Downsizing… Any Age Qualifies

 

We sold our house and we’re moving. It was very unexpected, but leong story short: we noticed a few quick sells in our neighborhood (for a lot of money), and my husband kept telling me stories of clients, who told him “people” knocked on their doors, and offered any asking price! Wow! Are things that bad in all those wretched, crime-riddled, police-hating states?  Apparently so, because it’s not COVID that’s causing all these East and West Coast license plates showing up on our roads, it’s our once-beautiful major cities being burned, looted, trashed, and becoming un-inhabitable that’s driving the red-hot relocation and housing boom.

So we tentatively dipped our toe, threw out an insane asking price, and within twenty-four hours, had five showings and two offers above listing price.  We took the all cash offer and ability to lease back cheap for two months. Our heads are spinning, but thank you Democrats for driving people to my beautiful, police-loving, calm and sensible state.  We were able to fund our retirement three and a half years earlier, and are in the process of building a new house in a new area (of course it’s the same state and not Portland!).

With many blessings comes many headaches, sometimes migraines.  Let’s start with the insane rental market while we wait for our build.  Crazy, price-gouging rent amounts and five-page applications (each one for a fee and each family member has to fill out and pay it, even though a married couple is moving together) have consumed our thoughts.  Everything gets rented within days, just like homes going pending within days.  I don’t want to be homeless, so I filled out the insane applications twice and paid two fees for one house, non-refundable if we fail to qualify.   The only question they don’t ask is your blood types.

So I’ll get to downsizing.  We’re old enough and we have moved enough to know how much of a headache it is to purge and pack. Yet, all “our stuff” demanded to be dealt with.   Ok, I’m the saver, the sentimentalist, the ‘I might need this later’  half of the arrangement.  So five boxes belong to my husband, his clothes, music equipment, and tools, and the other sixty-five boxes are mine.

What are your weaknesses?  Mine are books, anything Christmas and photos. Boxes and boxes and boxes of all three: the heaviest items known to man.  I could have collected interesting feathers or stamps.  My aching back in protest created moments of insanity where I just threw things in boxes and marked donate, just to get relief.  I donated huge containers of dishes (many vintage), books, clothes, baskets, trinkets, garden supplies, furniture and I felt good about it (after), that three different charities can make money off things I have enjoyed for years and didn’t really need.

I should have been doing this for years.  I can really embrace the digital age now, after hauling huge, heavy bags of personal files to be shredded, and 15-gallon trash bags full of just paper.  Fortunately, UPS offers a shredding service for cheap.  It’s funny, but the things that mean so much to us probably don’t mean that much to others.  Those local antique shops loaded with memorabilia from yesteryear are still collecting dust, just somewhere else.  New generations want new things.

Letting go frees up our time to do other things – I get it.  It’s a hard lesson for us pack rats. My neighbors’ open garage doors reveal that same sentiment.   As we get older, it’s also physically strenuous to purge, pack and move.  So do yourself a favor, review and purge your belongings regularly, and donate to help others.  Sort those priceless photos and send them to relatives now.  You know you won’t fit into those shorts next year if they don’t fit this year.  Let it go and buy some new ones.   You’ll thank me later.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 29 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    Best of luck on your new endeavor! My husband and I are in the process of a (much smaller-scale) downsize because of an up-size. A storage room being turned into a nursery meant a literal truck load of books went to a reseller last week. Overly optimistic husband estimated $50. I estimated an eye-roll. We ended up $7 richer, but the freedom from the burden of “stuff” is priceless- along with a new stage in life. Looks like we all need to give a little to get a little. Keep us updated on the new home!

    • #1
  2. John H. Member
    John H.
    @JohnH

    I could have collected interesting feathers or stamps.

    Words to live by! Not that I ever did.

