During dinner for the past few months, our family has been inspired by several other families who had sold everything, bought a mono-hull sailboat and vlogged their adventures. Ryan and I couldn’t imagine how or what the process of “selling everything” looked like. We were determined to find out. Our landlord had already been notified of our intentions to move out at the end of the month.
I am a “get it done” kind of woman, so I quickly cleaned our house and began staging it for photographs. Walking through room by room, I first uncluttered them. I began sorting things into categories: 1) absolute necessity, 2) memories, 3) books, 4) might be nice, 5) sell/donate, 6) trash. Remembering we were being obedient to a call we couldn’t deny made cutting the emotional strings to material things, easier. Anything that was not practical or bigger than a shoe box, simply could not come.
Our bedroom set was the first thing to walk out the door that very first week. I was glad the first thing to go was something of Ryan and mine. I think it would have been harder if the first thing was something of the kid’s. We daily posted our belongings on Offer Up and a community Facebook account. I am so thankful to my sister-in-law, who enjoys social media, helped me post and negotiate prices and pick ups, so I could continue packing up our house and take care of the kids. Slowly, our furniture started walking out our door.
I am a thrifty woman by nature. Most of our clothes had previously come from an excellent Value Village around the corner. Filling up trash bag after trash bag of clothes to donate was easier to swallow knowing I didn’t spend an arm and leg for them in the first place. Sorting through all our clothes was easiest done in categories: first by season, then by practicality with an emphasis on how much space it would take up, and lastly, do we (or I) absolutely love this article of clothing. From our earliest married days, Ryan and I agreed we each had a say over the other’s clothing choices. Simply, I wanted to always wear what attracted my husband’s eyes to me, and he wanted the same thing. Feeling pretty and sexy has always been important for our marriage. Though it may be over our daughter’s heads, I desire them to also feel pretty and put together. We may miss our closet full of clothes, but what we really need was only a few interchangeable articles that could be layered. I figured as we live on the boat, we would purchase new specific articles of clothing as needed. That helped give me peace of mind.
Paring down our kitchen, I turned to Blue Apron’s website. All fall and winter, we used Blue Apron for our dinners. They are delicious meals!! Looking through their holiday catalogue of what things I could purchase, I set aside these things that I already owned. I then added what I normally use when I bake cookies or things. Anything I kept, had to be practical and if multi-purposed or nested, all the better!
All other kitchen gadgets and electronics, had to go. The other thing that was interesting to wrap my head around, was this new issue of power. How many watts, amps and volts did something take to use? If it drew too much power, it could be a fire hazard on board the vessel.
All the extra little stuff that cluttered our house, was almost therapeutic to toss into my father in law’s dump trailer. I felt like I was “throwing off” a heavily burdened blanket that other people had so graciously drowned me with. From the beginning, paying for a large storage unit for “stuff” was not an option. If it wasn’t practical aboard our vessel for everyday living and wasn’t upmost precious to our memory, it was sold or garbage.
February 18th, our girl’s said goodbye to their pottery barn bunk beds.
February 19th, the crib that held three of our four kids, left our family. It was so hard to believe how fast our kids have grown! Our daughters had been sharing a room for a few years. With all our kid’s beds gone, Caleb was thrilled his sisters would begin sharing his room. Might as well get used to close quarters since they’ll be even closer on our boat!
February 22nd, our most comfortable couch of 12 years left us. Before it did, our kids wanted to build one last fort with its cushions. I’m encouraged as I watch my kids in their joyful imaginative play even though our house is torn apart and empty.