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"You will be twice as happy with half as much stuff"
-- me



In spite of my seemingly clever quote above, I still struggle with the burden of possessions. Too many of them, specifically. To those who have nothing, this probably seems like whinging. And it probably is. But that doesn't mean the problem isn't real.

I suspect that there exists an ideal apex of possessions -- that is, a quantity and quality of possessions that actually makes life comfortable and happy. The denizens of many well-developed nations, though, have long since zoomed right past that apex and are barreling headlong down the other side of the hill, acquiring new possessions at the continual expense of overall happiness. Sure, each new possession probably gives us momentary joy, but that moment is fleeting. Eventually, the shiny new object disappears into a mountain of other possessions, weighing us down and making us less happy than ever.

As I'm now retired, my wife and I are contemplating a move to Europe. And such a move would surely involve a drastic reduction in possessions. Maybe almost everything we currently own. And this seems like an insurmountable task.

Many of the things we own are completely inconsequential, and I could be rid of many of those things in a few afternoons of Craigslist, Goodwill, and runs to the local landfill. Our couch is comfortable, but it's completely replaceable. Some of our kitchen tools are prized possessions, but they too are replaceable. We don't own any antiques to speak of, nor priceless family heirlooms. The mouldering scooters in my driveway will be slightly more complicated, but only a bit. And we have no children to hand anything down to, not that said imaginary children would want anything we have anyway.

The things I am struggling with, then, are the things that are decidedly not replaceable. Photos (the film kind). Mementos. Old letters (the paper kind). Old notebooks (also paper). Anything sentimental. I guess you could call this category of possessions documentation of my life so far.

To make matters worse, I took up photography -- film photography, mind you -- in the early 90s. I have countless shoeboxes of photos, reams of negatives, and... a handful of good photos to show for it. Mostly landscapes, but a few portraits and informal snapshots as well.

All of this stuff used to seem vastly important to me.

Here's the thing, though: Why? Why is this stuff important? For my whole life, I have believed that these bits and pieces of me were somehow meaningful and worth saving. But now I've reached a point in life where I just can't figure out why any of this stuff might be important. We have no children, and the few nieces and nephews in the family aren't likely to be interested in out-of-context photos of people they don't know at events from before they were born. I'm not famous. Nobody is going to be writing my biography.

Sometimes I think I'm really clever. I bought a film scanner recently, thinking I have some time (still waiting on the Portuguese government to approve our long-term visas) and thought it might be useful to start digitizing some of my negatives.

I got about one strip done before I decided that this was one of my worst ideas ever. The thought of going through the mountain of photos I have and matching them to negatives is as tedious as I can possibly imagine, with no clear benefit.

Do I actually care about any of those photos? Yeah, maybe a few of them.

Is the amount of work worth the payoff? No. Almost certainly not.




So here I sit, on a Sunday afternoon, contemplating what to do next. And I thought maybe I would turn to the soothing device on my desk in front of me: my browser, directed at the collective wisdom of MV.

If you were in my position, and you had a need to greatly reduce your possessions, how would you do it? What would you keep? What would you burn?
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The whole conundrum strikes me similarly to how happiness correlates with income. Some years ago I learned that happiness peaks around $80,000 per year, which I'm sure depends on how many in the household, etc.

So yup, I get it. My wife and I moved a bit over a year ago, into a house slightly larger than our prior home. But this one is a single story with a full basement, unfinished, so TONS of storage space. And we have somehow managed to avoid growing our pile of stuff. We're close to the point where I'm going to start going through, well, ok, "my" stuff that hasn't moved since it moved. And pretty much get rid of most of it.

One nice addition is I do have a nice shop downstairs. Pretty much a full bicycle repair studio with most of my scooter tools, too. Changed almost a dozen scooter tires since the move, a couple of those not even my own.

Sorry, I'm rambling, what was the question?
Oh yeah, what to get rid of.
While I don't advise actually burning your house down, perhaps you could picture it happening.
What would you miss?

