why do we hoard stuff? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 19, 9:48 PM Thread Starter
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why do we hoard stuff?

Not just car stuff. we moved my mom into a group home and having a estate sale to clean up her house to get ready to rent. we brought home stuff that had sentimental value, but our house is small, garage is full of car and tools. So my wife decides that we really need to get rid of some of the stuff we've been saving.
so far, just the 2 back rooms, 4 trips to goodwill, trash cans overflowing and the rooms aren't done yet!
The other spare room is more of a closet for my wife. That's next! then the back sun room which is a collection of yard sale crap I've brought home over the years.
I finally came to a realization, most of this stuff while cool, is mainly dust collectors.
My kid is really encouraging us to declutter, I just have to convince myself I really dont need 5 transmission cores and 8 or 12 pair of cylinder heads. jim

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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 19, 10:03 PM
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Re: why do we hoard stuff?

because we can! Although some if it extends from folks making it thru the 30's depression time!!
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 19, 10:03 PM
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Re: why do we hoard stuff?

Jim , I have been slowly decluttering my home and my shop since my wife died almost 3 years ago . It is very hard to get rid of a lifetime of memories but I have no kids and want to get rid of stuff as I can .
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 19, 10:03 PM
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Re: why do we hoard stuff?

You could ask that guy in the post who has 200 cars. I am sure was going to restore them all 'someday".
More likely is that we do not want to throw out things that we think have value and they might come in handy some day. One problem is that stuff we collect goes down in value as it becomes obsolete and waiting for it to go back up takes a lifetime. I think back to Ford flatheads that got thrown away back in my high school days. They would be gold now, only a mere 50+ years later. I have tools for old engines that I will never use but still keep on the shelf because I am too lazy to toss it. Maybe Craigslist or Ebay would be the place, but I am not interested in the hassle of all that.
When I sell off my El Camino a lot of Chevrolet stuff will go with it. Like the 10 quadrajets or 6 HEI distributors that are taking up shelf space. Once the decision is made to move on, getting rid of the hoarded stuff will be easy. Until that day arrives, I will still be a hoarder.
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 19, 12:09 AM
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Re: why do we hoard stuff?

Don't wait to declutter. I didn't think I had much, 2 weekends ago 2 friends loaded a small trailer and their suburban with stuff such as a tire machine and balancer. They came back last weekend with a 28ft enclosed trailer and filled it up, and came back yesterday with a roll back and loaded a 67 Malibu parts car, unbolted vises, bench from here, etc. One of these days, it will be too late, and most people's heirs don't know what to do with it...
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 19, 2:44 AM
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Talking Re: why do we hoard stuff?

Because we are mentally ill?

We of a certain age were raised by parents who survived the Depression, and those folks didn't throw a DAMN thing away if it might be useful at some point.

That mentality trickles down, and it is problematic to overcome.

Then when our folks leave us, we are left to figure out what to do with the good stuff and the dust-gathering space taker-uppers.

Dealing with the stuff is interspersed with the mourning, which doesn't go away.

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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 19, 5:47 AM
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Re: why do we hoard stuff?

If you don't care about getting money for the stuff put it on Craigslist in the free section your phone will be ringing within 15 minutes.

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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 19, 8:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: why do we hoard stuff?

my mom was born in 1930 in Japan and had to go thru the shortages and losing everything in WW2 so she has a tendency to save everything, and repurpose anything that might be useable.
I tend to get attached to everything I drag home, And I have a bad habit of collecting multiples of stuff I collect. when I was a hardcore bookworm I had a wall unit full of books stacked 2 deep on the shelves. I still have tons of old vhs and DVD movies I'll never watch. hundreds of record albums, CDs that needs to be gone thru. jim

