OT: moving, disposing of, and guilt.

palimpsestDecember 2, 2012

And, maybe, annoyance.

I will be moving two times between now and July 1st or September 1st.

For as much decorative accumulation/obsession we have (dozens of pieces of artwork, close to one hundred pieces of pottery, about 80 candlesticks, hundreds of large format art books) we tend to be pretty poor "consumers" of most things.

I would never even consider buying holiday decorations that get thrown out when the holiday is over, for example, I never buy anything inexpensive and decorative thinking I can get rid of it without guilt, and I wear a virtual Uniform when it comes to clothing.

I wear scrubs, white underwear and socks and a pair of sneakers all week long. I have a series of coats and jackets for every season that are either all grey, navy or black, and some of them are 20 years old. My best dress shoes were bought when I interviewed for my doctoral or post doc programs and are 20-25 years old. I wear leather gloves, dress scarves and ties and such that have been in my family (believe it or not) for as long as 70 years.

We do not consume like a lot of folks do. We both tend to buy it once or buy it right and use it until it disintegrates. No car for either of us, etc. etc.

I am not saying this to sound superior or green or anything like that. My father just replaced a 25 year-old fridge that my parents hated since the day it was put in (it was the only type that fit) and complained that "No @$#*( thing is made to LAST anymore." I come by it genetically.

So anyway we have to move twice in rapid succession in the next year.

I am finding it VERY DIFFICULT on multiple levels to get RID of things.

1) I will think nothing of spending $100 to go out to eat if I feel like it, (only to biologically eliminate $100 worth of food and drink fairly rapidly). But to throw away unused or partially used items that cost a dollar really rubs me the wrong way. It's wasteful

2) Some things people will NOT EVEN TAKE FOR FREE. I have things like old bed linens that I bought in 1989 for a twin bed that are in perfectly fine condition. They are burgundy and I currently have no twin bed. This stuff goes into a landfill because no one wants it. I have had pieces of furniture that places like Goodwill would Not Take, because they were painted. ("It might be lead paint") From 1992? Really? I think the guys were too lazy to carry it down the steps. There is a furniture place near me that will take Anything but I despise their mission statement and politics.

Sometimes I put things out on the sidewalk just so they will get taken and used, but if I homeless person rummages through it and scatters it all over the sidewalk (1) no one else will touch it and (2) you can get fined for littering if they can figure out where it came from.

3) It is nearly IMPOSSIBLE for someone who lives in a Condo, In a City to get rid of potentially hazardous substances. We have private trash pickup. My own condo association and the private trash company do not even agree with each other as to how to arrange for hazardous or bulk pickup. Both have told me the other party is wrong. To get rid of paint through community sources involves a car, a drive of 20 miles round trip and specific dates on a very limited schedule of a couple of times a year.

Many people I know in this situation just bury poisonous, flammable, or hazardous materials as deep as they can in their regular trash and hope they get away with it.

Not only does this rub me the wrong way, but I am the person who would get caught.

But for as much lip service as is given to responsible disposal of things and reuse and recycling, it is almost systematically set up to make it so difficult as to be nearly impossible.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Sun, Dec 2, 12 at 16:39

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My township does a great job of getting rid of every kind of trash. They offer recycling pickup every other week and have a couple of "free dump days' and a Hazardous Waste day every year. You can bring stuff to the dump for free on certain days. The rest of the year the township will pick up large items for a fee. Anyway, I get rid of latex paint by pouring those packages of stuff that dries it up into the can and just put it out with the regular trash. Maybe that would work for you, too.

I am not an accumulator of stuff, at least not much. I feel stifled by having too many things around me. My mother is the opposite and when the day comes to clear out her enormous house, it is going to be a multi-year job. A lot of her stuff has real value so it isn't just a matter of putting a dumpster in the driveway.

There isn't much I want to get rid of that I cannot find a way. My biggest obstacle is finding the manpower to carry it out.

I do think that being in the city makes it more difficult to get rid of Stuff.

As for spending money on a nice meal, I feel like that is a pleasure of life and well worth the investment. I truly believe in investing in wonderful experiences and take the opportunity whenever I can. I spend too much money on clothes, but what the heck, I like them.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 4:38PM
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Goodwill wouldn't take my friend's vintage Eames chair because the leather was cracked! I do think they'll take the linens, though.

You might try other charities (Kidney Fund, AmVets, etc.) Does your city offer 211 service? I found a charity that would come pick up my working appliances when we replaced them by calling 211.

