I get emails and blog comments from readers who ask how you get rid of “all the stuff” in preparation to going fulltime RVing. I go through the - take one room at a time - it’s a lot easier to pick out what you need in the RV and sell the rest, give your kids their own stuff, and donate the rest.
For me, I don’t like garage sales, so at one of my book club meetings I put out most of my small appliances and asked my friends to choose an item and pay me what they thought it was worth. This way I knew who had my stand-up mixer, microwave, oven toaster, etc. and it wasn’t so hard to let go of them because I knew who had them. I also asked the ladies to say a little prayer for me or give me a good thought each time they used the appliance…you can never have too many prayers sent your way.
Our furniture was also sold to friends. I told all my friends, co-workers, club members, etc. that I needed to sell all my furniture and invited them to come to our house and see if there was something they wanted. So all our furniture is also in our friends homes or their children’s homes.
Now when we come back to Colorado and see friends they comment on how comfortable our furniture is; the lawn mower is still cutting grass; the large barbecue grill is still feeding the family; the mixer makes great cakes and many other stories. Again, it is comforting to know our “stuff” is serving our friends well.
Then the other day I was watching Roadtrip Nation on PBS. It’s a good show that is a “grassroots movement that encourages people to move outside their comfort zone and explore the world”. Three college students ride across the country in a motorhome interviewing folks, having experiences and seeing new things, as they try to figure out what they want to do in life.
One of the interviews was with Jay Shafer of Tiny Houses fame. He builds houses of 96 to 300 sq. ft. They are really cute! Anyway, the student asked him about how people pare down their belongings to fit in these tiny houses. What he said was priceless:
“Know what you need to be happy and get rid of the rest”
Isn’t that an amazing statement? So simple - so concise - and so absolutely TRUE!!! Take what you love and leave the rest.
It is so much easier to go through the house and pick out the things that made me happy and made me smile and put that in the RV and shucked the rest.
I loved a three-piece set of liquid measuring cups I bought from Pampered Chef. They are easy to read without bending down to eye level. But I thought the single four-cup measuring cup would be more practical, but it didn’t make me smile. So before we left the area I changed my mind and got the three-piece set and I smile and am happy every time I use them now. Just this morning when I used the two cupper I thought “I’m so glad I brought these along”.
We end up putting so little of our possessions into our RVs when we go fulltime RVing. There is just so little you really NEED compare to what we HAD (or what we want to take, for that matter). But you finally realize you decided to go fulltime RVing to change our lifestyle, and exchange possessions for traveling and experiences. That is the goal. You just have to keep your eye on the goal and hold up all the choices of possessions you want to take up against that goal. It really makes it easier to choose that way.
Take what you need not what you want, but make sure what you need also brings you joy and makes you smile.
Well, that is my humble opinion. Take it for what it’s worth.
Remember, you are loved.