Letting go of Stuff

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RightHand, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I'm an inveterate collector. Books, books, books, art work, art supplies, 3 pianos, 2 guitars, an organ, about 3 dozen old computers/shells and components, tools, stuff and more stuff. I have my own stuff, my parents stuff and my grandparents stuff. Way, way too much stuff.

    As I try to pare down, I read something that made a lot of sense to me. As you take you last breath, what (other than a human being) would you want to be holding in your arms?

    The other thing I constantly ask myself if "do I need this object to remember the person from whom it came? Of course the answer is always "no."

    With these thoughts in mind, getting rid of the unimportant collected remnants of lives, mine and my family, is made so much easier.
    oldawg, Bear, Brokor and 8 others like this.
  2. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    I read a lot and have a hard time getting rid of books.
    Ganado, Tully Mars, Motomom34 and 2 others like this.
  3. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have thousands of volumes. I admit to being a bibliophile and I come by it naturally - during the depression, my grandfather bought a library!

    I agree, books are among the hardest things to part with but I'm finding pleasure in giving some to people I know will enjoy them. My grandson is an avid reader and he's been the recipient of hundreds of books. His poor mother not only had to live with mine as a child but now also has to live with his.
    Ganado, Brokor, chelloveck and 2 others like this.
  4. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose,
    And nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free,"
    Kristofferson and Foster 1969
    Me and Bobby McGee
  5. William Warren

    William Warren Monkey+++

    Here's another way to look at the problem, and it helps me a lot, but YMMV.

    Some people hoard stuff because it provides intermittent, random rewards. In other words, hoarding exploits the same human weakness which leads to gambling addiction.
  6. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Well, if you just happen to be thinking of parting with a certain car, let me know..:D
    RightHand likes this.
  7. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The TransAm or the MGA? Of course, there is the Dodge Van, the Fort SUV, the Dodge Durango....LOL
  8. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    I was thinking of the TA;)
    Yard Dart likes this.
  9. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Stand in line....Daughter has been after that for 25 years and now there is a grandson nippin' at her heels.
    kellory, Ganado, Yard Dart and 2 others like this.
  10. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

  11. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    I can understand why you'd want a tiny house now. [tongue]
  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I disciplined myself a few years ago to stop collecting things, but the effort only proved to slow me down, not stop it.

    Farrier tools, blacksmith items, files, pliers, cobbler's sets, leatherworking items...wool clothing (new or used), iodine liquid and iodine crystals (shelf stable forever), boots (I must have 30 pair), books (I gave away boxes at a time before of fantasy novels), bullets, beans, bandaids....the list is ridiculous. You get the idea. I live in Amish country, it's not tough to find the good old stuff.

    At the end of the day, it's all just "stuff". Try not to let it own you. Your experience is valued far more than material items.
  13. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Part of the problems run into is that I come from people who saw value in being able to fix things and finding what they needed in their workshops. My inheritance was the mindset as well as the workshops.

    I did a blog entry on my dad's workshop which talked about that very thing.

    The Clutter Project – Day 1 – Dad’s Workshop

    ByDee Dickson

    Day 1 – Dad’s Workshop
    This is an interesting process to say the least. Decisions at every turn. What might I use in the future and what can be discarded, given, sold, or thrown. If the afternoon progresses as I hope it will, I will be able to start filling the dumpster I have rented for the purpose.

    My dad’s workshop is a veritable treasure trove of useful items, redundant useful items, as well as things I’m sure even he forgot he had and even if he had not forgotten, I wonder if he remembered their purpose. Such are the arcane remnants of a lifetime.

    There are ammo boxes filled with springs, many ammo boxes of springs. Where had they come from I wondered absently. My parents, and theirs before them, were the original preppers and as such, I’m certain they knew that someday these springs might mean the difference between solution A and no solution at all. I can’t quite envision the exact moment when 100-year-old springs might save my life but one never knows. Put them on the keep side of the room for now I guess.

    And then there are the Model A mechanic’s tools. My very first driving experience was with the Model A my granddad had fitted with an open bed and I was allowed to drive through the woods as I mastered the intricacies of shifting and down-shifting and rocking to release the tires from the quicksand like mud into which I had driven, or landed probably. So the tools, wrenches and such, are still in the workshop although the beloved old Model A is rotting in the dump at the back of the land along with tin cans and old bottles and saw blades with not enough steel left to form any teeth, the handles for these errant saws tucked away someplace in the workshop, I have no doubt, put there to await their eventual resurrection when the need arose. Maybe I can sell the tools on Ebay??? But then again, a tool is a tool and you never know which might be just the one to get you out of some mechanical jam, so to speak. Better hold on to those.

