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RVing message boards => Fulltiming => Topic started by: OutdoorFT on February 15, 2017, 10:55:15 PM

Title: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: OutdoorFT on February 15, 2017, 10:55:15 PM
In preparation for fulltiming, Im working on getting rid of excess crap weve accumulated in just 3 years.

Where did all this stuff come from? Granted, some of it is hobby/recent wedding stuff. But, after going through a corner of 2 closets, still much work to do.

I dont know how some of you got rid of rooms and rooms full of stuff. I am envious  :P

Any tips to help the DW cut ties with unnecessary stuff? Shes a real pack rat  ??? But I love her!
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: herekittykitty on February 16, 2017, 06:07:46 AM
This probably won't help you, but I'll mention it anyway: One of the best ways to get rid of clutter is to walk away from it.

I was very lucky in that I had 5 months, while still parked in my driveway and living in my RV (impending separation from my DH) in which to pick and choose what would actually fit in my motorhome; to bring things in and take them out again, pack and repack, etc. In the end, I left some things behind in our S&B that I planned to come back to get, but then our house was sold and I never went back. It helped a lot to not be looking at all the things I might be leaving behind.

I also started digitizing everything way before I went FT. I have not one CD or DVD in here, no photograph albums, virtually no books, no more paper records of anything, and no physical magazine subscriptions.
All my bills were being paid online before I left.

If your packrat DW is unable to part with mostly things of sentimental value, you might as well resign yourself now to paying for a storage space somewhere in the country. There is absolutely no room for those inside an RV (unless they're tiny, like jewelry, or fit on a wall).

When it comes to hobby items, I decided what was important to me, and have both of the under-seat compartments of my dinette allocated to needlepoint and craft project supplies, and musical instruments. But I left behind a motherlode of luscious yarns and beads and other supplies, and those are gone now.

If any of the crap is kitchen crap (like a bunch of specialized appliances, or drawers-full of kitchen tools), you learn how to make a few items do the work of many. You get creative.

If her thing is clothing (or, god forbid, shoes), there will be very little room for that, either, especially with 2 people in one unit. Maybe a lot of that can go in storage, too?

The idea is that if she cannot see it, and learns to happily live without it because it isn't actually gone-gone, but just in storage somewhere, that may be the way to part with whatever won't fit in your future RV. Then, if you're both happy with the rig and the FT life you've chosen, after a year of paying money to store a lot of stuff you never use or need, she may be willing to just stop paying for the unit and let it all get auctioned off, or pay someone else to sort through everything and sell it on eBay.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: herekittykitty on February 16, 2017, 06:18:24 AM
I'll add one more philosophical bit here: Every time in my life I ever had to move from one place to another, and pack up mountains and mountains of STUFF (especially bookcases full of heavy books, in the pre-digital age), I constantly relearned this lesson: You do not own your stuff; your stuff owns you.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: SeilerBird on February 16, 2017, 06:23:09 AM
It is really quite simple. You are not getting any younger. And odds are you will die sometime in the future. At that point it will be up to your relatives to go through all your stuff and decide what to throw away, what to give away and what to donate to Goodwill. If you do it yourself now then you get to make all those decisions. Do you really want to burden your loved ones with that chore? If you think it is a pain imagine how painful it will be to them. And guess what, you can't take it with you.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: DearMissMermaid on February 16, 2017, 07:37:45 AM
When I emptied out a 10 room house to go full timing on a sailboat,  I first had a party for my friends. I let them come pick out anything and everything they wanted then "make an offer". Whatever they offered, I took! Some were very generous too.

Oh just before the friend only yard sale, I did call relatives to advise them to make haste and come claim any family heirlooms they wanted. I wasn't holding back a thing, come cart it off before the friend only yard sale.

One lady asked about my suits, I was going sailing and dry clean only suits surely weren't going in the sea bag. It had not occurred to me that someone would want my clothes which were still in the closet. I hastily pulled out the things I wanted and then  she happily carted off all my suits and most everything else in my closet. Her husband said later, she looked like a million bucks and got a promotion at work. Wow!

