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Post Info TOPIC: Should it stay, or should it go?


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Should it stay, or should it go?


We are working on thinning out/getting rid of our stuff, and as I'm going through this process I'm finding that I'm not really sentimental about too much at all. Mostly I just want it gone! I am slightly concerned that in a cleaning and clearing frenzy, I will actually get rid of too much stuff. So, I have to ask...

1. What did you get rid of that you wished you would have kept for life on the road?

2. Is there anything that you kept because you thought you could use it, but when you got on the road discovered that it was useless (either you didn't need it at all or had to replace with something more RV-specific)?

Thanks!

 



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I am not a sentimental person either so for me it boils down to if I have used in on a regular basis in the last 30-60 days it is a keeper. If not...get rid of it.


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I am not remembering anything we regretted not taking. The list of things that we took that we later got rid of is huge. It really is a minimal life. After 12 years there is very little we are carrying that came out of the house, most of it wore out.

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thanks, Lauri and Bill. I am looking forward to this minimalist life you speak of :)

I am so gung-ho to get rid of everything that I'm sure once we hit the road, I'll be like "Darn, I wish I had kept XYZ." Being completely new to RVing, I'm not ashamed to admit I don't know what I don't know!

It is funny, the stuff we collect just because we have the space. Four coffee makers are going into next month's garage sale. I didn't even know we had four coffee makers. SMH.

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BoAndRach,

We seem to be in the same stage you're in - we'll pull the rig in front of the house to move some stuff in tomorrow and we close on the house on the 21st. It hasn't been too difficult for either of us when it comes to furniture or appliances (OK... Laura's rather attached to her heavy-as-anchors KitchenAid "toys"). It's the memorabilia that gets to me - things like a few of my late wife's things, photos from the '60s and '70s, high school year books, her diaries, etc. Of course, these would go in storage for when we're forced to come off the road, but it's a real dilemma. Those things are irreplaceable, but would I ever look at them again and/or would I forever kick myself in the a$$ if I get rid of them? I'm still struggling and only have a couple of weeks left to decide (and get all the other work done, as well!).

Rob

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Because we are on the cusp of emptying the house, I have given this a lot of thought. My logical side says move the groceries from the house to the fiver, grab a few clothes, some tools and my guitars. Better bring the wife. Where the hell are you going with all those purses?

Seriously, once we eliminate the things we don't need that have value, TVs Furniture Appliances, and the sentimental items, very few really, all we have left is a small Bon fire. When we have been out in the fiver for a weekend I have wanted for nothing more than my freedom from the work a day world. I'm sure we will bring along a few more small appliances than we need. Sometimes she says I'm useless but, she needs me to drive the big truck so I get to stay.

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We've been living full-time in our fifth wheel now for a bit over 4 years.  In our case, we are "static" RV'ers for a time yet and could easily have kept things to store while we are sitting.  However, the only thing sentimental to me that we had to leave was 55 original oil paintings done by my mother.  Everything else, including photos, was just stuff that we never used or looked at.  All of those people are in our hearts, and a few of Mother's smaller paintings hang in the limited space we have in our RV.  In fact, there are 14 of her paintings but only one of my own photos.

Keep in mind, we had a 2250 square foot home with a three car garage on 3/4 of an acre.  So that entailed having a large number of tools for all kinds of projects and yard work.  The only thing I regret not bringing was an aluminum circular saw guide.  Just this week, we have been building a storage cabinet for Jo's sewing center.  It would have made cutting the wood a lot easier had I had one.  One thing that has proven invaluable has been a 2-foot carpenter's level for getting the fifth wheel level at the center of the coach.

I have come to decide that I do need one more thing, and that is a good hand axe.  Here at the RV park where we are, the firewood available to buy has already been split before the park buys the stuff, thus, there is darn little in the way of smaller pieces of wood for getting the fire going really good.  With a hand axe, I could split a couple of firewood pieces into smaller pieces.

Terry



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I think this is different for everyone, we continue to downsize while on the road, we've gotten rid of kitchen gadgets, clothes, tools, shoes, and numerous other things we thought we would need or want. This seems to be a very normal process most RV'ers seem to go through regularly, the first year of purging was much greater than the second year.

Our next (or I should say Dale's) big project is tools. He has finally decided that he has too many, but also wants to replace some tools with higher quality tools or with tools that are potentially multi-purpose tools. I'm trying to encourage him to figure this out before we pass through OR again, I'd love to have those purchases occur as we travel through a sales tax free state.

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The best thing we did was live in our Rv in our driveway for a month before taking off fulltime.  This gave us the opportunity to add and remove items as we lived in it.  



