We figure that by moving into an RV we’re going to have to cut down our possessions by at least 70%.
That awesome pint glass collection from random bars & breweries? Gone. The snowboard that I get to use maybe once a year? That’s gone too.
There are some obvious things to get rid of during the transition, like the king size bed, the dual monitor screens, the couch, dressers and all the other large furniture that would be redundant or waaay to big for a travelling domicile.
But what about the smaller things, the sentimental things that we’ve been dragging with us from house to house?
What about all those really cool kitchen gadgets that we just had to have to make that super awesome recipe once or twice a year?
We’re going to need a system. We’re going to need rules and we’re going to have to make progress every week. We figure we have about six months until we officially leave to go full time.
So we’ve put together a decluttering system and a set of rules for us to follow.
RV Downsizing Rules
- Everything has to serve a purpose.
- Stop buying things unless it’s replacing something else.
- If we haven’t touched it in six months or more, it’s got to go. (not including seasonal items)
- No redundant items (except for those used for work or emergencies)
- If it can be replaced by a multifunctional item, replace it.
- No items that are easily broken.
Our Decluttering System
Month One – Get rid of excess crap
Remove all excess clutter and items that haven’t been used in 6 months or more. Any items that are obviously non-essentials get sold or donated.
Month Two – Clean out those drawers
Empty out every single drawer and organize all the items into 4 boxes. Trash, Donate/Sell, Keep, Relocate.
Month Three – Remove Redundancies and non-functionals
Look for redundancies in each room and cull or better yet replace with a multifunctional version. If something won’t serve a purpose on the road, then it’s got to go.
Month Four – Cull down collections
Go through “collections” of books, glassware, records, super cute dog coats, etc. and put into two piles. 2 items to keep, 1 to remove, 2 keep, 1 to remove, and so on until we’ve been through the entire group of items, essentially cutting down each by a third.
Month Five – Bye bye furniture!
Start selling/donating all non-essential lamps, chairs, bookcases, dressers etc. Each time we get rid of a piece, if it was storing or holding anything then those items get moved into the RV.
By this time we should be getting pretty close to completely moving out of our apartment and spending more and more time in the RV.
I’m sure we’re going to downsize even further as we make that transition, but it’s hard to tell how that’s going to go until we actually have our motorhome.
Breaking The Rules
Now we did allow each other to pick two areas of guilty pleasure where we can break these rules and not cut down as much.
We’re calling these our non-negotiables.
- Gabi chose shoes and clothing (big surprise there)
- Brian chose records and cookbooks (extra weight, yay!)
Hopefully, we’ll be able to transition into a more minimal lifestyle easily and end up with some extra space in the RV, but I guess time will tell.
These processes aren’t just for people transitioning into RV life. They can be helpful for anyone moving into a new house or apartment or anyone just looking to declutter their lives.
We can all use a refresh once in a while.
Do you have any downsizing tips? Let us know! We can use all the help we can get.