    And not that they take up much space, but my own favored acquisitions have long been tools, maps, and dictionaries. One way or another, though, I have somehow come to own quite a lot of other voluminous and incompressible stuff…

    • #2
  3. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    Best of luck on your new endeavor! My husband and I are in the process of a (much smaller-scale) downsize because of an up-size. A storage room being turned into a nursery meant a literal truck load of books went to a reseller last week. Overly optimistic husband estimated $50. I estimated an eye-roll. We ended up $7 richer, but the freedom from the burden of “stuff” is priceless- along with a new stage in life. Looks like we all need to give a little to get a little. Keep us updated on the new home!

    That’s a great reason to purge Jenna – best wishes to you too!  

    • #3
  4. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Front Seat Cat: What are your weaknesses?

    Books, pictures, and momentoes.

    I got a library of books.

    I kept all of Mom’s pictures after She passed away last year. Generations and generations and scores of Families throughout decades.

    I began collecting monentoes of eventful times and events since I was a kid (at least I thought so). Examples: an empty bathroom tissue roll from when We TPed a guy’s house when We were teens. A dented BEER can from a party that a Friend crushed it on someone else’s head, also as teens. Hotel keys, matchbooks, pamplets, drinking glasses….. Boxes of stuff. I could pull something out and share an entertaining story behind it.

    January ‘91 Me and a Friend were watching the news and they were interviewing antiwar protesters in Dallas. Well, We went to the store, bought some markers and poster boards and wrote ”Support the Troops” and “U.S.A” on them. We got to Dallas across the street. Us two and Our signs. The horns were honking. A tv station came over to interview Us.

    ”Who do Y’all represent?”

    Robert, “We represent the U!S!A!”

    I still have those poster boards.

    • #4
  5. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I was fortunate that although I had a lot of stuff in Phoenix, including some in storage, but part of the deal I made with the buyer was that THEY pay for moving all my stuff.  Since I wasn’t doing it, I didn’t need to “downsize” anything.  Even $8 floor lamps from Walmart came with me.

    I didn’t squeeze the last dollar out of the sale that way, but it was much easier and much quicker.  And I didn’t have to rent some other place in between. Took about two weeks and I was moved, arrived at my new place just a few days after closing, driving one of the THREE 26-foot U-Haul trucks, the biggest they have, that were packed and loaded by other people.  And when they got here with the other two trucks, they unloaded everything too.

    • #5
  6. I. M. Fine Coolidge
    I. M. Fine
    @IMFine

    I just went through what your post describes — I completely downsized, throwing out or giving away close to 80% of things I once thought I just couldn’t live without. “Purge” is exactly the right word! It’s so freeing, isn’t it.

    However, I didn’t sell my home. I “traded” houses with my daughter and son-in-law; they needed a bigger house for their growing family and I am very happy in their cozy starter-home. She will inherit my former house anyway and this made the most sense. We just took out renter’s insurance on each other’s homes and skipped all of the other real estate brouhaha. 

    My “weaknesses” are also books. I gave away (get ready) over 800. I also had a really big classic film collection on VHS. Why I kept them so long I’ll never know. All gone, gone with the wind.   

    • #6
  7. Dave of Barsham Member
    Dave of Barsham
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    We didn’t downsize (added three kids to the mix, needed a can opener to go to work), but we did something similar. Had a choice of buyers within 48 hours and moved back to TN from Charleston, SC. Funny enough though, we have the same problem. Books. While we (I, honestly) have a big digital library I’m trying to get as many physical books as I can of what I like…and even in a bigger house it takes up space. Enough that the younger part of the brood does a little head tilt and asks…why do we have so many? Kid, you’re gonna wonder why you asked when I’m through….let’s start with thrillers and work our way up to the really important stuff.

    • #7
  8. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    My Mom and Dad born in 1929 and 1928, respectively, grew up in the depression, and it was formative.  Dad was an engineer and craftsman, so nothing was ever discarded even when broke. It was fixed, or if not fixable, used as MacGivered components to fix or build some other useful item.  Somehow, being born during the era of the late 50’s tailfin styled cars, did not save me from the obsessive “it’s broken, save it, it might be useful somewhere else” mentality.  