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As we moved, we decided to buy a trailer that had a 7,000 pound carrying load 16 foot cargo trailer and put all the things we wanted in the trailer, we did not want to rent a storage bin, we parked the trailer at family and friends, had to air up the tires as they looked low on the trailer with all the weight on it, had a ramp door for easy loading, came in handy with the two wheel cart, just could not let some things go like tools, wire welder, family got everything else, and I'm talking (everything) else, very painful,  my son got a lot of things, like the garden tractor, snow blower and things like that.
I told the wife we could sell the trailer when we were done with it and would not loose a lot of money on it.

Lonney 



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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It's been just over a year for us full time on the road.  There is nothing we wish we brought along.  As for purging since we left?  My husband is the one that wants to keep everything.  If there is space, he will fill it.  I'm the opposite.  When we stopped back home to visit family, I rearranged the basement and took out what I thought we didn't need: Golf clubs, sluice box, large hammock with stand, a car plug in cooler, and a second generator.  Surprisingly, my husband agreed to all but the hammock (which he has used only once to prove he needed it).  These items were sold or went back into storage.  I also condensed some containers and was able to get rid of a couple bins.  Still looks too full to me but I'm happy he agreed!  Now we just need to get rid of a few more of those t-shirts and ball caps!



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Baseball caps - UGH! We have probably 20 or so hanging from hooks in the coach, plus another 10-15 back at the park model for winter. And none of them cover his neck, which for someone who has already had one case of skin cancer isn't ideal. We continue to argue over them. Most were from sports teams that we supported at the various universities we were at, but there is a point where it becomes ridiculous. T-shirts make good rags when the neckline sags or a stain appears.biggrin

Barb



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DebbieM wrote:

It's been just over a year for us full time on the road.  There is nothing we wish we brought along.  As for purging since we left?  My husband is the one that wants to keep everything.  If there is space, he will fill it.... 


 He's not an ex-Navy storekeeper is he? That is the first rule of Navy inventory management, followed by it's corollary... "If it doesn't fit, force it." Ask me how I know this.biggrinbiggrin

Brian



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We had two things that we've had to go out and repurchase since we hit the road--the cost for both was under $10.00. Everything else that we got rid of, we haven't missed...and like so many others, we continue to purge. We did replace our small corded vacuum with the cordless stick dyson after about a month.


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We had to replace some tools...that was kind of a bummer. Nothing else really we wish we had and we did our 6 month purge and got rid of a bunch of additional stuff. There's some stuff I wish I never would have bought but hey live and learn

Trace

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No Brian, but he is ex-Air Force.  Just his nature



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Yesterday was "Outloading Day." In the morning, the folks who bought our bedroom suite and dining set came to pick them up. Late in the afternoon our daughter's boyfriend arrived with the biggest truck U-Haul has to offer to haul off the rest of the furniture that's not going into storage (we're keeping only a few furniture items). After the truck was loaded (about 9:30 last night), my wife walked through the house and garage and paraphrased another poster on this forum referring to everything that was left (non-furniture items and "junk"): "Who's cr@p is this and why did they put it in our house!" We have two weeks left until closing and it looks like we'll need every moment of that time to finish.

Rob

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We sold a lot of stuff, gave a lot to our kids and places like the Salvation Army.
We did not follow the advice of many about getting rid of everything and put quite a bit in storage (10 by 30 storage unit).

After 11 years of full timing we bought a house in western CO and had all of our stuff moved here from NH. We had sold all of the big appliances and most of the soft furniture but still had a lot of stuff.

I am sure glad we did not follow the convectional advice and get rid of all of it.
We have spent about $15,000 buying what we need for the house - stuff that we sold for maybe 10 percent of what it cost back then.

If we had to replace what we had stored - like guns, complete woodworking shop, my wife's equipment for building miniatures, her genealogy research records and small appliances, desks and office equipment, and my electronic gear, it would have cost a lot more than what we spent for storage.
Some things like heirlooms that came from as far back as our great grand parents could not be replaced at any cost.

As an aside, while full timing we so loved the freedom from yard work that we have zeriscaped our grounds to eliminate yard work as much as possible. It has certainly minimized it to a point where it can be handled even if we become limited by health issues.
That is common in western CO so it isn't out of place. The house has vinyl siding so is a very low maintenance item.
We have also put in two RV sites with hookups for RV friends that visit.

