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Date: 1 October 2013. Glasses.

In the last article of the Becoming Clutter-Free series (Prepping - Plastics) I had the audacity to suggest you had too many plastic containers and some judicious culling was in order. Hopefully you can be proud of the one small neat and tidy section in your kitchen cabinets you created. Also by now you should have dropped off the extraneous at your nearest thrift store or donation center and are ready to have at it again. This week we're going to make a big difference in the amount of space in at least one locker as we prepare for life aboard a cruising boat.

And remember Mr. Anonymous from last week? Well, take a gander at success:



I spoke with the gentleman once the project was completed and rather suspect he thought it was
just a matter of taking a before picture and then shoving everything back in the locker and being done with it. (insert laughter) Bless his innocent heart. However, like a good sport he did actually do the whole job and you can see how tidy everything is now. It looks amazing!

In chatting with him afterwards a couple of things he stated stood out:

  1. He said he sat on the floor just looking at the job for at least fifteen minutes before starting however once started, it wasn't nearly as difficult as he'd imagined

  2. Also, he was surprised by how much happiness he derived from the job once completed.

And yes, it really does look amazing -- fabulous! I'm proud of his results and can't wait to meet him one day along the waterways.

And this is at the end of your work when you live aboard:

Peaceful evenings with soft sunsets, warm breezes and cool friends.
Life is rough, but some how we (Skipper and I) manage....

Today we are going to tackle the locker shelves you go to when pouring a drink. I've yet to meet a dirt dweller who didn't have at least 50 glasses, mugs, tea cups, plastic cups, traveler-commuter cups, wine glasses, Styrofoam cups, disposable plastic party glasses, etc. -- everywhere things to drink out of!  And I'd be willing to wager a cup of hot tea (or coffee) aboard Seaweed that more than half have not been used in the past year.

So empty out your lockers of all cups. After everything is out, consider what you use regularly. Have you some fabulous cups at the back that you don't want broken so you never use them? Tell me how many cups you've broken in the past six months. Next, please share with me how long ago (decades?) since you learned how to walk and carry a cup without dropping it? And once you're dead, why would you want a stranger to use your stuff when you could have enjoyed it all right now?! Even if you did break your "special cup" can you not afford to replace same at a thrift store?

In other words:
Enjoy this moment and use what you now own.

Only put back what you love. Nothing else!!! Okay, I'll grant you that you might find something you've not seen for a couple of decades that has meaning. Yes, put them back in that lowest locker space -- we will come up with a use for the things that have great sentimental value. This isn't about throwing away your history, rather, it is about clearing the chaos so you can enjoy the best of what you already possess.

Goodness knows I don't have a whole lot, but what I do have I use and enjoy. The Star Trek mug is special (I've had it since 1993) and I will feel sad when it breaks, but then I'll go out and find another that pleases me and use it. Folks who visit are often tickled to find that I serve beverages in glasses (real ones/not that plastic junk) and yes, I have occasionally cracked one. And none of my glasses match -- not even close, but then again I'm not out to impress anyone. Life is so good afloat my happiness overflows, and it certainly doesn't rely on having matching anything. My earrings match, so it's all good. 

Now I did break both of Skipper's food dishes -- originally pretty champagne glasses I found at a thrift store so she wouldn't have to bend her little neck to eat. Of course my Deck Swabbie isn't spoilt or anything!


Her tray is shaped like a fish; I found that at a thrift store for 99 cents. Usually it holds her food and water, but when there's a get-together I use the platter as a serving dish (washed of course) ... Boaters strive to have multiple uses for each item.

As I was saying, this week's task is to select your very best cups, glasses and such and use them. The rest go into a box (or more) and get donated -- all done this week if you please. And try to restrain yourself regarding plastics -- they are fine for children, but you're an adult now. Pick glass! Yes, even on a boat there's nothing wrong with living well. I'm not camping and for the sake of my long-term happiness aboard I want to use nice things. Perhaps you as well?

Now if you prefer plastic, yes, of course keep what makes you happiest. Just because I have some deep seated preferences for glassware doesn't mean you must... if you simply put away what you truly love, your excess chaos will solve itself naturally.

A brave Anonymous reader has volunteered this photo:

And I noted that there are no coffee cups shown above. I wonder what he's hiding!?!

Stating the obvious: seldom does one ever have that many friends over at one time. And if I did in a moment of insanity invite said horde of visitors I have to believe I'd opt for disposables. Now is the time to select from the mess what your favorites are and use them. The rest go into the box for donation or disposal and out of your life forever.

You are progressing beyond the hunter-gatherer stage of life.
This is Job Two in preparing to be a boater.

When there is a get together on a boat of more than another couple or two, most boat folks (especially those of us on smaller boats) bring our own drinking glasses. Would you like to know what guys are those who object most stringently to real glasses aboard their boats? The fellows who pretend they are going to sail around the world -- not that they go anywhere. They just like to be ready. (rolling eyes) Unbelievable to live like that in Spartan conditions for years until old age or injury/sickness prevent departure. Booze generally has a part too. It's sad.

Plan on making your boat a home, and if to you home means nice things have them aboard as well. And even now do not resist using the good stuff: it's yours. Enjoy it. If you don't once it gets to the thrift store some poor cruiser like me will snap it up!

Motivation helps. This is S/V Oremae... she's a beauty and just this past week sailed across the Gulf of Mexico and into Fort Myers. Her owners, Tina (she crochets -- http://tinaswaycrochet.etsy.com) and Dave are terrific. We've shared more than one cup of peppermint tea aboard that boat, and trips to the flea market as well. Plus I've heard bacon popcorn mentioned though as I recall we were too full from the clam chowder to have some the night when we watched The Incredible Mr. Limpet DVD.  What great memories -- simple pleasures, without the hullabaloo of going out and spending money... that's what life afloat is like. I love it!

Presenting Oremae:

And yes, that could be you sailing off aboard Oremae....

If you'd like to become a boater, there are steps to help make the transition smoother. Take care this week of the glasses and next week, well, I've got a plan all mapped out. The is the same drill I used for myself -- and it worked well though I'll confess the start was the worst. (But it did get better/easier. I promise!)

As you go thru your stock of drinking glasses definitely pitch (give away, get rid of, donate) those you don't love. And think how nice it will be to have another section of your lockers that is neat and tidy.

Do not clutter it up!

Seriously, if you won't need all those cups on your boat, you don't need them now. And don't worry: the tasks do get easier.... Step Three in a week or so.

I'd love to hear of your progress. Did you find any you'd forgotten you owned?
And, are you interested in the the series continuing?


Categories: Boats, Becoming Clutter-Free, Comfort, DVDs, Galley, Simplify, Recommendations

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