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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 19, 8:48 AM
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We just rented a huge dumpster and purged garages, sheds (actually demoed a shed too), and the attic. I know we will need something I just tossed, but it feels great to get more organized too.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 19, 8:51 AM
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Re: why do we hoard stuff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HKalin View Post
If you don't care about getting money for the stuff put it on Craigslist in the free section your phone will be ringing within 15 minutes.
I just did this yesterday. I had some real nice heavy drawers, and some nice kitchen cabinet doors, I picked up years ago, thinking they would be great for a workshop cabinet I could build. Well... we now know how that went. lol. I just got tired of seeing this stuff sitting around adding more clutter to other stuff.
A guy from Craigslist showed up, and Ill never missed it!
This "other stuff" is from my mother in laws place since shes now in a assisted living home. The wife said we could go through the stuff and have a yard sale. The plan was for her to go thru a container or two each week and toss things that just should be tossed. Well all this "crap" came into my basement 3 yrs ago. How many do you think she has gone through? Its maybe 2. I tell her all the time we need it gone. All I get is a "yea,yea.." It just may "disappear" somehow on its own.
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 19, 8:56 AM
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Re: why do we hoard stuff?

People are creatures of habit. People hoard thing because they can't let go. MY oldest sister is like that. She think that if she holds on to things that the memory of whatever it is will not fade away. I'm just the opposite. I only need certain things like my tools, firearms, and cars. Hold on to anything else for me is a waste of time. It;s not going to bring loved ones back and when I die I can't take anything with me. My wife and I purge things every six months.
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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 19, 9:30 AM
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Re: why do we hoard stuff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryAT View Post
I just did this yesterday. I had some real nice heavy drawers, and some nice kitchen cabinet doors, I picked up years ago, thinking they would be great for a workshop cabinet I could build. Well... we now know how that went. lol. I just got tired of seeing this stuff sitting around adding more clutter to other stuff.
A guy from Craigslist showed up, and Ill never missed it!
This "other stuff" is from my mother in laws place since shes now in a assisted living home. The wife said we could go through the stuff and have a yard sale. The plan was for her to go thru a container or two each week and toss things that just should be tossed. Well all this "crap" came into my basement 3 yrs ago. How many do you think she has gone through? Its maybe 2. I tell her all the time we need it gone. All I get is a "yea,yea.." It just may "disappear" somehow on its own.
My neighbor rented her house out and she lives in Ecuador. The people left a mess. It was either get a big dumpster but still there would have been some big stuff you would have to get rid of. I told my wife I'll put it up for free on Craigslist. There was just about a brand new trampoline in the yard that would have to be disassembled. I told people if they wanted it bring tools and they would have to take it apart that was the first thing to go. Had a big stove out of a restaurant outside under the porch that went too. Cleaned that house out fast while I just watched.

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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 19, 9:34 AM
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Re: why do we hoard stuff?

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Originally Posted by davewho1 View Post
Because we are mentally ill?

We of a certain age were raised by parents who survived the Depression, and those folks didn't throw a DAMN thing away if it might be useful at some point.

That mentality trickles down, and it is problematic to overcome.
This is pretty much what it boils down to.

For all of those reading, here's what might be an interesting perspective from the next youngest generation. My grandma was born during the depression and is a typical hoarder, not to the extent to where her home is filled with piles of garbage like you see on TV but it's so full of stuff that if you go visit her you have nowhere to sit, nowhere to hang your jacket, and nowhere to set your drink. The floor is relatively clear but every surface is occupied by something and every closet and every little nook of storage space is filled to beyond 100% of it's capacity. Been that way since I was a little kid and I'm in my 30's now. My parents always gave her a hard time and tried to get her to declutter but there was no talking her out of it. Hate to say it but this is the reason I don't visit her much anymore. Aside from the fact there's no room to sit anywhere. it's difficult to clean around all her stuff, it doesn't smell all that great in there, and my toddler-age kids would just start grabbing stuff and putting it in their mouths the second you take your eyes off them.
Then there's my dad, he isn't as bad but he definitely inherited that tendency. To make a long story short, it's easier to get my two year old to stop watching Elmo videos on my ipad than in is to try to get my dad to toss something that he hasn't touched our thought about in half a decade. And that kid really loves watching Elmo videos. He keeps the main living spaces pretty clean in his house but all the spare rooms, the closets, the garage, all packed to the brim with "stuff".
I sort of think that in the back of their heads, they thought that they would be helpful to my sister and me by offering up some of the household type of stuff back when we first moved out or bought our first house, but neither of us wanted any of it and by now we have houses and kids and families of our own and no space to take any of their old stuff off their hands.

