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Old 02-24-2007, 11:47 AM   #1
Driftwoodgal
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Was it hard for you to down size?

I am going through our entire house toss out stuff and marking things for the garage sale. We are moving to another house so I will still have tons of stuff, but the house is smaller so I have to limit things. I am finding that it is hard to let go of the things that people have given to me. I found myself in tears this afternoon when I found cards that were sent to me when my parents passed away.

I thought I would be having the garage sale next weekend.... it might be the first of April at the rate I am going through things.

Sorry I just needed to share with others that have already done what I am doing.

Colleen
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Old 02-24-2007, 12:23 PM   #2
adelmoll
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Colleen, you are doing one of the hardest things a person goes through. And it gets much worse when you go full time and get rid of everything. But remember that they are just things. The memories will remain forever. After fulltiming for two years I can tell you that there is nothing we would do different. So enjoy the memories and keep on tossing.

Helen
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Old 02-24-2007, 12:35 PM   #3
txkrumm
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Colleen,
I cleaned house before we left for school. It was very therapeutic and felt good to "get rid" of the excess stuff that you realize you don't really need!
After living in the camper full time for almost 8 months now, I realize that even the stuff I kept and thought was so important really isn't! Yeah, its nice, but I honestly don't miss it.
Steve and I have been thinking about downsizing from the "big house" to the rental house when all this is over...
Keep up the good work! It will be worth it. Just think, less stuff to dust!
t
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Old 02-24-2007, 02:01 PM   #4
Longwell
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Dust? Did you say dust? Is that a verb?
Never heard it used that way in our house.
I learn something new every day on this forum.
This, however, may not be a good thing - lol.
Larry
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:24 PM   #5
Parrothead
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Colleen
Okay I'm going through the same thing but let me share something with you. You will remember the people that sent you cards and really all they do is bring back that sad time in your life. When my Mother died last year and we started going through things, we found every card both of them (My Daddy died in 1990) had ever received and many letters. It was a huge job. They even had all the cards from when my sister died in 1978. I promised my girls right then that I would not make them go through this. The only thing I kept was my report cards (I have my Mothers, my Fathers and my Grandmothers) so they can show my grandchildren what a good student I was (some of them are not, sad to say). We are both giving up things we have had for many years and lots of things we haven't used or looked at in many years. Yes, it is hard sometimes but the bigger picture looms before us FULL TIMING IN OUR MONTANA! My daughters all have been given their baby books, the newspaper the day they were born and school projects I had saved. I kept one thing from each grandparent and great-grandparent. I have furniture from some of them that we will store. The quilts will be divided up among the daughters. The antique dishes go in storage and my china goes to the oldest daughter. I have the memories of all of these people from my past that I will take with me in the RV because they don't weigh anything or take up any room. Ed is donating some of his Dad's WWII stuff to a museum. My kids have my Dad's stuff. I found it is easier not to read every card and such as it makes it harder although I got some good laughs from some of them. Good luck - you will be lighter when it is all over.
Happy trails........................
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Old 02-24-2007, 07:10 PM   #6
exav8tr
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Cathy and I are going through the same thing. Our house is for sale and we are leaving Alaska. We have accumulated stuff since our marriage in 1969 and every time we look at something we think: We will not see this again. Our main problem is our two boys (both married, no kids yet) live in the lower 48. If we want to keep things we must "Send" to them or put in storage here. Then, IF we ever want another stick house we will have to come up here and haul the stuff down to lower 48. I realize most of it is "just stuff" but seems like every piece has a particular memory attached to it.

This is becoming tougher than I thought it would be. I am trying to remain focused on the "big picture", which is fulltiming, but the feelings are still there....

Phil
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Old 02-25-2007, 02:58 AM   #7
CanDo
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Boy, oh boy, are we ever right there with you! We put our house on the market the other day, the painters have been in painting the whole house, and we've been going through everything. Now some things were easy. We'd look at it and ask each other "What the heck is this?" and, more importantly, "Why did we keep it?" We know it's time to stop on any given day when one of us says "oh, just put it in storage" because that's the easy answer. Dave takes care of the painters and anyone else working around the house during the day, then when I get home from work, we go through more stuff. Our kids want some of our furnishings, but aren't quite in positions to take them just yet, so they will go into storage. Since our kids are here in Virginia and my sister is in Maryland, we'll be back through here on a fairly regular basis, so they will be able to get their stuff when ready. Since we won't have our new 3400 for about 2 more weeks, we still have all the "Monty" stuff sitting in the garage and kitchen area waiting for its new home. It's snowing right now (they were calling for rain), the ice from the storm last week finally melted yesterday, so outside stuff has been kept to a minimum. The dog is freaking out because of all the activity; we think he's afraid we're going to disappear on him. But as was mentioned above - we're keeping sight of the big picture. We leave here on 25 June 2007 (our 30th anniversary!) to start the fulltiming chapter of our lives. It's nice to be able to share (whine) once in a while to those who have been through it or are going through it now. Together we'll get through it. Thanks, MOC Family!
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:02 AM   #8
refocused
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We're doing the garage sale thing next weekend - it's a little premature but got to start sometime - we figure if we haven't used it in a year or didn't even remember we had it - it's time to get rid of it - have filled up half the garage with stuff and still the house is full -

