Pack Rat Alert!

by Char
(Texas)

Been retired a year and few months and decided I simply had to address the need to simplify life. I mean who needs 3 very large closets full of career business wear when you are living in work-out gear!?

So that lead to the thought that I needed to rid through paperwork and make things more organized for my kids while we could still determine what was or was not important! Wow - what a long list of "to do"!

So, I have been sorting clothing - down to one and a half closet (its a start) -
then I happened to begin pulling boxes and boxes of those under the bed storage bins from under the bed and so much stuff from all over the house that were "memories"..

How do you discard all of that? So, thought I would share this idea.

I am setting up a mass scanning of all our photos and loading onto either a thumb drive, external hard dive or CD. I will offer my kids the hard copies if they want them but this will still enable me to view photos on my computer without the pack-rat living.

I also decided to just take photos' of those can't part with memory things like the many boxes of gifts the kids and grands have made with such love. The macaroni art etc. So the photos have been taken and on my external hard dive for safe keeping.........now to get those boxes to the trash bin........not sure I can do it but they have at least made it to the garage out of the house. (I did allow one bin for myself, one for hubby to keep with things we just can't part with yet.

I will have to have a stern talk with myself and a good reminder that this is an act of love and kindness to do this now while I can - and not leave it for my kids to try and sort though while they burn vacation time wondering why Mom kept all this "stuff".........

I figure if the Lord continues to bless me with many more years, my life will be less cluttered yet I can still enjoy the memories via photos on my CD's or external hard drive. Less storage issues and did I mention dust bunnies?

As for clothes - in retirement I want classy comfort! I still kept many nice outfits for special occasions, holidays and church, but the heels and shoes that I wore for "looks" are outta here - Strange and liberating to shed the conforming to expected standards. I dress nice, but in comfy active wear now most days. If not that a nice sun-dress or Capri's -how fun to just relax!

I donated the clothing to a charity that helps young women have a fresh start in life after life skill vocational training. It's a win/win!

Next up - jewelry - going to give my two granddaughters all the less expensive stuff now - I wear my good stuff and enjoy it now while I can......so that is less clutter too!! I have gotten rid of over 50 pair of shoes/boots and 30 handbags!

Feeling proud of my progress! If nothing else - I can have an excuse to shop again! Ha! (just kidding) - promised myself if I buy one item, one thing has to leave the closet now.......hopefully I can stick to that.

Funny - I feel 20 pounds lighter already! I don't think I could ever live in a tiny house, but I am looking around thinking hummmmm - maybe a zero lot line home with no big yard to mow - just a nice patio and a pool.........now to convince hubby!

And that reminds me --- his closet needs to be tackled too - good thing he still works.....he is a pack-rat....maybe he won't miss much if I remove it little at a time! LOL

If anyone has any other thoughts on how to just let the stuff "go" - or creative ways to down-size without loosing your memories / identity please share! Also - if you have moved from your larger home to something smaller were you happy you downsized and does it ever feel like home?

Not sure -- zero lot home or wait an go to assisted living .......(only as a necessity hopefully later - much, much later)..........

Thoughts?

Comments for Pack Rat Alert!

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Turn your hangers
by: Anonymous

Turn the tops of your hangers all one way. Each time you wear something hang it up with the top of the hanger facing the other way. If a season goes by without the hanger turning, toss it out.

(from a friendly salesperson)

Time to Drain the Swamp
by: John a. / Tyler, TX

No, I'm not talking about Donald Trump. Instead, I am talking about getting rid of clutter in my life.

When I was in the Marines years ago, my life was pretty squared away; everything had its place. I always traveled light. But as I have gotten older and less disciplined in life style, things have found their way into my life; tools, electronics, clothes, books, CDs, vinyl records, and who knows what else? What ever it is, there is what I consider clutter.

I always tried to travel light, but since getting married 15 years ago and retiring about 8 years back, I have noticed stings beginning to pile up it's driving me crazy.

Since I had a serious fall a year ago April 15th, my priorities in life have changed. I am no longer able to do some of the things I use to do since I am in constant pain and my body's flexibility has diminished quite a bit. But, that still doesn't stop me from getting out into the garage and begin the process of reorganizing my life to something simpler; something more reasonable and less burdensome.

So, during the past few weeks I've loaded up the pickup truck and made several trips to the city dump, Goodwill, Salvation Army to rid my life of unused and unneeded items.

What's no longer functional is discarded to the dump and those things that still have life in them are giving to folks like Goodwill who can sell them to others and give new purpose.

This clearing out the clutter in my life has also eased my concern that if something were to happen to me, my better half will not have to deal with things by cleaning out what I left behind. I would certainly hate to leave my beautiful wife a mess.

As we all grow older in life, I've come to realize that it isn't things that makes life nice. It's how life is lived and how it is shared with loved ones. I don't need that crud in my life and would much rather share it with my wife by not having to worry about how her life would be turned upside down taking care of my mess.

At one time not long ago I was up to my neck in alligators and realized it was Time to Drain the Swamp. And here you probably first thought I was talking about Washington DC, but I digress.

Down size
by: Sherry/Wilmington, NC

I, too, have been cleaning out my home since I retired. I work on it every week, but not everyday. I have other things I want to enjoy my life now.

It is such a good feeling to clean out. I haven't missed anything I have given away! I only need so much and wish to live a simple life now.

My home is too big for me, but I love where I live (convenient) and I live alone and feel safe here. I think that alone is worth it!

Keep on cleaning out and give those treasured things away and they will become treasures to someone else, a good thing!

Thoughtful for sure
by: Sandy

Char - your act of cleaning out your items long before you are ill or too old to do it is a very thoughtful gesture. Your children will appreciate it for sure.

My parents were both hoarders (not like the TV show, but certainly they kept at least 3 of everything). My mom is 87 and my dad is 90. Although we moved them out of their home, they both got ill and we had to move my dad to skilled nursing and my mom to assisted living.

It has taken me over a year to clean out their items. We stashed them all in my garage and living room (and my son's basement). It has been extremely stressful. And once my mom got better, she still did not want to part with things.

Yes, I am whining, but I so wish my parents had even given a second of thought to how much work they created by not cleaning out their items. I have vowed to never do this to my kids.

So, right on, Char. Good for you.

Downsizing
by: Patrick/UK

We tried downsizing from a house to a serviced apartment. It was still a fairly large home with 3 b/rooms, dining room and lounge. We lived there for just over two years before we moved back to a 4 b/room house with a large garden. We just missed the feeling of space and having a private garden. Now planning to move to an even larger place with a large parcel of land.

Downsizing is not for everyone.

I uncluttered drastically some time ago and have not missed anything I got rid off. However my wife took the opportunity to hoard even more stuff in the spaces I vacated. I am a minimalist ; she is a hoarder and after 45 years together still always wins the debate.

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