Saturday, February 18, 2012

Stuff Stuffed Stuffing





Purging


It started with the guest loft. Things had started to accumulate on the spare bed. There are three windows up there and I enjoy the sunshine that comes through the windows. All that stuff piling up was starting to block my sunshine. Boo hoo. 


One must have priorities. When I started to put away some of the things, I decided for some idiotic reason,  to clean and organize one of the cabinets. But as I sorted out the stuff, I realized some of it should go, some should stay and much of it needed to be organized with other stuff in other cabinets. 


I kept hoping something wild would happen to save me from this chore such as a wild fire that got out of control, chasing me to the beach 50 miles away...  I could spell the prescribed burning, but no signs it was threatening. 


After making a huge mess emptying out the cabinet and sorting it into, keep, donate, move, trash and that ever dangerous MAYBE pile...  I realized I was in over my head.  Why on earth did I start this project?  Now every square inch of my wheel estate was resembling the aftermath of a hurricane. 


I came to America with just clothes and few little sentimental things, mostly mermaid gifts from fans, that I used to decorate my wheel estate. Oh and a big pile of pictures. Boxes of pictures, I am going to stick into albums. One of these days. Already bought some albums too. 


When I bought my little old motorhome, it came with sheets, towels dishes and other odds and ends, but no tools. As time has marched onwards, I have sorted out my likes and dislikes, the useful and the clutter. It came with stuff I had no need for like  the 5 inch black and white TV nor the picture puzzle even though it had a cute kitty in the picture. I made room and  bought bargain priced items I needed, mostly from second hand stores.  One day I scored a shoe box of kitchen knives, about 25 in all, for $2. The entire box!  I kept some and gifted some. Though I have a love for knives, there is a limit to how many I can fit in my mini-motorhome. 


Rarely do you ever find hand tools at a second hand store. Not a screwdriver nor wrench. I did buy a rusty old axe at a yard sale, but the guy made me take an antique hand drill and something I can't identify before he would let me have the axe. 


I eventually had to rectify the tool situation as it became apparent I had to shore up the budget by learning to repair what I could.  It's not a task I like at all, but nonetheless, it does help out financially. 


I had rebuilt my hurricane ravaged sailboat from books, tools and pure dumb luck. I guess I could more or less learn to keep the RV held together with a bit more finesse than the usual chewing gum and a paper clip. 


Over my cab area is the guest loft with a queen sized bunk. I keep it made up for company. I love the sunlight that comes through the windows when the curtains are open by day. Recently I sewed up new curtains for it which I insisted on posting pictures here so all could see.  It was a monumental effort, as I had not sewed in ages. 


But when stuff starts piling up there, it blocks the sunlight, fills up the bed and I think ut-oh, I have too much junk if I can't keep it all put away and the place looking ship shape. I'm an old sailor and any sailor that was aboard my sailboat will tell you, it was very well organized. I even had lists in the back of my log book that told me what exotic things were stored in the hard to reach storage areas. 


That was then, this is now. I've been driving around and living with a jumble of "stuff" that is stashed in cabinets with a half-hearted effort towards organization. 


How do we get attached to "stuff"?  


Opening up my cabinets reminded me that there is "stuff" in there I never use or so rarely use, it's not worth the space it takes up to haul it all around. Last year my toaster met the same fate. I can make toast in a fry pan anyhow.  I so rarely used the toaster, it was always spilling crumbs if I didn't store it in a baggy each time. It looked nearly new, came with the motorhome, but I regifted it to a friend. They loved it, because their toaster was fat and looked old. Mine would look newer,  take up less space on their expansive kitchen counters in their stick and brick house. 


Stuff.


We buy homes for our stuff. We buy more stuff to haul around in our cars. Some buy RV's and fill them with stuff. Then there it too much stuff, so we rent storage for our stuff. Going on a trip?  The first thing to come to mind, is "How much stuff can I take with me?"  While we're on vacation, we tend to buy more stuff, then haul it back with our original stuff, sometimes investing in more luggage so we can haul all this stuff back to where we keep all our other stuff. Or most of our stuff. Now we have even more stuff. 


Food Stuff


Organizing my pantry made me realize I probably have enough food to feed the dog and I for 4-6 weeks if we run out of fresh stuff. But a lot of it is deeply discounted bargains I bought. So no more room for food bargains until puppy and I consume some of that stuff. Of course we do cook for friends, so sometimes the food pile is depleted faster. 