For some hazardous substances you can add kitty litter until it becomes a solid and safely throw it away.

We keep things too. Do people really throw their Christmas decorations away? Moving is always difficult. Good luck!!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 4:41PM
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I have a friend, who when she hosts Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner for family goes to the Dollar Store and buys a cheap tablecloth, holiday paper napkins and plates, and cheap paper decorations. Likewise, although she has some favorite ornaments, she might decide to have a "theme" and buy all pink ornaments and garland and a plastic tree skirt and such.

I was there one Thanksgiving, and she picked the silverware off the table and the rest was disposable. She gathered up the corners of the tablecloth and threw the entire thing, that barely fit in a huge trash bag away after one use.

She filled most of the dumpster in her HOA the last time she moved just with clothes, unused food, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, (even unworn clothes and ungiven gifts) without giving it a second thought. Some of the things were still in the bags that she bought them in. She doesn't buy ONE shampoo, she buys TEN, then she'll forget she has it, buy more and end up throwing it all out a couple years later, unused.

With the exception of plastics which we accumulate and can recycle (gallons of tea and soda consumed in our house), she easily throws a volume away for one person each week that is more than we as a couple throw away over a month or more.

Sometimes I wish I could be like that and not consider the implications over anything. Now is one of those times.:(

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 4:54PM
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The bed linens could go to an animal shelter, spay/neuter clinic, or possibly even a vet's office.

I don't know how much time you want to spend finding good homes for your stuff, but I have put lists of available free stuff on my local freecycle or the free section of craigslist. I number the items, ask people to give me a list of the numbers they want, choose a recipient for a group of items, then bag up those items and leave on my front porch with their name on it for pickup. I don't even care if re-sellers get my stuff; better them than the dumpster.

To get rid of paint through community sources involves a car, a drive of 20 miles round trip and specific dates on a very limited schedule of a couple of times a year.
I feel your pain on this one. When I was planning a previous big move, I figured out the next date for hazardous waste collection and made sure to be there. However, if it is latex paint, I would let it dry out and just hide it, knowing it was not environmentally hazardous.

And yes, porkandham, some people consider holiday decorations to be one-time-use-and-throw-away. I find it appalling.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 5:07PM
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When we were clearing out my dad's house, it was similarly difficult to get rid of some things. The Salvation Army and Goodwill have pretty strict standards for furniture because they get so much of it, that they will only take what they are sure they can sell. One dresser was rejected because one drawer went into the dresser frame 1/2 inch too much. The kitchen table sagged a tiny bit in the middle when both leaves were in, so it was rejected. No sag with no leaves or just one, but that didn't matter.

I can understand the paint issue, though. They don't know when it was painted or by whom or how many layers of paints are on it (one layer could be lead paint), and it is illegal, I think, at this point to sell anything with lead paint. They are just being very careful, because they don't want a lawsuit.

We did finally find a charity that gives furniture away for free to formerly homeless families or families that have lost everything due to a fire or something similar. However, they had no place to store the furniture, so we had to keep it and call them almost weekly to see if they needed it yet.

An expensive option is to call 1-800-Got-Junk. They will haul away and dispose of pretty much anything, at a price.

Probably not an option for you, Pal, as you are in the city, but we eventually rented a dumpster and just tossed everything in there. Of course, then people started going through the dumpster at night and taking stuff, but by that point, we just wanted it gone.

Things like bed linens I can just drop off at Goodwill--they don't check the bags and boxes you drop off in the bins at the front door. Some animal shelters will take blankets and towels.

Do check around for smaller charities that might take the Goodwill rejects. In my old town, there was an area inter-faith ministry that took just about everything and anything. They gave it away for free to anyone who needed it--furniture, household items, clothing.

But I agree--even if you really want to get rid of stuff these days, it can be very difficult to do so. Most of us want to keep things out of landfills, but that seems to be the only place for many things, even though they are still useful.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 5:20PM
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I had to laugh at the twenty mile round trip. Having always lived in the country thats nothing for us. The nearst store of any kind is a minimart and 8 miles away,16 round trip. We boundle our trips to town accordingly. I hate waste as well but find most things can be gotten rid of threw creigs list or the good will.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 5:23PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Agree that the linens can go to a shelter. They are always happy to receive clean sheets, blankets, and towels.

I would rent a car for a day to deliver leftover oil paint to the place 20 miles away or offer a friend a wonderful meal for the ride. Latex, as you probably know, can be left to evaporate and then tossed as it is not considered hazardous.

