The first step or getting rid of our crap

I’ve been lurking the living board forum lately. There’s a section called Making the Break from Dry Land in which liveaboard wannabes like us introduce themselves, run plans by other people, post their progress and ask questions.

One of the posts asks what are the first steps towards living aboard. The main answers were to 1) get rid of stuff, and 2) spend time on boats. Someone said that buying a boat was the last step (sigh!).

So onto the first step. I hate stuff, and yet it creeps into my house and then multiply like bunnies. The uncluttering process has only taught me that it is much easier for something to come into the house than to exit. So here is what we are doing:

  • Dedicating a corner of one room to the outbox.
  • Avoid bringing anything into the house that doesn’t pass the “boat test”.
  • Start the uncluttering process using zenhabit’s simple method. An even faster and drastic method is the clean slate guide to simplicity.
  • Minimalism is our friend! There has been an explosion of minimalist blogs in the past several years. Two of my favorite resources: Everett Bogue wrote a brash and provocative but eye opening book, The Art of Being Minimalist, which is no longer available. Another great reference for minimalist living is Leo Babata’s book, The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life (not an affiliate link).
  • Selling non-essential items. This can be a real hassle. I have to take a picture of said object, write a description, post it to Craigslist and other local forums, reply to is-it-still-there emails, try to wrangle a phone number from people who only want to email and then disappear, arrange for a pickup, and for no-shows. I’ve decided that anything under $20 is not worth the effort!
  • Giving things away. I would rather see things passed on to family and friends (especially sentimental items) or get donated than deal with the above hassle for smaller items.

Large furniture and equipment will have to be sold last. We still have a life to lead and a family to take care of, after all. I’m sure our friends and family will wonder why our house is looking increasingly empty.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go put some more stuff in the outbox.