Downsizing – Now It’s Getting Real

downsizing to live on a boat

Downsizing Part 2 – Things are getting real

In my last post, I shared that we had looked at some apartments in Seattle and started to clear out clutter as we begin downsizing from our home.  A lot has happened since that post!

Over the past few weeks, I have been purging everything in this house. Family photos and memorabilia have been divided up. Bedrooms and closets are completely cleared out and our kitchen has only the items left that we are keeping. As you know, we entertain A LOT and so we had over 36 plates, 40 wine glasses, 24 martini glasses and platters galore! Yes, we are having a garage sale this Saturday and anything we don’t sell, we’ll give away to Northwest Center.

downsizing a home

downsizing a home

Purging all of your belongings is emotional, whether we want to admit it or not. So many of the items we are getting rid of have great memories, but then I ask myself, “when was the last time you used it or looked at it?” That’s when you know it’s time to let it go.

Then I packed up the things we are keeping, but don’t anticipate to use over the next month. But just this week alone, I went to grab a platter or utensil, only to realize I packed it already.  Some folks have asked me why we are already packing if our house isn’t listed yet.  If you know me, you know I’m very organized and a planner. Since I’m not working right now, I want to take full advantage of my free time and do what we can.

Looking at more apartments in Seattle

The apartments we looked at last time were listed on www.apartments.com and they all had fabulous amenities, but the actual units were very stark and industrial. For us to move from a large home to an apartment, it’s character that’s important to us, versus size. These apartments also were very expensive – almost $3000/month! That’s because you are paying for huge gyms and theater rooms.

The other day I found two apartments on Craigslist and decided to check them out as they were different and much more affordable.  Both are located in the Queen Anne neighborhood. These didn’t have any amenities, which explains their price. The first one we looked at was a townhome apartment. The bedrooms were downstairs and the living area was upstairs. It was definitely unique and had beautiful views of Elliott Bay, but in the end, it wasn’t for us.

downsizing

The next unit that Scott and I looked at was a penthouse in a building that only had sixteen units. What I really liked about this unit, is how “homey” it felt. It has a very large master bedroom, large kitchen, fireplace and also great views. Unfortunately this unit won’t last long and we hope something similar to it comes available when we are ready.

downsizing to live on a boatYes, the balcony is tiny, but we plan on spending all of our sunny days on the boat. Elliott Bay Marina is only five minutes away. So fingers crossed that we find this jewel again.

Meeting with Realtors

Now it’s time to interview realtors and find out what our options are. As you may or may not know, our home is one of a kind for our neighborhood.  It’s open and perfect for entertaining, but what makes it very special is the view. Not only do we have views of Downtown Seattle and the Olympic Mountains, but we also can see the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.  We will definitely miss the views, as they never get old.

downsizing from a large home

With the views, you also get wildlife and lots of it!

downsizing to live on a boat

Back to the realtors and listing our home. In this process we want to take our time to meet with different real estate professionals and see how they can best market our home. In addition to this task, we are also thinking about refinishing our floors and installing new carpet.  This week I have been busy meeting with companies & getting quotes. Ugh. We are also going to work on the landscaping, so to say we have our hands full is an understatement.

Everyone is asking us “when when when?”.  Since we are not in a rush to sell, we are going to take our time to decide what to do. I remodeled my first home myself and am considering doing some of this work.  We’ll keep you posted and let you know when it’s finally for sale. Just know that we are closer today than we were a few months ago to finally making the move!  Stay tuned for the next update.

Cheers, Scott and Ally

 

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Downsizing to Live on a Boat

downsizing to live on aboat

Downsizing our Home

Scott and I have been working on downsizing our home for the past year. You will recall that two years ago we were making preparations for me to move to Belize and we began removing clutter.  That project is never ending.

Since I have not been working these past few months, we decided to take advantage of my time off and really concentrate on prepping the house and downsizing. Are we selling our house you ask? The answer is yes, but we don’t know when. Obviously, we want to take advantage of the market and so we are monitoring it carefully.

