The pain of downsizimg

divadevaFebruary 5, 2010

I'm having fits the last 3 months downsizing. I've read the other posts's the same story, lovely antiques and fabric, yarn, 100 hobbies and one small closet.

We lived for 2 years in 1200s.f while we were trying to design our "real" house to build on that land. It was so hard...we had 3 storage units filled with our furniture and all. I have a teenager and between us all we shoved 3 businesses into that space. Mess doesn't begin to describe it.

Then we decided that we wanted a different piece of land, higher in altitude to get away from the Poison Oak. We fell in love with a huge property (160 acres) which was a bargain because it couldn't be divided. This worked for us because we grow timber and we could build and live on-site and be done with lumber theft (a problem in timber country).

Long story short, big land = small house. This is bigger than the last house, 1700s.f, but really no storage. And with the economy the way it is, and a kid to put through college, we're going to be in this house for a long while.

We've been living this last year in an almost 4000s.f. rental and I cried with joy when I was able to experience my antiques and my books again.

Sorry to be so wordy here...I have been taking down pictures, mirrors, packing up vases and books. Half of my amazing book collection will go to benefit the local library. The rest I'm selling on consignment and I plan to

donate the money to the local food bank, which is desperate for donations. That feels good, to be able to benefit my community.

I talked my husband into getting some shipping containers. We'll line them with 4" foam sheets for insulation and store our antiques there...for a long time.

The cost of one container is the same as a year of a storage unit.

I'm still getting rid of stuff. Sometimes I sit down and cry...isn't it silly to be so attached to stuff? The good news is that I've lost 8 pounds...perhaps downsizing is a universal theme? Downsize in one area, downsize in all?

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That would be hard. I'm so impressed that you found such great land and can start living your dream though, and thinking of others as you go through everything in your house.

I've heard before that when people get their clutter under control, their finances and weight often fall into place also.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 9:08PM
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congrats on finding the right block of land. you're doing the right thing by getting rid of what you can and just thinking about the positives like helping the library or a local charity will make it easier. In 12 months you wont even think about the things you are getting rid of now, once their gone you just seem to forget you had those things so it will get easier even though right now it feels hard to do. good luck and show us some pics of your house when you get settled :)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 9:24PM
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Ever since the A & E Channel began the HOARDERS program, I've been much more conscious of divesting myself of extraneous objects. If you need a little incentive to turn loose, believe me, HOARDERS WILL DO THE TRICK.

We have a small 2 bedroom cottage, and presently only ONE closet in the house. I tore out the other 3 closets to make a small second 3/4 bathroom. We love the bath, but oh dear me, we sure do need the storage space. I do not like to just pack stuff away. I like to be able to access things without destroying the appearance of the rooms. The only solution is to cut to the bone, and not buy any more supplies for projects than I will use right away.

Will your home always be this small? Or is there a time in the future that you can see your things arranged beautifully where they will bring joy into your life? If not, consider selling them before they degrade. Unless furniture is in a climate controlled situation, all sorts of things happen to the detriment of your beloved antiques.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 12:02AM
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UGH Been there done that. Never had larger then 1850 SQ FT house. Still it was very hard to move from that to 1200. At least I did have a storage shed and also bought a good one to store my crafts. Now I have purged all but my favorite craft things to do.

The biggest help to me was to learn to re-purpose furniture. I am using an old kitchen cabinet in the master bath for a linen cabinet. A hoosier in my studio to cut glass on. But I might be moving it to my kitchen after the cabinets are done. Think my hubby will notice?? Hehehe I use a buffet in the master bedroom as a dresser. And several of my pieces store things. I have four trunks. Three are fairly large.

This is how I have been able to keep my favorite things in our small house.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 1:24AM
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Thanks for the support, it means a lot.

Yes, we are so lucky about the land. I have an acre under cultivation, ducks which we are building a more permanent housing for, a small greenhouse built from scavenged materials (this will be my sanity saver), a new orchard and plans for agro forestry. I'm so excited about that! It's also exciting that our house is off-grid, our last house was also solar, and it gets so old paying $800/mo. in heating bills. Our electricity rates here are among the highest in the nation. Not surprisingly, so is the conversion rate to solar power.

