Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)
  • The detritus of life – moving house and where it went wrong?
  • Joe
    Full Member

    I’m moving house for the first time in about 10 years, and have been packing things up over the last couple of days.

    Wow I have a lot of stuff. It’s not just the bike bits, the camping bits, the climbing bits, the boxes of spares, the boxes of screws, the trays of washes, the garden crates of weed killer/string/old tomato seeds… it’s even the number of jars and bottles of spices I have. The different kinds of vinegar. The bathroom cabinet with blister packs of half used pain killers… the tube of medicine which might come in handy for that thing I had in 2021…

    I’ve actually found the whole thing quite depressing and sad. Most of it probably shouldn’t come to the new house which is a smaller rental property – it makes no sense to cart it around. But what to do with all this accumulation? Does it end up in landfill.

    It’s really got me thinking about my levels of consumption firstly, but also when should you actually let things go? I tend to buy nice quality things – many of my jackets will probably never totally wear out for example. They end up faded, or with a couple of small holes. Insulated outdoors coats get less puffy and a little shabby with small tears…

    …at what point do you let them go? They are still useful. It seems sad to bin them. They were also things which were expensive.  What about those racing tyres you bought for that event in 2020, and carefully folded and have in the spares box… should they come or should they go? The box of spare cables for the laptop, the printer and whatever else?

    What have you all done in this situation? Has anyone ever got on top of it without depressing themselves with endless sorting of old jars of screws and spices?

    WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    Stuff that doesn’t really deteriorate – keep, you might use it so why chuck it and buy a replacement
    Stuff you have duplicates of where you will only ever need one – sell or give away the others to people who can use them.
    Consumables – consume. You bought them for something so do that with them.
    Stuff that was expensive once – Vinted or similar sales forums.

    Don’t get hung up over having possessions though. There is nothing wrong with that, just don’t buy lots of stuff you will never use or large quantities when you only need small quantities etc.

    If you have trouble clearing stuff then work out types of stuff you have and clear things into groups of those. Pile of clothes, pile of books, boxes of screws and nails. Then either chuck all of one group into the same packing box or subdivide into small categories and repeat until the group of stuff fits into one box. When you get to the other end you can decide if you keep on screw box or have separate boxes for each screw size, lengths and head type.

    dovebiker
    Full Member

    When we moved during lockdown, we gave away what we could and took numerous trips to the dump (which was a total chore with queues of 1hr+) Still ended up with a massive removal truck where most went into storage for a year whilst new house was built. Over 3 years later, I still have bike stuff I haven’t unpacked including my old race bike. We’d been in the last house 27 years and made us realise how much stuff was simply accumulated – buying new stuff when you still had perfectly useable stuff. Try and have a one-in, one-out policy now and if I find things that are taking up space and haven’t been used for a couple of years, I either move them on or chuck them.

    Edukator
    Free Member

    The last time I moved, over 20 years ago, I just took the lot. When I unpacked I made piles for the tip, the second-hand shop etc., but most of it I kept. I’m pleased I did, a lot of it has been used. Tyres I thought I would never use again got used for light off-road touring, the cable I’d chopped off a dead drill got used on an angle grinder, the clothes got used for filthy jobs such as insulating before a final wash and into the recycling container. Even stuff I thought I was mad moving but the move was shorter than the trip to the tip have been used: odd tins of paint, electrical trunking, piping, timber offcuts… .

    However some things are still in the boxes they came in: VHS cassettes, junior’s first art work, flat-pack furniture that is still flat.

    gasper
    Free Member

    I feel your pain- unbelievable amount of stuff. My wife is a complete hoarder , I spend half my life trying to reduce stuff around the house. We have about 10 bikes, 3 sailing boats, camping gear, skiing gear, 3 motorbikes . We’ve emptied 2 x parents’ houses – my dad’s involved 6 skips, loads of eBay, and about 3 lorry loads to charity. And my mum still tries to unload stuff on us…. Moving (we are pushing 60) fills me with dread……

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    I’m actually going through my collection of outdoor kit/bike parts at the moment and sorting it into four piles.