    And the fact is, I do MacGiver solutions from stuff all the time. There was a time when I went thru my own personal economic depression, gratis divorce and custody battles that left me eating ramen and collecting nickel deposit beer cans from sundry sources to buy gas, so, behaviors reinforced. (My Dad would tell a story where he would run the train tracks to pick up coal that fell off the locomotives, I discovered beer cans from the local club could put $20 of gas in my tank)

    So now my collection is tools, broken steel bits, cable, wood scraps.  I weld together brackets, refit implements for the tractors, It is all junk to anyone else’s eyes, and treasure to mine. 

    My wife wants a small gill to pull behind the small Kubota.  We have one for the big tractor, but she wants one for the future riding arena, and to navigate in the woods where there are too many trees. I have just the right pieces of old industrial shelving to create one… here’s a pic of one very similar to our large one. 

    My poor kids will rue the day I die, and they have to settle my junk pile. 

    • #8
  9. Juliana Member
    Juliana
    @Juliana

    We will be moving within the year, but somehow we are not quite on the purging bandwagon. I am more likely to get rid of something than my husband – we have a huge number of books, knickknacks, railroad memorabilia, and art works (mostly railroad) – and it is all coming with us. There are some things we can try to resell, some things the kids will take, and some things I just don’t know how to get rid of (large pieces of old/antique furniture that need to be refinished). We have extra dishes, but they don’t sell at the antique store where we have a booth, so will most likely be donated. We have started to pack even before we know exactly where we are going, but it is a slow process. Our son will be buying our house when we find something else, somewhere else, but it is time to get out of Dodge.

    • #9
  10. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Juliana (View Comment):

    We will be moving within the year, but somehow we are not quite on the purging bandwagon. I am more likely to get rid of something than my husband – we have a huge number of books, knickknacks, railroad memorabilia, and art works (mostly railroad) – and it is all coming with us. There are some things we can try to resell, some things the kids will take, and some things I just don’t know how to get rid of (large pieces of old/antique furniture that need to be refinished). We have extra dishes, but they don’t sell at the antique store where we have a booth, so will most likely be donated. We have started to pack even before we know exactly where we are going, but it is a slow process. Our son will be buying our house when we find something else, somewhere else, but it is time to get out of Dodge.

    Does your son know what he’s getting into?

    • #10
  11. Juliana Member
    Juliana
    @Juliana

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):

    We will be moving within the year, but somehow we are not quite on the purging bandwagon. I am more likely to get rid of something than my husband – we have a huge number of books, knickknacks, railroad memorabilia, and art works (mostly railroad) – and it is all coming with us. There are some things we can try to resell, some things the kids will take, and some things I just don’t know how to get rid of (large pieces of old/antique furniture that need to be refinished). We have extra dishes, but they don’t sell at the antique store where we have a booth, so will most likely be donated. We have started to pack even before we know exactly where we are going, but it is a slow process. Our son will be buying our house when we find something else, somewhere else, but it is time to get out of Dodge.

    Does your son know what he’s getting into?

    He has already said that if we leave anything it’s going into the dumpster he expects to need. He grew up in this house, so he is eager to get in and change it all around. I say, go for it. We have already told him we will not be on his timeline so he may need to learn a little patience, but I expect to start getting calls after the first of the year from him wondering when we are moving.

    • #11
  12. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Juliana (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):

    We will be moving within the year, but somehow we are not quite on the purging bandwagon. I am more likely to get rid of something than my husband – we have a huge number of books, knickknacks, railroad memorabilia, and art works (mostly railroad) – and it is all coming with us. There are some things we can try to resell, some things the kids will take, and some things I just don’t know how to get rid of (large pieces of old/antique furniture that need to be refinished). We have extra dishes, but they don’t sell at the antique store where we have a booth, so will most likely be donated. We have started to pack even before we know exactly where we are going, but it is a slow process. Our son will be buying our house when we find something else, somewhere else, but it is time to get out of Dodge.

