Who Wants My Sh…tuff?

May 9, 2011

For the last week or so I’ve been in a terminal velocity free fall of stress. Yes it’s cruising related but probably not what you would think. The stress derives from the notion that I don’t want to own anything (after we drop the dock lines) that we can’t fit in the ManVan or on our boat. I don’t want a storage unit, or a bunch of stuff squirreled away in friends/family’s houses and I don’t want to save anything that I don’t love and expect to dream about regularly while we’re cruising.  In fact I want the few possessions that we hold on to to be so significant that I actually consider swallowing the hook in order to be able to use them again. I don’t want to hold on to any sh…tuff.

What’s particularly strange about this stress is that I’ve always been the hyper-sentimental one. I’m the guy that saved every note that a girl passed me in Jr High School, or a token from a theme park I went to in High School. I was never a pack-rat per se but, well you get the drift. Over the last 17 years Victoria has slowly eroded some of that sentimentality. It’s been replaced with a sensible pragmatism. Our boathold is host to phrases such as “This toy is like a balloon, enjoy it while it’s here” or “we haven’t used that [xyz] in months, let’s get rid of it.”

Lately it’s been taken to a whole new level. For example. Tonight, Vick ran into a dock-mate at the laundry. Naturally, she invited him right over for drinks, and informed me about it after the fact. My reaction… “Do I have to wear pants?” No, I’m not a naturalist or anything, she had BOTH of my pants in the wash.

So back to the sh…tuff that’s stressing me out. We have this storage unit. When we moved there were a bunch of question mark items, or valuable things that we couldn’t sell in time (high end home theater, guitar amp, etc) . Also in storage are some really large things that we think make the pragmatic cut (my bike, our teak dinner table, blown glass, kitchen aid mixer…). The later can probably be Tetris stacked into the ManVan at the last minute; the former, well, they have to go. The problem is that every time I think about them, I start to space out, then realize I’m spacing out, then lock up, then get stressed. My stress response is to shut down. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Until last month our milestones were separated by years (or at least many months). This last month+ has seen several all on top of one another. This acceleration of perceived progress has really brought home how much we have to do and how little time we have to get it all done. So over the next few months stay tuned for more articles on “Minimalism as a Form of Torture,” “Sh…tuff for Sale,” “How I Fit All the Sails On Board and Could Still Sit Down.”


  1. Comment by Serena

    Serena May 10, 2011 at 3:26 am

    I often want to start over with a completely blank slate so that we can enjoy the freedom of not owning any possessions that weigh us down. I call it my pseudo-monk wannabe side. The reality is that I’m not so willing to give up the small Le Creuset set that was given to my parents for THEIR wedding (and which I want to pass on to my kids), the beautiful mahogany mirror frame that Tig made, and his childhood violin. The cognitive dissonance between what I want and the reality does stress me out.

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford May 10, 2011 at 7:33 am

      Serena, A. Men. The temptation to just walk away from it all is overwhelming right now. This is the only thing I can think of that absolutely must get taken care of before we can leave.

  2. Comment by Dan Bernard

    Dan Bernard May 10, 2011 at 5:25 am

    Perhaps try ” Uncle Henry’s “. Stuff in storage seems like a luxry , there are plenty of people on the streets that would love to have that problem, donate to charity.

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford May 10, 2011 at 7:29 am

      You make a good point. We’ve donated a ton of stuff already and will certainly drop off more before we go. The things that need a new home right now are luxury items and we need to sell them to finance the trip. I have been tempted to just give them away, but I know that would be a cop out.

  3. Comment by boatbaby

    boatbaby May 10, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Getting rid of stuff is like losing weight, it’s hard but it feels AWESOME and you will never want it back. Just do it! We have been aboard 13 years and never a storage space. Of course we still have a big boat filled with stuff and look forward to getting rid of more (stuff and weight). But we’ve never missed the things we tossed.

  4. Comment by Victoria

    Victoria May 10, 2011 at 7:36 am

    The physical bulk of our storage is sails. We pulled out seven of eleven of them yesterday that we need to decide what to do with. Surely the kids’ berths could get filled with them…. Cindy don’t forget you have twice as much boat with dedicated sail storage!
    As for donations, we’ve given carloads and truckloads of stuff to charity and still have more to go as we get closer (warm clothes, etc.). We’ve sold pounds and pounds of books (in trade for store credit, which we may have to donate since we may be full up with books). But there are some things that we’re wanting to save for someday like kitchen stuff, my fancy sewing machine, photos, and a few handmade things. We may decide in a year that we want to be sea gypsies forever though.

  5. Comment by forgeover via Facebook

    forgeover via Facebook May 10, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Torre, We did craigslist the valuable stuff before we moved and didn’t get any (non-flakey) bites. We’ll definitely try again. The trouble is that it’s in storage and with the kids that can make for a major static barrier.

  6. Comment by forgeover via Facebook

    forgeover via Facebook May 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

    oh, I should clarify. We sold a ton on craigslist, what we have left is the stuff that got no (non-flakey) bites.

Comments are closed.

Go top