Speaking of restaurants and good meals...Ded, almost had DH and DS/DIL talked into buying a place on Rose Glen that has a house (the old one right on the road for the kids)and a barn (for us). Being able to walk to the Guard House was what my DH loved! Still working on it. :)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Twenty mile trip with no car and very few friends who have cars either.

One day a week for work, I travel 40 round trip and walk a mile or more each way at the end of that trip, but I do this on a train. When I was growing up we went 70 miles round trip to the movies. I understand distance, and it means almost nothing when you have a car.

People who can just hop in a car do not understand how difficult it is to run your life when you make a conscious decision not to own one.

This is why *I* laugh when people talk about the kitchen in on alternative of a plan is ten feet further away from the garage that they have to carry groceries.

How about 5 blocks and 52 stairs above the street with 2 weeks worth of groceries.

If I had a car and could take things wherever they needed to go most of the things I am complaining about in this thread wouldn't be a problem.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 6:46PM
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I can,t even imagine life without a truck and trailer much less one without a car. But then again living on a farm comes with a way different set of issues than living in a town of anysize.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 6:52PM
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I live in Bucks County. You might want to give The Furniture Lady in Bryn Athyn a call. She's affiliated with the Academy of the New Church. I spoke with her once when I was in her shop, and she said she provided household goods that she didn't sell to homeless people who were transitioning into apartments. She'd be a good source of information for you. She's open Tues., Fri. and Sat. from 10-4. 215-938-1736

I've taken furniture to Impact that Goodwill had rejected. I've been getting postcards from Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Cancer Society indicating they will pick up household items. Purple Heart will pick up too. I've included a link to some other charities. How about Deserving Decor? That one sounds interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Charities

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 6:56PM
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Thanks for the resources.

Actually since the move will be multistaged, some aspects of it will not be too bad.

But I am still getting cranky so I apologize in advance.

Another thing that is a bit frustrating with a couple of good things that I would like to Sell, is that people want them for nothing. And there are things that I sent pictures of to an auction house and also retail dealers, and they said they weren't interested in them because they were not quite at the level of the things they generally deal with.

This includes dealer(s) and an auction house that Sold me the items. Apparently at some point they raised the bar.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 7:02PM
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Purple heart picks up almost anything.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 7:08PM
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Hi Palimpset,

Yes, this is a challenge. Even if you have a car, if your town has one hazardous waste disposal day per year ... Well, what if that was 5 months ago and you are being transferred now? Sorta tough.

Will your condo association allow you to have a Bagster? I wonder if that would solve some of the non-hazardous bulky items?

Freecycle is a great suggestion, though you may start seeing a lot of sob stories in your inbox.

Now ... At some point you need to wrestle the trade off between your time and this stuff. Yes, you want to be responsible and ensure these things get maximum use. But at some point your own time is worth more than this. And you have many, many things that require your time and attention in the coming weeks. I would say that you do what you can ... easily ... and prioritize avoiding breaking the law :)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 7:18PM
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You might want to check with the local high schools or middle
schools with theater departments or community theater re paint - they are always in need
of paint for the sets and can mix and match colors. They might also
be interested in furniture, etc. It's worth a phone call or two.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 7:51PM
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I don't like waste either, I don't waste any food, I buy enough for the week and eat it all. But as for possestions, think of it this way - I want to own my possestions, I don't want them to own me. Maybe this comes from moving about every year for a period of about 15 years, but I got to the point I didn't even want anything because I had to get rid of it. After a period of time I started to collect some things, but I refuse to let those things own me. They are just material things. I do admire that you use up things and don't throw things out. I give my stuff to others, or to the Salvation Army if nobody wants or needs it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 8:10PM
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The thing that bugs me is that even the stuff I would give away is in good condition.

The reason people in my family have stuff that they use forever, is that we buy good serviceable stuff. My shoes are Florsheim at the very least and my good clothes are all Brooks. My father wears a couple of outside jackets that I have pictures of him wearing, holding me as a baby. The "new" Christmas Tablecloth in my parents house is a fifty year old one.

Again I am not saying this stuff to be self congratulatory or anything like that. But there is still Life Cycle in some of the stuff that I want to, or need to, get rid of.
I have toys in original boxes. I wiped my Tonkas off with a rag and put them back in the box when I was done.

(There is probably a deep seated pathology here.)