    Does your son know what he’s getting into?

    He has already said that if we leave anything it’s going into the dumpster he expects to need. He grew up in this house, so he is eager to get in and change it all around. I say, go for it. We have already told him we will not be on his timeline so he may need to learn a little patience, but I expect to start getting calls after the first of the year from him wondering when we are moving.

    That’s not what I meant.  He doesn’t mind living in a state/city/whatever that you have decided to flee?  Is he still that young and/or foolish?

    Also, just as an aside, no matter how close your family is etc, don’t carry a private contract/mortgage.  That’s asking for trouble.

    • #12
  13. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

     Most of what I’ve accumulated is in basement bins, waiting to be dumped on eBay or sold to an antique store for pennies on the dollar. It has to be returned to the antique stores, so someone else can pick it up and say “ah hah! This, I have to have! This, I must take home, and know that I have it,  and know that this choice says something about me, and fool myself to thinking this is the end of its journey!”

    I’ve digitized all the items. Looking at a digital copy isn’t the same as holding the real, physical object, but I can’t curse my descendants with this stuff, and by scanning and posting on my website I can share the collections in a way that was never possible before the internet.

    That said, there are two Bins of Obligation my descendants will be required to bear forward. Artifacts that ought not be severed from their origin. I have a hatpin container my Grandmother got at the 1893 World’s Fair. It’s not valuable, but you hold it in your hands, you hold something she had, and no doubt it brought back a remarkable day in her life. My first library card, plastic, embossed, with the Fargo Public Library logo. The certificate my dad got when he crossed the equator on his first ship. Things like that. Everything else can go.

    The part that vexes me is future-proofing all the digital records. I can fit everything on an 8 TB drive. Everything  I’ve created, every song I’ve collected, every image I found and saved, every movie I felt was important, every family photo, every family video. I picked a computer so there will be a means to access them. Multiple backups, multiple formats, multiple locations. But you know that in the end, they’re the last leaves on a bough in a hard November wind. Unless someone bears them forward.

     

    • #13
  14. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Most of what I’ve accumulated is in basement bins, waiting to be dumped on eBay or sold to an antique store for pennies on the dollar. It has to be returned to the antique stores, so someone else can pick it up and say “ah hah! This, I have to have! This, I must take home, and know that I have it, and know that this choice says something about me, and fool myself to thinking this is the end of its journey!”

    I’ve digitized all the items. Looking at a digital copy isn’t the same as holding the real, physical object, but I can’t curse my descendants with this stuff, and by scanning and posting on my website I can share the collections in a way that was never possible before the internet.

    That said, there are two Bins of Obligation my descendants will be required to bear forward. Artifacts that ought not be severed from their origin. I have a hatpin container my Grandmother got at the 1893 World’s Fair. It’s not valuable, but you hold it in your hands, you hold something she had, and no doubt it brought back a remarkable day in her life. My first library card, plastic, embossed, with the Fargo Public Library logo. The certificate my dad got when he crossed the equator on his first ship. Things like that. Everything else can go.

    The part that vexes me is future-proofing all the digital records. I can fit everything on an 8 TB drive. Everything I’ve created, every song I’ve collected, every image I found and saved, every movie I felt was important, every family photo, every family video. I picked a computer so there will be a means to access them. Multiple backups, multiple formats, multiple locations. But you know that in the end, they’re the last leaves on a bough in a hard November wind. Unless someone bears them forward.

     

    The best backup for a book, is still the book.  Unlike the internet, even if a book publisher has been gone for centuries, the books they published don’t just disappear.  Nor can Jeff Bezos come along and change what’s in them, while you’re not looking.

    • #14
  15. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Congratulations on the bit of fortune that smiled your way. Being able to early retire sounds wonderful.

