My training as a Loadmaster

telleutelleme

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has left me with a nicely organized Hoarder's home. A Loadmaster is taught to position the maximum amount of cargo in a specific amount of space. During my USAF years I was good at this. I once loaded a 2 1/2 ton truck and well over a hundred South Vietnamese soldiers in a 41 foot cargo space. They were stacked in like sardines. When it seemed there was no more room an army MP and his German Shepard went in the side door and magically created even more room. Compression acted as tie-downs along with a few straps across the cargo compartment to hold on to.

The point is in over 49 years, my wife and I collected lots of stuff. I for my part found all the places to put that stuff. We sometimes replaced, but mostly just added. Being a professional Loadmaster, I carefully placed everything while following my wife's decorative instructions. Our house looks like it has a lot of stuff, but that is misleading, we have lots and lots of stuff. The kids and relatives have taken clothes, my wife's good things and have picked through some of the things I was OK with getting rid of. A planned garage sale in the Fall (Texas has a week of that) should get rid of much more. My Nieces have volunteered to do this and allow me to spend the day somewhere else as I developed a bad reputation in the past for behavior at garage sales.

NOW I am faced with offloading or as most people call it downsizing the "junk". I have started with the biggest challenge, the attic. Apart from lots of boxes of paper, Christmas ornaments, fake tree and spare sets of dishes there is an old Reel to Reel with a box of tapes. There is printer paper (remember Green Bar) and listings of software I wrote decades ago. There is a box of 80 column IBM keypunch cards with even earlier code. There are binders and books of software from the early 70's. Except for memories, it is nothing but junk and will be discarded.

Every other month is heavy trash and much goes there, some in bi-monthly recycle and a few things will go to charity. I keep thinking about the reel-to-reel, a Sony Portable with speakers from the 70's and several boxes of "sticky" tapes containing music, including the complete Concert for Bangladesh and some horrible noise from recording seismic data; which is how I got the tapes to re-record on. The tapes have to go the way of paint recycle and I am unsure of the value of the Sony (too many years in the attic). Maybe Goodwill. Could Craigslist it. The attic will be a job as I floored a large part and it is packed (nicely) with boxes of useless stuff.

It remains to be seen if my offloading skills are as good as my loading ones were. If you are young and reading this, throw stuff away, frequently.
 

Lowspeid

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I’ve moved 10 times in the last 12 years among 4 Western states. The last 3 years were the most “stable”, and I accrued the most “stuff” I’ve ever had. When the time came to move again in June I looked at my wife and said “good thing we’re moving again. We have too much junk.” She gave me a look as if I’d said something profoundly insightful. At least that’s what I think the tears welling up in her eyes meant.
 

fretWalkr

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I never knew Loadmaster was a thing. In my gigging days there was usually one guy who was really good at loading the van/trailer/truck with out equipment. Some guys really didn't have any idea how to get the best use out of the space.
 

stxrus

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A few months ago we went through a “de-junking”. So much stuff we both forgot we had was scary.

The good clothes went to the animal shelter flea market. The crappy clothes went to the rag bin or trash.

The old electronics that were useless went to the e-waste bin

It was very cathartic
 

glenlivet

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My wife is the border line hoarder.
Me...if I haven't used it in a few years.....toss it.
If it has a good layer of dust on it...toss it.
If it's to big to easily move / carry... toss it.
I keep a few memento type things...but that's usually because other people have guilted me into it.
I attach very little sentimental value to "stuff".


(the one exception to that is tools...always keep tools...if you needed it once, you will probably need it again.)
 

Ricky D.

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If that was my project, I’d call a local trash hauler and have them drop off a 20 foot or 40 foot open top dumpster. Doesn’t cost much, and you just get the stuff out of the house and in the can.

Otherwise, you have all those dump runs in your POV. Like shoveling sand on the beach with a spoon.
 

uriah1

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My wife calls it the load gene. I don’t have it. She does. We still have boxes in attic from movers over 24 years ago. Wonder what’s in them.
 

