Downsizing has started

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Downsizing has started

Post by Wildcat445 on Mon May 02, 2016 10:45 pm

I have been threatening for a couple years to start downsizing.  Life has a way of dealing us cards that we need to play, even though we are not dealt the hand we prefer.  So it is with me.  I promised that I would start in earnest this Spring.  I have done fairly well, so far, all things considered.  I need to do this while I have some control over the process, while I still have control over what I decide to keep and what has to go.  Some knuckle-dragger on ARF actually made a statement some time back that wanting to keep items accumulated over a lifetime was a mental illness.  That being the case, I have that illness.  It is not easy for me to part with stuff that means something to me for whatever reason.  But, the time has come.

So far, I have sold a little over $2500 worth of stuff, which is at least $2495 more than my wife figured I would ever let go.  I sold my big tiller, my little tiller, a chainsaw, a lawn mower that I hated (Tecumseh engine, yuk!) my old 1971 XL-100 RCA console TV that I bought new, and my 1996 36" RCA Home Theater, that I also bought new.  I sold some stereo equipment and a bunch of tubes.  My Buick, my Magnavox collection, my big Quincy compressor and my tool box will be keepers thus far.  Over 100 radios, the rest of my tubes, the rest of my stereo equipment surplus to my immediate needs, some of my test equipment, my old Chevy truck, my tractor are all on the bubble.  We are keeping certain radios that are family heirlooms or have special significance.  I will keep less than a dozen fans, the rest go.  I have been asking premium prices, and have gotten every dime I've asked for.  I make sure what I sell is top-notch, clean, serviced and ready to go with no excuses.  I got $150 for the old RCA, which I really figured would end up with a less than desirable fate.  I got $600 for the big tiller than sell for less than a third of that at auction.  It looked and ran absolutely like new.  I even repainted the tines black with silver tips.  To be fair, some of the items I have sold so far have been those that certain individuals had interest in previously.  I contacted them and let them know they were available.  I shot for the moon on prices to make myself feel better, hoping they would not sell and I could keep them.  "See hon, nobody wants that old junk" type thing.  I got a surprise.  Every person, to the man, paid my asking price in cash, some admitted they were overpaying, but were all thrilled to have the item.  Go figure.  I got $300 for my Dynaco STA-35 parts set with no tubes.  The buyer wanted the iron and the front panel and was happy to find a parts set.  I'll be lucky to get that money for the one that works.

I have a big lot of transistors for sale.  Lots of tubes.  Speakers, loose and some needing reconed.  Some stereo speakers that I'm putting on Craigslist.  Some of the stuff I'm hauling to Phoenix, figuring the market is better for some of it there.  Some will end up in the landfill.  I have a few parts radios, but they are mostly just chassis.  I fixed most of the radios I bought for parts unless the plastic cabinet was beyond help.  I am selling this stuff local, face to face, staying off ebay if at all possible.  I would rather take less for something than have to mess with ebay and their scams and rules.  I have pictures, but am not certain how I'll manage those.  Posting them all would crash a website, there are so many.  My plan now is to develop a lot, make sure it is in good condition, and post if for sale.  If I get a bite, great.  Three times with no bites, it is off to the landfill.  Metal stuff goes across the weight scales.  Should there be interest in any of the items I'm selling by a member of this forum, I will give them first dibs on it.

