Downsizing to RV living is a huge transition, both financially and emotionally. Marie Kondo’s best-selling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” may help ease this transition by helping you organize and prioritize your belongings. It is a simple philosophy that has helped millions not only downsize their material possessions, but in other areas of their lives too.
Making the switch to full-time RV living comes with a checklist all its own. Read on.
1. Set a Deadline
Those planning on moving into an RV full-time may need to get rid of some non-essential material possessions in order to maximize space for comfort and enjoyment of their new lifestyle. This isn’t always easy, and depending on how much stuff you have, you’ll need to take it in stages.
Be sure to start the process well ahead of your RV departure date in order to give yourself enough time for selling or giving away items not essential to your new lifestyle, as well as checking that everything fits.
As a general guideline, it’s a good idea to purge anything you haven’t used for more than six months – such as sports equipment you only use occasionally or large kitchen appliances – from your possession. Consider organizing a garage sale or using apps such as Facebook Marketplace to sell these items if possible. Otherwise donate them, gift to friends, or throw them out. This will help reduce a lot of your clutter and excess.
2. Do Something Everyday
As soon as you decide full-time RV living is for you, begin the downsizing process as soon as possible. Doing this can help set your mind right for this new lifestyle while giving you a head start on which items truly matter to bring along with you.
Once your items have been separated into keeps, donate, and sell piles, it should become clearer what should be prioritized and packed first. Doing this in ‘baby steps’ is important. Each day, tackle one pile or one section of one room. Clear it out, and determine whether you need to keep or toss.
3. Ask Yourself the Two Fundamentals Questions
There are two fundamental questions you should ask yourself before deciding to purge or keep any item:
• Do I need it?
• Do I love it?
Step one in this process should be to identify what items you truly require and want to bring with you, using categories like clothing, furniture, and hobbies as guides. Sort through your items and place them into piles for trash, donation, gift or sale.
Basically, if you don’t respond with a resounding YES! to at least one of the above questions, get rid of it!
Also, consider scanning important documents and photos so they won’t take up space on wheels! Larger items such as furniture obviously cannot fit into your RV. This can be especially tough for some people, as their prized family room furniture set will be no more! Using selling platforms such as Facebook Marketplace should be able to get you some cash for your precious furniture. And just think of the adventures that lie ahead in your RV!
4. Have a Good Support System
Downsizing to RV living can be both emotionally taxing and overwhelming for families. Relinquishing precious family heirlooms, memories and belongings is not easy, so having strong support during this transitional phase is critical.
Families preparing to move into an RV may benefit from renting storage units to keep items they can’t fit inside, such as snow gear and furniture, which will reduce stress while downsizing for RV living.
Downsizing to an RV lifestyle should be accomplished gradually. Take it day-by-day until it becomes natural to you and teaches you to place more value on experiences than material possessions. Don’t rush this process; enjoy every step and learn from any missteps along the way.