miss it too much.
 

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n00bsauce
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13,507 Posts
My wife and I have talked about it but, unfortunately, it's still going the other way. If we died in a car accident today I pity my poor kids. There'll be months of work ahead of them before the house is ready for sale and the house itself is in fine shape. However, a bunch of it belongs to our kids but they don't want it yet. We hang onto it because we know how we felt when we went looking for something we left at home and the folks had thrown it out decades ago. For instance, that's how I lost my baseball card collection. It was a pretty good one with a Hank Aaron rookie card in mint shape. So, we hang onto the Barbies and My Little Pony stables and the Boy Scout uniforms and the swimming ribbons. Gawd it sucks to be old!
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
I do need to get rid of stuff. I remember when we moved from our last place (which was the same house my wife grew up in) that we had to hire an estate sales person to get rid of all the crap her parents had accumulated there that we didn't want anymore.
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
classic carlin...RIP

 
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