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Semi-OT: De-cluttering - before it's too late
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l***@yahoo.com
2018-03-28 15:53:54 UTC
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Hope you can read it.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/03/27/years-into-war-clutter-and-still-overwhelmed-stuff-what-going/R9jktrIH2ySut5cMCHOSoM/story.html

What caught my eye, at the end, was how one subject said she was "scared straight" by observing the cluttered houses of deceased people, some of whom had been in the process of decluttering. She said everyone thinks they have more years left to live than they really do. (I'm trying to get rid of stuff right now, every day, even though I expect to live at least 30 more years, since you also have to assume that you won't have a strong back for your last 20 years or more.)


Lenona.
Larc
2018-03-28 16:45:55 UTC
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On Wed, 28 Mar 2018 08:53:54 -0700 (PDT), ***@yahoo.com wrote:

| Hope you can read it.
|
| https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/03/27/years-into-war-clutter-and-still-overwhelmed-stuff-what-going/R9jktrIH2ySut5cMCHOSoM/story.html
|
| What caught my eye, at the end, was how one subject said she was "scared straight" by observing the cluttered houses of deceased people, some of whom had been in the process of decluttering. She said everyone thinks they have more years left to live than they really do. (I'm trying to get rid of stuff right now, every day, even though I expect to live at least 30 more years, since you also have to assume that you won't have a strong back for your last 20 years or more.)

"Decluttering" isn't always easy to do, even with a willing back. You look at things
you no longer have a need for and realistically should get rid of, but sweet memories
involving them too often come flooding back. Things that were dear to on-topic loved
ones or maybe central to you in past times sometimes strongly resist getting hauled
off to the dump or anyplace else.

Larc
Terry del Fuego
2018-03-28 17:14:41 UTC
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Post by Larc
"Decluttering" isn't always easy to do, even with a willing back. You look at things
you no longer have a need for and realistically should get rid of, but sweet memories
involving them too often come flooding back. Things that were dear to on-topic loved
ones or maybe central to you in past times sometimes strongly resist getting hauled
off to the dump or anyplace else.
Yes to all of this. Also, I have on too many occasions gotten rid of
things that I thought had outlived their usefulness only to later have
a genuine need for them again.

I just inherited well over 1,000 DVDs and as a result am currently
unable to park my car in my garage. Some of them I'm willing to part
with (and in fact already have), others not so much. There's a
combination of "dear to on-topic loved ones" at work as well as a
genuine desire to keep quite a few because they're movies I'd like to
see some day. There was also a repeatedly-expressed explicit wish by
the deceased that I take them. Unfortunately, at the moment they're
just in total chaos.

I fully understand that most of what I have collected over my lifetime
is unlikely to be meaningful to anyone other than myself. That doesn't
mean I feel obligated to not collect it because some day I'll croak.
J.D. Baldwin
2018-03-29 00:39:57 UTC
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Post by l***@yahoo.com
What caught my eye, at the end, was how one subject said she was
"scared straight" by observing the cluttered houses of deceased
people, some of whom had been in the process of decluttering. She
said everyone thinks they have more years left to live than they
really do. (I'm trying to get rid of stuff right now, every day,
even though I expect to live at least 30 more years, since you also
have to assume that you won't have a strong back for your last 20
years or more.)
A friend of mine died suddenly last November. She wasn't exactly an
out-there "hoarder," but she was a little weird about what she'd hold
onto. I went to Minneapolis to help her de-facto husband clean up
some of her crap. It was eye-opening. The main thing with her was
books -- crazy numbers of books. She didn't just collect them, she
read voraciously and wouldn't / couldn't part with anything once read.
I think the last count was upwards of 5,500 books. Where the hell do
you go to get rid of even 1/10th that many books in one go? The used-
SF-bookstore in Minneapolis is already a firetrap and they won't take
a copy of a book they already have in stock.

Furthermore, I was a firefighter in my city for 12 years, and I've
seen some pretty amazing "clutter" cases. Seriously, if I catch a few
minutes of "Hoarders" when flipping channels, I shrug and say to
myself that I'm not impressed. This problem is both worse than most
of you imagine and far, far more common.

