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Countless times I have written about the process of our purging away all the unnecessary stuff and clutter that we had accumulated, both before we headed out cruising and after we set sail. I’m going to take a different tack* today though and talk about the stuff that we wish we hadn’t left behind. I know that some of our readers are knee-deep in this operation right now. Perhaps this might help to prevent some regrets.

To begin, Rebecca and I left behind pretty much all of our dressier clothing, opting instead to bring with us mostly articles in the t-shirt – shorts – bathing suit category. While this is pretty much all that we live in these days, there has been the odd time where Rebecca has wished for another nice skirt or top for a special evening out. Don’t get me wrong… she does have some items like this but you can’t be seen in the same outfit too many times, right? 😉

  • No, it’s not just her who feels this way. I am in the same boat.*

In a completely different category, we had quite a selection of good micro camping gear that we used during kayak trips. There have been several times where we’ve really wished we had not sold it all as the tent and sleeping bags would have been nice to have.

Even more frivolous than the above-mentioned items would be the costumes and other fun stuff that we purged before sailing. Yes, we had quite an extensive tickle trunk back on land but weeded-out almost all of it. I can’t tell you how many times, when attending a party or special event, we’ve said to each other “if only we still had…

One of the few remaining items from our tickle trunk. When people talk of having fish nets on boats, they probably aren’t thinking of stockings!

The thing is, just about all of the items that I’m writing about would have taken up very little space. And even though we’re very weight conscious on our boat, it needing to be kept light so that it sails well, none of the items in question weighed a lot either. Yes, our selling these items did net us a bit of money but if we had to turn around and buy even a couple of them all over again, we’d be losing cash.

For those of you now currently involved with the purging process, my recommendation is to definitely carry on, get rid of most of your clutter. If, however, you’re faced with some doubt on an item, and you think you’ll have room on your boat for it, bring it along. You can always sell, trade or give it away later if you decide it has no use or it takes up too much space. If it’s of the fun variety though, it might just help to make cruising even more enjoyable for you!

*Just a couple of the sailing terms that have made their way into the everyday English.

24 Comments

  1. Thanks for the advice! If all goes as planned, we should be reaching the “sell everything” point soon. Maybe I should keep that Catholic school girl costume after all … LOL!

  2. I have my own rule…If I dont use it in 3 months it gets tossed…..I have lived by this for a few years so no big deal for me…..I hoard nothing……Only exception is 6 monthhs on winter to summer clothing……All of my belongings now are in a 8×10 closet…I am ready!!!!

    • In general I would tend to agree with that BUT with you still being in the USA, it is a lot easier to come by specialty items than it is for us. Your opinion may change.

  3. Good advice Mike. We are very much at the final point in the get rid of stuff process and its getting harder and harder to decide what to toss/sell and what to keep. We fly to NY on 8/4 to finalise our boat purchase and get some work started then on 8/31 we leave to drive from Oregon to NY and move aboard. Keep up the posts I really enjoy the reading and follow you guys daily.

    • If the boat is not located where you home is the process is complicated a bit. I still stand by what I wrote today though. Good luck. 🙂

      • We moved from a house to an apartment and middle of next month into a 5th wheel trailer and from there to the boat so atleast it has been in stages. lol The things we do in life crack me up…

  4. Good advice. There’s so much emphasis on tossing stuff it’s good to see there’a few things worth keeping. Decided to keep the camping gear, no matter what. Our tent was always our second home.

  5. Just how many people in Grenada actually want to seem Mike in fishnet?

  6. Glad I clicked through and read the link. Between Mr Dressup, fishnets, and tickle trunk I thought your website was soon going to be blocked!

  7. Thanks for the great advice! I love these kind of posts from you guys. We have camping gear as well. Sounds like I should hang onto it. Can you tell me when you think you might have used it? Camping on the beach perhaps? Sounds like I should also keep those Halloween costumes (Ozzie and Sharon Osborne) in the back of the closet too. You never know when you might need those costumes 🙂 I am still sorting through all the stuff that came with the boat. Have move stuff off to move more stuff on. Right now I feel like all I do is move stuff.

    • We have slept in our friend George’s tent on the beach in Barbuda and have had other opportunities when hiking. That gear would have taken up very little room.

      As for the costumes, absolutely keep them!!!

  8. Mike,
    Thanks for the info. We are sorting, sorting, and throwing out. Our house is sold and we are boat shopping! Trying to decide what to take has been hard. I don’t want to over pack but since we have an eleven hr. old I feel a couple Christmas things are in order, etc.
    I think I am packing way too many clothes…we will see.
    Our problem are books, books, books…..

  9. And to think that our Tickle Trunk was one of the first things to sell at our yard sale.. damn, shoul’d’a kept some of the stuff… oh well… LOL. Different lifestyle = different needs, I can only imagine…

    You lived in a closet ???

    • During the four months between the time that our house sold and we bought a boat, we lived out of a closet in our gym. All our personal possessions were stored there, deployed at night after our clients left and then returned to the closet in the morning before we opened.

      • I guess we all “do” what “needs to be done” in order to reach our dreams n’est ce pas ?? I would imagine that the two of you look back on it now and remember and smile ?? I’m sure that once we get out there, we’ll look back on these times and smile (well, truth be told, we are smiling now too !!). As the saying goes “it’s all good”, lol. Happy Day !!

  10. I never had a ‘tickle trunk’. Wonder what’s wrong with me?

    I seem to recall you were mourning the sale of a few power tools back at the beginning as well… do you still wish you’d kept any of those?

    BTW.. the robotic vacuum I bought from you guys has never worked. 🙁

    • If we had room for a nice set of power tools, most definitely. Our cordless drill get’s used all the time, as does our dremel. A n electric saw would have been nice on a couple of occasions.

      As for the robot, it did work for us. 🙁

      Pretty certain it would NOT work on the boat though!

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