My mom is preparing to move into senior housing, at some point in the next few years. She has already started making lists of her stuff that will go with her, what will not, and is in the process of re-homing things like toys and journals to her children.

Yours is a different process, but that is what it is: a process.
Fortunately, both my mom and you have time to make deliberate decisions.
Who knows, it could be fun rehoming things, and seeing where they go.
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jess wrote:

"You will be twice as happy with half as much stuff"
-- me lots of folks who've reached a certain age

ftfy

As usual, what I have to contribute is of no real value. Facepalm emoticon Laughing emoticon
I have plenty of my own stuff / junk but I struggle more with inherited items - my grandmother's loom (and lots of yarn), her brother's photos and the camera he used for many of them, some of my dad's hand tools, as well as his scroll saw. I have heard experts recommend taking a photo of the item, then release it into the universe (donate, give to another family member, etc.) I realize I will probably never weave a rug or take large format photos or cut out fretwork but I'm not ready to let go of these treasures (aka burdensome, bulky junk, depending on who you're talking to).

One thing that has worked for me is donating to my local Buy Nothing Group.
I donated my uncle's musical instruments (violin, organ) and the families that picked up were very happy to have and use them. Same with some of my grandma's and great-grandma's kitchen things. I find comfort in knowing the item will be useful and somehow that makes it easier to let go.

If it makes any difference, I feel your pain in trying to comprehend the WHY. I hope you find an answer, friend!
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jess wrote:

"You will be twice as happy with half as much stuff"
-- me



If you were in my position, and you had a need to greatly reduce your possessions, how would you do it? What would you keep? What would you burn?
I can't really tell you for sure what I would do, as that would entail entirely too much speculation. But, I can report what I have done in the past.

When I moved to the US from Europe as a young man, I arrived with one suitcase of clothes and some camera gear. The rest was either sold by friends after I had left, for example my car and motorcycle, or thrown out. Some items that I did have more than a fleeting attachment to, such as possessions handed down from grandparents, stayed in boxes with relatives and some select things if they fit in suitcases, I carried with me on subsequent trips. I was nice to break with the past and start fresh, though there's one caveat: I was much younger then and naturally had less possessions.

All in all it was a great experience to radically pare down my possessions and I tend to think I would do something like this again in the future. I actually might, as moving to yet another part of the world is very appealing to me and my partner. But then to think about that without being in that situation...

What would I keep or have kept? Letters, lol there's much less to keep of that these days, isn't there? Artworks. A few books I was or am attached to. And my Achilles heel might be silly items like the cooking equipment you mention and other things that I associate memories with.
What really worked for me then: leaving a few smallish boxes behind, to let time help me make a final decision.
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While im not ready to get rid of everything I own, I am limited by the size of my garage (or in your case, suitcase/ shipping container). Posting stuff for sale is usually more of a headache than tossing it/ donating it, so in your case, go through and then toss the photos/ items you dont want. Have that carry on to other items in the house- old paint, old clothes, old shoes, old lumber? Little bit more, then a little bit more, then a little bit more.

Two weeks ago I had 2 router tables plus a router for sale for $40. Dozen inquiries, no in person visits. Lowered it to $10. Had a dozen inquiries but no one would pull the trigger for the tables. Said bring me 1 beer and its all yours. Another dozen inquiries. Finally tossed everything on Friday

"Live with less, so you can experience more"- Joe Hawley (Ex NFL player that gave away his household items to charity and moved into a van with a rescue dog)
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Stuff just hangs around until you have to do something about it.

Sarah and I moved out of a medium sized house to a smaller bungalow a few years ago.

Luckily it coincided with my office shrinking down to only me.

I work in the second floor of an old house I own with the contractor friend who works downstairs.

I had three almost empty rooms to store the stuff we weren't going to need in the new house along with the now unused desks, chairs from the office.

So the stuff went there and has stayed ever since.

It could all be packed up and sent away tomorrow and never missed…until I start going through it.

Probably should just stop looking and haul it straight to the dump.

