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VESPAsfw3 wrote:
I dream of being untethered from stuff. To live in a house empty of anything other than ourselves and our spirits. But it will take me a long time to achieve that since I can barely part with a book.
Thank you for the very thoughtful response, Steve.
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Making a dump run in 15 and the wife is going through her clothes and kids clothes. Garage sale, dump or keep piles. Want to continue the trend Jess?
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Atypical Canadian
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Jess you sound like you're seriously overdue for a long road trip on two wheels.

Having to fit everything you need to live for a month on just one bike is the best reminder that you don't really need anything besides clothes on your back, cash and credit card in your wallet, and food and water in your stomach.

In our case, the missus and I are putting everything we BOTH need for almost a month on the road on ONE motorcycle. It's totally do-able. You just have to CHOOSE to ignore consumerism, fear of missing out, and thoughts of Keeping-up-with-the-Jones. And book airbnbs with laundry facilities in suite lol


TLDR: Internet doctor prescribes long two-wheeled road trip to cure long first world problems rant.
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I'll admit that I'm a bit frustrated. I don't think that I have properly conveyed my quandary, as only a few people seem to have grokked it. I don't blame anyone but myself, though -- I apparently didn't explain it thoroughly (or maybe succinctly) enough.

No matter.
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Untill recently we reformed houses and travelled around Spain for the past 14 years. Buying then reforming then selling and slowly trading up untill we have found our perfect house (for now) But because of this we hardly have any clutter since we move every 2 to 4 years. Storage is only the clothes we do not use due to the seasons. Anything we do not need we either sell or give away it is not a new age or hippie lifestyle far from it but it is very cathartic not to have any junk or clutter.
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jess wrote:
I'll admit that I'm a bit frustrated. I don't think that I have properly conveyed my quandary, as only a few people seem to have grokked it. I don't blame anyone but myself, though -- I apparently didn't explain it thoroughly (or maybe succinctly) enough.

No matter.
Let's see if we can turn this around. You asked what you should keep, and what you should burn.

Keep:
Meaningful family heirlooms
Recipes (no one says they really loved your XXXX until youre dead)
1 scooter/ motorcycle
Anything family members want to inherit

Burn:
Anything family said they dont want
Kitchen items
Tools
Awards/ Me wall/ accomplishments
Clothes
Books
Sporting goods
Furniture
Art/Decorations
CD's/Discs/Casettes
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Keep MV.
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^^^ I hope so.
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MJRally wrote:
1 scooter/ motorcycle

WHAT??!! Sacrilege.
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jess wrote:
I'll admit that I'm a bit frustrated. I don't think that I have properly conveyed my quandary, as only a few people seem to have grokked it. I don't blame anyone but myself, though -- I apparently didn't explain it thoroughly (or maybe succinctly) enough.

No matter.
I may still not have grokked it, but it seems you are interested in understanding why things are "irreplaceable" or "sentimental" so as to better help yourself get through this process. Of course I may be totally wrong. Also I think this subject is so different for each person...the composition of their personality, and thought process.

Personally, I think we want to keep things like this because of a variety of reasons including how they make us feel (including just having), the memories they invoke, the time and effort in obtaining, cost, future need/want, link to a time or person, the feeling of not having, thoughts about the inability to change one's mind after disposing, etc.

Maybe the finality of the decision and inability to go back with possible regret weighs heavily.

Some of us like to look forward, to hell with the past, and some like to think about or live in the past, pondering "glory" days as sung about by Bruce Springsteen. Many of us are in-between.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WccS8iFXgFI

I have a few items from my parents that are irreplaceable. I would hate to throw them out or give away, but it wouldn't impact me in any way.

This is obviously a subject that impacts most of us.

Anyway, wish you the best with it. Frustration is part of the process I think.
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jess wrote:
I'll admit that I'm a bit frustrated. I don't think that I have properly conveyed my quandary, as only a few people seem to have grokked it. I don't blame anyone but myself, though -- I apparently didn't explain it thoroughly (or maybe succinctly) enough.

