Unload Your Treasures Before You Croak!

All Crap!

To continue a little thought from yesterdays story, It dawned on me that one of the absolute saddest parts of this fun passion is finding a hoard of amazing stuff for sale by a loved one once their husband has gone boating to the great lakes in the sky. As in, he or she died and left the piles of old spark plugs and other stuff with the poor family to unload.

Its in the Garage

It never goes as one my suspect, and I can tell you if you knew how your crap was being unloaded you would die… again. All those treasures you thought were so important, just are moved along. Most likely to another fools piles of crap. And to be blunt.. IT’S ALL CRAP!  Just crap. It may hold a memory or so for you. But you know secretly inside, its the hunt that’s the fun part. The moment of discover, and taking it home.

Finding this was more fun than a round of Golf. Okay, anything for me is more fun than a round of golf

So, here is a thought. UNLOAD IT! You do it, enjoy selling it off as much as you did finding it. Open a store, or just get the crap out there on ebay, make a job of it in your retirement. You will meet other idiots like yourself, and enjoy the joy of a next generation of  like minded nut jobs. BTW, GUILTY AS CHARGED!

one mans art is another mans toxic waste

I have built a hoard of boats, cars and other meaningless crap. The ONLY, ONLY, ONLY thing that you should ever hold onto to is LOVE! Your family, your friends, and laughter. That is far more fulfilling than any old sign or boat. Unless it’s this sign… OH Mama Mia!



41 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    This story is a bad header day experience! I come here and see a story about unloading my junk before I croak with a countdown header that implies I only have 8 days to do it!!!!!

    Barn sale this weekend I guess.

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Just let me know when I am going to “Croak” and I will work on it.
    I guess that is the ultimate challenge isn’t it?
    That day could be today for all I know.
    It could have been last week for you when you thought you were having a heart attack.
    Non of us ever knows!

    (Image may be subject to copyrights)

  3. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    How to de-clutter…

    Hold each object in your hand. If it doesn’t spark joy, you know you need to part with it.

    I am not yet ready to start this process though.

    • Flash
      Flash says:

      Lol, can you imagine if Marie Kondo walked into some of these hoards? She would crap herself. What do you do if it all sparks joy, reorganize it?

      • Bilge Rat
        Bilge Rat says:

        If everything sparks joy, you’ll probably die of a heart attack and then it’s someone else’s problem. Kinda the theme of today’s story.

  4. Jaxon
    Jaxon says:

    If I out live him I’m grabbing the jar of treats off the dryer and heading North to hang out with Carla. She will treat me good. Doors will be open, help yourself.

  5. Warren p.
    Warren p. says:

    Going through the moving process, I am in that phase. It is actually a good feeling when you give away/ sell some project that sits in a corner and reminds you of what “needs” to be done. A definite feeling of freedom comes with it and a chance to buy something shinier.

  6. Johnny V.
    Johnny V. says:

    Working on it…………………..although it’s hard when you’ve had a “collector” mentality all your life.

    • Jerome
      Jerome says:

      I call my collection of crap (my stash). Seventy years worth. A few years ago I was convinced to move some of it out & organize what remained. Now l need some of the stuff that I practically gave away & can’t find the stuff that I so carefully put away? Thank you Miss Kondo!!!

    • Fat Earl Jr.
      Fat Earl Jr. says:

      Johnny V,
      You’ve been saying that for years!!! Fat Earls Jrs. House of Bargain’s is here to HELP!

  7. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    If I go today…you all come and get this stuff….
    I have hoarded books, good old books…..seems there is zero value in them anymore….and boats…..and tools….on and on…but all fun!
    Keep you hobby stuff in the hobby….like me selling my old cruiser for a buck!!

    John in Va.

  8. Scott K
    Scott K says:

    Matt, Me and my u-haul will be there this weekend to help you with these difficult decisions.

  9. JohnU
    JohnU says:

    I’ve noticed many of the “farm” auctions of old cars are happening while the owners are still ……… living!

  10. Henry Alfred
    Henry Alfred says:

    OK… The Wawasee sign, I coveted it when it was in Jeff Guyas marina, in Indiana. All my old stuff my 21 year old son loves, and I mean loves, and the hardware, catalogs, old metal Signs, old paint cans, and boats all go to him. His passion is extremely strong and I will let him decide, while I enjoy the current mess.