Bill
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I got a low-slung plastic container with wheels on it that is designed to fit under the bed. This is exactly how much sentimental "Story of My Life" stuff I am allowed to keep. It's about as big as a suitcase. If I want add something and it doesn't fit, something has to go. The spring in my step since I've done this has been noted several times over at the Cal Tech Department of Seismology.
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Madison Sully wrote:
Yours is a different process, but that is what it is: a process.
Fortunately, both my mom and you have time to make deliberate decisions.
Who knows, it could be fun rehoming things, and seeing where they go.
Thanks for the thoughtful response. It is indeed a process, even when it seems insurmountable.
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something which has started to bug me is after my father passed away I saw the effort and sadness of my brother sorting through my fathers stuff (I am interstate) and now think about who would have to sort through my junk (possessions is too generous a term) to see if there's anything worth salvaging
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ks7877 wrote:
ftfy
Indeed!
ks7877 wrote:
As usual, what I have to contribute is of no real value. Facepalm emoticon Laughing emoticon
Poppycock!
ks7877 wrote:
I have plenty of my own stuff / junk but I struggle more with inherited items - my grandmother's loom (and lots of yarn), her brother's photos and the camera he used for many of them, some of my dad's hand tools, as well as his scroll saw.
Yeah, I definitely see how this stuff would be problematic. I guess I should count myself fortunate to not have much in the way that is significant to my larger family.
ks7877 wrote:
One thing that has worked for me is donating to my local Buy Nothing Group.
I donated my uncle's musical instruments (violin, organ) and the families that picked up were very happy to have and use them. Same with some of my grandma's and great-grandma's kitchen things. I find comfort in knowing the item will be useful and somehow that makes it easier to let go.
Thats's a great tip, thanks!
ks7877 wrote:
If it makes any difference, I feel your pain in trying to comprehend the WHY. I hope you find an answer, friend!
My father died a couple of years ago, and left behind a mountain of academically-significant work history (he was a college professor and college president). My step-mother has taken it upon herself to sift through the mountain of material and get the important bits into the hands of the right people. Which I think is just insanely difficult, much more so than my minor conundrum. It is multiple offices stuffed full of papers and letters and other academic miscellany.

I'm not sure if she knows the answer to "why?" either.
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WLeuthold wrote:
Stuff just hangs around until you have to do something about it.

...

Probably should just stop looking and haul it straight to the dump.
This resonates with me.
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Jess, I started photography in the 70s. My plastic container barely fits in a hall closet - and has been there sine the 90s. Unless the film is in separate rolls or in archival sleeves, those negatives may well 'be ones with the sleeves they are in. Mine are - yet I still won't give them the heave-ho. And that's just one hall closet. Good luck!
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Syd wrote:
Jess, I started photography in the 70s. My plastic container barely fits in a hall closet - and has been there sine the 90s. Unless the film is in separate rolls or in archival sleeves, those negatives may well 'be ones with the sleeves they are in. Mine are - yet I still won't give them the heave-ho. And that's just one hall closet. Good luck!
I guess I should count myself lucky that I didn't start until the 90s

I put most of the negatives into what I *think* are archival sleeves in a three-ring binder. I have located the binder and done a casual inspection, and I don't think the film has merged with the plastic. Other (later) negatives are in the thin accordion sleeves that I got them back from the photo processor in -- haven't looked at a lot of those yet, but they were at least later and thus have had less time to degrade.

