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katysax
09-09-2015, 04:52 PM
I'm seriously starting to think about retirement in the next two years. One of the things I want to do is downsize - move to a smaller house. I think I need to start selling off my ukes. Hard as it will be I'm going to try to get down to just a half dozen or so.

I think I should start putting them up for sale. I wonder if anyone out there has gone through this and how you went about downsizing.

Minor Adjustment
09-09-2015, 05:27 PM
If your next house can only store 6 ukes, that will be really small ? I am 64, and at this stage I wont give up our double garage workshop etc. Space is important ! Depending on the climate, getting out of the house into the garden is nice! If it is a money issue to supplement your pension, or your mobility is challenged it becomes trickier. . . .

Tigeralum2001
09-09-2015, 05:47 PM
I have downsized and it feels great! I would love to downsize a little more, but the market is such that I would take a bath on the sales... so I'd rather keep the ukes than lose money.

Hippie Dribble
09-09-2015, 05:56 PM
I find it hard to justify owning more than 3 or 4 ukes at a time because I simply can't play more than that with any regularity. I really feel umcomfortable seeing instruments spend their lives in cases. Consequently I have no problem downsizing and do so regularly.

janeray1940
09-09-2015, 06:46 PM
My last three moves have been increasingly smaller: from a 450 square foot duplex unit, to a 350 square foot apartment, to my current 250 square foot duplex unit 8 years ago (where I intend to stay until they carry me out in a box...). I can't imagine either wanting more stuff, or more space - I love living small!

And yeah - what Hippie Dribble said :)

bunnyf
09-09-2015, 06:47 PM
I think there is always a little twinge of regret about the ukes you let go, especially in a market where you may not get a great price selling them. I have downsized to just the three I really play, a linear Bari w/ pickup, a vintage reentrant Bari and a soprano. I really don't miss the ukes that are gone. Nice as they may have been, they really didn't get played. My only reason for holding on to them would have been just in case my size preference changed down the road.

BearMakingNoises
09-09-2015, 07:33 PM
I downsized to two, my main and a backup. Although now I am thinking I need two more for a low-G main and its backup. I ended up gifting a lot of ukuleles to friends and students. Sometimes I feel a little pang of regret then I pick up my main and remember why I kept it.

Down Up Dick
09-09-2015, 07:45 PM
We downsized . . . and then bought a bunch of stuff, and now we're more crowded than we were before. Ahhh, well . . . :old:

kohanmike
09-09-2015, 08:10 PM
I went through 16 ukes in less than 2 years, gifted, sold and traded in 8, then when I started playing bass last year, I decided to only keep the ukes I really liked, so I kept 4. I sold 2 in the Market Place, took 2 to the Santa Monica Uke Festival with for sale signs as I walked around, and sold them, the rest I listed for sale in my signature and sold them. (Since then I've accumulated 6 bass ukes, but have not had BUAS since sending in the last two for modification a couple of months ago.)

katysax
09-09-2015, 08:58 PM
I'm feeling like simplifying my life would be a plus. I love my house and yard but it too much to take care of. We really don't need all this.

Mivo
09-09-2015, 09:13 PM
I started to downsize when I turned forty, because I felt I had too much clutter in my life. Stuff gets you stuck. Been three years since and I prefer living more lightly with "stuff" having a smaller footprint in my life. I only have five ukes, and I feel that even that is three too many (but not going to change that until I have firmly decided which size I really prefer!).

I feel that having fewer ukuleles (and fewer of anything, really) makes you appreciate what you do have more.

Doc_J
09-10-2015, 01:45 AM
Best of luck on whittling down your ukes. Put the entire lot up for sale, stop when you're down to the number you want to keep. The hard part is not to add more. I attempt to whittle down all the time, but I keep finding new ukes I want to spend time with.

coolkayaker1
09-10-2015, 02:57 AM
I would love to downsize a little more, but the market is such that I would take a bath on the sales... so I'd rather keep the ukes than lose money.

This is true.

If you must sell, katysax, at least do it in the wintertime, when more are looking at UU and eBay ads...not only a quicker sale, but maybe get a touch more for the ukes.