    • Mike D
      Mike D says:

      I am there also but I do think there is some hope. I told my daughter that I was dumping all the old photos that no one ever looks at and my granddaughter quickly said no way, she wants them.

      I have a barn and other buildings where boats, tools and trains sit, hoping that some day the grandkids grow up enough to see a value in this old mans “junk” as the wife calls it. Just think how depressing it is to think of all those boats burned because someone thought they were worthless.

      Save it, store it, and let the next generations make the decision.

  11. Frank@Falmouth
    Frank@Falmouth says:

    Wow! This subject hits too close to home. I thought today’s blog was written specifically to Me. While I’ll turn 60 this year the thought of what would happen to all my 12 wood boats and similar number of classic cars has been in my thoughts recently. Let’s not even talk spare inboards outboards and god know how much boat related parts and stuff. I guess I’m what I think Matt calls a Curator or one who enjoys the discovery, acquisition and then figuring out the restoration and eventual use. I totally related to Matt’s Gas Pump find and rescue!

    I don’t use the “H word”,referring to my vessels and vehicles they are a Collection! I AM preserving history , but find that finding “worthy” people for a good home for any of them is hard to do, so I keep them and spend resources on additional storage solutions.
    Matt your wisdom once again hits home and I may print and post today’s blog to remind me !
    In the meantime I have. 1950 20’ ChrisCraft Riviera R20-515 that I’ve stored for 30 years I may part with.,, maybe…. was my first wooden boat but never have gotten around to it. There’s the first step,, Oh and if you have any cool stuff let me know (Wash DC area) let me know! Lol.

  12. Fred
    Fred says:

    As someone who has started shedding a few wood boats a few years ago because of storage and lack of use, oh and old age, it’s a trap. Nature abhors a vacuum. The space that I admired after they were gone, filled up again, with different stuff. So I’m in the same situation, only with different stuff. Joy is fleeting.

  13. Mark collecting in Ohio (sometimes da U P also)
    Mark collecting in Ohio (sometimes da U P also) says:

    When I walk through my barn with my kids, I tell them “You can get rid of all this stuff when I die”. That usually brings out a Daaaad do’nt talk that way. I still enjoy looking at it all. I think your scare last week made you think Matt. “Do’nt Give Up the Ship.

  14. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Reminds me of all those books & magazines I thought so valuable that I took to the SCAMPI tent at Tavares this year. When I left Sunday many were gone but a whole set of WoodenBoat mags from volume One, I thought were so valuable and desirable, were still there…
    Oh! and then in the “Field of Dreams” was this cute little 1982 NINE foot Whaler….It followed me home Sunday after the show….Now that I’ve admired it for a few weeks, what do I do with it now ?……..Throw it in the lake and row around for a while, I guess. and then put it up for another while. such is life….

    And you guys in your 60’s who are fussing about “being old”. Wait until you are in your late 80’s and realize there is still time left…

    Which reminds me…Today is our 64th anniversary. She bought me a new sail for an old SunFish yesterday. Good woman !

    • Frank@Falmouth
      Frank@Falmouth says:

      I didn’t mention my 1942 Ventnor Moth. red spot
      Think you may have had one. Tennis Bracelet? Was the fist boat I sailed. Don’t know what to do with it.

      • Wilson
        Wilson says:

        Tennis Braclet was a Moth but not a Ventnor….But I also had a Ventnor Moth once…Turned it on its side to dump the water out and the deck( probably only 1/8 inch separated from the hull…

    • Reddog
      Reddog says:

      Congratulations Wilson to you and the little misses 1)on making it to that age. 2) on the 64th anniversary. Hope you read this on wed.

  15. Mike S
    Mike S says:

    All of the above comments ring true. My father passed March 28th. His collection was due to a sickness borne via the great depression: anything ‘free’ he hauled home.
    Almost zero value in anything, so it will be a lot of work to dispose of it all. Please don’t do that your loved ones!
    Take advantage of time and find a home for stuff you think is ‘cool’, otherwise it just might end up in the dump!