Swirling Snow

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My partner calls it "tetris-ing". :)

I once worked with a band whose load was so refined that if one item went in facing the wrong way, never mind in the wrong place, they couldn't close the doors of the van.
 

Jakedog

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Definitely get rid of stuff. Please don’t leave for someone else to handle.

I’m dealing with my mother. She still has everything she has ever owned. At least it seems that way. It’s all neat and organized, but good grief. Now she is trying to sell her property, and downsize. She needs to move closer to family.

She will not part with anything. She has the VCR and microwave I grew up with in the 80’s. In their original boxes. With manuals and receipts. Because they still work. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

She has four full sized file cabinets full of receipts. All in folders and neatly labeled. They go back to the late 60’s. They cannot be thrown away, according to her, as they could be used to discern personal information about her that someone could use to scam or otherwise take advantage of her.

She has a box full of address labels. Going back to every house she’s ever lived in. These cannot be thrown away, as they contain personal information. Even after I explained to her a thousand times that it does not matter if anyone goes looking for her at a house she hasn’t lived in in thirty years (like they would anyway), she’s too scared to let go of anything with her name, or any phone number or address on it. No matter how old.

This does not begin to address all of her mother and grandmother’s things. Not nice or valuable things. Just stuff. That cannot be parted with because it’s “our family history”. It’s maddening. This is all the stuff that nobody else in the family had any interest in keeping, and she does not understand why nobody wants these things that they all grew up with. Never mind that she just stores it all in stacked boxes.

I’m way underselling this. She used to sew like crazy. Now her eyes are too bad and her fingers don’t work like they used to. It would not be an exaggeration to estimate that there may be in excess of 1000 lbs of fabric and fabric scraps and literally millions of beads and buttons.

We got into an argument over it all last summer, and I lost it a little bit, and behaved badly. I made the mistake of losing my temper and informing her that when her time comes, my brother and I are not messing with any of this crap, and probably won’t even go through it. The most likely scenario is that we have a couple dumpsters brought in and just chuck it all. She about lost her mind. It took me months to get her to calm down and assure her that it wouldn’t really happen.

Even though my brother and I have already discussed it, and it’s totally happening.
 

staxman

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I did a career in the Air Force retiring out of McChord AFB, so first off, kudos to all you Loadmasters. My wife somehow has a natural ability to utilize every square inch of storage space. When we first met, I helped her move out of her small apartment. I first did a walk through to access the move, I thought, "no problem, this will be relatively easy." I could not believe the amount of stuff she managed to squirrel away when it came time to actually move--amazing. Ever since then, I'm doing what you're doing--periodically getting rid of whatever I can--donation, garbage, dump, whatever. Pay now or pay bigtime later on.
 

jimd

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I think my wife was a loadmaster in a previous life. Everything is a damn space optimization problem. It’s great when packing a car for a trip, but god forbid you use too big of a Tupperware container for the leftovers.
 

beyer160

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It remains to be seen if my offloading skills are as good as my loading ones were. If you are young and reading this, throw stuff away, frequently.
I recently discovered a trick to make clearing out attics super easy. Just let some squirrels run wild up there for a while, then you won't have any choice but to throw it all away. Easy! Honestly, I'm kind of relived.
My partner calls it "tetris-ing". :)
My job sometimes involves calling the pack for semi trucks on live events (when I don't have somebody qualified to delegate it to)- we call it "truck tetris". Joking aside, all that time I spent screwing around in college playing Tetris really seems to have helped.
 

stratisfied

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My practice has been, aside from decor items on the walls and tables, family heirlooms and guns, if I haven't used it or worn it in a year, it gets disposed of as I obviously don't really need it.
 

Greg70

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When I was maybe 3 or 4 years old I had a ride-on Fisher Price Explorer truck. You could open the back of it and put stuff inside. I also had a stamped metal Western Auto semitrailer that you put fill with stuff. I attached a few screen grabs from the interwebs. I would take my teddy bear band on tour by stuffing them and all of their gear in the back of my Explorer and semi. They had a full complement of Tinker Toy guitars, drums and mike stands. We used to go from room to room on tour and perform our biggest hits using the chairs and couches as stages.

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