Advice on retirement: have a passion--a single activity that you love more than anything, that you can get lost in for hours and hours, something that is year round (not seasonal) and something that is not just a passing fancy. Without such a passion, life can get meaningless fast. Hanging with friends, family, kids, grandkids, generic "traveling", etc. just won't cut it for filling your time. Just advice from a guy who took the leap two years ago...never regret it because of my passion.

Jon Moody
09-10-2015, 03:08 AM
I think I should start putting them up for sale. I wonder if anyone out there has gone through this and how you went about downsizing.

It's pretty hard for me to downsize, because I not only gig out with a number of instruments but also need a variety for the 9-5, but I usually have two main criteria:

-Does this instrument provide something that is not available in any other instruments?
-Would I care if it was gone?

If I can't answer both of those questions pretty emphatically, the instrument in question usually gets sold. Collecting is nice and all, but for musical instruments, they really need to be played and enjoyed instead of just looked at.

Rllink
09-10-2015, 03:09 AM
I have been slowly getting rid of stuff over the last five years or so. As I've gone through life, I've had many acquisition syndromes, which resulted in a lot of stuff that I don't use. I still participate in most of the activities that resulted in acquisition syndromes, I have just been streamlining them. As far as ukes, I've been able to keep that under control, although I have ended up with a stray that I don't know what to do with.

hendulele
09-10-2015, 03:40 AM
katy, it's a tough call. I've been through 11 ukes the past two years and am down to six. (It was going to be five, but then someone put a Fluke on eBay for cheap and ... the shiny). I almost sold my tenor a few weeks ago, because it's played the least, but I may keep it and throw on a low G just to offer a distinctive sound. I've had no problem finding a home for those that were gathering dust, because as Jon (or is it Ohana?) says, ukes are made to be played. Good luck.

Dan Uke
09-10-2015, 03:44 AM
I rather lose 75% value of an item rather than it just sit in the corner. That is a common theme in golf...good thing I don't play much these days! I would use the 25% to buy something else. You always need a few extra in case someone might come by but how often is that and if they are into ukes, they'll probably bring their own.

Ukejenny
09-10-2015, 04:03 AM
Since I've never upsized my uke collection, I don't have that problem. But, I do have several instruments - usually one of each and a few clarinets, since that is my main instrument. Since I got my Blackbird Clara, I haven't seen the need for another ukulele, unless I eventually get a Clara with a high G so I have both tunings. I still have my other concert rosewood/cedar and I have my little mahogany soprano. I think I'm done.

turtledrum
09-10-2015, 04:59 AM
Perhaps consider this: are there other collections that you might like to thin out first? I've been moving books along to other folks. I used to keep every book that crossed my path. No more. I also have spent lots of time in the Nether-lands (the basement and attic), donating a ton of stuff to the Vietnam Vets.

My ukes? I'm not ready to sell thus far. Other things can go first.

One other thought: my favorite part of now only working part time (adjunct English prof./writer) is spending lots of time outside with my dogs. You may find that your yard takes on new meaning when you get to have more time to enjoy it.

Best to you, Katysax!

sam13
09-10-2015, 05:08 AM
As per my PM to you ... my wife read a book which helped with decluttering and hence downsizing ... the main question was:

Does this still bring me joy? If not, then let it go. It might have filled a need but now it doesn't and that is okay, it will fill a need elsewhere.

Good luck with it.

Tootler
09-10-2015, 05:50 AM
I have been retired for 10 years and I'm still living in the house that I've been living in for the last 35 years. I can understand your wish to downsize but for goodness sake, don't rush into it. Retirement is a big change in your life and it takes time to adjust. I found that for a while I was at a loose end and it took time for other activities to pick up. Having a hobby has helped and my hobby was music and my musical activities began to take off.

Similarly don't rush to shed your ukuleles until you have had time to settle. While I have got rid of several ukes, it was either because I wasn't playing them or decided I didn't like them. I have my ukuleles down to a number that I either play regularly or have a particular use for. I could probably shed one more but I am reluctant to do so as the one that would go is one I won in a raffle and I like it and have a certain attachment to it because of that.

wickedwahine11
09-10-2015, 06:46 AM
I downsized my uke collection down to two ukes and don't regret it at all. Just choose the ones you keep carefully. I don't have any regrets because I dearly love the two I have.

