Archive for: ‘January 2011’


January 1, 2011 Posted by Deb

One of the first things we did when we returned to a land life in 1996 after three years on Sanity was recover stored possessions from attics and garages all over the middle part of country. Since we intended to set sail again in a few years, we needed a better storage solution. A pole barn seemed like a good idea but there was a small matter of where to put it. There’s nothing like an unattended pole barn in the middle of nowhere to attract the odd gunshot and other problems.

The choices were family farms and a cabin in Northern Minnesota. Deb’s family had been on their farm near Knoxville, IA, for over 100 years … that seemed stable enough. We split an 80×40 pole barn with her brother and started building shelves to hold enough junk for three families … turned out to be barely enough.

Craigslist helped. Our strategy was to keep our time commitment to a minimum since we were liquidating stuff at 50% to 75% of what we paid. We did this by meeting buyers at our offices during the day so when they were late or “no-shows” we weren’t out any time. The big ticket items that don’t store well like furniture and a large plasma TV were given away. Clothing got donated by the pickup load.

Pole Barn in IowaDespite a liquidation effort that spanned more than a year, we still ended up with an embarrassing amount of “stuff.” We had a few large fires that helped, but the junk is currently winning. Here are a couple of shots of what remains of our land life. The boats are very old and have sentimental value. The cars have negligible market value so we kept them and we insure one of them. We currently have renters insurance that covers the pole barn contents but that will expire by year end.