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Old 14-12-2009, 06:37   #91
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NEEDFUL THINGS

Hmmm . . . there was once a movie called "Needful Things". It was a nasty movie about the devil and how the mortals "needed" things.

ANYWAY . . .

If the stuff lies in the way of the dream, you have decisions to make. If you can afford to keep your house, with all it's belongings, waiting for the day you might return . . . fine. Hire someone to look after your land-needs while you're gone.

For most of us, if and when we ever break the bonds of land and materialism, we'll have almost no choice other than to relieve ourselves of those things that impede our realization of that paricular dream.

If you cannot or will not unclutter your life, you won't be able to live that dream and should consider a 4-month sojourn, which could be a quite nice break from the daily ho-hum of life and in and of itself be a rejuvenation of the soul.

I could potentially find myself so extremely jealous of a well-described, well documented 4-month soujourn almost as much as a one or two year break from land . . .seeing as I have done neither and like most posters hope for the day to try either.

I do know that the days I go to my boat, I feel great . . . the days I spend on my boat . . . I feel great, and . . . the days I return home, I wish I didn't have to.

This is why, two years ago, I went to the boat every weekend and spent 2 to 3 days(long weekends). Last year it as 3 days to 3-1/2 days, and this year I hope to leave Thursday night for a Tuesday morning return(4 to 4-1/2 days). Problem is, 4 days is only 2 days longer than 2 days and doesn't effectually change my weekend sailing(or my make-believe living on-board).

I also realize that a big part of my boating pleasure is interaction with any number of others who return on Fridays and leave on Sundays. These people very much complete the "package" of life I enjoy on weekends.

SO . . . although I am caught up in this strong urge to live-aboard full-time, I really do need to find myself out and see what it will "really" take to satisfy my urge.

Maybe a lot of us have to learn what is "really" required to satisfy this urge to experience something we've never yet done. Maybe something less than full-time liveaboard will suffice . . . maybe not.

Maybe it doesn't have to be "all or nothing".

In any case, I think that, generally speaking, if a person was purposefully set on boat living, the issues of owning too much "stuff" would be readily resolved and basically be a non-issue.

If you're left on the dock as the boat pulls away . . . you couldn't have been absolutely certain that you wanted to go and it's only a dream, until the day you do it . . . then it becomes the new reality.

Maybe, just maybe, the dream is more important than the reality.
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Old 14-12-2009, 11:59   #92
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I am still digitizing all of my parents collection of slides, photos and WW2 memorabilia - they both have passed away. I have literally thousands of images I have digitized.

I swear I will NEVER again in my life collect any stuff. this is ridiculous. If you can't use your stuff to wear it, cook, eat, sit on it, sleep on it, etc. - it's a waste of money and energy. Dumping our stuff and my parents 60 year collection of stuff has just about made me a fanatic for clearing clutter and becoming a minimalist.

yikes I hate stuff.
I'm definitely getting to that point too! My DH just finished scanning in over 3000 photos, and those are just what we had in albums from pre-digital camera days...yikes! We'll save a few in ONE album, and the rest will be saved digital only. We're going to do the same with our CDs.

We're also donating and giving away furniture, selling a few things on ebay and craigslist, and the house is getting emptier, easier to clean, easier to breathe. We look around and the more spare surroundings and love what we see and how it feels. Wish we'd done this years ago, boat or no boat.

We will never allow ourselves to be owned by our stuff again. It's so liberating divesting ourselves of much of it, all except a few things that are *really* special or actually used often.

We dread having to go through all this divesting of stuff again with both sets of our parents. They all collect and save stuff like crazy. It's going to be a nightmare.
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Old 14-12-2009, 12:07   #93
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Dont we aquire new 'stuff' when we live aboard? Ok its a different kind of stuff but its still clutter only this time there is an excuse, its all 'legit'

Lengths of hose, lengths of rope, tools by the score, bits of wood, paint, glue and materials to fix the boat up. A million books and DVDs for those long winter nights, a spare and a back up spare of everything, gaskets, belts, filters. Extra set of wet weather gear for when one set is wet. Handy containers to keep the 'stuff' dry but they arnt always the right shape to fit the spaces they have to live in.

Got to keep a tight ship and a tight life. 'Stuff' is a trap.
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Old 14-12-2009, 13:52   #94
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Dont we aquire new 'stuff' when we live aboard? Ok its a different kind of stuff but its still clutter only this time there is an excuse, its all 'legit'

Lengths of hose, lengths of rope, tools by the score, bits of wood, paint, glue and materials to fix the boat up. A million books and DVDs for those long winter nights, a spare and a back up spare of everything, gaskets, belts, filters. Extra set of wet weather gear for when one set is wet. Handy containers to keep the 'stuff' dry but they aren't always the right shape to fit the spaces they have to live in.