I'm currently awaiting an order of lint-free archival gloves to arrive so I can handle the negatives without greasing them up too much.
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there is one possession I think might have a little worth to the vespa community after I die (hopefully a long way in the future but I could fatally hug a tree any day) and that is the source code to my Vespa app. It'd be a shame if all that reverse engineering was lost, piaggio should really have made this protocol public. I recently moved it to github (but still private) and gave a coder friend access so he could make it public.
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Once you've set aside the keep items, wait a while and sort through them again. Often, you discover more you're willing to let go. Those extra hours, days, or weeks can lessen the initial rush of emotion and feelings of attachment.
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My wife and I have four children. 2 are married and in homes of there own, 2 moved back in - one finished college and is working to pay down student loans while getting ready to pursue her master's degree, the other moved back to save rent money while saving for a house(my idea). Still, within a few years my wife and I will be selling because we simply do not need all the space. I figure it is going to take those few years just to pare down all the stuff we have. I hope to apply something that works for me in my space (the garage). Every six months I do a good clean in the garage. Everything I put my hand on has to pass the following test: - do I use it often? If not, is it something I use at least once every six month and is expensive to replace? If not, does it have a strong memory tied to it (like some of my fathers, grandfathers or great grandfathers tools)? If it does not meet any of these, it is sold, donated or trashed.
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Guzzi Gal wrote:
Once you've set aside the keep items, wait a while and sort through them again. Often, you discover more you're willing to let go. Those extra hours, days, or weeks can lessen the initial rush of emotion and feelings of attachment.
Wise words here. I'll keep this in mind while I sort thru the pile.
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This made me think of my friend/neighbor:
Widowed female neighbor had her house catch fire. Instant decision.
The clothes on her back, the dog, and the car.
Instead of building back after insurance settlement, she got some clothes, a portable building, insulated it, installed a bath/toilet, and says that's all that she needs. Things like furniture, utensils, etc were given to her or bought at places like Goodwill.

Previous to this fire, she spent countless time accumulating antiques and hand crafted furniture along with other collectibles.

"Love Life" -Steve Fugate
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I've found when dumping old stuff I have the occasional pang of regret which always subsides to relief upon the realisation that I really don't need it. We were lucky to be able to afford a small beach house where we keep the absolute bare essentials only. It's so refreshing to go there and not be bogged down with stuff.
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Moved out of my office into a smaller space in with a colleague a year ago as a pre-retirement strategy. 40 years of accumulated professional miscellany, 20 years since the last move. It was a great exercise in downsizing. Took a while, still have some odd bits to deal with, but when I finally pull the plug in a year or so, it will be so much easier.

It's given me pause to think about personal belongings. We never got a bigger house, which turns out to have been a good (non) move. Trying to keep some momentum for personal things at a slower pace.

A couple of years ago I'd started scanning old family slides of my dad's as well as my own. Had a few glitches, but finally finished. Tossed the slides and the trays and now have everything on digital backup. Just went through my shoebox of decades of snapshots. As I've never copied any of them in over 40 years, I decided to ditch 90% of the negatives.

Sadly, I've realized that despite curating my family pictures going back several generations, I'm not really sure who I'll pass them on to. Our only kid seems pretty unsentimental so far, nor my niece or nephew, so really, all this could die with me. It is rather sobering. I suspect it's the same for a lot of the rest of our stuff. It's really a different world than the one I grew up in.
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Give away stuff of value (but of little value to you) to family, friends and MVers in exchange for long term storage of a small container or two of things you might end up regretting parting with.

Or get a very small storage unit/closet and store what you value most, all the while knowing you can stop making the storage payment and walk away once you're resettled and ready.
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There is another way to downsize stuff. You choose for your spouse, your spouse chooses for you (separately, and without the other). That eliminates the emotion you might feel when looking at items in your 'come or go' pile.
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fledermaus wrote:
Just went through my shoebox of decades of snapshots. As I've never copied any of them in over 40 years, I decided to ditch 90% of the negatives.
I am expecting to reach the same conclusion -- so much so that I have nearly convinced myself I can just set the negatives and prints on fire without going through them.
fledermaus wrote:
Sadly, I've realized that despite curating my family pictures going back several generations, I'm not really sure who I'll pass them on to. Our only kid seems pretty unsentimental so far, nor my niece or nephew, so really, all this could die with me. It is rather sobering. I suspect it's the same for a lot of the rest of our stuff. It's really a different world than the one I grew up in.
This. This exactly.
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My niece came and helped me sell most things when I moved. I was shocked at what sold fastest. The expensive things that didn't sell went into storage where I still pay monthly and have no plans on moving the stuff, so it is a waste. If I had it to do over I wouldn't store anything. I don't miss a single thing.
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Don't really know why, but I've found it 'relatively' easy to define which items are important mementos for me.