We’ve all read stories about couples selling everything they own to move onto a boat. In fact, just this week a young couple sold everything, bought a boat and two days later it sank. Unfortunately, they were not experienced sailors and the romance of the journey lead them down the wrong path. Scott and I plan on taking baby steps towards living on a boat, to make sure we can do it.

Moving to an Apartment or Condo

Before we decide to make the jump to a 50′ boat, we have decided to move to Downtown Seattle and live in an apartment or condo. This will really tell us if we can live in a very small space with limited storage. Not knowing what was out there, we toured four complexes a few weeks ago.

Ideally, we are looking for a two bedroom, two bath, but we did look at one bedrooms too. If you haven’t looked at apartments lately, it will be a shock. I haven’t lived in an apartment since 1990.

Queen Anne Neighborhood

The first one we looked at was way too small and not anything we would want to live in. Next we ventured to Expo on lower Queen Anne. Scott and I loved that it had all of the amenities and numerous restaurants below the apartment complex.  They also had a fabulous roof top deck, so you could enjoy the outdoors during the summer.

downsizing to live on a boat
Rooftop Deck on the Expo Apartments. Our marina is in the distance.
downsizing to live on aboat
View of the Space Needle from the rooftop deck of the Expo Apartments

Instead of doing “studio” apartments, the new thing now is “one bedroom suites”, which have a glass door enclosing the bedroom and a 3/4 wall separating it from the living room. This would be great for a single person, but not a married couple accustomed to living in a big house.

downsizing to live on a boat
Instead of a studio, the one bedroom features a frosted door

The bedroom above, is directly across from the kitchen.

downsizing to live on a boat
Kitchen for the one bedroom apartment

Scott and I were surprised that all of the apartments we looked at, offered full size amenities, such as washer, dryer, dishwashers and refrigerators.

downsizing to live on a boat
Full size washer and dry in every unit

So did we find anything we liked? Actually, we did like the two bedroom, two bath unit at Expo. The key will be if these units are available when we are ready to move.

downsizing to live on a boat
Kitchen in the two bedroom apartment at Expo
downsizing to live on a boat
Master bathroom in the two bedroom apartment at Expo

Ballard Neighborhood

From Queen Anne, we set out to view a new building in Ballard called Leva. The apartments in this building were very simple and it was obvious you would need to use your furniture to create the different living spaces.

downsizing to live on a boat
Main living area for the two bedroom apartment at Leva
downsizing to live on a boat
Rooftop deck at Leva featuring a fireplace & dining

Many people are reminding us that living in a 950 sq ft apartment is going to be a shock, but that is the point. It’s better to move to a very small space on land & see how we like it, before we invest in a boat.

Removing Clutter

First on my list is tackling my photo albums and family keepsakes. Since we don’t have children to pass them on to, I have been dividing everything up for other family members. Not only do I have over twenty photo albums of my own, but I had my parent’s and my grandparent’s albums. So I have been scanning photos for almost a month. As weird as this will sound to many, after I scan the photos, I throw away the albums. No need to keep them anymore, as they won’t fit on a boat. The photos I’ve kept to divvy up.

downsizing to live on a boat

Next we have been dividing up our “stuff” into four (piles).

  • Keep & Store (we will get a storage unit)
  • Sell
  • Donate
  • Throw away

It’s amazing how much stuff one couple can accumulate over sixteen years. Some of it, we have never touched or seen in that amount of time.  At the same time, we are “downsizing”, so we have to look at those items we do use regularly. For example, do we need 12 bath towels, 36 wine glasses & 5 sets of sheets if we’re living in an apartment?

Next we have been painting bedrooms and some common areas. Funny that two of the bedrooms were never painted, so now they look really good.

downsizing to live on a boat

There’s a lot yet to do, but I am the type of person who wants to maximize my time and so this is what I’m tackling now since I have the time available.

