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Old 15-06-2018, 10:36   #46
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

Originally Posted by GaleWinds View Post
Like most couples who have been together a decade or two or so, we have a lot of STUFF and we want to leave it all (nearly all) behind to live aboard. So for those of you who have already done this, how did you do it?
Yeah.... We were in upcountry Thailand when I pulled the plug/retired. We flew to Washington state and bought the sailboat. To answer your question:

My wife and I each got one suitcase (with rollers for the airports) but they had to be light enough so as not to incur excess baggage/weight fees. Or so I could pick the darn things up! We each got one laptop with carry bag/shoulder strap, and one-each small rucksack for important papers. That was it.

Everything else - clothes, furniture, washing machine, motorcycle, car, etc - we donated to the girls down at the pub. Local red light bar, but the safest in town and the girls looked out for my wife while I was traveling on business. Anyway, the girls appreciated all of it - probably made some good money flogging it on the local economy. (Leave a clean wake and friends wherever you go.) Then, once we had the boat, we went shopping for brand new weather gear">foul weather gear and stuff-like-that-there. Never regretted leaving it all behind.

Seriously, consider this: if a couple of thousand bucks makes that big of a difference to your retirement plans then maybe a rethink on timing is in order. Dump/toss/give almost all away, says I. But that's just my two shillings worth.
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Old 15-06-2018, 10:44   #47

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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

Regularly moving overseas does help develop good "travel light" habits
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Old 15-06-2018, 14:26   #48
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

We took everything that was not going aboard to the local auction place. No hassles just dropped our appliances furniture, some antique, and then received a cheque a few weeks later. Didn't really care what I got. It's the best now to lead an unclutted life. Don't even own a car.
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Old 15-06-2018, 14:42   #49
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

Originally Posted by chris mac View Post
Hey makena05, in regards to shipping stuff. I have been wondering about that as we get closer to buying. Was the cost and hassle of shipping worth it?
I debate back and forth with myself. Sell everything and buy new with the boat, or keep what I need and ship it? I'm thinking mostly of tools, kitchen/galley stuff, bedding, ect.
The clothes we bring will probably fit in suitcases.
From a hind sight point of view, what would you say?
The tools, if they are of high quality, take them or ship them. This would go for galley tools as well: the cast iron skillet and dutch oven, the pressure cooker, the good knives. (And, in my case, a ball bearing rolling pin.)

All the rest, you can easily acquire locally. An exception might be something like your favorite down pillow (hard to find in the tropics). For the rest, buy new only what you need, and then add to it, if necessary. In my case, I did not bring enough baking gear, and have acquired baking things all over our travels. It's kind of cool, this one from Mexico, another from Huahine, that one from Noumea, etc.

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Old 17-06-2018, 10:34   #50
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

I have done the "letting go" thing twice now. The first time in 2006, I sold the house including all the furniture to a young couple who were buying their first home. I just asked them to round up their offer to include the furniture and everyone was happy.

The second time was more recent; just a year ago, when I sold my apartment to a guy who wanted it as a rental property. Again, it suited both parties. I was moving on to the boat full time, he needed a furnished rental. I kept a couple of framed art prints (now on the boat), about a dozen books and some framed photos. Tools and such like are stored at my place of work until I finally cast off the lines, then I will need to ditch some and rationalise.

The main hassle I seem to have is keeping paperwork. Pension stuff, certificates, and so on. I have 3 expanding briefcases of the stuff...

I'm at ease that all my possessions can fit on a 27 footer. The whole process can be very cathartic.
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Old 17-06-2018, 11:21   #51
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

Unless you don't need any money at all from these items, start early with garage sales, bulletin boards, want ads, Craigs List. Then have at least two garage sales a week apart. On the first you'll learn what you should charge for items at the final one. If you need the tax deduction or just want to give to a good cause, call in a truck from Salvation Army. I am NOT a fan of Goodwill. If you leave things with relatives be prepared for them to change their minds, move, decide to downsize themselves, flood or suffer a house fire. Will your baby's baptism gown be loaned to Cousin Mary because "we're sure you'd want it that way"? Will there be hard feelings if the family don't give your items the care you want them to have? Items stored in basements go moldy. In attics they dry, crack shrink.
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Old 17-06-2018, 13:50   #52
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

We moved aboard and over the next 12mths whenever we went back ashore grabbed a few more things from the dirt house as required.
Same in the next 12.
What's left now is unimportant and can go in a skip.
Time to sell the car and motorbike and get that place rented out.
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Old 19-06-2018, 14:49   #53
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

1. Donate - Goodwill, Salvation Army, local thrift stores
2. Garage sale
3. Craigslist - Free stuff
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Old 21-06-2018, 10:27   #54
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

We're still in the process of doing this; but, we have digitized our media (music & movies), and I'm almost done with 52 years of photos digitized. I'm struggling the most with my books and art work. But, most of that will be given to family, friends, and then donated. My favorite books will be loaded onto a new kindle.

I set up a group chat with nearby family members, and as I purged things, I took a photo. They laid dibs on things they wanted. And then we go visit periodically and take the things they wanted to keep. Things they don't want, I offer up to my community buy-nothing page, and if no takers there, I donate to goodwill.