    1. the stuff I’m keeping,
    2.  the stuff still decent enough to sell – even including postage,
    3.  the stuff to donate – my local outdoor/bike shop has an upcycling project on the go, handing out second hand bikes to folks that need them and there are charities taking good outdoor clothing
    4.  the stuff to bin – which I’ll try to sort into suitable recycling piles.

    I’m hoping that the 4th category will be quite minimal.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Cables – into the small electrical items waste at the local tip.
    Half used packs of medications – put them all in a bag and take to any chemist, they’ll dispose of them safely. Do NOT put those in landfill (they break down and end up contaminating water courses) or give them away!
    Paint – most tips have disposal for paint, oil etc

    I’m going through similar with my Mum’s house at the moment except she’s been there 40 years. Huge amounts of crap which will never be used but which she can’t bear to get rid of for mostly unknown reasons…

    jonba
    Free Member

    Not moving house but I notice this coming back from a holiday. I can spend a couple of weeks walking and fit everything I need into a big bag. Nearly every time I get back and wonder what on earth all the rest of the stuff is for.

    I do occasionally clear stuff out. Try and use a one in one out policy so not holding onto that old thing in case it comes in handy. If I find I haven’t touched something for a year then it goes in the charity shop pile or I try and sell it depending on what it is worth.

    As you say, my biggest complaint is seeing things that have life left in them going to landfill but some stuff just has no second hand value.

    charliemort
    Full Member

    @jonba – yes. Bike pack quite happily out of a couple of bags. Seem to need 8 of everything at home

    Poopscoop
    Full Member

    You need someone that is not emotionally attached to a single thing in the house and they have a veto on anything you say you must keep unless you can make a logical argument to persuade them. The physically larger the item the more compelling your argument needs to be.

    You both agree terms then have at it.

    thestabiliser
    Free Member

    There’s going to be an almighty purge at casa stabiliser this year. Can’t get in the attic and the shed is an impenetrable fortress of crap. Going to put aside a couple of dumpy bags and pallets and make the garden a waste transfer station for a a week in summer. Then there’s the drawers full of stuff that came with stuff that wasn’t quite needed and dead batteries.

    Edukator
    Free Member

    When I get back from walking I think it’s great having enough pants, t-shirts and socks to not have to do a wash for two weeks because every day is tedious. I love our comfortable bed with a selection of quilts to suit the season. The well-equiped kitchen because after a month of things on bread variety is great, and hot coffee a welcome change from ambient temperature water. Then deciding which bike to take out of the shed, blow up the tyres and head out, which guitar to tune and play, and which amp to plug it into. A month of minimalism makes me appreciate all the crap I’ve accumulated. Someone else can deal with it when I’m dead.

    A kleptomaniac neighbour died a few years back, his house was so full of crap he had been sleeping on a pile of it because he couldn’t get into bed. He owned about a 100 cars most of which hadn’t turned a wheel for decades. A red Lambo Miura was pulled out from among some unidentifiable American 30s cars and identifiable ones from the 70s. For his last years he’d been driving a rough looking 205 which was also so full of crap there was only just enough space for him to sit in and drive. RIP, Henri.

    Vader
    Free Member

    my general rule is to put aside all items that are not definite keepers. Put a cover over them or put them in a box. After a week, if I can remember whats under the cover or in the box, it can stay. If not it’s out so goes into the recycle/sell pile

    Alternatively watch stacey solomon’s program and realise how lucky you are.

    reeksy
    Full Member

    I’m going through this at the moment. It is overwhelming (in a 1st world kinda way).

    We had to move out in a rush so stuff was boxed up and stored.  Now we’ve moved back and are unpacking 2 years later there’s so much crap… but I’ve a lot of storage space so struggle to throw away things. One garage space is full, the shed is disastrous and the house is full of unpacked boxes.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    I think it’s one of the main reasons that old people are so resistant to moving house to somewhere more suitable, they can’t handle the stress of sorting through their shit and just leave it for the next generation.

    Having emigrated once and then returned 13 years later, we are used to sifting through and throwing out a lot of stuff. If you haven’t used it in a year or two (depends what it is of course), then are you ever going to, and would you even remember you had it or else just buy another?

