We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Much of the stuff we own, or which we even value, has minimal monetary value or might even cost money to get rid of. It might be useful to us or of sentimental value or other sorts of personal value (that is true value, emotional value I suppose) but of no value to anybody else. Talking about meaning.
Monetary value is less than you think, and the effort to unload a possession of any monetary value is large. Just try getting rid of an over-aged piano. Pianos have life spans, unlike violins.
American Scholar's podcast on The Global Garage Sale. The interviewer is a bit of a nut, but the guy is interesting. They are both sort-of anti-consumption with a minimalist ethic. For the "environment," of course...Lots of our "good" stuff ends up in landfills despire our virtuous intentions.
I do know some people for whom the only value of anything is monetary.
Here's an interview in print with the same interviewee, for others like me disinclined to listen to audio-only material:
(Edit, not working due to antispam, but the article title is "adam-minter-on-why-secondhand-markets-are-the-true-circular-economies" for those interested)
In the situation of needing to dispose of "stuff" at the moment -- mum has passed away, dad wants to move quickly to an "independent living" apartment, and we've got the family home to clean out and prepare for sale. We have purchase receipts for everything, and comparing wages from when stuff was acquired to the prices my parents paid, I can see why they considered many of these items to be "valuable", even as the artifact has negative current value on the open market, and the functional replacement if needed costs a tiny percentage of the original in real dollars.
One of the things we've worked out in our adult lives is that older "fine furniture" survives moving much better than the cheap-stuff, and if one can cope with "doing without" until the right piece turns up in thrift-store and junk-market trawls, it is cheaper to purchase then the Ikea or equivalent stuff. But now we've got our house pretty much as we want it, and a sudden influx of stuff that has long family history or personal sentimental value.
Well -cared for pianos have a long life span. If it has not been wet, not left in high himidity conditions, and been tuned on a regular basis, a good piano will last many years.
That said, even reasonably good pianos are worth nothing these days unless someone is serious about playing one. Craigslist ads will show one for sale for $300, then 3 or 4 for free. With portable keyboards having many voices, there isn't much use for a full size piano.
The wife and I bought a very good quality Yamaha organ for $75 last year. I mean a wood cabinet machine; no plastic.
To my disappointment, guitars are not susceptible to the same price fall. :-)
While he has some good point, his ideas on 'right to repair' are truly naive.
1) First of all, the inventory levels would be insane, and managing them even more so.
2) repair and replacement parts deteriorate over time - a rubber gasket for instance has a shelf life of ten years.
3) most of the replacement parts are made in high volume shops to order - you can;t get me to make 1 of anything for instance (I mfg metal parts). electronics have a shelf life also!
4) somebody has to know how to do a repair = changing a tire not so hard. replace an oil pump? Now you are talking. Rebuild a transmission? Forget it.
5) The only reason the 'big' mfgs would support this is it would bankrupt the little guys nipping at their heels. Why? It would require legisation for inventory levels and manuals, etc. that is a serious encumbrance to a smaller company.
6) and don't forget = those little guys drive prices down and innovation up. If they weren't pushing, the big guys would be happy to ride on. Case in point - American automotive in the 50's, 60's, and 70'. They made crap and we had to eat it.
In addition, repairing exiting machines ties us to older technologies that have to go. My biggest problem is old electronic for instance. A chip goes out on a board- the technology to make that chip no longer exists! So I have to upgrade to newer, faster, better, safer equipment. That's a good thing, but it hurts.
example- I have two presses from 1952 nd 1953 that are awesome mechanically. They have state of the art PLC's and sensors. And we put new bearings and gears in them every 10 years.
We went through this with the mother-in-law's belongings (she was 84 and never threw anything away. Anything. We had to take things around to various Goodwill and Salvation Army donation sites after hours, we were so embarrassed by dumping bag after bag of clothes, shoes, and artifacts. We did manage to sell some of it to antique dealers for much less than we thought it was worth.
Then came our turn. Having learned that lesson, we've recently down-sized rather drastically, because our kids didn't want all the things we so lovingly collected over the decades. Antique dealers, Goodwill, and Salvation Army all over again. It was hard to let go of some treasured items, but in the end it's just Stuff that our kids didn't want. What's left will go to Salvation Army when we're gone, because it's just stuff we still need until then.
You know, it's funny, but people never think of what they own as a cohesive whole. It's always a collection of stuff. Do you remember the scene in "Throw Mama from the Train" where Danny Devito shares his coin collection? He had associated specific fond memories with each coin. I think it should be that way with objects, too.
What is a Life Narrative?
Narrative Identity - The theory of narrative identity postulates that individuals form an identity by integrating their life experiences into an internalized, evolving story of the self that provides the individual with a sense of unity and purpose in life. - Wikipedia
There could be a "Narrative Coach" who comes to your house, and then asks you to describe the memories associated with everything. If it's not part of the story, it can go. If it is part of the story, then it gets built-in to the Narrative. So at the end, everything you still own will combine, to create your family's personal journey.