It's just the next six weeks to get through. I haven't been diligent, my days have been spent running around getting a bank loan, handling work emergencies or selling an extra vehicle. Everything, as you all know, takes so much time. And I have seized every excuse not to downsize or pack, even a dental appointment was preferable.

I'm feeling like a big baby as I reluctantly cling to useless stuff like high school year books, or great-grampa's beautiful silver teapot that is so poorly designed that it burns the hands of anyone who tries to use it. I have 3 12-piece sets of depression glass, all family heirlooms, all hand-washable and thus never used...what do I do with this? My husband is an only child, the last of his line, so we inherited four households of antiques. We've given away or sold tons of cool stuff, but boy do I have stuff left. Button hook collection...crochet doily collections, 3 sets of family silver...none of it very valuable but freighted with gold rush history and all of it taking up space. My garage is full of it. Tiny teaspoons? Got it. Mica lamps that take bulbs no longer made? Check.

I'm hoping that as we near the end I'll find the discipline to tear these things away, pare down my humongous yarn stash (I knew it was too big when I stole my husband's sock drawer)...and to rid my husband of a decade's worth of obsolete computer equipment. I may have five couches, it's hard to tell because the garage is so full. We're looking for a remote relative that we can dump the inherited stuff onto. So far the only one we found was moving into a nursing home and offered us more old stuff.

So, is there a 12-step group for this? A tip list of daily inspirations? A service that magics it all away in one night (Fairy Godmothers-R-US?) I knew an American Indian couple that had a Give-Away when they got married. Perhaps we'll invite unsuspecting friends (they might wonder when we advise them to drive a truck) and ply them with cake and antique buttons, and then gift them with the chairs they're sitting on. With enough champagne we might get away with it.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 2:00AM
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ok first is getting rid of the old computer stuff - trust me how I know lol. if it's older than a couple of years, just toss it, it's not worth anything. If it's younger than that then start listing on ebay and just get rid of it. How many couches do you have :) what about craigs list? over here it hasnt taken off but if you are in the US then just decide which ones you can use and get rid of the rest. right now, you need the space more than you need all that stuff and once you start getting rid of it then you start gaining valuable real estate back and in small house that is like gold hehe.

Leave the things with sentimental value for last, they are much harder to deal with. some you could list on ebay Im sure but it sounds like there is other stuff you could get rid of first. you can do this! dont rush yourself, get rid of things you feel most comfortable with first.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 6:29AM
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There are people that need some of these things. Think battered women that had to leave with the clothes on their backs. How they would enjoy something nice and useful in their new lives.Or how the shelter groups could use some of it to sell to make money for other needed items or shelter food.

I had wonderful luck with Craigs list.

I do not know how you decide what is to go what you keep. Maybe choose a few extra special things from each person and see how much that adds up to in needed space and then start paring down the rest.

When we moved here I finally got rid of the family couch. It was at least 70 years old. Always in my life. Craigs listed it and gave it away. Younger lady was thrilled to get it. Amazing it was in very good shape other than needing a new recover. Not bad though.

I just purged 5 big bags of books I had been keeping thinking I would read again. ok after 15 years unread I do not think I will read them again . Gone. Once you start it becomes easier.

I will look at an item and think Do I really love this. Use this need this? Or just really want it. I have been purging since the flood we were in in 1997. I just do not want to be burdened by the stuff any more.

One thing I did was force myself to take three things from each shelf drawer closet. Make rounds through each room this way. Do one room at a time. Three things is not all that much. But after you get done go back and do it again. Eventually it will become easier to take away three things. And eventually it starts to make a difference.

Hugs to you. I know how hard it is to get started. And YES I used to have constant give away days. Anyone came over and mentioned they liked something usually left with it.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 9:22AM
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We've been picking at it slowly. We gave away some bags of clothing to a charity, and we've weeded through some of the books. We've got a long way to go!