But all in all, we could go through a disaster, and probably be fine for a month or more with enough extra to feed some friends. 


Today I went through my heap of towels and sheets. I kept all the good stuff and purged a stack of towels, sheets and pillow cases that I no longer use or need or like or want. I had enough stuff to sleep and bathe a baseball team. It was time to let some that stuff go find a new home. At the same time, I began a BIG bag of clothes to donate, while others were beyond donating, as they were so raggedy they went in the trash bin. Actually my clothes donation ended up rather small, but still every little bit frees up room. 


Another workamper made the mistake of stopping by my RV. I offered him the grab bag. He took all the sheets, pillow cases,  towels and one sweat shirt that doesn't fit me right at all. He declined to take the dresses I was donating, saying he doesn't do drag. 


Now my unwanted stuff is his stuff. And I didn't have to haul it off, he did it for me. Maybe he was impressed by my fancy folding of the sheets and towels. Tee hee hee.  He took the ones with flowers that clash with everything in my RV.  The last owners were color blind. None of the sheets, rugs,  towels or kitchen accouterments coordinated with the decor. Maybe it's just me, but I like to live in harmony. 


Years of working on luxury charter yachts where everything is fancy folded makes it nearly impossible for me to put things like towels, wash cloths, sheets and pillow cases away without fancy folding them first. There is a method to this madness. Not only does it look beautiful, but the fancy folded stuff takes up a lot less room. It stacks up nice and neat. You can actually steal something out of the middle without wrecking the whole stack. 


In the bathroom, which I am very fortunate that my wheel estate came with 4 towel holders built-in to the inside of the door, I also fancy fold my towels there, once they are dry. I like to keep my bath towel there, and a hand towel for my hand washing and drying, plus I go through a small stack of wash cloths weekly because apparently, I am a very dirty person. Or I just get dirty. 


Yep, I'm a fruitcake. No one sees this fancy fold obsessiveness but me. Well, rarely I should say. 


One time I was supremely flattered because a visiting friend was rounding up stuff to go take a shower in the public restrooms at the campground.  My shower stall is very functional, but it's efficient in size, so he wanted the luxury of  the great big showers that typically come with most campgrounds. I have two new big fluffy towels (fancy folded) stashed away just for company. Yeah, I'm a nut!  You can tell I used to be in the hospitality industry. Anyhow, when someone travels with me, I want them to have nearly new fluffy towels for their use. 


He needed a wash cloth too, I directed him to the cabinet where the towels and wash cloths were stashed. I must admit, he commented quite nicely on how beautifully organized the cabinet was. You really can store twice the towels in half the space if you fancy fold them all. 


I put the clothes to be donated in the club house trailer we have out here, with a big note that reads they are donations. I also outfitted the clubhouse with some hand towels for the kitchen that I no longer wanted or needed. I hauled out garbage several times it seems as I found junk to simply throw away. 


Where does it all come from?  This stuff?


Now I have all my "stuff" put away.  With room to spare!  Something must be wrong with this picture.


Oh but then there is the outside basement area which has become total chaos. I shall tackle it another day soon. 


Maybe...


At least for now, I am back to ship shape on the inside and it feels great!  Well I am lighter on my wheels, my neighbor is heavier on his.  





4 comments:

  1. It's great to hear you have 4-6 weeks of food! Always good to "Be Prepared"

    I purged most of my "things" a few years ago, and this new house I bought is urging me to fill it up. I must resist the estate sales (and yard sales)!

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  2. Good deal. I need to work on mine. I did shred 3 boxes of paper work recently, but need to do much more purging. My RV is going into the RV hospital for 10 days starting next week. I'm going to miss it! I'll have to ::shudder:: stay in someone's real house for those days! I prefer sleeping in my RV. Ah well, at least I did cull things out of my food pantry last week. And I am very lucky to have a place to stay while the RV gets fixed!

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  3. Please show me a pic of this "fancy folding" I am very curious. Jeff

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  4. I want to see a picture of your guest loft! Interesting that you have a post about this because today I dropped off some stuff at Goodwill and I really need to go through our stuff and get rid of many items. I used to have empty cabinets, now they are all full. I don't like that! Our RV is 365 sqft and we are four people. The space is great, we don't need more space at all, but some of the stuff needs to go!

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