Declutter or save for cadet

Overwhelmed

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Jan 3, 2018
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I have a basement full of household items and furniture.

Will my son need any of this in the near future as a new Army 2nd Lt?
 

VelveteenR

Just gathering dust in the nursery...
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He will need start-up furnishings. You should ask him to look through what you have to decide if he will want any of it for his first apartment/house. We have a casita and our son took the lot of it: bedroom set, sleeper couch, lamps, rugs, desk, chair, dishes, small kitchen appliances, etc. Let your cadet declutter for you.
 

AROTC-dad

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And on the other hand, your DS or DD may want nothing of it.

Our DS, an Army O-2, bought his first home a few months ago, and just moved his furniture from his old apartment over to the house. His GF, also an Army Officer is helping him decorate it.

We are still left holding all the old sports trophies, his old bed, etc. etc. Time to call Goodwill?
 

Overwhelmed

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Jan 3, 2018
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Hmmm....Sounds like I better hold on to it. I will make sure to rent a
one-way U-haul so it won't come back!
 

justdoit19

Proud parent of an ANG, USNA X2, and a MidSib
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Welcome to the empty nesters club! Also decluttering. Endlessly it seems. Dealing with towels presently. Oddly satisfying. Occasionally melancholy.

I’m keeping tubs, will pass along when it’s necessary. At the moment we have the space. Someday, we won’t.
 

USMCGrunt

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And on the other hand, your DS or DD may want nothing of it.
This has been my experience. 4 kids (one a Marine Officer) who all moved far away from home and felt the hassle of coming home, renting a truck, hauling it back to their places made no sense. My basement is a legitimate second hand thrift shop of bed frames, mattresses, dressers, couches, lamps, etc. Not to mention the books, trophies, paperwork, and personal trinkets that I hope they will someday take back.

There may be a line drawn in the sand this year and a massive donation taking place afterwards.
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
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This has been my experience. 4 kids (one a Marine Officer) who all moved far away from home and felt the hassle of coming home, renting a truck, hauling it back to their places made no sense. My basement is a legitimate second hand thrift shop of bed frames, mattresses, dressers, couches, lamps, etc. Not to mention the books, trophies, paperwork, and personal trinkets that I hope they will someday take back.

There may be a line drawn in the sand this year and a massive donation taking place afterwards.
We were in the same oat with our four but then we got out of the semi empty and too large house and moved so much of their furnishings, etc had to go. We kept important stuff in a storage unit but no furniture or clothes.
 

penguin05

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Feb 7, 2020
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My daughter was recently hired at our local elementary school as a teacher. My plan is to just leave her the house and the accompanying junk in the basement.
Friends sold their house to their son. They moved their items out and left his bedroom intact, all the random sports gear in the garage and a basement full of items in storage. Instant downsizing. Their son was amazed at the amount of stuff he suddenly reacquired.
 

USMCGrunt

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We were in the same oat with our four but then we got out of the semi empty and too large house and moved so much of their furnishings, etc had to go. We kept important stuff in a storage unit but no furniture or clothes.
That, or I hate to admit I have hoped for this... a sump pump failure and basement flooding! Living in Chicago with a very shallow water table makes flooding a high percentage event.
 

99Gold

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Hmmm....Sounds like I better hold on to it. I will make sure to rent a
one-way U-haul so it won't come back!
It was a huge blessing for my husband (and then me once we got married) to have the cast off furnishing from his grandmother when outfitting his first house. It really saved us a ton of start-up costs. We've slowly replaced the non-heritage stuff over the years but got to do it on our terms instead of what we could afford on a new 2LTs salary (minus all of the skiing we did being stationed in CO). I'm hoping my sons will want some of our furniture when they graduate so I can upgrade!
 

USMCGrunt

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I am with you @99Gold - if only.

Interestingly, two of my kids bought their starter houses fully furnished (in sweetheart deals that I never enjoyed). Boy, was I bummed as I looked over my basement storage facility and realized they didn't want much, if anything, out of storage!
 

VelveteenR

Just gathering dust in the nursery...
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I will make sure to rent a
one-way U-haul so it won't come back!
You won’t need to. The Army will handle the move. Our son packed up and labelled everything he wanted to take, flew out to his post, and the movers came a few days later, loaded all onto a truck, and took it all away. The Army also paid to transport his car to his post. Easy peasy.
 

VelveteenR

Just gathering dust in the nursery...
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We are still left holding all the old sports trophies…

We made our son pack up every single thing he owned, including the boxes of his school and childhood mementos. If the Army was going to pay for that first move, they were going to take ALL of it.

So, I got to turn this:
Bedroom-Old.jpg

Into this:
Bedroom-New.jpg

His casita has become my she-shed. Thank you, Army. :)
 
Last edited:

bookreader

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It's almost impossible to know what they will need when they leave the nest. When my son left for his first post after West Point, he landed in a furnished apartment and so needed very little. This turned out to be a huge blessing because when he went to find a UHaul (he'd planned to bring some things with him), there were none to be had. This was during the height of covid and every single UHaul was in use moving NYers out of the city so there were none to be had in our neighboring state. Literally none. So, he was only able to bring with him what he could fit into his vehicle. And it all worked out in the end.

My point in telling this story is that you can plan for this move, but don't be stunned if the situation changes and you need to drastically change the plan.

And if he does end up needing things, between FB marketplace and FB buy-nothing pages, your kid will find everything he needs.
 

bopper

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1) Is the cost of moving > the cost of the furniture?

2) Beware of one-way U-haul...my DD had gotten a one way uhual reservation (from NY to NJ) and when we went to pick the truck up it wasn't "there"...they wanted us to call back later. We did and then they still didn't have it and told us to go to another Uhaul site...kept trying to push us off by my DD's lease was up THAT DAY... eventually we got one but it would have been better to get a regular ulhaula and driven it back.
 

USMAROTCFamily

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We had a 2018 grad and a 2109 grad and they each took half of the furniture from the house to set p their new apartments as an Ensign and a 2LT. The military moved it all to their first assignments and I got new furniture! It was a win-win for everyone!
 

usna1985

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A lot depends on where you end up living as your first duty station (both location and type of unit) and the type of furniture involved. In some cases, a JO may share an apartment with one or more friends -- everyone can't bring a living room couch. :) But everyone needs a bed. You could end up in a tiny, tiny place where not much fits other than a bed. In that case, you might want that furniture at your second duty station. Finally, you DD / DS may have their own sense of style -- and may not want to tell you that your old stuff doesn't fit their aesthetic. You're thinking: free furniture is better than no furniture. They may not see it that way.

My parents weren't ready to give up my BR set (would have left an empty room). So I ended up with a spare dresser, small chest, wall system (you had to have lived in the 70s to understand) and a bean bag chair when I moved to my first duty station. I bought a bed with graduation money. My RM and I rented furniture for the living room since we were only there for 6 months. Next duty station and living alone, I added a table, couch, chairs and TV stand. Added more as I continued to move.

Make the offer and make it contingent on YOUR plans and timing for downsizing. Don't be offended if your kid doesn't accept. Rejoice that your DD / DS wants to make their own home.
 
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