I'll have to start working on a 12-step list; perhaps a bit tongue-in cheek LOL!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 9:29AM
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When I made the decision to get rid of my dining room, I had to decide what to do with my antique/vintage furniture. It was a hard decision, but I did get rid of it. The trade off was worth it.
I had so much dinnerware in the buffet, that I had forgotten about. So, I decided to purge it also. Once I made the decision, it became easier. I got rid of everything in the dining room, except one table, a lamp and the ceiling fixture!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 10:43AM
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You all are amazing...I'm taking notes.

Small I got rid of 2 cookbooks...Tempeh cooking (family hated the recipes) and 365 foods kids love to eat. He'll miss the Mickey Mouse pancake recipe, but the child is 15.
I got rid of extra bookmarks and files on my computer (working my way up to the real stuff).
And ran into serious resistance on DH on the stuff in the garage. Lamps are Out Of Bounds. Don't Touch The Christmas Stuff (one box is full of colored paper loop garlands he made for his mom when he was 6. She kept them. They are 40 years old and SO dusty.No, we've never put them on a tree and never will.) That Couch Was My Mothers (has no upholstery but a nice wood frame). My Grandfather Made That (I have no idea what it is, except ugly, large, and obviously a family heirloom). Can you believe that I can't get rid of a brass bedwarmer, the kind that takes coals? It's not that "we may use it someday", it's that it belonged to his great uncle. It looks suspiciously clean to me...I think it was Great Uncle's white elephant also.
I'm starting to think we need counseling to get rid of stuff.
I'm going to take that advice on getting rid of the computer stuff. It'll mean venturing into The Man Cave (I'd send pictures but it would be grounds for divorce in at least 17 States).
Kid has chimed in...I can get rid of any Bodice Ripper books, but Fantasy and Science Fiction are Out Of Bounds. DH seconded that notion.
I'm going to have to sit us all down in front of the HOARDERS program.
I did find a great way to get rid of some of my cofee-table type house books. I pulled anything that didn't have a bookmarch stuck in it or sticky notes and without looking at it put it in the "Library Donation Pile". I'm up to 4 boxes now. All empty wine boxes, unfortunately not recently collected...a house build is stressful.

moccasinlanding...Well we have house plans drawn up for a larger house, but we're land-rich and cash-poor. But this gives us perhaps false hope that we will have more space and encourages the clinging behavior.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 7:33PM
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Diva, I have been through that on a smaller scale. Moved from a very large house to a more modest house. Had to get rid of a lot; other stuff got packed into boxes and stored in the attic. Then we decided to renovate the basement and packed up all the books, etc. By the time DH finished several years later, he agreed that he did not need all of those books.

The books went to the library. We donate clothes and kitchen stuff to the local thrift store. Furniture gets sold on CraigsList. Miscellaneous stuff goes on CL for free or gets donated.

Our biggest problem is our hobbies. DH and I both have a lot of crafting supplies. I have not said anything to him because I feel that I need to reduce my supply first (quilting fabric, beading supplies, decorative painting, woodworking). It is hard.

Do you have any local friends who would take good care of your favorite pieces of furniture? That might be better than storage with no temperature control.

At least you are downsizing for a POSITIVE reason.

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 8:21PM
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Help! Intervention!
My neighbor is having an upscale garage sale. Good news!
She'll sell items for me to donate the money to food bank. Good news!
So I went onto Ebay (you can sense what's coming here, right?) to price items to sell. And got lost in depression glass. I'm the (not proud) owner of a set of six really cute drinking glasses and a pair of depression green glass salt and pepper shakers. I now have no political pull with DH to pry him away from his stuff.
Oh, where does the Madness END?

I have suggested to DH that it might be easier to build a large garage. DH said (he's our builder), "Easier for you maybe".

Colorcrazy, craft stuff is NOT clutter. That's what I call "Livin' Large". Unless it's someone else's craft stuff...then it's clutter, LOL.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 8:37PM
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diva I wonder if you could strike a deal with DH. For example maybe you could convince him that you keep the depression glass collections and display them in a nice cabinet, and try to get rid of some of the other bulkier inherited items. It's going to be hard because it sounds like he really is attached to everything so he needs to get involved and start making some tough choices about all that stuff otherwise i think he's going to feel be like you are trying to get rid of all his stuff and he might dig his heels in. But it's just not practical to keep everything, you realise that, but he has to realise it too otherwise you'll be storing that stuff for years. I think you need to sit down with him and get him on board - he can start with that old computer stuff lol

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 9:06PM
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Phew, Diva it is not called sorting it is called churning. Around and around never getting anywhere but frustrated.

