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Date: 10 October 2013. Pull the Plug.

In the continuing series offering guidance on Becoming Clutter-Free last week we tackled Glasses and I know that was a tough one. Frankly, the glasses week was one of the hardest you'll experience in that so few people show any restraint when it comes to collecting cups, mugs, glasses, and such. You are not alone as I probably had just as many at one time. Now however I have a boat with only a few and my happiness overflows with the lack of Stuff. Goodness knows if I can do it, you can too. In any event, this week is going to be less work and hopefully just as satisfying as far as results.

You will recall Mr. Anonymous from last week? Well, take a look at success:



And this is only half the collection -- the rest included more coffee mugs than many local diners have available for customers!!!

Look right at success

After sorting the keepers from the "what was I thinking" group my friend placed the excess on a table in his back yard. Three workers that day came by and all were offered for free anything or everything they wanted from the table. Nothing was taken. According to my faithful test subject it was a bit more than disheartening to realize that the junk in his cabinets was not wanted by anyone -- including himself.

As you can see from the picture above, more space has been created in his shore-side kitchen cabinets and now when the time comes to move aboard his boat this is one less problem to tackle. Plus it looks amazing!

Of course you'll want your boat to be tidy when visitors arrive:

Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!  His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak enough food for a week. But I'm darned if I know how the helican. 
(Poem by Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1879-1972.)

This week's Becoming Clutter-Free task focuses on your electrical appliances. Almost everyone I know ashore has a collection of good intentions, wedding gifts gone awry, house-warming gifts from Hades and such -- and the junk, er, valuable plugged items are taking up space in your home.

Now is the time to examine each item with an eye to whether you even like 'em, much less want to keep them. And please know this: for every unused bread maker, electric wok, crock pot, dehydrator, etc. in your home there are at least two or three at the local thrift stores. Even if you "make a mistake" and find you might actually want to burn cheese in a mini-cooker, you can buy another one -- usually for less than $10.

And yes, I deliberately mentioned the dehydrator. If you're not using it now why would you think you'll ever use it? Now I understand you're planning on boating and having dehydrated things sounds lovely so if you genuinely this week will start to use it, then yes: keep the dehydrator. Still you might remember that if you turn your electric oven on 250 degrees it will accomplish the same thing albeit a bit slower. And the oven is already in your home.

I would suggest you attempt to dehydrate a few things and see if you even like them. Dehydrated apples, tomatoes, onions, making jerky and such are all great ideas but please remember this:

To become a boater you need to do more than make plans.
Talk is cheap. Do things that will make your cruising life possible.

One easy way to determine keeper status from chaos is to examine the items. Anything with dust or grime needs to go as obviously you've not used it recently and can pass it along to some other sap who thinks a gigantic electric skillet is a good thing to have. Or the double crock pot that no one short of a circus strong man can lift when filled... well, I'm going to make a wild assumption and figure that you probably do not need it and guaranteed (unless you've got the funds for the Queen Mary) it won't fit aboard your new boat.

So, as you purge your lockers of the clutter remember that you're getting that much closer to being able to step aboard a boat and make her your own. Less is more!

The ideal boat sleeps two, feeds four and entertains six.

It does not contain every electrical appliance known to man, nor should it. Out here, with power being at a premium most of those items you're removing this week won't be used anyway. Kicking back and relaxing with our feet up, perhaps a fishing pole in hand but definitely a beverage in the other? Well, that's what boaters do. We do not collect nor keep things that clutter our lives or cause chaos.

Your job this week is to Pull the Plug so to speak. Also please send photos of the collection you're donating to the less informed or those poor folks who are still in the hunter-gatherer stage of life. We're free!

As you sort thru your collection try to remember how much pleasure you will be giving others by passing along your excess. Pity the poor folks in the acquisition stage of life and embrace the cruising mentality.

Less is more -- and out here it is far more satisfying than you can imagine.

How long have you sheltered your oldest appliance?
Are there any you're passing along now that were never used?


Categories: Becoming Clutter-Free, Galley, Simplify

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The Archive holds a running list with synopsis of published articles, and links to same.

A favorite aphorism:  My wife is such a bad cook, if we leave dental floss in the kitchen the roaches hang themselves. Rodney Dangerfield.

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