A few photos, like the one where I teach my daughter to swim, always bring a joy into my heart. If possible, I hope that one to belong to my last possessions.

My grandmom's Singer sewing machine, that stands in our hall. From ~1920, in a great shape, a nice decorational piece as such - to me it brings back some of my earliest memories, granny sewing to make some extra bucks, me playing with my toys somewhere close, those funny noises of a mechcanical sewing machine, granpa laying on the bed nearby, smoking, officially 'looking after me'....

A few items like this.

For me it is important that an item brings back strong memories.

Others can go - I used to have copies of my old scientific papers, but heck, even I'm not that interested of those anymore.

The same with some achievements in relation to work: kind of grown too old to care,no matter how great they used to be (for me).

Ido have tons of photos and will have as long as I have room for those. Still, would be relatively easy to choose which ones to keep if needed. I've given up storing negatives anymore, so don't have 'backups'.

I don't even know how I define the highlights in my life, but for sure not all the years include some. The mementos do help me in appreciating what I got, I tend to forget without. I do like to keep some.

Incidentally, my friend's brother-in-law's house burned down a few years ago. They lost everything. Now, what they still mourn a bit about are a few old photos, a few old items, not much. (A lesson here too: it all started because of small, used batteries. They forgot to tape the ends of some and when rolling around in an 'empty battery box', they managed to create a tiny spark, that managed to catch a fire..... )
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Lots of good thoughts already.

When I retired from the Marine Corps close to 18 years ago, I got rid of 21 years a mementos, plaques, etc. Truthfully I haven't missed any of it. This started me slowly on the track of less is more. Totally agree about the concept of an apex of possessions.

I used to take lots of photos of all my travels. There are a few who look at them if I post online, but I don't go back to look later. I do have them on my computer and stored on the proverbial cloud.

My wife digitized all our old family photos, we did't look at them before and don't now. Our son is not interested.

As a military family, we move every few years as well. Since my first retirement 18 years ago, we have moved eight times.

My wife will be retiring in a year or two, I already am. We will need to downsize some as our "retirement" home will be smaller (but not small), that process has started.

It certainly is a process, but I think some key elements are:
-If moving needed items, there is the cost of moving something versus what it would cost to replace at the new location.
-How often or when was an item last used? For seldom used items, how expensive and/or difficult is it to replace? Dispose, donate, etc. not used items.
-Not to be morbid, but for sentimental items, who will want the items when we die and who will have to go through it all when we die? Do we look at/use them enough to keep?
-If no family members will want the sentimental items, is there an organization to which or individual to whom one can donate/give? This could be for resale or use like a museum or person. For instance, we have donated much to Goodwill and other charitable thrift shops, donated some 1950s Marine Corps recruit graduation books from my father to a museum, gave my Marine Corps uniforms to young Marines, gave away motorcycle gear, etc.

Everything else is fair game for disposal or donation.

