Laralee and I continue chipping away at the vast piles of stuff we’ve accumulated over the course of our marriage. We plan to move in a year or so, and don’t want to drag all of this to the new place (wherever that may be) so we agreed to spend the next year getting rid of things.

Today I went through six boxes from the depths of the crawlspace. Two of them had my college textbooks. Yep, it’s interesting to see a stack of them that probably cost me a thousand dollars back in the day:

This was only a third of the textbooks I’d kept. Of course when I flipped through them, I was reminded about how much I knew once upon a time.

So those will be heading to Goodwill, who apparently will take old textbooks. I have no idea who buys them, but I suppose if someone decides they want to learn quantum mechanics, they’ll be thrilled to find my old book.

Then there was a box of day planners. Back in 1992, my first year as a resident assistant, the Department of Residential Life (“reslife”) provided all of the RA’s with little planners and encouraged us to use them. We had a number of responsibilities, and I found that it came in handy. From that day until sometime around 2012, I used a day planner. Every year I’d buy another one, and bring it everywhere with me to jot down notes and appointments and make sure I was crossing things off my to-do list.

As it happens, I flipped open to this page in my 1993 planner:

Cool! On May 10 I picked up my car (yep, my very first car). The next day I installed a new stereo in it, after finishing my astrophysics final of course.

Oh, and the box with instructions for my original Lego sets. Here’s my very first space Lego set!

Two more boxes had my electric train stuff. It contained dozens of train cars, boxes of track, and things like gas stations and a theater and all those other things I built from kits for my big train setup in the basement as a kid. Years ago, I figured my boys would like to play with it, but it sat forgotten in the crawlspace, and now it’s too late.

I was going to just toss all of it, but decided to call a local hobby store to see if they even sold HO-scale electric trains these days. It turns out they don’t, but they knew a guy named Warren who collected them. They gave me his number, I called, and he was happy to accept them. He told me I could leave them at the store for him to pick up, and mentioned that if he sold any of it on eBay he’d be willing to split the profits. I replied that I didn’t care, but after hanging up, I was curious and hopped on eBay to see what sorts of prices a thirty-year-old train set might bring. As it turns out, individual Tyco cars in their original boxes (which I have) sell for anywhere from five to twenty dollars apiece. Who knew?

Finally I stumbled upon a small box that contained my original Star Wars action figures. I only have about twenty, but they’re original, circa 1980.

Again out of curiosity, I checked eBay because I know people trade these things. I found a Boba Fett just like the one sitting on top of my box above, and it was listed at $40. The little gun my stormtrooper is holding? Ten dollars. For just the gun. It’s crazy. That little box is easily worth hundreds of dollars.

So, once again it was fun to dig through some nostalgic stuff, and as I take it to Goodwill and the hobby store (and the trash can, in some cases), it’s funny to think of the thousands upon thousands of dollars I spent on it over time… and even what some of it is worth now, if I only had the desire to spend effort selling it on eBay. Oh well. Hopefully Warren can make something.