Downsizing to a smaller space is no easy task, especially when you are facing years of accumulation and collection to wade through. But don’t let the seemingly overwhelming chore of liquidation stop you from enjoying the liberation of RV living! Once you start to purge your household possessions, your separation anxiety will pass and you’ll begin to see your RVing road trip reality approaching on the horizon! The sooner you start downsizing your belongings for RV living, the sooner you’ll be enjoying carefree days free from stress and clutter!
Before Getting Started
Some mental preparation should occur before you start your downsizing venture. Take a good look at your RV and examine the storage space in each one of your ‘rooms’ so that you can be realistic about how much space you have to work with (or how little, depending on which way you look at it). Consider making a list of must-haves so that you can stay organized and on task once you begin. Don’t tackle your house all at once; work space by space throughout your home so that you can make your decisions with regards to how much space is allotted within your RV.
Let The Cleansing Begin
Getting rid of your belongings can be liberating, but that doesn’t mean it still won’t have its challenges. During your downsizing, you will likely encounter a few areas that will be more difficult to deal with than others. To help you endure as you purge, here are some helpful insights to consider when contemplating what stays and what goes.
Photos & Momentos
Keepsakes, family pictures, and other items of significance can be some of the hardest things to say goodbye to. Though you won’t want to throw these items in the trash, you may want to consider giving heirlooms away to other members of your family who will appreciate them. If possible, pass your keepsakes down to the next generation of your family with the item’s backstory so that the history isn’t lost. When it comes to belongings like photos and momentos, only you can truly determine their sentimentality and value.
Clothes & Shoes
When downsizing, the closet might be one of the most postponed projects, even though it is one area that is likely to need the most work. It can be so easy to accumulate clothing and even easier to justify keeping it, regardless of if you wear it or if it even fits. In reality, we all know everybody wears the same dozen or so outfits over and over, so whatever doesn’t make it into your standard rotation - ditch it! Ask yourself Am I really ever going to wear this? And if something no longer fits or it feels out of style, send it out the door. Don’t pack yourself fourteen pairs of something when four pairs will do just fine. Remember, casual clothes that pair nicely in layers work best.
In transitioning to an RV, the size of your kitchen will likely take a big hit and you’ll need to adjust to this change accordingly. When it comes to your kitchen, keep it simple. You probably don’t need that bulky bread maker or rice cooker, and you certainly don’t need three different ice cream scoopers. Realistically think about what you actually use in relation to your cooking tendencies. Don’t just pack something in your RV because you want to use it, pack it because you know you’ll use it.
Books, CDs, & DVDs
In the age of technology, what once was tangible can now be electronic, meaning that you don’t need to waste valuable space hauling around paperbacks, CD cases, and stacks of DVDs. Compile these items down into more portable formats. Use a tablet, your phone, or an iPod to store these items on one compact device. You can also scan your paper documents to store them electronically so that you don’t have to bother with designating a file cabinet. Just be sure to keep backup copies of all of your conversions and keep them in a safe spot at a second location.
Decorative adornments can transform an RV into a charming home away from home, but the line between decoration and clutter is thin. Decorations can be hard to get rid of because they are an expression of your style, and you don’t want your RV to be a bland cookie-cutter replica of the rest. Just be selective about what decorations you let pass through your RV’s door, and realize that the less ornamented your RV is, the more impactful your selected decorations will be. If any decorations are broken or cracked, they gotta go. Only keep your favorites and be deliberate in your selections.
Now that you have a clear idea of what you will be keeping and all that you’re going to be saying goodbye to, there are a couple of ways that you can get the clutter out of your sight. The options that require the most effort are typically the options that will reap the biggest reward monetarily. What better way to begin your new RVing quest than with a pocket full of cash from all of your unwanted items? But whether you sell, donate, or throw away, the real reward is having the freedom to live without being restricted by what you own!
Having a garage sale requires a certain amount of effort, but it is a great way to get rid of your goods in a hurry! By placing your for-sale items in the yard with price stickers, you will draw in crowds who are eager to give your old possessions a brand new life! In addition to the benefits of letting your belongings be repurposed and recycled, you also get the bonus benefit of racking up some cash before your RV adventure begins!
The Internet is a great tool for connecting with potential buyers who are interested in what you have to offer. Online resources like Facebook groups or Craigslist will allow you to post an ad highlighting what you have for sale, and those interested in buying can easily message you for more details. With nothing more than a camera, computer, and keyboard, you can downsize your belongings without having to go through the hassle of hauling everything outside for a garage sale.
Let’s be real, after the laborious and long struggle of downsizing, the extra effort to get rid of your unwanted items can simply be too much. Donating your belongings is another great way to say goodbye without having to break a sweat. While you won’t get any money in exchange for your goods when you donate, you will get a quick and simple ending to a downsizing ordeal that may have just wiped you clean out of energy!
The RVing lifestyle really puts into perspective how quickly the things you own can end up owning you. Once you are free from the burden of your belongings, you will quickly grow questionable of how you ever handled having so much stuff in the first place. What can we say, when you live inside the small space of an RV, less is truly more which makes life truly limitless!
Do you have any downsizing tips or tricks you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them!