Quick because I am so sore from a wrong step off the ladder today.

While unloading cabinets I already have a size-able box to go away. Course now I can not pick it up but it will get gone when I can.

Another rule I try to live by is . Something comes into the house something has to go. So it makes me think what can go away and is what I am bring in better than what has to go away. And I am serious on this one with myself unless it is glass. ROFL.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 12:00AM
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DH is already striking deals to allow me to keep the depression glass. This is making me very uneasy. Like in the movies where the guy says, "It's quiet." And the other guy says "Yeah, too quiet". And then the Indians/Mexicans/Terrorists/Aliens come whooping over the ridge.

So DH says that, and I'm waiting for the whooping Aliens. His next sentence runs something along the lines of keeping His Mothers Couch, and of course the "Two Chairs That I Despise That Make Anyone Who Sits In Them The Midget At The Dining Table".

Obviously he's uneasy that I have designs upon the 40 year old craft paper garlands and anything else he's holding onto. Remember, we still have the Man Cave Stuff. It's darn scary that he's making deals so early. Oh My, the room's gone reeal quiet.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 2:51AM
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Okay, these posts are getting funny. A good thing as perhaps my losses can turn to grins.

When getting rid of my mom's wonderful things I had to tell myself they would be given a new life with someone else to love them. I kept only 3 things that meant a great deal to me.

Now if I bring something new into the house my daughter gets big eyes. She told me once that she knew darn well if I got rid of something in it's place she would be getting it. A happy event for her. She probably watches my changing things all the time, with wonder for the next change and where it will fit in her house.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 8:06AM
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Is there a history museum, or something similar that you could donate suitable goods to?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 12:25PM
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In my own experience, for what it's worth, you just need to wait till the crunch. When it comes time to actually pack and move all that stuff, it's amazing how much less they value it. :)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 1:12PM
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Diva, this thread has made me laugh, but I know how you feel. I have 3 paintings my DH brought home from his mother's place after she died. They are bu-tt ugly! we have carried them around to 4 houses. Do you think some of the stuff your DH won't turn loose of could get "lost" in the shuffle?

Practice your innocent face & say "I don't know honey!"...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 2:22PM
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In the midst of this "decluttering" or reorganizing or object divesting, that is the time to keep your sense of humor. I find this topic extremely enjoyable and overall a positive influence.

Three years ago I married the man I was engaged to 50 years ago. Long story. But, his cottage in MA had not been updated in so long, that he'd become really set in his ways. I waited to see how he was going to act about me putting my hands onto his deceased wife's domain before I began to slowly reorganize, refresh, and change. I am a great believer in bringing a gradual change to the entire space IN STAGES, so that you will be impressed at the improvement at each stage. And not just one room brought from the doldrums into complete isolated splendor, but more a process. My ideas evolve as I discover the potential of the space.

This fits with adjusting the attitude of my DH as well. He may at first be reluctant to turn loose of the past. But before long, it almost seems to become HIS IDEA. At that point, I know I've won the battle.

I have yet to sell anything. He believes in giving things away. So we've helped lots of folks there, and his neighbor has a friend with a second-hand shop who went gaga over all the cut glass of every shape and size. Up in MA, they do not collect trash every other week, like they do here in Mobile. So you have to collect the throw away stuff until you have enough to pay someone to haul it off. But I've gotten the 3 br, study, family room, LR, and basement down to a few items worthy of selling. We sure do not have room here for an Ethan Allen armoire, a Queen Anne buffet/china hutch, or a round pedastal dining table/chairs. I should say the Cape Cod style cottage is transformed by paint and uncluttering it.