I suppose for those things one is unsure about, it is possible to store until sure.
⚠️ Last edited by marret on UTC; edited 1 time
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Molto Verboso
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
I read this post and the many responses to it.
I remember reading/watching a book of photographs taken by a bunch of artists who went around the world taking pictures of people and their possessions.
It was fascinating to see families sitting/standing around all their possessions from different parts of the world.
Being an immigrant U have a different take on material possessions. You have watched many documentaries and movies about people who have survived the holocaust or migrated due to famines, migrated due to war etc, you find the common thread in all of them people moving with few possessions besides the clothes on their back.
What I have discovered is the possession of material goods only is a small iota of the joy one has, majority of the joy is in the memories of having used the material or reliving the moments possibly.
As you mention, shoe box full of photos/negatives etc, chances are that you haven't had an opportunity to sit and peruse through those shoe boxes more than once.
We all keep/hold on to these possessions in the hope that someday we shall sit and relive those moments, but such "someday" moments rarely come along.
About 15 years ago I made a conscious choice that I would cut back my possessions to be not more than 3 suitcases worth. It was not hard to cull my crap be it clothes or tools or music CD's, electronics, books.
My opinion on this topic, is that you wrote this post as part of your process to let go( you are 95% there already) and you wanted your tribes folk to chime in and observe that the decision you are making is wise and confirm the thought process is a good one.
I would suggest that those boxes of pictures etc could go to an art school to be used in projects by a student(s). I think you being you are going to find some interesting folks to accept your stuff who will find interesting uses for the stuff.
Living in brownstone Brooklyn, it is easy to part ways with stuff, you put it out on the sidewalk, leave a note if it is working/needs some TLC etc and generally it is gone in a few hours.
I reminded of George Carlin's piece on "stuff"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac&t=21s
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Three years ago, when I moved from my residence in New Jersey to my current home in Virginia, I purged much of my personal possessions. I adopted the philosophy of "if you don't use it, lose it". Any items that I hadn't used or looked at in the prior six months, I either sold, gave away to my children or outright disposed of them in a dumpster that I had rented.

Today, I live a much simpler lifestyle. Except for my grandkids toys, my home, for the most part, is free of clutter. I will never go back to the days when my stuff controlled me. I now control it.
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UTC quote
In 2020 we sold our house in Breckenridge where we had been living which we owned for 12 years followed a few months later in 2021 by our house in Houston we owned for 30 years. Our kids were living it in but still full of our stuff. That meant we had duplicates of all sorts of things that we used frequently when in residence.

We sold the house in Breckenridge with almost all the furniture, taking just the master bedroom and a few antiques. However, we had quite a few boxes of things my husband had brought from his parents house when his mom moved to assisted living that moved with us.

Our son took some of the furniture in Houston when he moved to his own apartment. The stuff in Houston was easier to sort through since Harvey floods had taken care of a lot of the stuff downstairs. Razz emoticon

We donate a bunch of stuff, tossed a bunch and still moved more than I would have liked. My husband tends to want to keep "memory" things. I do have a couple photo boxes of prints that I do want to go through and scan. I have no intention of ever trying to match negatives to the prints. I'll scan the prints I want to keep. I do still have the box with my B&W darkroom stuff. I haven't touched it in years though I understand film is making a comeback for some I'm quite content with digital.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time to sort through all of it so that is still an ongoing process. I've instituted a no adding to the number of bikes in the garage without getting rid of one now that we are down to 3 and I'm seriously considering reducing that number to 2.
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My dad was what I'd call a shop hoarder. Did nearly all of his farm maintenance work, so needed a variety of tools and equipment, and a bunch of scrap metal for welding projects, but then a ton of things that might be useful some day...and never were-I blame a lot of it on the Depression. They accumulated in a big pile making access to key areas of the shop unnecessarily challenging. Then he died in an accident and we're trying to decide what to do with it. The solution was a 5 yard dumpster and a bit of combing through the junk just in case. Kind of like old-school mining. Taught us a good lesson, though it's great for processing grief and getting closure.
RRider wrote:
My grandmom's Singer sewing machine, that stands in our hall. From ~1920, in a great shape, a nice decorational piece as such - to me it brings back some of my earliest memories....
This reminded me of my wife's grandfather's antique radio. When she left Mexico for the U.S. to marry, she had to sell or give 90% of her stuff away (we visit a few things at my SIL's still). She couldn't part with the antique radio for sentimental reasons, so she had it shipped here....for a couple hundred bucks. Ironically it was manufactured in New Jersey. Facepalm emoticon But, hey, I am in no position to argue about sentiment.