70sSanO
09-10-2015, 07:44 AM
I'll probably be retired in the next year or so but for me I think a person has to be selective in their downsizing. I have actually gone in the opposite direction, especially when it comes to hobbies. For the past couple of years, I've been on a quest, so to speak, to get my hobbies set for a fixed income.

In all honesty, I have been more involved in biking and have amassed enough spare parts to keep that going as long as I can move my legs. As for ukuleles, I have recently been on a 3 string ukulele kick and have bought 2 and I am getting my wife a 3 string also. I just felt that they fit a niche and I only know of one person who makes them pretty close by and, right or wrong, I figured that they were something to get now or I would never get them.

John

janeray1940
09-10-2015, 08:09 AM
As per my PM to you ... my wife read a book which helped with decluttering and hence downsizing ... the main question was:

Does this still bring me joy? If not, then let it go. It might have filled a need but now it doesn't and that is okay, it will fill a need elsewhere.

Good luck with it.

Sounds like your wife read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (http://www.amazon.com/The-Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering/dp/1607747308). Some of it borders on the crackpot side (thanking your old socks for the service they provided you before throwing them out, seriously??) but if you approach it with an open mind, it's an excellent read.

Rllink
09-10-2015, 08:17 AM
I have been retired for 10 years and I'm still living in the house that I've been living in for the last 35 years. I can understand your wish to downsize but for goodness sake, don't rush into it. Retirement is a big change in your life and it takes time to adjust. I found that for a while I was at a loose end and it took time for other activities to pick up. Having a hobby has helped and my hobby was music and my musical activities began to take off.
I retired three years ago. I already had a few things that I was doing to keep me occupied, and I still do those activities. One of them is art. I started taking art classed even before I retired, but after I retired, art started taking over my life, and I did not like that. So I was looking for something else when I discovered the ukulele. I still sketch, draw, and paint as well as play my uke. But I let the two balance each other out. Actually, I have a lot of things that I do to balance things out.

hawaii 50
09-10-2015, 08:39 AM
I'm seriously starting to think about retirement in the next two years. One of the things I want to do is downsize - move to a smaller house. I think I need to start selling off my ukes. Hard as it will be I'm going to try to get down to just a half dozen or so.

I think I should start putting them up for sale. I wonder if anyone out there has gone through this and how you went about downsizing.

when I had 1 year before my retirement I wanted to get myself a gift to myself....Corvette or a Boat...haha,but I knew I needed some kind of hobby to keep me busy....so I went the other way when it came to the uke..I bought a Kanile"a and took lessons then realized how much fun playing and learning the uke was...so I decided to instead a boat and car...I would buy the best ukes I could afford...I have been retired 3 years now and have one more uke to add then I am done...I am still having as much or more fun than I thought could happen....

I always have said I will gift my ukes down when I am done with them.....still thinking that way....you will have a lot of time to play the ukes you have(not sure how many you have though..:) ) I have a feeling if you sell your ukes after retirement you may want to buy more ukes....lol

good luck on your retirement...best part of life ahead of you.....

Rodney.
09-10-2015, 08:51 AM
As per my PM to you ... my wife read a book which helped with decluttering and hence downsizing ... the main question was:

Does this still bring me joy? If not, then let it go. It might have filled a need but now it doesn't and that is okay, it will fill a need elsewhere.

Good luck with it.

My wife has probably the same book, I think it's by a Japanese writer. It helped her to give some things away and sell some items. Less to worrie about. I had 7 ukes once, and only have two right now, which I play both regularly. The other ones were just there to look at, play once a month and are not missed right now.

NatalieS
09-10-2015, 10:13 AM
Sounds like your wife read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (http://www.amazon.com/The-Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering/dp/1607747308). Some of it borders on the crackpot side (thanking your old socks for the service they provided you before throwing them out, seriously??) but if you approach it with an open mind, it's an excellent read.

