Don’t let anyone fool you. Downsizing to an RV is not easy! It doesn’t matter if the reason for downsizing allows you to live out a dream you’ve had for many years. Downsizing your life and home can still be difficult.
Table of Contents
- What’s the Reason You Need or Want to Downsize?
- Why is Downsizing Difficult?
- How to Reduce the Stress of Downsizing
- Should You Sell, Donate, or Give Away all Your Belongings?
- Reducing Your Personal Belongings into a Manageable Amount
- Is Having a Storage Locker Needed?
- Selling Your Belongings Online or in a Yard Sale
- Places to Donate:
- What’s the Next Step after Downsizing to an RV?
We’ve recently gone through the whole process of selling our home, packing up the essentials we want and need with us, and selling or donating the rest of our personal belongings. It seemed like a whirlwind and looking back on it, that’s what it was. From the time our house sold, which only took five days, to our move into a fifth wheel it was just over 6 weeks. Don’t think that wasn’t without its own stress because it was.
There’s probably 100 different ways for you to downsize your life and home but how you do it, will depend on your comfort level and needs. First, let’s discuss why you’re downsizing.
What’s the Reason You Need or Want to Downsize?
I’m going to assume you’re in a similar position that we were. We decided to sell our home, reduce our personal belongings, eliminate yard work, and have no further need for the snowblower in the garage. It’s time to enjoy ourselves instead of staying home and taking care of everything when all we would really like to do live a much simpler life. Having a clear reason why you’re downsizing will go a long way in making the process easier.
Why is Downsizing Difficult?
You may think that downsizing your life just includes selling your home, reducing your personal belongings, and happily moving into your dream RV. Absolutely, that’s part of the process but you will also be downsizing your life as well.
Your current life may include living in a large home and having the family’s gathering place for important events, such as Christmas or thanksgiving. Your children may count on you to organize the family’s summer barbecue or always be available when they choose to pop in for some much-needed advice. Everyone, including yourselves will need to adjust to the changes you’re making to your lifestyle.
How to Reduce the Stress of Downsizing
Take one thing at a time and cross it off your list. You do have a list, right? Your list will include selling or renting out your home, reducing your personal belongings, having your RV ready to move into and having a plan for your future. Not quite as easy as it looks.
We tried to follow the list. Yes, we did our best but it’s not always as easy as it seems. Not only did we have to sell our house, but we also didn’t own a livable RV yet and had a lifetime of “stuff” to get rid of. The first thing on the agenda was preparing our home for sale. We were fortunate because there wasn’t much to do – it was in good condition and ready to go. What we weren’t prepared for is how quick it sold – five days!
That meant we had to find an RV and fast! Doing your research ahead of time makes it much easier when the time comes to make your purchase. We knew what we wanted. It was just a matter of finding it. Easier said than done. Our first mistake – buying a used RV because we felt we were in a time crunch. In hindsight, we should have found a short-term rental or other solution and took our time.
Should You Sell, Donate, or Give Away all Your Belongings?
Decide what’s important to you and prepare for either storing those items or having them with you. Be prepared for selling or donating most of your things because you’ll find that your kids aren’t interested.
Your kids don’t want the precious junk you’ve been collecting religiously over the years. They don’t have the memories you have about that cute little vase you scooped up at a neighbourhood yard sale or that colourful print you’ve had on your living room wall from your memorable trip to Europe 20 years ago.
I wish I could make you feel better about the things that matter to you but for the most part my kids and others I’ve spoken to, don’t want our stuff. They’ve got their own things to enjoy and deal with unless it has a special meaning to them specifically. My daughter happily took my great grandmother’s milk pitcher and tea pot but refused my dish collection. Sorry, but it’s best to be prepared. My beautiful Guatemalan prints meant nothing to her or her brother.
My only recommendation is to make a list, take one thing at a time and do your best. That’s all you can do.
Reducing Your Personal Belongings into a Manageable Amount
I’m a list person so I suggest you create a list of everything you don’t need or want. Share your list with your family and friends to see if anyone is interested in anything. The rest can be now sold or donated, depending on their value or if they’re saleable. You might be surprised as to what will sell. Remember, the saying “Another man’s junk is another man’s prize possession”? It’s true.
Is Having a Storage Locker Needed?
If you’re not sure about what your plans are and aren’t ready to dispose of a few items, then either store them with family or rent a storage locker. You may find a year from now you’ll look at everything in the locker and wonder why you saved them. That’s okay. You can eliminate those items later.
Selling Your Belongings Online or in a Yard Sale
Depending on your location will probably determine where and how you’ll sell your things. We used Facebook Marketplace for 90% of our items and the rest was through word of mouth by friends and family and a yard sale. Our yard sale was well advertised but didn’t do well but it was in the middle of forest fires and smoke in the air so people weren’t venturing too far.
Use marketplace to sell locally – search for similar products, get a feel for what the prices are and then don’t get greedy. What can you let it go for? Most of my items were gone within 2 – 5 days and sometimes it only took hours.
We made approximately five trips to our local Bargain Bin, because we know they give back to the community and they were happy to receive our good quality items. We made sure everything was clean and in good condition and didn’t use it as a place to dump our junk. The back of our truck was loaded for the dump with things we knew were of no value.
Places to Donate:
Animal Rescue Shops
Salvation Army Thrift Stores
What’s the Next Step after Downsizing to an RV?
Remember why you’ve downsized? You had a goal in mind and hopefully by selling or renting your home, selling, or donating your belongings, and moving into an RV will now make it all worthwhile. There’ll be adjustments to everyone after you downsize into the RV and not only just you and your spouse or partner. Your friends and family will be adjusting as well.
You have dreams and plans and it’s now time to follow them – so get started.