Suzanne
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:29 AM   #9
Tom Gina 06
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We took four months to get everything sold and moved out. Rummage sale continuous 24/7 Just because after we sold off some stuff we added more to it. Actually got a clientel of people that would call or stop by and check every week. Then when it came down to the things that we could not get rid of we gave most of it to close friends for safe perminent keeping. After that we took 7 (household items) truck loads to the VA volunteer services, two truck loads (clothes) to the goodwill. 5 truck loads to the dump for a total of 2800 pounds. One storage unit rented and we were gone. Now when we head back to the storage unit this summer we will go through some of the things we didn't get a chance to decide on before. Throw, donate, and give away again till done or son moves into a place of his own and takes what he can use. The giving away part helped us through the emotional times getting ready to "set ourselves free". The sense of freedom once you get it all done will be a feeling that no one can even imagine unless they have done it.
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Old 02-25-2007, 12:20 PM   #10
Connorsmom
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It sure is hard. I'm going through the same thing, and keep walking out of the room and shutting the door. "I'll get to it tomorrow" is turning into my favorite mantra. But, since my lease is up in June, tomorrow is getting closer and closer!!

I was cleaning out the rolltop desk, and came to a bunch of cards. Inside one of them, I found the eulogy I wrote for my mom's funeral. Wow, talk about bringing back some memories...an entire lifetime of them. It made it harder, because of course I spoke of my brother in the eulogy also, more memories to flash through. My brother passed away on 9-11-91 (40), and my mom followed exactly 15 months to the day later on 12-11-92(59). So, it's rare that I think of one without the other following close behind.

I keep hitting road blocks due to things I need to donate, and I'm not sure where to take them. After my two level fusion last year, I had to use a shower seat, portable potty chair etc. These things are brand new, and I would like to donate them to someone who could really use them. Where do I go?? I thought about a nursing home or something. But who's to say that once I drop these things off, someone who works there won't turn around and sell them instead of give them to someone who needs it?

I have hundreds of books. They used to be so important to me. I used to read 1-2 novels every week. I started out selling them on eBay. But, when you only sell about 7-8 of the 30 posted, you're spending money, not making it. I've searched online to try and find somewhere to sell them, to no avail. Tried the phone book, no luck there either. My only other option is to just put them in storage with my furniture, or give them away to a library or something. Any idea's about this?

Whats amazing is that much of this stuff was so important to me. Yet, when I went on my 25 day vacation a few weeks ago, other than my tools, there was nothing I thought to myself,"man, I sure wish I had that with me". The hardest things to sell will be my guitars...:-( I'll keep two or three of them, but the other's should be sold so that they can be played the way they're supposed to be. Before my injury, music was one of the most important things in the world to me, it was a major part of who I am. Now, well I guess I'm just a little lost, or just headed in another direction. But, I digress...I agree, trying to downsize your lifetime of things is very difficult to do. I keep telling myself just that...they're only things. And I tell myself how much better I'm going to feel when I'm not bogged down with so much STUFF.

Jan
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Old 02-25-2007, 12:56 PM   #11
Parrothead
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Jan
We are donating by having Salvation Army pick up things. It was a charity my Mother supported and since a lot of this stuff was hers, I just kept it up. I've tried to give away the 50+ condensed Reader Digest books but can't get anyone to take them. They will go to SA and hopefully not get thrown away. I'm putting my Michener collection (I have all but 3 he wrote) in storage except for 3 or 4 and then I will trade. I have a lot of 1st Editions (Hardback) so I want to keep them. The "sermon" I posted previously is the one I give myself everyday. Did you think about scanning some of those things and storing them on CD's? Scanners are not expensive now.
Happy trails...................
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Old 02-25-2007, 01:23 PM   #12
Connorsmom
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What an excellent idea!! I never even thought about scanning the cards. Thanks for a great idea:-)

Jan
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Old 02-25-2007, 03:52 PM   #13
jsmitfl
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Connorsmom, Try you local Hospice, they will know someone who can use your things(shower chair). They may have a thrift store also for things you just don't need.
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:15 AM   #14
Driftwoodgal
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Jan,

We live in a small town that has a community library. I am taking all of my hard bound books and donating them to the them. My mother-in-law was a big reader of paper back books and gave them all to me. I must have 300 or more books. I plan on keeping some of them, taking some to a recycle book store, and trying to sell some at the garge sale.

