Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Clip clip trim trim

Listening to "Kiss With A Fist" by Florence + The Machine

For quite a few years I traveled between places as dictated by the season.  Summer lodge, winter ski town, summer resort, winter ski town.  The constant travel, plus the general miniscule size of employee housing, meant that everything I owned could be packed quite easily into my tiny Honda Civic hatchback.  A couple of bankers boxes, several duffles, a roof rack and I was ready to move on.  

Then, I found that the ski town suited me quite nicely and I started to put down some roots.  This is how the slow spread started.  Much like a cubicle worker sitting for eight hours on an office chair, my bottom line started expanding.  I collected books, acquired several house plants, lost a few due to my complete lack of a green thumb, and generally gathered more clothing and gear than I had ever had before.  Backpacking, hiking, rafting, downhill skiing, cross country skiing...the list went on and on and before I knew what happened I had become a bonafide house dweller with stuff.

The next time I moved was not so easy, and as Drake and I draw closer to our push off date I am reminded of that.  Paragon has been in the safety and comfort of a marina for so long that she's fallen victim to the excess of stuff that plagues many a house.  Drake and I both became somewhat lax when it came down to a cardinal rule of boats:  A place for everything and everything in its place.  

No where is this rule more important than in a small space, but I think especially on a boat.  A coffee cup haphazardly left on the edge of the book shelf is not simply a coffee cup but potentially a lethal weapon once the boat goes out to sea and begins to roll and bounce.  In addition to the safety issue, it's simply not feasible or comfortable to have more than you need while living in such a compact space.  Therefore, the trimming has begun.  

The galley seemed like a manageable place to start, especially since it is used every day, several times a day.  We have a space that runs behind the stove and counter that holds just about every condiment and sauce we might ever need to cook.  It had also become, unbeknownst to me, the place where condiments went to die.  I swear I have cleaned this out in the last year, yet I still found fermented plum preserves, a crusty tahini jar with a lid so rusted it crumbled in my hand, and an extremely suspect jar of capers from 2008.  

I pulled everything out, threw away anything that looked capable of intelligent thought, soaked and washed the Dri-Dek that lines the bottom, washed every jar, and replaced the containers in the most ergonomic way possible.  Things that are used most often are right in front, things that are rarely used are on the edges, and things that were never used are resting comfortably in the recycling bin.  

How did this all fit?

Dri-Dek up and first scrub finished

Bottles clean and put away

I even have extra space!

I know this is a small step, but hacking away at one unruly section of the boat and seeing it come together in such a lovely way feels great.  I only hope the spare parts locker goes as well!

A welcoming sight


  1. Looking Good Mo !! Keep up the good work, I am excited for you two and will be following daily :)
    I was wondering if you could elaborate on the wood burning stove you put in, or remind me of the post about it if you did one. I am very interested in what you think of it. Having been cought in Charleston in Nov. a couple years ago, My next boat will have a wood stove.

    Thanks, Dean

    ps. my friend is building a "tiny house" and is interested too.

    1. You know, I have not written a post about the wood stove, but what a great idea. There was a lot that went into the entire process, but so so worth the trouble. It is probably my favourite of our three (yes three!) heaters.

      Btw, it would be perfect for a tiny house!

    2. I will be watching for the heater blog :)

      Thanks Dean

  2. Love the reminder....thank you. Things you think are needed aren't really so, as you say, they're better off in the recycle bin on the dock. Just last night I was pondering unnecessary things sitting on the shelf in the galley that need to go. And so they will. Last Sunday I cleaned out the medicine cabinet in the forward head...boy, was it a mess and now it is all clean!

    I'm anxiously waiting for videos from your upcoming trip so please don't let me down. Your videos have me thinking of strapping on a video camera and doing some filming of my own. It seems appropriate given that the name of my boat is Shutter Speed.

    Fair winds & following seas....

    Dick Dixon
    Shutter Speed
    Beneteau 42s7

    1. Oh no! You've just reminded me that I need to clean out OUR medicine cabinet as well as the lockers in the forward head…I'm thinking tomorrow. It's amazing how quickly stuff piles up, but lovely when things have been cleared out and delegated to their proper places once again.

      With a name like Shutter Speed I think you absolutely must break out the camera and give it a whirl! Have fun!

  3. Reminded me of a George Carlin routine on "stuff"....

    1. Mmmmmm, love love love George Carlin. Almost got a chance to see him once, but circumstance interceded.