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For us, being still years away, if we aren't using it... it goes. That will eliminate 1/2 our supply of pots and pans, dishes, table and glassware etc. Our wardrobe is shrinking even now. I've identified a core toolset, hobby supplies, cindi has a good idea about her crafting supplies, but even those last couple will be somewhat cathartic disposals. We're digitzing our music, photo albums. Pretty much everything else will be sold, given away or donated. Storing is not an option based on experience. Space is not cheap to rent and long term storage is hard to justify no matter how valuable the stored items are, unless they appreciate in value or are personal family heirlooms. In that case other options for their disposition will be considered. Storing things for long periods of time has other important aspects to be considered... deterioration, machinery and tools can rust, art and collectibles can decay, insects can get in and do serious damage. heat and humidity are concerns, even the people who manage your storage site will not care about your stuff more than you will. At $250~/mth for 10x20 storage or $3,000/yr that adds up to $15,000 after 5 years. OUCH!

No, we will not be storing anything. If/when we come off the road, we'll buy whatever we lack then. If we sell off our stuff ahead of time and bank the proceeds, set aside a portion of what we would have paid for storage fees/rent, we should be able to replace everything with its future equivalent without enduring any sticker shock.

That's our plan, FWIW.

Brian



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I've been giving away things left and right to everyone and donating quite easily in preparation for full timing.  Then I came to these three dresses that were very special to me and have tons of memories attached.  I am having a harder time letting these go than anything else.  I know it's silly, I don't know why I just can't seem to let go.  They don't even fit!  Lol.  hmm

 

Beth



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I've been downsizing in phases over the last few years, after having inherited far more furniture than I could ever use, and box upon box of family memorabilia. I'm now starting the final push to fit into a trailer and some storage. When I've had to sort through belongings, these are the things I consider:

- Can it be sold? How hard would it be?
- Does it have sentimental value? How much and how big is it?
- Is it useful? If I'm unsure, is it cheap enough to replace it if I need one?
- Would thrift stores want it?
- if none of the above, trash.

The furniture seemed so precious when I inherited it, most of it I had grown up with. But after paying storage for a while, I knew what I would use and what I wouldn't, and most went off to the consignment shop. Nice stuff, many antiques, but after consignment fees, I probably netted less than I had paid in storage. Lesson learned. I'm now down to 2-3 pieces that I want to keep until I die, and one of those might not make it.

Going through sentimental boxes is also easier if you've looked at it a few times over the years. My mom was both a pack rat and well-organized. It was exciting to find her weekly budget sheets from the 1950's, every report card I ever got, and just to complete the guilt trip, every tuition bill. But it's less magical each time you see them, and eventually you can toss them. My childhood trains had been a treasured possession, but then I realized... that box is from 1970 and it's still taped shut. Off to eBay. I'll keep the PA loco, of course.

In my experience, the hardest things have been the "worth money, but hard to sell" category, because it's tempting to store them.

I never throw out photos, but I've been known to foist a box on the nearest relative who would take it. The young ones are the most gullible.

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We have downsized from a 3,000 sqf residence to a one bedroom. What we have left is antique/high-end furniture, sentimental paintings, etc. We hired a moving company to transport our household goods from D.C. to KS for $3,500 in three weeks, where we will store our stuff for free on my wife's family farm.

We conducted a cost comparison between the replacement cost of our household goods vs. the shipping cost vs. selling our remaining items here. The replacement cost exceeded $10,000, the sale price would have been under $2,000, so it was worth shipping our items to the farm for the $3,500.

Since we will be back on the farm bi-annually to help at harvest, we can continue to whittle down or pick up any items (doubtful) we think we need. This is a much cheaper option than using public storage here in N. VA and will pay for itself in less than one year.

If you have family who can store items for you, it's not a bad way to go.

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We just closed on the sale of our stix/bricks 9/18 and we downsized from 1800 sf 3/2 to a 42' 5th wheel.

I started downsizing a long time ago and it was a struggle at first finding places to sell items as we did not reside in an area that was good for garage sales. Thanks to social media we sold all our furniture along with many many other items and I maintained a spread sheet for the income coming in.

We listed our home for sale on May 1st had 5 showings and 3 offers. We considered renting it out for a year or two before we opted to sell and we have no regrets.

While we thought we had downsized, boy oh boy we have downsized more just this weekend moving into the RV finally full time.....and there will be more downsizing.

Besides selling, we also gave away a lot of stuff, and I don't know how many car loads I took to the local animal shelter thrift store.

The toughest part was the last few odds and ends that seemed to take up a lot of our energy.

After the closing and arriving at our RV, which is parked in a campground on the edge of the Ocala National Forest an hour from where our stix/bricks was located, we were plum worn out and needed a nap.