Won’t you miss your house and view?

That’s the question everyone keeps asking us. Until you get to this stage, you can’t understand why we are doing this.  Scott and I live in a four bedroom, three bath, three living room, two dining area, etc house and only use a fraction of it. While we will miss our amazing view, we are simply swapping it out for another great view.

So stay tuned for our next update! The next month will be full of big changes.

Cheers, Scott and Ally

 

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#BoatingJourney #KokomoSeattle

 

 

Boat Safety & Comfort

cruising boat pnw

Boat Show Takeaways including Safety & Comfort

At this year’s Seattle Boat Show, Scott and I found ourselves talking to different vendors about safety and comfort.  If we are going to keep Kokomo for another year, I want to make some changes to help improve these items.

boating safety

SmartPlug

I had read about the SmartPlug product and we were thrilled that we got the chance to talk with them since boat safety is so important to us. Basically, this shore power kit, replaces not only your power cord, but also the plug in on your boat. The primary purpose of this is to prevent fires (which is one of my biggest fears). Did you know that shore power delivery systems have remained virtually unchanged since they first came out in 1938?!

boat safety

 

boat safety

boat safety

boat safety

 

After talking to the rep, the installation is very easy. Simply remove the four screws on the old plate, cut the wires and insert them into the corresponding slots for each wire. The key here is to make sure the new plate is sealed tightly!

boat safety

You can buy the entire kit or the parts separately. If we buy the entire kit with the adapter plate, the cost is about $400 for everything, but Fisheries Supply is offering a great sale right now, for about $275. To me, this is worth the cost and we will be swapping out our cord this year.

Side Note on Safety

A few weeks ago, Scott and I went down to check on the boat and run the engines as we have been doing all winter long. I was down in the cabin cleaning and Scott was up in the cockpit. The engines had been running for about fifteen minutes, as we wanted to get them up to temperature.  I decided to plug in the vacuum to charge it and laid it on the counter.

All of a sudden, a very loud alarm went off in the cabin! Scott and I couldn’t tell where it was coming from, so I shouted at him to turn off the engines and I unplugged the vacuum (LOL). We kept looking up on the ceiling and finally we found the culprit.  Our carbon monoxide detector was up on the shelf in the galley and had been set off due to the engines running.  Turns out the curtains were hiding the detector, which you can now see out in the open.

boating safety

Moral of the story, is make sure you not only ventilate your cabin well while running your engines BUT also make sure you have a First Alert Carbon Monoxide Detector. It works! Boat safety is your number one priority when boating.

boat safety

 

Boat Comfort

Okay, back to the boat show! One of our other goals (if we can afford it) is to upgrade our mattress on the bed. Right now, we have a somewhat thin pad. Here’s a photo I took after “prepping the boat for winter“.

winterizing boat bedding

Currently, we use two foam pads on top of the bed to help cushion ourselves.

marine bedding

Even these two pads, don’t make much of a difference.  So we talked to two companies at the show.

Friendly Foam

These guys have three locations in Seattle, Bellevue and Everett. You can visit their showrooms and try out different pads. They said I could even email them our dimensions and they would give me an estimate. We plan on visiting their showroom, as I wasn’t comfortable laying on their beds at the show!

boat safety

 

King Marine Canvas – Handcraft Mattress Company

The other company, King Marine Canvas is located right near the marina on Commodore Way. Again, you can go into their showroom and check out all of their products. They make both mattresses with regular bedding covers or you can do a custom fabric like the one we have on the boat. Josh, the sales rep was super helpful and friendly!

boat safety

So hopefully, one of these will fit into our budget so we can finally sleep comfortably on the boat.

Needless to say, since it’s February 2, 2018, we are ready for Spring & Summer to arrive. We are anxious to get the boat ready and spend some time on the water.  Stay tuned for our next update!

Cheers,

Scott & Ally

 

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