So I do recommend that you take baby steps in your makeover, so that your DH/contractor and the one who clings to the past, will find it easier to release his death grip on his mama's old sofa! Good luck with approaching The Man Cave. Yeah, removing the old computer stuff is a good place to start. Since I am the one my DH considers the Geek in the family, he trusts me to do the computer updating anyway.

As to paintings, DH had a childhood painting of his three kids over the fireplace in the family room. HE was the one who took it down and put it somewhere. Where, I do not know, but that is his problem not mine.

Currently, I am busily planting the thought in his head of converting the nice barn-like 12x14' garden shed with running water and electricity, which is at the top back corner of his hillside lot, into a nice studio/playhouse for some nice family who will oneday consider buying this house. Because we are both in our 70s now, and it is really hard to keep up with two houses and love them both equally. I am a "nester," and want my things around me comfortably, not just a temporary camp-out surface kind of existance.
Ciao, everyone. Keep the thoughts coming.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 4:12PM
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I definitely agree with baby steps, it takes years to collect all this stuff and it can take some time to unload it but along the way you notice the difference. I dont think it ever really stops you have to keep chipping away so you dont end up with too much stuff again. things might be useful one day and then for what ever reason you dont use it or need it any more so it's always changing.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 4:11AM
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Okay, here's the update. I gave away 5 boxes of books to Friends of the Library. That felt great. My teenager even donated $20 of his own money to the library fund. That felt even better.

Now the ridiculous part. My neighbor across the street arranged this huge upscale garage sale. I spent my few and precious days off climbing (think Cirque de Soleil only with dust) through the garage and sorting out furniture and boxes to set up a section for the Local Food Bank. The idea was that they could write checks directly to the food bank and take the donation tax credit themselves. My reward would be a cleaner garage and a needful charity funded.
I spent a few evenings making signs and cleaning and pricing everything. DH knew exactly what I was doing, watched me work, and didn't comment except to scrutinize all of the furniture and claim a few bits and pieces. The day before the sale I needed him to put the awning on top of a gazebo, as rain was predicted.

I think you can guess what happened. My gazebo structure was, according to him, put together incorrectly (o.k., it listed a little, but we girls had duct-taped it to the garage. That puppy would list in place until Armageddon, perhaps becoming a Pisa-like tourist attraction). Somehow, in sorting all of that out, the gazebo cover developed a huge tear (how in the world?). Next I knew DH
was sitting at the computer and displaying completely ominous looking Doppler pictures of rain. DH predicted heavy rains and wind storms, then declared the sale canceled. (It sprinkled that night, a light shower).
What a smooth operator!

Today he discussed plans to build 2 200 s.f. storage sheds.That's right, a total of 400 s.f., effectively replacing the current garage storage
Obviously the man is intent on keeping his stuff.

Ah well, he can keep The Midget Dining Room the garage.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 2:46AM
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Too funny Diva....but know the whole situation was a downer. Guys can always find "their way", as long as it doesn't include a map. Ooops...Apologies to any men reading this.

This means all your work sits now?

My gazebo has a tear in it too. Right at the corner where it connects. I don't think repairing it will work as there is too much pull there. Wish they would make these tops out of stronger/different material. They probably do and are costly.

Last fall the wind came up and blew the whole thing over the fence into the neighbors yard. Yes it was staked down.

May be time to build a portico. I don't even think those awnings would stand up here.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 6:29AM
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Cirque de Soleil with dust- hahaha!

I invented a new word for events that happen when piles of stuff become unstable and fall over- I call it a 'crapalanche'!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 8:32AM
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Okay, now I'm motivated. I spent all morning pulling extra clothes out of my closet and drawers to give away. Big Pile.
Next, I put toe into The Man Cave, a.k.a. "That room which thou dost not dust nor vacuum". Achoo! Since the house was relatively testosterone free and I have a rare Saturday off, I was going to make all of the computer crap disappear. Only to find that the "known piles of junk" were no longer there. Now I know darn well that he did not take them to the dump, which is what I was planning. He must have hidden them in boxes in the garage. What energy! What initiative! What nerve!

Yes, I have boxes of unwanted vintage junk in my living room. Pieces of furniture on my front porch.