It actually seems to make more sense in today's society to buy cheap, buy often, beat the c rap out out of it, dispose of it and be done with it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 8:27PM
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Wow, Cyn. You should move back here. I'd love to be on Rose Glen. If you lived there we could walk back and forth to visit. I look at those cute houses that are on the right going downhill and just yearn for one. It's not happening any time soon. It's funny how places that you would not even have considered living in 40 years ago are now unaffordable.

If I lived in the city I would not have a car either, but I would join Philly CarShare or Zip Car for times when I needed one.

We have a place to take hazardous waste any time but one day per year they are at our dump (aka transfer station).

I always think of the holidays as a time to get out the good silver, china and linen, not buy disposable cr@p from the Dollar Store. Ick.

Well, good luck with the move. Whosoever Gospel Mission will take your linens and other stuff, but not large items. But, you've got to get it to them.

Here is a link that might be useful: whosoever gospel mission.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 8:28PM
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Pal, that is hilarious about the Tonka trucks, wish I could have taught my kids to do that. And the "new" 50 year old tablecloth! You were taught to take care of things - I think that must be a lost value with the throw away society we live in. Nothing wrong with buying and using up good quality things, but if you no longer have need of those things, then someone else may be able to put them to good use and enjoy them, so its a win-win.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:21PM
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"I have toys in original boxes. I wiped my Tonkas off with a rag and put them back in the box when I was done."

This made me laugh. My DH did the same thing, then hid the toys from his brother. Still does it with me from time to time, today with things like iPads and his cameras.

I can commiserate, particularly with the hazardous waste disposal. It is such an effort to dispose of hazardous materials, I'm certain most people dispose of them in an unsafe manner. I know I'm tempted, but we do have a car (I've tried to convince DH that we can survive without one, but no luck yet) so DH makes the run a couple of times per year, but it takes a one hour+ return trip to drive through the city and 'burbs to the waste disposal area.

Twice per year (spring and fall I think) our city publicizes curb side 'sharing days", when the day before garbage day owners leave out on the curb items they no longer need for whomever wants them. It is incredibly successful, sort of like a city-wide free garage sale. You might want to talk to your city council about organizing something similar. Or if you live in a large condo building, suggest to the condo board that they arrange something similar. Also, many charities here will pick up from your home, I just had a bag of clothing picked up last week.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:10PM
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We moved 4 times in 2 years. I feel your pain. We wound up renting a climate controlled storage unit to keep things we just couldn't give or throw away. We pay $100.00 a month for stuff we have no room for - old records, books (we just couldn't throw out or donate), x-mas decorations which have been handed down through generations.

Sounds crazy but we just couldn't do it!


    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 11:00PM
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I have two thoughts. First is that you should ask around, particularly if you know any handymen or handywomen. They may know of individuals or organizations who will take your stuff. And if there isn't someone to take it, they may be able to drive things to the proper disposal places for you. You may need to pay them, but it will get the job done.

Second is that sometimes, you have to let yourself off the hook. Just because you cannot get rid of something in the ideal way that you have envisioned does not mean that you cannot legitimately toss it. No matter how great you think the things are and how much you think others should value them, they have a negative value for you right now. You may have to accept that you're going to have to let at least some of them go in a less-than-perfect manner. (I have to tell myself similar things, so I know how hard it is to do... but sometimes, you have to let go of a vision of perfection in order to get anywhere.)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 12:27AM
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The Goodwills in the NYC metro area are pretty good about taking most things. I would never give them anything broken or stained or ripped or that I would not have used myself, but it seems a lot of people do and I think that's rotten. I used to clean out the kids' clothes at the end of the season, and then store it until it was in season, and then bring it to Goodwill. I mean they don't have storage space and probably a lot of customers don't either, why do they want my kids bathing suits in November? I also always make a donation when I go, because frankly they are providing me a service, too, and because all charities need money.

We have a Goodwill dropoff near us here that is almost like a drive thru. Someone here mentioned a Goodwill box and I always have one on the go -- when it's full i take it in.

When we moved I think 3 or 4 SUVs full went to Goodwill. Some to Freecycle, and some to the curb. Oh and some to friends.

I don't like buying disposable anything, either. I think Dollar Stores are sad. So much junk, much of it overpriced at a dollar. And when I see unbelievable prices, all I really think its "its either toxic, made with child labor, or both". I have said this before, but my purchasing regrets more often involved supposed "bargains" than things I splurged on.