    People are leaving California in such a frenzy that gorgeous pieces of furniture and almost new appliances are available on the cheap  to anyone here who is not also considering leaving.

    Strange times.

     

    • #15
  16. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Congratulations on the bit of fortune that smiled your way. Being able to early retire sounds wonderful.

    People are leaving California in such a frenzy that gorgeous pieces of furniture and almost new appliances are available on the cheap to anyone here who is not also considering leaving.

    Strange times.

     

    The people I sold my Phoenix place to, moved my appliances too.  :-)  The contract was for them to move EVERYTHING, and I made sure they did.  The moving people wanted to stop at just one truck, but I called the buyer and reminded him what the deal was…  Same thing after the second truck…

    • #16
  17. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    We try to purge at least once a year. When we built the garage, we made a pact that it was for the cars, not junk. There are only two other people on our street that can put cars in their garages. We do have an upstairs in it, though. The purge starts in the house. Some things get thrown out right away, some go upstairs to the garage. Then we go through the old stuff in the garage. There are things that have made it though several purges, but this last time was brutal. I had put off getting rid of my sports memorabilia. It wasn’t too hard this go round. We took pictures of them and in the trash they went. We don’t have kids and I don’t want our nieces and nephews to have to deal with this stuff. I have convinced my husband to keep the vinyl records. They go to my niece. 

    • #17
  18. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    JennaStocker (View Comment):
    a literal truck load of books went to a reseller last week. Overly optimistic husband estimated $50. I estimated an eye-roll. We ended up $7 richer,

    Pre-Kindle, Every time I took a load of books to sell at Half-price books, I’d walk out cursing under my breath about the Cheap Bastards.  It always amused my wife.  Her books always got about 5 times as much as mine.

    • #18
  19. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I was fortunate that although I had a lot of stuff in Phoenix, including some in storage, but part of the deal I made with the buyer was that THEY pay for moving all my stuff. Since I wasn’t doing it, I didn’t need to “downsize” anything. Even $8 floor lamps from Walmart came with me.

    I didn’t squeeze the last dollar out of the sale that way, but it was much easier and much quicker. And I didn’t have to rent some other place in between. Took about two weeks and I was moved, arrived at my new place just a few days after closing, driving one of the THREE 26-foot U-Haul trucks, the biggest they have, that were packed and loaded by other people. And when they got here with the other two trucks, they unloaded everything too.

    Wow! You have amazing negotiating skills!  KE – you think like my sister who says if I just move this box of stuff from one side of the room to the other, it’s now out of the way.  When she told me, after going through a pile of junk, she only threw away two things, I told her, “Think of the trash can as your best friend”.   You probably still need to downsize……!

    • #19
  20. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    I. M. Fine (View Comment):

    I just went through what your post describes — I completely downsized, throwing out or giving away close to 80% of things I once thought I just couldn’t live without. “Purge” is exactly the right word! It’s so freeing, isn’t it.

    However, I didn’t sell my home. I “traded” houses with my daughter and son-in-law; they needed a bigger house for their growing family and I am very happy in their cozy starter-home. She will inherit my former house anyway and this made the most sense. We just took out renter’s insurance on each other’s homes and skipped all of the other real estate brouhaha.

    My “weaknesses” are also books. I gave away (get ready) over 800. I also had a really big classic film collection on VHS. Why I kept them so long I’ll never know. All gone, gone with the wind.

    That is a great idea – swapping homes!   I had a VHS/DVD combo and donated VHS and DVD’s, some not even opened! Funny, but I heard on the radio in the car an interview recently where Gen X’ers and the kids are seeking out cassette tapes, and vintage players.  They also love old albums. It’s very hard to find a cassette player – I donated one of those too. 