My friends did a pretty good job of taking a good bit of stuff. I had mostly antiques, so this was a plus as I didn't lose money on those.

What was left, I had an advertised to the public yard sale a week later and the next lot flew out the door.

The leftovers were donated. There was a half house for prisoners that lived under strict curfew, I was able to send them thousands of books. Many were self help and how to, so I hope some managed to learn a few things.

The house was sold with the appliances, so nothing bulky to deal with there. I sold my car and I was on my way. Storage costs were zero because there was nothing left to put there.

25 years later, when I had moved ashore in the Caribbean, I emptied out my home to move to America to buy an old RV. I did the same thing. Had a weekend for my friends to buy up stuff then a weekend for the public.

For sentimental items... take LOTS of pictures. Then you have the memories before it's all gone.

Photograph the entire house now before you start selling and giving away. Sometimes it looks lovely, other times it just looks like a pile of junk.

This might help the pack rack get rid of it, when they see how junky it looks in the photographs.

I feel for you. I was invited to help a pack rack organize her home. The problem was she had 5 times the junk crammed into the home. I could not get her to part with one single item. It was impossible to organize because every flat surface including the floors were just cluttered cluttered cluttered. She even had a table full of containers. Empty containers. Many were warped or melted or so old they were cracked, with many missing lids but she kept every one of them. I felt so defeated. We got virtually nothing done. Mostly she kept emptying out her food cabinets and giving me food. Now food is something most people use up, not collect.

Good luck in your endeavors!

Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: Tom on February 16, 2017, 09:14:33 AM
At that point it will be up to your relatives to go through all your stuff and decide what to throw away, what to give away and what to donate to Goodwill. ... Do you really want to burden your loved ones with that chore?

Good advice, and that's what I came away with having gone through the process with a deceased parent. Came home on a mission to get rid of "stuff". Unfortunately, the pack rat in me meant I didn't make a lot of progress  :-[
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: John From Detroit on February 16, 2017, 08:01:54 PM
About 2.5 years ago (July 2014) the motor blew in this house.. Now I have till the end of the month to stow all the accumulated clutter in just that time.. A good amount of it is going to be "Stowed" in the big metal container with WM printed on it.... But that is because some of it is empty boxes.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: OutdoorFT on February 16, 2017, 09:47:01 PM
Wow, was not expecting these replies! Very helpful.

We have a few things sentimental, mainly wedding, nothing that would require PAYING for 4 walls and a roof over. One of the problems we have is small appliances. Wafflemaker, keurig, coffeemaker, cuisinart grill thing, crockpot, blenders and nuwave. She wont get rid of excess kitchenware, even though we never have guests. We have an oddly large number of ciffee cups for 2 people.

I do appreciate the tips. Please keep them coming!
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: spacenorman on February 17, 2017, 03:37:46 PM
My DW has long struggled with the idea of downsizing.  Empirically, she knows it's something we must do - even if we don't end up fulltiming in the coach.  Still, she has a hard time letting go of anything related to the kids (we've still got a dresser in the upstairs bedroom with drawers stuffed full of old homework assignments ... not in any sort of order, just stuffed in there ....).   My sales pitch has been that in its current condition - it brings ZERO enjoyment to anybody - and have urged her to pick out one or two things from that pile of crap that are meaningful to her - then to take whatever that one or two items happen to be and make it suitable for display (frame it, put it in a shadow box, etc.)   She finally did that with the homework stuff .. I've now got a framed item on the coach wall - and a nice big hole where that damn dress sat for years because it held the homework. 
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: jackiemac on February 18, 2017, 04:46:58 AM
Hi  :D 

We aren't full time,  but living in the US in our 30 ft trailer for 6 months. Did it for the first time last year. I couldn't get over how little we really needed to survive in relative luxury. Now I know we have our things back home and we live in a 4 bedroom house where every cupboard is full, but I can't say there was anything I really missed, except my friends and family.