They say the only habit with more peccadilloes than sex is spending. My DH laughs at me because I like to reuse Ziploc bags. We all have our cheapskate traits!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 12:32AM
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I'm exactly the same and I hate waste but I have a tiny house so I just can't store a lot of things I don't use. I've found the larger more popular charities are so picky because they get so much stuff, so I generally target the smaller less obvious charities and I find they are so grateful for the donations because they often get overlooked by people. I'd start looking around for the smaller charities. As others mentioned above, even places like animal shelters are always looking for towels, blankets, sheets etc, they often can't get enough, so when I have some I no longer use I box them up and send them in the mail (the nearest shelter is a 30 min drive and I would never get around to driving out there.) There are charities out there that would take your things but forget the obvious ones, look up charities or thrift stores in the phone book, do a google search on charities in your area and I think you'll find it much easier to get rid of your things, but you won't get the "your stuff isn't perfect enough" attitude like the big charities either and a lot of them will pickup.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 12:52AM
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Palimpsest, did I miss a post? Did you sell your house? Evict the tenants?

If you need things carted away, I thought of someone for you. The Marquis of Debris.

Here is a link that might be useful: Marquis of Debris

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 1:08AM
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This will only help with some of your issues, but how about renting a minivan or pick up truck? With planning your trips you might be able to take care of your stuff in a day or two.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 7:42AM
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I went through a move with my in laws last spring. They had been in the home 37 years.

I suggest you take a deep breath and then give yourself permission to not be in charge of shepherding each item to a new position in the universe.

I say this with love, but I saw it with my in laws. Just because something is "perfectly good" does not mean it is what someone will pay $1 for at a thrift store.

Just let it go. Into the trash.

The anguish you are creating about this is making a situation that is already filled with a lot of emotions and hard work more so.

I suggest calling the hazmat and ask how citizens without autos use their program and see if they have any suggestions.

If they don't offer anything, then I suggest borrowing or renting a vehicle to make the trip to dispose of these items.

But everything else.....If you can't get rid of it with a minimum amount of time and effort, it is OK to just throw it away.

And if it makes you feel any better, the fact that you haven't been throwing out stuff over the last 50 years should more than assuage any guilt about this one-time self-preserving act.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 8:15AM
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Have you tried furniture consignment shops to sell your furniture? Dealers might not want to make an investment right now.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:53AM
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I'm with you on recycling. Why is it so stinkin' hard? I would gladly have my tax dollars go to a nationwide program. I remember celebrating the first Earth Day in grade school years ago but we still have to drive 20 miles to dispose of a battery in 2012. At home we just chuck anything that decomposes into the woods. At work we have two dumpsters, one for regular garbage and one for cardboard. Really, really off topic...I get to work today and someone has moved the cardboard dumpster to a construction site about three blocks away. What is wrong with people? I am suppose to pay for their garbage?

I hate to throw away 'good' boxes. I've been known to put nicer ones in my clearance section with a FREE sign on them. And people do take them!

And yes to whoever mentioned freecycle. I have gotten rid of a lot of obsolete computer parts very quickly when using them.

This post was edited by deedee99 on Mon, Dec 3, 12 at 16:12

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 1:53PM
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I hear your frustration, Pal. I was raised by a dad who was raised during the depression and my mom is one of 10 in her family and was raised in Ireland...so in spite of my 36 years, I hear you, loud and clear!

There are places that will take donations such as yours, other than Good Will, etc. You may have to get a bit creative. That said, I live in WV now, where it's sadly, all too easy to find people in great need. Many of our churches have storage facilities for those in need...and will take anything from furniture to appliances, to clothing, to building materials. Habitat for Humanity may be another place to look. They have restores all over the country. Shelters will take sheets. I worked in a group home in NYC after college and we gratefully accepted sheets/blankets/bedding b/c when our residents moved on, we allowed them to take these things with them, so as to not have spend money (that they didn't have) on new ones. Soles for Souls is a program that accepts gently worn shoes for those in need of shoes. The list goes on and on. I don't mean to overwhelm you with more options, but wanted to throw these ideas out there.

Hope you find a place for everything, without feeling guilty or frustrated.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 2:27PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

What Julie said.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 2:28PM
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I posted this on your other thread on this subject, and am repeating it here...

Oh, honey...
I understand your frustration better than you know!
My aunt, the dowager queen of that side of our family, died leaving a cottage full of things she had kept for umpty-ump years, many of them her (and my mother's) parents' things.
It happened fairly suddenly, leaving me responsible for removing everything. I rented a storage unit in a well-run place. I distributed everything I could to other family members who wanted them, kept the silver and china and a few other things of value...and paid to store the rest for years.

I was determined that everything go to the right place, and for the right price.

