Let's just start out with the simple fact that I am not a very good nor diligent housekeeper. I would rather live in my living space than keep it impeccable in case of company. Am I a bit embarrassed that my home is always rather cluttered? A smidgeon, yes; but not much and not enough to motivate me to change my ways. Instead, when I have guests I ply them with liquor so that they will be in good spirits and hopefully ignore or forget the clutter. If having the settee and cushions "just so" is more important than good company, good drink, and good food, they probably won't long be my friends anyway.
That said, there is a point at which the space is no longer functional when piled high with clutter. Those who visited my home when I lived ashore know that moving aboard was a harsh intervention for this hoarder! So, admitting that one does actually need to be able to sit on the settee...I undertook to enforce some order upon the space.
|Settee, piled high with clothes and "stuff"
|Dinette, piled with tools, insulation, cushions and more clothes
|Crew cuddle cups at the dinette
|Nav desk piled high with tools, cleaning supplies, and running gear
Don't think for a minute that I don't know where everything is aboard. It may be crazy, but I can thrust my hand into the middle of a stack of "stuff" and pull out the tool or gloves I was looking for!
Cleaning up the salon was not simply about relocating the piles of stuff so that some surfaces were visible. Storage lockers needed to be cleaned, bulky housing insulation removed, and Reflectix insulation properly installed. The dinette was missing a cushion. Other cushions needed to be re-purposed.
|Eewww! Wet, moldy housing insulation taking up needed storage space!
I am loathe to hack up items and risk ruining them. But that's silly. These huge cushions from some fancy chairs I got rid of in 2005 were taking up space aboard. They were four inches too big to fit the dinette.
|24" x 30" when I need 24" x 26"... what to do?
|Took the plunge, tossed the cover, and cut away the batting
|Just need to trim the cushion down
|Used my dad's river knife to trim the cushions
I saved the "logs" of foam I trimmed from the cushions and saved the batting. I now have my sewing machine aboard, so when I get around to it, I will make some roll pillows and sew up some nice covers for the dinette cushions. For now, some sheets folded around them will suffice.
|The dinette seats two, if the cats will let you in
|The settee to starboard also has a large table that drops down from the bulkhead
I haven't managed to clear off the nav desk yet and the ample galley gear and provisions are still in the process of finding their "spots." I cannot afford to waste space and need every locker to be used in the most space-efficient manner I can muster. My djembe (drum) does double-duty as a laptop desk!
I freely admit I still have too much stuff, both in general and on the boat, but it is a process to weed out the items I really can put to good use and that which I can live without--and which is which is not always what one may first assume! Nonetheless, it feels good to make little bits of progress aboard here and there, chip away at the "to do" list, and meet wonderful new liveaboard friends along the way.