Date: 24 September 2013. Prepping - Plastics.
In the inaugural article (Getting Started)
I extolled the virtues of getting rid of stuff that clutters your life and
holds you back. After years of living in chaos (two children, job,
husband, home-schooling the kidlets, etc.) well, I could certainly have stayed a
life-time member of the hunter-gatherer tribe. Living aboard a boat is
such that I knew I had to make profound changes to become
a successful cruiser. If I can do it, so can you. Here is Step One in the
Motivation is key, and for me knowing that I could be
aboard my own home, away from the distractions and minutia of survival,
instead able to focus on life, enjoyment, relaxation... well, I wanted a
boat more than I wanted Stuff. When I look out my window, this is what I
The view may not be blue skies and green water today,
however even on an overcast day there's nothing like relaxing, reading and
watching nature as the seasons change. All those things are possible
because I did the tough job of Stuff Removal.
A friend is a good sport (I caught him at the end of the
first quarter -- it is football season) and he took the following picture
of the plastics locker in his kitchen:
It is not pretty nor organized. H admitted that a couple months
back he could not find lids so he went to the store and bought another set
of containers. In looking I can only assume he kept the originals for some
reason that is beyond me. For a life on a boat the mess above will not
So, first things first: grab a large garbage bag
and any round container and lid goes into bag. All the round ones must go
because they do not use space as well (stow as tightly together) as
rectangular and square containers. Those with compartments also ought to
be re-homed. Any container lacking a lid or top lacking a box is just
are not keeping for another day Stuff.
This picture is the galley down below on our 40'er. Please
note the round Tupperware container in the sink.
That container held our coffee, and a load of bitterness.
Memory Lane: You see,
Mother saved money for years to be able to afford Tupperware. She finally
purchased bunches to fill the lockers on the starboard side of her galley.
The port side storage was added later. In any event, they year after she
bought all round containers, Tupperware came out with square and
rectangular ones. She remained bitter until death. Seriously, she was mad,
however she had spent perfectly good money so...!
That is precisely why I am advising you to
get rid of round containers. They do not stow away as compactly as square
and rectangular containers.
Do not think of this project as wasted
This is Job One in preparing to be a boater.
because I do not like to scroll.
As you can see from the disaster field, Mr. Anonymous
has a bunch of stacking containers and in my view they are not
particularly good either. I believe you will find nesting fits more into a smaller area. He
may want one of the larger ones (for mixing and for pot-luck
get-togethers) however he needs to rethink and cull ruthlessly his collection.
It is simply too much for the limited space available in a galley..
Clearing out the clutter is not easy however the road to
never is. It's time to get this show on the road, er,
This is the "road" I see when looking east:
The green markers lead cruisers out the channel and into
the Gulf of Mexico.
There is an osprey atop the mast of the sailboat in the
foreground though you'll have to click on the picture to make it bigger.
Remember in the
article you learned to hold down CTRL key while clicking? Try that on the
The picture also illustrates what awaits you though first
have to do the work and specifically that means getting rid of the
extraneous Stuff you've collected. Aboard a boat your refrigerator (if you
have the power to turn it on) will be much smaller than what you are used
to ashore. You will not have the luxury of cooking in large
quantities and stashing aside stuff in the reefer* or freezer.
*reefer is what many boaters call our refrigerators.
The next time you're at Home Depot take a look at the tiny
refrigerators that sell for less than $150. Mine's a $70 Haier cube sold
at Walmart; these units are small so having big containers for leftovers
is not practical. Even the bigger $400 units are probably only going to be
useful on the larger yacht-boats. On Seaweed I simply do not have the
power available to make a larger reefer an option.
But I digress...
The better of those plastics Mr. Anonymous has
collected will work for storage of dry goods, if they are genuinely air
tight. That means those flimsy ones that are four-for-a-buck at the
discount stores will not prevent bugs from eating your supplies. Sturdy containers that will hold small
quantities are ideal. That is what you are going to shoot for aboard your boat. Big
containers are not suitable for day to day use because we all fight dampness. It
easier to keep items fresh if the box is nott huge. This is one section of below
my sink storage and I you will see I stacked quite compactly.
The rectangular containers hold a lot of food in a small
area under the sink in my galley.
As you go thru your stock of plastic containers definitely
pitch (give away, get rid of, donate) those that will not work aboard a
boat. And think how nice it will be to have one section of your lockers
that is neat and tidy. Do not
clutter it up! From now on you shall be able to open
that one area and see order where once there was chaos.
Seriously, if you will not want the containers afloat, you
do not need them now. And do not worry: this does get easier... Step Two in a
week or so.
I'd love to hear of your progress.
And, are you interested in the the series continuing?
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