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Old 18-09-2010, 21:19   #1
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Junk

Now that I have decided that I WILL retire to the sea I am looking at everything I own and wondering; "Where did all this JUNK come from?"
I am seeing things in a new light, when I go to a store, or see a commercial, it's all junk. New car? Nope, junk. New digital blue-ray player with all the bells and whistles? Nope, junk. There isn't a salesman or pitch that could sell me anything (except that new Titanium Captain's knife with marlin spike).

Everything I see in my house has suddenly turned into junk. If it doesn't fit on a boat, it's junk. At least when I get to the final days ashore and have the "Big Garage Sale" I know I will be able to sell everything and not have a qualm about losing Mom's turkey plater. And when that's over, loading the dumpster will not be a problem either.

Anyone else get this feeling?
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Old 18-09-2010, 21:28   #2
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I don't necessarily share your vision but my wife does: Every time she comes into my workshop she has a comment along the lines of "clean up all this junk!"
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Old 18-09-2010, 21:29   #3
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Yes. I buy nothing that is not boatable, or in direct support of the project.

My only advice (coming from one with a frightening amount of tonnage) is to not wait for the Big Garage Sale. The process is long and arduous, and there all these categories... things valuable enough to eBay or otherwise optimally market, things to FreeCycle or give to friends, things for the Sale. But much is left - the personally relevant stuff that belongs in your hands only, the stuff that might be needed for boat projects, the miscellany too nice to toss but not really interesting enough to sell. Maddening.

I see it like that scene in Gulliver's Travels, with each thing a tiny thread holding me down. Individually irrelevant, collectively more effective than the best ground tackle.

My solution, though geeky and quirky, has been to distill my 3000 square foot shop into a mobile lab, which I can park near the boat at the marina for the duration of the project. There's still a ridiculous amount of tonnage, but at least it's all level 2 or below.

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Old 18-09-2010, 21:43   #4
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Yes! I look around my house and wonder where it all came from and why?

At one point when we were younger, yes, we had the mentality of outfitting the house, keeping up with the Jones so to speak and it felt good to actually have furniture in what was previously an empty room.

However, I now feel like that about a boat. What things do I absolutely need on the boat. Everything I look at in a store or comtemplate purchasing has to "fit on a boat". It's actually quite liberating to put your "stuff" into perspective. I actually now find advertisements funny...and think, why would anyone want that...don't they realize that they purchase it because someone told them it was the thing to do?"

I know it took years to acquire it all and I am allowing a few years to divest ourselves of all of it. Now as shocking as it is, I am of the female gender and yes, I am leading the charge and no I won't miss any of it.
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Old 18-09-2010, 21:46   #5
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What's really trippy is that even after you move on the boat you'll have too much junk. It never ends. Living on a boat is a nice way to force you to minimize and de-clutter. Make sure you get underway often. Helps to swing the boat back to seagoing vessel and away from a home.
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Old 18-09-2010, 21:51   #6
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I spent 8 years bicycling around the US (in no particular hurry) and remember walking into a mall one day. It was the most surreal thing... entire stores with expensive leases and employees, devoted to things that seemed utterly superfluous from my then-minimalist perspective. Bathroom Wall-Hanging World! House of Calendars!

Thinking further, I started seeing the entire consumer economy in this light... with a relatively small percentage of available goods actually essential (and a corresponding willingness to dump perfectly functional things to make room for the shiny new one). Insidious.

Now, trying to move aboard, I'm constantly having to paradoxically fight my own frugality: it's hard to get rid of something that I "might need someday." Argh.

Want some tonnage? Anyone? ;-)
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Old 18-09-2010, 22:04   #7
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I think Walt Whitman said it pretty well (or maybe Emerson) that society has a lot of great inventions that help us go down roads that don't lead us anywhere worthwhile. Or more basically: if you win a rat race, you're still a rat.
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Old 18-09-2010, 22:24   #8
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I'm in the process of starting the unload. I've tried ebay and craigslist and it seems no one wants used stuff anymore unless it's almost free. A house fire a and an insurance claim would be my best option.

NO! I'm not going to burn my own house!

Unfortunately, I do know where it all came from but I won't point my finger at her. And I have one hell of a load of tools being a Machinist for 43 years but those will go fairly EZ once I advertise.