These things were foremost in my mind recently when I moved my
household to the big city. I sold a 2,000-plus square foot suburban
home with an enormous basement and 2-car garage with two full
workbenches, along with ridiculous amounts of utility shelving and
cabinetry ... and I am currently moving into a sub-1,000 square foot
2BR apartment. So while others are doing Swedish Death Cleaning, I'm
sort of in a Norwegian Ragnarok Tidying-Up over here. The downsizing
so far has been *savage* ... and we're still sorting through crap we
never should have brought with us.

Anyway, that's my advice to anyone who wants to downsize but just
can't take those steps: move. When I was in the service, neither I
nor anyone I knew was overburdened with ridiculous amounts of crap --
because we all moved our whole households every 2-3 years.

Unfortunately, Big Corporate America paid for my move, so I had no
strong *financial* incentive to cut things loose. I was limited
mainly by my tolerance for storing / sorting through crap.
--
_+_ From the catapult of |If anyone objects to any statement I make, I am
_|70|___:)=}- J.D. Baldwin |quite prepared not only to retract it, but also
\ / ***@panix.com|to deny under oath that I ever made it.-T. Lehrer
***~~~~----------------------------------------------------------------------
Charles Richmond
2018-03-29 05:38:11 UTC
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Post by J.D. Baldwin
Post by l***@yahoo.com
What caught my eye, at the end, was how one subject said she was
"scared straight" by observing the cluttered houses of deceased
people, some of whom had been in the process of decluttering. She
said everyone thinks they have more years left to live than they
really do. (I'm trying to get rid of stuff right now, every day,
even though I expect to live at least 30 more years, since you also
have to assume that you won't have a strong back for your last 20
years or more.)
A friend of mine died suddenly last November. She wasn't exactly an
out-there "hoarder," but she was a little weird about what she'd hold
onto. I went to Minneapolis to help her de-facto husband clean up
some of her crap. It was eye-opening. The main thing with her was
books -- crazy numbers of books. She didn't just collect them, she
read voraciously and wouldn't / couldn't part with anything once read.
I think the last count was upwards of 5,500 books. Where the hell do
you go to get rid of even 1/10th that many books in one go? The used-
SF-bookstore in Minneapolis is already a firetrap and they won't take
a copy of a book they already have in stock.
You should be able to *donate* the books to the library or to the local
Friends of the Library association. The Friends hold "library sales" to
raise money which they donate to help the library. (Local governments
often reduce library funding and the libraries can use the money raised
through book sales!)
--
numerist at aquaporin4 dot com
W.C. Green
2018-03-29 11:47:56 UTC
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Post by J.D. Baldwin
Anyway, that's my advice to anyone who wants to downsize but just
can't take those steps: move. When I was in the service, neither I
nor anyone I knew was overburdened with ridiculous amounts of crap --
because we all moved our whole households every 2-3 years.
Amen to this. After our children moved away, we downsized in steps from
a five-bedroom house to a condo and a motor coach (used for
church-building projects every year.) Knowing we have to live in 300
sq. ft for months at a time forces us to choose what we need and what we
don't.

My mother-in-law lived in that house more than two decade.W When she
died three years ago, we spent the better part of three weeks cleaning
out her house. Weather clippings, every letter and ad circular sent
her, magazines, empty cookie tins--all carefully sorted because she
thought no one could call her "hoarder" if she was organized.

We competed to find the oldest sell-by date in her kitchen. A salad
dressing bottle dated 1999 won. She had lived in that house over two decade.

Don't do this to your family.
Terry del Fuego
2018-03-29 13:13:49 UTC
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On Thu, 29 Mar 2018 00:39:57 +0000 (UTC),
She didn't just collect them, sheread voraciously and
wouldn't / couldn't part with anything once read.
That would be me with books and recorded music/movies in any format
whatsoever (ask me about my CEDs!). There's not much else that I'm
especially attached to, but once that stuff comes in, it stays, though
I'll probably make some exceptions for the inherited DVDs, being
reasonably sure I will never watch the entire run of "Murder, She
Wrote". Fortunately, retirement (i.e., no longer being constantly
stressed and angry and dealing with it via retail therapy) has slowed
down acquisition considerably as well as given me the time to fully
appreciate and enjoy what I already have.
Anyway, that's my advice to anyone who wants to downsize but just
can't take those steps: move.
That doesn't work with mental defectives like me who pay to move it
and *then* (maybe) get rid of it while setting up the new place.