$15,000 in storage fees later, I finally gave the rest of it away.
We still have things in storage, but had I been able to deal with it all at first, I'd feel a lot less foolish.

It's not pathology, darling...it's family conditioning, an old-fashioned sense of value and responsibility in a time where those values are more rare, and your knowledge that those things that are not treasured by the marketplace just now really should have recognized intrinsic worth.

But your time and your psychic health have more intrinsic worth.

Try to make a bargain with yourself.
Rent a van, rent a storage unit, pack away the things you KNOW are worth something, deliver the rest to the auctioneers and the charity shops you've ferreted out, and take yourself out to Buddakan or Davio's for a whacking good dinner.

It's like ripping off the band-aid. Hurts like the devil now, hurts less in the long run.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 2:40PM
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As much as I hate to say it, and you probably don't want to - but Ebay is a good source for selling smaller/medium size, easy to ship items. You'll get a good price. But not the twin sheets - animal shelter is the way to go.

Is there a church near you that has a sale to raise money? A homeless shelter? An abused women's house? A youth home? At least you'd get a tax right off for some of them.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 3:56PM
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I did sell a ton of stuff on eBay in those categories the last time I moved. It does take time though, particularly calculating shipping.

I stopped after someone would not buy a brand new Martha Stewart Twin Fitted Sheet (bought by accident) for *99 CENTS*, because I would not give an EXACT total for shipping before they bid.

It was too light to weigh on my home scale, and this would have meant a trip to the post office to stand inline just to get the postage on it. For 99 cents.

I just spent almost an HOUR in the post office where there were between 1-2 windows open (in a former 40 window office) and a single woman took over a half hour at her transactions. She was definitely getting off on watching the line grow to dozens as she kept on going. At pne point she took off her shoes, at the window. (Like bent over, untied them took them off, and her socks, then put them back on.) She also talked on the phone to someone getting THEIR opinion on the price she was quoted to send a package. Its a Lose Lose situation. Say something to her, and she would prbably stab you. Complain at the window and the piece you are mailing arrives 6 months later with footprints all over it.

My transaction when I finally got to the window was less than 30 seconds. I had a postage paid box that was slightly too large to legally mail except in person.

There is only so much of that I can take.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Mon, Dec 3, 12 at 16:32

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:15PM
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Pal - There's a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Philadelphia on Jasper Street, it looks like it's in the lower NE. I live in Burlington County and I've donated to the store in Cinnaminson. They take paint too.

The link below lists what they take and don't take. But it also lists some local agencies that accept household items.

Here is a link that might be useful: Re Store

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 7:33PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Throw the stuff out! Your stress, however minimal (although it seems more) is not worth the few dollars you Might get.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 7:50PM
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I have got to say that I have been laughing so hard with tears streaming down my face reading Pal's post about the 99 cent sheets and the post office visit. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 11:11PM
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This is why I don't sell on ebay anymore, it's just not worth the time and effort to list something for a few bucks and it's easier and quicker to donate or give away the stuff. When selling these days I think you just have to accept that people won't pay a lot for second hand items, even if you paid a lot for them, but if a charity can make a bit of money off them or put the items to use through their programs, to me that's just as good. Sometimes we get hung up on how much we've spent on items and just keep them for that reason, but they don't have any value sitting around not being used. The money is already gone and you won't get it back no matter what so you just have to let things go and dispatch them off to where they might do a bit of good and be done with it IMO. At the end of the day it is all just stuff, and as someone said above, you can't let it own you.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:31AM
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You have received a lot of good suggestions. And yes, the animal shelters love the blankets, sheets, etc. Not sure your proximity but PAWS could use the stuff, I'm sure.

Your 99 cent sheet story reminds me of the people at a garage sale we had once...they had to have a private moment to discuss if they would buy a hardback book for 25cents. They offered us 10cents. My husband said no. They coughed up the quarter. No matter how good a deal we think we are giving the person, they want it to be even better!

I know you say you put stuff out but then it gets rifled through and a mess is left. Can you do a Curb Alert on CL and just put a few things out at a time?

