Wednesday, March 7, 2012

We're Moving! (Part 3) Too...Much...Stuff...A Lot

In the immortal words of George Carlin, "Have you noticed that their stuff is sh*t, but your sh*t is stuff?" For the rest of this classic bit, including a nice slam at our infatuation with homes, have a boo hear (language warning: he doesn't use asterisks)

Both of our parents were packrats.  Think entire closets full of knitting wool (Lee's Mom) and 6 full sets of Pyrex measuring cups (my mom).  So we've been fighting the gene our whole lives.

But now it's time.  Yes there will be a locker for the inevitable staging and for the interim period.  A small one may even be needed longer term for records and seasonal stuff.  But we are NOT keeping a 10x10 locker for more than a month after we move unless we're living in it.

So as well as the staging-decluttering, there is some true lose-it-never-to-be-seen-again decluttering.

The mantra has to be that stuff is just stuff.  Only the memories are important.  Need a memory jog? Take a pic and stash it in the computer's "locker", which is much smaller physically and easier to access than box 7, locker H112, second floor, Advantage Storage on Warden Ave.

The mantra is much easier to follow when you can find a good home, use ... or price for the stuff.

A great help here was Kathy Zaremba of  Felicity Moving (  If the whole process is a little overwhelming, she can help with many aspects.  As a result of her work, she also has a great knowledge of places where you can get rid of or sell various kinds of stuff.

My mother's wedding lingerie, however, I believe had her stumped.  I mean, nobody wants it.  Including me.  But it's gorgeous, silk, 64 years old, and my Mom's.  And the only solutions seem to be the garbage bin or torn up for rags. The mantra, the mantra, the mantra.

The dinky toy collection has been dramatically reduced.  And I let go of the awesome white-handled six shooter with the actual bullets that take round caps ... Santa contacted me directly by letter one year to suggest that it was new and very cool and might be preferable the boring old standard two-gun capshooter I had requested.  Interestingly, my father also thought it was very cool.

Also, there is a teddy bear dressed in some of my toddler duds that still seems to be with us (recall my mother kept everything)

For our current clothing, the canadian diabetes folks will come and get it.  Value Village is pretty good and there are legit charity bins at their store sites.  Beware the bins in most places.  Most have minimal or zero charity components -- they are just moneymaking ventures.

Goodwill is OK, but they are bugging me lately.  Used to be they would take stuff and employ down-on-their-luck or challenged folks to repair, learn etc. Now, at least at one location that I will never enter again (Eglinton East), a very aggressive lady comes out, looks in the van and says "Can't sell that ... Don't want that ... That's no good, don't want it".

Excuse me dear, if you only want the good stuff you aren't much use to me ... If the van doesn't go home empty, you're wasting my time.  The idea is that you decide what you can use and YOU dispose of the rest.

Same issue can pop up if you are getting rid of your skinny clothes, etc.  Really good, still in style, barely used duds should be saleable at a consignment store.  But many will have an absolute rule that they won't take anything over 2 years old.  Back to the garbage bag and the diabetes folks.

I quickly confirmed that I didn't like dealing with stuff, so I went to Arizona golfing with the boys.  What could go wrong with that approach?

1 comment:

Bill Smith said...

Ooooooh the dinky toys. We used to have whole communities built on old construction sand piles with a complete army. Gee I don't know if even the "Evil Purger " could part with those. No mention of E Bay for vintage stuff.

Stay ther course sounds like you are moving forward. Will play McDowell course on my birthday. Is this a bedtime to mention Phoenix?