No matter.
Kudos for using grokked in a sentence!

If you had to move into a 12x12 studio apartment with a kitchenette, no closet, and no garage, what would you move?
-This will give you what you want.

If you only had a suitcase or two each, what would you pack?
-This will show you what you need.

If you had minutes to save a few items from fire, what would you take?
-This will tell you what you can't live without.

Everything that doesn't end up on one of these three lists should go. What is left should be repeatedly evaluated for its utility or sentimental value.

I don't envy the work, but I will envy the results.
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I like the idea stated by Thoreau in the following quote:

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." – Henry David Thoreau
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If you want inspiration on living in less space, follow a YT called "Never too small".
You would be amazed.
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marret wrote:
Personally, I think we want to keep things like this because of a variety of reasons including how they make us feel (including just having), the memories they invoke, the time and effort in obtaining, cost, future need/want, link to a time or person, the feeling of not having, thoughts about the inability to change one's mind after disposing, etc.
I keep things that invoke memories, positive ones. I have no problems letting go things that have negative memories. 1-2 bankers boxes is all I need for that. Though I'll admit I have trouble letting go of "useful" things.
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Mrs Syd and I had a house devoid of most clutter once in Colorado. We were (relatively) poor and all the crap was in the basement.
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I don't check in every day so I'm late to the game. I've only read a few replies so far.

I met someone who said that everything he owned could fit in the back of his truck. That metaphorical truck drove away from me many years ago and I regret not thumbing a ride.

I moved out of my first house because it wasn't big enough for all my crap. I bought my new house largely because it had a 32 x 60ft storage building (which is now full).

There is very little that I will ever use. I need to get rid of most of it.

I've been trying to purge but it's difficult, then I see those people on American Pickers that have tons of stuff and don't want to sell. That is motivating me.
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vintage red matthew wrote:
I don't check in every day so I'm late to the game. I've only read a few replies so far.

I met someone who said that everything he owned could fit in the back of his truck. That metaphorical truck drove away from me many years ago and I regret not thumbing a ride.

I moved out of my first house because it wasn't big enough for all my crap. I bought my new house largely because it had a 32 x 60ft storage building (which is now full).

There is very little that I will ever use. I need to get rid of most of it.

I've been trying to purge but it's difficult, then I see those people on American Pickers that have tons of stuff and don't want to sell. That is motivating me.
A lot of these "collectors" on AP are actually hoarders. Hoarders think everything they collect has intrinsic value and thus never part with anything. It's very sad when you come across someone that fits the hoarder profile. I have a good friend in NJ who is a hoarder of all things metal. He can't even sleep in his own house anymore because he hoarded out his house with junk. He sleeps at his elderly mom's house. I keep telling him that he can't take this junk with him in the afterlife, so he needs to start parting with some of his stuff. He just laughs when I tell him this. Very sad.
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Mopedlar wrote:
A lot of these "collectors" on AP are actually hoarders. ..... Very sad.
Yes...unfortunately they seem happy in their delusion....but when they're gone it's somebody else's mess.

I wouldn't call my dad a hoarder...more of an "accumulator." Still, a long afternoon pitching stuff from his shop when he died. I blame the Depression. It hit his family hard and I don't think he would let himself let go of anything that had potential use.

It's pretty helpful thinking of what I might leave my family with.
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When I got home from the hospital after barely surviving a hit-and-run, I couldn't believe just how much...STUFF I had. I had been in a hospital room the size of a parking space for several months. A couple thousand square feet of house filled with my former life took several weeks to even compute for me. I never did get used to it again.
I started down the minimalist path with intention in...2012? I got it down to 3-4 minivan loads in 2019 when I moved. Last autumn, I got it down to about 3 loads when I sold the house and was preparing to live on the road. About 2/3 of that is studio equipment (ceramic arts and blacksmithing).

I don't know what kind of timeline you're working with, but the memories/sentimental stuff is definitely the hardest part. I have some good ideas for the practical aspect, but I...didn't exactly take the healthiest approach to sentimental things.

