Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place - staying organized on a boat

I always thought it was Ben Franklin who coined the phrase, "A place for everything and everything in its place." But not surprisingly, according to Phrase Finder (, several early citations are from nautical contexts. Here's an example from Frederick Marryat's Masterman Ready or the Wreck of the Pacific, 1842: "In a well conducted man-o-war, every thing is in its place and there is a place for every thing."

I have my own version of this: "There is a pile for every thing and every thing is in its pile." I am a "pilot". I pile it here and I pile it there. However, on the boat that is not an option. We have to be able to put our hands on what we need quickly. So it is imperative that everything on the boat has a designated spot and is returned to that spot when not in use. We even tell each other where we are putting something new so that, hopefully, one of us will remember where it is.

Side berth storage 
Over the last several days we have been stocking Wrinkles. Storage on this boat is completely different from our previous boat. There is significantly more storage but in different configurations from the CP-19. We have shelves with doors along the port and starboard sides of the cabin that we didn't have before. There are also two long compartments under the side berths that provide room for the larger items. However, we lost the galley that Mike made for the CP 19 that had two pull-put drawers. Now we get to find the perfect places for all the things we carry. We need to remember that just because there is more room doesn't mean we need to carry more stuff. Well maybe one more ......

I'm sure there will be a trip to the local discount store to find containers that will fit the various shaped cubbies. The compartment under the side berths is long and narrow with only an 18" square opening for access. The previous owners used a system we had heard other sailors mention - rectangular plastic tubs hooked together by a rope in a train-like fashion. The tubs can be slid back and forth so that the needed item is positioned under the opening. I think this might be the perfect spot for canned goods, coffee press, pitcher, etc. on one side and water cannon, slushie mobile, flashlights, etc. on the other.

Train buckets under side berths
I've had to retrain myself for life on a boat. I try very hard to not just set something down - I take the extra couple of seconds needed to make sure the item is returned to its correct spot. Now if I could only accomplish this on my desk! (and my bathroom counter, and...)

Organizing the side berth storage shelves
Storage area under companionway steps

1 comment:

  1. Ok,so the solution to be organized is just live in a boat! Light Bulb Moment!