Organizing and Long Term Storage of Provisions

As you may know, we stocked up on provisions for when the time comes that the weather (finally) cooperates and lets us head for the Bahamas. It was a lot of work getting the food, now its time to organize. We are incredibly happy with the huge amount of storage space on our Trimaran. Especially since Abyni moved into one of the other cabins and we now have the V-Berth free for storing food. We thought we’d need the whole thing, but as it turns out, a LARGE amount of stuff fit under the bunk. So ~ lots of storage AND we still have a single bed if we need the space due to guests.

Anyway, as it is with moving anything on board. First, there is total chaos. It didn’t help that the three days prior to provisioning were horribly windy with waves that kept most of us from doing much of anything physical (ie: the boat was a mess because cleaning on a rocking boat is impossible for someone like me who suffers from motion sickness). We brought home 4 FULL dinghy rides of groceries and supplies. And we have a 14 foot dinghy. That’s a crazy amount of stuff!

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Most of the stuff was in trash bags from the first two trips, because it was raining, so we have huge trash bags literally piled to the ceiling on the first day. Yay! That’s just great for anxiety, having your home filled to the top with what looks like trash!

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Most of the canned goods ended up spending the weekend in the pilot house. There simply wasn’t room for everything in the salon/galley.

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Jaedin removing the labels from cans on the other side of the pilot house.

Because we had bought so many repeat items (a case or two each of canned goods, etc) I decided to straight away take 1/3rd of EVERYTHING and send it to the V-Berth (that’s our front small cabin)

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This is the first part of storage under the bunk in the V-Berth

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Everything that we prepped (took off the labels/cardboard/glue as much as we could and wiped with bleach to inhibit bugs from infesting our stuff), we automatically took 1/3rd of it and handed it through the bathroom to Patrick, who was putting things away under the mattress.

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We got 1/3rd of everything we could handed up… and there was still plenty of room. Enough room that Patrick could still SIT IN THE SPACE. Hmm… I wasn’t counting on that much space! Okay… I guess we’ll send another 1/3rd of those things that I’m not sure we’ll use *that* often.

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We stored some of the potatoes and onions up here as well. We separated them into smaller mesh bags, first and made sure the onions were well separated in different compartments from the potatoes.

Oh, and the milk. We bought a LOT of milk. Patrick found that some of the shelves in the V-berth were perfect for the quart sized cartons of milk, so viola!

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Now it was time to start organizing the salon storage. A little bit easier to get to (in theory) than the front berth (which requires going through the bathroom to get there… oh! speaking of which, our head/bathroom has so much storage, we were able to store everything except one thing of toilet paper in the bathroom cabinets, so we won’t have to dig through anywhere else to find it! Yay!)

The problem we had with our last “organization system” was that… well, the problem was that I hadn’t lived on a boat before and had no way to know how things were going to be, or how much of a pain in the ass it was going to be to have to remove the couch cushions every time we needed more of something. I also way over estimated my ability to remember things. In other words, we often had to remove every cushion and look through every storage spot to find the peanut butter that I would have sworn was in the first place, when in reality, it was in the 4th space. Ooops.

Problem (hopefully) solved. This time I took masking tape and wrote down everything that was in each hatch on the lid. When those things are gone, we can put a line through it or remove the tape.

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This is part of the salon couch under the cushions where a lot of our provisions are stored.

I realize that my organizational style probably isn’t going to fit anyone else, but because of our family and having a crew of six, it really doesn’t make sense for us to store things by type. If we store all the beans here and all the grains there and all the vegetables THERE, then every time we need more stuff for a meal, we’ll be opening up every hatch and storage space to get a variety of things together. SO, instead, this time I decided to try storing things in ‘variety packs’ basically.

In the easiest to reach storage spot, I stored those things we go through the fastest/need the most often. Mostly cereal, crackers, granola bars, oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly.

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In the second easiest to get to went the tortillas, ketchup, syrup, pancake mix and a few other things just because they fit. We actually remembered to write the stuff on the lids as we went! Whoot! Progress 🙂

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Abyni is the best helped for the couch storage area, because as you can kind of see, the previous owner enlarged the table significantly and she’s really the only one that can easily fit in all the little corners whilst twisting and turning and putting things away. And yes, the table does make me feel like a whale and reminds me not to eat too much for fear that next time I won’t be able to squeeze my ass in there to sit down.

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Keep going (oh, yeah, I labelled a few things that I was TOTALLY unsure about with 1/3, 2/3 and 3/3 so that I’d know how much we used when it came time to provision again)

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Now that all of the couch storage on the port side is packed full, we’ll organize the much smaller space on the starboard side and restock the actual galley cabinets again. I’ve decided to do just a tiny bit of arranging, but not much. I’m happy with my Galley Organization from the beginning. I’m a little surprised by that, to be honest. I thought I’d have to change my mind fifty times!

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The rest of the potatoes and onions hang by the cabinets in the galley. Ideally, I should separate them, I just haven’t found the space to do so yet!

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We have our hammock for breads, chips and tortillas. It works well most of the time and keeps things from getting squished or lost under other things.

So now the idea is to see how well this plan worked and let you know when we get down to the nitty gritty if I managed to do this right!

Thanks for reading… I’m hoping to get everything cleaned up and spiffy before we leave for the Bahamas and do a video tour of our very lived in space. Wish me luck and calm weather so I can get that done!

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