Deciding to become a full-time RVer isn’t easy. Sure, the idea of traveling the country and waking up in a new place every couple of days is wonderful and full-time RVing does allow for that. But before making that dream a reality, there are lots of things to consider: How will you make money while traveling? Can you rework your lifestyle to accommodate for repairs and other issues that may affect your home on wheels at any time? Can you cut your 15-minute showers down by a third, to reserve water? Perhaps the most difficult consideration, however, is how to pare down your life lived a brick-and-mortar home – and all the associated possessions – to a much smaller and confined mobile space?
This pruning of a lifetime of personal effects can be a source of immense stress, but it doesn’t have to be. With these 5 helpful tips, you can effectively prepare yourself for the full-time RV lifestyle:
1) Start early
As with most large, seemingly unmanageable tasks, the more time you give yourself to complete said task, the more manageable it becomes. If you’re thinking about becoming a full-time RVer in the next year, start the reduction process now. It will allow you to handle projects in smaller chunks and limit the stress that often comes with tight deadlines.
2) Digitize important and special items
While your middle school chess trophy and your three-year-old daughter’s drawings represent important milestones in your life, ask yourself if you really need the physical objects. If you can do without those items physically taking up space, but you can’t bear the thought of potentially losing the memory, take pictures of the trophies, mementos, kids’ projects, flower pressings. Scan photos and family letters from albums, and scan paperwork, tax information, and other important documents. A simple flash drive can serve as a storage device that you can easily take with you anywhere you go.
3) Incrementally stock your RV
If you’re able to load your rig over time, try stocking it incrementally with the things you absolutely need. Prepare to spend a night or two sleeping your RV; what items will you need for the night? Bring those with you. When you wake up in the morning, what items do you wish you had? Bring those out to the rig next. Resist the urge to bring in anything else until you wish you actually had it with you.
4) Sell as much as you can
A good old-fashioned yard sale is the most common way to pare down one’s belongings. Set up one over a weekend or have a few over the course of a few months, if you have the time. Another option is to have family and friends come over and shop the items in your home. Serve some food and drinks and make it a party.
5) Donate to thrift shops and charities
Donating your household goods, clothes, and other items to a thrift shop or charity is a great way to not only get rid of things, but to help a good cause. There are many organizations that will even pick up and haul away items in bulk, and some will even accept cars as donations.
If you get caught up in the reduction process, ask yourself if you love something enough that you’ll pay to store it and if it’s something you can buy again if you really need it. You’ll find that in most cases, the things you think you can’t live without are the very things you can live without, and life will feel more free and unfettered than ever before.
Are you a full-time RVer? What did you do to scale back your possessions? Share in the comments or contact us today!