People ask us all the time, how did you downsize from your house to your RV? This article is dedicated to those out there wondering, how to minimize the clutter. While the theory behind each step in this article is simple, we warn that none of this is simply simple. If anything, it’s quite the opposite.
Are you ready to be challenged with simple steps?
- Start by going through room by room. Pick a room and go! For a quick start begin with the closet in the chosen room. Starting with closets offers an easy, small start. Baby steps, that’s what I say kicking off any big undertaking. Let’s face it, minimizing stuff can be a daunting task. I suggest starting with the smallest closet or a clothes closet. These tend to be easy starters. Good rule of thumb that helped us minimize our clothes:
If you have not worn it in the last year, chances are you aren’t going to wear it in the next. And if you are thinking you’ll eventually fit into those jeans in the back of the closet, stop fooling yourself. You won’t. Put them in the pile titled, Sell/Giveaway, which leads us to our next step.
See how easy that was. You got this!
- Clearly designate areas for different causes with something along the lines of: Keep; Discard; Sell/Giveaway —Having specific spaces for each category allows for better organization as well as motivation to keep efforts moving forward. This works because you physically see your piles accumulate and grow. This is a good thing!
- Review your piles and address the cause. By going through each pile, allow yourself a few chances to swap between them. Be fair and ensure swapping is just that, a one for one. Once you feel good to move on, plan and coordinate for your cause. Whether that is loading up and heading to your favorite charity drop off or planning a yard sale. Give yourself time to conduct this step. It will take longer than you realize, especially if you want to sell online. Set realistic expectations for your items and post online. We’ve found Facebook Marketplace to be one of the easiest channels but there are several apps out there that do the same, like Let Go.
- Repeat steps 1-3 – Ok, so this step can be optional. Everyone certainly has their own timeline but this step is designed to repeat the process. This allows additional opportunities to really ‘let go’ of those items you no longer need. The key word is ‘need’. Truth is, when you downsize to a smaller living space, you quickly realize you don’t ‘need’ eight coffee mugs. You need more like four. Trust us when we say, you really don’t need a lot living in 350 sq ft space. This step is simply meant to further refine the process of reducing.
We downsized our shit over a years time and had multiple yard sales as we moved through the sale of our house and a move into a smaller apartment. Then we downsized again from the apartment into our 5th wheel and experienced another round of purging shit we didn’t necessarily need. Sometimes letting go can be emotionally difficult, so if you can’t let your shit go the first round, allow yourself time to reconsider letting it go in the future and that’s what this step is about.
- For those that are minimizing to travel on a full time basis, the last and final step is to further divide your Keep shit into one Go pile and one Stay pile. Go is what will travel with you and Stay is what gets packed up into storage. This step is by far the most stressing. Knowing what you will need on your journey is often a tough call so you inherently pack more than you need. We advise moving your goodies into your rig in stages and going on adventures in between. For us, we went on a month long tour of the state and discovered a pile of items we had packed that we just did not need. It’s going to happen. You think you are going to need it but in the end, you just don’t. Our month long tour gave us the opportunity to return to our home town and take some of our Go and place it in the Stay aka storage.
That’s it. I hope these tips help in your personal journey to reduce your shit and make way for new experiences!