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Old 22-11-2015, 10:28   #1
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Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

We have been trying to prep the house for sale in the spring. My goal was to fill 1 trash can a week. It is not enough and now have increased to 2 trash cans a week, hoping to be ready to list by March 2016. I cannot believe how much crap we have accumulated in 15 years in a 3,000 sq ft house with apparently way too much storage space. I am throwing away empty boxes from electronics we dont even have anymore. I am not even talking about the things going to charity or garage sales. This is such a liberating feeling, but yet the reflection on all the stuff is a bit overwhelming.

Maybe this belongs in confessional, but we are prepping to live aboard. Making progress for when the last kids heads to college.

Now the big question, what to do with all the toys my wife is saving for future grand children ....hmmmm.

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Old 22-11-2015, 11:08   #2
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

First off - the toys.....perfect time of year to donate to children's charities! If there are family heirloom toys perhaps you can find a good friend or relative to keep them for you. But honestly, many toys the grand kids might not appreciate since there will always be the newest toy marketed to them. Kids often don't appreciate sentimental toys until they are adults! Every kid is different of course.

As for the house full....I commiserate! My BF has a 2400 share foot house and his wife really loved her stuff. When they divorced she moved back to her home country with the kids taking "only" a shipping container full with her. When I met Jim he had already gotten rid of a lot. But when we had a flood we filled a construction skiff 3 x and, omg, we still have stuff! The stuff is overwhelming to me. Getting rid of it all is slow going. The antiques are too valuable to donate just yet, but not quick sellers. We still have furnishing for a full house and then some. Our goal is August 2016, but we are keeping that loose pending the dispersal of stuff, including another boat, 2 cars, a truck, house....darn, I don't think stuff is so cool any more!
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Old 22-11-2015, 11:10   #3
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

We now have a dedicated space in the landfill from where we emptied our house. We gave up on trash cans and started taking stuff to the dump by the pickup truckload.
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Old 22-11-2015, 11:35   #4
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

Kindred spirits here. 10 Years in a 2900 sq ft home and prepping the house for listing in April or May. Donating a lot of stuff to the AMVETS charity. Cannot believe how much stuff we collected in 10 years in this home.
Are you guys planning a garage sale before or after the house sales? We had planned to stage the house with our furniture and then try to sale everything else in garage sale/craigslist after the house sales.
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Old 22-11-2015, 11:36   #5
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

Options on getting ride of stuff, in an order or sorts:

1: eBay or Craigs List - Biggest hassle but best price (usually).
2. Garage Sale - big hassle.
3: Consignment store - much less hassle but expect only 60% or 50% of sell price.
4: Donate to friends, thrift store, Habitat Restore, etc.
5. Recycle center
6. Trash bin

We did all of the above.

Forget the "but I paid $100 for that" and think "heck, I could pick the same thing up in a garage sale for $5 if needed".
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Old 22-11-2015, 11:54   #6
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

We are in the exact same place as you. We are putting our house on the market as soon as the weather breaks in spring, and if it sells hope to retire and be headed south by next fall. We started the clearing out process at the beginning of this past summer and it seems to never freaking end.

We have made a number of trips to the dump with our 5x8 trailer (it's loaded and waiting for another trip right now), have taken so many truck loads to Goodwill that they should know us by now. I'm loading it up today for another trip this afternoon. I constantly have something listed on Craigslist and eBay. I fill up the recycling bins every Sunday and the trash cans (extra) every Wednesday. I have given away a ton of stuff to neighbors and friends. We have sold almost all the furniture we don't actually need to live. But yet I look around me and still see a ton of crap that still needs to be sorted through.

The kicker is that when we moved to Baltimore in 2003 we were living on a boat. We had the boat shipped here from San Diego and other than our one car all we brought with us was a very small uhaul truck with our tools, bicycles, some extra clothes, and a few boxes of personal things. That was it. Now we have a 2 story house with basement, attic, and 2 car garage that was filled to the rafters, 3 cars, a utility trailer, a tractor, I could go on and on. We ask ourselves every single day why in the hell we did it. If we had all that money now that we wasted filling this place up with stuff that we had lived just fine without before we could retire in high style indeed.
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Old 22-11-2015, 12:35   #7
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

We are lucky, ,y Wife is obsessive about throwing useless lay around stuff out. I have to be careful or I'll be curbside.