Have you ever noticed who the commercials on TV and the junk mail are mainly directed at. The woman of course. Why? I won't answer that.

And now a days it's all from china, which doubles its name as JUNK. I just refuse to buy anything anymore unless it's food or for the boat.

Quote:
Houses are but badly built boats so firmly aground that you cannot think
of moving them. They are definitely inferior things, belonging to the
vegetable, not the animal world, rooted and stationary, incapable of gay
transition.... The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man
content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat
is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting
place.

Arthur Ransome
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Old 18-09-2010, 23:02   #9
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Delmarrey - great Ransome quote; thanks for that!

And man, I hear ya on the tools. I inherited all my father's (and his father's) tools, and can see the drop in quality over time... culminating in Chinese stuff that I put in the free box at garage sales. On my boat, I'm extremely picky, and tools I bought back in the '70s are well-represented. There is some excellent new stuff, of course (I love my Megapro screwdriver, Link sockets, Nautitool crescent & vise grip, and Makita set), but you really have to be careful...

The sad part is that the expensive stuff sinks just as fast as the cheap stuff.

It's not just women who over-acquire, though. As a geek and aspiring musician, I had a pretty serious bout of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) when I set up my studio. Naturally, I am planning to shoehorn most of it onto the boat. The waterline impact of all my essential stuff had something to do with changing from a tri to a mono.......

Oh, I mentioned the mobile lab in the tool context; I have an article series about it if you're curious. Asembling that was a long succession of very difficult decisions about what to keep and what to add. A CNC gantry router is next, which will move aboard when I cut that final umbilicus (assuming she still floats, of course).

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Old 19-09-2010, 00:27   #10
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Well, Don, here's some advice. Take it or leave it. Most leave it. Remember that free advice is worth every cent you pay for it. I moved out of a house, sold some stuff, gave some stuff away, and put the rest in a storage unit. Rented a shop to build a boat in. That did not work out so I moved again, which necessitated a re-assessment of the storage stuff. Hemmm, why in hell did I keep that? Into the dumpster. and so on. But the second shop didn't work out either, which again necessitated re assessing the storage stuff. When I moved again I kept the storage unit, thinking I might need it. Then one day, going to the storage unit, I realized that everything left in there would fit in my truck. So I brought it to my current shop. but some of it was .... well, superfluous. I am now down to a 30 ft travel trailer plus my tools. Next time, baby ... oh, next time, you're gone ...
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Old 19-09-2010, 00:36   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don1500 View Post
"Where did all this JUNK come from?"
Asia?



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Old 20-09-2010, 13:59   #12
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It's kind of silly, but I do one thing that helps motivate the tonnage-reduction. I keep a public list on the "live page" in the backwaters of my website, showing the things that have found new homes in the past 30 days (and where they went, and for how much). Of course, few really care about anyone else's stuff, but each one I add feels like an extra little "woot!" to go along with the brief addicting rush of lightness that accompanies the opening of space in my life.

Whatever tricks we have to play on ourselves to get the job done, eh?
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Old 20-09-2010, 14:16   #13
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After a year living aboard I have certainly given up buying things, I don't even like buying food and make and gather as much as I can even now that I'm back in a house. I did have tools, including my recording studio and computer studio stored away along with some furniture that is now out and in use again but... even though I use that stuff I find that I don't really want it. I liked living on the boat and like the simple lifestyle and if it weren't for accommodating my partner I would be there now. The thing is I do like working in the studio but I just don't feel the need for it. I spent the morning digging in the mud for clams and that seems to be as satisying to me as anything. Apparently it does change you though I would venture that you have to be already changing ...
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Old 20-09-2010, 14:47   #14
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in Jared Diamonds book Guns, Germs, and Steel
Yali said Why you white man have so much cargo and we New Guineans have so little?

good topic
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Old 20-09-2010, 16:17   #15
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Well, I never! This topic relates to me so much and I never knew the reason why I could not un-stick myself from all the every day JUNK and just go.I am doing everything that has been said above and am getting nowhere. We should open a 'nearly ready to go' forum and help each other with ideas on how to overcome junk problems. I am just at the beginning of this process as I am newly retired and am working very hard at it. The 35 ft world sailing cruiser is waitjng in the marina and the Yachtmaster instructor certificate is burning a hole in my pocket. Why oh why?
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