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Thread: Getting rid of stuff

  1. #1
    Elite Member azoria's Avatar
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    Default Getting rid of stuff

    We are now just about 60. We have stuff and more stuff. Stuff in storage in two different states and a current apartment with garage full of even more stuff.

    I have some pretty great stuff. In storage in California I have the last of my grandmother's stuff (born 1894) which has been in storage since 1985. In Spokane WA I have a 4 bedroom farmload of stuff which has been there since 2003. In my garage and my apartment here I have 5 years worth of stuff, including a lot of really cool stuff I brought back from 5 years of living in Russia. I have several boxes of Russian books, a lot of heavy winter wear (including fur stuff) and plenty of Russian tchochkes.

    I have stuff galore.

    But I need to get rid of all this crap even though I feel like I can't part with a single thing. My kids are itinerant renters who I fear will never have a permanent home. Moving stuff in the US is crazy expensive these days, so it's not worth anybody's while to haul this stuff somewhere else. I am stuck with a bunch of fascinating expensive stuff not worth a shit.

    I am outta here in the next two years and I have all of this great crap which is/was costing me a fortune, and which I need to get rid of. And yet I have no idea how to deal with it.

    Keeps me awake at night. Wish I had never never owned all this cool stuff. I just don't know what to do with it all.

    End of message/

  2. #2
    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    Start having yard sales?

  3. #3
    Elite Member azoria's Avatar
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    You want me to yard sale my grandmother's wedding presents from the 1920's....in a place a thousand miles from where I am?

    It's all the schitz. I don't even have a car. I never expected life to turn out this way.

    The moral of my story is: Stuff is a burden. Don't get involved with it. It's no good.

  4. #4
    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    You could certainly tag sale the stuff in your garage.

    How about auction houses near the stored stuff? Look online to see if there are any nearby and willing to basically do it without your physical presence. I bet there are.

    Or you could just not pay the fees on the storage ... they'll confiscate the stuff.

  5. #5
    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    You could consider contacting one of those HGTV shows that does estate sales and stuff. will see to formal appraisals and make sure you get a fair sales price. You could then pare down to your most important and memorable items and consolidate them in one storage unit. You must be paying a fortune in storage fees.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Might be worth it to have a real appraiser look over your oldest stuff. Bound to be at least a couple of treasures in there.
    Then, check out Ebay. You could run an onlne business for the next 2 years.
    Donate the clothes right away. Some poor soul could be using that winter stuff right now. Try to set small goals, like some stuff gone every week and soon you wil have eaten this whole elephant painlessly.
    All of us accumulate too much junk. I am working on mine,too. I have a nightmare of my son & sister having to wade through my stuff. My sister would be highly critical! I am doing a Keep,Giveaway,Garbage pile thing.
    May the Force be with us!
    azoria likes this.
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  7. #7
    Hit By Ban Bus! rockchick's Avatar
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    i'll send you my address.

    But seriously, auction houses are a good idea, as is Ebay.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azoria View Post
    I feel like I can't part with a single thing.
    You've already been parted from one batch of it since 1985 and from batch two since 2003. It's a tough thing to realize, but you aren't under an obligation to be the keeper of the stuff of dead relatives just because it was theirs. Find out if anybody in the family wants a few bits and let the rest go. You aren't enjoying it. Nobody is enjoying the things if they're in garages or storage units.

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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    I agree with Twitchy. You aren't obligated to keep things from dead relatives. Pick through some things that you like, see if family wants the rest and let it go. My aunt was left a doll collection from my great aunt that filled two rooms. While my aunt was touched at the gesture (these meant a lot to my great aunt), she had no interest in the dolls. She kept one or two she remembered from when she was a child and sold the rest. My family did the same with my grandparents stuff. My grandfather got sick and died within a few months and my grandmother couldn't live on her own. All of their stuff went into storage, aside from photos and what my grandmother wanted to take to my aunts house. After my Nana passed away, we got rid of all the furniture and most of their clothes, shoes, etc. It feels weird, but in the end, it's just stuff. We kept the things that reminded us of them.

    I'm imagining you'll have to go to these places to start clearing them out. Contact thrift or antique stores in the area and have them meet you at the storage or property. Let them take what they want and pay you. What's left, call Goodwill or AmVets (or the like) and have them pick up the rest.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    Not only is nobody enjoying grandma's stuff in storage, it's probably cost you far more in storage fees than it was ever worth. 28 years, really? Do you even know or remember what's there?

    If you cannot afford to go to the stuff to sort through it (which might be for the best, really) I agree you should contact some consignment/antique/estate people in the area and have them go look at it. See if you can wholesale it out to them. Get at least a few bids. Then just be done with it.

    When my mom died two years ago, I was faced with what to do with it all, and selling her place. It's definitely not easy going through a loved one's possessions and deciding what to keep and what to let go, from the sentimental (my mom kept every card anyone ever gave her it seemed, and I still have boxes of pictures to sort through) to the good, expensive items (furniture, china) that you have no room for and will never use. We were planning to have an estate sale, but the house sold in a week and we had to get everything out. The estate sale firm I was working with ended up wholesaling everything out to one buyer, which brought less money than I had anticipated, but it also took a huge load off my shoulders. I think in the long run, it was easier because I wasn't faced with going back there and agonizing over what to leave and what to keep. I made those decisions quickly and just had to put the rest out of my mind and move on. I still have plenty of things in my home that belonged to my mom and will always remind me of her when I see or use them. The rest of it was just stuff, from someone else's life.

    As for your own stuff, not sure if I have any good advice, because I have a bit of an issue with parting with my own stuff too.
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Everyone's already gave great suggestions, but here's another I would throw in. After you have your grandmother's things appraised, you could also donate some of it to a museum or historical society. I'm all for auctions and antique stores, and I think a lot of things should be used no matter how old they are, as long as they're still functioning. But if there's anything that is rare or from a specific date and place (like a wedding picture from the church where your grandmother got married), the town or county might be interested in archiving it as part of their history. I understand it's difficult to toss things in a yard sale, or eBay, but if it finds its way into the hands of a collector or museum, you at least have some sense that those things may not be lost or mistreated and other people may enjoy it, or learn something from it, 100 years from now. No guarantee of it either way, but it's another idea.
    Kathie_Moffett likes this.
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    Elite Member azoria's Avatar
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    You know what's funny, my dad and his wife, now in their mid 80's, are selling their home and moving to a retirement community. They wanted me to take some of their stuff! I politely declined. (it was hard though)

  13. #13
    Gold Member Mercer's Avatar
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    So, where are you going in 2 years?

  14. #14
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    ^that line in the OP made it seem like azoria has an expiration date.

    i HATE clutter. like twitchy said, the stuff that isn't stored in your house has been gone for years. you have looked at it or touched it so get a professional in there to tag & bag it and be done.
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  15. #15
    Elite Member azoria's Avatar
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    It is our *plan* to move to south America within the next couple of years.

    The most we can take with us is a couple of suitcases.

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