I do not have a terminal illness or anything like that.  I like my stuff and liquidating it is hard for me.  But seeing this stuff disposed of in a way that I have no control over would be harder.  I am still gonna tinker with radios and stuff.  I am keeping items that I am using most now, and my interest is strongest in.  I am simply selling off items excess to my circumstances while I can still have control over the process.  I'm not in a big hurry at this point.  The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

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Re: Downsizing has started

Post by jerryhawthorne on Mon May 02, 2016 11:49 pm

75, I know the feeling. We are downsizing slowly from 2800 sq. ft. to 1000. Stuff accumulated over many years but really not needed anymore. I'm down to one console which I believe I have a home for and am keeping one console and about 6 table tops. A lot of knick nacks and glass ware to move out. Wife figures we have a couple years before we sell off the big place in Sedona and move to the small place in CA. Now we split time between the two based on mood.
Good luck on your "thinning down".
Jerry

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Re: Downsizing has started

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue May 03, 2016 12:42 am

I give myself three years to get this project done, health permitting. The housing market around here is just now beginning to recover from the housing bust of 2008. We have priced our house about $50,000 too high for the current market, but hope to be on the mark in three years. This is about the performance the market was at before everything went to haywire. We figure there is a butt for every seat, and somebody may come along before the target date of three years hence. Too many people dump their homes trying for a quick sale, and that depresses prices. We want the long-haul sale if that's what it takes. In any case, we will have a better idea of what is truly happening in the market if we are actually IN it. Like the old saying goes.....you ask ten people a question and you get 11 answers.

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Re: Downsizing has started

Post by willy3486 on Tue May 03, 2016 11:34 am

Good for you. I wouldn't mind doing that as well but my wife doesn't want to. To those who are contemplating it here is my experience with getting rid of stuff. Back in the late 90s my dad got sick. After we left their house one day I told my wife I would have to be the one to clean up his stuff. He grew up in the depression and never threw anything away. He would even bring junk home. After he passed away I was laid off and you guessed it I cleaned it up. I worked for months cleaning and getting rid of stuff using my credit card for the bare necessities. I got into debt that took almost 10 years to pay off and my mom was giving all the money to my sister and her family who didn't help.

A few years after that my Father in law passed away and the state forced my mother in law to move so they could have her house for a road project. My inlaws also grew up in the depression. There were 5 buildings on their place that had to be emptied. I hauled probably 100 to 125 loads in my old mazda pickup to the dump ,other barn that is staying,etc. Toward the end of cleaning the MIL didn't know what to keep or get rid of so to make it easier at that time I just took it to the barn. I worked 3 years in my spare time to clean that stuff.

Now recently my mother in law has passed. She has a house full of stuff, mostly goodwill or yard sale stuff. So now my wife and I will have to get rid of this. My wifes bother is a arrogant jerk who has never helped us a bit with their parents. He never lended a hand to help but he was the first to put his hand out when she died. He even snuck to the bank and got half their mothers money before any bills were paid. So now we are saddled with paying the bills out oh my wifes inheritance.  So this mess is starting again for me. But my wife is the executor of the estate and can hire people to help. So we plan on going through the stuff over the next month then have a estate sale. Then we will put her house on the market. The good thing is we will get a little nest egg for retirement, it will not be as much as I could have made if I had not been helping them so much but at least I know they were taken care of. We also will get about 3 acres so we can have a little farm here.

When my dad first got sick it got me to thinking. I use to save everything as well. Now If I know it has no use at all it is gone. I still have a lot of junk but I try to keep it organized. I plan on finally clearing out behind my workshop  as I had not been able because of doing for the MIL. My mom is still living but I have decided not to clean her stuff out. I am the only child living as my sister has passed. My mom was different and she cast me aside so to speak years ago. I tried to be there but after a long time of being told I wasn't wanted around I finally took the hint. One of my nephews bragged to me that him and his brother, and my daughter  was getting all her stuff. I laughed at him and told him don't count on it. I told him she would wind up in a rest home and they would get it all. Besides she let the place go down and there is nothing of any value there. All the valuable stuff she let my nephew have it to sale so he could keep out of jail. So most if not all her stuff is dumpster stuff. But she chose that life against all that myself and her siblings were telling her and trying to help her.