    Throwing out the worst third/half of stuff can be a helpful idea too, eg clothing. You really don’t need four fit-for-gardening outfits, especially as you’ll generate a new one more rapidly than finally throwing out an old one.

    reeksy
    Full Member

    You really don’t need four fit-for-gardening outfits,

    When it’s 30+ degrees I get through four in a day sometimes 🙁

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Username checks out.

    reeksy
    Full Member

    Wife thinks so too 🙁

    Cougar
    Full Member

    But yeah, I can empathise. I’m not a hoarder per se but I’m terrible for “but it has a value” or “I might want/need that some day.” I think it comes from being largely brought up by post-war grandparents, my gran used to save butter wrappers to use to grease frying pans.

    I moved house three years ago for the first time ever. A sobering amount of stuff got purged and it came down to the “**** it” wire with the house clearance guys I hired. Some I regret – I still smart over the Laserdisc player and disc collection – but in truth a good deal of it shouldn’t have been moved. I have a ton of camping gear but my partner can’t really go camping due to back issues. A bag of climbing gear, it’s a good couple of years since I last went climbing. And so on and so forth. Bikes, I have five of the things, I think I’ve ridden one once since we moved.

    andeh
    Full Member

    When we moved to Canada we had a massive clear-out of stuff. It’s amazing what you accumulate, even in just a few years. However, when you’re paying per kg to air freight stuff, it really makes you re-evaluate what is important or valuable. It was unbelievably stressful, and organising/packing while both of us quarantined with COVID did not help.

    I think we could have probably cleared out a bit more, but I guess it was nice to have a potato masher when we arrived 🙄

    willard
    Full Member

    Totally understand this. I emigrated in 2018 and moved from a half empty four bed house to a shared 67m2 flat. My house took about two weeks to clear, including selling all of the big things (sofa, etc) and a lot of trips in my van to the HWRC and charity shops.

    By the time I left, I had a van full of plants I had not given away, the dogs and things that were breakable and 27 moving boxes that were going with the movers. I recycled all of my CDs, 95% of my vinyl (well, they went to another DJ for 50 quid), most of my tools (a guy in the village that had a workshop) and all of my books (apart from the ones I really wanted to keep). The process was, well, both liberating and extremely sad and, by the end of the process, I really was just dumping boxes of useful stuff at the up-cycle part of the local tip. I was on first name terms with the staff there by my last trip.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Last time I moved from Calderdale to Manchester, the entire contents of my rented 2 bed house, including all my furniture and kitchen contents, clothes, bikes, books etc etc, the accumulated detritus of my life, took more or less just under half of a Transit Luton.

    Which is just as depressing as having to need a fleet of removal vans.

    Joe
    Full Member

    I suppose for me one of the biggest parts of all this is the tragedy of the waste and thinking about how complex lots of the things I have and even the packaging is. It would take me days to empty all the jars, tins and boxes to give them even the slightest chance of being recycled. I  also know that I’m far and away from the worst –  people already consider me quite the minimalist.

    The issue is where does all this stuff end up? In the ground? In the sea? There is absolutely no chance that 5% will be recycled properly.

    Jamz
    Free Member

    My grandad had tons of detritus, particularly jars of screws and other ‘useful’ bits and bobs. When the grandparents passed away most of it sadly when in a skip/to the scrap metal man because there was simply too much to process. So my advice would be try and whittle it down before you shuffle off this mortal coil in order to save your family a lot of grief. It’s awfully depressing having to throw all of a family member’s prized detritus into a skip.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I think it’s one of the main reasons that old people are so resistant to moving house to somewhere more suitable, they can’t handle the stress of sorting through their shit and just leave it for the next generation.

    Exactly this for my Mum. It’s sad in a way – I get that the house has stability and emotional attachment and she generally knows where stuff is just off muscle memory but she’s way too frail to deal with any of it now. Should have been done 10 years ago…

    I had a clear out of bike stuff a while ago, I unearthed spare rim brake blocks, brake cables etc, old tools for long obsolete parts I’ve not had in years… All went to my LBS mechanic.

    clubby
    Full Member

    Very little has to go to landfill these days but it does take a lot of time and effort to go through it all. Lots of charities take outdoor clothing and even very scabby stuff can be washed and go for material recycling. Most towns have a men’s shed project who’d  be grateful for old tools and boxes of random hardware. Bike parts can go to community projects. The list goes on but like I said, it takes time, energy and transport.