Good luck, congrats on the move. Don't pack the martini shaker. ;-)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:16AM
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I feel Pal's pain - we have horror stories of dealing with the Post Office in Center City - there are still 2 wedding gifts floating around from my son's wedding. He received a notice to pick them up at the PO but when he arrived with notice in hand they couldn't be found. The clerk claimed they had been redelivered - but he had just moved and even though he gave the PO the new address no one knows if they went to the old or new address.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:21AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

DH is most annoying when it comes to getting rid of stuff. He develops the oddest sentimental attachment to things that make no sense. He insisted we hang on to the bed linen from the old house. Mind you it's all too small for our beds, but he wants them. So I went to grab an old flat sheet from the old house to use as a mock up for a sewing project and man did I catch hell for that! So I ended up folding the sheet up again and finding something else. Here I thought he'd be glad that I was finding a use for stuff that has literally been unused for 40 years, but no. Tossing stuff from his family is like saying you hate his family. So then when it comes to sort stuff out to get rid of, I'm in a total panic as I'm sure he'll get mad at me for even suggesting we try to tag sale something, and he keeps telling me he doesn't care...right. And he wonders why I get so upset even attempting to go through this stuff. It's very difficult and explains why I have an entire attic full of stuff...looks like a freakin' goodwill store up there.

I mean it's so bad that we had some plumbing work done and I had some old dish towels that I use as rags (torn, rust stained) left over from the other house and he liked how they mopped water up so well and said he should get something like that. So I offered a few to him...I mean we have lots. I didn't see DH's face, but the plumber did and said, I don't think your husband wants me to have them....

Crazy, I know. I kept all of his father's pipes with the idea that I'd use them decoratively as a collection...he could care less and thinks it's dumb to even save them and has no interest in displaying them. Go figure.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:49AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Part of the problem of disposing of stuff is there are a few things, probably 1% of all you will get rid of that you will be sorry you let go. These few items will haunt you for years. But you have to look at the larger perspective of what was gained by getting rid of all those things...many of which you didn't even remember you had until you uncovered them again. And trust that you made the right decision 99% of the time.

I'm still thinking about that coffee table which we gave away....that 1940s picture I had...that old oak table that I had no place for, and it wasn't even attractive. No idea why that last one bothers me so much....

The other thing that cleaning out does is it puts new purchases into perspective. I've spent so many hours tossing stuff out that, at the time of purchase was just the perfect thing and had to have it, yet years later, it's nothing but a moldy mess and get rid of it.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:57AM
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Please don't feel guilty about getting rid of the things - consider it a blessing or favor to those who may follow and have to deal with things later.

Through the years I have helped and/or been responsible for cleaning out multiple homes of relatives who have moved or died, or homes that we've purchased where people just left things. So often the things the things we hold on to only have sentimental value to us but become a burden to those left to deal with it. In reality we really only need very few things to make life enjoyable. Most of the rest is clutter. I look at the "layered decor" and wonder how many have ever had to go in and clean up/ dispose of a home like that after someone has died. It's work and somewhat frustrating.

We purchased one home where we had to haul out a full straight truck load and a half of crap that was left behind. The seller had MS and moved/downsized into a 1 bedroom apartment and the daughters didn't want any of her belongings. We pitched it all.

My recent philosophy has been "if I die tomorrow what will others have to sort through?" I'm really trying to streamline. As I get older (and I hope to have a few good decades left) I realize I don't want my kids or other family members to have to deal with stuff. The idea of putting things in storage makes me cringe unless there's a plan for a useful life within a defined time period of say one year or less.

What I've found works the best: create a category of things you definitely want to keep. Then enlist the help of friends or relatives to work through the rest. Develop 3 additional categories and work your way through in one day. Category 1: things the friends/relatives want; Category 2: things for goodwill/charity; Category 3: things to throw away. Optional category 4: if you truly have something you think has value to sell have a timeline & plan by when it must be sold. Consider the costs, time and risks involved with each category, especially since you don't have a vehicle. The friends/relatives who truly want something will need to be there to help. They can be the neutral eyes (no emotional ties) to determine whether something is of value to a charity and more easily determine if its something that should be purged. Don't take their comments personal. In the end it's just stuff.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:12AM
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We are usually pretty pleasant and polite people when interacting with others, (unlike the internal monologue or dialogue I am having that I keep private)

But sometimes the people at sidewalk sales or from Craigslist are so annoying.

The current Craigslist add had the price in the title and in the text for the item, and exact measurements including seat and arm height for a chair.

And people keep sending email inquiries asking size and price. We stopped answering.

Somebody was so annoying about the price of something at a sidewalk sale that I said "I will let you take it for nothing if you just leave now and stop bugging me"

My partner stopped negotiations on a table with someone and said "I don't want you to have this table, because you are really annoying" and then gave it away free to someone who was nicer and seemed to appreciate it.

But I know someone who did this with a house. They got up at the closing and said "I am not selling this house to you, I don't Like you and I don't want you to own it".