We have a 2 bed apt but she is using half for her office so we are down to living in a one bedroom apt. The basement is my realm and it's a mess. I am working on it and making headway. We have some needed apt renovations we can't start until retired and we have her office free. That's JAN 15. Then the mad dash to finish renocpvations and get this puppy rented so we can head South.

Will keep the basement space as a workshop and some storage.

I just shipped an 80" bandsaw to Washington state.
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Old 22-11-2015, 13:10   #8
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

Thanks for all the replies. Good to hear I'm not alone. We have craigslist going even for stuff I'm giving away just so it doesnt go to landfill. Like 27" tube TV we bought before we were married in 1988. Great for somebody running a classic Ninetendo.

We have 2 grown kids that are starting their own households so they are getting loaded up.

Only real 'waste' of money was my salt water aquarium. Tough selling that stuff for 10% of what it costs. But hey, need to move on.

Hopefully my kids see what we are going thru and manage the possession acquisition better than we did.

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Old 22-11-2015, 13:32   #9
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post
darn, I don't think stuff is so cool any more!
Consarnit! That is not the word I used!
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Old 22-11-2015, 13:52   #10
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

Quote:
.We are lucky, ,y Wife is obsessive about throwing useless lay around stuff out. I have to be careful or I'll be curbside
You are lucky, in 2 different ways

We live in an 1100 sq foot house, and wife is collecting "stuff".
Told her not do that in case we move onto a boat sometime in future.
She of course has no intention of doing such a thing, moot point..
Previous wife was better as we rented a furnished apartment in Alaska and did not own a bunch of stuff.
Moved to the Virgin Islands, she went back to Alaska to sell the car and quit her job, then shipped a few cardboard boxes and 3 cats.
After 6 months in a rented apartment in St. Croix we bought a sailboat and moved aboard.
No big deal as we did not own a bunch of junk. (30 years ago, we were young and not collecting stuff.

Now however it would take an act of God to get read of stuff and move aboard.
(We have a condo in the hood in addition to the house, the condo is full of her stuff as she use it for an art studio)
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Old 22-11-2015, 18:08   #11
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

Thank you for this thread! I'm hoping many who have been there and many who are in process will provide information, tips, tricks etc.
I'm also planning on listing my house this coming year. I have a long list of inexpensive repairs and aesthetics to work on in addition to "getting rid of the junk".
Has anyone hit a mental "wall"? I was on a roll and then because of some of lifes' normal event's i.e. parents illness, parents death, grand child etc. I haven't been able to "fill the sails" again. Also becoming totally overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. I'm looking for motivational ideas to get out of my doldrums. What has worked for you?
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Old 22-11-2015, 19:47   #12
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

Gadagirl,

While those are normal life events, you spend a lot of emotional energy dealing with them. All changes, even favorable ones, create stress. In addition, you may be mourning the loss of your parent.

Acknowledge to yourself that you have strong feelings, feel them, and releasethem. Fighting them off uses energy and postpones the inevitable. This is what has worked for me, when other things like beating myself up because I am not doing as I intended, does not help at all.

Then start back up with a short list of easy jobs for you to feel good about getting them out of the way, and I would expect that you would soon return to your former energy levels.

However, you should be real clear with yourself about the hold the grandchild has on you, or you on his/her affections. This is a huge issue, mainly for women cruisers, and has put paid to many cruises. Choosing a life of freedom on the high seas, also means un-choosing some other things: there are costs....perhaps that is what you are coming up against that has taken the wind from your sails.

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Old 22-11-2015, 20:06   #13
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

Ann,

Thank you. It's been 9 months since my father passed so I guess I expected enough time to heal. Perhaps not though. Yes about the granddaughter! LOL But lucky or unlucky, I only get to move aboard next year. I'll still have to work another 5 years so plenty of time to spend with her yet and teach her how to sail.


Your ideas on starting again small are great. I'll try that this week.
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Old 22-11-2015, 20:12   #14
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Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

We read Marie Kondo's book 'The life changing magic of tidying up'. She has some great points that help the process, even if not trying to move to a boat. She talks about starting with clothes first and momentos last. She has a nice way to only keep what truly brings joy. And if your goal is to get to a boat, not much on land brings joy anymore. Helps to keep focused on that.

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Old 22-11-2015, 20:17   #15
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Re: Two Trash Cans a Week - Still May not be enough

My new wife and I are also looking to downsize and life at least partly on a boat in a few years. Man we have been selling/giving/tossing stuff like crazy and we STILL have a full house/basement of stuff! It is insane. I will be so happy to be rid of most of this stuff.
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