    Start with big stuff and work down. Do it before you move otherwise you’ll be facing the same problem with the same unopened boxes the next time you move.

    Oh and for gods sake never give old medicines to someone else. All pharmacies take them for safe incarnation.

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    What have you all done in this situation? Has anyone ever got on top of it without depressing themselves with endless sorting of old jars of screws and spices?

    I moved nearly two years ago for the first time in 27 years. To a smaller property too.

    An awful lot went to charity, but I managed to shift a lot just leaving it at the end of the path witha ‘Free, please take’ sign. It’s amazing how quick it disappears.

    A lot came to my work too – and my wife doesn’t know this – but it’s gradually getting binned! The wife will keep anything. It’s just tat to me.

    Worst thing is we’ve got one of these in the house – used to belong to my wife’s “Great Uncle Bulgaria” and apparently it has to stay. I bloody hate the lump of a thing!…

    …wouldn’t mind if we had a six bed country pile but we don’t!

    redthunder
    Free Member

    Where do sell old toys and tools etc.

    Loads of Action Man and diecast cars and Lego.

    Can’t bring myself landfill it.

    🙁

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Loads of Action Man and diecast cars and Lego

    I got a decent return on eBay for a load of stuff like that which had belonged to my Dad, been given to me as a kid and then was left in a wardrobe at my Mum’s house when my parents divorced.

    I was about 7 at the time so it all got left there on the grounds I might still use it…

    Old Dinky Toy cars in good condition fetch a surprising amount, the main issue is photographing them all, listing them etc and then postage.

    brian2
    Free Member

    Both of us 67yrs old here, just moved from a massive rural pile to a temp 2 bed rental flate. We’d been there 23yrs; two sons  then 3 grandkids when they moved out. 2 big attics full of their unwanted stuff; my fishing/bike/camping attic above the triple “garage”. That was a “pub”, with pool table, bar, 1st generation hifi and full of memorabilia and cupboards and drawers full of shite. Then there was a shed for garden furniture and outdoor toys. The 3 shipping containers in the paddock full of lawn tractors, gardening stuff, more grownups outdoor toys. We did 4 piles at different times, keep, sell, charity and tip (after the first skip). There’s no way I was going to leave that for the kids to sort out. What hasn’t gone in the flat is in a 150sqft storage facility. Half of that will go when the next house is ready. I feel like a gorilla has been taken off my back.

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    Where do sell old toys and tools etc.

    Toys should be easy to shift – there are plenty of toy dealers around if you don’t want the faff of listing on eBay.

    Tools are harder, especially if older stuff. My late father-in-law had a double garage full of them – I took what I could use – but most of them ended up in a skip.

    alpin
    Free Member

    A couple of years back the GF and I  downsized into a van.

    Sold off everything we didn’t need. Lots of furniture that I had built got sold at prices much lower than I would have liked.

    Lots of things got sold.

    Anything that didn’t have any real monetary value got put on line as free to anyone willing to pick it up.

    It was shocking to see how much we had accumulated over the 12 years in that flat…. And it wasn’t a particular large dwelling.

    It was also really liberating.

    Everything we <i> need </i>is in our van. We’ve got one small coffee table at a friend’s place.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    We did a tip shed clearance and charity clothing round in September, and my wife attends and annual Toy boot sale every November.  We still have too much.

    She had cause to visit our prior house – MIL’s rental – the other day, and she came back shocked that we ever fitted in…..

    stingmered
    Full Member

    Last time we moved we spent a month beforehand clearing out the house /shed/ garage. Just one room at a time. Got everything out and sorted into keep/charity/recycle piles. Very cathartic and made the process of actually moving that much easier knowing we were only taking stuff we wanted/needed. Plus, could spend the week I took off after moving doing other work on the house rather than doing the unpack-sort fandango. Still got one mystery unpacked box of course…

    Andy
    Full Member

    I feel like a gorilla has been taken off my back.

    Very much this. A good old clearout is very liberating.  I also have built up a lifetime of tat.  Ughh!  I try and have a good old clearout of at least a 100 things two weekends a year in March and October and be as ruthless as possible. Sell or freecycle as much as I can.