    • #20
  21. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    My Mom and Dad born in 1929 and 1928, respectively, grew up in the depression, and it was formative. Dad was an engineer and craftsman, so nothing was ever discarded even when broke. It was fixed, or if not fixable, used as MacGivered components to fix or build some other useful item. Somehow, being born during the era of the late 50’s tailfin styled cars, did not save me from the obsessive “it’s broken, save it, it might be useful somewhere else” mentality.

    And the fact is, I do MacGiver solutions from stuff all the time. There was a time when I went thru my own personal economic depression, gratis divorce and custody battles that left me eating ramen and collecting nickel deposit beer cans from sundry sources to buy gas, so, behaviors reinforced. (My Dad would tell a story where he would run the train tracks to pick up coal that fell off the locomotives, I discovered beer cans from the local club could put $20 of gas in my tank)

    So now my collection is tools, broken steel bits, cable, wood scraps. I weld together brackets, refit implements for the tractors, It is all junk to anyone else’s eyes, and treasure to mine.

    My wife wants a small gill to pull behind the small Kubota. We have one for the big tractor, but she wants one for the future riding arena, and to navigate in the woods where there are too many trees. I have just the right pieces of old industrial shelving to create one… here’s a pic of one very similar to our large one.

    My poor kids will rue the day I die, and they have to settle my junk pile.

    Did you ever watch that show called The Pickers where they go to different towns and buy for their stores?  Many of these barns and garages are filled to the top and they have to climb threw it.  They’re offered big money and still haggle.  Their kids will probably call a dumpster company after they’re gone.  I understand your upbringing. My family grew up during those times and did the same things.  My aunt had a used rubber band caddy.  They were always frugal.  When I see these couples with two kids on HGTV buying their first house and it’s 3000 sq. ft. and a million dollars, I just shake my head. 

    • #21
  22. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Most of what I’ve accumulated is in basement bins, waiting to be dumped on eBay or sold to an antique store for pennies on the dollar. It has to be returned to the antique stores, so someone else can pick it up and say “ah hah! This, I have to have! This, I must take home, and know that I have it, and know that this choice says something about me, and fool myself to thinking this is the end of its journey!”

    I’ve digitized all the items. Looking at a digital copy isn’t the same as holding the real, physical object, but I can’t curse my descendants with this stuff, and by scanning and posting on my website I can share the collections in a way that was never possible before the internet.

    That said, there are two Bins of Obligation my descendants will be required to bear forward. Artifacts that ought not be severed from their origin. I have a hatpin container my Grandmother got at the 1893 World’s Fair. It’s not valuable, but you hold it in your hands, you hold something she had, and no doubt it brought back a remarkable day in her life. My first library card, plastic, embossed, with the Fargo Public Library logo. The certificate my dad got when he crossed the equator on his first ship. Things like that. Everything else can go.

    The part that vexes me is future-proofing all the digital records. I can fit everything on an 8 TB drive. Everything I’ve created, every song I’ve collected, every image I found and saved, every movie I felt was important, every family photo, every family video. I picked a computer so there will be a means to access them. Multiple backups, multiple formats, multiple locations. But you know that in the end, they’re the last leaves on a bough in a hard November wind. Unless someone bears them forward.

     

    Your dad’s certificate, the hatpin container – that is sweet and I can relate.  I have my dad’s old fishing bobs and hooks – they’re going to my niece who loves to fish. You digitally recorded your life – that’s a great idea and your heirs will in essence, receive a living diary. Your last comment says it all. 

    • #22
  23. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    kedavis (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Most of what I’ve accumulated is in basement bins, waiting to be dumped on eBay or sold to an antique store for pennies on the dollar. It has to be returned to the antique stores, so someone else can pick it up and say “ah hah! This, I have to have! This, I must take home, and know that I have it, and know that this choice says something about me, and fool myself to thinking this is the end of its journey!”

    I’ve digitized all the items. Looking at a digital copy isn’t the same as holding the real, physical object, but I can’t curse my descendants with this stuff, and by scanning and posting on my website I can share the collections in a way that was never possible before the internet.

