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Old 29-01-2016, 14:24   #1
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"Peak Stuff"

This last week, an exec for IKEA did an interview on National Public Radio regarding the "stuff" that we collect as we go through life. This subject has been cropping up over the last few years, in effect, considering if we as a collective species have reached our maximum capacity to pack our living and storage spaces with all sorts of quasi-useful artifacts and detritus. Due to a change in my lifestyle, and that I had been remodeling my boat's interior prior to a long awaited cruise over the horizon, I have begun moving back aboard. As I began to remove paint, materials and extra tools from the boat, and as I began to transfer personal belongings from a friend's garage to a storage locker, and as I began to fully realize the volume and weight of gear that I had been previously storing aboard, I had an epiphany. How the hell did I get a hold of so much crap during this cycle on planet Earth? And what the hell am I going to do with all of it, because there is no way that it will be going with me over the sea.

I'm talking hundreds of pounds of lead dive weights, fishing weights, ballast bars (from other folk's boats), lead shot. Four dive bottles, old dive gear, several sizes of classic spear guns, salvage gear, that I'll never possibly use again. Camping gear, books I've collected, big, heavy tools (like a contractor grade scroll saw, table saw, band saw, dust control system, table sanders, and huge cabinets of fine tools). Then there are the archives of photos, documents, and other "irreplaceable" wads of paper and "stuff". The countless boxes of hardware extras that have been accumulating for years, so buried beyond access that when I needed them I had to buy new ones just to keep moving. And all of the neat stuff that I came across thinking, " I've got just the use for this solid bronze anchor kellet, those emergency kerosene brass running, anchor and steaming lights sized for a sixty foot wooden schooner, hundreds of pounds of stainless hardware, wire, cable, and electrical hardware, arrrghhhhhhh! Where did I go wrong?

So, a couple nights ago, at three A.M., my magical thinking moment, it came to me. I could either simply go sit on an ice flow and let a polar bear solve my problems, leaving the disposal to some poor unfortunate to sort through all this stuff, or I could bite the bullet and get on with things. But, what to do? Then the polar bear idea came back, but cashing out didn't appeal to me until I thought more clearly, why not treat it as a "cashing out" of available assets? Go in with several boxes or trash cans and start at one end and work to the other. Trash for stuff that I couldn't give away, use or sell (while still separating for recyclables). Give aways, especially if I might need to use them in the future (ladders, bikes, special tools). Selling some stuff on Craig's List or the swap meet, or CF's Classified Ads. And, for all those duplicate hardware things I'd collected, still in their original boxes, I'd take them back to the marine store for in-store credit, which I'll use eventually. Then, the only stuff left will be treasured archive stuff, old photos and slides, etc. That kind of stuff I can stash in someone's garage or attic and let them trash it if I croak. And the rest of the gear will, hopefully, be the residue that gets installed back on the boat. But when it does get there, I will weigh it first on the yacht club's certified anglers scale just so that I am conscious of the total weigh of crap that I'm loading on my multihull. So, there you are. Over the next couple months I'll be listing some of these "treasures of the bilge" on the CF classifieds so that folks with special needs, excess disposable cash or greater storage capacity can benefit from the fire sale prices I will be offering so as to "cash out" and cast off with a higher waterline and fuller bank account. Stay tuned. There is some very cool stuff about to hit the CF Classifieds.
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Old 29-01-2016, 14:34   #2
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

2nd week into retirement. My Wife hit the BIG idea, just pile the **** behind the house and have someone come to haul it away. BRILLIANT! I'll tell you how it works out.
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Old 29-01-2016, 15:41   #3
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

I'm getting rid of it in stages. We just moved into a rental house and got rid of truck loads of stuff.
Question can you write off any of the stuff you gave to Goodwill? Limits?
I say stages as I give up for awhile, then restart, I should get quite a lot of money, but most stuff like an expensive refrigerator, I can't even even sell it at 1/4 the price, end up trying to just give it away as opposed to throwing it away.


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Old 29-01-2016, 17:42   #4
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

There is a great freedom in non-ownership!
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Old 29-01-2016, 17:59   #5
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

I wholeheartedly agree with the concept.

