I have often looked through the house and the garage and thought that I have too much “stuff” and have wondered why I am keeping it. As a start, I took all my old magazines to the barber. Books curios and glassware went to the Church charity shop. I also spoke to a few of the waste pickers who collect stuff in the suburbs when we put our wheelie bins out on the due date.

We agreed that anything of value would go on top for ease of access when they come around.

Glass went to the recycling bin at the local park so I was sorted.

Then I hit the books again as they still took up a lot of space. So I kept the best wildlife and bird books. The rest went to the charity bookshop. In a way, it is gratifying to know that someone else can use them.

I had made some space and even cleared out the old clothes in my cupboard placing them in a bin near the local community centre.

Then the big shock came and it was 4×4 related. I had lent my friend Heine a tent and canteen of crockery as he was going away on a trip and was not sure what would be required. On his return, I suggested that he keep the two “wolf packs” containing the equipment in his storeroom at ADA the training venue that we use.

I was happy as I had made some space in my garage.

Should I ever decide to move it would be an easier task. Heine was in Johannesburg recently and we met up for a quick sandwich and a coffee. He took me home and we decided to raid the garage. I now needed to declutter as the house was for sale and I did not to be under pressure when the inevitable move came about. We did however hire a container as we still had my son’s books and lego which he asked us to keep.

A revelation in terms of the garage came in the form of a book I picked up at the charity store “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” by Marie Kondo a Japanese author.

It’s an extremely interesting read and it helped me with my 4×4 equipment. She makes an interesting point about discarding items to clear space.

This is not to be interpreted as throwing stuff away unless it is rubbish. In my case how many straps, shackles and suchlike do you need? So it all went into the back of the ADA bakkie. Heine would catalogue and store it for use when we do a trip or a training activation. To me, it’s the right place to store it. I also had a cooler box and hammock which I would never use, these I gave to a good friend who also travels into the bush occasionally.

My heavy tool box which was suited to overland travel went with Heine as well. I have two smaller tool kits which are good for day-to-day repairs if necessary, will always collect the larger kit if I venture off the beaten track. These contain spanners, screwdrivers, pliers, a shifting spanner and side cutters as well as duct tape, annealing tape and other bits and bobs.

I kept a bag full of ratchet straps as they are extremely useful both on and off-road and for strapping motorbikes on trailers or in the load box of a bakkie. My Jerry cans and water containers went with Heine as I have not used them for a while and they are always needed at ADA.

A small bag was packed with the essentials for a normal trip. It includes a section of a roof truss to be used as a stable jacking plate and to give height as many scissor jacks do not extend adequately making it difficult to remove a flat wheel and replace it with a spare. This has happened to us twice whilst on gravel roads. Gloves are important both when travelling and around the campsite. Mine are always at hand for any eventuality.

For emergencies, I keep a small container with mixed nuts, screws and bolts suitable for most emergencies. I will need to get a few small plates to fit in a bag along with my flask, tin glasses and cutlery. But I owe this regeneration to the Marie Kondo book. It deals with being tidy and discarding what you don’t need. Then it covers the correct ways to store stuff. All of which will drastically change your life off-road.

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