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Tony Grist

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Pottering [Oct. 20th, 2014|04:31 pm]
Tony Grist
I seem to be running out of things I can give away to charity. Does this mean that everything else has to be transported down to Kent? I suppose it does. What, even the packets of tea lights? Yes, even them. What's the alternative- throw them away? Unthinkable.

Wish the car was bigger.

Wish the car was a van.

We own so many books. I've winnowed the shelves but there still so many. Here's a big glossy guide to museums I didn't even know I had. I sit down to browse. This fellow (contemptuous snort) only gives the Corinium Museum two stars out of a possible five. That's ridiculous!  Ailz calls to ask me what I'm doing because it's tea time. Ah, yes, tea...
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2014-10-20 03:55 pm (UTC)
Last week, someone gave me a very good piece of advice. She said, "If you don't know whether you need something or not, you don't need it."

Consider every item you have to have a ticker on it, slowly ticking up cost. That's the cost of keeping it around. Getting rid of a thing gets rid of that ticker. If it's a thing that is useful, then the ticker of usefulness stays above the ticker of keeping it around. Otherwise, you're losing money on it. Because space is money, just as time is money, just as the fuel to transport a thing is money.

However much you paid to get the thing in the first place is irrelevant. Pretend that you picked up everything you own from a trash bin somewhere. It's all very good stuff for coming from a trash bin, but you don't lose anything by putting it back there.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-10-20 04:26 pm (UTC)
It's not really about need. I don't suppose I need any of this stuff, not really. But I can't just dump it because that would be wasteful- and I was brought up to eat everything on my plate.

And then again, while I don't need these things, I do rather like them. Books, pictures, tea lights- they're all good. They make me happy. Most of them have a value to me that transcends their value in the marketplace.

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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2014-10-20 04:30 pm (UTC)
Well, there you go, then. "Sentimental" counts. The other rule is that everything in your house should be beautiful, sentimental, or useful.

Ideally, at least two of the above.

The reason for thinking of the cost ticker in storage is because storing things you don't need is wasteful. Having a thing which is not being used, which is unlikely to be used, is waste. Getting it to a person who could use it avoids that waste, because it brings it to usefulness.

And if there is nobody who wants it? Then it is CLEARLY wasteful. A thing which NOBODY can use is pure waste in itself.

At least, that's what I'm trying to convince myself.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-10-20 05:17 pm (UTC)
Beautiful or useful- that sounds like William Morris.

We're having to decide whether to take big items of furniture with us. Hiring a van would almost certainly cost more than the things are worth.

We did try to get a charity to take furniture, but the guys they sent were very picky and left most of what we were offering behind.

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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2014-10-20 05:19 pm (UTC)
Which tells you that leaving it behind is not wasteful. If someone wouldn't take it for free, it means that its value is negative, which means that moving it is wasteful.

If you take it, you are being wasteful. If you leave it, you are being thrifty and prudent.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-10-20 05:26 pm (UTC)
It would be good if the buyer were willing to take the house with furniture in it. She might. We can at least have a friendly chat about it as she's our next door neighbour.
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2014-10-20 05:29 pm (UTC)
Indeed, the value of "thing that's already there" is different than the value of "thing that has to be moved". In any case, most people are willing to take things that are free, and that would make it into HER problem. If, after living with it for a while, she decides to get rid of it, that would be her choice.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-10-20 07:59 pm (UTC)
I don't see why she wouldn't accept the fridge-freezer. Otherwise I don't know. I'm very much hoping she won't ask us to clear the attic.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2014-10-20 09:11 pm (UTC)
Is there room in Kent to store the other stuff? How long do you have to clean out the Oldham house?

It it were me, and I had storage space in the new place and a few pennies, I'd hire a couple large big lads with a truck to dump everything non-breakable in boxes and drive it down.

Then you can winnow a box a day. At your convenience. In Kent.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-10-21 07:15 am (UTC)
I was lying in bed last night, thinking it out and I came to much the same conclusion. Our friend Matthew has said he'll rope in one of his gang and hire a van if we decide to go down that route.

The stuff could go into storage in my mother's garage. The buyer is talking about having everything finalised by Christmas which is- what- ten weeks aaway?
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