We're getting just old enough now that some of our friends' parents are beginning to experience health problems and a few have already passed. And I know how selfish this is going to sound but there's no way for me to say it delicately...I am really really not looking forward to having to go through my parents and my inlaw's stuff someday when their time comes. It doesn't help either that both my parents and my wife's parents are on their second marriages, so there's 2x the work involved since each parent has their own houses filled with all of their own stuff. Hate to say it but not much of any of it is going to be kept. None of their furniture or any of the big household items would even be upgrades from what we already have, and there's just no use, no need, and no desire for any of the rest.

Anyways, having seen this first hand for literally my entire life, I flat out refuse to hang onto old stuff that I know I'll never use again. There's no reason to. I could tell you a million stories about all the arguments and all the frustration revolving around somebody hoarding too much stuff, but I don't have a single story about somebody being glad they didn't get rid of it.

When it comes to car parts, there's such an abundance of stuff out there, the only hard part is finding someone who's actually willing to sell any of it. And when it comes to all the rest of the old "stuff" that you've accumulated, believe me when I say that if you toss it, sell it, donate it, or give it away, you aren't going to miss it.
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 19, 9:35 AM
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Re: why do we hoard stuff?

My next door neighbor is one of those guys who demonstrates why they write jokes about certain European nationalities known for being cheap-oís.

His porch on the back of his house backs up to the side of my house, probably about 80 feet away from the end of his back porch. Behind his elevated porch is where he stores a riding lawn mower that has been dead for 40 years, and a push mower that has been dead for 30 years. Mind you these cannot be seen from his porch, but are in plain view out my kitchen window. When I complained to him that this is what I have to look at out my kitchen window Ė he threw a tarp over them, which spends more time off and on the ground versus covering the mowers. When I asked him why he is saving them he said they have scrap value. I offered him $10 to let me drag them to the curb for pickup, and he said ďok, but after I pay him and put them out there; Iím going to bring them backĒ.

He doesnít understand why we arenít very friendly to him anymoreÖ.

And the thing is; they are getting to the age where they will be moving to a smaller residence - and at that time the relator will make him get rid of this junk.....
which means I had to look at this junk all this time just to have it get hauled off before they sell

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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 19, 10:27 AM
 
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Re: why do we hoard stuff?

Part of the problem for me was learning what to keep and what not keep, and sometimes I STILL don't get it right. Back in 80's the first car I parted out was a 68 four door Impala. I bought it for the engine, the rest was surplus. By the time I sold the tranny and the scrap metal, I got what amounted to a free engine. The problem was all the body and trim parts that I hung onto for 5+ years before I finally conceded that nobody was EVER going to buy them. On the other hand, I parted out several 68-72 Chevy pickups that were in better shape than the crap people are dragging out of the weeds to restore now. Back then, you almost couldn't give them away. Now, a different story. My hoarding generally consists of materials like metal stock and lumber and miscellaneous hardware items. I DO use a lot of that stuff, but I probably save more than I could use in TWO lifetimes. I WAS vindicated this spring though. A week before Power Tour, I broke off the return hose pipe on my steering pump. After I got done cussing, I crawled up into the shop attic and found an old freezer basket with nine GM steering pumps in it. Within a couple of minutes I found one that was a better fit for the car than the one that had been on it the last 30+ years, and it still WORKED!
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