The hardest thing was getting started. Now that we have the boat in a slip nearby, it's getting easier to see what we need to keep and what is just dead weight. Once you start, it's freeing and becomes easier and easier.

We are getting a small storage unit and giving ourselves one year -- and this is mostly because our youngest who is leaving for college in August still has things he needs to keep. After that, we'll see.
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Old 24-06-2018, 09:59   #55
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

I just joined. Iím right in the middle of planning a boat purchase with the plan of living aboard.

Iíll give my experiences of moving, storage and getting rid of ďstuffĒ

Our first moves were based on moves with parents. Virtually everything was saved. Almost nothing except well worn clothing was either tossed or given to GoodWill.

My wife at the time and I saved way too much. The company paid for the move so cost wasnít an issue. We purchased a pretty big house with lots of room. Two rooms went for all the extra stuff.

Subsequent moves were also covered by the company so more junk accumulated.

Then another move I had to pay for. We then began weeding out stuff that still had stickers from the fist moves. Hurricane Hugo also helped by blowing and washing away a lot of junk.

Another move found us storing quite a bit for several years. The day came to move it again and as I looked at the great Pile I said not a single item has been touched in several years. There was no need for any of it so I, in a word got rid of every bit one way or the other. No regrets.

Then the divorce came and we split what was left. For me it was good as what she got I would have tossed anyway.

Now Iím ready to move aboard. Iíve given thoughts to some of my stuff. I talked to my sister and said I hate to walk away from moms stuff but itís over 50 years old and time to rehome it. She agrees.

So what do I dog and her bed and blanket, training equipment. Me, a few work clothes, coffee maker ( even though the boat will have one), none of the kitchenware is being saved, my computer stuff, my small tool set will come along. I have two boxes of remaining pictures. Thatís about it.

My streetrod and itís support equipment I can store and use from either of my sons places.

I have an industrial sewing machine that really doesnít owe me anything so I could sell it or stagger on board with it and put it in the aft berth of the boat Iím looking at. Itís a handy thing to have but I really donít use it much any more so itís really the only thing bearing discussion.

Itís seams a bit ruthless and some would say selfish to get rid of stuff thatís been in the family for years but face it, it costs far more than its worth to keep moving it around.

Thatís enough for an introduction. I have lots of other questions Iíll,post later.

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Old 24-06-2018, 11:26   #56
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

Here's a link to my account of down-sizing and moving onboard: Move On Board

I sold the easy stuff (record collection, books, table ware. etc.) on eBay. Gave much of my furniture to the Salvation Army and one of the maintenance guys at my condo who wanted stuff for his church. During much of this period I was still working and commuting over 150 miles round trip each day. I still had my condo, but only used it when the weather was too nasty to drive to the boat, or I had to work late.
Overall it took me over 6 months to dispose of the stuff.

Good luck,

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Old 24-06-2018, 11:49   #57
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

And so it begins! Weíve set the date to move onto the boat, and found a liveaboard-friendly marina that is also dog-friendly. Yesterday we began downsizing, went through the master bedroom and closet, and made a good dent. Still lots to do, but it feels good to get started.
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ďTwenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.Ē Ė Mark Twain
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Old 24-06-2018, 15:30   #58
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

The sewing machine I would stash some place. Especially if it is a zig-zag with a walking foot. Even better if it can be stored aboard. They are not used a great deal--but can provide useful income as well as repair one's own covers, sails etc. I sewed all of mine with a palm and needle--very tedious.
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Old 24-06-2018, 16:27   #59
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

You can appreciate how tedious sail work can be. Frankly I don’t have a good feel for the cost of sail work. Repair or creation.

I will probably keep it for a while to either fix my own items or make some new ones. I sort of wish it was a zig zag but industrial ones are incredibly expensive and rarely needed in automotive upholstery.

The problem I foresee is similar that with my TIG welder. For example someone brings a part to the shop for either repair or custom welding. The TIG welder is not a cheap to operate machine and it takes a long time to develope the skill necessary to fabricate or make a repair quickly. Often you don’t get a second chance to redo it. You can’t even do a practice weld. When I charge $50 for 15-30 minute project I get the comment “wow, that’s outrageous, I thought maybe a six pack of Coors would be enough”. I don’t drink so no it’s not enough. So I’m not popular. Tough, I went through a lot of trials and tribulations to get skilled with it. I even taught it for a while.

We had 6 dog collars repaired and I tossed in my custom knee brace at a local boat canvas shop. $50. I was fine by me as fixing the knee brace would have been tough for me. The dog collars were a bargain.

So I can see someone coming on board looking to get a Bimini top sewn. What’s that worth at the canvas shop? Especially one off a big boat. Yeah I could do,it. How much material am I going to have to buy to,get the patch for the foot long rip? Probably a couple yards that I’ll never use any again. $20 a yard maybe more. Half hour to fix it. So if I charge $50 I’ll have an unhappy neighbor and 0 profit. My dad used to tell me friends, neighbors and relatives are your worst customers. I think I’ll keep it covered until I decide what to do with it.

Thanks for the comment though.

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Old 24-06-2018, 17:31   #60
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Re: Before you set sail, how did you eliminate all your STUFF?

My son just called and found a marina that actually caters to live aboard right in my back yard. Iíll call tomorrow and see if I can go down and get more details. It might be the deal closer for me. Yes!

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