We made lots of great memories on our trip and met lots of lovely people. I feel that experiences now outweigh "things".  I'm sure you will both feel the same after a few months  :D

Great advice about taking photos and digitisation, that's definitely what I would do.

Maybe you should watch this (I'm not sure if there is swearing in it, not watched it for a long time).

Good luck.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: Tom on February 18, 2017, 04:11:52 PM
When we moved our residence from the UK to the US nearly 40 years ago, we sold or gave away 'everything', arriving with just a few suitcases. But there was stuff I felt I couldn't part with, and they were boxed up by the company and shipped by sea. Six weeks later, I got a call from the shipping agent, and went to the airport to clear customs.

6 months in a rental house, followed by 10 years in our own house, and 5 years in another (purchased) house, before I finally opened the boxes. It turned out I really didn't need that 'must have/take' stuff.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: Bill N on February 18, 2017, 09:48:09 PM
On our last move from a larger to much smaller home, it became obvious that a lot of downsizing of 'stuff' was needed.  So we started piling unneeded items in the middle of the double garage and the pile grew rather quickly.  I never realized how much 'stuff' I had not used or even seen in years.  Once the pile was completed it covered one half of that double garage and the Salvation Army truck came right out and carted it away.  When my mother-in-law died, she was already living in assisted living and had pretty much downsized. For that we just called Salvation Army and gave them a key to the apartment and told them to empty out everything - we did no packing at all.  Just some suggestions.

Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: OutdoorFT on February 19, 2017, 12:19:29 AM
I may take a tub and start piling stuff we actually use (not a tub big enough for stuff we havent used in a while). A while ago I did purchase a dvd/cd holder, 300 I think. That has saved space. I think the kitchen is the worst of it.

Thanks for the ideas! Just need more time to take care of everything.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: DearMissMermaid on February 19, 2017, 05:12:47 PM
I converted all my music CD's to MP3 files on my laptop with a copy on my external hard drive backups.

I was able then to put about 5,000 songs on a tiny MP3 player which is hooked to my speakers and this RV rocks with awesome sound. It's on shuffle, so the songs play randomly.

Since I get 5 more free songs each week through the library royalty program, I am able to keep adding to my collection. On top of that I get free digital credits from Amazon when I choose slow shipping, so I buy songs there with the free credits. I am thrilled to have this massive amount of music and it all fits on a teeny tiny player.

I converted all my DVD movies to digital on external hard drives. They make a 2TB sturdy drop proof, water resistant one I love which I also use for my non-movie backups from my computer.

My pictures are mostly digitalized from 2000 forward. I have a big box of old pics I want to do something with. I don't have the equipment to digitalize them, but there is always hope.

Kitchen stuff is tough. I hated getting rid of all my wonderful gadgets and aids, but I managed to keep quite a few which I use, just not room for the nifty appliances. Oh well.

C'est la vie.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: Ralph Berry on March 11, 2017, 07:10:22 PM
I have over 35,000 song on a HD on my computer 167GB worth. and I have a 5TB HD with videos on it, I still have a lot of videos I need to convert to my HD. Not to mention all of my pictures that I need to digitized.
But I still have a few months to get this done. But if I don't, I must not need them.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: JudyJB on March 12, 2017, 06:56:17 PM
I downsized once from a 2,000 sq ft house when my kids left home after college, and then from a smaller condo to my motorhome.  It took my well over 6 months for the last downsize, but I still ended up with about 40% of my stuff, including most of my furniture.  I ended up putting furniture and a lot of stuff into a storage locker, thinking I might have an accident or not like full-timing. 

That was a BIG MISTAKE.  Even though they were in huge sealed bags, all of my mattresses mildewed, as did some of my furniture and just this past summer I ended up giving a lot to my son for his basement and throwing out the rest.  It was just too expensive to store.  I ended up with 12 big plastic bins of family stuff--mine, my parents, and my grandparents because I was an only child of sorts.  Those are now in my son's basement.