I read that book and ate it up-- it really fueled my quest to downsize and minimalize my possessions. I could talk about minimalism until I'm blue in the face because I love it so much, but I'll keep it short here. I have tracked my spending over the past three years and have been able to reduce my spending by about 40% after adopting a minimalist mentality. There are many different meanings for that term, but mine is to focus my spending on fewer things, of overall higher quality, and to spend money on experiences rather than possessions. I no longer buy things I don't need and I've gotten rid of a heck of a lot of clutter and donated it to charity. It's made me feel lighter, less stressed, and less to be worried about. With ukulele in particular, minimalism has helped me realize that it's nice to have one uke of great quality, rather than a bunch of ukes that sound ok and hardly get played.

janeray1940
09-10-2015, 11:24 AM
I read that book and ate it up-- it really fueled my quest to downsize and minimalize my possessions. I could talk about minimalism until I'm blue in the face because I love it so much, but I'll keep it short here.

That makes two of us :) Because I had a rather nomadic upbringing, I've always been on the minimalist side but the book really helped clarify where I could improve.


With ukulele in particular, minimalism has helped me realize that it's nice to have one uke of great quality, rather than a bunch of ukes that sound ok and hardly get played.

I'm lucky in that when I started playing again as an adult, the shop where I bought my first uke steered me away from the cheapie stuff and toward a decent entry-level Ohana ... which was fine for a few weeks until I played it side by side with a few K-brands and - no comparison. I have room in my tiny place for 4 ukes and I think there was only one short period when I had one more than that. Seeing it go unplayed and figuring out where to put the darned thing made me sell it, even though I knew I'd take a loss.

As for the issue of selling and taking a loss, I know some folks have trouble with that. I try to see it as the "loss" is a fair payment for the time that I owned it and for the experience of what I learned from owning it, so I've never been one to try to "get my money back" or even get market price - I always tend to underprice just a bit, in hopes of a quick and painless sale. So far, so good.

fretie
09-10-2015, 02:27 PM
It feels so refreshing to downsize, get free of clutter and unused stuff. Half a dozen ukes should more than meet your retirement needs. Living in a relatively small place helps you have just the stuff you need and use just the stuff you have.

Chopped Liver
09-10-2015, 03:36 PM
As per my PM to you ... my wife read a book which helped with decluttering and hence downsizing ... the main question was:

Does this still bring me joy? If not, then let it go. It might have filled a need but now it doesn't and that is okay, it will fill a need elsewhere.

Good luck with it.

I read that book. Good book. I don't thank my socks for their service, but I have been letting some things go.

Chopped Liver
09-10-2015, 03:47 PM
I have been purging my stuff for awhile now. I took three trunk loads of stuff to GoodWill this summer. I am sick of clutter and the tension that goes with it. I've been reading lots of minimalist websites and looking at pics. It is very exciting. It feels so good to come home and enter the room I have finished purging (for now). Very calm and peaceful. It makes room for rest and relaxation instead of tension and pressure to clean.

I have WAY too much "stuff". I continue to let stuff go elsewhere.

I say get rid of the ones you don't love and enjoy the ones you keep!

LDS714
09-10-2015, 04:24 PM
I have downsized and it feels great! I would love to downsize a little more, but the market is such that I would take a bath on the sales... so I'd rather keep the ukes than lose money.

Ukulele Market Crashes! (http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/ukulele-market-crashes-2012051527187)

Looking back through the years, I regret every single instrument and motorcycle that I ever sold.

k0k0peli
09-13-2015, 11:41 PM
I like clutter. Organized clutter. I hate downsizing. De-cluttering can verge on OCD. Yet as my interests wax and wane I find myself with unused stuff. I usually resist the urge to eliminate the superfluous because my interests *could* roll back in that direction some day. I must decide whether to keep stuff and not use it, or sell it at a loss and then buy replacements later when I want it again.

Some downsizing is inevitable. My eyes are deteriorating and I am not likely to be intensively into photography again, so I *must* sell my darkroom gear and many of my hundreds of lenses. (I'll keep my few dozen cute cameras, though.) We're culling through our vast library for books we'll never re-read and again, bad eyes mean offing small text. There's not much reason to keep the shortwave radios either.

Instruments are a harder call, at least until I go stone deaf. My MiniMoog and Roland analog synths will go because I am sure I will not want to deal with them again and I can replicate them with smaller digital gear. My vintage Arte et Lutherie guitar is nice but doesn't compare with the Ibanez Performance; it can go. I probably will not miss my old jazztop and lap steel guitars which I bought at bargain prices long ago and are worth a pile now. Hey, sell those and I can buy more 'ukes! Better 'ukes, too. And I have a strong itch to build weird 'ukes. So some instrument counts will shrink while others increase.

