If you’ve made the decision to start downsizing your sticks and bricks to live the RV life, you’ve come to the right place! Downsizing doesn’t have to be as scary as you may think. In fact, we invite you to welcome this new chapter in your life. We know you won’t regret it! In this blog, we’ll breakdown everything you need to know in order to transition smoothly into your new RV lifestyle.
Getting Started – Organization
Transitioning from a single-family home or apartment into an RV can be overwhelming. Where do you even begin? Over the years, people tend to collect a lot of clutter and sentimental items. Before you know it, you have hundreds of items in your home that you haven’t used or seen in years. Organization is key when it comes to downsizing and moving into your new home-on-wheels.
Here are some key tips for getting organized:
- Garage Sale: It’s time to purge. A garage or yard sale is a great way to get rid of things you don’t need or use, and make a little cash on the side. A good rule of thumb is:
if you haven’t used an item in the past year, you don’t need it! Donate the rest of your things you didn’t sell.
- Essentials: most of your essential items that you use every day are already right in front of you! These everyday items will have a place in your RV as well. If they make your life easier on a regular basis, put those items aside to pack in later.
- Sentimental Items: we all have something(s) that we cannot let go of (and that’s okay!). We don’t want you to get rid of important mementoes, pictures, or memorabilia that means something to you. Instead, think of a place that those items might be safe to store for a while. Maybe you have a close friend or relative who can keep these items while you downsize. You can also store these items in a storage unit. It’s not uncommon for RVers to keep some of their things in a storage unit.
- Start Small: always start small! A good place to start is the bathroom or bedroom. These two places are the ones you might frequent the most. Organize your bathroom and only pack the items you know you will need. Once you tackle the bathroom(s) and bedroom(s), move onto bigger spots like your kitchen. This is where you will have to get rid of bulky pots and pans and the 100 spatulas you have in a drawer. This tends to be one of the most difficult places to downsize. For a complete list of things you’ll need in your RVs kitchen, read this.
- Know your RV: before you start throwing away things you’ll later regret, you’ll want to know exactly what your RV will store and need. Know the ins and out of your rig, from actual dimensions and weight capacity, to storage capabilities and the number of drawers and closets your new home will have.
Let’s tackle some of your home’s bigger items items next. Household standards such as furniture, TVs, and miscellaneous items like exercise equipment will most likely need to be sold or donated. Remember, most RVs come equipped with furniture and necessities. If your rig has these items installed by the manufacturer, it’s your lucky day! Some bulkier items may need to travel with you, like toolboxes and RV accessories, so you’ll want to save your storage space for these necessities.
If you’re thinking, “I’m sure I can find space for some of those items” remember, your RV’s weight is critical. You do not want to pack your rig with unnecessary weight, which can cause major safety issues while on the road. For a complete guide on understanding your RVs weight and why it matters, check this blog out.
Clothes You’ll Need to Pack
We all have our favorite pair of jeans and worn-in tees; a special jacket or sentimental outfit you can’t quite get rid of. We get it! Most of us tend to have a difficult time getting rid of clothes–even those we never wear. Unfortunately, your space is going to be very limited in your new RV bedroom. The key to keeping your favorite things while not overpacking is keeping it casual. If you’re living the RV life, your needs will mostly fall under leisure and special activities like hiking. Packing comfortable clothing is going to be your saving grace! Make the most of items like joggers, hiking gear, leggings, shorts, and t-shirts, while staying minimal on dressy outfits, accessories, and that extra pair of shoes. Most RVers recommending keeping shoes to a four pair max. Exercise shoes, sandals, rain boots, and a nice pair of dress shoes for the occasional night on the town!
Paper copies are important. A paper trail can make your life easier, but many items may serve you best when they’re digitized! If you have the option to keep important documents on a hard-drive or secure cloud storage, do so. Too much paper can become heavy and turn into clutter. You’ll want to get organized with your files and decide which ones to keep.
Some items you’ll definitely want to keep on hand include:
Insurance & Warranty policies: registration and insurance information should be kept in
the glove compartment.
Identification: ID, drivers’ license, passports, and birth records.
Pet records: if you are crossing the border, pet records might be required to allow your pet(s) to come.
Owner’s Manual: your specific RV has many unique qualities and maintenance requirements, all stored in your RV owner’s manual. Keep it handy!
You’re Ready to Hit the Road
Getting rid of your personal and cherished items can be hard! But we also believe one of the biggest lessons the RV life will teach you is that you don’t need material things to make you happy. It’s the experiences, the journey, and the people you’ll meet along the way that matter most. Welcome to the most exciting moment in your life!
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