I love living on Moonraker. Every day is a new adventure, in a new place. People are laid-back and eager to visit. We all sleep well, with the gentle rocking. I don’t have to clean the shower. But, most importantly, housework takes five minutes. I do it every morning, while the water is heating for the coffee. Then, the rest of the day is ours to enjoy.
When we came home, the housework was waiting. Our house has long been overrun with stuff. Ever since we met two minimalists, two years ago (they lived on a 29 foot Chris Craft), we have been interested in that sort of lifestyle. Less stuff means less stress. Less housework. More time for fun. The problem has been moving from dream to reality.
We got rid of stuff. We got rid of a lot of stuff. But there were still things that we “might use.” Things people gave us. Things we found at rummage sales. Parts taken from things we threw away. I only owned four outfits and three plates, but we had so many computer odds and ends that we didn’t know where to put them.
For awhile, I tried selling things on e-bay. This had limited success, and I ended up turning the extra bedroom into the “e-bay room.” Then, I began placing things in there, to see how we would do without them. It became “purgatory.” And nothing seemed to leave purgatory. Then, our trailer broke, so we placed large items in there. You could barely see the floor!
This time, after spending many joyful weeks on Moonraker, and being forced to leave too soon, we came home with a vengeance. I started out planning to get rid of 100 items each day, until we went back to the boat. We quickly surpassed that.
We’ve gone through each room. If an item hasn’t been used in the past year, it’s gone. If we didn’t have it on Moonraker, we question it. Three carloads to Goodwill later, we’ve made it through the house. For the first time in 5 years, every room is usable.
We plan to go through each room again. There is no set amount of items to keep, or get rid of. I’ve read about people trying to limit themselves to 100 possessions, and it does seem like a good goal. (However, with all the exceptions people make, I would be there already!). Voluntary simplicity is about keeping only what matters most, not about martyring yourself. So, I’ll keep Beanie’s vast inventory of therapy toys and puzzles. But I will get rid of anything we don’t use.
After we’ve gone through the rooms, I’ll start Fly Lady’s program. She has simple cleaning projects to do each day, and I’ll post my before and after pictures every Friday. It should be fun!
After that, I will be able to follow a schedule like Heather’s on the Wanting What You Have blog. I have tried to follow this type of schedule before, but my house was such a cluttered mess, that the cleaning was not rewarding in the least. If I declutter and get everything clean in the first place, following a schedule should be easy.
By the time I’m at that point, I should have plenty of time for other things. That is the goal!
Here are some pictures of my progress.
First, our computer room at the top of the stairs. Much less cluttered!
Our living room.
The bathroom didn't change much.
Beanie's bedroom had already been decluttered quite a bit.
The Bean's "therapy toys," for guided play are stored in her closet.
The extra bedroom was a big accomplishment. You could not walk through this room! Rob wanted to have one e-bay shelf, for things he's selling.
If the shoes don't fit in here, we don't keep them!
Now we're getting close to the basement, our biggest project. This is the landing at the top of the stairs.
Open space on the floor! We plan to move our living quarters to the basement in the winter, so we've got quite the task ahead of us.
Our entertainment center, with every vintage video game system you can imagine. This will be reworked, and the fridge will be removed.
Snack bar and laundry. The veggie oil filtering system will be removed. It's way too messy to keep indoors!
The area under the stairs was completely packed with full totes, with random stuff crammed between them. Now we plan to make it into a closet for Beanie's therapy toys.
Rob's workshop--actually usable now!
So, today I will go through each room and declutter even more. Then, I will begin Fly Lady, with daily updates on my progress. We’re going to Alpena on Wednesday, and we may or may not be coming back before summer is over (depending on Moonraker’s progress). After we come back, I’ll post my Fly Lady progress every Friday.