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:25AM
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I also think you need to make this easier on yourself. If you don't need to sell items, just give it away. Some organizations will come pick up items. Habitat for Humanity does - I've used them several times. I second Allison's suggestion. Our church bought a small convenience store next door several years ago. That is now our "missions" building and a couple of times a year we have yardsales to raise money for various mission activities. People are able to bring items as they wish and they are stored there in the building until the next sale. I love it. Just find somewhere to donate and know that you will be helping someone who needs these items.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:40AM
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How about renting a car for the day, get rid of the hazardous stuff and drop everything else off to the proper donation center (one you agree with politically?) vets, shelter, etc?

As for getting rid of things, in general...I always try to think of how happy my 'stuff' will make someone, who really needs it :)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:17PM
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I don't have any advice, but just wanted to say, I feel your pain! I can totally relate to what you are saying. We have a very hard time throwing things out too. And not because we pat ourselves on the back either, it is because we just can't! Sometimes I am jealous of those that can. I don't mean something like hoarding...I mean changing something out because we are tired of the old. We have two behemoth tube-style televisions. We do not watch much tv so we will never wear these stupid things out. One of them my DH won in a raffle with a $3 ticket before we were married. They are so annoying, but I just can not, even with great sales and deals, go buy a new one just because I don't like the old ones. None of our furniture (which most of it is previously used) "matches" but apparently it is going to last forever, so I will forever have mismatching furniture. That is the kind of stuff I can't get rid of. I try not to bring too much other clutter into the house, knowing I have a hard time throwing things in the garbage. I even cringe when I have to throw broken toys away, not because I think they aren't garbage, I just think of the space in the landfill a worthless broken toy is going to take and it seems so wasteful. Over the years we have really become way more selective in what the kids can bring into the house too, because of my dislike for things that break easily and have to be thrown out.

Dedtired, where do you get stuff that you can put in paint cans to dry them up? Now THOSE I would love to get rid of!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:59PM
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craigslist is more of a gamble than Vegas.

After we bought this house and advertised our old furniture, some of the people who showed up were very nice. Most wanted everything for nothing. Honestly, if you're coming to my house to buy something, take a moment to consider if I look like a bag lady who really needs your four dollars for a dining table. I got the most pleasure from advertising a few things for free. One guy was so excited and grateful that we just started giving him things we planned to sell. We could tell he would get so much use out of it.

OTOH during a previous move we had a yard sale and people outright tried to steal things, stuffing extra items into their bags or trying to sneak out the back. One dealer PO'd me so much--I was essentially giving away four simple wooden Victorian dining chairs, but whatever I offered he wanted to get them for less. What sent me over the edge was giving me a smirk and saying, "I'll be back later. Then you'll be ready to deal." I picked up the chairs and smashed them to pieces on the sidewalk in front of him. He was shocked. I told him that getting money for the chairs wouldn't give me as much pleasure as knowing he could never have them.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 4:18PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

DH would buy cheap nonscoop kitty litter and pour it into paint cans (water base only) and leave the cans open outside...once they dried up, then just toss them with regular trash.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 5:40PM
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Myfoursquare - Consider instead that as far as the Earth itself is concerned, it hardly matters *where* on the planet a broken item is located - whether it is in a dump or dumped in a basement...so haul it away; because it *does* matter for the quality of YOUR life................take it from me as someone who is working hard at improving life quality through divestiture! (and it does not come naturally to me!)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:14PM
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I like the chair smashing thing. I will have to keep that in mind.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:51PM
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I loved giving things away when we moved. The most fun was stuff we left out on the sidewalk. We lived in a a NYC suburb and got decent traffic on our street, and we would take bets as to how long to get rid of something. The longest was about 2 hours for a sink in a vanity (perfectly nice, but not everyone needs one).

The Thomas the Tank Table with equipment more numerous that the MetroNorth railyards was gone in less than 10 minutes. The purple and black plastic beauty parlor play set (don't ask) went almost as fast. Good thing as I was horrified to have it on my lawn.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:21PM
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Have been snickering about this thread all day. I've had impure thoughts of doing the Soup Nazi maneuver with a few of my more challenging customers. After reading the thread, I realize I'd be in good company.

From the old Seinfield show:

Elaine goes to thank the Soup Nazi for the armoire, but the Soup Nazi angrily declares that he never would have given it to Kramer if he had known it was for her, stating he would have smashed it to pieces with a hatchet instead

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:04PM
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