Going to live on a narrowboat has a something to do with money, something to do with courage, and a lot to do with planning. Once you get rid of all the junk, you need to plan what you are going to throw away, or put on Marktplaats, otherwise you sleep on the floor, the last nights in the house.

So I put everything that is still in my house in an Excel file. And decide where it will go to, and when. The ‘Where’ can be Scotland/boat, the neighbours, the Second Hand Shop, eBay, or the skip. For the ‘When’ I create three phases: from now till the fifth of April (the Open Houses Day), from the fifth of April till the start of our holidays ( the third of May), and a final stage.

I then mail the neighbours, and take pictures of everything that goes on eBay. Which means for example taking every book out of the box, take a picture, and put it back into the box.

Box 1 of 4 with Science Fiction books for eBay

Box 1 of 4 with Science Fiction books for eBay

And last Sunday I put the first of my belongings on eBay. And sell three of the items already that same day…! See what I mean with planning? I never thought I would get a reaction at all on anything I would put on eBay, so I did put my bed on it. Luckily I have not got a reaction on that, because that definitely has to stay until after the Open Houses Day. After that I will sleep in the spare bed, which is too old to sell, and will go to the skip.

I also prepare the first boxes for Scotland. They will go on a Euro pallet, and will ship to Aberdeen in a truck of a well-known company, as and when there is space left in a curtainsider. Of course, all these boxes need to have a label, so I know what is in which box, and whether the contents are fragile.

Box 2/8: Fragile

Box 2/8: Fragile

One box contains my three hurricane lights (ideal for long summer nights on the boat, sitting outside). But there is still paraffin in them, so that has to be on the label as well.

Box 3/8: Hazardous

Box 3/8: Hazardous

Once I have done all this, I make a backup of my desktop computer, take the hard disk out, and put the computer in the cellar, ready for the Second Hand Shop. The monitors are back in the original boxes, and on eBay. And now I’m sitting at an absolutely empty office desk. All that is left, is my laser printer, my scanner, a light and my laptop.

What a pleasure it must be to work in such a tidy environment...!

What a pleasure it must be to work in such a tidy environment…!

At the moment I absolutely enjoy the fast amount of space I created in my house over the last year. It is so much more peaceful, compared to the time when everything was cluttered. Just hope it won’t take too long before we have our boat. Otherwise I have to adjust to the clutter again…!

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