Imagine that you’ve decided to move onto a boat. You don’t want to rent a storage unit, but you can leave a few boxes of priceless (to you) items with a relative to store in an attic. Everything else has to go unless it’s coming on the boat. Look around where you live. Look at all of the furniture, the television, the desktop computer, the pictures on the wall. It all has to go. Now look again. Notice all of the things that you didn’t even see the first time you looked around. The floor lamps. The end tables. The shoe rack. The umbrella stand. The drying rack. Yep. That has to go too. How in the world are you going to pull this off?
This is what we repeatedly asked ourselves in the weeks leading up to our move. In fact, until a few days before we actually left, I wasn’t so sure that we COULD get rid of it all. When we sold the house in February of last year, we rented a dumpster and got rid of a ton of stuff. Somehow we still managed to have what felt like a half-ton of stuff. I can’t imagine what this would have been like if we hadn’t already downsized once.
We sold things on CraigsList and Facebook. I offered items to people at work. The Goodwill employees practically knew our names. We repeatedly filled the trash barrels. Each day we put items on the curb. And slowly but surely, we managed to get rid of it. I knew we were making real progress when the rooms in the apartment began to have that distinctive empty room echo when we talked.
I lean towards minimalism so overall I really enjoyed getting rid of 99% of our stuff. I know that some people have found similar processes difficult, but I thought it was incredibly freeing. There is something to be said about being intentional about every single item you own. We touched everything and made a decision whether to bring it with us or not. Now, Pegu Club doesn’t have a thing on her that is superfluous or that doesn’t have a purpose – even if the purpose is simply to bring us joy. Honestly, it’s the only way to make it work on a 30′ boat, but someday when we swallow the anchor we’ll definitely continue living like this. It reminds me of when I packed everything I owned into my car and drove across the country. It felt great then. It feels even better now.