    That said, there are two Bins of Obligation my descendants will be required to bear forward. Artifacts that ought not be severed from their origin. I have a hatpin container my Grandmother got at the 1893 World’s Fair. It’s not valuable, but you hold it in your hands, you hold something she had, and no doubt it brought back a remarkable day in her life. My first library card, plastic, embossed, with the Fargo Public Library logo. The certificate my dad got when he crossed the equator on his first ship. Things like that. Everything else can go.

    The part that vexes me is future-proofing all the digital records. I can fit everything on an 8 TB drive. Everything I’ve created, every song I’ve collected, every image I found and saved, every movie I felt was important, every family photo, every family video. I picked a computer so there will be a means to access them. Multiple backups, multiple formats, multiple locations. But you know that in the end, they’re the last leaves on a bough in a hard November wind. Unless someone bears them forward.

     

    The best backup for a book, is still the book. Unlike the internet, even if a book publisher has been gone for centuries, the books they published don’t just disappear. Nor can Jeff Bezos come along and change what’s in them, while you’re not looking.

    That is the biggest worry in this cancel culture and the reason to hang on to many classics – look what happened to Dr. Seuss.

    • #23
  24. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Congratulations on the bit of fortune that smiled your way. Being able to early retire sounds wonderful.

    People are leaving California in such a frenzy that gorgeous pieces of furniture and almost new appliances are available on the cheap to anyone here who is not also considering leaving.

    Strange times.

     

    Thank you Carol!  We’re not retiring quite yet – we still have the motivation and desire to put a few more years in, but now we don’t have to worry so much (we started saving late!).  

    • #24
  25. The Cynthonian Member
    The Cynthonian
    @TheCynthonian

    I went through this last year, and early this year.  It’s exhausting. My late husband had a lot of tools; I had a lot of kitchen tools and dishes, books, and craft supplies.   I kept my vinyl records, but I sold some that were left in our house years ago by a family member.   (He didn’t want them back.).  They sold for surprising prices in the estate/downsizing sale!   So did our old film cameras.  Most of the tool collection sold, but not at the best prices.  I downsized (donated) about a third of my paperbacks, but I have trouble getting rid of the hardbacks.  They’re spilling over the allotted space in the new, smaller house, so one of my projects is to go through them and do another purge.  I should have gone through the craft supplies.  I didn’t take the time, and I moved too much of that stuff.   My niece is going away to college next month and is going to take an extra sofa, love seat, and some duplicate kitchen supplies to her college apartment.

    It is hard physical work, too.   I was consistently getting over 10,000 steps per day during that period, and I lost 10 pounds while simultaneously trying to “eat down” the freezer and pantry contents!

    I can get one car in the garage at the new house, which is all we could ever get at the old house.  My goal is to get the second vehicle in the garage, after my niece takes that sofa and love seat.

    Best wishes as you go through this process!

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I was fortunate that although I had a lot of stuff in Phoenix, including some in storage, but part of the deal I made with the buyer was that THEY pay for moving all my stuff. Since I wasn’t doing it, I didn’t need to “downsize” anything. Even $8 floor lamps from Walmart came with me.

    I didn’t squeeze the last dollar out of the sale that way, but it was much easier and much quicker. And I didn’t have to rent some other place in between. Took about two weeks and I was moved, arrived at my new place just a few days after closing, driving one of the THREE 26-foot U-Haul trucks, the biggest they have, that were packed and loaded by other people. And when they got here with the other two trucks, they unloaded everything too.

    Wow! You have amazing negotiating skills! KE – you think like my sister who says if I just move this box of stuff from one side of the room to the other, it’s now out of the way. When she told me, after going through a pile of junk, she only threw away two things, I told her, “Think of the trash can as your best friend”. You probably still need to downsize……!