Saturday we awoke refreshed and spent the day putting things away in the RV and we will continue to downsize. While I thought I had accomplished a lot doing my homework for fulltime life I readily admit I still have a LOT to learn but so far we are thrilled with our decision.

No storage unit for us, it is all "stuff" which is all replaceable, and no one can take our memories from us.
Susan



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Susan, we've been out 9 years and every year we have a few things to get rid off. We have gotten good at nothing comes in if something doesn't go out.

Barb

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Great attitude Susan. I love the comment that it is just stuff and can be replaced if needed

I try to tell my wife that every day as i look around and see all the stuff that will not be going into our full time home.

but the pile does not seem to be getting any smaller. Boy is there going to be some crying, No storage for us.
good furniture is the Hardest the Kid all have everything they need and want
Yard sale in my opinion are just a big waste of time for the money you get back.
It seems to be hard to even give stuff away.

we may just have to have a very big camp fire just before we leave( Just kidding i Think)

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The fulltime Dream begins, class of 2016

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The thing that I left behind that makes no sense is that 109.00 a month storage unit that I have been paying for with all that stuff I couldnt part with for the last 9 years........I pretty much cant remember whats in there , but for some reason I panic if I'm going to get a late fee for keeping it.....LOL......

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It's crazy how we attach ourselves to things, then they own us rather than the other way around..... Guilty! Separation anxiety is paralyzing. [Must stop drinking the "acquire stuff, now store it even after I don't know if I want to keep it or not" Kool-aid.] no

Brian

 



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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say it 10 times
No Storage, No storage. No storage, Etc

it is all just stuff, most of it we have not seen or used for years any how

no storage, just a waste of money.

is it really important that i keep something in storage and wont see it or need to use it for several years

No storage, no storage, no storage

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The fulltime Dream begins, class of 2016

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I had forgotten about this post. Wow! Thank you for all the great responses. Great to know that no one has gotten rid of anything they wished they hadn't. Also, congrats to those who have since hit the road since I originally posted this!

The purging is taking longer than I expected, but it's going. And I admit, I salvaged a couple of purses from the garage sale pile, but an entire walk-in closet full of clothes and shoes is mostly gone. I call that massive progress.

We actually are keeping a storage unit, but our plan is to buy land and build a small house in Arizona or Utah in the next couple years, so not quite ready to let some of the furniture (and a lot of Bo's tools) go just yet. But I definitely don't want to store everything that's currently stuffed into a 3,000 sq. ft. home either.

I wish our kiddo wanted this stuff but he's in the Navy (4th gen!) and about to head out to sea again. He laid claim to one of the big screen TVs that he'll store until he gets back, but that's it. (I saw some other military folks/comments - thanks for your service!)

We expect to buy the RV next month and move into it locally (well, campground west of Fort Worth) while the house is on the market, so like some others have said, we expect to do that final purge/store during that time.

I'm not one to wish time away, but I'm so excited that I can't stand the wait. Tick tock, tick tock!

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2016 DRV Full House JX450

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We just started the serious downsizing this year in hopes to be in the class of 2017. A couple thoughts. In a house, storing things up in the attic costs nothing. It's an easier solution than taking a serious look at is it even worth keeping. Boxes we have had in the attic for 25 years, never even opening the lid for all that time, can't be all that important to keep in precious RV space (or in an expensive storage unit). Those decisions are no-brainers. In some of the posts there are references to family mementos/photos. In this regard, the scanner has been our friend. One high quality .tiff scan (along with the compulsory backup) and the photo is saved forever. For us, looking at photos on a laptop is easier than dragging our albums. All our photos from the last 15 years are digital anyway, so this simply gets everything in the same format. In addition, electronic photo frames are relatively cheap if you want to see photos in the RV. Much less space taken up by one frame vs. a photo album (or 20). A bonus is that those photos can now be very easily shared with the rest of the family. We have also done this with our paperwork. So far I have reduced 3 crammed file cabinets down to one drawer and still working on it (doing those in .pdf). If your files are named something logical and/or your subdirectories are well organized, all the information is just a couple clicks away. Sure all this takes time, but a little invested up front saves a TON of space down the road.

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Great advice, Julie and Ray. We have done a lot of digitizing already. Music has been digitized for years as well as a lot of photos and important documents. It's funny though - I find there's no way I'm going to be able to get rid of some of my son's stuff (like hand-written journals from second grade and stuff like that). Even if it is digitized, I cannot bring myself to toss the originals....so into storage it will go.

