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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 05-13-16, 04:38 PM   #1
steve-in-kville 
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OT: Downsizing possessions - Ever go on a selling spree?

I'm married, have a family. We live car-light (one family vehicle). Lately I've been taking stock of all the stuff I've accumulated over the years. Both the basement and attic are full of things that have not seen the light of day in years. So I decided that this is the year I downsize my earthly possessions. My only real hobbies are also necessities: my garden, my bikes and I love to cook. Too many (lost) interests and hobbies over years has taken its toll on my basement. Sell it, give it away or scrap it. My life is too cluttered. Time to clean house. Literally!

Has anyone ever gone through such a downsizing? I would like to hear of your experiences.
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Old 05-13-16, 04:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
I'm married, have a family. We live car-light (one family vehicle). Lately I've been taking stock of all the stuff I've accumulated over the years. Both the basement and attic are full of things that have not seen the light of day in years. So I decided that this is the year I downsize my earthly possessions. My only real hobbies are also necessities: my garden, my bikes and I love to cook. Too many (lost) interests and hobbies over years has taken its toll on my basement. Sell it, give it away or scrap it. My life is too cluttered. Time to clean house. Literally!

Has anyone ever gone through such a downsizing? I would like to hear of your experiences.
And presumably the special car free issues related to downsizing
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Old 05-13-16, 05:44 PM   #3
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It sounds like you should check out the How simply do you live? thread.
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Old 05-13-16, 05:53 PM   #4
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@zonatandem is moving to smaller digs and probably has some notes.

My mother has been downsizing too during & since the decline & death of my dad and has been moving into smaller and smaller spaces with less and less stuff. They peaked out in the 90-00's with an acre and a motor home plus three vehicles. Getting rid of all your stuff is hard, especially since it seems no one else wants things you think you cherish.
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Old 05-14-16, 08:30 AM   #5
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You would be surprised at how little people are willing to pay for your stuff. Even if you list it on Ebay for 25 cents, it may have to be relisted for months before someone even buys it.

Years ago, there were a number of businesses that were started on the basis of selling your junk on Ebay. All went out of business.
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Old 05-14-16, 08:38 AM   #6
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You would be surprised at how little people are willing to pay for your stuff. Even if you list it on Ebay for 25 cents, it may have to be relisted for months before someone even buys it.
I've been selling on ebay for 15 years. I've come to know what can be sold and what is a waste of time. I've had a lot of hobbies and interests over the years and have done quite well on ebay. Its not for everything!
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Old 05-14-16, 07:48 PM   #7
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We've been through that downsizing a couple of times. We sold our stuff to move out of the country and most recently a large chunk of it to move across the country and into a much smaller space. Lots of thoughts related to this experience, what kind of thoughts are you looking for specifically?
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Old 05-14-16, 08:17 PM   #8
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Rowan and I have both downsized twice. It's not really something we'd like to do again.
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Old 05-14-16, 11:05 PM   #9
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My brother and sister-in-law are moving into a bigger, more luxurious flat, and they're renewing/upgrading almost all of their "stuff." They've been kind enough to give us box after box of clothing--some of it never worn--household goods of all kinds, two portable air-conditioners, and so on. We've only been able to keep a tiny percentage of it because we simply have nowhere to put it, so we've been giving most of it to other relatives or simply leaving it next to the dumpster, where it is almost immediately pounced on by poor folk who scrounge in the rubbish as a means of subsistence.
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Old 05-15-16, 12:13 AM   #10
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If you have a lot of stuff, and some of it might have some value, you might want to look into having an estate appraiser come in.

Hiring An Appraiser To Value An Estate | Bankrate.com
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Old 05-18-16, 03:35 PM   #11
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I did. Although, it was already after a considerable amount of downsizing. I had moved 3 times in 8 months - the last of which was due to marital breakdown. We went from a 2000 square foot house with a basement and garage full of junk. 8 months later I was sleeping in a sleeping bag in a one bedroom apartment. That I moved into with two trips in a hatchback. And then I needed some money after that so...

To be honest, it was a good experience. I like living with less "stuff". Recently I pared down to a single plate, bowl, cup, fork, and knife. Why? Because as a result I never have a pile of dirty dishes to wash up. Eat and clean as I go. Which is kind of a metaphor for other aspects of P_M'hood.
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Old 05-20-16, 12:54 PM   #12
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One time, without warning, I was involuntarily down sized to a duffelbag, and a Yugo. I wouldn't mind getting rid of some accumulated junk, but only on my terms.
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Old 05-20-16, 02:39 PM   #13
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One time, without warning, I was involuntarily down sized to a duffelbag, and a Yugo. I wouldn't mind getting rid of some accumulated junk, but only on my terms.
Yeah. Bike ride last month and came home to find my apartment on fire. We did a lot of downsizing that day. I'm not saying it's without benefit, but, on the whole, I do not recommend it.
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Old 05-21-16, 05:13 PM   #14
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I've had a few selling sprees. Nothing I owned had the value expected. Two items did sell well. One was a Macbook computer and another was a brier pipe made in 1968. Most everything else was sold at rock bottom prices or given away.