So my thoughts after cleaning out my dads stuff, my father in laws stuff and now the mother in laws stuff then eventually cleaning out the junk in the barn that will be on our property is this, do not leave a big mess for your kids and family figure out what to do with. Get rid of it and don't build it up again. If you enjoy redoing radios by all means keep the tubes,parts and stuff that can be reused. But if you have a collection of busted cases not worth redoing and rusty chassis with no parts worth using toss it.

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Re: Downsizing has started

Post by Guest on Wed May 04, 2016 9:17 pm

I've also started to downsize. Life is too short and too much stuff has a way of owning you instead of you owning the stuff!

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Re: Downsizing has started

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu May 05, 2016 1:06 am

What finally got me off my butt on this was an acquaintance of mine had a stroke and is barely hanging on. He was not unloaded from the ambulance until his kids and their mooch buddies were divvying up all his stuff and doing as they pleased since the guy was not able to defend himself. This process is inevitable in my case. It has to be done, either now when I can control how it goes and what goes, or later, when I may be unable to have a say in anything, and have to helplessly watch. If I do it gradually and allow myself a little room for error, it might go easier. This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, except for attending my grandfather's funeral. On the other hand, like MEZ pointed out, the stuff started owning me, calling the shots. I need to get back in control. I will still tinker with stuff, just not accumulate more than I can manage and enjoy. I am not going out of business, and hopefully have time before I check out totally. I am just slowing down.

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Downsizing has started

Post by Ed in W. PA on Thu May 05, 2016 6:25 am

WC, I feel your pain. When I look out the back door and see that huge yard out there I know my days here are numbered. It depresses me to think of some day not having my work shop and all my test equipment, most of which I have had for 40 or so years. In addition to around 75 or 80 radios we have a collection of antique clocks, Lionel trains, hunting and fishing stuff ect. My wife borders on being a hoarder in that she keep everything we ever owned including baby clothes from our four children, our youngest child just turned 35. This place has so much just plain junk it's hard to figure out where to start. It is my wish that in the case of my demise someone would get my electronic equipment and parts that would really appreciate them and actually use the stuff and not just sell everything. Regards to all, Ed.

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Re: Downsizing has started

Post by willy3486 on Thu May 05, 2016 8:06 am

Wildcat445 wrote:What finally got me off my butt on this was an acquaintance of mine had a stroke and is barely hanging on.  He was not unloaded from the ambulance until his kids and their mooch buddies were divvying up all his stuff and doing as they pleased since the guy was not able to defend himself.

It is sickening how people will do. I have been really disgusted with some of my relatives. I have a uncle that use to be my favorite one but now is the one I dislike the most. When my dad passed away he come up to my parents house and took off all he wanted. He is my moms brother so she let him. Then when my mom got sick about a couple of years ago he called me up to let me know he was getting her John Deere lawnmower and her pickup. When I hear from this jerk it is always something he wants me to do or to bless me out. One of my sisters boys came to visit and went into telling me how my mom was leaving everything to him ,his brother and my daughter. I laughed at him and told him that the way laws are now that the nursing home would get everything. He was ready to leave then.

Now I am dealing with the worst leech of them all. For close to 15 years my wife and I have been the caretakers of her parents. I have turned down better paying jobs and not been able to make money on the side for them. considering if I got paid for what I did for them and the money I lost helping them I am probably in the hole for close to 50k to 100k. Thats fine though as they needed the help and I was glad I was able. My wife and I have basically put our lives on hold for that time. She has a worthless brother. He is the type that goes to church every time the doors open but never practices what he preaches. Anyway when the funeral arrangements were made he wanted it as short as possible. The day of the funeral he told my wife they needed to read the will asap. Then the 2 weeks after she died he had been to her house more than he had been to see her in the last 2 years. My wife is the executor of the will and she let him. He claimed he wanted to find a piece to a old gun their dad had but you could tell he was looking all over for money and anything of value. He constantly called my wife bullying her and told her he was getting his share. She tried to talk to him about buying his half of their moms house and he wouldn't listen. He told her she was getting the gold mine and he was getting the shaft. He also told her that 2 weeks were long enough to grieve.