I'll echo One Bad Monkey's advice. Consider:

-Does an instrument give something that others don't?
-Would you care if it was gone?

You get to decide whether both criteria (uniqueness and desireability) must be met to keep an instrument, or if one is justification.

VegasGeorge
09-14-2015, 02:02 AM
We downsized when we retired. Then we spent 15 years collecting more stuff. Now we've upsized. Finally, I can walk around the house without turning sideways or bumping into things! Seriously, I think the best idea is to live in the biggest house you can comfortably afford. Small, for small's sake, just doesn't wear well over time.

Mivo
09-14-2015, 02:18 AM
Small, for small's sake, just doesn't wear well over time.

It works if you let things go, too. Getting a smaller place while still hanging onto stuff, and acquiring more stuff, won't pan out. I'm (slowly getting) better at not buying more things than I am at letting stuff go, but I experience it as fairly liberating when I do give away, sell, or throw out stuff. I find myself appreciating the things I keep or get more this way, but it's no doubt a personal choice.

Down Up Dick
09-14-2015, 02:40 AM
George, I really couldn't agree more. I would really like a bigger music room, and my wife's sewing room is full to the max. Our master bedroom is also the music room annex. The rest of the house is okay.

Accumulating more and more stuff is the American way of life. Even our homeless ones lug stuff around in shopping carts--sometimes two!

It really seems silly to buy stuff, use it for a little while and then sell it at a loss to buy some other stuff. Usually, when I buy something, I agonize over it for days, learning as much as possible about it, try it out if possible, and then it's mine, mine, mine! I can't remember ever selling anything, though I have traded stuff in for better stuff.

Whenever people retire, they have all day-every day to pass the time. They'd better have stuff to do and comfortable surroundings, or they're gonna be bored and unhappy.

We too thought it would be a good idea to downsize. Now, we'd like a bigger place but don't wanna move again. :old:

Rllink
09-14-2015, 04:54 AM
Every summer I get into a downsizing mood, which is sometimes successful. This summer I sold my old jeep, and the truck load of old parts that I had accumulated over the years. One thing, I have two homes, one in Iowa, and another in Puerto Rico, and they both have accumulated lots of stuff. I'm in Iowa now, but in a few weeks I'm headed to PR for a while, and I intend to leave one of my ukes there, along with some other stuff I'm taking down. But that is how it seems to go for me, I tend to move stuff back and forth. Just when I'm ready to get rid of something, I think that I might need it at the other place, so my crap just follows me around. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, as we keep the house in Iowa because we have family there, but it is getting to where there are fewer and fewer. Some day we will sell the place up North and just finish out our days in Puerto Rico. When we do that, there will be major downsizing going on.

k0k0peli
09-14-2015, 09:12 AM
Addendum to my previous comment: I face the prospect of immediate mandatory downsizing as my home is still endangered by a massive wildfire. We may end up with only what we stuffed into our two wagons. I increased the load to 15 of our 34 string axes but at least two of them would be sold -- at great profit! I think I listed the keepers in my FACING EVACUATION thread here or on Mandolin Café. When de-cluttering, consider how you choose when time is short and space is minimal.

SailorUke!
09-14-2015, 09:24 AM
I read once in a sailing forum a great solution for this. It came in the context of those of us that want to "live aboard" sometime and therefore would have WAY less room than in a land based house.

The suggestion was to move into only the required rooms in your house. Think kitchen (galley), living room (saloon) and bed (berth). Then move EVERYTHING YOU OWN to the garage. Live this way for a month. Go get the things you need (IE: you need to cut something so go get a knife). After a month anything still in the garage is really not needed for living and is just there as a convenience. Apply a little common sense and your list builds itself!

Keep in mind, this model is totally about using the things we keep and "collections" of things just don't fit in a world of 300 square feet and multiple inhabitants. We did a significantly modified version of this for house based living and found that we actually didn't need a bigger kitchen or more closets, just a trip to the goodwill, dump and a garage sale.

