After spending a month in Paso Robles, we traveled north again and stayed a week in Gilroy, which is south of San Jose. The sole purpose of this stop was to clear out our storage space that we set up when we moved from our house to the RV last year. So, I guess this is a good time to talk about the “D” word…downsizing.
We are getting pretty good at this downsizing thing – having done it basically three times now. It’s amazing how, after living in a small space, you realize that you don’t need all that “stuff”. When we moved from Texas to California, we had to sort through and get rid of quite a bit of stuff that we had accumulated over a long period of time. We started the process before Jim had to be at his new job in San Jose, but I ended up taking care of most of it after he was gone – with a lot of help from my friends.
Our move from Plano to San Jose was funded by Jim’s company – complete with packing and unpacking. I remember what the relocation coordinator said to me when she arranged for our boxes to be unpacked in San Jose. She told me that if at any time I felt overwhelmed, that I could tell the workers to stop unpacking the boxes. I didn’t relate to what she said until I was standing in my new house with all of our stuff laying on the floor around me.
When we decided to sell the house and move into the RV, we had to downsize even more. We sold the bulk of our belongings, rented a small storage space for the few things we didn’t have room for in the RV, and brought the rest with us. After living in our small space for over a year, we decided to live even lighter by purging our storage space.
When we brought the boxes from our storage space to the RV, I had that same overwhelming feeling having all those belongings in front of me. Things I hadn’t seen or thought about in over a year were suddenly there again and I had an emotional reaction. My first thought was that I didn’t want to get rid of anything.
After thinking about it, and sleeping on it, I realized that I still didn’t need those things. I tapped into the new sense of freedom and lightness that I’ve grown into after living a more minimalistic lifestyle. So we went through the process of downsizing again.
- Sort through things slowly and set up designated areas for what you want to keep, sell, and donate.
- Consignment is a great way to go if you don’t have the time, or don’t want the hassle of selling your larger items and accessories.
- Have the dreaded garage sale and say “yes” when your friends offer to help!
- Keep track of the things you are donating for tax purposes. Group items together and take a picture and then list them on the receipt from the donation site.
- Take pictures of the bulkier mementos (trophies, kids’ projects, anything that takes up too much space) and treasure the photo instead of the actual item. I know these things are hard for a lot of people to get rid of, but honestly – most of them are gathering dust in your attic anyways.
If you’re thinking about living in an RV, remember you have to consider weight. Whether you are in a motor coach, towing a trailer, or have a fifth wheel like us, weight is always something to be keenly aware of for ease of travel and, more importantly, safety. And it really is freeing to not have all that stuff. Smaller living opens up space for lots of other experiences and creative outlets. Like sharing your adventures in a blog!