He went to the bank and withdrew half their mothers money before any bills were paid leaving my wife with having to pay bills out of what he left. I told my wife there was no way to talk to this jerk. I told her our daughter was about to graduate and we did not need to make her feel she was obligated to come back as we knew she would move away. So now we plan to sale the house. We will get the land around our house and a little cash to fall back on. My wifes brother is basically dead to her. I saw a change in her and she will never have anything to do with him after this is over and I am glad. He has always been a pain to me since we have been married. If I had known how much he would have made us miserable though the years I might have never married her. But at last we will be free of him in less than a year. 15 years ago he came to our house to "straighten me out". He was mad because we quit going to church where he was. I basically told him if he was so happy with that church why had he been in 9 churches in the last 10 years. He punched me. Then he came at me again and this time I pushed his fist away. He tried it again and I unloaded on him. I put him down on the ground twice. If I had known the way he has done lately I would have done more then.

With that said here is my point. Don't be a jerk to those who really care and are there for you in the later years. The ones who really care are there for you,doing for you while the leeches are there only when they can gain something from you. My sister and her family never did anything for my parents except drain them dry. I got  a years pay into debt trying to help my mom after my dads death and she didn't appreciate it. It took me about 10 years to pay it off. Then we were there for 15 years for my wife's parents and her mom always promised our daughter her house so she could be there for my wife and I like we had been there for her. She didn't want to make anyone mad so she had the will written in such a way it was split down the middle. But all the care-taking wasn't down the middle. Look and see how is there for you. Usually the child who does the most gets the shaft and the other who won't do anything gets the goldmine.

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Re: Downsizing has started

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu May 05, 2016 10:03 am

This may be politically incorrect as a statement, but I have learned that if I wanted a good screwing, I could always depend upon a "good church goer" to oblige me. My cousin is a veterinarian. When she was starting out, she had an old pickup that she had let go to staves, and could not afford to have it patched back up mechanically. I drove 450 miles, provided tools and parts and worked all one weekend to fix her truck where it would be dependable. All on the never-never. A year or so later, they came out to our place to visit. While she was with us, she gave all our little critters vaccinations and looked them over. She handed us a bill for over a thousand dollars. I have not spoken a word to her since, and it has been well over 15 years. She is a Bible-thumper and her husband is a youth minister. The greediest couple I know.

I have been fortunate enough that our parents on both sides died fairly suddenly and did not need us to take care of them like you have had to with yours. I believe the story of my sister and her mooch preacher spouse and his sticky-fingered daughters has been told before. Having family is not always a blessing. The only member of my family, even down to second cousins, that I have any communication with at all is my brother.

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Re: Downsizing has started

Post by willy3486 on Thu May 05, 2016 10:23 am

Hope I am not going out the deep end and in all fairness this is what I have found out. Those who preach the loudest with their voice are usually the ones that will take advantage of you and are hypocrites. The ones who preach loudest with their actions and not their voice are true believers. Don't get me wrong I am a believer but I know I am not perfect but I do try to be what I think a person should be like. The problem with that is many think they are special and deserve more because they say they believe. I didn't mean to get off on this and hopefully it won't offend but I have found out your greatest witness is not from your mouth but your actions.

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Re: Downsizing has started

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu May 05, 2016 1:04 pm

I had the privilege of working for one of the most genuinely decent men I ever knew. He never set foot inside a church until the day he died. He taught me to give the other guy the benefit of the doubt, never to back a guy into a corner, and to be honest and truthful no matter how hard it was or how unpopular it was. Don't try to cheat him out of a dollar, though. He would spend his last breath setting the account right, trust me. If you lied to him, your credibility with him was shot forever. He taught me that you could give away your integrity, but you could not buy it back for all the money in the world. Next to my grandfather, he was probably the greatest influence in my life.

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