    My dad was a tool hound so the walls are covered with an array of hand, power and battery operated pieces of equipment, each in their special place or boxed on a shelf. I guess I inherited my love of tools from him so as I peruse the array, I find it difficult to part with any of them. Who knows what might come in handy some day in the future. I am sorely tempted to toss the three Black & Decker battery-powered hedge trimmers (batteries not included) but even as I examine these, I am thinking that the trimming edge might be useful if removed from the plastic housing. I’m not sure what for but better safe than sorry.

    Moving on to hardware…..enough said. None of that can be forsaken for the sole purpose of removing clutter.

    Wire, cable, extension cords, assorted lengths of tubing, copper and plastic, chain links, and string and rope and……it goes on an on.

    Then my dad’s first (and only as far as I know) Machinists Tool Box, the one he bought when he worked in the machine gun division of Colt’s, made of oak with drawers lined in green felt. There is a small mirror built into top. How many years has it been since he might have opened that box to find just the right gauge or tap? I open each of the drawers to inspect the contents and in the very bottom I find a thin stack of letters. The rubber band that held them together has turned into a rigid snake-like piece of brown releasing it’s package from the originally intended bondage. Letters, private letters between a husband and his wife and she to him. I question my right to read such intimacies that might be written but in the end I decide that I think they might have liked me to read them so I began. Several hours pass, memories flood my thoughts, tears are shed, smiles are rewarded and my connection to those who created me is renewed once again. To discard those would be like tearing the past out of my life. So, like the steward that I am, I carefully put them in my bag to bring into the house where they will join their brethren as footsteps through people’s lives.

    There are a couple old B&W TVs and rabbit ears – those will definitely find their way to the trash. Even if they work, I have no cable connection nor a roof antenna so it would be impossible to get any signal down here in the valley. It gives me some satisfaction that at least one thing will be tossed. A small victory.

    In the end of this afternoon, I have thrown out 2 TV’s, a half-dozen drill bits that are too short to resharpen, a handful of bent and rusty 6 penny nails, a container of old hand pumice that has separated and smells like old sneakers, a broken hasp, some old, dead D Size batteries, a few rolls of rotted green plastic webbing my dad used to repair lawn chairs. I haven’t exactly filled the dumpster but I still have a whole house, basement, attic and garage to go.

    The process is much like looking over our many children as they sleep and trying to decide which we will sacrifice to the service of the landlord so that he will allow us a portion of his land. An impossible choice so the decision is not to choose any at all, keeping each in their accustomed place.

    Well, the workshop was a really bad place to start but maybe I’ll be more successful in the attic.
  14. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Back when I was in middle school, I acquired an old Army radio with SW and received as well as (I believe) transmitted. It had tubes and everything, was about 3 feet long, about 2 feet high and 16" wide. It was a beast. I remember listening to broadcasts from all over the world. Ended up trading it for a Honda 250 dirt bike. Worst trade ever.
  15. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I had a friend come hold my hand after my divorce when I cleaned out. Made it so much easier to catagorize.

    1) definitely keep
    2) yard sale or maybe keep
    3) Goodwill.

    Those 3 catagorize will simply the decision making process of cleaning out. Doing this changed my life. You have to free up room sometimes to allow new things into your life and as we evolve and change our priorities change so decluttering things that are no longer a priority can be very freeing.
    kellory and Tully Mars like this.
  16. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    You neber know when you might need a Model A tool box...just sayin
    oldawg, Ganado and RightHand like this.
  17. madmax

    madmax Far right. Bipolar. Veteran. Don't push me.

    When we got married we had nothing. Honeymooned in a tent. When I was a kid during the time we lived in a town I went alley hunting for broken things to fix. Can't seem to throw away stuff I know I can fix. But all good things must come to an end.
    "That's it! Drop that 20 yd container right there. Yeah, see ya in a week."
  18. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Laugh if you must but you know those old Model A's, you can't kill them so if I ever need to resurrect it from the dump, I'll have something to use to fix it! AND, those tools are so heavy they would make perfect weapons to use against the marauding Zombies. Now all I need is a good trebuchet. I'll bet either my dad or my granddad had one of those hidden away some place on the property.
    Ganado and kellory like this.
  19. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    "Now all I need is a good trebuchet. I'll bet either my dad or my granddad had one of those hidden away some place on the property."
    Now that you mention it ma'am, I have some experience in the building of such siege engines.......if you truly have a need for one.;)
    Ganado likes this.
  20. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Lol you guys are so funny. My grand parents place was so full of stuff I couldn't stand it so I had Pops come sit on a stool and tell me where to put stuff so he could find it. Since decluttering is my thing and he keeps everything we decided to organize it. He had a list of 1) daily use, 3) monthly, 4) annually and 5) indespensible IF you need it. And I sorted accordingly and sorted out the dust and gunk now he can get around in the shop and storage area.

    The model A tool box lol. I couldn't have thrown that out either it fits in catagory 5
    vonslob likes this.
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