Feeling Overwhelmed with Downsizing

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A Wing and a Prayer

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Hi,

I need to get this house sold whether I get another smaller home base or live full time in my camper. I'm going through 30 years worth of stuff. There are things that are too good to throw away or give away but probably too much work trying to sell for what I would get. So I set those things aside and pick up the next thing. Then I question myself, should I keep this thing or get rid of it? This is going to take forever but I need to have this finished in the next month or so. I'm so sick of stuff.

I know this attachment to stuff is shallow and I probably won't give it another thought once something is gone, but it just seems heart wrenching when you are in the process.

Those of you who went through this, is there a way to streamline this a bit?
 

lenny flank

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You have to be ruthless. Follow the wisdom of the backpacker: "Bring what you need, and need what you bring".

You learn quickly what is a necessity, what is a luxury, and what you can live without.
 

waldenbound

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Exactly, you have to be ruthless. When I first started exploring nomad living, I hung around rv sites, and people there said purging their stuff felt so freeing. It was like being released from a prison of stuff.

Here's a way to get started. Throw away one thing a day. Just one thing. Examine your emotions when you throw that thing away. Are you anxious, worried, sad? Or do you feel energized to throw away even more? First start off with one thing a day, then it'll be one trash bag a day!
 

AbuelaLoca

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I'm going through stuff now myself, AWAP! I really thought I didn't have an attachment to stuff, but it's different when no one wants it. It's been a little heartbreaking that no one finds value in the stuff I've been carrying around from house to house! I really just want it gone... I don't know why it's such a problem!!
 

A Wing and a Prayer

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Well I threw out 4 bags full today and I did feel the momentum building, but a long long way to go.
 

cyndi

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I had enough ery intention of selling my stuff; either at flea markets or a yardsale.

All of a sudden my departure date was two weeks away. I started giving it away. Free pile with a sign in the front yard.

Turns out I was just happy to see it go. Ecstatic, even.
 

Luciano151

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My philosophy is that if I haven't used something for the last six months, I get rid of it.  Also, for example, if I buy a shirt, when I get home I get rid of one. That way, I don't accumulate any more stuff. 

I went through a period of serious downsizing were I got rid of a ton of stuff. For example, I found four rolling pins and I don't even bake. lol. I had similar experiences throughout the time I was downsizing. It gets easier the more you do it. In the beginning it can be difficult, but once you realize 
how much junk you actually have the process gets much easier.
 

TrainChaser

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I'm having the same problem. I am procrasinating like crazy! Of course, I am also trying to fix up an acre of land so it will be salable (the mobile home is an old wreck, no help for that).

I need to separate what I think I'm keeping to take with me, what I think I'm putting into storage, what I'm selling, and what I'm giving away and the rest goes to the dump.

Most of the problem is in my head (I think). I've always been poor, and it scares me that I will get rid of something for a fraction of its value, and then later have to buy the same thing, new. And most of what I've got is of better quality than I can buy -- it isn't the trash that is available today. And I'm not even talking furniture, as most of that will go or is already gone.

Another problem is the tweakers (meth addicts). If I offer something free or really cheap through FreeCycle or Craigslist, they're the first ones on the doorstep, and I simply don't want them here. So I'm piling up stuff for a yard sale.

I will be glad when it's all over!
 

OutdoorFT

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It is very hard. Im currently doing the same thing. I love most of my stuff..But it just sits in closets and collects dust. Idd rather not be anchered to it.
 

CautionToTheWind

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Couple months ago, donated 100 pounds of clothing. Often we won't remember what is missing when it is gone. I wonder about mementos when the time comes.
 

VanKitten

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I have a wrinkle on this problem

I downsized into my car many years ago. But, now I have an entire household of stuff again.

When my Dad passed away last year, my Mom was completely stressing out at the idea of downsizing from a lifetime of stuff. They lived in the same house for 36 years...big house. Plus a 2 car garage and 2 sheds.

Mom passed away 2 weeks ago. I have started a sort. The house is full..floor to ceiling with boxes and boxes.

I am finding the memories of my childhood in those boxes.

I have only 5 more weeks to clear this house.

Most of the truely valuable stuff has already been shipped to my daughter. The next level of stuff with value that is unshippable (think furniture) is being donated to the local Hospice store.
The tools and construction stuff is being donated to the local habitat for humanity store. Clothing is all going to goodwill along with all the housewares.

I have only cleared out about 1/3 so far. It is hard to give away paintings I remember hanging on the walls as a child. Somehow those memories are harder to let go than all the stuff I simply sent to auction more than 20 years ago.

