It turns out that downsizing from a four bedroom house into a boat is fairly difficult. Who would have thought? We started about a year and a half ago, simply trying to minimize our possessions. We have been bringing car load after car load to Goodwill all that time, but still we had/have way too many things.
We bought the RV to live in while we are looking for and transitioning to a boat, and it was a good tool to use for figuring out how much we could take. We got rid of so much, but still when we left the house, the RV was so packed that there was no actual walking room left. It’s all those odds and ends that tripped us up, just like we were expecting. Our wonderful neighbors, Sue and Randy helped out so much by taking some of the left over furniture and other things we were donating at the end, so that we didn’t have to rent a truck to bring them to donate. They drove by on our last night and saw how much we still had piled in the garage, and were so wonderful to help out. They have been the best neighbors ever!
My parents were great by letting us stay for a couple of days and park the RV in their driveway while we sorted out the last of the things to donate and put things away (although we still have a donate box in the RV as we are traveling for things we are still deciding we can do without).
It was also really nice to spend a little extra time with family.) We also got to take the time to go to our niece Eva’s house for a wonderful turkey dinner. It was her first turkey and it was perfect! It was really nice to see her one last time. We also got to hear before we left that she got the new job she was hoping for!
Back to downsizing, I have decided that I am never going to live like this again. We had so much stuff that we never use. There were boxes that had been moved several times, never even being unpacked! That’s crazy! One of the things we are looking forward to with our new lifestyle, is having less things. The materialistic nature of our society is something that we just don’t buy into (terrible pun, I know) and we don’t want to do it anymore. We also always held onto things because they might be useful later on. But if we haven’t used something in years, why hold onto it? We don’t want to do that anymore either. So even when/if we come back to a land-based life, we are going to try to live as minimalist as possible. We will be much happier for it.
The absolute hardest part about our downsizing was finding a new home for our cats. We decided pretty early on that we would bring our dog, Kevin with us, but there was no way that our cats would be alright living on a boat. We had Princess and Snowball for almost 13 years, since they were kittens. We tried for 9 months to find them a new home, but it was difficult to find anyone that would want two elderly cats and would be willing to take both of them together. Luckily, Ruff Start Rescue was able to find a foster home for them, just three days before we closed on the house. We were relieved both that they will have a safe home and that we wouldn’t have to put them through the stress of bringing them with us. Although it is just a foster home, Ruff Start will continue to work to find a permanent home for them where they can live out their golden years.