How do you fit 15 years of household stuff into a sailboat?

Simple, you dont!

During our transition the living room was a disaster area

Camping in the clutter of transition

In order to move onto the boat, we have to get rid of just about everything in our house.

Do you know how much stuff collects over 15 years?  Yeah, neither did I.  Crap, that is a lot of stuff!

I had no idea we had collected this much junk!  I mean when did we get all of this stuff? I don’t remember buying half of the junk we’re finding in the boxes strewn throughout the house.  (Kelly is laughing at me, saying, “I can tell you where we got all of it.  Your memory is going!”)

And I always thought our house was kind of empty.  I mean we don’t have a lot of shelves with knick knacks sitting on them.  We only have a one car garage and it isn’t all that full of stuff either.

But holy cow, we are just about swimming in stuff that needs to go.

And this is after we’ve gotten rid of almost all of our furniture.

Craigslist To The Rescue!

When it came to selling the furniture, CraigsLIst really came through for us this time.  In just a few days we sold our dining room set, couch, living room chairs, ottoman, desk, cedar chest, lamps, dressers and curtains.  Most of these went to a family that recently moved to Portland from Colorado and needed to set up their house.

The difficult part to this transition period is that we are just about camping out in our house right now.(See the picture above.)  We have no table to eat on so we eat our meals sitting in our folding camp chairs in the living room.

While things are a little uncomfortable right now, it does help make it real.  We’ve been dreaming of this for a long time now and it is hard to believe that we are just weeks away from the dream coming true.

Because I still spend my days at my desk at work, it is easy to forget that our lives are about to be turned upside down.  In my head I know that after March 15th, I won’t be going in to my desk job any more.  But deep down inside, it just doesn’t seem real yet.  Like this is still some kind of a dream, and on Monday, March 18th, my alarm will go off and I’ll realize that the last few months have been a dream.  That I’ll still be working at the job and that we aren’t on the boat.

I know that isn’t true, but I still have to convince myself of it.  Once the 18th has come and gone, it shouldn’t be so hard to accept that it is true.  My calendar will be a clean slate.

Its Not Just The “Stuff” That Has To Go

All of the habits that have been built and strengthened over the last 16 years will become obsolete overnight.  No more 4:30 a.m. alarm.  No more driving to work each morning, getting settled in at my desk, checking email, attending morning meetings, eating lunch in the break room, and driving home.

These will all be replaced with new habits.  I don’t even know what these will be yet.  It will take a while before new habits get to be built as there are a lot of things that need to be done on the boat before we can really get down to making a routine of daily life.

For now though, we focus on cleaning out the house we are leaving behind.  It is difficult to keep in mind that there is very little space available aboard Shannon.  We have to take on the mentality that we are travelling by backpack when it comes to deciding what to get rid of and what to keep.

This is a little difficult for the kids right now.  The last two times we spent time aboard Shannon we had the house to come back to.  We knew that if there wasn’t room for something or if we didn’t have something with us, there was always room at the house.

The next time we are aboard Shannon, there will be no house to fall back to.  No garage to store stuff that we just can’t seem to find a place for.  Everything must have a place, and that doesn’t mean sitting on a desktop or table.  When the seas get rough anything sitting loose on a flat surface can quickly become a missle shooting through our living room!

I don’t yet know just how we are going to get rid of the last of the miscelaneous stuff that is still waiting in the boxes around the house.

When I figure that one out, I’ll be sure to let you know.