If you can live without getting ideal prices for your goods, then the benefit of parting with all of that stuff will be a good reward.
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Old 05-21-16, 11:52 PM   #15
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We downsized a bit when we moved (2 trips with a 4x9 trailer to the county landfill), but then we've accumulated even more stuff .

Of course, it doesn't help when one of us believes in the "if you haven't used it in 6 months, you don't need it" and the other one is "don't throw it out- you never know when you're gonna need it".
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Old 05-22-16, 03:03 AM   #16
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My brother and sister-in-law are moving into a bigger, more luxurious flat, and they're renewing/upgrading almost all of their "stuff." They've been kind enough to give us box after box of clothing--some of it never worn--household goods of all kinds, two portable air-conditioners, and so on. We've only been able to keep a tiny percentage of it because we simply have nowhere to put it, so we've been giving most of it to other relatives or simply leaving it next to the dumpster, where it is almost immediately pounced on by poor folk who scrounge in the rubbish as a means of subsistence.
I hope to retire and travel the world on my bicycle. It won't happen soon by upgrading my stuff. It will happen by buying only what I need and making it last. For me, the opportunity to shave ten years off my working life by living frugally is a lesson worth learning. Especially since "stuff" is not all it's cracked up to be.
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Old 05-23-16, 05:06 AM   #17
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I hope to retire and travel the world on my bicycle. It won't happen soon by upgrading my stuff. It will happen by buying only what I need and making it last. For me, the opportunity to shave ten years off my working life by living frugally is a lesson worth learning. Especially since "stuff" is not all it's cracked up to be.
I agree, but even if we wanted to get involved in consumerism, it would be difficult for us because we simply don't have anywhere to put all of those things that we are constantly being told we must have in order to be happy.
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Old 05-23-16, 06:46 PM   #18
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@zonatandem is moving to smaller digs and probably has some notes.

My mother has been downsizing too during & since the decline & death of my dad and has been moving into smaller and smaller spaces with less and less stuff. They peaked out in the 90-00's with an acre and a motor home plus three vehicles. Getting rid of all your stuff is hard, especially since it seems no one else wants things you think you cherish.
The only thing that's important are the pictures.
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Old 05-24-16, 01:03 PM   #19
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I hope to retire and travel the world on my bicycle. It won't happen soon by upgrading my stuff. It will happen by buying only what I need and making it last. For me, the opportunity to shave ten years off my working life by living frugally is a lesson worth learning. Especially since "stuff" is not all it's cracked up to be.
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Old 05-24-16, 01:31 PM   #20
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I had plans to live in a van/tiny house, so I did a fairly extreme downsizing.

There were a couple of moves where some big stuff, like junk motorcycles were purged.

And then a divorce, relocating to a studio apartment. Lots of stuff purged, but way to much stuff stored.

Back into a full-size house, I moved all my stuff back in with me. We decided to downsize drastically for life on the road and found out most of our stuff was worth nothing.

Round 1) Sell stuff of known value on ebay and CL.
Round 2) Sell stuff at yardsales, and give away stuff to friends and family.
Round 3) Goodwill, Salvation Army, free outlets.
Round 4) Dumpster/scavenger guy down the road.

We had a bunch of books -- thousands -- which we listed on Amazon used books, using a seller account. We priced to sell, so at a price where it would appear on the first page of listings. If the book was mass market or a book where there are millions in print it wasn't worth our time listing them or the time and material it would have taken to ship them out.

Don't overvalue your stuff. Your stuff is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, in the time-frame in which you need to sell it.

Do you own your stuff, or does your stuff own you...?

And BTW: I still have too much stuff...
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Old 05-24-16, 02:05 PM   #21
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Thanks for the replies.

I think where the majority of my accumulation over the last 20 years has been too many varied hobbies and interests. But over the last 5 years I always stuck to bikes, for one reason or another.

The only other interest I have running (and so far that hasn't taken up too much space!)
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Old 05-25-16, 01:13 PM   #22
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I started doing this after my wife died. After my home sells ill buy a smaller one. At this point I could probably put everything I own into half of a POD . Ill probably thin it down more before I move back to Oklahoma. One of the houses i am looking at is 800 sq ft.
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Old 05-25-16, 01:41 PM   #23
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I started doing this after my wife died. After my home sells ill buy a smaller one. At this point I could probably put everything I own into half of a POD . Ill probably thin it down more before I move back to Oklahoma. One of the houses i am looking at is 800 sq ft.
Hey man. I'm sorry for your loss.
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Old 05-25-16, 01:55 PM   #24
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Hey man. I'm sorry for your loss.
I appreciate that thanks, like you and others I came to the realization it was just suff. Ultimately I am happier, stuff does not make people happier.
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