I too have shut the door, but it is now keeping me awake at night so I am on a mission to get it done. I know I will start sleeping better once this is done.

Sue, thanks for the words of encourgement. I will try to keep your post in mind when I am looking at the keep pile and the other piles. I am getting better about not putting so much in that keep pile

Good luck to everyone that is going through this process. I for one will be glad when it is done. Here is wishing you all the best during your transition. God Bless you and yours.

Colleen
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:39 AM   #15
exav8tr
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What about some of you guys? I know over time we collect alot of "stuff". I have many tools, you know the ones you don't use every day, but are there in case you need to? Have a few guns also, I guess I will have to try and sell them. Garden things, power sprayer, snow blower, riding lawn mower, Things like this. What did you guys do with it all???

I am considering an auction house to just come in and do a total liquidation. Anyone do this? Can't seem to wrap my mind on what to throw out and possibly what to store. Suggestions????
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:46 PM   #16
vickir
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We used an auction service and would do it again in a heartbeat! I know others here have as well, but right off the top of my head the only one I can remember is Stiles Watson. It's stressful enough having to go through and sort through years of accumulated stuff ... using an auction service eliminates the stress of not only holding sales but also getting rid of the stuff that didn't sell. Also eliminates the possiblity of any "second thoughts" you might have on anything you've put in the sale

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Old 02-26-2007, 04:40 PM   #17
catsR4me
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I'm the other half of Phil P.; this is my first post. I have to say this process of getting rid of a lifetime of STUFF is really difficult. Things that we acquired when we traveled to Spain and England over 30 years ago has lots of memories attached and some value also. However, I've found that it helps to remember that when all is said and done, I won't be taking any of this STUFF with me when I meet my Maker. That's when it will become our kid's STUFF. So we've asked both our boys and their wives what they want (emphasis on "want" since I don't want them to take it out of any sense of obligation to spare our feelings). Like Phil said, our problem right now is that to send them anything requires shipping over thousands of miles. But once we send them what they do want, the rest goes up for sale or will be donated. To put anything in storage means traveling all the way back to Alaska to get it and we're not sure that would be worth the trip. Even still, there are a few things that it's really hard to think about giving up. Although Phil & I will be full timing for awhile, I know that eventually we'll want to acquire a home again. It's scary to think about doing that without any of our STUFF and starting all over!
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Old 02-27-2007, 02:28 AM   #18
gkbutler
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When we decided that we were going to go fulltime, we called all of the kids and asked them what they wanted of our "stuff". They all took what they wanted. What was left was donated to the Goodwill. Our books went to the CG where we spend the summer. They have a nice reading room, so we can visit them when we are up north.

Going through all of the papers, pictures, and records we had accumulated over the last twenty five years took several months. I think that was the hardest part. I also had kept every card I had received from Karen and the kids from the very first one. They brought back a lot of memories and it was very hard to part with them.

It was scary at first to walk away from the structured lifestyle we had known and our 1800 square foot house with a deck and two beautiful gardens, but as we look back over the last sixteen months; we have really enjoyed our new lifestyle. I only wish we had done it sooner!!
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Old 02-27-2007, 04:05 AM   #19
adelmoll
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We had our kids take whatever we wanted first and then hired an Estate Sales team to sell off the rest. They came in and took care of everything. It was well worth the commission that they kept.

Each of us took a big shoe box (mine was a boot box) full of things that we just couldn't give up.

Bill took the tools with that was needed for the truck and Tana and the rest went to the grandkids. Now that we have bought a lot in Florida we have had to replace a couple of rakes and shovel but it didn't amount to much. It is surprising though that most tools we might have needed, someone at the campground has for you to borrow.

As far as the snow blower and lawn mower, that was the first thing to go and sure don't miss them. If and when we return to a stick house, it will be small and none of our furniture would have fit in anyway.

We have no regrets in the way that we did things.

Helen
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Old 02-27-2007, 05:11 AM   #20
stevemc
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I'm not sure we'll ever be able to fulltime. I'd love to be able to simplify our lives to that point. It seems like we get to the point where we're spending all of our time and money just just taking care of all the stuff we've accumulated over the last 30 years. Very little of it is essential to our daily existence. But I don't think my wife would ever be able to give up the security of her stick house. She still stockpiles non-perishable groceries and supplies for the next great depression, nuclear war, or global natural disaster (whichever comes first).
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