I've done a modest amount of woodworking over the years and have a fairly nice shop, that sometimes makes nice furniture, but often just fixes things or makes cat furniture What I realized a while back is that my aspiration to continue making furniture, etc. is just producing more stuff that will have to go soon enough..... So I need to look at that realistically. Nerd emoticon
⚠️ Last edited by fledermaus on UTC; edited 1 time
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Molto Verboso
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It's harder to let go of old stuff when the materials can't be recycled or repurposed. We did some clearing out over the winter and learned that old photographs are usually not recyclable (they're layered with chemicals and plastics). Seems weird to pitch a couple of bags of coated paper into the general waste bin.

I also sorted through and disposed of a huge stack of old optical discs, mostly data CDs from the 00s. The data had long since been moved to other storage. Part of the reason I had hung on to them was that the cases and discs weren't recyclable back then, and they're still not. Best I could do was separate out all the paper inserts.
OP
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Thanks much for all the thoughtful responses, and definitely keep them coming.

I should clarify that I'm really at the beginning of this process in terms of actual work -- we still have a fully equipped house here in California, and a fully equipped workshop out behind the house. While I have done some surface thinning, eventually nearly EVERYTHING will need to go -- the furniture, the kitchenware, all the tools, all the scooters, every single one of the hundreds of thousands of stainless steel fasteners -- almost everything that isn't sentimental or irreplaceable. I have resigned myself to that reality.

The things I am struggling with are the things that are irreplaceable. And the fundamental question that is giving me so much difficulty is this:

Are the sentimental and irreplaceable things even worth consideration, given my age and lack of progeny?

In other conversations (separate from MV) it has been suggested that we don't really know who will want to tell our story when we are gone. But rather than comfort, this thought instead fills me with fear. Like a true member of GenX, I think I'd rather be forgotten.
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My wife and I were fortunate enough to retire early and have since spent a number of years on adventures that usually require living out of a tent for a number of weeks or, sometimes, months. Each time we return home we find we care less and less about "things" we own and we keep paring them down. Certain lines won't be crossed, like my shop, but we've gone so far to be living in/using only about half of our house.

Your next step for Portugal will require you spending a good chunk of the next couple years there, right? With hope, that'll give you clarity and peace of mind on what you really need, and that which you don't.
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UTC quote
phaskins wrote:
My wife and I were fortunate enough to retire early and have since spent a number of years on adventures that usually require living out of a tent for a number of weeks or, sometimes, months. Each time we return home we find we care less and less about "things" we own and we keep paring them down. Certain lines won't be crossed, like my shop, but we've gone so far to be living in/using only about half of our house.

Your next step for Portugal will require you spending a good chunk of the next couple years there, right? With hope, that'll give you clarity and peace of mind on what you really need, and that which you don't.
I think camping, especially backpacking is pretty instructive in how much one really needs to be happy. Of course being in a cool place on vacation is a big part of that.

I'm visualizing Jess and co. with a tarp over one of those old port boats tapping into one of the barrels as needed.....

Having done some heavy cleaning/reorganizing, it's an awesome feeling of satisfaction seeing a cluttered room cleared down to the basics.
@ironfoot avatar
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
I'm just gonna say it:

YARDSALE
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UTC quote
I had the unfortunate task of cleaning out my parent's home after my mom passed. We filled a 40 ft dumpster and 5 bagsters and still had enough for a sizeable estate sale.

I did bring a lot back to my house as well; my wife has anxiety about it, but my kids expressed interest in most of it and could not let it go...yet.

There is a purge coming soon though. I have considered downsizing in the next 10 years and that would mean unloading a lot of this stuff.
OP
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UTC quote
Ironfoot wrote:
I'm just gonna say it:

YARDSALE
Are you attempting the Beetlejuice maneuver?
@ironfoot avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
'07 GTS 250 - sold
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Just amazed it took like 30 posts before someone mentioned the obvious
jess wrote:
Are you attempting the Beetlejuice maneuver?
Uh-oh. You've quoted my post and I think that counts as the second invocation...
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UTC quote
I would also add something to be said for onward, forward

When we're old and close to going back into the ground and ascend to heaven or heavenly nothingness, trinkets from the past are likely going to be more haunting to have than to wish you still had.
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