Got to keep a tight ship and a tight life. 'Stuff' is a trap.
Thanks anjou!

I like photography..that requires stuff
I like to do my own repairs and maintenance..that requires stuff
I like...I like... I like

For me it will not become to much of an issue as I plan on always maintain a land base of some type..but even aboard you are fooling yourself as anjou says if you think your still not accumulating...sure its on a whole different level but minimalists still accumulate.

Accumulating stuff that's useful and needed is the key...I disagree totally with the "If you haven't used it in blank amount of time get rid of it" mantra...I hope you don't loose your prop on purpose or short out your alternator just because it must be used to warrant a spot on the boat.

My wife is occationally on me to have a garage sale..I tell her.... "Go ahead have one you can sell any of your junk you want..I have no junk to sell all my suff has a potentual use"

Now in reality there are a few things I need to rid us of...a couple boats ..a couple pieces of equipment..etc..etc...but thoes are not what she is targeting...its all the things that I have layng around that "could someday save me money" rather they ever will is the question...If I had to pay to store them then that would be silly and a different story...but they dont cost anymore to have around then not have around so its a moot point.

If we choose to live in a small space such as a boat ..yes things are going to have to be cut from your life but how much you can do without though is as individual as what boats we buy ..It's really very silly to tell someone you don't know from Adam "You don't need that aboard" How the heck do we know?...it may be the piece of the puzzle that makes the whole lifestyle livable for that individual.

Stuff is good...its when certian stuff keeps you from doing what you would really rather do with other stuff that its bad....your boat is stuff after all.
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Old 15-12-2009, 13:10   #95
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if I ever get a boat....
I will determine if too much stuff is collecting by the waterline level on the hull. when the vessel starts getting lower in the water, I'll know it's time to heave-ho.
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Old 16-12-2009, 18:13   #96
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We just moved aboard yesterday! We've been planning (dreaming) for several years. We shredded, scanned, gave away, and stored our past lives. It's been difficult but we're seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. We're closing on our house next week so we have a few more days to clear out the rest of our stuff. It's been tough making choices of things to take aboard. We don't have room for photo albums so like others I've been scanning old photos and most recent photos are already digital. I've set the background on my computer with a selection of my favorite photos (my own digital photo album). I scanned all important documents and receipts of for boat stuff, TV, computers, etc and downloaded user manuals, parts lists, etc for the boat and other stuff on board.

It'll be interesting to see if we miss any of our old stuff -- I doubt it.
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Old 16-12-2009, 18:26   #97
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We just moved aboard yesterday! We've been planning (dreaming) for several years. We shredded, scanned, gave away, and stored our past lives. It's been difficult but we're seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. We're closing on our house next week so we have a few more days to clear out the rest of our stuff. It's been tough making choices of things to take aboard. We don't have room for photo albums so like others I've been scanning old photos and most recent photos are already digital. I've set the background on my computer with a selection of my favorite photos (my own digital photo album). I scanned all important documents and receipts of for boat stuff, TV, computers, etc and downloaded user manuals, parts lists, etc for the boat and other stuff on board.
Congratulations - how exciting for you!!! This is our dream too, and we're preparing for it now. Lots of work but so worth it. Fair winds to you!
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Old 10-05-2010, 16:30   #98
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My DH posted on the second page (I think) of this thread when we were just starting our 'Operation DeClutter and Reprioritize' and quite frankly I was dreading it with a capital 'D'. I am finally coming up for air after spending months of agonizing over this process, and I can safely say now, on the other side of it I have learned a whole lot about why the heck all this stuff has been important to me. There is a major gift in 'Letting it Go' and I mean that literally and figuratively.

We have moved three times to different states, but two of these were corporate moves and while I tried to get rid of stuff the first time I only had three weeks notice that we were moving, the second time I had more notice but we lived in an 1830's house and had accumulated a lot of tools and stuff to fill it.

Our boat has needed a lot of attention so the last year has been spent traveling 3 hours to the coast each way and working on the boat, and then coming back and working on the pitching of stuff.

We have gotten rid of at least six huge garbage bags of clothing between the two of us. Both of us have clothing some of which we had as far back as high school.

I have started going through every closet, drawer, etc... and collecting things and putting them in bins.

This past weekend we cleaned out the garage and after two pickup truck loads to the recycling center I can say we are ready to organize for a garage/yard sale.

We have been working hard.

For me, during this process emotional stuff came up big time. I was an only child until I was 16, and my parents divorced when I was 10. One afternoon last week I came across a journal I had not written in since 1999. The journal had been a gift from a career counselor that I saw. It is called 'Everyday Sacred' and it is a collection of pictures of all kinds of hand fashioned bowls, out of pottery, out of straw, out of all kinds of materials. I like the quote, "In the Zen Buddhist tradition, a monk starts out each day with an empty bowl in his hands, and whatever is placed in the bowl will be his nourishment for the day. Each day is a fresh start."