Practical: I packed up everything...EVERYTHING...and stuck it all in one room that I didn't have to go into for day-to-day life. The main/only sorting I did was warm vs cold season use. I unpacked things as I needed them. Everything still in boxes 6-12 months later got either trashed, recycled, or rehomed.

Sentimental: My memory got burned out from the injury, so I figured there was no reason to hold onto anything that didn't immediately pull up a vivid, pivotal memory. Looking back, I kinda wish I hadn't been so aggressive with those things, but I can't remember anything specific I would've kept. Oh, well. It only occasionally pops up in thought...maybe once or twice a year or few for a brief moment, then I'm over it again.

Anyway...here's hoping I at least stayed on topic. Oooh...wazzat? :wanders off:
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Bugger...forgot a thing.
When I was getting rid of things, especially sentimental things, I instituted a "rule of first refusal."
Something that might be passed down, the intended recipient got the chance to say yes or no first. If someone else (assuming I was on good terms with them) was part of the memory the item invoked, same. If they said no, fair game for gone.
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I go through a "minimalist cleanse" every time I move or when I feel overwhelmed by all my possessions. For old photos, the really sentimental ones I keep in a fireproof safe, the others I take a digital photo of it and store it in the cloud and local NAS. Same with awards, knick knacks, souvenirs, old gifts I no longer use or care for.

I just listened to a recent audiobook that reminded why I do the cleanse: https://www.audible.com/pd/B06Y2GKZ39?source_code=ASSORAP0511160006&share_location=library_overflow
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Well Jess, I guess I was in a very similar position a few years back. In 2019, we sold, gave away or trashed nearly everything I ever acquired and moved to Portugal from the US. I sold stuff on eBay, Craigslist, Nextdoor and yard sales. We made lots of trips to Goodwill and The Salvation Army. Made some donations to schools (old camera gear and golf equipment), sent some random boxes of "stuff" to family around the country, put boxes of things on the curb with a "free stuff" sign and posted a notice of such on Nextdoor, gave things to friends and neighbors and had a wine party in the garage in which attendees were required to take books home to earn their wine tasting. Overall, the process was quite liberating. It starts easy and then gets tough at times. But then when the clock was ticking down, it was just everything must go and all emotion was detached. We did ship a 4x4x6 foot pallet and traveled with 6 bags. I know many people that made the move with the bags only and a few that moved their entire household in a container. I'm happy with how we did it. I really don't miss anything. Most things that I need/want were replaced. However, we are much more careful about acquiring stuff and I have very little/no interest in buying anything that is non-utilitarian (except art). The process helps one to focus on what's really important in life. For us it is experiences and family/friends. If you haven't seen it in a while, watch George Carlin's classic routine about "stuff". Best wishes!
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Vin61 wrote:
Well Jess, I guess I was in a very similar position a few years back. In 2019, we sold, gave away or trashed nearly everything I ever acquired and moved to Portugal from the US.
Hey, thanks very much for the thoughtful reply. And yes, you appear to have already done what I am currently going through.

If you're willing, would love to hear (either in this topic or privately via PM, at your discretion) more about your transition to Portugal -- what city, what visa, the things you had trouble with, the things you didn't have trouble with, and so on.

Thanks!
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Bom dia Jess, I will PM you but also post some general thoughts. We received D7 visas and live about 30 minutes south of Lisbon. Overall, the transition to Portugal for us was surprisingly easy. Usually language is not a huge barrier because so many people speak English and often are eager to use it. We are taking private português lessons but it will be a long process. We also found it easy to make friends - both português and with the diverse expat/immigrant community. The things that were/are difficult is …um difficult to identify. I think that it is the obvious - deciding to live in a different culture than the one I spent the majority of my life. How well one adapts is directly related to how rigid or flexible and open the person is. Quite honestly, we feel very fortunate every day. That goes a long way to smooth the small warts and bumps along the way.
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Uh oh...
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GBaby wrote:
Uh oh...
You're jettisoning those, right?
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jess wrote:
You're jettisoning those, right?
Yes, of course, obviously, except for, well, you see...

