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Old 05-17-2021, 09:29 AM   #1
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Transitioning to full time cruisers...

So feeling just a little overwhelmed here trying to downsize into the boat, sell a house, fix up an apartment by our workshop and general life crap.

Doesn't help that the boat is in Washington state and we are in Kentucky so no taking stuff to her and seeing if it will work and bringing it back here.. one shot deal on what we take and what we leave behind.

Makes it a little crazier. Never had a move like this either.. where we are putting things in four piles.. ie Boat, Stay here at this place, take to thrift or throw away, and sell it. Usually in the several moves it's been take or leave.

Some days I feel like I need to breathe in a bag.

Anyway I'm sure it will all work out and we will be cruising soon enough, but any hints on how you all did the transition? Short of lighting a match and walking away?
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:15 AM   #2
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We went through the same thing about 20 years ago when we quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to go cruising. I made several trips to a facility that took donations and got more in tax deductions than I ever would get in selling them- welding machine, compressor, etc. Furniture was put in Pods. Other stuff we trashed and the boat stuff was loaded up in a U-Haul.

The boat stuff came from a 36' Jeanneau sailboat that we were selling, so it was fairly well defined. The new boat was a Saga 43 we bought and was delivered to Annapolis and our house was in Atlanta, so we too only had one shot.

It worked out ok and there was virtually nothing that I missed that we later needed on the boat.

Good luck with your life change.

David
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:26 AM   #3
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The mistake most people make is putting to much in paid storage. Ten years later they realize they will never want the stored items again and all the money spent was wasted.

Mentally down sizing is the hardest job. Once you get there, you never look back.
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:44 AM   #4
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As someone who has moved many many times over my life, including remote locations on islands etc:

Shipping is your friend. Don’t think that you have to get everything ready for the moving van or trailer. Find a POC in Seattle or Port Orchard who would be willing to accept and hold shipments and then send stuff in boxes, or even a uHaul pod or similar. Perhaps the marina manager would be willing to do this on either side of Puget Sound.

Even though most of my moves were paid for through the PCS process it was worth it to send some stuff ahead of us via UPS or whatever and have it waiting when we arrived.
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Old 05-17-2021, 11:03 AM   #5
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The mistake most people make is putting to much in paid storage. Ten years later they realize they will never want the stored items again and all the money spent was wasted.

Agree with this. We were in the Middle East for 11 years and before we left we were able to reduce everything we owned into a single pod, including some sentimental furniture. I realize now that it was still more junk than we needed to keep.

In the next few years when I retire and we go overseas again I will likely store about 1/4 what I did last time. Definitely not furniture at all.
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Old 05-17-2021, 01:23 PM   #6
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Good luck with your life change.

David
Thank you.. it helps to hear others have done it successfully.
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Old 05-17-2021, 01:24 PM   #7
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The mistake most people make is putting to much in paid storage. Ten years later they realize they will never want the stored items again and all the money spent was wasted.

Mentally down sizing is the hardest job. Once you get there, you never look back.
Yes.. I agree. At least we won't have paid storage as we still have a place. I'm looking forward to never looking back.
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Old 05-17-2021, 01:26 PM   #8
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As someone who has moved many many times over my life, including remote locations on islands etc:

Shipping is your friend. Don’t think that you have to get everything ready for the moving van or trailer. Find a POC in Seattle or Port Orchard who would be willing to accept and hold shipments and then send stuff in boxes, or even a uHaul pod or similar. Perhaps the marina manager would be willing to do this on either side of Puget Sound.

Even though most of my moves were paid for through the PCS process it was worth it to send some stuff ahead of us via UPS or whatever and have it waiting when we arrived.
Definitely will keep this in mind. I've also told myself I can buy something there.. even if I had something back here that would have worked.
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Old 05-17-2021, 01:28 PM   #9
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Agree with this. We were in the Middle East for 11 years and before we left we were able to reduce everything we owned into a single pod, including some sentimental furniture. I realize now that it was still more junk than we needed to keep.

In the next few years when I retire and we go overseas again I will likely store about 1/4 what I did last time. Definitely not furniture at all.

I am amazed at how much stuff I have that when it gets right down to it I really don't care if it's gone. Kind of liberating the more we get rid of..
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Old 05-17-2021, 02:17 PM   #10
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Reminds me of the Richard Pryor routine about my stuff and your sh-t.