I found it ironic that this journal I finally found at just the right time in this purging process. I sat down and read my last entry and then wrote a three pager that day.

It was nice to see that my frustration that I wrote of back then in trying to find a vocation that I liked and that "allowed me to touch people with my heart", I know have finally found in the last five years...Therapeutic Massage Therapy, and there was great compassion for myself in regards to how hard this process of letting stuff go has been for me.

It is not about the stuff, it has been about the concept of 'home' and 'love', and reclaiming what I lost in childhood. It has been profoundly healing and I am grateful to my husband to have given me the time and space to go through this process at my own speed, despite the fact he is chomping at the bit to get the show on the road cruising wise.

I still have a lot of concerns and even fears about the cruising lifestyle. I am a sailor in my heart and have many hours on the water, but I have never cruised or spent more than a day sail out on the Ocean or been Offshore for any length of time.

It is a lot to take in. But for now, I have learned the Art and Grace of Letting-Go and I am not sure I would have gone through the discomfort of that without the challenge of getting ready to sell our house, or the loss of some beloved ones in our lives to Death last year.

Already, the cruising life is imparting new awareness for me, and reminding me what really is most important in Life...can't wait to get out there now!
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Old 10-05-2010, 16:34   #99
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P.S. In the past weeks I have donated in the realm of 350 books to the local library for the fundraiser to build a bigger library...Books are my thing, so this was probably the toughest...but I cannot tell you the immense sense of freedom I am starting to feel and I am not even completely done yet with the purge ;0)
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Old 12-05-2010, 15:05   #100
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In any case, I think that, generally speaking, if a person was purposefully set on boat living, the issues of owning too much "stuff" would be readily resolved and basically be a non-issue.
Speaking as a fulltime liveaboard/cruiser since 1972 and as a person who has never owned a house, I think this is the most wise and insightfull staement on this thread. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 12-05-2010, 21:05   #101
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Ah, CaptForce to have lived as you have!

We have owned a house since 1996 and our 'non-issue' has taken a good half year to get in order - I think I may be starting to taste freedom though...
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Old 18-05-2010, 12:11   #102
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I took loads to Goodwill and the VA and got a charity donation receipt. Most of the books and magazines went to the VA. There wasn't much left.

One cruiser put a bunch of stuff on the curb a day or so before trash day and was surprised to see most of it gone.
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Old 18-05-2010, 13:56   #103
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Just finished up this weekend getting rid of all my crap to where it'd fit in my car and am now living in a hotel until I buy a boat.

My books I donated to the local library. They sell them and use the profits to fund their programs. I've since bought a Kindle 2 and LOVE it.

I wanted to donate my furniture but all the places locally were pretty picky about what they'll pick up and how they'll pick it up. I ended up just hiring a junk hauling company, piling up everything in my living room and having them haul it away. They charge by volume, so big things end up costing you more than the smaller heavier things. I spent the last 2 months selling stuff on Craigslist and just hit a point where I needed to go, so I just laid out the $$ to haul it out.

Everything fits in my car and surprisingly I don't miss any of my old stuff. What I DO miss is having an oven(the hotel just has a stove) and having decent speed internet access for downloading movies to keep from getting bored(hotel life is a snooze fest).

Frankly when I buy and move onto a boat I should have a better quality of life. A grill, an oven, no heard of cattle living on the floor above me, I can own a kayak again, great view, etc etc. It's making me very impatient to get going, but I need to train my replacement at work before I do.

But the leather couches, 52 inch TV, full size fridge/freezer, computer desk, queen sized bed, etc etc etc. Pretty much a non-issue to see them go.
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Old 18-05-2010, 15:49   #104
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When we decided to go crusing we went the same path as of alot of these posts garage sales ,trash &treasure sales and my next door neighbour thought all his christmases had come at once when i showed him into my shed and said help yourself to any thing [all my saved timber and fixings i had collected] just about made me cry ,we were also lucky my brother lived on a large property with a near empty 60'x 40' shed and thats where what we had left went into storage ,but as said before you have to be ruthless when you clean out 25years of house hold stuff but we did it and it was liberating after, but doing it was hell !!!!!
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Old 18-05-2010, 16:07   #105
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Over it All!!

We moved aboard January 1st and I'm so glad we made it through the getting rid of years of stuff. We had yard sales for months and were thoroughly insulted at the price we sold stuff for, but after it's all done what a relief. Just remember to sort before you sell everything so you don't have to rebuy the s__t you just sold!
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