At the time, it was hard to get rid of stuff, but after a while it was just stuff and I was glad to be rid of it.  You will almost certainly never use more than one coffeepot and four mugs.  I have a few dishes but mostly use paper plates, so I suppose I ought to even get rid of those.  A large mug works fine for soup and oatmeal and such, and the rest can go.

Some suggestions on that storage room, which I suspect you will have to get:  Make sure you put thick plastic on the floor.  Also make sure ALL furniture is up on blocks to keep it from damp during the winter.  Some sort of plastic somethings would be better than wood, but stuff has to be on something.  (My very expensive dining room table was ruined because it was laid on its side and the wood got damp on one side.)  Also, make sure you have labeled everything and have an aisle going down the middle so you can retrieve things in sox months or a year.   

Take a couple of dressy outfits each and put them in a bin and take it with you.  Who knows when you might need a "funeral" outfit!  But most likely you will never wear anything but shorts, t-shorts, casual long pants, and a sweatshirt or two!  I have a lot of those, but only maybe 5 pairs of shoes, only two of which I ever wear!

It is amazing what you can live without and won't care about in a year.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: OutdoorFT on March 13, 2017, 06:03:09 AM
Thanks for the responses. Weve been making great strides in reducing our stuff. I wont be digitalizing everything, but it will be much more compact than it was. So far, Ive done both closets, with still more to do. Feels good, DW is more accepting of stuff going, so that helps. Best part is...shes willing to part with clothes!

I couldnt be more proud. I will definitely not be getting a storage locker. My furniture isnt even worth giving away. I just bought another beautyrest foam pad because my mattress sucks. Ive been slacking, but I will be continuing to get rid of stuff.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: JudyJB on March 13, 2017, 10:43:49 PM
Once you really downsize, you will really enjoy the feeling of freedom not having all that stuff gives you!  And also you will wonder why in the heck you bought it all!! 
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: 6x16inside on March 16, 2017, 05:56:48 PM
I'll add one more philosophical bit here: Every time in my life I ever had to move from one place to another, and pack up mountains and mountains of STUFF (especially bookcases full of heavy books, in the pre-digital age), I constantly relearned this lesson: You do not own your stuff; your stuff owns you.

I am a driver for my job and literally cannot drive in the daytime due to the maniacal ways people drive these days (way to fast and over the limit, darting in an out needing to be first, etc.) 
Isn't it sad to ponder the fact that they are rushing about to gather money to buy all they think they want and need and wouldn't listen to people like us if we even tried to tell them.
Like a sticker saying I want printed up reads "I am not in your way. YOU are in your own way."  Makes sense if you think about it.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: OutdoorFT on March 16, 2017, 06:02:55 PM
Funny you mention that. Saw a car dart over 4 lanes to get an exit. Traffic was not heavy at all. Not a planner.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: blw2 on March 21, 2017, 03:34:00 PM

I can sympathize with you.
I'm not good at it, but I admire simple, clean, and clutter free living
but I was trained to be a packrat
and my wife is a packrat too.

I packrat stuff, but try to keep things in their place..... she on the other hand is more about easy access and leaving things close and out.  It's a struggle.

I'm really trying to embrace the letting go of stuff, even though I'm not working towards full timing or downsizing any time soon....

But the book by marie Kondo was suggested to me when we were moving my father in law into assisted living.  Simple read, simple concept...but there is value in it.
Title: Re: Lots Of Clutter
Post by: TheWanderingRVer on March 25, 2017, 09:32:30 AM
We are making the move to fulltime in a couple months. Luckily we have known this day was coming for several years. One thing I can say from experience is if you do plan on having a yard sale - call it an estate sale not  yard sale! Do it Thurs-Sat. We did 2 sales last year. The first was a "yard sale" Sat & Sun made a whopping $500. The second was an "estate sale" Thur-Sat (mostly the same stuff that didn't sell at the yard sale) made over $3000. Don't think that because no one is dead that it isn't an estate sale. After all, it is everything you aren't taking. The reason for Thur & Fri is people who set up at flea markets and such can't "shop" on the weekends. We are getting ready to have our final sale - the MOVING SALE! Good luck!