Moving Onboard means Downsizing

We left off talking about my decision to move onto the boat and what it takes to make that happen. It wasn’t hard, but there were some decisions that needed to be made to transform my “footprint” from moose size to mouse.

I had already been spending a lot of time onboard even though I didn’t officially live there, and since I often had guests out for cruises and day trips, I had a lot of everyday items stuffed in drawers and cabinets.

I had also been eating there at least once or twice a week so I had food and basic cooking utensils onboard. I was fairly well set up to live on the boat already, except for clothing. I had some shirts and jackets and a spare pair of shorts or two in case I had to go in the water.

Moving Onboard | Dock Lines and Exit Signs

However. I also had a lot of stuff. I had the kind of stuff that just accumulates over the course of your life because you buy pliers or a hammer thinking you’ll need it forever. Instead of buying a wrench, you feel better buying a wrench kit. And, if you have to borrow a friend’s chainsaw, you tend to go buy your own because – you know. You’re sure to need it again, right?


Nope. I bought a chainsaw after borrowing someone else’s one time and never used it again. I loaned it out to friends who used it more than I did. Mostly because I never used it at all.

Once I knew I was moving onboard, I took a good look at the storage I had to work with and made a big decision. Everything must go.

Everything. Must. Go.

One big yard sale later and I had unencumbered myself from the majority of my belongings. I sold eeeevvverything. And donated or gave away everything that was left.

Moving Onboard | Dock Lines and Exit Signs

By the time I truly moved onboard, I had just enough left to fill the back three feet of a car-sized storage unit about three feet deep and three feet high. Just a few things I cared about and some belongings I wasn’t quite ready to give up just yet.

The day I moved onboard for real I had one weekend sized rolling bag and a couple of backpacks and that was it. I filled one hanging closet with clothes, which was about 10 shirts and 10 pairs of pants. I put a plastic three-drawer storage unit from Walmart in the same closet to hold small stuff like shorts and socks and that was it. I left the jeans and jackets in the storage unit until winter.

And that was it.

Moving Onboard | Dock Lines and Exit Signs

I already had a TV with a Roku connected to the marina’s wifi in the main cabin and another in the front berth. I had a microwave which I used for everything and an electric stovetop which I never used at all. The shower, which is a real shower separate from the head, worked great and was roomy enough to be comfortable. I used a tablet in the from berth for my alarm clock and some music upfront.

I had all I needed. By the end of the first week I knew – I was home.

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