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Don't Accumulate Stuff, Give It Away

When my father passed over a year ago, my husband and I were faced with the daunting task of cleaning out his house to sell it. We live in another state and it took us much time and money to get this done, almost a year in fact.

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After going through this I am determined not to put my children through this hardship. I have been sorting through all the stuff my husband and I have accumulated over the years. I have sold things at flea markets, yard sales, and given to our local Salvation Army. I have earned money not only by selling but finding things I probably would have bought in the near future.

I am more aware of the stuff I bring into my home now. I weigh each purchase. The best is I save time by not having to move "piles" from one area to the next. We enjoy are home more because we are not always stepping over things and battling clutter. Home is a calmer more spacious place to be.

By Pat W. from Eastern PA

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September 11, 20121 found this helpful

Less is more. I have found this to be so true.

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Anonymous
September 16, 20121 found this helpful

After many years of accumulating things, I am in the process of that now. I have saved things from my two sons who have passed on 21 and 18 years ago as well as so many things I've collected from the kids, their school papers, gifts, scrapbook items, etc. For the first time in 47 years, I will be living by myself. No more children, adult children, their spouses and no more grandchildren.

I realize that it is better to have a few nice things that mean something to me rather then a houseful of what nots that are just collecting dust. I do not want to leave everything for my children to do.

At one point we all discussed what would be done with all my belongings and they all said "bonfire" at the same time. I realized then that I had way too much stuff and it didn't mean anything to them. I have started a tote for each child and grandchild. As I go through my stuff, I put something into each tote that I think they would like as a remembrance of me. Much has gone into the trash, sold at yard sales or donated to someone that needed it.

I understand where you are coming from and think all of us will do better by dealing with our things bedore we pass on and the kids have to make decisions at a sad time. People have so much more today then they did years ago and our children have enough of their own. A few special pieces will mean more to them then a houseful of unusable things.

Judie from Eau Claire, WI

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September 16, 20121 found this helpful

After many years of accumulating things, I am in the process of that now. I have saved things from my two sons who have passed on 21 and 18 years ago as well as so many things I've collected from the kids, their school papers, gifts, scrapbook items, etc. For the first time in 47 years, I will be living by myself. No more children, adult children, their spouses and no more grandchildren.

I realize that it is better to have a few nice things that mean something to me rather then a houseful of what nots that are just collecting dust. Like you, I do not want to leave everything for my children to do.

At one point we all discussed what would be done with all my belongings and they all said "bonfire" at the same time. I realized then that I had way too much stuff and it didn't mean anything to them. I have started a tote for each child and grandchild. As I go through my stuff, I put something into each tote that I think they would like as a remembrance of me. Much has gone into the trash, sold at yard sales or donated to someone that needed it.

I understand where you are coming from and think all of us will do better by dealing with our things before we pass on and the kids have to make decisions at a sad time. People have so much more today then they did years ago and our children have enough of their own. A few special pieces will mean more to them then a houseful of unusable things.

Judie from Eau Claire, WI

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Anonymous
September 16, 20121 found this helpful

I so agree with this post - My mother was a packrat and I thought I had inherited this trait. Lucky for me 2005 brought me Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita and a move from Florida to Oregon. I sold my house and used Freecycle, Craigslist and a charity called Grubstake to empty the contents of my 3BR 2BA house. It was the most gratifying exercise and a revelation in what my "needs' versus my "wants" actually consisted of. I now live in a 1BR Condo surrounded only by the things I love. The weight off my shoulders is tangible and allows me to breathe.

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Anonymous
September 16, 20121 found this helpful

I so agree with this post - My mother was a packrat and I thought I had inherited this trait. Lucky for me 2005 brought me Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita and a move from Florida to Oregon. I sold my house and used Freecycle, Craigslist and a charity called Grubstake to empty the contents of my 3BR 2BA house.

It was the most gratifying exercise and a revelation in what my "needs' versus my "wants" actually consisted of. I now live in a 1BR Condo surrounded only by the things I love. The weight off my shoulders is tangible and allows me to breathe.

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Anonymous
September 17, 20120 found this helpful

I went through the same thing with my parents passed. My brother, sister and I all spent time cleaning out the attic that has been paced since 1945, it too took us couple years and finally finished and sold the house.

I feel the same way and when my girls come to visit I ask if there is anything they want otherwise it goes and have been doing this for almost a year of garage sales, flea markets and resale shops. It's getting there slowly but surely and am so enjoying what treasures I have long forgotten about or packed away.

Yes, my daughters have taken things and still find more treasures from their childhood. I anticipate another 6 months and will be finished. Being I work full time can only do so much at a time.

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Anonymous
September 18, 20120 found this helpful

Good idea. I too was faced with cleaning out my parent's huge overstuffed home. I donated to every charity that called, gave to my kids and the neighbors and threw stuff away. If anyone has trouble getting rid of something just look at it, contemplate the size of it, even if it is a shoebox and say to yourself "this item is taking up this much space in my home".

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September 28, 20120 found this helpful

I too have the same family history. Found this great book. This is an overview from the Barnes & Noble web site Check it out!

Overview

An ordinary man's inspiring journey toward a simpler, more meaningful life.

In 2008, average American family man Dave Bruno decided to unhook himself from the intravenous drip of consumerism that fueled his life by winnowing all his personal possessions down to just 100 things. Little did he realize that he would be igniting a grassroots movementsoon after Dave embarked on his journey, media around the world took notice and others started to follow his lead.

A cause for pause, The 100 Thing Challenge is a response to the culture of materialism in America, one that has filled our lives with the constant and unsatisfactory desire for "more." Dave Bruno offers compelling anecdotes and practical advice to help readers live more meaningfully, simply by casting off the unnecessary "stuff" that clutters their lives. The 100 Thing Challenge is a golden opportunity to experience the positive changes that occur as you defiantly hop off the treadmill of consumerism.

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