Date: 27 June 2015. Take Small Bites
have found that the whole idea of paring down possessions in
anticipation of living aboard a boat too difficult to deal with. I
can well understand the trepidation. There are ways to do this
de-cluttering, and they are not too painful, if taken in logical,
sequential steps. I did it, and you can too.
Rosemari asked: "It seems that
is all I think of, now comes the big part what do I keep and what do
I sell. It seems too much to comprehend. Anybody got any ideas on
how I can start to tackle this?"
The keep versus sell or dispose of is one thing I
have done. For
me, the deciding factor in any item was "Did I LOVE it?" and if not,
it went. Gradually many of the loves became "not really" and
even a few of those "what
was I thinking?!"
Tastes change. Mine did. Years ago I was a Paula Vaughan
stitching fan. She does big beautiful pictures that look
like paintings. Then a gal named Kathy introduced me to
samplers and smaller designs. I was hooked!
So initially, start to cherry-pick your favorites. You
want to keep those. The rest set aside to either give away or sell
Aboard Seaweed, I have a 1937 Singer sewing machine, the 221 Featherweight.
The Featherweight is something I
loved. I enjoy quilting and creating. That said, I am not very good at sewing.
Still, it brings me pleasure. Thus I saw no reason not to have the
sewing machine aboard the boat.
If there is
something that brings you pleasure, provided it
fits someplace on the vessel call it boat gear and put it away.
Properly stowing items is
important as boats move. Things have to be put away especially if you want to
go on a cruise at the spur of the moment. You might be sitting around on the
boat one morning. The skies are clear and the water calm. Why not
simply go for a boat ride? If your boat is relatively tidy, you can
do so with ease.
If it is a lot of work to get ready to leave
the dock, you will not do it nearly as often as you might think prior
to living aboard. It is all too easy to get complacent and not use
your boat. Do make the effort to take her out for a spin at least
weekly. This is good for you, your soul, and who knows? You might just
meet someone interesting out there.
Mermaids exist, or at least pretty
girls who go swimming. You will not meet her at the dock tied to an
Did old friends stop by to
visit? Why not take them on a short cruise? Anchor out, fish, grill
your catch and then head back to the marina. Life is about good
times with good friends.
As a kidlet aboard our 40'er, we were always ready to leave
minutes. This was one of Daddy's rules. If he said we were leaving we
did so, quickly and with no nonsense.
With Seaweed I have done the same.
When the engine ran back in the good old days before this engine swap
began, I could haul in the anchor and move to a spot for swimming
with minimal effort. I loved that freedom.
Soon the final hoses will be on
the 18 hp Kabuta from
Yanmar Tractor Parts and the sensors attached. Then once again
I will be mobile. And gosh, that will be good.
I am looking forward to being able
to take the boat out to Dog Island to go swimming. These simple
things are important and I have missed that enormously.
Or I could go up the river should a hurricane come this way. Hurricanes worry
me, especially with a boat that cannot move under her own power.
is a barrier island just south of me.
This is the order I used when de-cluttering my life:
Yes it is difficult... however if your "stuff" is not creating the
home you wish to live in, then get rid of that stuff! Simply pick
the very best or most used items and keep those. The rest is clutter
and needs to go.
For instance, I know of no one who
does not have at least a half dozen towels with stains or just not
liked any more. Yet they still exist in the overstuffed linen closet.
Why did I keep
sheet sets I did not like? How many containers did I have in the
kitchen without lids?
Goodness knows what I can find hiding around, and
All of that and more is cluttering our lives and
mind. Plus clutter a responsibility. I am happier now than I ever was
in that three bedroom and two bath house crammed to the gills with
My world is restful and tidy. Yours
can be too.
Start in the kitchen,
removing everything from one cabinet at a time. If you like
put it back. Otherwise, out it goes. Separate the stuff
leaving into bags for trash man, donation or potential sales.
A reader shared his cup cabinet. A single guy
accumulated this many cups.
He kept a half dozen. The rest is gone.
And yes, it really is that
simple. ONLY put into your lockers that which you love. Do not
worry about having enough dishware if company comes over. Use
paper plates and call it good.
These are friends or
relatives. If they judge you poorly because of your dishes,
why are you being nice to them? You can do better.
If you love
it, it is a Keeper. Otherwise, the extraneous must go.
This is the sequence I
used when preparing for life afloat:
- Kitchen, one shelf at a time
- Linen Closet, one shelf at a time
Bedrooms, starting with the youngest (unless you
anything outgrown goes)
Bookcases and china cabinets (if you don't love it...)
Living room (this was hard because
I like knickknacks)
My bedroom (which was
a disaster during the cleanup as I knew stuff would migrate there
until either put away, tossed or donated.
The garage is a whole 'nother matter. IF you
have one, then boxing
up stuff for the garage/shed from the list on the left would be fine IF each day you
deal with one box -- Monday thru Friday. Weekends are not for work
unless you wish it so.
For more ideas visit:
I guarantee you will be happier than you can imagine
with less stuff to deal with. Truly I love pulling out my threads
when stitching now more than ever before. Silk floss is wonderful
and such a dream when compared with the cotton threads I used to use.
And I am not saving the silks for special occasions later. It is mine and I
Ditto my nighties. The fancy
ones are fabulous today. Sheer, lacy and very pretty. If they wear out, well, I
will get more.
Presuming I can get into a thrift store some day. I dream of those
Once you have less clutter in your
life you too will be more ready than many when you find your Dream Boat. I wrote a series of articles about this for my website. The
page is found here:
The items on that page offer specific detailed advice that myself
have used successfully. I did it, others have followed my method, and you can do so too.
Relaxing aboard your boat is the
Seriously, anyone with
determination can accomplish this clutter-free life. But take small bites.
As you proceed I suspect the momentum will build. At first though,
the job can be daunting. Give yourself time and know that out here afloat
on even a small inexpensive boat life is grand.
I am so glad I am no longer owned by my Stuff.
Part Two of the query regarded
what to sell. That is the conundrum I ran into also. In the next
article I shall cover that in detail, along with where I sold my
I'd love to hear what you LOVE and have decided to keep.
And, are you surprised by some of the things you'd forgotten you owned?
Regarding the Comments Section,
found at the end of every article:
Before you type in each block be
sure to hit the backspace key. Coding inserts a space in every box.
Your email address will come back as malformed unless you remove
that space. (You don't have to include your email address.)
The capcha is case sensitive.
© 2015, 2023
Becoming Clutter-Free, Characters,
Is a $20k Boat too Costly? ~
Previous Post ...
... Next Post
Venues to Sell Unwanted Stuff