Still, there’s stuff you do want to keep for sentimental reasons and other stuff of value (collectibles, quality furniture etc.). Sooner or later you will return to land to live. Wife said “I’ll go anywhere with you but need a house to return to”. We sold our house. Bought a knockdown in a park. Between permitting inside a park and building we had no house for 2 years. Then saw that house on Xmas break but basically lived on the boat for just short of eight years. Had my sister (a collector) and father (another collector) pass on in that period so had 4 peoples stuff.
Did specialized auctions for the collections saving some of the museum quality stuff for ourselves. Secure environmental controlled storage is pricey. Choose wisely. Make sure anything you put in storage will be worth it’s purchase price plus storage costs when you take it out of storage. We donated a lot of stuff after doing that math and took the tax write offs. Garden and house tools went to the kids except for specialized metal and wood working tools I got from my dad.
All said and done got rid of 90% of the “stuff” and improved the cruising kitty. But still had that 10%. Now living in a house. Really glad we kept that 10%. Once we find another boat off we go again. This time we will use the kids (both have houses) and the house ( has ridiculous monitoring ) so it will be easier.
The reason I post this experience is to point out at some point you will return. Some of my cruising friends have swallowed the anchor. Many regret they got rid of everything. Just saying……
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Old 05-17-2021, 03:02 PM   #11
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I had a bit of a head-start. A few years ago when Cat 5 Irma had a bullseye on my house in St Pete FL, we evacuated with only the stuff that fit in our two cars - a Rav4 and a Matrix. I really thought everything else was a goner - amazing how quickly our attachment to belongings comes into focus. Irma edged a bit in the right direction so we were safe, though in hindsight, I wish it had wiped us out - would have been easier than the down-sizing we just went through (well, sort of went through - I'd give us a B-).

Slow-forward to now, our house sold in under a week and we have no plans to replace the house. Cruising starts about this time next year, but here's some random thoughts on how we managed to get down to a measly 3 storage units. Full disclosure - we do have other properties, though all are tiny in comparison (a 650 sf cabin in Colorado, for example).

1. Ask your heirs what they want now. No need hanging on to stuff if no one wants it. I always admired my dad's Louis XVI writing desk.....until he asked if I wanted it (my tastes are mid-century).
2. Not possible to de-bond all at once. It takes a few iterations with about a year between. The only way to get away from paying too much for storage is to go through it periodically and toss stuff.
3. If you bring stuff with you, you will end up with too much stuff on the boat - "Boat Pile" should be damn near zero. Bring almost nothing. No dishes, no hand-towels, no throw-pillows, no extraneous clothes, no books, no Tupperware, maybe some basic tools. Buy as little as you need until you've been aboard for a while. Chances are even your shoes won't be suitable.
4. There's a good chance you'll be dirt-dwellers again. Be realistic about your future home. If you're coming out of a 5-bdrm/4500sf house, what are the chances you're going back to a large house and still need a dining table for 10? Even though it's a beloved table, might be better to part now.
5. Chances are, you and your partner will de-bond at different speeds. Be kind to one another - it's easy to get frustrated with one another. We don't have kids - why she would keep her grandmother's china was baffling to me. I had a helluva time de-bonding with tools. I got rid of the bigger stuff, but I ended up getting a small storage locker just for my tools.
6. Don't worry about equipping/furnishing the boat for guests. Buy stuff as needed. Only exception would be lifejackets.
7. If uncertain or given a choice, choose simple vs complex. A center-console dinghy with 40hp outboard is cool, but a decent 3.50 with tiller-steer 20hp will get you through 3-5 years.
8. Hardest part is deciding what you really want/need vs what you don't want to get rid of. Difference is subtle but significant.
9. Hosting a yard sale sucks. Rained like hell on our chosen day and we didn't sell much. I liked my neighbor's strategy. Day 1: Yard Sale. Day 2: Salvation Army. Day 3: had a dumpster delivered. BTW - we ended up hiring a local mover to bring everything to Salvation Army vs waiting for them to schedule/show.

I could go on, but that's a quick list off the top of my head.

Peter
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Old 05-17-2021, 06:00 PM   #12
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I live a very active life. I have several expensive bikes (road and mountain), his and hers scuba gear, ski gear, paragliding gear, boat parts that are not currently needed(doors, beds, spares), Xmas decorations, camping gear and some other stuff that I obviously don’t need because I can’t remember what it is. This takes up an 8x10 storage locker. The hard part is knowing when you are done with something. Like the China, silver and crystal for 12. Some day I will need that right, because odds are that when I’m to old to live on a boat I will have a house with a dinning room table that seats 12 like I had in 1988 instead of a view condo in a retirement community.
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Old 05-17-2021, 06:25 PM   #13
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Setting realistic expectations is part of the How To Succeed.
The goal should not be to get every decision 100% correct. Plan ahead to get mostly correct and find tune as you learn and find out more.
Moving alone is a major life change add in a life style change and a distant location complicates things. Don't sweat the small stuff and find a way to take some breaks along the way to just enjoy the moment.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:44 AM   #14
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The reason I post this experience is to point out at some point you will return. Some of my cruising friends have swallowed the anchor. Many regret they got rid of everything. Just saying……
Yeah, I have thought of this. Keeping things that mean something or are useful and not easily replaced and getting rid of the rest.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:52 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
I had a bit of a head-start. A few years ago when Cat 5 Irma had a bullseye on my house in St Pete FL, we evacuated with only the stuff that fit in our two cars - a Rav4 and a Matrix. I really thought everything else was a goner - amazing how quickly our attachment to belongings comes into focus. Irma edged a bit in the right direction so we were safe, though in hindsight, I wish it had wiped us out - would have been easier than the down-sizing we just went through (well, sort of went through - I'd give us a B-).