    Actually I don’t, since I moved from 1,000 sq ft to 4,500 sq ft.  :-)  And that was the main reason for it, I never had enough space to be able to do anything with my stuff.  I can’t afford to get things just when I need them, and much of what I like the most hasn’t been made in at least 30 years.  So I get stuff when it’s available, and when I can afford it.

    • #26
  27. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    I. M. Fine (View Comment):

    I just went through what your post describes — I completely downsized, throwing out or giving away close to 80% of things I once thought I just couldn’t live without. “Purge” is exactly the right word! It’s so freeing, isn’t it.

    However, I didn’t sell my home. I “traded” houses with my daughter and son-in-law; they needed a bigger house for their growing family and I am very happy in their cozy starter-home. She will inherit my former house anyway and this made the most sense. We just took out renter’s insurance on each other’s homes and skipped all of the other real estate brouhaha.

    My “weaknesses” are also books. I gave away (get ready) over 800. I also had a really big classic film collection on VHS. Why I kept them so long I’ll never know. All gone, gone with the wind.

    That is a great idea – swapping homes! I had a VHS/DVD combo and donated VHS and DVD’s, some not even opened! Funny, but I heard on the radio in the car an interview recently where Gen X’ers and the kids are seeking out cassette tapes, and vintage players. They also love old albums. It’s very hard to find a cassette player – I donated one of those too.

    I anticipated that, and some of the best things in my collection are vintage high-end cassette decks (mostly JVC and Luxman), and turntables.  One example is a Luxman K-15 deck, Rosewood cabinet, that originally sold for up to $1200 new, I got it in the original box with manual, for about $60.

    • #27
  28. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    My husband is the one who wants to save everything “just in case”. And we both have loved antique-ing and collecting. Our garage cupboards have been filled with our “stuff” since we moved in here almost 18 years ago. So I went out to take a look a couple of months ago and came back in horrified. I started out gently with him and convinced him piece by piece that it was stuff we were never going to use again. So I started putting stuff up for sale on Nextdoor. You would be amazed what people will buy. I sold 30 year old appliances (Nesco roasting oven, Ron Popeil rotisserie), all my extra sets of dishes and flatware that have been replaced over the years. I even found a roll of garden netting that hadn’t worked out for us and got $7 for it. Just this morning a lady bought an electric knife sharpener that was 40 years old. So far I’m up to about $1500 in my sale kitty. It’s been hard work but it’s keeping me out of trouble. And if we decide to downsize on the spur of the moment a lot of the work will be done.

    • #28
  29. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    My husband is the one who wants to save everything “just in case”. And we both have loved antique-ing and collecting. Our garage cupboards have been filled with our “stuff” since we moved in here almost 18 years ago. So I went out to take a look a couple of months ago and came back in horrified. I started out gently with him and convinced him piece by piece that it was stuff we were never going to use again. So I started putting stuff up for sale on Nextdoor. You would be amazed what people will buy. I sold 30 year old appliances (Nesco roasting oven, Ron Popeil rotisserie), all my extra sets of dishes and flatware that have been replaced over the years. I even found a roll of garden netting that hadn’t worked out for us and got $7 for it. Just this morning a lady bought an electric knife sharpener that was 40 years old. So far I’m up to about $1500 in my sale kitty. It’s been hard work but it’s keeping me out of trouble. And if we decide to downsize on the spur of the moment a lot of the work will be done.

    Good for you! Funny you mention these old kitchen tools, etc.  My nephew loves to cook, and inherited my aunt’s old stand alone Westinghouse roaster that you plugged into the wall and had a timer. She kept it in the basement. I can’t tell you how perfectly it roasted a whole, stuffed turkey. I tiptoed down as a kid (when asked to check on it and baste it) and ate stuffing. I just sent him her old meat grinder – this heavy-duty metal thing that you screw to a table and it had different wheels to grind with. She made the best ham salad with pickles in that/ you can grind flour – I had the original box. He was ecstatic!  

    • #29