Tammy, you are so lucky you only had four of those ugly pictures. DH's Great-Aunt Tess was an amateur painter. Her work was unique in it's original use of color, coarse brushstrokes, prolific quantity, and an unvarying subject matter of tea roses in a vase or pitcher. I accidentally discovered a way to make them disappear in the most sentimental way. DH had a lot of elderly relatives, as do I.
People tend to lose their eyesight as they get into their 90's...they can't tell the subject matter but they adore the garish color clash of GA Tess's pictures. I hung them in relative's nursing home rooms, then gave them as gifts to the attendants when the ancients passed away. I have one left...purple and yellow...which DH insists must be hung. It's on the wall in a closet.

I'm searching the garage. If I find those boxes of 10-yr old computers they will "disappear".

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 5:11PM
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OH Diva you inspire me. I have about an hour left of half way winter warm weather to get out in my loft in the garage and see what I can pawn off to the thrift store. I was up there yesterday and it was not nearly as frightening as I had remembered. I forgot I sort of cleaned it up last summer. so here I go. Wish me luck. I plan on being brutal.

One thing I did find in purging is if you do it at break neck speed it makes it so much easier. Try not to labor over decisions. Yes NO Bye Bye.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 6:05PM
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OK I forgot to mention the loft is short so all work has to be done dodging rafters. Very hard on the back and top of my head. This is a storage only area not a work space.

So two suitcases full of garbage kind of things to go to the dump suitcases too. Two good suitcases of good stuff to go to the Lions for their spring yard sale. One BIG box to go to Lions too.

So I did not get all the way through the project but a great start. I hauled half down the steps and will do the rest tomorrow if it is not too cold. That will make more space to work in. Will load up the car and drop it off Monday. YES I have to work. Since the drop off place for Lions is City Hall I will take it cause I will be open. Heheheheh


    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 7:34PM
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LOL Chris,
I inspire YOU? Too funny...have I mentioned that DH and I have moved 5 times in the last 10 years? It's the old capturing capital gains a house, squat for two years...take the money and run. And, during the last 5 years we've had three (count em!) three relatives leave us a bit of money and a lot of old stuff. I think we're at the end of the relative run, but I have a full 3-car garage and that's AFTER
dumping tons of stuff.

So...the plot thickens...I have found his garage stash of ancient (dog years and computer years) computer garbage. Cleverly secreted at the very back, where he had stealthily constructed a false wall of boxes. My plan- TOP SECRET - is to smuggle all of this out Monday in my Subaru Forester (the back seat folds down, thank G. , I can't believe how large his stash is) and take it to the dump. I will have to pay money, perhaps rather large sums, to be rid of this (think something dramatically Shakespeare here) foul (again, Shakespeare).
When my heinous deed is finally uncovered I shall plead innocence and ply said former owner of electronic junk with fine wine and soft kisses...think it'll fly?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 11:12PM
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LOL Diva. I would say to be safe pull the Hard drives first. It is just a couple of screws and cables to come off of them. Be sure to discharge and static before touching them. I have a few hard drives hanging around and actually I have used them for storage of pictures music. There are nice little cables you can use to hook them to laptops.

OK I will admit I am a computer junkie. We only have six left. I dumped two. I use three. One personal one for me and my hubby uses one. I use one for City work.I am allowed to work at home. One is at the office for councilmen or the one councilwoman to use when they want to. I REALLY do not want people that do not know how to work a computer to be messing with THE computer that has all the city information on it. So they can use one of my extra computers. So only two are sort of not being used.I should clean them up and pass them on. Who has time, too busy decluttering Hehehehe, and since they are all laptops they do not take up much space. I line them up in a rack like books. Hehehe Note Books.

DH Does not touch my stuff for now. I have been good to purge it when I am ready. I am over the sentimental part of most stuff. So much has become a burden to me I want it out of my life. I can not even begin to say how much time I have wasted sorting through this crap. Hoping this will be the last purge.