It's easy and pleasant to ditch the commercially produced ones by known entities but most of these seem to be homemade and date back to my days as a barnstorming musician so there are a lot of song demos, practice tapes, live shows, mixtapes made just for me by the girl in New Orleans or Portland, and priceless examples of the funny stuff people used to pass around before the internet. Sort of like the slides and negatives of sound.

Of course if I want to hear Buddy Rich yelling at his band in ways that I've internalized and use to this day, I can just click on in over at youtube, but it's not as fun.

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GBaby wrote:
It's easy and pleasant to ditch the commercially produced ones by known entities but most of these seem to be homemade and date back to my days as a barnstorming musician so there are a lot of song demos, practice tapes, live shows, mixtapes made just for me by the girl in New Orleans or Portland
Guilty as charged. I have gotten rid of almost all my cassettes, but these are the ones I still have that I can't seem to let go of. I don't even own a cassette player, let alone the 8-track recording console I used to have, let alone an MD player (or recorder).

Sadly, the one that I most cherish (that seems to be missing) is the soundboard recording from a live gig I did at Hooligans (in Milwaukee, WI) somewhere around 1991. The crowd's reception was somewhat lackluster, but my on-again-off-again girlfriend was standing at the back of the room with her friend/room-mate, and I did an impromptu dig at my girlfriend in the middle of one of the songs -- not naming her by name, but it was clearly directed at her. In the recording, you can hear her friend/room-mate cackling as she figured out what I was doing. It was priceless.

Ah, to be 24 and stupid again.
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jess wrote:
Sadly, the one that I most cherish (that seems to be missing)...
This! I poked through that whole box looking for one particular cassette, the best one, and it's not there! How can it be?
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GBaby wrote:
This! I poked through that whole box looking for one particular cassette, the best one, and it's not there! How can it be?
It was probably in that one cassette player you chucked a few years back.
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jess wrote:
It was probably in that one cassette player you chucked a few years back.
Or car.
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GBaby wrote:
This! I poked through that whole box looking for one particular cassette, the best one, and it's not there! How can it be?
Or like some of us, we put it in a place we thought we would not forget, and of course later forgot.
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Late to the party, again!

I envy you Jess, being at the tipping point of getting away for good. I've been in a similar boat, not trying to downsize to move, but just get rid of all those things that have piled up over the years. Between losing both parents, selling a business, being the repository for my sister's and her husband's downsizing, not to mention all my junk, my home looks like a train wreck.

One thing that I have tried, several times, is the 30 day challenge. Day1- get rid of 1 thing, Day2- 2 things, Day3- 3 things. So far I've managed to get up to day 17-18 before I loose steam. I've tried this for about three times. I've made a small dent, but it allows me to clear out the easy stuff, before I really need to concentrate on the harder things. Those more difficult decisions are things like what to do with the container with the residual of my Mom's cremains. We took some of her to scatter at a summer camp we all enjoyed as kids and teens. I mean really... What do I do with that mostly empty plastic bag? It really tears at my emotions.

I hope you can find some peace and direction to get you closer to Portugal, or where ever you end of enjoying your retirement. Cheers!
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starreem wrote:
I hope you can find some peace and direction to get you closer to Portugal, or where ever you end of enjoying your retirement. Cheers!
Excellent advice, Starr! I had not heard of the 30 day challenge. I'm intrigued.

Also, super happy to see you around these parts. Genuinely.
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2019 Honda - The Monkey 2023 Honda - The Super Cub
Joined: UTC
Posts: 647
Location: Somerset England
 
Addicted
@somerset avatar
2019 Honda - The Monkey 2023 Honda - The Super Cub
Joined: UTC
Posts: 647
Location: Somerset England
UTC quote
There's nothing quite as cathartic as disposing of your past.

It's the present and future that really count.

somerset
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