Feel like you need to make more room on your boat? Yep, it happens to all of us. And for me, it’s a sign that I need to do a thorough purge.
Many people espouse the rule “if you bring something aboard, you have to take something else off.” It sounds good, but we’ve just never quite done it, instead doing periodic purges.
Purge to Find Room
One by one, we go through all the lockers and other storage areas, take everything out, and see what we don’t need.
Just last week I went through my clothes. I found that I had 33 “work” t-shirts! Basically these are ones that started out as nice shirts but over time, got stained to the point where they’re only suitable for painting, caulking, and other filthy jobs.
Okay, so I need a few work shirts. But 33?!? No. Three grocery bags of nice, soft t-shirts ended up with a guy who does boat detailing.
Another day, I went through our books and found some to go to the book swap. A few galley pans went to the giveaway area.
Cleaning products – or food — that we bought and then didn’t like. Somehow we ended up with 8 bottles of bug spray, and over a dozen of sunscreen. An old external battery for electronics . . . that no longer holds a charge. Spark plugs for our old outboard. Shorts and a pair of shoes that just weren’t comfortable. Old cruising guides that have been replaced by newer editions. The list goes on.
Some of the items are more hidden. I got rid of an inch-high stack of paper by going through our owner’s manuals and throwing away anything related to gear we no longer have. Similarly, I went through our spare parts and found a few items that went with gear we longer had. Leftover prescription drugs that either we’d had a bad reaction to or that were past their expiration date.
Finding New Homes for Purged items
Where things are still good, I try to find people who can use them. We have a giveaway area here at the marina and the local food bank puts out a bin for unopened shelf-stable food. Clothing in good shape goes to a resale shop. Paper that was printed on only one side becomes note paper. Admittedly, some of what we get rid of is truly trash.
But it doesn’t take getting rid of much to really clean the boat up and make it feel much more spacious. And we don’t miss the items I got rid of at all – we weren’t using them and they were just taking up space.
Next time you’re frustrated by how full a locker is, see if you really need everything in there.
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