I've been in this place 21 years and paid it off quite a while ago. I
expect to croak here.
David Carson
2018-03-29 15:31:38 UTC
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On Thu, 29 Mar 2018 06:13:49 -0700, Terry del Fuego
Post by Terry del Fuego
On Thu, 29 Mar 2018 00:39:57 +0000 (UTC),
Post by J.D. Baldwin
Anyway, that's my advice to anyone who wants to downsize but just
can't take those steps: move.
That doesn't work with mental defectives like me who pay to move it
and *then* (maybe) get rid of it while setting up the new place.
One of my mottos is, everything you own also owns you. You have to
keep it somewhere, which means part of your rent or property taxes go
toward continued ownership of it. You have to safeguard it from being
stolen, destroyed, or damaged by the elements. You may have to keep it
climate controlled, keep it in working condition, insure it, etc. You
never own *anything* without committing part of your time and money to
it. You notice this most with things like boats and motorcycles, but
the principle still applies on a micro scale even with a spoon.

Every company I've worked at, I've seen at least one person with boxes
stacked in a corner of his or her office, taped shut, with stickers
from the move that was done some three to five years ago. I've always
thought that if I were the boss, I would send someone around to
collect all that stuff after hours, take it to a storage room, and
schedule it to be trashed in 90 days. If the owner wanted it back, he
or she would have to explain why they can neither make it available to
be used nor say goodbye to it. And then they would text their friends
about their jerk boss and post their texts to Facebook.
Terry del Fuego
2018-03-29 19:03:37 UTC
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Post by David Carson
One of my mottos is, everything you own also owns you. You have to
keep it somewhere, which means part of your rent or property taxes go
toward continued ownership of it.
I get it. I really do. But this is one of those "There are two kinds
of people" things and no one is going to change. There's probably a
level on which I'd be happier with less clutter but that would be
offset by losing the ability to spontaneously listen to a 100+ year
old record or watch a movie that's way too stupid and obscure to be
available for streaming, even if I didn't hate the way streamers ruin
movies. Just last night I happened to look up on a high shelf and
realize I had a book I had forgotten about, now it'll be the next one
I read.

Of course, there's also at least some laziness at work here. I'm
currently typing this in a room cluttered in part with my long-gone
grandfather's 1930s through 1960s Newsweeks. I called a dealer, got
clear instructions on what he'd need to give me a bid, made a very
detailed spreadsheet, then opened one more box and realized it was a
whole bunch of different stuff that I didn't feel up to cataloging at
the time and...well, now it's significantly over a year later. It
doesn't help that a quick Google suggested that some of the magazines
in that box are individually worth a shocking amount of money. Or,
more accurately, some people out there are asking for a shocking
amount of money. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_(magazine)>
Post by David Carson
Every company I've worked at, I've seen at least one person with boxes
stacked in a corner of his or her office, taped shut, with stickers
from the move that was done some three to five years ago.
The last company I worked for--a name everyone would recognize and
also a complete sewer--had a lot of that because management insisted
that years worth of paper reports be kept nearby even though it was
incredibly unlikely that anyone would ever need to look back more than
a few months.

But hey, I've been gone for about two and a half years now and they
*still* haven't figured out that my home e-mail and cell phone remain
on the distribution list that gets notified every time one of my old
mainframe jobs runs into trouble. The list also often contains
discussions about how to fix said issues along with a healthy dose of
"What *is* that job, anyway?" making it clear that the ignorance,
chaos and apathy have gotten even worse.

Not, of course, that I would ever stoop to gloating.
l***@yahoo.com
2018-04-02 21:31:19 UTC
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Post by l***@yahoo.com
Hope you can read it.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/03/27/years-into-war-clutter-and-still-overwhelmed-stuff-what-going/R9jktrIH2ySut5cMCHOSoM/story.html
What caught my eye, at the end, was how one subject said she was "scared straight" by observing the cluttered houses of deceased people, some of whom had been in the process of decluttering. She said everyone thinks they have more years left to live than they really do. (I'm trying to get rid of stuff right now, every day, even though I expect to live at least 30 more years, since you also have to assume that you won't have a strong back for your last 20 years or more.)
Forgot to say - of course, there's always the chance you could get hit by a car tomorrow and die, no matter how young you are. So the time to start evacuating your attic, basement, boxes, etc, was yesterday.


Lenona.

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