    Two years ago I moved from the house had lived in for 20 years. Most stuff had to go in storage for 6 months whilst I decided where to live. Despite the above I still managed to get rid of easily half of my stuff including furniture, clothes etc.

    Obvs part of the answer is not to buy it in the first place…

    clubby
    Full Member

    Where do sell old toys and tools etc.

    Loads of Action Man and diecast cars and Lego.

    Can’t bring myself landfill it.

    Then don’t. If you have the time an inclination then eBay is great. Condition  is everything though. Car boot or toy fair is another option. You may make a decent amount of money or you may barely break even but at least the stuff will go to someone who wants it. Certain lego can be worth good money if you can get a rare set as near to completion as you can, but often it’s the mini figures that are worth most. Never tip tools, mens shed or similar local projects can always use them. Stick free stuff on Gumtree or local Facebook group and it’ll fly out the door. We had hideous old furniture that we could have given away ten times over, collected from the bottom of drive in a matter of hours of posting online.

    Just to add, I’m not immune to this. I still have boxes of CD’s in the loft from when I transferred them to my original iPod. Have been keeping them just in case, despite having streaming services. Bike/snowboard DVDs too despite not having used a physical disc player in years.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    Yea, I agree, it’s almost insidious consumption.

    You want something nice, could be a “fashionable” nice like a pair of HebTroCo trousers, or “practical” like a Rab down jacket. Which will last for years. The problem is that after 5 years of regular wear the trousers now look less hipster and more hobo with their accumulated stains and a bit of uneven shrinkage. And the down jacket is less warm than it should be. The quality of both items though means they’ll probably last a lot longer than they’re actually useful (i.e. the trousers are clean and the jacket is warm). So what do I do, buy more pairs of trousers than I need? Overconsume on jackets, but what’s the point of a nice expensive jacket if it’s no longer fulfilling it’s purpose of being warm?

    Then there’s the hoover problem.

    We have 3 hoovers! There’s only 2 of us! We’re outnumbered.

    We had a henry, it was great, it worked, I loved it, it got covered in paint splatter and needed pugging in so the OH bought the …..

    Shark. It’s godawfully plasticky crap that barely sucks. It’s like a dyson, but rubbish, so we “borrowed” the MIL’s……

    Kirby form the 80’s. It’s huge, it’s impractical, it takes an entire corner of the loft to store all the attachments.

    Actually there’s a 4th too, there’s a small handheld thing somewhere that was intended to do the car etc. It’s never used.

    All that consumption/waste. When we lived in the flat we just used the henry and never had any real issues with it.

    And that’s before we get to the real crap, the crates in the loft filled with plastic stocking fillers, the light up gloves someone bought me for cycling in the dark, the novelty sweet / biscuit tins, there must be 2 crates up there just of Christmas gifts I’ve never had any intention of using, but throwing away just seems rude!

    HoratioHufnagel
    Free Member

    I think there are various charities that accept tools…

    e.g. https://www.twam.uk/ probably others as well

    oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    Some I regret – I still smart over the Laserdisc player and disc collection – but in truth a good deal of it shouldn’t have been moved

    I’ve sort of got comfortable with the idea that if I get rid of 10 things, there will be at least 1 or 2 that I regret. It’s the price you have to pay for getting rid of stuff. We are the other side of emptying parents houses and I now only have 1/4 of a double garage of stuff to dispose of.
    I do however still have my dad’s model train collection which is going to be problematic to move on for the value it has.

    somafunk
    Full Member

    I’m moving house for the first time in about 10 years, and have been packing things up over the last couple of days.

    Wow I have a lot of stuff. I

    I felt the same a couple of years ago but for different reasons, after being diagnosed with spms I started to clear out the shite I had accumulated over the previous 25 years in my 1 bed bungalow as I don’t want my mum, brother, best mate dealing with it when I decide i’ve had enough. Apart from furniture such as desk, two chairs, bed, bedside cabinet, I have reduced my shite down to what could easily fit in the boot of my Tiguan. Feels much better as I have a completely empty wardrobe and as my daily life is quite simple these days my clothing choice consists of 3 jogging bottoms, 3 t shirts, 3 hoodies, one pair of trainers – I’ve gone for the Steve Jobs approach.

    🙂

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