  16. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    There’s a cartoon out there that shows a father standing with his son in front of an open garage door – and the garage is packed – saying “Some day son, this will all be yours!” I showed that to our son who quickly said: “Dad, I have an answer for that – 1-800-Got-Junk.” I get it! 🙂

  17. Jim
    Jim says:

    I bought that Chris Craft sign from Wawasee Slip back when I was there looking to buy a 1924 Hydroplane powered with a Hisso Engine. Jeff and his father were left the marina and the contents when the owner passed. It was like going back in time. A true Gold Mind for any antique boat guy. One of my finest picks! Jim

  18. Ross McCausland
    Ross McCausland says:

    My wife bluntly asked me what she was going to do with all my s–t when I died. I replied, that won’t be my problem 🙂

  19. Henry Alfred
    Henry Alfred says:

    I know the boat as they called me and asked me what it was worth… two of the nicest guys in the hobby. George is no longer with us but Jeff continues the quest. The old place is gone but we took lots of pictures.

  20. briant
    briant says:

    HA! Mr Dow, I was just thinking of that cartoon !!

    With barns and garages full of treasures / junk, there are three ways to proceed…

    The hoarder faces their mortality and sells off their treasures, getting good money and the satisfaction knowing that their beloved items will be treasured.

    The hoarder kicks the varnish can and the dudes at the dump make a ton of cash hawking off the “junk” that the clueless family drops off, on Craigslist.

    The hoarder faces the jerks in the corrupt local gov’t stealing their land and not paying them a true market value for their home, barns and dirt….oh wait wait wait, sorry, erroneously called emminet domain…. and the crime victim, sorry, sorry, ahem… the landowner, changes their mind from wanting to keep their cool bits to giving up the ghost and deciding to sell their stuff. Or something like that. Good thing I ain’t bitter.

  21. Floyd r turbo
    Floyd r turbo says:

    The fear I have is that my wife will sell my stuff for how much I told her I bought it for.

  22. Johnny V.
    Johnny V. says:

    Doin’ good today………….just sold another old outboard motor that I’ll never get around to doing anything with!

  23. Walter Legett
    Walter Legett says:

    I really think sometimes I have dementia, I am 78, been collecting for years, rainy Saturday, going to clean up shop, give away a bunch of stuff, make a pile, decide I need it, put it back and drink another beer. Go rub the 55 Continental. Would like to be buried in it. Wife says soon as I am cold she is calling the Antique Boat Center to come get it. She will then go celebrate giving the rest to my friends. It has been fun and it is my treasures “ Junk “

  24. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Well I’m late to the game today. Went out looking at a 6000′ building. It was only two blocks from the river and it was EMPTY!! well I can fix that.

    • Dave Nau
      Dave Nau says:

      We need to be realistic. There is no U-Haul you can trail behind the hearse to take it with you, so your family is stuck dealing with what’s left. Rather than who dies with the most stuff, sell it off and time it so there’s nothing left that the family does not want when you’re gone.

      George Emmanuel is right. Having 30 boats, 20 cars, or 200 outboards left just makes it hard. Nobody wins. Proper planning also increases the chances the stuff gets into the right hands, rather than possibly scrapped. It’s about good stewardship.

  25. Todd C
    Todd C says:

    My girly girl daughter “love’s the smell of my shop” as a mom with kids and a life of her own – some of our best talks have been amongst my cars, boats, tools and crap. Often while she watched me work. Matt maybe a candle that smells like a shop could be added to bacon and varnish? In my 55 yrs I and my kids find comfort amongst the “stuff”.

  26. Scott Ales
    Scott Ales says:

    I’ve been selling my crap off over the last 20 years. I heard all my great uncles, grand parents, and family members whining through the years about selling their crap too soon. Wishing they still had it all. About how much more it was worth 30 years later….

    So I hoarded my firsts,
    * Bicycle
    * Motorcycle
    * Car
    * Boat
    * Pickup
    * Airplane
    * And a bunch of really dumb stuff…

    By 1999, I was so fed up with storing, insuring, cleaning, servicing, and forcing myself to use them, I began selling them off. One by one along with the dumb things. Only 2 more to go now.

    I have digital photos and or desktop models that represent the sold or gifted items. Life is so much simpler and it only take a second to Swifer off the dust!

    Time, the great equalizer. It’s the one thing we all have the same amount of. Now I have more of it to spend with family and friends!

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