Rllink
09-14-2015, 09:41 AM
Addendum to my previous comment: I face the prospect of immediate mandatory downsizing as my home is still endangered by a massive wildfire. We may end up with only what we stuffed into our two wagons. I increased the load to 15 of our 34 string axes but at least two of them would be sold -- at great profit! I think I listed the keepers in my FACING EVACUATION thread here or on Mandolin Café. When de-cluttering, consider how you choose when time is short and space is minimal.
Ever since you first brought this up, I have been hoping and praying that some how it misses you. Good luck. My heart is with you.

NatalieS
09-14-2015, 11:53 AM
I read once in a sailing forum a great solution for this. It came in the context of those of us that want to "live aboard" sometime and therefore would have WAY less room than in a land based house.

The suggestion was to move into only the required rooms in your house. Think kitchen (galley), living room (saloon) and bed (berth). Then move EVERYTHING YOU OWN to the garage. Live this way for a month. Go get the things you need (IE: you need to cut something so go get a knife). After a month anything still in the garage is really not needed for living and is just there as a convenience. Apply a little common sense and your list builds itself!

Keep in mind, this model is totally about using the things we keep and "collections" of things just don't fit in a world of 300 square feet and multiple inhabitants. We did a significantly modified version of this for house based living and found that we actually didn't need a bigger kitchen or more closets, just a trip to the goodwill, dump and a garage sale.

I *love* this post. The idea of living aboard a boat, or in a much smaller place, is really appealing. How wonderful would it be to have all your possessions on a boat that you use to explore the world? Having moved 11 times in the last 15 years, I've realized how stressful it is to move meaningless things time after time. As a result, if I don't use something or if every time I look at it I go, "Oh yuck"-- it's gone. I may be compensating for other areas of my life that are more out of control, like my crazy-busy job, but now it's become more of a rewarding hobby to keep my stuff pared down to the minimal. And I know that the next time I have to move, it won't be nearly so stressful as if I had accumulated a bunch of junk.

Funny you mentioned collections as well. I used to collect everything, but have saved myself a ton of money (and consequently, stress) just by switching my "collecting" tendencies over to harmless hobbies like nature photography and Pinterest, rather than physical objects.

Nickie
09-14-2015, 05:41 PM
This is a very cool thread. It's more about materialism vs minimalism than just which ukes to keep. And it's about who gets bored in retirement and who don't.
I know I won't get bored when I get to retire. I can do nothing all day perfectly well. I'm incredibly lazy, too lazy to be involved in acquisition.
I guess the only thing I am collecting now are songs. I want to learn as many as I can. The only space they take up is room in my head.
I'm learning a lot about you cool people here....UUers are the best, collecting or giving away.

SailorUke!
09-14-2015, 06:02 PM
...The idea of living aboard a boat, or in a much smaller place, is really appealing. How wonderful would it be to have all your possessions on a boat that you use to explore the world?...

I moved aboard this summer with essentially a backpack of personal stuff, mostly clothes, and my uke. Spent the next 30 days there and never felt like I was missing a thing. 1000 miles later and the house seems HUGE in comparison. Can't wait for winter to be past and be back sailing again. Dang northern latitudes.

Sorry for the hijack.

k0k0peli
09-14-2015, 06:16 PM
I *love* this post. The idea of living aboard a boat, or in a much smaller place, is really appealing. My father-in-law told his wife he wanted to retire onto a cabin cruiser in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California). She said, "Fine, go ahead. Have a nice life. Be sure to call sometime." They bought a big mountain house instead. ;) Go figure.

As it happens, I tried living the simple minimal life long ago. It sucked. And we *have* lived unburdened for periods of up to several months on the road and in distant places. But it is ALWAYS good to return to our comfortable home, our heirlooms and arts & crafts collections (the house is a combination library and gallery), furniture that fits us, our work-shops and -sheds, indoor space large enough and fitted for large parties in bad weather, etc.

Do we *need* seating for 25 in our great room? When all the family is over in midsummer or midwinter, yes. Do we *need* all the paintings and weavings on the walls, all the cabinets filled with ethnic artifacts, weighty volumes, sheet music, nav charts, etc? Or all the instruments that fill my life with joy? I think so. YMMV.

If the place burns down we'll get another small RV and wander till we find someplace suitable. Then we'll build more collections of goodies. That's how we are.