Save, Sell, Surrender

Downsizing the amount of “stuff” in our life

to simplify, as by reducing the number of one’s possessions 


Downsize. Downsize. Downsize.  This has been our life for the last several months.  I’ve been going through things, slowly, starting with clothing and moving forward from there.  The task of downsizing is beginning to feel as if it will never end!  I get through one closet, dresser, room, etc. and then discover there are more things I am 99% certain I can live without.  Quite honestly, TJ is more attached to his stuff than I am to mine!  (This is the reason why I downsize more stuff when he is at work versus when he is home. Shhh….)

The current situation:  Our bedroom looks like the closet decided to upchuck all over the room.  For those who haven’t seen our closet, it is a rather large walk-in and even with so much of its contents strewn about our bedroom I can hardly walk through it!  Two dressers still take up space in the closet, as well as a large Rubbermaid tote and a tuff box full of sailing/summer stuff.  Then you add in clothes that ARE clean and NOT put away because I am too busy going through everything else and you have a recipe for a Grade A disaster of a closet.  The sad part?  Vivienne’s closet is still the same way.  Only in addition to her dresser and clean clothes in a basket, is another basket of baby clothes to pass on to a friend, a crib, crib bedding, and many other items we haven’t used in quite some time.  See my problem?  Stuff, stuff, stuff, and MORE STUFF.  I very openly admit we have too much stuff.  We are a product of a materialistic society, after all.  Case and point…Vivienne’s overfull toy room.  (so…many…toys…)

In my defense though, several of the toys you see pictured were mine as a child so they are hand-me-down toys.  Now…what to do with them?  Some of these toys have more sentimental value to me than they ever will to Vivienne.  My American Girl dolls will surely end up back in a box, except for the one Vivienne plays with most.  The Beanie Babies (yeah, you remember those)….their fate is to be determined.  And so goes the process not just with toys but with EVERYTHING.

The questions I ask myself with each item of clothing, toys, piece of furniture:

  1. Is it an heirloom?  (Yes=save for storage/give to my sisters, No=sell or give away)
  2. Will I use it onboard? (Potentially=save and ask TJ/other liveaboards, No=bye,bye item)

In talking to others who are liveaboards or cruising sailors, many say the same thing…they saved too much stuff.  They did exactly what we are doing and put a ton of stuff into a storage unit to save in case they might need it but quickly realized they don’t.  Maybe if they became landlubbers again they would want it but they certainly don’t want or need it where they are now.

So, as I/we continue to sort items, pack, and prepare to become liveaboards/sail away, we will try to keep asking ourselves the two questions above.  Not only that, but we will keep in the mind the words of a friend who is currently a liveaboard and sailing away:
“I have a storage unit full of stuff I realize I don’t need.  And another trailer full at my parents house.  It is amazing how simple you can live when you decide to.”

Par la Foi,
The McKelveys

~~All things are possible for those who believe. -Mark 9:23~~

PS: Merry Christmas from the McKelvey family!  We hope you enjoy this time of year and join us in focusing on the friends and family aspect versus the gifts and materialistic part.


One thought on “Save, Sell, Surrender

  1. Hi Lane and T.J.:
    I have enjoyed reading your blogs as you prepare to become a live aboard! I feel like I am part of your adventure as I imagine how you must feel every step of the way!!

    Know that I am praying for your safety and joy in this adventure and ministry!!!
    Darlene (Greenwood)


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