A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Letting Go of Stuff

Gramophone / Phonograph / Record Player - Engi...
Gramophone / Phonograph / Record Player - Engines in Enginuity, Coalbrookdale (Photo credit: ell brown)
      We've been talking about the material accumulations of our past.  In the last post the topic was magazines.  I've had to get rid of so many magazines over the years and have many more that now I must decide upon.  Most of us just don't have the room to keep everything we've ever owned, nor do we need to keep much of the stuff of our past.

           Let's face it.  Most stuff is just that--stuff.   Our amassed stowages are often of little real value.  Our perceived treasure is another man's trash.  Deciding what to keep and what goes out the door can sometimes be a dilemma, but sometimes those difficult decisions have to be made.  What things are the things you should keep?

           Some of the things to keep are obvious.  Things of true monetary value, irreplaceable heirlooms that will be treasured by future generations, or items of potential historical importance are probably worth hanging onto.  But what about the sentimental keepsakes?   Or the things that we can attach to specific eras of our lives?

          The many thousands of books, cassettes, videos, vinyl records, CD's, and DVD's that I own are something that I've started taking into strong consideration in recent years.  If I were to move they would be just something else I'd have to pack and carry with me.  If my wife and I ever downsize our living space, keeping these items would most likely be out of the question.  Would I miss them?  I probably would at times, but these are the sorts of losses that I can live with.  After all I can't take my stuff with me when I leave this world.  And will anybody want these relics of outdated technology when I've departed?

           I can remember when I got rid of all of my models and model kits when I was in college.  This was the passion of my early teen years and represented so many hours of pleasure.  Years later I sometimes regret having gotten rid of those things.  For one thing there could be some monetary value in them.   Maybe.  The fact is though that I couldn't hang onto those boxes of things and my parents wanted the boxes moved out of their house.  I can understand that.  Too much of anything requires downsizing.

         Then there was my American Flyer electric train set that I sold for $100 back in 1977.  That was an extensive set that my parents had added to every Christmas starting in 1956.  When I sold it I needed the money more than I needed the train set and the boxes were taking up space in a storage area at my parents house.  The train set wasn't being used anymore so what was the point of keeping it.  Now I've seen some of the individual train cars online selling for more than the price I sold the whole set for.  I might be making a fortune selling the set off now, but that would have meant keeping all of it for many years.  If I had only known, but sometimes we just don't think of those things.

      What do I get rid of next?  My stamp collection?  A lot of good memories there, but my research tells me that you don't get much out of stamp collections.  My collection is taking up the equivalent of about five medium size storage boxes in my closet.  I haven't looked at any of that collection in years.  Most of it I probably haven't seen in decades.  I'll have to think about that one.

        Are you a collector?   What things do you like to save?   Do you plan on leaving anything to anyone after you die?    What have you gotten rid of that you wish you had kept? 

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  1. Well, as you might surmise from the link on the right of my blog, I collect beer caps. With a little help from Mr. McCarthy, I have just nudged over 800. I know a lot of posters on the internet have collections in the 10,000s, but they also a) have more money than me; b)count caps with different underneaths such as pictures and rebuses, and )c have some of those big sets (like all the teams in a league or whatnot) which I do not (simply because I've not had opportunity), or also take sodas, etc. (which I try to avoid. At present, it is pretty weel contained to a smallish area.

  2. You should photograph the collection. The pictures will allow you access to the memories associated with it, without taking up the space. Me, I'd probably just keep it all, though. I'm a pack rat.

  3. Frankly, we all have too many possessions. At one time in my life I had soooo many collections: radios, owls, pigs, salt and pepper shakers etc. One day, it occurred to me that if I didn't purge, my kiddos would have to go through all my stuff one day--and that's no fun. So I've cleaned out considerable. It's very freeing.

  4. This reminds me of hubs dilemma when he had to sell his 1960 TR3 sports car - we weren't using it much since kids were scared of a car without a top (convertible).

    We loved that car and it was part of our early memories (I have lots of pix) but it was taking up space and money. He sold it finally to a guy who wanted to work on it with his son - so it went to a good home. I painted a car portrait for hubs before we sold it, so we have a reminder.

    Re- keeping things: I've kept the kids' toys by Jim Henson and a couple of dolls which I think will be collector items in the future. They can deal with them as we have room for those. I had to clean out much when we downsized from 5br to 3br in a townhouse.
    Just prioritize and do your research about value. Good luck Lee!

  5. Dear Lee, I've never been a collector of any particular item. I just have things around me that seem beautiful or that remind me of a time or place.

    Every year I sit with my eyes closed and try to remember and list what is displayed throughout my home. Then I go and look at all the table tops and books shelves, etc. If I find something I didn't think of in my list then I put that thing into a box for a year. If I find myself missing it, I take it back out. But if a year goes by and I can't even remember what's in the box, then I give those things away. Peace.

  6. CW-- Beer caps would be a darn sight easier to manage than bottles. And you'd be drinking the beer so that would be enjoyable. At least you picked a collectable that can fit in a small area. What's 10,000 beer caps look like anyway?

    Kelly -- I'm a pack rat as well. And pictures just aren't the same. But considering my collections aren't something I look at most of the time, why do I need this stuff? It's all just stuff taking up space.

    Teresa -- The after the fact issue is what I think about. My kids probably aren't interested in the things I've kept and an overly large estate of relatively worthless items is probably more of a hassle than anything else.

    DG-- I sometimes rue the disposal of some of my old toys that are known to be valuable now. It's a guessing game much of the time and value is sometimes determined in cycles. Remember Beany Babies?

    Dee -- I'm not a serious collector of anything, but mostly just an accumulator. I like your system of out of sight out of mind. This makes sense.


  7. I just looked around a few rooms, and feel like I could back a truck up to the house and take it all to Am Vets. My children don't want any of our treasures, and or gr-kids are still young.

    It is not the same anymore; when I was young, owning gr-grandma's jewelry box had meaning. Now? It is not important to the younger generation. I wonder why.

  8. I've turned over almost all of my household possessions at least three times, and the only thing I truly miss is a huge heavyweight soup pot with wire carrying handle and a lid. Now it's time to do it all again as we contemplate downsizing. I don't know whether I should have a garage sale or just call in someone to tote it all away for a charitable cause.

  9. I'm currently going through boxes and rooms eliminating unnecessary things. Over the years I've collected too many things that just wind up collecting dust. My hope is that by the end of the month I'll have gone from one end of our home to the other, getting rid of all things no longer needed or wanted. I'd like to live a simpler, clutter-free life.

    I do have to say that one of the things I'm having trouble parting with are some of the books I have. That may be the last thing I tackle. I'm hoping that our local library will accept some as a donation.


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Arlee Bird