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Old 23-03-2017, 20:47   #1
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Did you get rid of "everything"

As I contemplate how to transition to living aboard or something similar, I constantly think of getting rid of all my treasured junk. LOL! Especially one shoebox sized ceramic sculpture. And all the treasures.

SO, my thought - get rid of it unless it will fit in a safety deposit box or I think there is a very good chance that I can enjoy keeping it or need it. (OK, ideally, I'm going to do lots of time aboard various boats before I chuck everything - maybe - if I can afford it.)

I might end up finding courage I don't think I possess and try Benz's suggestion of Central American beach bumming & doing what crewing comes along (hopefully I'd get to pick & choose?). I'll have to ask if he'll come rescue me if I find myself stranded.

Anyway, how did you accomplish not just getting rid of everything, but things like, "What next?" What if I'm still working? What if I have to be here in a month to close on my house but now have no furniture, dishes...
I don't plan to keep my car. Is there a market for old Honda Civics in Florida? Better to get rid of it and hop on a jet?

And is there something obvious I'm forgetting? LOL! Help!
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Old 23-03-2017, 21:10   #2
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

We didn't get rid of everything. Kept some furniture,beds, fridge etc... turned out to be a two car garage full!

Luckily we own the garage, so there's no storage costs.

But with seven years worth of hindsight, we should have sold most of it. A lot of the stuff will be pretty much worthless by the time we move back ashore.
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Old 23-03-2017, 21:42   #3
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

I can't speak for moving aboard, but I can tell you about our experience of selling our house and moving into our RV.


It was one year on March 10th that we closed on our 1600sqft house and moved into our 38' long travel trailer. We like to say that "its the best dumb thing we ever did."


When we were getting ready to sell, we got rid of most everything that wasn't furniture, or family heirlooms. We started off with two storage units that everything went into, and over the last year have slowly gotten rid of things until we were able to consolidate into one.


Over the last few months we've been speaking to family about placing our inherited furniture. Things like grandmothers table and canning cabinet, great grandmothers treadle sewing machine etc etc. If it means something to us, we are trying to place it with other family members who may enjoy it as much as we do.


Items that I absolutely refuse to part with I have placed in my old bedroom at my parents home. One day when we live on a bigger boat, or in a bigger RV and I have room for any of those items, i'll retrieve them.


Other than family herilooms, if we haven't needed it or used it in the last year, its going to be donated or thrown away.


Don't get rid of your things cold turkey, otherwise it will make your experience that much more miserable. Leave them in storage where you can access them if you need, and trim your belongings down over time.


I will say though, that getting rid of all that "stuff" was quite liberating. You don't need half the things you think you do. We are very happy in our little RV. We spend less time cleaning and maintaining a home, and more time on the water and doing things that we love.
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Old 23-03-2017, 23:26   #4
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

Keri,
I am getting ready to move aboard my boat in about a month with only a very small percentage of what I own, or used to own. I currently live and work in Egypt and am returning to the States after 20-years away (am prepared for culture shock).

I have been planning my move for a couple of years now and am now down to fitting everything that I have here into a single large suitcase, most of which will get tossed or donated before I depart Egypt. Getting rid of possessions, stuff, junk, and just generally down-sizing, has been a long, slow, and sometimes emotionally conflicting process. But as TooCoys stated: (paraphrased) "Getting rid of all that stuff can be liberating". And for all of the reasons he said.

I still own a fully furnished apartment in Alexandria (I live in Hurghada) which I purchased for about $10K 12 years ago. Egyptian laws have changed since the revolution here in 2011 and now I cannot legally own the apartment or sell it since I can no longer acquire a residency visa unless I am married to a local (Did that once...NEVER AGAIN). As such, I'm just walking away from it....it's just another "thing" that I haven't used in well over 5-years now, so why stress about it.

The important thing, for me at least, is to always be able to put a roof over my head (my boat is waiting for me), enough income for food, clothing, boat maintenance, and good friends (I'll have to make some new ones in the States).

I wish you Good Luck with all your plans, endeavors and the adventures to follow!
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Old 23-03-2017, 23:47   #5
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

The best way to make your decision is to move all of your plunder on board. In a short time you'll figure out what to keep.
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Old 23-03-2017, 23:54   #6
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

Not to worry, you can always find cheap china, or eat on paper.
In terms of the big picture, & how to do this:
Start with a studio apartment (flat), & a storage unit. Then ->
Move onboard, while keeping the storage unit. From there, if you plan to sail away soon, trade the storage unit for a dock box.

Think about the amount & type of stuff that you owned the last couple of years of college, & the year or two after. Which, at the time, you knew that 75% of even that was unneeded junk. But pondering such thiings will help you with the paring down.

