moving to the boat storage wars

Wed 1 Jul 2015 12:00

Blog Post 2

July 8, 2015


Moving to the Boat – The Storage Wars


For  the past few months we have been slowly moving to the boat. The activity has increased significantly over the past 2 weeks. It was hard, very hard. I had read a lot in blogs, magazines, books and online about moving out of your home to the boat to go cruising. They said it  was one of the hardest things to do. They were right. But knowing that ahead of time did not make it any easier. We had talked about it for years, what we would do and how we would do it. All that went out the window once we started. Jirig had been slowly moving his things to the boat for a long time. He left the house and everything in it for me to decide what to do with. I made 4 piles. One for Goodwill, one for giving away to friends and family, one for storage and one for the boat. The pile going to the boat seemed reasonable at the house but once I got everything to the boat there was no way everything was going to fit. We are lucky we have a large boat with lots of storage; I have a large closet (for a boat) and adequate shelving. Although nothing compared to what I had at home (2 walk in closets and a large dresser). It was still not going to fit. I didn’t want over stuffed shelves and closets. So now I had a pile of clothes and other stuff on the dock that had to go to the storage. Our son Daniel is staying in the house and with  2 roommates. We wanted to leave him with everything he needed. He got all the appliances, linens, dishes and the contents in the cupboards. That helped.  It forced us to literally look at everything we own and decide; do we need this? Do we want to pay to  store it for years while we cruise? Will I ever wear this again? Is this memento worth saving? It was an arduous process.


Jirig had spent the last two years preparing the boat to cruise. He had everything he needed already on the boat. Me on the other hand had not. I would take a bag every weekend with what I needed.  So now it seemed like I was moving in big time with all my baggage.


Moving Nico was a piece of cake. He had 2 boxes of stuff and his X-Box 360 and X-Box1 . He knew exactly what he wanted to bring, no muss no fuss. Daniel could not wait for us to get out of the house so he could move into our room. He had it all scoped out beforehand. Where he would put his TV, his hammock, his bed. He is in hog heaven. He set it up really nice.


The other challenge is that this is going to be a cruising boat. Everything must be stowed away. Unlike a home you cannot have any clutter on countertops or shelves. Everything must be secured, even things hanging on the walls. All food that is stowed away must be in plastic containers with lids. All bathroom items need to be in plastic containers. Jirig’s motto is “everything that can fall down, will fall down”.  If we are in rough seas, pitching and rolling, we don’t want to be injured by flying objects. Nor do I want to deal with the mess. Not only are plastic containers good for storage they also protect against vermin and bugs, which unfortunately where we are going, will be plentiful.


The first storage war started over a cabinet in the hallway. It is a floor to ceiling cabinet with lots of shelves and a strong, secure door. It would be perfect for a pantry to store canned and packaged goods. Jirig promised that I could have it. Then right as we were moving to the boat he decided he needed it for his tools. He schlepped a huge red tool box to the boat and ripped out the shelves and put it in my closet! Now I realize that tools are more important than food on a boat but still it stung. He found me other places to store the food but none as perfect and convenient as the hall closet. He has really been amazing and has done everything to make Nico and I comfortable. He installed Nico’s X-Boxes and his racing wheel in his room. He built Nico and I shelves in our closets. He installed lights in every closet so when you open the door the light goes on. He bought me the best ice maker on the planet for those of you that know me well know how much I need my ice and installed air conditioning. After all we are going to be in Panama in July! I have always said he is a combination of McGyvethe and Sinbad the sailor.  He has been a trooper. I am so lucky to have him.


The next storage war was over my clothes and shoes. I had read in one of my cruising books that a good measure of clothes for a cruising boat is 5 of everything. 5 pairs of paints, 5 pairs of shorts, 5 tank tops etc. I was ready to buy into that. But when it came down to actually deciding which 5 it  was going to be there was  no way I could do it. I cannot live with just 5 pairs of shoes! What about accessories? What about everything else that makes a lady a lady? We had said that each of us could have one large plastic bin for shoes. I have 2 big ones and one small one just for flip flops. His is half full. I have some work to do there. Before we leave for Mexico I need to reduce the  shoe count.


We finally worked everything out. On the day before we left we went through every nook and cranny, drawer, closet, storage locker whatever and reviewed exactly what we had and where it was. Jirig is an amazing packer and organizer and everything was in its place and secure and most importantly we knew where everything was. We gave each other a big hug and a kiss and we were satisfied. It was a good feeling. This is going to be our home for quite some time and it was important that we were both satisfied with what we decided to take. It is not my stuff or his stuff, it is our stuff. We are finally ready. It feels so good.