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Date: 9 April 2014. Organizing Humbug.

I am concerned about a phenomenon I'm seeing more and more of in the media, and it speaks directly to the life I lead -- and the one you too can have!  It's about "organization" of which I am a proponent. HOWEVER what I see advertised is not so much organization... What it is actually is repacking and storage of Stuff. And we do not need all we have -- guaranteed!

Frankly it does not matter how neatly you've got your Stuff stashed, if it is more than you can and do use.  If you haven't used it (ANY object in your possession) in the past year, why are you storing it? 

Important Aside: I am not referring to tools, nor the extraneous gear from hobbies at this time.  And books are safe for now too! That said, you're not entirely off the hook. After all, this is the latest installment in the  Becoming Clutter-Free series.

Instead of organizing and repacking your Stuff into ever smaller areas, how about trying to get rid of it too?  I see so many items designed to help folks store their junk that frankly I wonder about people.  Why do some think it necessary to have so much that it requires compartments, drawers and special hidden 'under the bed' and inside locker containers? 

Wouldn't you rather be here with Harold, catching a line in paradise?

In addition to deliveries (both sail and power) Harold does boat work too.
 He's skilled at diagnosing electrical issues and more. Phone: 850-727-9437.

So much for my Bunny Trail... The weather is improving and my wanderlust is in high gear too!

Still, this article focuses on preparing for life on the water. It's time to purge, and what better place to do that than in the bathroom?  I'm guessing if you're the average consumer you've several containers nearly empty of various brands and scents of shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, and lotion.

Good intentions won't get that junk out of your home, however you can do it!

The frugal me would combine all the shampoos into one container adding water to swish out the last bits. Then I'd use that as my hand soap, pre-wash spot remover, boat soap and as the initial squirt of soapy water for pans that need washing in the galley.  I'd use it up!

Conditioner would become shaving cream, and lotions? They'd be used too. Even if I didn't particularly care for the scent I'd use those as shaving moisturizer. But they'd be gone -- nor would I buy more before they were finished.

Of course that takes discipline. If you're not going to do that with the last of your products, simply throw them away.  You can obviously afford to buy more before emptying the previous products so let yourself make them go away. And do it today!

A bathroom, even a large one should not take more than a short time to empty of the excess.  And when you're done go ahead a splurge:  you know the products you prefer, so from hence forth, buy your favorites. You're worth it.

Summer is coming, so toss all those near-empties into a bag and let the
garbage man take them away.  You don't need to store them any more.

Rather than merely organizing your Stuff into ever smaller areas, get rid of it.

The smallest room in the house generally is the bathroom. It too can be a minefield of clutter and this week the extraneous needs to go  o-u-t of there.  We are not keeping Stuff -- that's for those in the acquisition stage of life.

Don't forget to check the dates and sort out the expired medicines.  Do not flush them.
Call your local trash company and ask for their disposal recommendations.

When you're a boater you'll need far less than you think.

For instance, Bruce Van Sant in his book Tricks of the Trades (highly recommended incidentally) advocates multi-use items. Three of the list of items that he uses Joy dish detergent for include:

  1. Clean the bilge.

  2. Degrease the engine and engine room.

  3. Keep dirt and grease from under your nails if rubbed before starting the job.


Below "Doing Without Mr. Clean" is from the Tricks book. Bruce Van Sant has practical and specifics for various cleansers, using ordinary products. What I like best however is that because there are so few ingredients in the concoctions, they take less room to store on my boat.

Yes, the fancy specialty cleansers will do those items and more but it's much simpler to stow just one container than a multitude. Bruce Van Sant swears by Joy. I'm a Dawn (blue, original) girl myself.  Both work, and will even clear drains.  Add boiling water and the degreasing effect will unclog most sinks. Knock teak!

That's just something to think about as you continue with your J-O-B of clearing the clutter. Yes, it is work. Most worthwhile things in life require effort. But you knew that already...

The results have made all the difference in the world to me and my life afloat. On a small boat such as mine it could quickly become overwhelmed by Stuff if I wasn't careful. So, I'm a bit fanatical about putting things away.

If you stopped by today, this is what you'd see at my dinette:

Seaweed is my home and I enjoy being able to welcome folks aboard for a cup of tea. I'd like the boat to seem inviting and believe that by keeping things tidy it appears to be larger than it really is. Of course there's always room for improvement.

But not today. Today I'm going to relax, turn off the computer and do some puzzles. It's a rough life out here, but somehow I manage.

Happy cruising folks!

What do you do to relax?
How often are you able to totally kick back and enjoy life?


Categories: Becoming Clutter-Free, Books, Characters, Organizing, Recommendations

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