Also, the basic rule is that if you haven't used it (commonly) withing a year, then you don't need it. Right? And in warmer cimates the rule's 6months, since you don't need that winter parka, or snow blower, when you're off saiing.
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Old 24-03-2017, 02:43   #7
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

It's a toss up about hanging on to stuff. I'm not a collector or horder but I do have some art items & family heirlooms (grandparents' papers from when they came through Ellis Island as immigrants), good furniture, etc.
But big storage bills... And you can't have a garage sale out of a storage unit as far as I'm aware. It's kind of like my rule about taking things to the basement. You must be able to say when you will retrieve it. If it's a broken toaster and you're not going to repair it, get rid of it.
Maybe I can find a tiny storage unit.
It's not the junk so much as the logistics. The timing of final departure from life on land to life aboard or as a beach bum with only what I can carry in a backpack.
Plus my junk is in Nebraska. I only came here for a job & I can't wait to kiss it goodbye. But what if something happens a year down the road and I'm forced back to living on land for some reason. It'd sure be nice not to have to figure out how to replace enough of it to be comfortable.
Maybe I should just quit the job, make ridding myself of junk my full-time job & head for the coast where I might do some crewing or even find a boat to buy.
Yep, I am sure fond of some of my junk.
And Lepke, I love the idea of carting all my crap to my boat and finding out real quick what to keep & what to pitch - my stuff would likely sink the boat.
LOL!
Wish I had someone to leave junk with at least for a little while - but no.
I'm kind of really liking the idea of just being freed of it all.
Ugh. Gotta go hose off my brain. It's overheating, again.
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Old 24-03-2017, 03:08   #8
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

One option for some things, is to negotiate a contract about X with close friends or family. Like your treasured, well running, older car. And then pick someone you know & trust that could use it, as well as take good care of it. And set things up so that while you're gone, they pay/do the maintenance on it, & you split the insurance. Then if you're gone 6mos or 1yr (or other) it's theirs. With the possible option of your buying it back cheap if you return within X span of time.
You could even figure out a clause that you get to use it a X $-rate if you're back in town for a week or three.

Such a setup would likely work well for a family, especially if money's tight. Which, when you've kids, that's common. The big question in such a contract is are their teenage drivers forbidden from using it? Up to tyou, but know the risks.


PS: The other perk to maintaining ties like that is that when they come to visit you for a sailing holiday, you get to use them as equipment/spares pack mules A handy thing, without question.
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Old 24-03-2017, 03:16   #9
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

It's just stuff. Get rid of it. All of it.

We put a bunch of stuff in a storage locker when we moved onto the boat. When we left to go cruising we threw away all the stuff in the storage locker. What a waste of rent money that I wish I had in my pocket now. Artwork and photos were left with friends/family.

You can always get more stuff later if you want. It's what our whole culture is based on.
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Old 24-03-2017, 03:20   #10
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
The best way to make your decision is to move all of your plunder on board. In a short time you'll figure out what to keep.
Lol ...that's great advice
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Old 24-03-2017, 03:27   #11
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

As someone who has gone down this route, it really comes down to the cost and logistics of keeping things. If you have someone you know who is willing and able to store stuff for you long term for free or a very modest sum, there's no reason to get rid of that stuff, particularly if you're not sure if you really want to part with it.

I have a small storage unit to keep stuff I could not bare to part with, like framed pictures, a small collection of memoriabilia, all my fly tying materials. It also contains spare sails and boat gear, tools that I don't keep on the boat, some clothes, etc.

Every time I see the monthly bill I think I could pare it down or move it to a cheaper, more rural unit. If I could move it to a friend's garage that would be ideal, but don't have anyone I think I could realistically impose on in that way.

I was pretty ruthless at the outset, and other than the box of memorabilia and pictures (maybe 4) and fly tying stuff, I got rid of anything that I could not fit or could not use on the boat. I've not regretted it's absence, but then again I've not moved off the boat yet either, lol.
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Old 24-03-2017, 03:51   #12
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

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....but then again I've not moved off the boat yet either, lol.
Suijin brings up a very good point here. What happens when you must move ashore either for health reasons, relationships, serious boat damage, you name it.

Most of the posts that I have seen here on CF since I've joined last year all talk about moving aboard (myself included). But what happens if you have to, want to, return to a land-based lifestyle? I only remember seeing one recent post concerning life after cruising (but I am sure there are more in older posts). So, Thank You Suijin, you've given me a reality check that one needs to consider.

I personally don't have much "stuff" as I am moving from overseas back to the States with nothing more than a backpack (sans laptop now...Thank You US Gov. ). However, I can see a lot of justification for keeping some things in storage for the "what if's" should one have to move ashore again. Just more food for thought when planning for the future....
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Old 24-03-2017, 04:14   #13
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

I got a job were I could telecommute back in 2010. Pared everything down to a backpack and a duffle bag. The options and freedom this offered was unbelievable. When I moved on board 6 months ago I actually started buying stuff (mostly tools to fix the boat).

Like has been said. It's just stuff.
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Old 24-03-2017, 04:14   #14
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

House sitting!
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Old 24-03-2017, 04:36   #15
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Re: Did you get rid of "everything"

Here's another thread on the winnowing down side of things. Selling Stuff And Downsizing - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

In terms of moving back ashore again, what are the big ticket ($) items that are the mental hurdles? Part of my asking is that the times I've either moved ashore, or moved in general, I've always wound up crossing paths with people who have "spare" X, or Y. Whether that be furniture, dish & kitchen ware, or other basics for the home.

Also, for me (& many), the prospects of going shopping in order to decorate a new abode from a blank slate can be quite a lot of fun. Especially if you're at all handy with tools or paint. Since all manner of things can be found at yard sales, by word of mouth, online, etc. So then the real challenge becomes keeping what you buy to furnish your new place to an acceptable minimum.

Plus, enlisting others to aide you in fitting out your new land abode definitely has good bonding aspects to it as well. So as long as you've a bit of coin, & the minimum requisite amount of time, fitting out a home can be/is almost as much fun as doing the same with a new (to you) boat.
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