*** Edit: The pictures you see here were taken when our house was torn apart as we were culling and selling. The back yard is typical of the pre-spring cleanup after a windy winter. We don't normally live like hoarders with a crack problem. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
When we purchased Eione last year it was with every intention of scaling down and moving aboard at some point, but it was only very vaguely talked about as "end of next summer perhaps", not a defined time frame.
As summer 2016 came to an end and we moved into autumn and winter, we still found ourselves spending most nights on the boat. It's cozy and comfortable, the water rocks the boat gently for the most fabulous sleep you've ever had, we have all the mod-cons (albeit scaled down a little) of a furnace, shower and oven - whats not to love? Well walking down the dock at 5:30am in the rain and the dark isn't, but with some rubber boots and a cute matching raincoat it's not really a problem. Besides, Darrin is a short 10 minute drive from his office. For 8 years he did the dreaded Maple Valley-Seattle commute in peak hour traffic both ways and an average of 4 hours a day commuting was taking it's toll on his sanity. So we'd stay on the boat Thursday through Monday every week and sometimes Daz would spend Tuesday out there too, so maintaining two homes was becoming a bit of a drag. While I loved the convenience of being so close to my office, it was my turn to take on a share of the commuting duties and it's really not so bad - I'm against the traffic both ways so it doesn't take nearly as long as it was taking Darrin to go the other way. The added bonus is that by the time I get home Daz is all comfy in his shorts and tshirt, the bed has been made to perfection, stuff has been put away, the decks are clean and more often than not some little boat project has just been completed. Oh and he's relaxed and not stressed and as happy as a clam doing these things, and it's made such a difference to his life. And that makes me happy!
In April of this year home prices really started shooting up and it was at that time we decided to sell the house and make the boat our home. It was a big scary decision. But it was also exhilarating and exciting! While we've been working towards this for a few years, taking this step meant a huge commitment - not just talking about it, not being vague about time lines, there's no "one day we'll live aboard" - it's really happening. And while there was some trepidation, the excitement of actually doing it overtook our concerns and we actively moved forward with getting things done.
Given the housing market, our goal was to get the house listed as soon as possible, but with that came lots of work to get it presentable and also get rid of stuff. It's not like we were moving to another home so everything just goes into boxes to be unpacked at the other end. Scaling down from 2000 sq ft to about 200 sq ft meant we had to think long and hard about every single thing we owned and what would be kept.
After consulting with our agent (and sister!) Petrina, a date was selected 5 weeks out. Not a lot of time to go through 16 years of accumulated crap, get rid of furniture, do some home repairs and move but we were up to the challenge! While the thought of only keeping three pairs of shoes and donating 30 pairs initially gave us some heartburn, as we continued the feeling of liberation of being free of "stuff" became almost addicting. As we looked at boxes and closets and rooms full of crap we hadn't used/worn/needed in 16 years, we realized how all this stuff owned us, not the other way around. It required so much in terms of time and money and effort to maintain it all and until that moment we didn't realize how truly enslaved we were to "things" (although there were moments when we looked at each other after a particularly brutal purge and said "What are we DOING????).
Once that realization dawned though, there was no stopping us - Goodwill became our most visited drive-through. Craigslist was our new best friend. Ebay listings were updated on a daily basis. Garage Sales were advertised and signs put out. Furniture began to disappear and with it all went that feeling of being enslaved to "things", replaced by a feeling of relief and freedom.