Slow-forward to now, our house sold in under a week and we have no plans to replace the house. Cruising starts about this time next year, but here's some random thoughts on how we managed to get down to a measly 3 storage units. Full disclosure - we do have other properties, though all are tiny in comparison (a 650 sf cabin in Colorado, for example).

1. Ask your heirs what they want now. No need hanging on to stuff if no one wants it. I always admired my dad's Louis XVI writing desk.....until he asked if I wanted it (my tastes are mid-century).
2. Not possible to de-bond all at once. It takes a few iterations with about a year between. The only way to get away from paying too much for storage is to go through it periodically and toss stuff.
3. If you bring stuff with you, you will end up with too much stuff on the boat - "Boat Pile" should be damn near zero. Bring almost nothing. No dishes, no hand-towels, no throw-pillows, no extraneous clothes, no books, no Tupperware, maybe some basic tools. Buy as little as you need until you've been aboard for a while. Chances are even your shoes won't be suitable.


Peter
Yep I've asked the kids already on stuff. Fortunately for them and unfortunately for us they are minimalist so not pawning off much stuff on them.
I'm treating the boat like the RV thing.. will take stuff and if it doesn't fit/work will get rid of it. Also if I bring one thing in.. two things have to go. I'm not going to buy stuff if I already have it, but have no problem dumping stuff on the other side. Want comfort not clutter..
Hoping to be on the boat for many years, but also understand we will probably have to return to land at some point.. just planning on a lot small piece of land at that point.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:54 AM   #16
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I live a very active life. I have several expensive bikes (road and mountain), his and hers scuba gear, ski gear, paragliding gear, boat parts that are not currently needed(doors, beds, spares), Xmas decorations, camping gear and some other stuff that I obviously don’t need because I can’t remember what it is. This takes up an 8x10 storage locker. The hard part is knowing when you are done with something. Like the China, silver and crystal for 12. Some day I will need that right, because odds are that when I’m to old to live on a boat I will have a house with a dinning room table that seats 12 like I had in 1988 instead of a view condo in a retirement community.
I'm kind of digging the minimalist idea that my kids have.. so trying to downsize to that without totally giving up my creature comforts.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:54 AM   #17
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Setting realistic expectations is part of the How To Succeed.
The goal should not be to get every decision 100% correct. Plan ahead to get mostly correct and find tune as you learn and find out more.
Moving alone is a major life change add in a life style change and a distant location complicates things. Don't sweat the small stuff and find a way to take some breaks along the way to just enjoy the moment.
This is perfect. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 05-18-2021, 11:17 AM   #18
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Anyway I'm sure it will all work out and we will be cruising soon enough, but any hints on how you all did the transition? Short of lighting a match and walking away?
One very small tip. When we were moving aboard full time from Washington State to our new boat in Florida we priced out a number of means of getting gear to FL. As it turned out the best priced and most easily handled method was shipping everything by ground shipment in medium sized cardboard boxes. From memory I think we filled 27 such boxes.

We shipped 5 boxes every day the 5 days before we left WA. When we arrived (by air) in FL we only had to deal with 5 boxes a day in deliveries. Which gave us time to sort and pack everything away without being overwhelmed.

~A
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Old 05-18-2021, 11:22 AM   #19
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One very small tip. When we were moving aboard full time from Washington State to our new boat in Florida we priced out a number of means of getting gear to FL. As it turned out the best priced and most easily handled method was shipping everything by ground shipment in medium sized cardboard boxes. From memory I think we filled 27 such boxes.

We shipped 5 boxes every day the 5 days before we left WA. When we arrived (by air) in FL we only had to deal with 5 boxes a day in deliveries. Which gave us time to sort and pack everything away without being overwhelmed.

~A
Definitely will keep that in mind. Smart shipping 5 at a time.
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Old 05-18-2021, 12:10 PM   #20
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The wifey and I had our epiphany about "stuff" years ago when we first started talking about moving onto a boat. We quickly, maybe surprisingly quickly, realized that most of our "stuff" had very little money value. Doing simple math of storage costs vs buying new furniture makes it really obvious to get rid of everything that is not going on the boat...

Some of my tools will be hard to let go.

The problem with the word "everything" are the items that have sentimental value. Those are the tough ones. We have some stuff that we would like to keep, and thankfully, it would fit easily in a 5x5 unit so it would not be too expensive to keep. But, even a cheap unit costs a bunch of money after 10 years.

We will will inherit some furniture, which is has high sentimental value, but will be expensive to store and will NOT fit in a 5x5.

To make the calculus even more difficult, I don't think our kids will want much, if any of the "stuff", so WE would be only keeping the "stuff" for us. When we swallow the anchor, will we have room in a new place for this "stuff" or will we even want said "stuff" at that point?

The sentimental "stuff" is where the hard decisions lay.

The other hard realization about sentimental "stuff" is that it is sentimental because of the connections to parent, grandparents, etc. At some point, those connection are lost. Our kids never knew most of their great grandparents. They only have dim memories and the connections to that generation's sentimental "stuff" does not really exist. The connections WE have to sentimental "stuff" may not be there in our kids so why would THEY want the sentimental "stuff" and why should we pay to store that "stuff?"

Later,
Dan
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