Still not having too much separation anxiety though. It mostly just takes longer than I expected. However, I am finding I have a strange affinity for crafting supplies, even though I have not a single crafty/artistic bone in my body. I am more willing to donate a large piece of furniture than an old pile of acrylic paints. It's a weird affliction. Eventually the crafting supplies will be donated, but probably not before I waste endless hours taking photos and posting ads on local buy/sell FB pages and Craig's List. Ha. Anyone else uncover those weird hoarder/collection tendencies as they've gone through the purge?

BTW, I didn't mention it earlier, but I love reading about everyone's "process" and the items that you feel/felt particularly connected to. They differ so much for everyone, but I bet the same kinds of memories are attached to vastly different items. Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas you've been willing to share.



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Bo and Rach-

Getting rid of personal-type items like your son's journal is certainly a very personal decision. When my parents moved about 15 years ago, I was given all my childhood items. I appreciate that they did that! Like most other things, they sat in a box in our attic ever since (after living in my parent's attic for the previous 35 or so years). For us the question is, what the heck are we going to do with this stuff. We certainly are not going to display an extremely poor drawing I did when I was 6 in the RV - or my 3rd grade report card - or 6th grade class picture. So now they are all digitized and stored electronically - the originals, gone. But this is critical: Our feeling is, if you really want to keep something - KEEP IT!! You don't want to look back and say "Gee, I wish I didn't get rid of that." But on the other hand, you don't want to go overboard and not get rid of enough stuff. That's the quandary. For us, part of the getting-ready-for-full-timing experience is making those (sometimes) hard decisions. It is very liberating!

I suspect we have a little easier time with our decisions with no kids. We have also had experience emptying out houses of those who have passed away and seeing what personal treasures, meaningless to others, (yea that sounds heartless, but true when you are trying to get a job done) get tossed. Another benefit to downsizing is to whoever has to "clean up" after we are gone. They will have a VERY easy job!

Julie is also a serious crafter and we plan on taking SOME supplies on the road with us. My weird collections are pretty much all going due to size - gymnasium scoreboards, bus rollsigns, railroad signals, large traffic signs, etc. It's tough but worth it for the new lifestyle.

Anyway, best of luck in your downsizing!!!

Ray

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We've just started purging. Mainly clothes to thrift store. Subdivision has a big garage sale every February so we're eyeing that as a start. One challenge is that hubby's grandmother (yes...grandmother...she's 95!) is starting to purge and she gives stuff to us. (I don't have the heart to tell her no.)
We're going to buy a condo. 1) Permanent residence, 2) We need to come back to FL every 4-6 mths anyway for dr appts and to check on hubby's parents, 3) I have a lot of antiques that have been passed down through several generations. I really don't want to part with them.

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I'm wondering about those who say it's a waste of money to pay for storage, as I'm trying to decide if that's really the case. The basic furniture for our living room, dining, bedroom, office and garage tools is easily worth $20,000. We can rent a 10x15 unit for $120/month. At that rate, it will take nearly 14 years before we pay more to store than to replace all those items. As much as I'd like to think we will still be on the road full-time 14 years from now, it seems unlikely . . .
Considering I'll be lucky to get $5000 for these items if I sell them, what makes more sense?
But I'm also worried about that kind of long-term storage - will we come home to find a 10x15 unit full of dust, rust, rot and mould?



-- Edited by In Laymans Terms on Tuesday 3rd of November 2015 07:34:35 PM

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Nicole and Robin Lay

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Speaking from experience, unless an item has specific sentimental value or collectible value that will not diminish over time... you are likely throwing money away storing items for more than a very short period of time. (upto 2 years or perhaps even less)  You said it yourself, you might get 25 cents on the dollar in today dollars, 5 years from now, probably way less with exceptions (see comment on collectibles or sentimental items) Better to simply sell it off, bank the money plus the cost of storage for the timeframe you envision and voila, you can replace most if not all of your "stuff" when you come off the road. Besides your tastes may change by then and you may decide your old stuff doesn't fit with your new digs. Just sayin'.

FWIW, Brian

On edit, LT storage issues of dust, rot, mould etc are real concerns.... not to mention pests, and storage operators not caring about your stuff the way you would. Nuff said.



-- Edited by biggaRView on Tuesday 3rd of November 2015 08:03:11 PM

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The extra money for climate controlled storage is worth it. Also check out the security. Inside with cameras is better

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Your furniture is worth what you can get for it, not what you paid for it. If you could get $5K for it, get that, add that to what the storage unit would cost, and you will have money for new furniture to fit your new lifestyle, which will be very different after you have full timed for more than a few years.

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