“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 May 4, 2014
DEAR ABBY: My husband tends to be a major clutterbug. We had an argument last night about him storing a set of encyclopedias. My argument is that we have never used them and never will, since they are "dinosaurs" in today's modern world. Any information can be looked up digitally.

He was given these encyclopedias by his grandparents, so he feels they have a "deeper meaning." Although he has never once used them, he says they make the bookshelf look nicer. We recently got rid of the bookshelf and now he wants to store them in our already cluttered attic.

His plan is to pass them on to our child or grandchildren. I don't think they would want to inherit them, as they take up so much space and there are more efficient ways to find information. Please help.-- FRUSTRATED WIFE IN CONNECTICUT

DEAR WIFE: The encyclopedias DO have a deeper meaning for your husband that almost surely has less to do with "looking nice on a bookshelf" than their sentimental value. They symbolize the love his grandparents had for him, as well as the idea that he can pass an heirloom down to the next generations.

Please relent about boxing them up and making room for them in the attic. At some point, your husband will probably arrive at the same conclusion that you have -- after they have been refused by the progeny for whom he has been saving them. And try to hang on to your sense of humor, because this isn't worth arguing over.

DEAR ABBY: What should someone do when gifts received via mail or UPS have been damaged in transit? We have received some ceramic objects for Christmas in the last two years. Both were packed and sent by the givers.

My wife would rather remain silent about the damage to avoid the appearance that a replacement is expected. I contend that the damage should be mentioned and that no replacement is necessary when writing the thank-you note, or even that certain gifts should be avoided in the future. Otherwise, the sender has no way of knowing that a better packaging job is necessary. Also, there may be some (insurance) recourse with the carrier.-- "BUSTED" IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR "BUSTED": I agree with you to a point. The giver should be thanked, and the fact that the gift arrived damaged should be mentioned. It's smart to insure packages before sending, so if the contents are damaged, there will be compensation. But even if they weren't insured, the sender should be informed that the gift arrived broken, so the next time precautions can be taken before the item is shipped.

However, I do not agree with stating that in the future such gifts should be avoided because it would imply the gift was unwelcome or inappropriate.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#2 May 4, 2014
1: I don't get rid of books, period.
If he's a clutter, there are other items to fight over.

2: Who insures packages? No one I know. Although, I love using amazon to send gifts. They will send to another addy, with a gift card, and if there are issues, they will fix and send a replacement.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 May 4, 2014
1.Where is the line between clutterbug and hoarder? In my house we have this issue with LP records. Mine, my husband's, my parents and my in law's and nary a working turntable in sight.
Cass

Claremont, CA

#4 May 4, 2014
LW1 - Keep the encyclopedias. Your children and grandchildren are not likely to want to inherit them, but they can put them in the recycling bin when they deal with the inheritance, i.e. after your husband is dead.

LW2 - Let them know the items got broken - gently.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#5 May 4, 2014
1: Ah yes. The sentimental value of something that no one else sees any value in. It took my husband 14 years to get around to selling his parents' house. I know it had to do with the fact that's where he grew up and keeping it had more to do with keeping his parents close after their deaths. Then there's the machinery his dad had in the basement. He won't get rid of it. Worse, he's had one relative after another storing it for him; we simply don't have room for it. It was from his dad's workshop and he just can't bring himself to get rid of it. He said he tried to sell it but I don't think he really ever got as far as actually putting an ad on ebay or Craig's List. I told him he needs to either sell it or take it to the scrap place and sell it for scrap there. The machines are so old I doubt they have any safety features to prevent serious injury. But he grew up watching his dad make things with this machinery and he doesn't really want to let it go. I shall have to give him another y ultimatum. It goes or I go? Don't know but I'll figure something out. Should I give him an ultimatum? Any suggestions? I know this is a bit off topic but I can see the similarity with this lw's letter of woe.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 May 4, 2014
Pippa wrote:
1: Ah yes. The sentimental value of something that no one else sees any value in. It took my husband 14 years to get around to selling his parents' house. I know it had to do with the fact that's where he grew up and keeping it had more to do with keeping his parents close after their deaths. Then there's the machinery his dad had in the basement. He won't get rid of it. Worse, he's had one relative after another storing it for him; we simply don't have room for it. It was from his dad's workshop and he just can't bring himself to get rid of it. He said he tried to sell it but I don't think he really ever got as far as actually putting an ad on ebay or Craig's List. I told him he needs to either sell it or take it to the scrap place and sell it for scrap there. The machines are so old I doubt they have any safety features to prevent serious injury. But he grew up watching his dad make things with this machinery and he doesn't really want to let it go. I shall have to give him another y ultimatum. It goes or I go? Don't know but I'll figure something out. Should I give him an ultimatum? Any suggestions? I know this is a bit off topic but I can see the similarity with this lw's letter of woe.
Don't bother with the ultimatum. You might not win.

The time will come when all teh relatives and friends tell him to move teh stuff.

You might poke around and see if any local school districts want it for a vocational ed program. You could sell your husband on the fact that new generations of kids will come to love the things his dad did, etc.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#7 May 4, 2014
PEllen wrote:
1.Where is the line between clutterbug and hoarder? In my house we have this issue with LP records. Mine, my husband's, my parents and my in law's and nary a working turntable in sight.
My friend bought a turntable-to-CD converter. But converting is very time-consuming.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#8 May 4, 2014
I have seen ones where it just plugs into the USB port, and it records it to the HD.
Kuuipo wrote:
<quoted text>
My friend bought a turntable-to-CD converter. But converting is very time-consuming.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#9 May 4, 2014
What exactly are these Machines? Tractors or drill presses?
It really depends upon what type of tool it is, some are as useful today as they ever were (like a planer) and others are better replaced (like a circular saw) But some may be antiques, and can have some real value.

I remember my dad had an electric drill, the thing was all aluminum case, and probably weighed like 8 lbs. Every time I used it, I could smell the electrical parts cooking away in there. As sentimental as I was about it, I was not going to keep using it, when I could get a newer one that weighed half as much and didn't stink.
Pippa wrote:
1: Ah yes. The sentimental value of something that no one else sees any value in. It took my husband 14 years to get around to selling his parents' house. I know it had to do with the fact that's where he grew up and keeping it had more to do with keeping his parents close after their deaths. Then there's the machinery his dad had in the basement. He won't get rid of it. Worse, he's had one relative after another storing it for him; we simply don't have room for it. It was from his dad's workshop and he just can't bring himself to get rid of it. He said he tried to sell it but I don't think he really ever got as far as actually putting an ad on ebay or Craig's List. I told him he needs to either sell it or take it to the scrap place and sell it for scrap there. The machines are so old I doubt they have any safety features to prevent serious injury. But he grew up watching his dad make things with this machinery and he doesn't really want to let it go. I shall have to give him another y ultimatum. It goes or I go? Don't know but I'll figure something out. Should I give him an ultimatum? Any suggestions? I know this is a bit off topic but I can see the similarity with this lw's letter of woe.

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