But I have significant problems with its implementation.
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Old 29-01-2016, 18:03   #6
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

" Then there are the archives of photos, documents, and other "irreplaceable" wads of paper and "stuff". Then, the only stuff left will be treasured archive stuff, old photos and slides, etc. That kind of stuff I can stash in someone's garage or attic and let them trash it if I croak"

You have an alternative here
Did you ever consider having all your paper photos and other irreplaceable
printed items Digitized and put on a thumb drive?
PM me if you need more info, this is my business.
I also urge you to not just stash your stuff haphazardly in someone's
garage or attic. I have had customers come to me with one of a kind photos
that were stored this way only to have water damage, smoke damage,
animal damage, fire damage and become unrecoverable.
The comments are always " I don't care about the house or my stuff
But I'm heartsick that all my family photos are gone"
Cheers
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Old 30-01-2016, 00:15   #7
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

I purchased my house 12 years ago, when I was single. I had moved many many times before this and had ditched most of my belongings at each move. When I moved into this house, I had one bed, one table one dresser and one chair....the place seemed cavernous. After 10 years of marriage and one child, I can hardly move through some rooms for the junk in them. I'm the type who does not get attached to 'things', and I can't understand peoples' emotional attachment to items. My most cherished possessions were my pocket watch collection, all of which I sold over the years to pay bills. One of these days I'm going to save up and rent a dumpster and have a pitching fit.
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Old 30-01-2016, 04:04   #8
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
..............................
............................ I don't care about the house or my stuff
But I'm heartsick that all my family photos are gone"
Cheers
I hear this same or similar phrase when people are interviewed after a natural disaster. They are standing alive next to their obliterated home after a tornado, flood or hurricane and searching for bits of cherished photographs. I guess they could be searching for a thumb drive in the mud too.

For me, I'm questioning the real value of these items. My parents lost their home in a fire about thirty years ago and lost all of their family photos. I have little memory of these and I don't recall them spending time looking at them. They never rebuilt, but "land cruised" in an RV for their remaining years in retirement and without "stuff". Over our 44 years of living aboard and raising our two children while cruising, we have collected a drawer full of photos. - 'probably about two cubic feet, which represents a fair amount of space on a boat.

Here's what is so strange to me. I understand that these are thought of as cherished, but we NEVER look at them! Years of birthday parties and holidays and the drawer remains shut. For the recent ten years we have stored these types of photos on disks, drives or in the cloud, but still, we NEVER look at them!

I'm not going to throw them out. After all, we still have empty lockers aboard since we had to teenagers move off our boat twenty years ago; however, I've come to question how "cherished" these things are when we don't look at them. Do we keep these things with thoughts of a legacy? 'the thought that we will be leaving photos that our grandchildren will not look at?

Is it just me? Do the rest of you guys open these drawers to look at these old photographs or open the thumb drives from the past?
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Old 30-01-2016, 04:22   #9
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
. . . Is it just me? Do the rest of you guys open these drawers to look at these old photographs or open the thumb drives from the past?
I certainly look at old photos. And I wish I had more of them. Many of my adventures up until fairly recent days were not documented, and as the memories start to fade, I regret that.

I also regret that so few photographs or other documents remain from the lives of my ancestors.

Have you read Neil Stephenson's The Diamond Age? He envisions a future where everyone has a machine in his house which can swallow up any unneeded Thing and spit out something different which is needed, that moment. Thus Stuff loses any many beyond what you need this very day.

This was written before 3D printing! I am absolutely sure that this will really happen, and pretty soon, probably within a generation, and it's GREAT. It means we don't really need anything material on a permanent basis, other than a very few things like a house or a boat maybe, and whatever we do want to keep can be digitized and stored in the cloud.

But that's already true to some extent already. There's hardly any need to keep any solid Thing for its value for memories. Scan it and put it up in the cloud somewhere (thumb drives??).

Yes, I look at mine.
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Old 30-01-2016, 04:52   #10
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
.....................
......................... (thumb drives??). ....
AKA flash drive, jump drive, pen drive, memory stick...
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Old 30-01-2016, 05:02   #11
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

Each time I disposed of something which I thought had very little likelihood of being needed became sorely needed soon thereafter, sometime within days. And each time it aggravated me that I then had to spend much more money money on something which I acquired for next to nothing or had in my possession already but disposed of it thinking I'll never need it again.

So my retirement or semi-retirement project would be to run one continuous and extensive yard/e-bay/c-list sale and keep the proceeds in emergency spare parts fund.
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Old 30-01-2016, 05:25   #12
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

Barn full, House full, Sheds full, Yard full (almost).

When I find my boat and we are ready to leave I'm going to call an Auctioneer give him the keys and leave cause I really don't want to watch the mayhem.
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Old 30-01-2016, 06:51   #13
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
AKA flash drive, jump drive, pen drive, memory stick...
Not that I don't know what they are.

It's that I don't know anyone who still uses them.

My old thumb drives live with my old floppy disks and 8 track tapes. In a landfill somewhere
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Old 30-01-2016, 06:59   #14
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

I'm actually in the market for a bronze anchor kellet and oversized kerosene lanterns!

The latter to set the boat on fire, the former to sink it quickly ...


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Old 30-01-2016, 15:45   #15
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Re: "Peak Stuff"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Not that I don't know what they are.

It's that I don't know anyone who still uses them.

My old thumb drives live with my old floppy disks and 8 track tapes. In a landfill somewhere
Well that's the explanation. You're surfing on the crest of the wave and I'm wallowing in the trough!
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