Some may find it very daunting when you need to downsize from a house to a boat. However, it can be easier than you think!
Today we are going to share some of our top tips to help you.
This is a great way to make sure you don’t make any rash decisions. Sometimes you can get so caught up in downsizing that you get rid of something you will really need!
Start with things that you already know you won’t be needing. This will make it a little easier when it comes to getting rid of things that are more sentimental to you.
Diving in at the deep end and deciding if you can part with something sentimental can make you reconsider moving onto a boat altogether!
Remember, if you can’t bear the thought of getting rid of something, you can always rent out storage. These can be very expensive and usually, the smaller sizes are in big demand and so can be hard to come by.
The touch rule
A lot of people use this rule to really help them cut out all those things you think are needed, but in reality are just clutter. The rule goes, if you haven’t touched or used it in the last 12 months, get rid of it.
It’s a simple rule and can really help you realise how little you use some items. You may think to yourself “Well, I haven’t used it this year, but I may do next year”. This attitude will not help you to cut anything out. You will find you have ended up with a large ‘maybe’ pile and before you know it, you haven’t thrown anything away at all!
If you haven’t worn clothing for over a year (exceptions to some things such as suits only worn for weddings etc) then get rid of them!
Have you used that big clunky juicer within a year? No? Then get rid of it!
All those ‘prized possessions’ you have that are just sitting in boxes up in the loft? Get rid of them!
It can be very hard to downsize if you are emotionally invested in your possessions. However, the narrowboat lifestyle really can’t accommodate a lifetime’s worth of belongings.
But just because you can’t take them with you doesn’t mean you have to throw them away.
There are many ways in which your possessions can be loved once again.
- Donate to charity shops
- Hand them down to family or friends
- Sell them (you could take them to a car boot sale, sell on a site like eBay or to save on listing prices, sell on Facebook pages or websites such as Gumtree)
- You can donate certain things to schools or colleges (things like fabrics can be used for textile classes etc)
Remember why you are doing it
It can be very daunting to see everything you have ever owned split into groups of ‘keep’, ‘donate’, ‘sell’ etc but remember why you are doing it. Some people want to start again, some people have got so caught up in work that they can’t enjoy life. Some people have an empty nest and have no real reason to stay where they are.
If it gets too hard to bear, simply remind yourself of why you decided to live on a narrowboat in the first place.
This could also be a tough reality check for you. In the end, if you simply can’t leave things behind, perhaps life on the water isn’t for you after all.
Plan out storage on board
Take a look at the storage space you already have on board and utilize it. Some boats will have bare basic storage available, but you can always find space somewhere onboard – you just need to be creative in finding it!
Take a look at our previous blog post about storage boat ideas to get some handy tips and advice on how to make the most of your space onboard. You will be surprised at how much space there actually is on a narrowboat.
Finding and utilizing these spaces will be advantageous for your needs. Even if you don’t plan on bringing a lot of stuff with you, you may find you need space in the future.
Once the hard part is over
Once you have downsized and are onboard your boat, you will find a de-cluttered life so rewarding. You will have a clear and healthy mind and hopefully be much happier all round!
What’s best is it will be very easy to not get cluttered up again as there will now be no room for it!
So now you can just sit back, relax and reap the rewards for all your hard work.
We hope you have found these tips handy. If you have anything else to add to our list, please write them below and share your thoughts!