Word of advice...try to get your parents to begin to downsize. The volume of stuff is incredible!
 

KroFlite

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I’m going through a similar situation to the OP myself, and it is tough on so many levels.  I’ve come across a couple books that have been extremely helpful in both approaching the problem and taking action.
 
The first, and I believe best, is “Clutters Last Stand” by Don Aslett.  This one is pure gold-funny, truthful, and eminently useful.
 
The other is “Clutter Busting” by Brooks Palmer.  It attacks the problem from a more physiological perspective.  It really helped in allowing myself to let go of stuff that I had emotional connections with, but were in reality dead weight.  Read it and you will understand what I’m getting at.   
 
I’ve gotten rid of approximately half of my stuff at this point.  I want to cut that by half again by the end of next month-so now the real fun begins.  I already feel like a weight has been removed from me as the stuff has left my life, and am looking forward to finishing the job.
 
There are many other books on the subject, many of them quite good, but I think the above mentioned pretty much cover all the important bases needed to help get the job done.
 

shadowmoss

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For mementos and especially the things sitting around and hanging fon the walls that you want to remember, take pictures.  You can look at the pictures and remember without the actual objects taking up the space.
 

CautionToTheWind

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My mother is a "picture" person. I have some precious pictures from late 1800 to early 1900's. I ruminate about what I would do with them. Coming from a huge family (my mother has/had 60 cousins)... and between my grandparents, 20 siblings. I have one cousin that would cherish them as my mother did. I just want to do right by my mother's wishes. She thinks I will stay in her home when she passes (that I doubt at the moment). Luckily my mother doesn't have a lot of stuff; she's more practical, in that she uses most things stored. She (88 years old) gets after me for my 'stuff.' lol
 

ValerieP

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I am downsizing into a trailer- well, I'm just about done. I did rent a storage space 3x3x4, that is packed full, and I do have several totes full that will ride in the back of my truck, but I'm almost done. I found that sorting through several times allowed me to let go of more things. I took 22 loads to Goodwill/The Community Thrift Shop and a bunch via the Facebook sale site. I also took several loads to the dump. There will be some left in the house my kids can sell. I am worried about weight, but I think I have my "stuff" down to a manageable amount for now. I've been working on it daily for close to a month. It isn't easy!
 

AbuelaLoca

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CautionToTheWind said:
 Luckily my mother doesn't have a lot of stuff; she's more practical, in that she uses most things stored. She (88 years old) gets after me for my 'stuff.' lol

My mom just turned 85 and has been giving stuff away for 30 years or better. Every time she empties about half a house worth, she goes shopping!! There are some items that my daughter will have to store until my mom dies, but then she's free to sell it.

I have a new problem with a bunch of my stuff... The families that want certain things live many miles away so I either have to deliver it or mail it... Either way ain't cheap!
 

mpruet

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If you just donate stuff to charity then you can take a tax credit.  It is much quicker and easier to do that than to try to find a person to give it to or to try to sell them. 

I don't know if you are in the situation where tax credits are valuable, but this is a rather easy way to get rid of stuff that you no longer need.  And you have the satisfaction that it is going to someone that needs it more than you and/or is going to support a good cause.
 

mpruet

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CautionToTheWind said:
My mother is a "picture" person. I have some precious pictures from late 1800 to early 1900's. I ruminate about what I would do with them. Coming from a huge family (my mother has/had 60 cousins)... and between my grandparents, 20 siblings. I have one cousin that would cherish them as my mother did. I just want to do right by my mother's wishes. She thinks I will stay in her home when she passes (that I doubt at the moment). Luckily my mother doesn't have a lot of stuff; she's more practical, in that she uses most things stored. She (88 years old) gets after me for my 'stuff.' lol

You can take pictures on an iPad or cell phone of all of your mother's pictures.  That way you can carry them with you.  And quite honestly they will last better in digital form.  You can always get the digital form of the picture converted back into a paper form.
 

Nurseypoop

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Read this book:
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Unabridged) by Marie Kondo
https://itun.es/us/xXq54
It was given to me by another full time camper. It helped me a lot with mindset. I am still in process of ridding my self of stuff too. But most of it is sold, given away or thrown away. One done I will only have those things that bring me joy. And of course in our case the thing also has to be useful. The book is a quick read and actually is a national best seller right now. I can't say enough about it. It actually also details how to fold things to get the most use of limited space. Good luck.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

XFILE36

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TrainChaser said:
I'm having the same problem.  I am procrasinating like crazy!  Of course, I am also trying to fix up an acre of land so it will be salable (the mobile home is an old wreck, no help for that).
Where is your acre for sale?  I can very much relate to your post.
 

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