Good Luck Diva getting it out.I hope he is not reading your posts the stuff might not be there tomorrow. ROFL


    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 12:05AM
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I've just flown by DH that it would be a "tremendous" Valentine's Day present to get rid of all of the old computer clutter. Usually he'd jump at a chance for an "easy out" on Man's Most Fearful Day. This time he played "cute blond", batted his baby blues at me, and said that he thought most of that stuff was gone already. And it is...into the garage, and recently. Humbug.

Chris, I am static queen. When I worked in the computer industry the engineers called me the "black hand of death".
They would use me as the ultimate test when they were burning in a system. Sure, it would survive 200 hours of burn-in time...but could it survive the touch of Deva? Their joke was that I defined a "chaotic system". Engineer humor, take it for what it's worth.
I fried computers just walking into the room, and was known to make data jump from one stand-alone terminal to another.
Nothing electronic would function within a 12' radius. That changed when I left the electronics field and started doing energy work for my living...but still, if I touch electronic components directly they will die. Which perhaps explains the large amount of computer garbage in the garage.
If I touch his hard drives it will be a useless endeavor.

But, seriously, DH was never this clinging to "stuff" in the past. He's had both of his parents pass away in the last 3 years, and a few great-relatives, and this behavior is new since then. His parents were older when they had him, and DH is middle-aged...his Dad was 65 when he was born, his mother was 42. They had a full life; his Dad was 99. And now DH is holding onto stuff that he neither loves nor finds useful. I don't even think that he knows that is he doing this...I think that all of this is unconscious behavior.
Perhaps I'd help him best by leaving old stuff strictly alone, let him build his storage sheds, and just purge my stuff.

Any opinions?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 1:35AM
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Ahh, a subject near and dear to my heart :-) I fight this battle constantly with DH, and have won a few but lost many. Perhaps you could appeal to better senses with the "why pay money to store completely unusable stuff?" And someday, someone is going to have to go through it all anyway and get rid of it.

I've always been good about purging, but after going to some estate sales several years ago, I became moreso, not wanting my boys to wonder "My gawd, what was she thinking?" as they toss stuff into the trash.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 4:27AM
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Diva I totally understand what is happening with your DH. Hard to explain it all here. I come from a line of hoarders and honestly have worked through it almost to the point I have gone the other way over the edge. Not really as I still have more stuff then some.

All I know for me is when I am ready for it to go I can get shed of it=stuff. It makes me very hurt and upset when my husband harps at me because I honestly have worked very hard to get rid of this problem of mine. For me it is a mental thing. I am not as bad as the TV show hoarders. I do not really keep trash. The trash I gathered up yesterday were boxes I emptied.

How much time do you have to deal with all of it. I forgot. Will go back and re read through. DH needs to eat he is off for the day to ride his snowmobile.

LOL on killing the computers. I kill watches.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 9:35AM
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Time to bump this subject back into 2011 with thoughts of spring cleaning about to appear. We are so tired of seeing the same old things in this Winter of Discontent, keeping so many of us indoors, that I think refreshing the scene with a little open space, will help with the Cabin Fever.

In my case, I'm periodically going outside to peruse the garage cement pumping/pouring project, with my grass getting a good coat of gray slush, hoses everywhere, heavy boots stomping into the wet ground. I am yearning for this stage of the project to pass, to allow the garage floor to set up enough that they can come next Monday to maybe begin the roofing job. Now THAT will be fascinating. I've never had a roof on this cement block building, which no longer looks like a WWII bombing ruin. Once that is done, and the doors are on it, they will stucco the exterior with white stucco, and it will be allowed to sit for a month at least to cure itself. During THAT month, we will be cleaning up the signs of construction. Maybe getting some sod for the yard....replanting my bananas and crape myrtles.

So much has been thrown away already, I will enjoy paring down the winter clothing even more. What joy to feel restored to orderly living.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 1:34PM
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LOL--what an apt post. I have a mover coming in a few weeks. What is left at this house and in the garage will be sold and disposed of in an estate sale. There will be no money-sucking storage units.

I am amazed how easy-going the husband has been about his garage and things. Me and the craft stuff and the pets are still the stumbling blocks.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 7:13PM
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